Vic

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  1. Most people, when they consider the name Anthony Rapp, immediately and understandably associate him with Broadway musicals, including You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and If/Then, as well as the landmark original production of Rent. But he’s also done his share of films and television shows, among them Adventures in Babysitting, Dazed and Confused, The X-Files, A Beautiful Mind, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, The Other Woman, Psych and The Good Fight. To that impressive list, it’s time to add Star Trek: Discovery. The show casts the actor, who is openly gay, as Lt. Paul Stamets, who is the science officer/astromycologist aboard the U.S.S. Discovery, and is in a relationship with the ship’s doctor, Hugh Culber, played by Wilson Cruz. StarTrek.com joined several other journalists for a recent roundtable conversation with Rapp. Here’s what he had to say: What did you know about Star Trek before coming aboard Discovery? I watched stuff when I was a kid. I watched the first three movies in the theaters and certainly some of The Original Series on TV in re-runs after school. That was my real affiliation to it, and I saw the first J.J. reboot movie. But, always for me, it was Kirk and Spock and Khan, and the bugs that crawl in people's ears in Wrath of Khan. But I missed the rest of it because at the time, in the mid-late 80s, I was working a lot and I just wasn't watching any TV, or almost no TV. So Next Gen, Deep Space Nine, totally passed me by at the time. When I got cast in the role (on Discovery), I did a deep dive into re-watching TOS stuff and then going really deep into Next Gen, and now I've started Deep Space Nine also. My plan is to keep going all the way through and at least watch each... I'm watching like curated lists of things. For such a progressive show, would you agree that Star Trek took a long to reach the point of including a gay couple? I think some of it is network pressures. I don't know, honestly, what conversations were happening with producers. I don't really know. This is all pure speculation. I'm pretty sure that Frakes did go on record that he advocated for that for that non-gender character (in an episode of TNG) to express as male, though. I think, right? Or something like that. So, there were missed opportunities, you could say, but I don't... It is 12 years since the last series occurred on TV and a lot has shifted in TV, in general, since then. I just think it's a confluence of all those circumstances. For better or for worse it just has been... I think it was a blind spot probably more than anything. I don't know if it was willfully avoided. I can't speak to that. Now that it’s happening, how ready are you to represent that? Very ready, yeah. Very ready. (Wilson Cruz and I) have both been activists, out actors, for decades, anyway. So, it's part of who we are. It feels very much in keeping with that. The show doesn’t make a big deal about it. Stamets and Culber are just another couple… The fact that it does exist is a big deal in the sense that it does represent something that hasn't been represented before. So, it's both things at once. We've heard a little bit about what Burnham goes through. What is the journey that Stamets is on? I'm wondering how much I can talk about. It's not just what I'm not allowed to, it's that I wouldn't want to… I'm like an anti-spoiler person as a consumer of culture. I think that when you first encounter me I'm a little... Stamets is super-smart and is the expert in his field, and so he encounters other people and can be a little impatient, or flinty, or short with them. So, part of the journey is getting to know these people with whom I'm first sort of like, "Who are you? What good are you to me?" And then getting to know, “Oh, maybe you are some good to me.” Seeing the evolution of my character's relationship with all these other people. And then you also get to see the softer side in my relationship with (Hugh). More than that, I don't really want to touch on too much because it just gets into the spoilery stuff. But, this is my first time being a regular on a TV show, so I don't always know what is coming. Sometimes, I get little hints dropped, but I don't really want to know because Stamets doesn't know. I get to read along with everyone else as the scripts come in and discover, no pun intended, what's coming. And it's always felt like it rings true. It feels organic and authentic, and that's the most important thing to me. How realistic are the sets and how much green screen are you dealing with? We have tons of practicality to all of our environments. The only green screen, really, that I've encountered... There's a scene where I'm in the shuttle bay and I'm looking out, essentially, kind of onto the star field. That's a green screen that I'm looking at. I wish I could see the planets, for sure. But the bay itself is real. Everything is very real, the hallways, the bridge. There's not much green screen really, really at all. I've only had one and that was when I was encountering that creature, that, clearly, they could not bring in. How are you managing with all the scientific dialogue, the infamous Trek technobabble? Well, it's really not babble in the sense that all is rooted in meaning. It's not just made-up gobbledygook. It actually means something. So, that is helpful. And, of course, we have our glossaries and dictionaries and we can ask questions. I'm not saying that it's like Shakespeare in the sense that... It's not poetry like that, but you have to wrap your head around a different way of expression. So, it's similar in that sense. You're mostly known for doing stage work. You’re previous TV was guest shots or recurring roles. How different has this TV experience been for you, in terms of the time and dialogue and speed of a series regular role on a weekly show? The big difference is having less time with the material, getting the material sometimes a day before, two days before, three days before, or whatever, before having to download it onto my brain. But I'm developing that muscle. What one of the joys of it has been is getting to learn the journey as it goes. It's cool to do a play, or a musical, that's two hours, two and a half hours, and you know the journey. You can do A to Z every night. I love that. But I also love, sort of, really living in the unknown. I'm so grateful to be on something that has twists, and turns, colors and all that stuff. Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25. View the full article
  2. Most people, when they consider the name Anthony Rapp, immediately and understandably associate him with Broadway musicals, including You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and If/Then, as well as the landmark original production of Rent. But he’s also done his share of films and television shows, among them Adventures in Babysitting, Dazed and Confused, The X-Files, A Beautiful Mind, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, The Other Woman, Psych and The Good Fight. To that impressive list, it’s time to add Star Trek: Discovery. The show casts the actor, who is openly gay, as Lt. Paul Stamets, who is the science officer/astromycologist aboard the U.S.S. Discovery, and is in a relationship with the ship’s doctor, Hugh Culber, played by Wilson Cruz. StarTrek.com joined several other journalists for a recent roundtable conversation with Rapp. Here’s what he had to say: What did you know about Star Trek before coming aboard Discovery? I watched stuff when I was a kid. I watched the first three movies in the theaters and certainly some of The Original Series on TV in re-runs after school. That was my real affiliation to it, and I saw the first J.J. reboot movie. But, always for me, it was Kirk and Spock and Khan, and the bugs that crawl in people's ears in Wrath of Khan. But I missed the rest of it because at the time, in the mid-late 80s, I was working a lot and I just wasn't watching any TV, or almost no TV. So Next Gen, Deep Space Nine, totally passed me by at the time. When I got cast in the role (on Discovery), I did a deep dive into re-watching TOS stuff and then going really deep into Next Gen, and now I've started Deep Space Nine also. My plan is to keep going all the way through and at least watch each... I'm watching like curated lists of things. For such a progressive show, would you agree that Star Trek took a long to reach the point of including a gay couple? I think some of it is network pressures. I don't know, honestly, what conversations were happening with producers. I don't really know. This is all pure speculation. I'm pretty sure that Frakes did go on record that he advocated for that for that non-gender character (in an episode of TNG) to express as male, though. I think, right? Or something like that. So, there were missed opportunities, you could say, but I don't... It is 12 years since the last series occurred on TV and a lot has shifted in TV, in general, since then. I just think it's a confluence of all those circumstances. For better or for worse it just has been... I think it was a blind spot probably more than anything. I don't know if it was willfully avoided. I can't speak to that. Now that it’s happening, how ready are you to represent that? Very ready, yeah. Very ready. (Wilson Cruz and I) have both been activists, out actors, for decades, anyway. So, it's part of who we are. It feels very much in keeping with that. The show doesn’t make a big deal about it. Stamets and Culber are just another couple… The fact that it does exist is a big deal in the sense that it does represent something that hasn't been represented before. So, it's both things at once. We've heard a little bit about what Burnham goes through. What is the journey that Stamets is on? I'm wondering how much I can talk about. It's not just what I'm not allowed to, it's that I wouldn't want to… I'm like an anti-spoiler person as a consumer of culture. I think that when you first encounter me I'm a little... Stamets is super-smart and is the expert in his field, and so he encounters other people and can be a little impatient, or flinty, or short with them. So, part of the journey is getting to know these people with whom I'm first sort of like, "Who are you? What good are you to me?" And then getting to know, “Oh, maybe you are some good to me.” Seeing the evolution of my character's relationship with all these other people. And then you also get to see the softer side in my relationship with (Hugh). More than that, I don't really want to touch on too much because it just gets into the spoilery stuff. But, this is my first time being a regular on a TV show, so I don't always know what is coming. Sometimes, I get little hints dropped, but I don't really want to know because Stamets doesn't know. I get to read along with everyone else as the scripts come in and discover, no pun intended, what's coming. And it's always felt like it rings true. It feels organic and authentic, and that's the most important thing to me. How realistic are the sets and how much green screen are you dealing with? We have tons of practicality to all of our environments. The only green screen, really, that I've encountered... There's a scene where I'm in the shuttle bay and I'm looking out, essentially, kind of onto the star field. That's a green screen that I'm looking at. I wish I could see the planets, for sure. But the bay itself is real. Everything is very real, the hallways, the bridge. There's not much green screen really, really at all. I've only had one and that was when I was encountering that creature, that, clearly, they could not bring in. How are you managing with all the scientific dialogue, the infamous Trek technobabble? Well, it's really not babble in the sense that all is rooted in meaning. It's not just made-up gobbledygook. It actually means something. So, that is helpful. And, of course, we have our glossaries and dictionaries and we can ask questions. I'm not saying that it's like Shakespeare in the sense that... It's not poetry like that, but you have to wrap your head around a different way of expression. So, it's similar in that sense. You're mostly known for doing stage work. You’re previous TV was guest shots or recurring roles. How different has this TV experience been for you, in terms of the time and dialogue and speed of a series regular role on a weekly show? The big difference is having less time with the material, getting the material sometimes a day before, two days before, three days before, or whatever, before having to download it onto my brain. But I'm developing that muscle. What one of the joys of it has been is getting to learn the journey as it goes. It's cool to do a play, or a musical, that's two hours, two and a half hours, and you know the journey. You can do A to Z every night. I love that. But I also love, sort of, really living in the unknown. I'm so grateful to be on something that has twists, and turns, colors and all that stuff. Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25. View the full article
  3. When “Encounter at Farpoint” first aired, I watched it in my Grandmother's kitchen in South Jersey. “Let him go watch his program,” she said, as the rest of the extended family sat in the living room. Now, a lifetime later, I saw the next chapter in Star Trek, Discovery, unveiled at its world premiere in the Cinerama Dome at Hollywood's Arclight Theater. A night I won't soon forget. I think the enormity of it all hit me when I was on the red (okay, blue) carpet, recording audio for ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast. Every actor, writer and producer I spoke to seemed like they were part of a circle of friends who knew a great story, and decided they were going to let you in on it. Some of them, like producer Heather Kadin, said she'd been working on Star Trek: Discovery for over two years. More than anything else, they just wanted to share. What grabbed me from the first two episodes was the way this new and modern show has bent over backwards to respect the fifty years of franchise history. The “first fans” of Star Trek, Bjo and John Trimble, were some of the earlier guests to arrive, and a small collection of revelers in costume off to the side of the theater began shouting their names. The Trimbles initiated the first letter-writing campaign in the late 1960s which kept Star Trek on the air, thus granting the show a third season, meeting the threshold for rerun syndication - a domino effect that led us to today. Now, five decades later, they were taking selfies with young Trek fans. This respect for the elders was matched by enthusiasm for tomorrow. That same cosplay crowd went wild when Mary Chieffo, in an elegant green gown, and looking nothing like her Klingon character L'Rell, made her way down the carpet. In a way, it didn't make sense. No one had seen the show yet. For all they knew, they'd hate it. It is not logical to judge something before you've examined it yourself! But Chieffo has already been mixing it up with fans, talking about learning Klingon and her radical makeup. Her passion for this project is obvious. I was privileged to stand just a few feet from a photo op of the whole Discovery gang posed with Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner. Moments later I spoke with Sonequa Martin-Green, who told me that that was the first time she'd met the original Uhura face to face. “This is yours now,” she told her. “Enjoy the ride.” It was another great example of the old and new coming together. Inside (where I sat next to a gal who said “Wait, are you the podcast guy? I follow you on Twitter!”) a slew of producers and actors came onstage for a quick bow. Then there was a treat that you'll probably never see. Before the first of two episodes (which were shown back-to-back with no interruption) James Frain's Sarek appeared onscreen in character, and on the deck of the Discovery. In the most sarcastic tone possible, he agreed that human emotion may instill in we audience members a need to give spoilers out on social media. Or maybe even take photos. He entreated us not to do it, but if appealing to our logical side weren't enough, there was a warning. “There are guards,” Sarek boomed, at which point a spotlight shone on an exit door, where stood two Klingons holding bat'leths. But I couldn't give you spoilers right now if I wanted to. My head is still spinning. My main, general impressions are that this show is huge and very modern, but still instantly recognizable as Trek. Sonequa Martin-Green is terrific as Michael Burnham; she is immediately likable. Also, prepare to fall in love with Doug Jones' Lt. Saru, who, I feel safe saying, wastes no time becoming a science fiction icon. The best compliment I could give is that when it ended, and we first saw some closing credits, I couldn't tell if I'd seen only one or both episodes. I'd completely lost all sense of time. Traveling at warp can be disorienting. And I can't wait to take another ride. Jordan Hoffman is a writer, critic and lapsed filmmaker living in New York City. His work can be seen on Film.com, ScreenCrush and Badass Digest. On his BLOG, Jordan has reviewed all 727 Trek episodes and films, most of the comics and some of the novels. Hoffman is also the host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast, from CBS Radio, CBS Local Digital Media and CBS Consumer Products. Engage is available via Play.it/StarTrek, iTunes and StarTrek.com, with new episodes released weekly. View the full article
  4. When “Encounter at Farpoint” first aired, I watched it in my Grandmother's kitchen in South Jersey. “Let him go watch his program,” she said, as the rest of the extended family sat in the living room. Now, a lifetime later, I saw the next chapter in Star Trek, Discovery, unveiled at its world premiere in the Cinerama Dome at Hollywood's Arclight Theater. A night I won't soon forget. I think the enormity of it all hit me when I was on the red (okay, blue) carpet, recording audio for ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast. Every actor, writer and producer I spoke to seemed like they were part of a circle of friends who knew a great story, and decided they were going to let you in on it. Some of them, like producer Heather Kadin, said she'd been working on Star Trek: Discovery for over two years. More than anything else, they just wanted to share. What grabbed me was the way this new and modern show has bent over backwards to respect the fifty years of franchise history. The “first fans” of Star Trek, Bjo and John Trimble, were some of the earlier guests to arrive, and a small collection of revelers in costume off to the side of the theater began shouting their names. The Trimbles initiated the first letter-writing campaign in the late 1960s which kept Star Trek on the air, thus granting the show a third season, meeting the threshold for rerun syndication - a domino effect that led us to today. Now, five decades later, they were taking selfies with young Trek fans. This respect for the elders was matched by enthusiasm for tomorrow. That same cosplay crowd went wild when Mary Chieffo, in an elegant green gown, and looking nothing like her Klingon character L'Rell, made her way down the carpet. In a way, it didn't make sense. No one had seen the show yet. For all they knew, they'd hate it. It is not logical to judge something before you've examined it yourself! But Chieffo has already been mixing it up with fans, talking about learning Klingon and her radical makeup. Her passion for this project is obvious. I was privileged to stand just a few feet from a photo op of the whole Discovery gang posed with Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner. Moments later I spoke with Sonequa Martin-Green, who told me that that was the first time she'd met the original Uhura face to face. “This is yours now,” she told her. “Enjoy the ride.” It was another great example of the old and new coming together. Inside (where I sat next to a gal who said “Wait, are you the podcast guy? I follow you on Twitter!”) a slew of producers and actors came onstage for a quick bow before screening the first two episodes. This show is huge and very modern, but still instantly recognizable as Trek. And when we first saw some closing credits, I couldn't tell if I'd seen only one or both episodes. I'd completely lost all sense of time. Traveling at warp can be disorienting. And I can't wait to take another ride. Jordan Hoffman is also the host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast, from CBS Radio, CBS Local Digital Media and CBS Consumer Products. Engage is available via Play.it/StarTrek, iTunes and StarTrek.com, with new episodes released weekly. Hoffman is also a writer, critic and lapsed filmmaker living in New York City. His work can be seen on Film.com, ScreenCrush and Badass Digest. On his BLOG, Jordan has reviewed all 727 Trek episodes and films, most of the comics and some of the novels. View the full article
  5. This is the kind of night it was: William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols joined the cast and producers of Star Trek: Discovery for a group photo on the blue carpet at the Discovery world premiere, held Tuesday at the iconic Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. Standing on either side of Sonequa Martin-Green, Shatner and Nichols literally passed the torch to yet another generation. Special guests, spouses, friends, TV crews, cameramen, fans… everyone oohed and aah-ed and soaked in the moment, so memorable, cool, fun and historic it was. For more than 90 minutes before and after that remarkable moment, Trek talent brand-spanking new, classic and everything in between walked the carpet and spoke to StarTrek.com: Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham) “The secret is out of the can!” the energetic actress enthused. “Honestly, I’m really excited to talk about the story. We’ve had to talk about a lot of things and sort of tiptoe around it because we don’t want to tease it or spoil it, but now I’m really excited to talk about the story, because I think it’s really courageous.” Akiva Goldsman (Discovery Executive Producer) “Discovery is ready to be born. It’s unlike any Star Trek you’ve ever seen, in that it is so fundamentally and essentially Star Trek, in a way that I’m terribly proud of. And yet it brings with it the scope and the breadth of a movie. That’s pretty exciting.” Doug Jones (Discovery's Saru) Addressing whether he prefers people recognizing him or the anonymity provided by the many prosthetics-heavy characters he’s portrayed, the actor said, “I’m 57. I’ve been through 30 years of an acting career. I’ve had moments like this. I’ve had moments of going to Starbucks and nobody knows who I am. I’ve enjoyed both. So, when it’s announced who I am and why I’m there, I can do the celebrity thing. It’s great fun, but I don’t count on it. It’s not who I am. I want a minute at Starbucks having my mocha and talking to a friend in peace. That’s me, too.” William Shatner (The Original Series) “They asked me to come down and give a little history,” he said. “So, here I am. It’s understanding the anticipation of opening night. Even though it was filmed months ago, and it’s existed now in its final form for a while, it is opening night. Now, you and I and the rest of the world are going to look at it and say, ‘Oh, we like it or we don’t like.’ Opinion is going to be formed this evening as if the curtain went up. And that’s fun to be a part of.” Kirsten Beyer (Discovery Writer) “Nineteen months later… it’s totally surreal," Beyer said, "but I’m also so excited for people to finally see it. I think they’re going to be blown away?” By what? “How current it actually feels, while at the same time totally being Star Trek.” Jeff Russo (Discovery Composer) Acknowledging the challenge of paying homage to the music that Trek fans know and love while creating fresh music as well, “It’s difficult,” he said. “It’s difficult. I did a good amount of research and listening to all the themes, because it’s part of our world and part of our universe. But what I came to, for our main title theme, the importance was to go back to the beginning. And I posed this question to the producers. I was like, ‘Look, I know we want to write a new theme, and I really want to do that, but I feel like I need to tip my hat to Alexander Courage’s original theme.’ And not the middle part of it, which is the main part of it, but the big emotional moment that happens during that theme, which is the big fanfare. Alex Kurtzman said, ‘Absolutely, 100 percent do that.’ So, starting from there I worked backwards. I thought, ‘How can I fit that in? how is that going to work?’ And I wanted to make the middle sound a little more modern, a little more like what we might do today in a movie, but not be like the Star Trek movies. So, it was kind of a difficult thing. Finally, I wrote something and presented it to them, and they loved it.” Shazad Latif (Discovery's Ash Tyler) Among the highlights of his Discovery experience so far? Standing on the transporter. “It’s pretty incredible,” he raved. “It’s really weird because it’s all pretending. You know you’re not really transporting. It’s kind of weird acting. It’s actually one of the hardest things to act.” Alex Kurtzman (Discovery Executive Producer) “I never could have imagined that we’d be showing this at the Cinerama Dome,” the writer-producer-co-creator said. “We definitely did set out to blur the line between television and movies, which television is doing now anyway. So, in building this universe, in building this version of Trek, we all wanted it to feel like a massive cinematic experience.” Bjo and John Trimble (The Couple That Saved Star Trek) “It’s wonderful to be here, amazing,” John told us. “I just wish I had a miniscule piece of the action!” Bjo echoed his comment. “Pretty much that,” she said. “Who knew? No one could have predicted this. They thought we were a bunch of crackpots…” John interrupted. “Well, we were a bunch of crackpots, but we were nice crackpots.” Bjo smiled and added, “That’s true. That’s what we were. But here we are, out in Hollywood, at this premiere. Amazing.” Ted Sullivan (Discovery Writer) “I just want people to see the actual show, so that they don’t have to theorize about it, fantasize about it, be conspirator-alizing about it,” Sullivan explained. “I just want the show to be seen because I’m so proud of it. Everyone associated with it is so proud of it. I think when people see it, they will realize why there really needs to be Star Trek right now. I’m so excited to be telling this story.” Mary Wiseman (Discovery's Sylvia Tilly) The actress, much like her character, Tilly, is a newbie. “I get to live so close to my own experience,” Wiseman said. That makes it really easy. Some crazy sci-fi thing happens and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God! That’s so cool!’ And that ‘s how it feels. Plus, I have really warm, wonderful, capable people around me, which makes that even better.” John Billingsley (Enterprise) “We had a premiere for Enterprise,” he recalled. “It was at the Paramount lot. Everyone was so full of joy… for about 17 days! I would have no advice to give (the Discovery) cast because every animal is so different. You just can’t know, is it a hit? Is it a flop? Just enjoy it, whatever the hell it is.” Anthony Montgomery (Enterprise) “I’m rooting for them,” he said. “You know me, I’m always rooting for the best for everyone and for everything. I’ve seen what everyone else has so far, just the trailers. But I think this should be a very fun ride.” Heather Kadin (Discovery Executive Producer) “I just want the audience to bear with us and know that because we’re telling this story in a way we’ve never told a Trek story before, one story over 15 episodes, that by the end people are going to feel like, ‘Oh, they knew what they were doing. They tied everything up.’ I want people to know we’ve got them, and I want them to enjoy it.” Other Favorite Blue Carpet Moments Discovery's Mary Chieffo (L'Rell) & Kenneth Mitchell (Kol) Discovery Executive Producers Aaron Harberts & Gretchen J. Berg with The Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes Discovery's Creature Designers Glenn Hetrick & Neville Page Julie Nimoy, daughter of Leonard Nimoy Discovery's Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou) with Executive Producer Akiva Goldsman Following the blue carpet festivities, it was into the screening, where an energized crowd was introduced to the producers and cast. Martin-Green spoke briefly, noting an inscription on a plaque aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou. “It says, ‘All existing things are one,’” Martin-Green explained. “And we ARE one, and we are here together now.” She added, “Let’s be in it together and enjoy the ride.” Following the screening, StarTrek.com talked for a moment with Nichelle Nichols. She “loved” the experience of helping Discovery launch and was “proud” to see Martin-Green up there on the big screen. “I felt,” Nichols said warmly, “like that was me up there.” Earlier, on the blue carpet Nichols told Martin-Green, "It's yours now. Enjoy the ride." Premiere Party And then it was on to the after-party at the Dream Hotel just a couple of block away. Fans cheered as the Trek stars arrived and entered the event, and StarTrek.com was inside to capture additional moments. Check out our pics: Discovery's Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou) with Discovery writer Ted Sullivan Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnhman) & Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler) Discovery's Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly) & Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler) Deep Space Nine's Nana Visitor Voyager's Roxann Dawson, Enterprise's Connor Trinneer & Deep Space Nine's Nicole de Boer Discovery's Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber) Discovery's Jason Isaacs (Gabriel Lorca) Discovery's Kenneth Mitchell (Kol) & Mary Chieffo (L'Rell) Discovery's Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets) Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25. View the full article
  6. This is the kind of night it was: William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols joined the cast and producers of Star Trek: Discovery for a group photo on the blue carpet at the Discovery world premiere, held Tuesday at the iconic Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. Standing on either side of Sonequa Martin-Green, Shatner and Nichols literally passed the torch to yet another generation. Special guests, spouses, friend, TV crews, cameramen, fans… everyone oohed and aah-ed and soaked in the moment, so memorable, cool, fun and historic it was. For more than 90 minutes before and after that remarkable moment, Trek talent brand-spanking new, classic and everything in between walked the carpet and spoke to StarTrek.com: Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham) “The secret is out of the can!” the energetic actress enthused. “Honestly, I’m really excited to talk about the story. We’ve had to talk about a lot of things and sort of tiptoe around it because we don’t want to tease it or spoil it, but now I’m really excited to talk about the story, because I think it’s really courageous.” Akiva Goldsman (Discovery Executive Producer) “Discovery is ready to be born. It’s unlike any Star Trek you’ve ever seen, in that it is so fundamentally and essentially Star Trek, in a way that I’m terribly proud of. And yet it brings with it the scope and the breadth of a movie. That’s prey exciting.” Doug Jones (Discovery's Saru) Addressing whether he prefers people recognizing him or the anonymity provided by the many prosthetics-heavy characters he’s portrayed, the actor said, “I’m 57. I’ve been through 30 years of an acting career. I’ve had moments like this. I’ve had moments of going to Starbucks and nobody knows who I am. I’ve enjoyed both. So, when it’s announced who I am and why I’m there, I can do the celebrity thing. It’s great fun, but I don’t count on it. It’s not who I am. I want a minute at Starbucks having my mocha and talking to a friend in peace. That’s me, too.” William Shatner (The Original Series) “They asked me to come down and give a little history,” he said. “So, here I am. It’s understanding the anticipation of opening night. Even though it was filmed months ago, and it’s existed now in its final form for a while, it is opening night. Now, you and I and the rest of the world are going to look at it and say, ‘Oh, we like it or we don’t like.’ Opinion is going to be formed this evening as if the curtain went up. And that’s fun to be a part of.” Kirsten Beyer (Discovery Writer) “Nineteen months later… it’s totally surreal, but I’m also so excited for people to finally see it. I think they’re going to be blown away?” By what? “How current it actually feels, while at the same time totally being Star Trek.” Jeff Russo (Discovery Composer) Acknowledging the challenge of paying homage to the music that Trek fans know and love while create fresh music as well. “it’s difficult,” he said. “It’s difficult. I did a good amount of research and listening to all the themes, because it’s part of our world and part of our universe. But what I came to, for our main title theme, the importance was to go back to the beginning. And I posed this question to the producers. I was like, ‘Look, I know we want to write a new theme, and I really want to do that, but I feel like I need to tip my hat to Alexander Courage’s original theme.’ And not the middle part of it, which is the main part of it, but the big emotional moment that happens during that theme, which is the big fanfare. Alex Kurtzman said, ‘Absolutely, 100 percent do that.’ So, starting from there I worked backwards. I thought, ‘How can I fit that in? how is that going to work?’ And I wanted to make the middle sound a little more modern, a little more like what we might do today in a movie, but not be like the Star Trek movies. So, it was kind of a difficult thing. Finally, I wrote something and presented it to them, and they loved it.” Shazad Latif (Discovery's Ash Tyler) Among the highlights of his Discovery experience so far? Standing on the transporter. “It’s pretty incredible,” he raved. “It’s really weird because it’s all pretending. Yu know you’re not really transporting. It’s kind of weird acting. It’s actually one of the hardest things to act.” Alex Kurtzman (Discovery Executive Producer) “I never could have imagined that we’d be showing this at the Cinerama Dome,” the writer-producer-co-creator said. “We definitely did set out to blur the line between television and movies, which television is doing now anyway. So, in building this universe, in building this version of Trek, we all wanted it to feel like a massive cinematic experience.” Bjo and John Trimble (The Couple That Saved Star Trek) “It’s wonderful to be here, amazing,” John told us. “I just wish I had a miniscule piece of the action!” Bjo echoed his comment. “Pretty much that,” she said. “Who knew? No one could have predicted this. They thought we were a bunch of crackpots…” John interrupted. “Well, we were a bunch of crackpots, but we were nice crackpots.” Bjo smiled and added, “That’s true. That’s what we were. But here we are, out in Hollywood, at this premiere. Amazing.” Ted Sullivan (Discovery Writer) “I just want people to see the actual show, so that they don’t have to theorize about it, fantasize about it, be conspirator-alize about it,” he explained. “I just want the show to be seen because I’m so proud of it. Everyone associated with it is so proud of it. I think when people see it, they will realize why there really needs to be Star Trek right now. I’m so excited to be telling this story.” Mary Wiseman (Discovery's Sylvia Tilly) The actress, much like her character, Tilly, is a newbie. “I get to live so close to my own experience,” Wiseman said. That makes it really easy. Some crazy sci-fi thing happens and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God! That’s so cool!’ And that ‘s how it feels. Plus, I have really warm, wonderful, capable people around me, which makes that even better.” John Billingsley (Enterprise) “We had a premiere for Enterprise,” he recalled. “It was at the Paramount lot. Everyone was so full of joy… for about 17 days! I would have no advice to give (the Discovery) cast because every animal is so different. You just can’t know, is it a hit? Is it a flop? Just enjoy it, whatever the hell it is.” Anthony Montgomery (Enterprise) “I’m rooting for them,” he said. “You know me, I’m always rooting for the best for everyone and for everything. I’ve seen what everyone else has so far, just the trailers. But I think this should be a very fun ride.” Heather Kadin (Discovery Executive Producer) “I just want the audience to bear with us and know that because we’re telling this story in a way we’ve never told a Trek story before, one story over 15 episodes, that by the end people are going to feel like, ‘Oh, they knew what they were doing. They tied everything up.’ I want people to know we’ve got them, and I want them to enjoy it.” Other Favorite Blue Carpet Moments Discovery's Mary Chieffo (L'Rell) & Kenneth Mitchell (Kol) Discovery Executive Producers Aaron Harberts & Gretchen J. Berg with The Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes Discovery's Creature Designers Glenn Hetrick & Neville Page Susan Nimoy, daughter of Leonard Nimoy Discovery's Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou) with Executive Producer Akiva Goldsman Following the blue carpet festivities, it was into the screening, where an energized crowd was introduced to the producers and cast. Martin-Green spoke briefly, noting an inscription on a plaque aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou. “It says, ‘All existing things are one,’” Green explained. “And we ARE one, and we are here together now.” She added, “Let’s be in it together and enjoy the ride.” Following the screening, StarTrek.com talked for a moment with Nichelle Nichols. She “loved” the experience of helping Discovery launch and was “proud” to see Martin-Green up there on the big screen. “I felt,” Nichols said warmly, “like that was me up there.” Earlier, on the blule carpet Nichols told Martin-Green, "It's yours now. Enjoy the ride." Premiere Party And then it was on to the after-party at the Dream Hotel just a couple of block away. Fans cheered as the Trek stars arrived and entered the event, and StarTrek.com was inside to capture additional moments. Check out our pics: Discovery's Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou) with Discovery writer Ted Sullivan Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnhman) & Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler) Discovery's Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly) & Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler) Deep Space Nine's Nana Visitor Voyager's Roxann Dawson, Enterprise's Connor Trinnear & Deep Space Nine's Nicole de Boer Discovery's Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber) Discovery's Jason Isaacs (Gabriel Lorca) Discovery's Kenneth Mitchell (Kol) & Mary Chieffo (L'Rell) Discovery's Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets) Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25. View the full article
  7. CBS All Access has just released a new video revealing Michael Burnham's journey to self-discovery. Check out the Star Trek: Discovery video: For a closer look at Star Trek: Discovery's main character, head to www.CBS.com. Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network. View the full article
  8. CBS All Access has just released a new video revealing Michael Burnham's journey to self-discovery. Check out the Star Trek: Discovery video: For a closer look at Star Trek: Discovery's main character, head to www.CBS.com. Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network. View the full article
  9. CBS All Access has just released a new video revealing Michael Burnham's journey to self-discovery. Check out the Star Trek: Discovery video: For a closer look at Star Trek: Discovery's main character, head to www.CBS.com. Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network. View the full article
  10. Doug Jones is a god in sci-fi circles. All right, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but he’s a true genre favorite known for playing exotic creatures in too many sci-fi, fantasy and horror movies to count. But he had us at Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when he slayed at the Lead Gentleman, and again in Pan’s Labyrinth, when he brought to life El Fauno/Pale Man, or in the Hellboy films, where he portrayed Abe Sapien. And now, he’s playing yet another exotic character, Lt. Saru, on Star Trek: Discovery. Far less familiar to audiences – for the moment, anyway – is Shazad Latif, a British actor whose credits include Spooks, Black Mirror, The Man Who Knew Infinity and, most notably, Penny Dreadful, on which he co-starred as Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. He’s also part of the Discovery cast, portraying Lt. Ash Tyler. Jones and Shazad were paired up for interviews during a recent Discovery press day. The two, for 20 minutes, chatted with a handful of journalists, including StarTrek.com, to discuss Discovery, their characters and more. Here’s what they had to say: How well did you know Star Trek before you hooked up with Discovery? Latif: My granddad and my grandma were big fans. I grew up with mainly Next Generation, a lot of Patrick Stewart. And obviously Kirk, and Spock, and the original. I wasn't a super-fan, but I was definitely aware of the history of it, and how big it was. Jones: I was born in 1960. So, that means that The Original Series was on TV, on the network when I was watching TV. That was my first experience, and I took a special liking to that tall, lanky Spock fellow. I understood his physicality, somehow. Then, of course, reruns happened almost immediately back in that era, and so when Next Generation came on, too... I'm a channel flipper, and so I'm one of those audience members that finds things because you're flipping a channel go and go, "Oh, I'll stay on this for a minute." So, that's how I stand on all the other Star Trek series. Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise were all because I would be like, "Oh, well here's a new one. OK, I'll watch that for a minute." And then I would get hooked on something and get to know those captains and those crews and those space ships. What does it mean to both of you to be a part of a Star Trek show now? Latif: To be part of that when you know it's got such a following, such a huge fan base (is exciting). And mostly for personal reasons. It’s something I can go to my great-uncle when I go visit, and say, "Look! I'm on the show you love!" And that's always stuff they can relate to, especially family members. Jones: It's daunting to me, especially as an actor who's worn a lot of crazy makeup over my career. I've been every alien under the sun, and outside the sun for decades now, in my 30-year career. I keep getting asked, "Have you ever done anything in the Star Trek universe?" And I can finally, after 30 years ... Latif: Shout it from the roof top. Jones: Yeah, yeah, "Yes I am!" I understand the gravity of what this is, the legacy that this franchise has behind it, the audience that it brings with it. It's bigger than you can even fathom, so you try not to think about that while we're trying to do the job, because behind the cameras it's history and a huge audience, and there's so much. Do you feel pressure, Doug, in that some people are comparing your character to Spock, to Data? Jones: Pressure might have a negative connotation. I feel more of a responsibility. Yes, because I have been acquainted with Spock and Data already by the writers, and by anyone who has seen any previews, or any clips or whatever. Those analogies and those comparisons are already being made. I would like to think that Saru will hold his own, as his own character, and his own thing that will have his own charm and his own following, and his own legacy. Let's hope. It's rare that anybody gets to create an alien character in Star Trek. You're starting from scratch, Doug, and in a serialized world. What does that offer you? Jones: Right. I was very, very excited that I didn't have to dig into an already established species, and then get their quirks. That would have had some pressure behind it, like, "I better get this right, or the fans are going to hate me." This is like, "Well, no one is going to know if I'm getting it right or wrong because, it's starting right here!" Right? That's been exciting for me, that we're starting a new species, or, hopefully... I don't know if it can live on after this series because this is 10 years before The Original Series, so we'll see. It will be interesting to see what happens with him because, if this species never showed up anywhere after this in the timeline, the question remains, "What happened to the Kelpiens?" To get his backstory, and what the writers can tell me, and what physicality can come out of his look and his being, has been really fun to develop. Shazad, your character came from war and experienced war, whereas Star Trek has always been about hope and optimism. Discovery feels a bit darker than previous Treks. Does Lt. Tyler have this dark side, too? Latif: Yeah, definitely. We meet him in a very dark place. He's a prisoner of war, and that's how we first see him. I think this version of what we're doing has a lot more complex darkness in it. I think that's very good, because it's very exciting to watch. It can be tough to watch, but very interesting. And that's the play entity as an audience member. So, there is that, yeah, there's a big darkness. Tyler seems to be the most mysterious character so far, or at least the one we know the least about. What else can you tell about him? Jones: Please watch our show! Sunday nights. Latif: I always say it's good to have a little bit of mystery, because otherwise... Yeah, he's a POW. We explore PTSD. There's a relationship with Burnham, and there's chemistry there. I know you already know these things. That's as much as I can sort of say, really. Jones: Tune in, though. Star Trek has like hard core fans. Some of your colleagues told us stories about how they react to this fandom. What are your experiences with fans so far? Latif: When we came back from Comic-Con, on the plane, as soon as we arrived, there were people there already, which means they must have been following the flight. You're like, "Oh! So, it's going to be like…" Suddenly, you realize how important it is to these fans. It's kind of beautiful. You've got a big responsibility. Jones: One thing you don't have to worry about is, "Oh, will the show have legs under it? I don't know if it's going to take." Yeah, the audience is there. Even the fan base, what's beautiful about it is there's fans who are so excited for a new chapter, a new piece of the Star Trek universe. There's others who are the naysayers. But every new series that there has been throughout all of these decades, there has always been naysayers. Every series has looked different from the one before it. The Klingons have never looked the same in one series to the next, ever. So, why should ours be any different? There's always going to be someone that goes, "Ah, this is going suck. I don't know if I want to watch it or not." Well, that's the person who is going to be sitting there on the night of like this, like panting at the TV. I think all the talk is nothing but good for the show. Really, it is. I'm very happy about that. The Kelpiens are prey species. Would you say that Saru he always feels threatened? And if so, or if not, will he feel less threatened the more he gets to know his crew? Jones: Right. The best analogy in nature would be a gazelle. I'm kind of like a gazelle in the forest. When there's a lion about, I'm in danger. I could get chased down and eaten. When I'm among my pack, or my people, or my type, we have our moments where we're chewing on something green and at peace. But with the constant sixth sense, that animal instinct, that danger's afoot, I have to aware of that. So, I'm kind of born into a world where I'm always looking over my shoulder, yes. But, that's just kind of a part of who I am. Knowing true peace, where you don't have to worry about any threat at all, is not something that Saru is akin to. He doesn't know that. There's one episode that will explore that in more detail, which is really a fun one. How much of a living entity is your makeup, especially with the threat ganglia? Are there moving parts on it? Jones: Yes. It is a silicone prosthetic makeup mask glued onto me, head and hands. There is nothing going to be CG enhanced, except the threat ganglia. Nothing else has to be mechanically enhanced. There's no servos, there's no joysticks, there's nothing that needs to be puppeteered or CG enhanced, except for the threat ganglia. And they kind of come of the back of my head, back in here somewhere, around the back, behind the ear somewhere. We hadn't really seen what they look like exactly yet because I have to mime them, whenever I pop them back in. This is a really gift to the budget, to not have to use that much CG. And to give to me personally, the props can really be more, "all mine," once the makeup is on me, and all the artists that make that happen, which, if I can talk about the makeup ... The shop is Alchemy Studios in Los Angeles. Neville Page, the designer who created my look, he's just a decorated production designer and creature designer. And Glenn Hetrick has partnered with him at Alchemy Studios to make this all facilitated and happen. And James MacKinnon is my lead makeup artist on set, and he has a Star Trek pedigree himself. He was a makeup artist on Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and First Contact, and another, one of the J.J. movies as well. So, he's got a lot of Star Trek in his background. For him to be on this is just another lovely legacy coming forth. Once all of that history, and all that expertise is on me, then it's my responsibility to make it move and work. It's all up to me at that point. It gives me a lot of ownership to know that it's not going to be all jimmied with CG in post-production. How did each of you land your role on Star Trek? Did you hear about it and actively pursue it? Or did they call you? Latif: Funny enough, a week before my audition, my friend, a guy I know from drama school, she was auditioning for it. I ran a scene with her, and there was a Burnham scene, and then a week later I get a call and I did the take in my kitchen with my mum. I ended up directing her a bit, because she's you know, overacting, and I said, "Let's just play it. Let's play the scene." I always enjoy doing it with her, because she's quite good. And then I did a seven-way Skype audition. So, I didn't have to come out to L.A., which was a different thing. So, it was nice. Seven people on Skype and then that was it. I was very lucky. It's crazy. Jones: My story started probably a bit earlier, because it was over a year ago now. It would have been, oh golly, July last year. Neville Page kind of wink-winked, nudge-nudged me and said, "Has anyone called you from Star Trek yet?" And I said, "Why would they? There's a Star Trek coming? What are you talking about?" He said, "Well, OK, but you didn't hear that from me." Finally, my manager called and said, "Hey, turns out there's a new Star Trek series, and they want you for this alien character. So, are you interested to pursue it further?" I said, "I don't have to audition? What are you talking about?" Bryan Fuller was our showrunner at the time. Between him, Neville Page and Glenn Hetrick, whom I've already worked with and known from before, when they were developing the character of Saru, they were like, "Doug Jones is the guy you have to have play this." Bryan was already apparently a fan of mine, thank heaven! So, he's like, "Great, well, I'd love to meet him!" So, I flew out to L.A. I was already working on The Shape of Water here in Toronto. Flew out to L.A. and had a meeting with Bryan, and we all fell in love with each other. And I met Aaron (Harberts) and Gretchen (Berg) on the same day. They were all part of the writing staff already anyway. We all fell in love with each other, and it was just kind of decided that day, "Well, all right then, I guess I'll be playing Saru. Thank you." That was too easy of a story, really. And frightening because, if I come with that much of a recommendation, I don't even have to audition, I better be good! Oh my gosh! Right? Everyone wants to know about Discovery. How hard is it to keep secrets, to avoid the spoiler-y things when talking to fans, family, friends and us? Jones: You have to watch who you talk to and what you say to them. Latif: This is when you threaten. Jones: My wife or close friends will run lines with me, and help me rehearse, but I threaten them with their life if they talk. Star Trek shows tend to run several years. How ready are you for the possibility of five, six or even seven seasons? Jones: You have to be ready for a long run. I think they were talking at least a five-year plan, hopefully. Let's hope it does. Is that daunting, exciting, both? Jones: Both of those things. That's the bulk of your life for the next five years is what it is. So, I'm OK with that. I'm OK with that. Latif: It is daunting and exciting. It's work. Sometimes it's scary to plan that far ahead. But then, it's a show. (that can have) that kind of length, it seems. I usually don't plan that far ahead. Jones: And at 57 years old, if it is a five-year plan, I'll be 62 once it's done, and I'm walking in these high heeled shoes with a skintight outfit on. I'll be ready to be done with that by about then. Latif: Probably be in a wheelchair in season six. Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25. View the full article
  11. StarTrek.com continues our immersive visit to the sets of Star Trek: Discovery by chronicling our time with Gersha Phillips, the show’s uber-busy costume designer. Phillips was in her natural habitat… or habitats. The costume department is spread across several rooms in Discovery’s production facility. One smallish, cramped room is hodgepodge of costumes, patterns, design books, and more, and on the walls are sketches of current and in-the-works costumes. It’s here that Phillips – whose credits include Walking Tall, A Raisin in the Sun, Falling Skies, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – introducing herself to the small group of journalists checking out her workspace. “This is sort of where we started with our uniforms,” Phillips explained as she stood in front of a rack of uniforms from Discovery… and uniforms that inspired what viewers will see on Discovery. “We started with our colors. We were trying to honor, I guess, in a way, TOS, The Original Series. So, we had our gold, which is command, and we're going with this is our red, which is our operations, and blue is science. Then, we went from that direction into a little deeper color. And we also created these panels, which we used as sort of a body-monitoring device. And we started making them out of a corded ribbon inside, and then it's made with a neoprene material on the outside. “Then we went on to what we do now, which is they’re printed,” continued Phillips, who proudly showed off her team’s handiwork. “So, it's printed with a puff paint. Then we foil them, and then that's how we get over there to what we have now, which are the foiled versions. And then our foiled colors are… Our copper is operations, and our silver is science and gold is command. Those are our three colors. Then we have the medical. I don't know if you can see it there, the white one, behind, over on that side.” And there was more. “These are some of our Vulcan costumes,” the designer said. “This is one of Sarek's first outfits that he wears in the first episode.” It took several months to come up with the final colors, Phillips said, as the design department and producers contemplated assorted shades and brightness /darkness levels, conducted dye tests, and ventured to Switzerland seeking fabric. Ultimately, a Swiss fabric company called Schoeller was tapped. “The fabric is a four-way stretch (material),” Phillips noted. “It has wicking capabilities. It's very durable. And it's a nod to a futuristic fabric. It's something that we'll all be wearing shortly.” Our group then moved into other connected rooms where we glimpsed fitting rooms, a wall of actor photos (all of whom will need to be measured and fitted for costumes), additional racks of costumes, and more. Then it was into a separate, entirely different area, a much larger, more-open space that served as both a storage section and a workplace for Phillips’ cadre of artisans. Here, at a variety of stations, costumes were being sewn together or fixed or having ornamentation added to them. To one side was a seemingly endless – endlessly long, high and wide – costume collection, including Starfleet, Vulcan and Klingon costumes, with a wide selection of Klingon costumes representing the multiple houses viewers will see represented on the show. So, how big a Trek fan was Phillips heading into Discovery? And helpful was it to be or not to be? “I think definitely helpful,” she replied. “It was interesting, because when I started on the show, my brothers were super-excited, more than I was in the beginning. I wouldn't say I was a fan, but I definitely watched the show growing up. So, I definitely was conscious of Star Trek. I've seen quite a few of the shows and the movies. I've seen all the movies.” Phillips went on to describe Discovery as a creative playground. “It’s the best playground you could ever have to design and create in,” she raved. “I think this is my biggest opportunity that I've had to design and be creative. It's been amazing.” But does she ever feel constrained by franchise’s long history and all the many costumes that preceded her creations? “Well, definitely, because you're always looking to what's happened in the past and what has been established in the other shows,” Phillips replied. “But I think the mandate from the showrunner was to go boldly where no one's gone before. Did I just say that? So, yeah, I feel like it was definitely a push to do something great and something different. I think, especially with the Klingons and with the Vulcans, we've been a little bit more limitless and done stuff that I feel like nobody else has done so far. Hopefully. And, hopefully, they'll be well-received and everybody will love them.” At this point, Phillips pulled out a Klingon costume, actually a stunt version of the costume. It’s made of rubber, making it far easier for the actor or stunt person to maneuver in, yet the camera and the audience at home won’t notice the difference. Little red gems protrude from it. “The Klingons are in a full-prosthetic, and then they have their hands covered, so we had to do a lot of different maneuvering and different techniques to put them together,” Phillips noted. “So, you can see inside… This one opens to the back. Now, you are seeing all the skeletons. It’s quite a lot to figure out how to get them together. It’s great for me to come up with a great design, but then this team has to put it together. It takes a lot of us prototyping, playing with different design ideas and different ways of putting them together, building them.” Star Trek fans are legendary for making and/or purchasing costumes to cosplay in at events and conventions. In fact, a few fans at Comic-Con and Star Trek Las Vegas this past summer sported Discovery-inspired costumes. Phillips sounded very familiar with the phenomenon of people wearing costumes from a project that hadn’t even debuted yet. “I did a movie called The Mortal Instruments, and it happened on that,” she recounted. “But, never to this extent. I have to say, this is completely a whole different experience. It's quite something to see the fans take it on the way they have. It's very cool, very cool, very exciting, I have to say.” Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25. View the full article
  12. CBS All Access has just released a new video revealing the titles of the first four episodes of Star Trek: Discovery. The titles are "The Vulcan Hello," "Battle at the Binary Stars," "Context Is for Kings" and "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry." Check out the video: Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network. View the full article
  13. Beeline Creative knows how to throw a party. Their Star Trek: The Original Series Geeki Tikis -- namely Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, the Mugato, a Klingon and the Gorn -- are getting together with Beeline Creative's next wave of Star Trek Tikis... Captain Picard, Geordi La Forge, Worf, a Cardassian, a Ferengi and a Borg. These six Star Trek: The Next Generation mugs hold around 14 oz. each, and they'll look great next to your Horga'hn fertility statue. The Next Generation Geeki Tikis are available for purchase exclusively from ThinkGeek, and are available online and in stores. Visit ThinkGeek.com for more information or to purchase. Go to www.GeekiTikis.com to sign up for the Beeline Creative newsletter and for product alerts, and follow them at @beelinecreative. View the full article
  14. StarTrek.com’s recent visit to the set of Star Trek: Discovery in Toronto included not only a behind-the-scenes look at the actual sets, but also peeks at the props and prosthetics. Our guide for the day, executive producer and co-showrunner Aaron Harberts introduced James MacKinnon, Department Head Prosthetics, and Hugo Villasenor, Key Prosthetics, as well as Sang Maier, Props Buyer, who displayed their respective wares and took us through what they are and how they were crafted. “We could not do this show with their departments,” Harberts began. “They add so much to what we're doing and like, I said, these aren't crew members. These are artists who just happen to ply their trade by putting their art on camera. And we really, really, appreciate them." MacKinnon showed several Discovery makeups, including Saru, played by Doug Jones. It's a five-piece prosthetic that includes a cowl, a face piece, a chin piece and an upper lip. It takes approximately two hours to apply. Interestingly, it’s made of silicone, not latex. “We still use latex quite a bit,” MacKinnon explained. “But technology has changed since the original Star Trek shows, and I've been lucky enough to work on Deep Space Nine and Voyager, First Contact. I'm in my late forties, so I've been around a little while. Foam latex was around back then. Silicone was not around at that time. Silicone is our new product that we use because instead of it being opaque and we're painting the color on with paint, intrinsically, the color is in there, so we're doing washes on top instead of a full paint job." Yes, if you’re wondering, Jones gets a new Saru face every time. “Just for the quality of the show,” MacKinnon noted, “since it's such a big show, each time we use this, this goes in the garbage. We potentially could use it twice, but there's no reason to lessen the quality.” All of the prosthetics are designed and built in California at Alchemy Effects, with Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page as the designer. One early surprise? Jones’s nose was completely covered, so they ended up having to figure out how to get him to be able to breathe, not just through his mouth because then he’d sound very nasally. “We ended up scrubbing out a piece from his nose up to his breathing hole on the prosthetic,” MacKinnon said. “So, now he can not be a mouth breather. He's more comfortable through the day. They get the voice that they want from him and a little less ADR probably.” Next up were Sarek ears. Oddly enough, MacKinnon acknowledged, James Frain’s makeup takes just as long as Jones’s. “So, with James we do ears,” he explained, “and eyebrow blockers. We block out his eyebrows and then we do lace extensions to bring them up. Even though this is very detailed, that just takes just as long to do this makeup. He's in the chair about an hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, but that's jumping back from regular makeup to hair and then back to us.” Airiam MacKinnon then invited Villasenor to talk about the makeup/prosthetics for a character named Airiam, as he’s the artist responsible for her look. It’s an exotic-looking prosthetic, which makes sense since the character is a robot. He described the prosthetic as “almost like a jigsaw puzzle,” with assorted pieces, a helmet, contact lenses and more. Airiam, who works on the Discovery bridge and will usually be seen off to Lorca’s side, needs to look smooth on the screen and that may be accomplished on occasion with complementary CGI. Oscnullus Next, we were introduced to another character, Oscnullus, who’ll be one of a couple alien characters views will see in the mess hall, walking down the corridors, etc. “We had a dinner on Saturday, meeting some cast members, and this beautiful blonde woman comes up and she says, ‘Hi, I'm Sara!’” Harberts recalled. “And I say, ‘Hi, I'm Aaron. It's nice to meet you.’ She goes, ‘I'm Airiam.’ I had no idea. It was one of those moments, just like, ‘What?’ It was like meeting the long-lost friend you didn't know was your friend. Anyway, the transformation is pretty incredible.” Harberts then passed the torch to Maier, who looked like a kid in a candy shop as he showed off all the items on the props table. We’re talking communicators, bat’leths, phasers, pulse rifles, badges, knives and more. Most of the props, he noted, “especially the iconic ones,” took a long time to develop. He cited the communicator as “a good example of where we wanted a certain design language.” The inspiration was the TOS communicator,” and at one point it had an actual phone inside, though it has a Nano. “The tricorder is another classic prop that we've made,” Maier said, “and we wanted to do the two-handed one.” It lights up, has a hand scanner and is updated a bit, though “it also has the same significant color scheme, the gun metal with the buttons that are chrome and brass.” Then it was on to a phaser, delta shields, etc. Pretty much everything you’ll see on the Shenzhou and Discovery boasts a metallic look. That’s meant to secure a unity sort of design, a common language across everything from the props to the bridge to the uniforms. “It was all really a holistic approach that the set reflects, the costumes reflect, the props and everything else,” Maier stressed. “That color palette, that color language, is basically throughout the whole show. They want us to stay consistent, which obviously takes, when we were prepping, a lot of planning. Some things don't come out of thin air. You really do have to plan accordingly and stick with your guns as well to pull through that.” Many of the Klingon props, Maier said, are framed in aluminum, with the detailing molded on top. Rubber versions are used in fight scenes, “and you can’t tell them apart.” There’s even a Klingon torture device that’s appropriately gruesome. Also pretty cool, a Tellarite bazooka, a Vulcan staff and Harry Mudd’s gun, the last of which is based on a revolver and feels a bit art deco. Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25. View the full article
  15. Which Star Trek character are YOU? That's the question StarTrek.com asked for this week's poll, and we went with an unusual selection of reply options -- ie., no Kirk or Picard or Sisko or Janeway or Archer. Fans could choose from Spock, Data, Worf, Seven of Nine, Quark, Neelix, Uhura, Jadzia Dax, Trip Tucker and T'Pol. Here are the results, based on thousands of votes: Spock (25%) Data (17%) Trip Tucker (15%) Worf (10%) Jadzia Dax (8%) Seven of Nine (7%) Neelix (6%) Quark (5%) Uhura (4%) T'Pol (3%) And how did YOUR character of choice fare in the results? View the full article