News about Star Trek: Discovery has finally started to dribble through, and the latest casting announcements and crafty plot hints go a long way to soothing our concerns about all those airdate delays. Now, shooting has officially commenced on the eagerly anticipated #StarTrek revival, and CBS heralded the occasion with a new behind-the-scenes video about the show.
Feeding our nostalgia before forging ahead with a first look at #StarTrekDiscovery, this video is a lovely introduction to what is sure to be a great show.
Naturally, there are plenty of hints about what we can expect from Discovery, and one Easter Egg might just confirm a popular fan theory...
Number One Goes First
Even before the lead character of Star Trek: Discovery was revealed, fans were theorizing that we might see Majel Barrett's mysterious Number One in the new series. When the Discovery lead was announced, ex-showrunner Bryan Fuller confirmed that she was indeed called Number One as a callback to Barrett's character, who appeared in the original pilot episode for The Original Series but was cut from the show. To reinforce this callback, the new behind-the-scenes trailer features a nostalgic collection of Star Trek cast photos — starting with Barrett as Number One.
It still remains to be seen whether the name is a simple reference, or whether Sonequa Martin-Green's Lt Cmdr Rainsford is actually the very same character as the one we saw in The Original Series unaired pilot and flashback episode "The Menagerie". A simple picture of Barrett isn't enough to prove a theory, but it's interesting that out of all the photos they could have chosen from the unaired pilot — including ones showing the Enterprise's previous CO, Captain Pike — CBS chose to show Number One. Hmmm...
Beam Me Up, Scotty
If the collection of photos wasn't enough nostalgia for you, the sound effect used right afterwards hit us right in the feels — the classic transporter noise from The Original Series was evident, bringing us right back to our happy memories of the show.
Qapla! A Warrior's Costume
With three Klingon characters among the main cast, Star Trek: Discovery is set to shine a spotlight on this distinctive alien race. We caught a glimpse of some Klingon costumes, and the new style of the uniform is suitably fearsome.
Starkly different from the minimalistic Klingon costumes in The Original Series, these new designs draw from the silver costumes used in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine — although the Discovery Klingon armor features a lot more plating, with spiked shoulder pads and dragon-like scales. Neat!
The USS Discovery Design
When the first test footage for Star Trek: Discovery was released, many people criticized the design of the USS Discovery, arguing that it was too clunky and strangely shaped. The new behind-the-scenes trailer revealed some storyboards featuring the ship, and while the design hasn't been dramatically altered, it has been refined.
Personally, I really like this new design, and the detail in these storyboard images do add some detail and make an improvement on what we saw in the test footage. But this isn't the only ship in the show...
An Advanced Class
A new ship was revealed in the Star Trek: Discovery trailer, and it looks very similar to the Akira-class vessels we saw in Deep Space Nine and the movie Star Trek: First Contact.
Because Discovery is set almost a hundred years before Deep Space Nine, it's possible this new ship is an early version of the Akira-class, before technological advancements were made. In the Discovery version, the saucer is situated above the warp nacelles, which are closer to the ship than in the Akira design. Otherwise, the ships are very similar in their construction.
It could be that this is USS Shenzou, commanded by Michelle Yeoh's Captain Georgiou. Discovery will be the first Star Trek show to split the main cast across several vessels.
Bridging The Narrative Gap
Before Kirk boldly embarked on his five year mission, there was another Enterprise: The NX-01 took Captain Archer and his crew beyond the stars in the 2150s, a hundred years before the events of Star Trek: Discovery. Archer's mission was the subject of the last Star Trek show — entitled Enterprise, this series featured a very different Starfleet uniform to those we saw in The Original Series. And it looks like, aesthetically speaking, Discovery will bridge the gap between the two shows.
The Enterprise uniforms were navy blue jumpsuits, with colored thread denoting which division the officer worked in. With a sharp collar, and gold thread on the shoulder, Discovery's version of the Starfleet uniform looks similar to the Enterprise design. But at the same time, the slight v-neck and Starfleet badge on the left is visually very similar to The Original Series costumes.
However, as pointed out by ncc-1031.com, it seems as though Discovery will continue Enterprise's tradition of having all Starfleet officers glad in blue. Note the swirl on the badge — this symbol denotes the engineering division, who wore red uniforms in The Original Series (and gold in The Next Generation era).
So it would seem that, although the designs are also similar to those in The Original Series, we may not see Star Trek's distinctive division colors in Discovery. Which to my mind is a shame.
Uniting the shows through design is one of the most interesting challenges facing Star Trek: Discovery, and as far as the uniforms go they seem to have hit a perfect medium between the two eras. Now they just have to work out how to solve that pesky Klingon forehead ridge problem...
Are you excited for 'Star Trek: Discovery'?
[Header image by Eduardo Gil de Montes]