Star Trek: Discovery Designers Speak “For Your Consideration” at Paley Center

The Star Trek: Discovery crew continued their push for the Emmys this week, with another panel at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. The focus of this panel was on production design and visual effects, and featured showrunner Alex Kurtzman, visual effects supervisor Jason Zimmerman, composer Jeff Russo, and executive producer Olatunde Osunsanmi. brings us the rundown:

Russo spoke about scoring Discovery, and focused on the emotion of the characters. He said: “I tend to like to write music based on what I think a character is feeling, rather than what a character is doing. It's a little bit of a shift for a show like this, but I kind of feel like that's what I have felt in past iterations of whatever Star Trek is. It's mostly: there's a lot of action, but a lot of it really gets to the heart.”

Osunsanmi commented on the dark tone of the series, and how they chose to update it for season two. He knew that there was a level of nostalgia around the Enterprise and Spock and tried to avoid doing the dark version of that. He said: “What we want to do is bring a lot more joy to the season and just joy to the experience and the buoyancy [of] Captain Pike coming on board. They come on board with those amazing colors. [...] It was just a matter of figuring out how to retain the spirit of that, but update it with the tone of our show.”

The panel also came together to talk about the challenges of creating the wormhole - visually and aurally - for the finale. But it was Alex Kurtzman who finished off the panel. When moderator Naida Albright asked him where the show goes from here, he said: “Trek has always had this kind of funny thing where Star Wars was like the cool, older brother and Trek was like the nerd that lives in the basement. We want to change that a little bit because, in a way, I feel like Trek's message is more relevant now than ever, and it's always been really relevant.”

Star Trek: Discovery, seasons one and two, are available for streaming now on CBS All Access in the US, and other streaming services around the globe.

Alison Pitt