Star Trek boss on the future of Discovery, Strange New Worlds, Picard and more


Star Trek overlord Alex Kurtzman drops nuggets about spinoffs Strange New Worlds and Section 31, and hints at Discovery season 4.

Alex Kurtzman, the man behind the Star Trek Universe currently exploding on CBS All Access, recently sat down with Gold Derby to discuss some of the Emmy nominations received by shows like Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Short Treks. In the process, who dropped some interesting info about a few other Trek shows. Let’s see what we can find.

First up, it’s probably no surprise to hear that COVID-19 has slowed down some things on the production side. Happily, the third season of Star Trek: Discovery before the lockdowns really began, but it has made post-production more difficult. “It slowed visual effects and editing,” Kurtzman said “I am now editing with my editors and we are both on our laptops. Obviously the visual effects companies took a very hard hit and it took a minute for them to get back on their feet after everything that happened. When it comes to recording music, you can’t have musicians in an orchestra in a room anymore, so each musician is individually recording their instrument and sending it to Jeff Russo our composer and Jeff has to mix them together as if they are all sitting together in a room. So all of that takes a lot longer.”

"That being said, everybody’s been heroic about it. I think it’s given everybody purpose. We get to keep working and keep occupying ourselves during this very difficult and challenging time…We’re almost done. We are done editing and we are still doing work on the mixes and visual effects, but it will all be coming out soon."

How soon? Star Trek: Discovery season 3 will be out on October 15. “I can’t wait for people to see it and I am so sad people couldn’t see it in the spring when it was originally supposed to come out. But that is what COVID did to us.”

But Kurtzman dropped the most interesting bits of info when talking about how his writing team is managing during the pandemic. “We have been running all of our writers’ rooms on Zoom,” he said. “The silver lining is that we have actually been able to get quite ahead in scripts for upcoming seasons of Discovery, and Picard, and Strange New Worlds—which is going to be shooting next year—and Section 31.”

Okay, there’s a bit in there. First of all, it sounds like Kurtzman and his team may already be working on scripts for Star Trek: Discovery season 4. They’re long past working on scripts for the third season — like we said, shooting is over — so that’s the only way to take his comment.

He also mentions that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, a new spinoff revolving around Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and his crew on the USS Enterprise, is shooting next year, which is good to hear. Then there’s the show about Section 31, an autonomous intelligence and defense agency that carries out covert ops for the United Federation of Planets. We hadn’t heard about that show in a while and thought it might have been quietly killed, but it sounds like it’s still in the works.

Finally, there’s the second season of Star Trek: Picard, which was supposed to shoot this June, but then…well, you know.

“We are planning on going back into production,” Kurtzman said. “A lot of time has been taken coming up with a big plan on how the sets and the stages are going to be run. That is still being iterated right now. Obviously safety being everybody’s number one concern. Everyone is working on that real diligently because everybody wants to go back to work. But nobody wants to do that in a way that is unsafe.”

Make it so, Alex Kurtzman. Make it all so.

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