Mary Chieffo, who played L’Rell, moderated the panel of visionaries who have shaped the new Star Trek series. The Executive Producers, Gretchen Berg, and Aaron Harberts headed up the group. Mario Moreira – property master, Gersha Phillips – costume designer, Glenn Hetrick – special f/x makeup, James MacKinnon – head of prosthetic and special f/x makeup, Tamara Deverell – production designer, Jeff Russo – composer, and Jason Zimmerman – visual effects supervisor rounded out the panel.
Writing was the first topic to be discussed. Berg and Harberts talked about how the series is more serial than the other shows. Because of that, there is more to keep track of in writing episode to episode.
From there it went to props and developing the new ones for the series. 90% of the props are made from scratch. But before that sounds like a daunting task, much of it is 3D printed. That sparked a lot of mentioning of how the new series has given the opportunity to explore this new technology for a show like Discovery. And how it’s fitting that the theme of the show is exploration. It’s interesting to note that even prosthetics are 3D printed.
Many other interesting tidbits of information were divulged among the panel. The sarcophagus ship for the Klingons was dismantled and then used in part for the Qo’nos set. The mycelial network is based on succulents in design.
The big treat for fans came with a special “secret scene” that shows what happens to Emperor Georgiou after the season finale. The scene starts with her tending to the bar we see before on Qo’nos. A Trill comes in asking for her. At first he seems Federation and even part of Starfleet. But, he soon corrects her and hands her a recruitment badge – the Section 31 badge!
During a question and answer time, the producers confirm that the show takes place in the Prime timeline. And it’s hinted that we may see the original series uniforms at some point.
In all, each of the panelist’s pleasure in working on the show and some of the members’ passion for Star Trek in general really shows that this series is under care. It’s clear there’s direction for the future that will integrate it all into the main Star Trek universe even more.