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The cast and crew of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery got together Saturday night at PaleyFest NY to provide a sneak peek of what’s ahead in the battle between the Federation and the Klingons while discussing the inherent diversity of their show and how President Donald Trump should be watching it.
“I hope [Trump] puts his phone down for a while and watches the show,” said Jason Isaacs, who plays Captain Lorca.
The newest Star Trek series aired its third episode last week to franchise devotees who have been holding on to see how the show will evolve after Bryan Fuller’s departure. The writer, who left the show in the early stages, is still credited as a co-writer on current episodes, and the show’s producers told The Hollywood Reporter that the story is still very much in line with Fullers original concept.
“Bryan’s vision has always been the vision of our show,” said executive producer Aaron Harberts. “Gretchen [J. Berg] and I stepped in and tried to fill his gigantic shoes, and our goal was to continue to present Bryan’s vision and in our heart of hearts I feel proud that we kept that going.”
One aspect of Fuller’s vision was to keep the diversity that makes the Star Trek series true to its historic franchise. The show stars an African-American female lead, an openly gay couple and a Pakistani-British lieutenant.
“In the very beginning, [Fuller’s] message was this is going to being a show with a woman of color as its lead and that was what we all set out to do and that’s what we’ve done,” Harberts said. “I’m very proud of all of the diversity on the show. Gender identity, sexual orientation, race and it is really just a representation of what the world is.”
After CBS announced the show in early 2015, the sci-fi fantasy series began filming amidst the 2016 presidential election, which producer Alex Kurtzman said didn’t affect the Star Trek team’s vision for the latest installment.
“The tone of the show actually got stronger in the direction we were already going because we recognized how important it was for the core message of Trek to be amplified after the election,” Kurtzman said.
The show’s lead, Walking Dead alum Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays first officer Michael Burnham, said she feels that television is one of the few accurate representations of the U.S. in the current political climate.
“I think right now we’re up against insurmountable odds and we’re in such a divisive place and it’s so volatile and hostile, and I think [Star Trek: Discovery] is a representation of what is possible,” Martin-Green said. “We are obviously a picture of hope and I think when you see that you can pull it into your life.”
Martin-Green also alluded to Michelle Yeoh’s return, after the actress showed up to surprise the cast at New York Comic-Con earlier that day. Yeoh’s character was killed during the two-episode premiere.
“This mother-daughter dynamic between [Burnham and Captain Georgiou] is very much a part of our show,” Martin-Green said. “I think it’s the heart of the very essence of our show.”
New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery are released Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.
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