While the new Star Trek: Discovery series being produced has had the occasional delay prior to production, filming is now well underway for what many are hoping will be a successful revival of the much beloved TV franchise. Star Trek: Discovery will appear on CBS All Access and is expected to probably premiere sometime this fall. Anyone outside of the United States will see it on Netflix.
Current Production and Schedule
Reportedly, Star Trek: Discovery will be the most expensive sci-fi series ever produced. Even though it will have only 13 episodes in its initial season, the entire season is expected to cost well over $110 million. This might seem like it would mean approximately $8.5 million per episode.
But the producers are actually spending $25 million on the two-hour pilot episode and a little over $7 million on each subsequent one-hour episode. So despite the rather disappointing teaser trailer they provided last year, given the amount of money the producers are spending, the CGI effects for Star Trek: Discovery should be better than anything we’ve seen on television to date.
Currently, the preproduction and postproduction work for the series is being done in Toronto at Pinewood Studios, the CGI effects are being created in London, and the overall management of the project is being directed from Los Angeles. This arrangement allows the production to maximize its production dollars by taking advantage of lower production costs outside the United States.
Apparently, filming of the third episode of Star Trek: Discovery is already almost completed, while filming for the fourth episode should start at the beginning of May. Mid-May should see the filming of the fifth episode.
Of course, filming the episodes is only the first step. Postproduction audio and CGI effects will have to be created and applied to each episode. And this doesn’t even take into account old-fashioned editing and possible later reshoots of certain scenes.
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Cast Changes
As reported by Digital Spy, even though production has already started for Star Trek: Discovery, in recent days there have been some significant changes and additions to the show’s cast. One of these involves recasting the role of the primary Klingon character for the series.
According to Digital Spy, Shazad Latif was supposed to play Klingon commander Kol, but he has now been recast and will play the role of a lower-level federation Lieutenant Tyler on the Discovery. The role of Kol will now be played by experienced character actor Kenneth Mitchell.
Kol will be joined by fellow Klingon characters Dennas and Ujilli – played respectively by Claire McConnell and Damon Runyon. Another addition to the Discovery crew itself is Rekha Sharma, who will be playing Discovery’s security officer Commander Landry.
Congratulations to my friend, Mr Kenneth Mitchell, for getting his Kling On!Qapla'!Qapla'! https://t.co/KRqT9mFPp6 #StarTrek#kennethmitchell
— James Rees (@dafellaboy) April 30, 2017
These kinds of cast changes and additions really aren’t anything to be alarmed about. Instead, they suggest the producers are willing to make last-minute modifications if they feel it will make the resulting series better – which is rather encouraging.
Given the fact that the future of the Star Trek film universe is not entirely clear – with Zachary Quinto/Spock himself implying that a fourth film in the series may or may not happen – many Star Trek fans are hoping for a triumphant return of Star Trek to what some consider to be its natural medium: television.
Despite the high budget that Star Trek: Discovery is getting for each of its 13 episodes, Star Trek itself has never been about special effects. Instead, Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek was intended to comment on important social issues in our own time by reflecting them in future circumstances. It can only be hoped that Star Trek: Discovery will continue this noble tradition.
[Featured Image by CBS]