'Star Trek: Discovery' Showrunners Tease "Classic Trekian" Tone in Season 2

Star Trek: Discovery viewers can expect the series to feel a bit more like traditional Star Trek when it returns for season two.

During a panel at WonderCon, showrunners Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts were asked about the tonal difference Star Trek: Discovery and past Star Trek series and whether there’s a limit to how far they’re willing to push the envelope.

“I think that we are aware of the fact that it is a different era and it’s a different format for the show,” Berg says. “I don’t think we’re all necessarily gunning for shock value. Everything always comes out of character for us and story. So, if it feels like something that really would happen in that world and that context, we go in that direction. It’s not a group that leads with, ‘We want to shock people or horrify people or get them talking about it.’ Because it has to follow out of where we are in the story and where we are with the characters, always.”

Harberts adds, “This was an interesting season because it was set against the backdrop of war. One of the things that we are looking forward to in season two is a tone that we can now be in a more of an exploratory phase, a more diplomatic phase, maybe a bit more of a ‘Trekian’ chapter of this. But everything for us - like Gretchen said - is really driven by character and we felt that that was a great way to...and you’ll learn more about Saru this season, and we had to lay some pipe early on too. What are those threat ganglia? What do they do? What do they represent in the Terran Empire? And a lot of that stuff will fold back in when we’re back on the air.”

Star Trek: Discovery isn’t the first time that Star Trek has tackled war. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine featured a multi-season story about the Dominion War. What sets Discovery apart from Deep Space Nine is that Deep Space Nine was still somewhat episodic, even if it was more serialized by far than most other shows on television at the time. By comparison, Discovery has a fully-serialized season, meaning there wasn’t room for more traditional Star Trek stories to break up the Federation-Klingon war’s plot.

But it sounds like there will be a bit more exploration and diplomatic discussions when the series returns, perhaps giving Discovery critics a reason to give the series a second chance.

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Star Trek: Discovery begins filming its second season in Toronto in April.