Star Trek: Nicholas Meyer Weighs in on 'Discovery's Use of Profanity

In the episode “Choose Your Pain,” Star Trek: Discovery dropped the first F-bomb in Star Trek history. Now one of the early practitioners of profanity in Star Trek has weighed in on Discovery’s use of “colorful” language.

Nicholas Meyer introduced the phrase “double dumbass” to the Star Trek lexicon in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. He also worked on Star Trek: Discovery Season One, though he was not invited back for the show’s second season. During an interview with YouTube channel Midnight’s Edge, Meyer commented on how Discovery has pushed the envelope on language for the franchise.

“All art is ineluctably the product of the time in which it was created,” Meyer said. “The fact that a streaming service doesn’t have to conform to the same censor limitations that a network broadcast has to adhere to; the fact that we are in an age in which cuss words are proliferating and part of normal speech increasingly – leaves very little room for the notion that a new Star Trek created in these conditions was not going to also have colorful metaphors running around. But that seems to just come with the territory. I am trying to remember if at some point when we were creating it if at some point we were using that language or did that come later? My best recollection – and it is entirely fallible – is that it didn’t trouble me at the time, and I didn’t think of Star Trek IV, it just didn’t occur to me.”

Sylvia Tilly, the Starfleet cadet played by Mary Wiseman who was promoted to ensign at the end of season one, was the crew member who dropped that big F-bomb. She dropped another curse word in her Star Trek: Short Treks episode “Runaway." During an interview in October, asked Wiseman if she expected to become Star Trek’s resident potty mouth.

“No, but it feels pretty appropriate,” she said. “I have a bit of a potty mouth myself, so I think it makes a pretty natural extension of my regular life. I'm just like very honest. I think it's really sweet that this happy, unassuming, super nervous, wants to do everything right kind of person is the biggest curser on the show, and it's not like Harry Mudd or something. It's very satisfying to me.

“I think they try to do it when it's really coming out of or an extension of a moment. Like the moment when she drops the F-bomb, that was like a real lovely moment of being super excited of doing the Star Trek science together. So, it has to be organic, and it has to feel necessary and not gratuitous, but that is also something that the writers consider really carefully. They're not just doing it for shock value. They want it to be real.”

What do you think of Star Trek using profanity? Let us know in the comments!

The first season of Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream in its entirety on CBS All Access in the U.S., through CraveTV in Canada and through Netflix in other international markets.


Star Trek: Discovery Season Two is now filming in Toronto and will premiere on CBS All Access on January 17, 2019.

[H/T] Trek Movie