Star Trek: Discovery is back and now set in Star Trek's 32nd century. In the first episode of the new season, Michael Burnham met a new ally, Cleveland "Book" Booker. She also met Book's companion aboard his ship, a large cat called Grudge. In a new video on StarTrek.com, Star Trek: Discovery writer and executive producer Jenny Lumet reveals that she came up with Grudge and explains the inspiration behind the feline character. "I invented this cat in season three, and this cat was actually based on a dog, a Pekinese dog that lived in a sleeve of my grandmother Lena Horne's kimono whose name was Nelly, and Nelly had her own cook named Irene," Lumet says. "So a kimono has a long sleeve, and then you put your companion dog in the sleeve and then you walk around like that, and for years I just thought Nelly was dead because she never did anything."
That led to the creation of Grudge. While Lumet loves the character, the character doesn't love all of her co-stars. "So there's a cat and this cat is named Grudge because if you're really mad you can hold a grudge and you can hold a grudge for a really long time," she explains. "And grudge is really, really calorically challenged and is enormous and falls off stuff… And my understanding from the actors is that Grudge really doesn't like Sonequa. But Grudge is the companion of one of our new characters named Book and Grudge hates Sonequa, so I just think that's really funny.
"Grudge has a whole backstory," Lumet continues. "She has a best friend. She's a really, really unpleasant cat and she makes things really miserable, and I think you have to have a character like that because I don't know if Nelly, who she is based on, is actively unpleasant, but it's just always there, like eyeing you. So I'm excited about Grudge wreaking her havoc and having very badly in space a thousand years from now."
Based on the photos for the second episode of the season, we'll learn more about what fate befell Discovery in the new episode. "We jumped to the future at the end of season two. This is a big deal. We've boldly gone where no Star Trek series has gone before," star Doug Jones has said of Discovery's jump to the future. "So we're going to see what happens in the future. What condition is the Federation in? We're going to find out when we land. What happens to me and my rank? I'm a Commander, but I'm also acting Captain of the ship because we lost all our captains now. I take the ship, and so, do I get to keep the Captain's chair? Do I have to give it away to another Federation/Starfleet captain in the future? We're going to find out all that when we get there."
Star Trek: Discovery debuts new episodes Thursdays on CBS All Access.