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Trivia / Star Trek: Discovery

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  • Acting for Two: Several actors portray the Mirror Universe counterparts of their usual characters during the latter half of the first season.
  • Ascended Fanon:
    • Although the existence of Capt. Robert April, the very first captain of the Enterprise (pre-dating Pike) was first revealed in Star Trek: The Animated Series, and later referenced in many novels and comics, for a long time the owners of the Trek franchise did not recognize April as canon, due to having originated in the animated series, which was not considered canon, either. An on-screen reference to April in an early episode of Discovery marks the first time the live-action franchise has acknowledged his existence. In the second season, another on-screen reference explicitly named him as Pike's predecessor as the captain of the Enterprise.
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    • In “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2”, Pike at one point refers to Number One as Una, a name used in the Star Trek Legacies trilogy to refer to her, given that she was no longer a first officer by the time of the novels.
    • The idea of a Klingon going through extensive painful surgery to appear entirely as human first appeared in the comic miniseries Star Trek: Klingons – Blood Will Tell (With the one undergoing the process being Darvin).
  • Dawson Casting:
    • As a fourth-year cadet (eventually commissioned and holding the rank of ensign in the Season 1 finale), Sylvia Tilly is supposed to be in her early twenties (most likely 22 or 23 by the end of the first season), whereas the actress who portrays her, Mary Wiseman, was actually 32 (the same age as Burnham's actress Sonequa Martin-Green) when the season was shot.
    • Adira is 16, played by Blu del Barrio, who's 23.
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  • Dueling Shows: The show debuted within weeks of The Orville, an Affectionate Parody of Star Trek and a throwback to the earlier, Lighter and Softer shows. For the second season, Discovery episodes shifted to being released at 8:30 PM on Thursdays, which not-so-coincidentally is the day of the week that The Orville airs on Fox at 9:00 PM.
  • Executive Meddling: Ex-showrunner Bryan Fuller has claimed that he intended for the uniforms to be more reminiscent of the original series and wanted to make each season as some kind of anthology, but CBS pushed for a new uniform design and a serialized storyline. note 
  • Fake American:
    • Jason Isaacs, an Englishman, plays the American-accented Captain Lorca.
    • Similarly, British actor Shazad Latif plays Seattle-born Ash Tyler, or at least a copy of the real Ash Tyler, into whom the Klingon warrior Voq was surgically modified.
  • I Knew It!:
    • A number of fan theories were proven correct throughout the first season:
      • That Discovery and her crew emerged into the Mirror Universe at the end of "Into The Forest I Go".
      • That Ash Tyler turned out to be Voq, surgically altered and turned into a Manchurian Agent.
      • That Captain Lorca was from the mirror universe all along.
      • That Captain Georgiou would return in some fashion.
      • That the Captain Pike-era U.S.S. Enterprise would appear.
    • From the second season, that the Red Angel would turn out to be a Time Traveling Michael Burnham.
    • In the "Terra Firma" two-parter from the third season, that "Carl" would turn out to be the Guardian of Forever.
  • Killer App: Invoked. CBS are hoping to push (American) membership in their premium streaming service, "CBS All Access," by making it the only way to get at this show. In fairness, this has been an effective tactic for Netflix (House of Cards (US), Orange Is the New Black), and HBO has been doing it for years (Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, etc.).
  • Late Export for You: Outside the US and Canada, Netflix launched each episode one day after its US premiere on Paramount+. That is, until 2021, when Paramount+ claimed the rights back from Netflix, causing it to be pulled from the service almost immediately before the premiere of season 4. This meant international audiences will be unable to access the fourth season (or past seasons) through legitimate channels until Paramount+ launches in their regions in 2022, likely well after the fourth season is complete in the US.
    • This was fortunately subverted when Paramount announced that the fourth season would air on Pluto TV worldwide, following the backlash surrounding the removal. Additionally, all markets which already have Paramount+ will see the episodes made available there on the same timetable.
  • Lying Creator: Much like the whole John Harrison/Khan Noonien Singh thing in Star Trek Into Darkness, the showrunners, actors, and studio keep going to crazy lengths to obfuscate plot twists in the face of viewers' eagerness to crowdsource theories from the show's Chekhov's Armory, including creating a fake IMDb profile for Javid Iqbal as a pseudonym for Shazad Latif (Voq and Ash Tyler). So much so that they're actually starting to take flak for it from professional and semipro critics.
  • Not Screened for Critics: In mid-September 2017, CBS embargoed any reviews of the new series being released before its premiere, normally a bad sign for any production. However, early reactions turned out to be quite positive.
  • The Original Darrin: Thanks to some archived footage from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Leonard Nimoy is able to reprise his role as Spock, only five years after his passing, in the episode "Unification III".
  • The Other Darrin:
    • The first two seasons involve a number of characters from TOS, whose portrayers have all passed away. Thus: James Frain replaces Mark Lenard as Sarek; Mia Kirshner replaces Jane Wyatt as Amanda Grayson; Rainn Wilson replaces Roger C. Carmel as Harry Mudd; Anson Mount replaces Jeffrey Hunter as Capt. Christopher Pike; Ethan Peck replaces Leonard Nimoy as Spock; Rebecca Romijn replaces Majel Barrett as Number One; and Melissa George replaces Susan Oliver as Vina.
    • More traditionally, Hannah Cheesman replaces Sara Mitich as LCDR Airiam for the second season, while Mitich moved to the role of Lt. Nilsson. (For whatever reason, Nilsson also takes Airiam's bridge station after the latter is written out.)
  • Playing Against Type: Jason Isaacs as heroic (if slightly grey and potentially PTSD-ridden) Starfleet Captain Gabriel Lorca. Subverted when it's revealed his character is actually the Mirror Universe Lorca, and as evil as they come. Double Subverted as Jason Isaacs voices Prime Universe Lorca in Star Trek Online, who is an exemplary Starfleet captain.
  • Queer Character, Queer Actor:
    • Stamets and Culber are gay. So are Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz, the men who play them.
    • Season Two introduces Lieutenant Commander Jet Reno, who mentions that her wife died during the war with the Klingons the previous season. Reno is played by Tig Notaro, who is also gay. This leads to a quite amusing scene where Stamets and Reno flirt while drunk.
    • Adira Tal comes out as non-binary to Paul. Blu del Barrio, who plays them, is non-binary as well.
  • Reality Subtext: In "Far From Home," Reno advises Stamets on his difficulty accepting his physical difficulties after being seriously injured. Tig Notaro is quite familiar with this after her battle with breast cancer.
  • Refitted for Sequel: The Discovery's design is based on Ralph McQuarrie's concept art for the refit Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  • Schedule Slip: The first episode was supposed to premiere in January 2017, but this was later pushed back to May. January 24 brought news that they had finally started filming the pilot. Les Moonves, the head of CBS, later stated that the series would start airing in the "late summer or fall" of 2017. The delays led to The Good Fight being moved up to take its place as the debut series for CBS All Access. Its official premiere date ended up on September 24, 2017, resulting in an unplanned Dueling Shows scenario with the Trek homage, The Orville.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Many viewers heartily approved that Mia Kirshner, who plays Amanda Grayson, is basically a younger version of Jane Wyatt, Amanda's original actress. She also has a similar appearance to Winona Ryder, who played Kelvin timeline-Amanda in the 2009 film.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: It's widely assumed that part of the reason for the drastically redesigned Klingon makeup was the need to make actor Shazid Latif, who plays Ash Tyler, completely unrecognizable when in makeup as Voq, although many fans figured it out anyway.
  • Spoiled by the Cast List: The series unsuccessfully attempted to avert this. Voq subsequently infiltrates the Discovery crew as a human named Ash Tyler, with both "characters" played by the same actor, Shazad Latif. In the early episodes of the series, Voq was credited on-screen and in media cast lists as being played by a fictitious actor, "Javid Iqbal". Unfortunately, it didn't take long for Internet sleuths to notice that "Iqbal" had no other film or TV credits and no Internet or social media footprint, leading almost all of them to guess the twist. After the on-screen twist reveal, Latif confirmed that "Javid Iqbal" had been his father's name.
  • Trolling Creator: Jason Isaacs (Gabriel Lorca), from making fun of viewers who don't like the show on Twitter to barging into an interview with Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler) and telling the reporter everything Latif says is a lie.
  • Troubled Production: While the actual production has apparently been problem-free, at the executive level there has been considerable turmoil:
    • CBS's major idea was to use Discovery to entice viewers to sign up for the CBS All Access app. To do this, they sold the overseas distribution rights to Netflix, in return getting a price so high it practically paid for the entire production cost. However, this meant that in the US, after the first part of the pilot aired on broadcast, anyone wanting to watch the series had to subscribe to CBS All Access, alienating and angering many viewersnote  who didn't want to pay $6 a month for the privilege of watching Discovery and, for them, nothing else they weren't getting anywhere else.
    • Original showrunner Bryan Fuller was fired midway through the production of the first season due to a combination of scheduling delays, creative differences and Fuller also trying to work on American Gods at the same time. Co-showrunners Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts were kept on to retool the series without Fuller, but were themselves fired midway through the second season due to ballooning production costs and accusations of hostility toward the writers.
  • What Could Have Been: Enough for its own page
  • You Look Familiar: Kenneth Mitchell plays four different characters over the first three seasons, three of them Klingons: General Kol in Season 1; Kol's father, Kol-Sha, in episode 2.03, "Point of Light"; and Tenavik, a Timekeeper and L'Rell and Voq's son, in episode 2.12, "Through the Valley of Shadows". In Season 3, he plays the Emerald Chain human scientist Aurelio.


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