Despite there being no way near as much ker-fuffle as there was this time last year with season one, it seems the production of Star Trek: Discovery is still a troubled one, as it heads into season two.
Showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts are out and executive producer Alex Kurtzman will step in. Kurtzman will also run the show’s writers’ room.
Star Trek fans will recall that Berg and Harberts got the job when original showrunner Bryan Fuller left the project in October 2016, well before the show aired its first episode. According to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, this latest change-up is “based not on the creative but instead for leadership and operational issues.”
Many fans are happy that Berg and Harberts are out, but they’re equally frustrated by the appointment of Kurtzman. Sadly, Brannon Braga is busy writing and producing The Orville.
So, what does “leadership and operational issues” mean? THR cites an unnamed source who reports that “Berg and Harberts became increasingly abusive to the Discovery writing staff, with the latter said to have leaned across the writers’ room table while shouting an expletive at a member of the show’s staff… After hearing rumors of HR complaints, Harberts is said to have threatened the staff to keep concerns with the production an internal matter.”
Budgetary concerns are also mentioned, which means the remainder of the season (apparently the show’s already near-finished with its first five episodes) will need to be…er, not as expensive. Each episode is reported to cost in excess of $8million. And that’s American, not Canadian.
However, arguably one of the best episodes so far, “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” (season 1, episode 7) came about because the producers wanted to save some cash.
THR notes that the showrunner change is not expected to affect the show’s production and it points out that Kurtzman, who co-created Discovery with Fuller, has a long history with Star Trek on both the big and small screen.
Here’s the official statement from CBS:
We’ve made some producer changes at Star Trek: Discovery. The series continues under the creative vision and leadership of executive producer and co-creator Alex Kurtzman. Discovery remains on course for season two in 2019 with new and continuing stories that build on its successful premiere season.
How this latest behind-the-scenes shake-up will affect the series remains to be seen. The show is not scheduled to begin season two until early next year.
No doubt there will be all sorts of news regarding Star Trek: Discovery coming out of San Diego Comic-Con in just a few weeks.
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