Star Trek: Discovery is making a quantum leap this Friday when season one becomes available for a special limited promotion run on CBS broadcast at 10:00 PM. Trekkies can also look forward to a brand new season of Discovery coming to CBS All Access on Thursday, October 15th. Season three will feature 13 episodes with a new chapter released every Thursday.
CBS’ Matt Weiss spoke to series stars Doug Jones and Mary Wiseman about being part of the iconic Star Trek franchise and the perils of sitting in the make up trailer for hours at a time.
MW: Doug, Mary, nice to see you! With an iconic series like Star Trek I’m curious to hear your initial reactions when you found out you landed your roles?
DJ: Having been an actor who’s played a lot of aliens and creatures with rubber bits for many, many decades now, I never done a Star Trek iteration ever. I kept getting asked by fans, have you ever been in a Star Trek anything? I hadn’t and I thought well those days are over, it’s past for me. Then this new show comes, Star Trek: Discovery, and the offer came, so I was I was like wait I thought my career was winding down and now I was just getting a little second boost. I’m very excited to be part of this world that is so incredibly iconic and beloved.
Weiss: Mary, what about you?
MW: For me it was like pretty mind blowing. I really did not see this coming. I married into a Star Trek family. My husband and my mother-in-law are huge Trekkies. The moment I got the job, I was like how do I break this to my mother-in-law without her head exploding. It was a very, very exciting for me both professionally and personally. I won major brownie points.
Weiss: Were you a fan, I know you said your mother-in-law was but were you a fan growing up as well?
MW: I watched Next Gen, it was in syndication when I was a kid so it was always on after school. Those are the characters I’m definitely most attached to. I wasn’t like hardcore going to convention, reading the novels like other people in my life. But now I think I’m an honorary Trekkie.
Weiss: Well now you’re a panelist. You skipped a whole step.
MW: [laughs] There you go.
Weiss: Doug, as you mentioned you’re no stranger putting on prosthetics and everything, but what is that process like becoming Saru? How long does that take? How uncomfortable is it?
DJ: I like to say that the makeup takes days because the artistry that goes into sculpting, painting, molding those pre-pieces that go on to me starts long before I ever see them. Getting it on to me is mercifully short it’s about two hours a day. If you’re doing a beauty makeup with hair and makeup on someone like Mary Wiseman here it could take that long anyway. I’m not that bad, not that bad.
Weiss: Two hours sounds pretty bad to me, but I suppose it could be worse.
DJ: Oh yeah, it has been worse. Usually to get into makeup like that with head and hands it could be four to five hours.
Weiss: Now Mary you’re playing Sylvia Tilly. Can you talk about that character, what she means to you and how important it is for you to play that role?
MW: Oh my gosh, yes. I love Tilly she is so pure of heart. She’s really grown since the start, which is kind of exciting to get like a whole bunch of new fans into serious from the beginning now that it’s airing on CBS broadcast.
She came in incredible green, she’s a complete novice. You kind of get to see her over the course of the seasons find her footing and find her own voice. It’s been incredibly satisfying for me to watch her grow. Every script is a surprise and takes on a new turn. It’s been incredibly meaningful to me personally.
Weiss: Awesome. No prosthetics for your face either so, you have that.
MW: As me and Doug have often discussed, I would not be able to do what he does. I would rip them off my face immediately after they were applied.
Weiss: I’m with you. Last question before I let you go here. What do you want fans to know about the new episodes that are coming out? What can they expect?
DJ: Star Trek: Discovery in general is like a long running feature film with effects in the slick look and production value that is far beyond what television used to be. That includes the writing, storylines, and the character development. There’re so many relationships and at the end of season two we jump to the future. As you start season three on CBS All Access, you’ll see us in a whole new time frame.
If you’re a casual viewer watching on CBS broadcast networks starting from season one, enjoy that right from the beginning and then join us on CBS All Access.
Weiss: Fantastic. Mary, what about you, anything you want the fans to know?
MW: It’s a wild ride. If you are a Star Trek fan, there are going to be so many fun Easter eggs for you. We’re so seated in canon when we start our journey and then there’s a lot of exploration from there. We have an opportunity now to write what the future is for Star Trek. It’s a very fun journey you’re going to have a lot of fun.
Weiss: Awesome. Thank you both so much and all the best moving forward and stay safe!
DJ: Thanks Matt.
MW: Thank you Matt!
Catch Star Trek: Discovery season one on CBS this Friday night at 10 PM and sign up for CBS All Access to watch season three when it premieres on Thursday, October 15th. Check your local listings for more information.