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Beam into alien designs, ship concepts in The Art of Star Trek: Discovery exclusive

By Jeff Spry

CBS All-Access' Star Trek: Discovery has just launched its third season on October 15 with the valiant crew of the USS Discovery exploring the uncharted territory of the 32nd century. This 13-episode mission goes further into the future than any previous Star Trek series, where a fractured galaxy is no longer governed by the United Federation of Planets and Vulcan-raised science officer Michael Burnham must try and restore its former glory.

Now to remind fans of the bold adventures of the popular sci-fi series' previous two seasons, London-based Titan Books is releasing a 192-page companion volume titled The Art of Star Trek: Discovery (Dec. 8) — and SYFY WIRE is primed to offer an exclusive look inside.

star trek cover

Written by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann, The Art of Star Trek: Discovery peeks behind the scenes of CBS’s sci-fi saga, with fresh interviews with cast and crew, revealing on-set photography, ship schematics, costume design, weapons breakdowns, concept art, character sketches, alien worldbuilding, and storyboards. Readers will also find exclusive never-seen content from the first two seasons between the covers. 

Block and Erdmann have a long-running relationship with the Star Trek franchise and have co-authored many Trek-centric books including Star Trek: The Original Series 365, Star Trek 101, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion. 


“In writing this book with Terry, my biggest surprise—and my greatest pleasure—was in learning how deeply the people who work on the show love Star Trek.” Block tells SYFY WIRE. “They are, as all creators, intent upon coming up with the most innovative and exciting twists of their particular expertise.

“The artists we talked to all revealed that they want to develop effects that will make a viewer’s jaw drop in awe, to innovate makeup techniques that will knock everyone’s socks off, and to design props that will impress contemporary artists worldwide,” she adds. “And they want to do it in a way that honors the Star Trek tradition of the past 54 years. They don’t want to recreate the wheel, they want to re-imagine it from our 21st century perspective, make it really cool, but keep it true to its source.” 


Erdmann admits that one of the main delights of writing about Star Trek is doing the extensive research. 

“It’s a joy to say, ‘I’m putting on an old episode,’ and honestly know that the time spent qualifies as work," Erdmann tells SYFY WIRE. "We’re very lucky.

“Because Star Trek: Discovery is a “prequel,” researching it meant looking closely at The Original Series. Paula and I talked to the Discovery artists about their efforts to create ‘modern,’ versions of 1966 technology while not allowing it to appear more advanced. TOS artists designed the sets and tools using plywood and foamcore. Today’s people design them on computers and create them on 3-D printers. Keeping the “old” look takes careful planning. They call the process ‘reverse engineering.’ Their work is absolutely fascinating, and we did our best to adequately cover it in the book.” 


Now blast into our exclusive look at this comprehensive guide to the making of Star Trek: Discovery in the full gallery below.

All images taken from The Art of Star Trek: Discovery by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann, published by Titan Books. TM & © 2020 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.