'Star Trek: Discovery' Season 3 Will Feature "A Big Tonal Shift", Says Director Jonathan Frakes

Spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery season 2 ahead.

The ending of Star Trek: Discovery season 2 boldly went where no Star Trek franchise had ever gone before – 930 years into its future, and past the farthest point explored on the timeline in the Next Generation era of Trek storytelling.

Now Jonathan Frakes, the Star Trek veteran who is directing multiple episodes of Star Trek: Discovery season 3, says that the third season features a “big tonal shift” to accompany its new setting. Read his quote below.

Star Trek: Discovery season 3 is set to premiere sometime in 2020, and Frakes directed three episodes of the new season – including the third episode, in which series protagonist Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finally reunites with her Discovery crew after they were separated in season 2. Speaking with ComicBook.com (via TrekMovie), Frakes explained that the new season will undergo “a big tonal shift” and lean more toward action than introspection:

“Michael Burnham has found a new core, not to mention a new partner in crime. So again, there’s a big tonal shift on that show, less driven by the pain and guilt of her past and more about the magical reunification of the Discovery crew and wherever she went off to. God knows where she went as the Red Angel. So those two things coming back together is very much the theme, and how grateful everyone is and what’s next. It’s got a lot of action-adventure and not so much pain.”

That partner in crime Frakes mentions is a new character named Cleveland Booker, aka “Book,” played by David Ajala and seen in the header photo at the top of this page. StarTrek.com describes him like this: “Smart and capable, Book has a natural charisma and devil-may-care attitude that tends to get him into trouble as often as it gets him out.” Sounds like a classic rogue archetype.

The funniest thing about Frakes’s comment is how it seems to directly contradict Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Michelle Paradise‘s previous quote about how the third season would be honing in on the vibe they found in the second season. “I think we, as a show, I feel like we really found our tone in season two,” she said last summer. “We found I think a wonderful mix of heart and character and adventure and fun and funny and action. All of that together, I think we really hit our stride with that so we intend to keep that tone.”

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