‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Captain Jason Isaacs Clarifies Controversial Statements

Star Trek: Discovery star Jason Isaacs temporarily landed himself in murky water when the actor offered some candid thoughts on Discovery and what it means for established Star Trek legacy.

In the New York Daily News gossip section, Isaacs is quoted as saying he was “looking forward to having the fun of them [the fans] being outraged” because Discovery is so different from previous Star Trek. He also noted how his show is “Star Trek, but not as we know it,” which is largely against what others involved in Discovery both on and off camera have said.

Perhaps most controversial of all, Isaacs asserted that the Discovery would “throw away” the legacy of William Shatner and Patrick Stewart, although this statement appeared in the article without attribution. This was enough to warrant a tweet from Shatner himself.

When asked for clarification, Isaacs denied having said anything about throwing away anyone’s legacy, and he even dared those who say they will never watch Discovery to stay away from it.

So ends a quick but potentially disastrous PR nightmare for Isaacs and his show, but this little issue serves as a reminder for how careful Discovery‘s actors have to be about selling Star Trek in 2017. As we noted in a recent editorial, Star Trek is on thin ice now. Even relatively innocent but off-the-cuff comments like what Isaacs assumingly said to the Daily News is a slippery slope.

It’s perfectly fine to say that Discovery will be different than the Star Trek we know and love (to an extent), but pushing that argument too far is a quick way to alienate fans. So far, the team behind Discovery has done a respectable job of promoting the show and its place in the Star Trek franchise; they’ve made sure to cement the show’s modernity with classic Trek in a way that sells to both newcomers and fans. This Daily News example should serve as a lesson to pick your words carefully, especially when talking about an issue as sensitive as a new Star Trek.

And another lesson: maybe don’t talk to the Daily News gossip section in the first place.

Star Trek: Discovery‘s 15-episode first season is set to premiere on Sunday, September 24 at 8:30 PM ET on CBS. Immediately following the first episode’s release, the second episode will be available in the U.S. on CBS All Access, with subsequent episodes released on Sundays. The first eight episodes will run from September 24 through November 5, with the series returning in January 2018.

TrekNews.net is your dedicated source for all the latest news on Star Trek: Discovery. Follow @TrekNewsnet on Twitter, TrekNews on Facebook, @TrekNews on Instagram and TrekNewsnet on YouTube.

Kyle Hadyniak has been a lifelong Star Trek fan. A graduate student at the University of Maine, Kyle spends his time either doing school work, playing music, reading history, or immersing himself in a good video game.

You can follow Kyle on Twitter @khady93.

47 Comments Join the Conversation →

  • Arron Ratcliff

    it’s the die hard fans that will make or break discovery.They are the ones that will be paying the monthly subscription fee in the U.S for CBS All Access. the Rest of the world will get it threw Netflix. To Be honest i wish CBS had let Netflix handle the U.S distribution as well. I all ready have a Netflix account now i have to get an All Access account just to watch one show.

    • Lüke Hellwÿck

      threw = has thown = he threw the ball
      through = from one side to another = the world will get it through netflix

      • Arron Ratcliff

        The Finger = I just gave you the middle finger = You were flipped the bird
        The Bird = A rude and vulgar hand gesture shown to those whom you dislike.

    • mr joyce

      ive got netflix too, and will be watching the show, i wont be getting cbs all access though, thats for sure, but i will be watching the pilot by ‘other’ means, im sure you will be doing somewhat the same

      • Arron Ratcliff

        I’m actually gonna break down and get a subscription for the first month of the series.So that will cover the first four episodes and if i don’t like it i’ll cancel it and wont watch any more episode. if i do like it after my first month subscription expires i’ll figure out other means of watching lol. If CBS was smart they would go ahead and stick Discovery on the CW. since every cable company carries at least one local CW station around the country. At least then fans couldn’t complain about having to pay for it.

        • mr joyce

          good point

  • Demode

    I am a diehard TOS and TNG fan, and I’m sure this new show will be great. People need to lighten up.

    • hneftafl

      So if it sucks, you’re going to pretend to like it anyway?

      • That’s usually what the involved do. Sad what our society has become.

        • (Roc) Wayne Alford

          What i see is a bunch of old people that remind me of the ultra patriots during the civil war acting like a bunch of close minded idiots.

          Before you storm the white house with your Federation flags held high how about watching the show?

          It’s pretty much normal procedure to get their panties in a bunch even past the first 2 seasons before they claim it’s gods get to sci-fi.

      • Demode

        Nope. If it sucks, I will say so. But I’m going to give it a chance first.

  • Black Knigth

    Star Trek IS Patrick Stewart, William Shatner, Gene Roddenberry and many others, if the network does not know that the series is doomed, Fans want the underlying nuance, not action packed assholes

    • John Berry

      I am afraid they really are that stupid.

  • Lee Mc Donald

    Old Trek fans will watch or they won’t. Just like the relaunched movie series. New fans will be necessary to keep the franchise going. In that sense Jason Issacs is correct, and it’s his job, along with the rest of the group (actors, writers, producers) to do just that.

  • JB

    I don’t see why new fans would need to be any different than old fans. Will new fans not resonate with moral, hopeful messages? Also, people who grew up with TNG, DS9, ect aren’t super old. They have all a lot of the buying power and they have kids, some of them the same age as when or parents introduced us to Trek. In the end, Isaac’s comments are just dumb for being so tactless.

  • Isaacs tweeted me after I commented the Klingons were messed up and told me I was going to watch either way so he will win. It’s like he doesn’t understand how things work. I’d say you were the worst Captain ever but The Orville already has that covered and will no doubt be a better show. He can’t even fail correctly.

    • Well, then… Are you going to watch? Or do you accept Lorca’s Dare — to _never_ watch an episode of Discovery for as long as you shall live and prosper? 🙂

    • Gen. Chang

      Orville will succeed, where Disco will fail. The fan base is already PO, and all he did was throw gas on the fire! What an A$$ !

      And when the fan base writes about how horrible the show is, I suppose Issac’s will applaud the negative PR? The only thing I’ll be watching, is the free reruns after the show is cancelled.

      • Luv

        The redesigned Klingons are the show-stopper, and the show hasn’t even started yet. They’re just so deeply, cosmically AWFUL.
        The franchise was put in a death spiral when they started the war with Axanar. The smart thing would have been to co-opt Axanar.

        • Gen. Chang

          I agree with all you said, but would add that the Studio’s did Co-opt Axanar. They literally stole the idea of the 4 years war. They only initiated the lawsuit as cover for their heinous act. By the way, do you visit FanFilmFactor.com? If not, you really should check it out. He wrote a boatload of articles about the lawsuit during the whole thing. BTW, I’m a fan too, of Axanar, if you couldn’t tell.

          • Luv

            Wow, I didn’t realize it was that bad. Okay, that’s the karmic clincher. What scum.

    • Berggeist

      He’s personally responding to people for -days- over this and it’s honestly not what I’d call dignified.

  • ltrasczak

    Jason Isaacs has dared me to never watch STD.


    • Henry Bemis

      Just like any STD, it should be avoided. Ha!

    • (Roc) Wayne Alford

      I hope the old fans leave permanently. Let the new fans take over just exactly as it was when the Next Generation started. flush the rotten turds away and let the millions of new fans reign.

      • Berggeist

        So what are your criteria for old fans? Simply having enjoyed prior content or is it a biological age you want to cut off? Surely you understand you’re as bad as the ‘turds’ you rail against right now.

  • bill c

    Discovery was doomed way before this for the same reason Enterprise failed. Star Trek is about looking forward, not backward. This show should have been about a 25th Century Enterprise and a new crew. The fact that they put it on All Access and are going to make us pay for it compounds its issues.

    • Fraize


  • bill c

    OMG, this just got worse. I just read that the main character, Sonequa Martin-Green, is Sarek’s adopted kid and sister to Spock. This is getting ridiculous.

  • Gen. Chang

    The fact that CBS & Paramount alienated a big chunk of the fan base last year is already an uphill battle. The arrogant A$$ Issac’s only makes it certain that a large number of dedicated fans will not pay to see this jerk. There are many more reasons fans hate Disco, namely the fact that it’s so far from Canon, yet the studio’s lied about it. The fact it looks like Kelvin timeline, is due to the fact that it’s being produced under Paramount and BadRobot, who produced??? You guessed it, the last three movies. CBS don’t care because Netflix paid enough to cover making this atrocity. But, Netflix is furious because they can’t lineup any after market products. Disco is doomed, and they know it.

  • I Liek Tacos

    At least the brotha is honest.

  • Tone

    The recent Ghostbusters fiasco should have been a lesson in respecting your fan base, but these lefties just can’t take any kind of criticism of their opinions. Yep, turning on your fan base is not a good way to take a steady pay cheque.

    • Fraize

      I’m a fan, and I love what they’re doing. Recognize please that there’s a diversity of opinions regarding Star Trek, and you are not its gatekeeper.

  • Tod Abbott

    Before we go too far against Lorca’s dismissive and disrespectful comments, think about the incredible disrespect this show has received from a vocal part of Trek fandom. Imagine yourself committed to a show, working very hard, and pouring in a lot of emotional and intellectual energy to make it successful — and receiving predominantly negative comments from people who know very little about the show and have never seen an episode (and pledge not to).
    Yeah, I can give Lorca a break on this one. Besides, staying up late arguing about the show is a longstanding pleasure and tradition. This reminds me of the brouhaha that was kicked up by Shatner’s “get a life” comment way-back-when. We laugh about it now, but people were seriously offended at the time.

  • hneftafl

    Paramount has a long, looong history of screwing up ST. At least they’re consistent.

  • Gigabear

    I’ve waited so long for new trek that I’ve likely forgotten most of the old shows. If this show is garbage, which it increasingly looks like it will be between all the delays, the politicking of the crew setup, doing ANOTHER prequel show in an established universe, and now dissing their fanbase, I may end up watching those instead.

    My only real regret is that I won’t get a decent new installment to the Trek franchise, and this might kill it outright.

    • Gen. Chang

      Cheer up Gigabear,
      You can watch all the Series six days a week, one episode from each, every night on Hero’s and Icons TV. Look them up for station locations throughout the US. Broadcast and on cable in some places. But every state is included.

    • Pulls out the classic TOS on DVD. They never get old.

  • Eight episodes and then we’ll have to wait 2 months? CBS… Are you trying to fail on purpose?

  • Daniel Fleming

    I’m a long time fan and Isaacs rebuttal was hilarious. I like the guy already just from that alone! I think he has some good points. I love Star Trek but some of the more vocal fans can be very stuck in their ways. Personally, I’d hate to see the same old thing in brand new drag. It’s such a fascinating universe, something new (Stylistically, story structure and character development wise) to explore would be amazing. I’m probably one of the few who thought star trek enterprise is right there at the top with TNG and DS9 as it tried something new. They may have stumbled in the first couple of seasons, but 3 and 4 I thought were among the very best of all trek. RIP Trip :'(

    I think this show could be great and open a new chapter to explore. I do expect it stumble about at first (TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT all had that issue), but I think it’s worth giving a chance.

  • Darcy Fournier

    CBS already pissed of many with the pay to watch crap. Then, they go in an rewrite history with Sarek having an earthling protege growing up around Spock, the hairless golden Klingons…female captains before Kirk’s time…the actor is right- this is not trek as we know it and the only reason Sarek is even in it is to make a link to an otherwise unrecognizable offering into the Trekverse.

  • Darcy Fournier

    No “new fans” will sign up to pay to watch this show. Those already subscribed to CBS all access may or may not watch…its the DIE HARD’S that will tune in…or out and that must be respected. If it were on a free channel or already one one in the channel lineup you are already paying for, new fans might just tune in…it’s fking insulting to have to pay to watch this outside of my normal Direct TV package.

  • Ron H

    Isaacs is drumming up publicity and you all are falling for it. My message to Isaacs and his show:


  • Dax Jacobson

    Crafting a Trek new and old care about might be impossible, my decision NOT to watch is made easy thanks to requiring I sub to CBS All Access, something I’m unwilling to do. IF ST:NG had been behind a pay-wall I would have NEVER cared to watch it, and it sucked for a few years too, and Gene Roddenberry was still around to keep it on track. Leslie Moonves is not someone I trust. I’m going to be watching the Orville on Fox instead.