The fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery has been in production since early November, which means filming is well underway. The show’s cast, crew, and producers have been tight-lipped about what’s in store for the next season of the franchise’s flagship show.
They’ve also been diligent about concealing what’s happening on set so that rumors don’t start flying. The show is using a codename for their filming schedule to make it harder to track down what’s going on behind the scenes.
Despite all their diligence, people who claim they have connections to the production crew are still sharing rumors on Reddit. Here’s what one supposed insider had to say about what fans might see in Discovery season four.
Elaborate Scenery Using an Augmented Reality Wall
Augmented reality (AR) walls are some of the newest and most advanced technology being used on television and film sets right now. According to Industrial Light and Magic, the visual effects team behind the Star Wars franchise, augmented reality walls are giant, curved walls with LED screens that allow the visual effects teams to create virtual sets. Using advanced video gaming technology, actors can actually interact with the virtual sets.
This incredible technology essentially eliminates the need for most on-location filming. Industrial Light and Magic revealed that over half of the scenes for the first season of their Disney+ show, The Mandalorian were filmed using the AR wall.
The Redditor, who claimed that they were friends with “someone working on S4,” wrote that their friend told them Discovery was currently filming using the ‘”biggest AR wall in the world.” They also claimed that the screen being used by Discovery was far bigger than the one used for The Mandalorian.
If the rumor is true, it would confirm what showrunner Alex Kurtzman told IndieWire before production on season four started. He said they were hoping to get an AR wall to use on all the upcoming Star Trek shows. Though an AR wall would be a huge investment, it would save a ton of money by eliminating most on-location shoots. It would also make filming much safer during the pandemic since it could all be done in-studio.
A Gravitational Crisis
The next rumor the Redditor offered up was that at least one episode of the show would deal with the ship losing artificial gravity control. They claimed that nearly an entire episode of the fourth season was shot with the actors on wires.
The Redditor also alleged that the gravitational issues wouldn’t be completely resolved within a single episode. They wrote that the entire set of the Discovery was actually turned upside down for a while during production. The explanation they gave was that though artificial gravity was restored, it was still faulty. So the cast purportedly spent some time walking around on the ceiling of the ship.
They weren’t specific about how long the malfunction would go on, but they did write that the set was eventually flipped back. So, if the rumor is true, the cast won’t be walking on the ceiling for too long.
According to Memory Alpha, a few episodes of Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise featured scenes where artificial gravity on the ship failed. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country also featured a scene with gravitational malfunctions, which led to the infamous pink Klingon blood scene.
Other than that, artificial gravity failures have been woefully rare in Star Trek. It will be interesting to see how Discovery’s attempt plays out.
A Snowy and… Sandy Planet?
Additionally, the Redditor claimed that the cast and crew had a very interesting and difficult on-location shoot. The location was supposed to be a very snowy planet, and the weather apparently decided to cooperate with the filming schedule. The days the cast and crew were on-location, were purportedly stormy with snow and… sand flying around everywhere.
This rumor generated the most conversation in the comments. Other Redditors were trying to figure out what kind of location had both an abundance of snow and sand. Since the show is filming in Canada, Canucks were speculating whether the location was in the Great White North. So far, no one has come up with any ideas about where they might be shooting that’s both snowy and sandy.
According to the Iceland Review, the gorgeous scenery seen in Discovery season three’s first episodes were shot all over Iceland. It doesn’t seem likely that the cast and crew would pack up and head overseas for a location shoot during the pandemic, though. So, if the rumor is true, the scenes mentioned were probably shot somewhere in Canada.
None of these rumors have been confirmed by anyone actually associated with the show. Likewise, no similar rumors have made their way around Reddit. However, it’s still fun to speculate.
Though season four recently extended its filming schedule, it’s still possible the show will be ready to go by the end of the year. Paramount Plus has continued to say that the show will release before the end of 2021.