CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery’s pay wall may cost them

Published On September 25, 2017 | By Hayley Barnes | Arts

T’Kuvma played by Chris Obi on set of Star Trek: Discovery. (Photo curtesy of CBS)


By: Daniel Caudle

After teasing its viewers with a pilot episode, Star Trek: Discovery needs to be a hit for its controversial five-year studio rental in Toronto to pay off .

According to film industry insiders who wish to remain anonymous, the production company and Pinewood Studios have agreed to a five-year filming deal.

Although this series has been bringing in millions of dollars to Toronto’s already massive film industry, it has pushed out smaller productions. Filmed at the 11-acre Pinewood studio in in Toronto’s Port Lands the studio features seven sound stages ranging from 10,000 square feet to 46,000 square feet.

“I don’t think it was the best option to have so much of one of North America’s biggest studios use so much room for one show, said Toronto based actress Krystie-Anne Haufler, who has not worked on the show. “It’s pushed out a lot of smaller productions that are now going elsewhere and taking the work from us.”

Filmed in Toronto, Star Trek: Discovery originally had a budget of $5 million an episode, but after budget issues each episode ended up costing between $8 – $8.5 million. This makes Discovery the most expensive series to have  filmed in Toronto, and one of the most expensive shows ever filmed, according to the production.

“Having Star Trek in Toronto generates income, actors come here, and it creates a tourist attraction,” said Rachel Chaves, an assistant at Applause Model Management. “Toronto is already known as a film city, so something as big as this is very good for the city. It’s good to have something like Star Trek being filmed as there are a lot of fans of it, and the show has great interest.”

This feels like a for real honest to God #StarTrek show, YES!!!! #StarTrekDiscovery @startrekcbs



Having left its fans without new content for 12 years the much-anticipated Star Trek: Discovery aired last night after CBS spent over a year putting together 15 episodes.

The first episode was aired free for viewers, but CBS All Access decided their best course of action was to give the viewers a tease. Viewers wanting to continue to watch the show will be charged $6 a month. North American viewers with access to Netflix will not be able to view the series, while other countries can.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, it’s crazy,” said Haufler.“Why would I pay $6 a month to watch one show?”

Despite this some viewers have happily payed to watch the show on CBS All Access, claiming that it has “payed for itself.”


Produced by Secret Hideout, the series is set a decade before the original Star Trek, and follows the Federation-Klingon cold war and the crew members aboard the USS Discovery.

Captian Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). Curtesy of CBS.


Captian Philippa (Michelle Yeoh) and first officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martian-Green. (Photo curtesy of CBS)

Despite having aired two episodes the production is not set to wrap until October.


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