For the past two weeks, behind the walls of Kingston Penitentiary, something special has been happening.
There, the cast and crew of CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery have been filming for the show’s upcoming season three. The seventh series in the Star Trek franchise, Discovery was launched in 2017 and is filmed primarily in Toronto. The premise of the show follows the crew of the USS Discovery, and begins about a decade before Star Trek: The Original Series.
The series began by uniting the Klingon houses in war against the United Federation of Planets, and season two took place after the war with Discovery investigating seven strange red signals and a mysterious being called the Red Angel. Through all of this, Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, is forced to face her past with the return of her estranged brother, Spock. By the end of the second season, Discovery travels to the 32nd century, over 900 years into their future.
Here in Kingston, the show’s cast and crew did a little time travelling of their own, venturing behind the thick stone walls of one of Canada’s oldest and most notorious prisons, Kingston Penitentiary. Known for housing some of the nation’s most infamous criminals, from James Donnelley of the Black Donnellys, to Clifford Olson, Kingston Penitentiary closed in September of 2013, and has since been known for its guided tours, and as a destination filming location.
With season three of Star Trek: Discovery expected to be released in early 2020, very little is known about what will happen in the coming season. As such, the filming here in Kingston was kept under wraps until the cast and crew completed their final day of wrap-up yesterday.
“The Kingston Film Office did indeed host Season Three of Star Trek: Discovery in Kingston over the past two weeks. We kept everything entirely confidential at the express request of the production, but I can confirm that we hosted them for five days of pre-production, two days of shooting, and they’re in the process of finishing three days of wrap-up,” said Alex Jansen, Film Commissioner with the Kingston Film Office.
Jansen noted that the Star Trek: Discovery filming marked the end of a very busy year of production in Kingston, with three major productions filming in Kingston Penitentiary, including Discovery, Titans, and Murdoch Mysteries.
And while the fourth quarter results aren’t complete, the fact that Titans generated more than $130,000 in accommodations alone goes to show the huge impact filming events have on the Kingston economy.
“We’re still tallying fourth-quarter results, but we hosted more than 25 overnight productions and over 60 single day productions as of third quarter,” Jansen said.
Star Trek lovers will have to tune in to the Discovery series to see one of Kingston’s greatest landmarks featured in the CBS Television Studios, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment production. And while Jansen said he was unsure when the episodes with scenes shot in Kingston Pen will air, he assured Kingstonist he will let our readers know beforehand.
For more information on Star Trek: Discovery, click here.
For more information on the Kingston Film Office, click here.