A society focused on scientific discovery has little time for religion. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry wanted it that way from the beginning, but it seems U.S.S. Discovery captain Gabriel Lorca (portrayed by Harry Potter series actor Jason Isaacs) had a hard time keeping that in mind in the heat of the moment.
““Lock on the Bird of Prey!” he orders. “Basic pattern Beta 9. Hard to port! Fire at something, for God’s sakes!”
And then everything comes to a halt as the episode’s writer, Kirsten Beyer, steps forward to correct Isaacs on his “for God’s sakes” ad lib.
“Wait, I can’t say ‘God’?” Isaacs replies. “I thought I could say ‘God’ or ‘damn’ but not ‘goddamn.’ … How about ‘for fuck’s sake’? Can I say that?”
Beyer says that, no, religion isn’t really a thing in the world of Star Trek. And while that’s a complicated topic worthy of debate, characters definitely said “God damn” in older Trek series. The question is just about whether or not that was a go-to saying — a colloquialism of sorts — rather than something with real religious meaning.
Then again, TOS wasn’t being overseen by a million-dollar corporation like Discovery is, and things are probably a bit more nitpicky than before. Discovery’s adherence to a strictly scientific future for Starfleet and its human members is modernized, but certainly interesting to think about.
Star Trek: Discovery debuts on CBS and CBS All-Access on September 24.