'Star Trek: Discovery' Makeup Team Reveals "Ten-Eyed-Saru" Design

In a recent Facebook Live video discussion between ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ makeup and prosthetic artists Neville Page and Glenn Hetrick, the two addressed fan-submitted questions, discussing topics such as the Klingons and 3D printing.

One of the most interesting parts of their conversation came from a fan inquiry about the early “ten-eyed Saru” design, which was first mentioned during the cast’s PaleyFest panel back in October.

This scraped design was sketched by ‘Discovery’ writer Bo Yeon Kim, and Page and Hetrick shared a behind-the-scenes look of the “ten-eyed Saru” makeup being applied and given a screen test in the early days of ‘Discovery.’

Read on for screencaps of the discussion and commentary from the artists.

NEVILLE PAGE: Brian Fuller had this vision of doing a multi-eyed character, that had a specific V-shape to it. What that meant was, we needed to come up with something that would have a lot of [post-production] CG augmentation, particularly in the eyes. We also wanted to change the shape of Doug [Jones’] head to make it very alien.

There were a lot of factors in trying to get this to work, and I personally have never been a fan of doing multiple eyed creatures. The reason why is that I feel like I must answer a biological question honestly — would there be that many redundant eyes?

So to reconcile that desire was a real challenge — but with the time that we had to explore it, and with the absolute boon of having Doug Jones in it, really kind of made this version of Saru very hopeful.

Seeing Doug start to perform through it was encouraging, but that was the moment that we realized that we [needed] more of Doug to perform through. Just having his lips, essentially, be Doug, wasn’t enough. We all recognized it, so we went back to the drawing board… we all knew what it needed to be.

GLENN HETRICK: The best thing that came out of that test is that it unshackled us from trying to make [Saru] so alien, and now we could make him more relatable and make him more “Doug.”

To close out the discussion, responding to a question about a ‘Star Trek’ species that has not yet been introduced in the series, the pair offered teases to a forthcoming Season 2 design:

GLENN HETRICK: That we’re going to have to leave as a mystery… because the one that we both agree on — and if you look closely at promotional things, you may be able to guess at this — but we’ve already done it for Season Two.

We’re fortunate enough to work on what is the most collaborative show I’ve ever heard of. The executives were talking to us [at the beginning of the season] about if there are species that hadn’t been filmed yet from canon that [we] would like to do.

We came back [with] this whole list, and we went to Memory Alpha and pulled a bunch of images and bios… one of those things has made it, and has a pretty substantial role in Season Two. And it is AWESOME.

Check out the rest of the 35-minute discussion with Page and Hetrick here, where they also discuss their approach to updating Tellarite makeup for Season 1, how they might take on recreating the Borg, and more thoughts on their work redesigning the Klingons for ‘Star Trek: Discovery.’