Star Trek Discovery is set to be extremely forward thinking. Set 10 years before TOS, it will feature Michelle Yeoh as a captain, but she might not be the series lead.
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I have to admit, I already have a gripe with Star Trek Discovery. I know that traditionally, Star Trek fans are the hardest fans to please and whatever happens next year, some voices of discontent will be raised against the special effects, the storylines and the casting. My gripe, however, is in the name. I often talk to my friends (YES, Trekkies have friends) and discuss my recent Trek-viewing, and when asked what series I watched, I respond with the 3 letter or number acronym that defines each incarnation. The Original Series is TOS, The Next Generation is TNG, Deep Space Nine is DS9, Voyager is VOY and Enterprise is ENT. So I guess that makes Star Trek Discovery.. STD…
The announcement of a new series was greeted with extreme anticipation and rumors flew across the web regarding the casting, the writers and the storyline. The teaser trailer gave very little away and the studio was extremely tight-lipped regarding the settings, the time period and the characters. Finally, a fully-fledged cast member has been revealed; Michelle Yeoh who to many is most recognizable from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Sources close to the production have revealed that Yeoh is set to play the captain of the Shenzhou, an integral ship in the first season story. The character name is apparently going to be Han Bo, but, we are also aware that the lead character in the series is not going to be a captain, but a lower ranking officer as Bryan Fuller revealed.
“We’re going deep into something that was for me always very tantalizing, and we’re telling that story through a character who is on a journey that is going to teach her how to get along with others in the galaxy. For her to truly understand something that is alien, she has to first understand herself.” – Bryan Fuller
“Well, I think CBS will make their own announcement… But we all grew up with the Star Trek generation, so of course I’m a big fan,” – Michelle Yeoh
What else do we know so far?
One question has been at the front of the debate since the new series was announced; in which time period will it be set? Many fans and experts gave their opinions on settings and timelines on various fan-sites, and the opinions differed wildly. The date was revealed; STD will be set 10 years prior to TOS. Interestingly, this gives the producers the option of including a young Kirk, Spock or Bones, which has also been discussed significantly. A British doctor has also been mentioned; I always said that us Brits make great doctors!
The show is also trying to be more progressive. We should remember that Star Trek is the television series that gave the world its first on-screen interracial kiss, passionately shared between Kirk and Uhura. It’s also the show that during the peak of the Cold War and cultural divides, had a bridge crewed by a Russian helmsman, a Japanese homosexual man and a black woman, albeit led by a brash American action hero captain. The shows lead character is expected to be a young, non-Caucasian woman who will play a lieutenant commander. She is also going to be referred to, by the crew at least, as “Number One” as Riker was known through 7 seasons of TNG. Other familiar aliens are reported to be involved, including Andorians, Vulcans and Klingons.
But really, who cares about race or sexual preference; I just want to see some awesome Star Trek. I want to get away from the JJ Abrams movies and back to the television; where Star Trek started and where it belongs. Even though the show will probably gain the moniker ‘Star Trek STD’ and will have an endless queue of critics, I am just glad my favourite series is back on television.