Star Trek: Discovery is scheduled to hit our screens in May. We can expect further announcements in the very near future, but here is the lowdown on everyhting we know so far.
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The Star Trek: Discovery series was revealed to the world during Comic-Con International in San Diego. It came at a time when many fan films were reveling in the newfound freedom to create their often imaginative and interesting versions of the show. This all changed when Discovery was announced and CBS cracked-down on fan productions; the most notable of which being Axanar.
Despite reservations after the JJ Abrams movies, which appealed to the masses which the special effects but alienated many hardcore Star Trek fans, almost all fans of science fiction will be keeping an eye on the first Star Trek television series in over a decade. It has a budget to put it on par with the biggest shows on the network and plenty of Trek experience behind the scenes, but fans are still concerned whether it will be going back to its roots, or continuing the JJ Abrams mega-productions.
The show was set for January 2017, but then subsequently pushed back to May.
The Cast and Characters:
Casting revelations have been coming fairly frequently with the first announcement being Michelle Yeoh from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon as a captain. I say ‘a captain’ as Bryan Fuller revealed that the shows lead will not be the captain of the ship. The show will be from the perspective of someone referred to as ‘Number One’ and this was recently announced to be Sonequa Martin-Green from The Walking Dead. She will anchor the show in a way that hasn’t been used before in any incarnation of Star Trek; she’ll be the first show-lead that wasn’t a captain.
“There have been six series all from the captains’ perspective, and it felt like for this new iteration of Star Trek, we need to look at life on a Starfleet vessel from a new perspective.” – Bryan Fuller
The Klingons involved will be led by Chris Obi, Mary Chieffo and Shazad Latif who all have great résumés and will bring their own unique perspective on how a Klingon should behave. Obi will play T’Kuvma, the Klingon leader who seeks to unite Klingon Houses and create the Klingon Empire. Latif will play Kol, the protégé of T’Kuvma and Chieffo will play a commander called L’Rell.
Bryan Fuller announced in August last year that the show would be going back to Star Trek grassroots when it comes to diversity. He revealed the show would feature at least one gay character and include storylines that haven’t been explored in Trek history.
Further actors were announced with Doug Jones and Anthony Rapp getting positions within the Federation. Jones is set to play a science officer, Lt. Saru, who will be a member of a new alien race within the Star Trek universe. Rapp will play another scientist, Lt. Stamets, who is an openly gay astromycologist; a scientist of space fungus. We also know the show will feature a British doctor and we can expect further announcements, leaks and revelations in the coming weeks.
Behind the Scenes:
The producers were smart when it came to the people behind the scenes. Bryan Fuller was one of the first announcements and he has plenty of Trek-experience after working on Voyager and DS9. Nicolas Meyer who has plenty of Trek experience, and Alex Kurtzman were also revealed to have roles behind the scenes. Perhaps the best news was that of Eugene Roddenberry getting a role as an executive producer. The director of the first episode will be Emmy nominee David Semel, who is well respected for many award winning shows he has been involved with and directed.
Then some problems hit Star Trek Discovery. After months as working as the shows effective spokesperson, Bryan Fuller unexpectedly stepped down in October. He stated that after the show was pushed back to May, he couldn’t fully concentrate on the show whilst he had other commitments and schedule conflicts. Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts were announced as taking over Fuller’s role.
Bryan Fuller has said that he will stay with the show in an advisory role which quashed the rumors of discord within the camp. His plans for the first season will remain unchanged and the first few episodes will go ahead as planned by Fuller. Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts will be supported by Oscar winning writer Akiva Goldsman.
The first season of Star Trek Discovery will consist of 13 episodes. The show will differ from previous versions of Star Trek and contain one story throughout. This is keeping up with modern television habits and binge-watching fans who want to watch it all in one go. The show will be on both Netflix and CBS’s own streaming service. Fuller originally stated he wanted 10 episodes per season.
“I would strongly recommend that we never do 26 episodes. I think it would fatigue the show. Ideally, I would like to do 10 episodes. I think that’s a tighter story.”
The premiere will air on CBS networks standard terrestrial television network in May, provided there are no further setbacks, but the follow-on episodes will be available on CBS’s subscription service, CBS All Access. A day after it has aired on CBS All Access, the show will be available on Netflix.
What Fuller Said:
“We aim to dream big and deliver, and that means making sure the demands of physical and post-production for a show that takes place entirely in space, and the need to meet an air date, don’t result in compromised quality. Before heading into production, we evaluated these realities with our partners at CBS and they agreed: Star Trek deserves the very best, and these extra few months will help us achieve a vision we can all be proud of.”
This is all under tight security. CBS is keeping this to themselves until the show is aired which leaves fans to guess and wonder and what could happen. The teaser trailer suggested “new crews,” “new villains,” “new heroes,” and “new worlds” which indicates that a lot of things will be new. Maybe, this means that they’re still trying to keep a connection with the old Star Trek by including Klingons.
“This ship is called the Discovery for a few reasons. Not the least of which is Stanley Kubrick’s contribution to the Discovery on 2001: A Space Odyssey, NASA’s vessel the Discovery, and also the sense of discovery. The word ‘discovery’ means to Star Trek audiences who have been promised a future by Gene Roddenberry where we come together as a planet and seek new worlds and new alien races to explore and understand and collaborate with.”
The show will be set 10 years before Star Trek: The Original Series. It will involve the prime universe which does leave it open to having guest appearances from TOS members.
“That gives us an opportunity to bridge the gap between Enterprise and the original series. Really when we developed the story it could take place in either Prime or Kelvin so the timeline was relatively inconsequential. But there was the cleanliness of keeping our series independent of the films. That way we don’t have to track anything and they don’t have to track what we’re doing. And you can have two distinct universes — one where Sulu is straight and one where Sulu is gay.”
One thing that CBS tried to make certain people understood; this isn’t a Star Trek: Beyond spinoff. This has nothing to do with the movies and this is getting back to grassroots Star Trek.