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In a recent interview with Collider, Bryan Fuller revealed some new details about his upcoming 2017 Star Trek series. It’s all very exciting, I’ve got to say; I love Star Trek, and I’ve really been looking forward to this new series ever since the news that Bryan Fuller would be in charge was revealed.
There’s a lot of interesting details that confirmed my own earlier expectations - for example, the fact that this series will be 13 episodes long, and be focused on one story arc. No mention is made of whether or not the series is going to be a True Detective style anthology program, as was rumoured a short while ago, however Fuller has promised further information will be revealed at Comic Con. That’s in about a month, so expect another article then.
Fuller also spoke about some of the advantages linked to the CBS All Access platform that the new Star Trek will broadcast on. If you were unaware, the plan is for CBS to use the new Star Trek series to popularise their own online streaming service, which is currently around $6 a month. The first episode will premiere on CBS proper, and then subsequent episodes online - the hope being that this initial airing will drive viewers to the All Access website. A lot of people have reacted negatively to this, but Fuller is definitely indicating there might be some benefits; essentially, he’s stated that they have a lot more freedom and flexibility regarding the runtime of and content that can be included in each episode.
Perhaps most exciting of all, though, is some of what he says about Star Trek itself, revealing that he has “a plan” for the season:
I think people will be really excited about because you can look at the original series and pick out episodes we’re using the DNA of and using the spirit of what Star Trek offers, both in terms of high-concept science fiction storytelling and really wonderful metaphors for the human condition.
To me, this sounds very much like Fuller - who’s always been a very big fan of the show - absolutely understands what Star Trek is about. He’s clearly looking in the right place, and going to bring us something which is very close to the heart of Star Trek, and indeed Gene Roddenberry’s vision.
That’s also encapsulated, I believe, by two further quotes, regarding the casting process and development of new characters:
There’s a few people that we like and we want to carry on what Star Trek does best, which is being progressive. So it’s fascinating to look at all of these roles through a colorblind prism and a gender-blind prism, so that’s exciting.
Notably, when asked if we’d see an LGBT character in the new Star Trek series, Fuller stated:
I think the progressive audience that loves Star Trek will be happy that we’re continuing that tradition.
Which is, you know, admittedly fairly vague. I do think it quite strongly hints at the possibility, though, and considering that Bryan Fuller is a gay man himself who’s previously commented on a desire for greater diversity in the show, the signs look pretty positive.
Something I’ve always admired about Star Trek is the vision of an inclusive future that it put forward - I’m glad that’s going to preserved in the new series, because I feel like today, that’s a vision we need more than ever.
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