Finally, after months of anticipation, we’ve got some new details about Bryan Fuller’s 2017 Star Trek series, courtesy of San Diego Comic Con.
The most obvious detail, and one you’ve likely already surmised from the series’ logo above, is that the show is entitled Star Trek: Discovery. It will follow the adventures of the USS Discovery NCC-1031. We’ve also got a short video, giving us a look at this ship, which you can watch here. What’s immediately noticeable about this ship are the similarities it shares with the Ralph McQuarrie designs for the Enterprise for Star Trek: Phase II, a project which, although ultimately abandoned, was intended to act as a sequel to the original series. (This was before both The Motion Picture and The Next Generation.)
It’s possible, then, that this design style hints at the timeline for this new show; though nothing official has been confirmed by Bryan Fuller or CBS as of yet, this may lend credence to the rumours which were previously associated with the series that suggested the show would take place between The Undiscovered Country and The Next Generation.
The teaser trailer gave a January 2017 premier date for CBS All Access, as well as restating that the opening episode of the series would also play on the CBS channel proper. (Within the past week, it was also confirmed that Star Trek: Discovery would be available on Netflix in the UK, within 24 hours of the American release.) David Semel, who has previously worked on Person of Interest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and American Horror Story, will be executive producing and directing the opening episodes. He’s also been nominated for an Emmy award for his work directing the pilot episode of Heroes, making him particularly well suited to helm the pilot episode of Star Trek: Discovery.
Fuller has also stated that the series “won’t be episodic”, and compared the storytelling to being akin to a novel. He was also keen to restate his commitment to continuing the ethos of Star Trek, saying “The new series has to remind audiences the message of Star Trek — continuing to push boundaries”. As well as this, Fuller also commented on the need to “celebrate a progression of our species”, because “right now we need a little help”; he also drew attention to one of the core ideals of Star Trek, stating that “Individuality should be celebrated. Star Trek celebrates diversity”.
Ultimately, we didn’t learn a lot from SDCC this year. That makes sense, after all; the series is still in development, and it’ll likely be a while before casting, let alone filming, has properly got underway. I would expect more concrete details, and perhaps even a trailer, to be a while away yet; it’s possible that some of the information might be being saved for September, given that’s when the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek occurs.
Right now, I’m feeling confident. I admit, if the series is set before The Next Generation, I’ll be somewhat disappointed; I, like many others, had been hoping that this new series would take place a generation after Star Trek: Nemesis, in much the same fashion that The Next Generation was set years after The Original Series. To me, this felt like the best way to continue to develop the scope of the Star Trek franchise, while – as Bryan Fuller himself has said – making efforts to push boundaries.
Yet I trust Bryan Fuller wholeheartedly with this project. He’s demonstrated time and time again that he’s a creative force to be reckoned with – even as recently as yesterday, with our first look at his American Gods series – and it’s very clear from his quotes on the matter that he gets it.
At the Comic Con panel where all this was revealed, Bryan Fuller said that he didn’t just want to be a writer, he wanted to be a Star Trek writer. This job, in many ways, is a dream come true for him.
And I have no doubt that with Star Trek: Discovery, he can make a hell of a lot more dreams come true.
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