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Star Trek: Discovery

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This page contains information regarding the upcoming series, and thus may contain spoilers.

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Star Trek: Discovery is an upcoming television series, scheduled to be released in 2017. It is the sixth live-action series set in the Star Trek universe and the seventh in total. It will be produced by CBS Television Studios and Secret Hideout; the executive producers are Bryan Fuller, Alex Kurtzman, and Heather Kadin.

The first series to be developed for the CBS All Access subscription platform, it was originally announced for release in January 2017, with a preview broadcast of the premiere episode on the CBS network. In the US, all subsequent episodes will be exclusive to CBS All Access. The premiere was rescheduled for May 2017 due the need for additional post-production time on the series. [1]

The series was announced by on 2 November 2015. According to the press release, "The brand-new Star Trek will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966." [2]

Main cast

Recurring characters


William Shatner claimed, "Yes, I heard about the new series. Why is it such a surprise? 3 movie deals and then a new series [has] been in the cards since 2007-2008." [12] After the release of the Star Trek reboot in 2009, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci pitched an animated series to CBS, similar to their series Transformers: Prime for The Hub (now Discovery Family). [13] However, Orci said the success of the first film did not indicate whether a new show would be viable, explaining, "One movie doesn't make a trend. Two movies starts to indicate that there is a trend and its viable. It will become more real as the year goes on." [14]

By 2009, Bryan Fuller desired to produce a new live-action Star Trek series. "I told my agent and told the people of J.J. Abrams' team I want to create another Star Trek series and have an idea that I'm kicking around," he explained.

I would love to return to the spirit of the old series with the colours and attitude [...] [of] the ‘60s fun and I would love to take it back to its origin [....] Star Trek has to recreate itself. Otherwise, all the characters start to feel the same. You always have a captain, a doctor, a security officer, and you have the same arguments based on those perspectives. It starts to feel too familiar. So all those paradigms where it takes place on a starship have to be shaken up. [15]
In 2013, after the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, a CBS Studios representative reiterated interest in reviving Star Trek for television, in response to a comment from Abrams that he had heard the studio was not interested. [16] On 19 January 2014, Fuller stated he "would drop everything" in order to become the showrunner for a Star Trek television series, commenting,
I think it's finding a philosophy about it [that would be important], and I think there is such an interesting philosophy happening now with our identity as a planet and taking responsibility for what's happening on the planet, and I think I would make it about identity, in a specific way. [17]

Meanwhile, however, Brannon Braga mentioned "the word on the street" was that "they probably won't do one until the movies have run their course," while Rod Roddenberry concurred with this by saying he believed there would not be another series until after the conclusion of the films. [18] [19] In an October 2015 interview, comics writer Mike Johnson suggested the Tholians might "cause major trouble for the Federation" in the next Star Trek television series. ("Top 50 Alien Species!", Star Trek: Ongoing issue #50, "Live Evil, Part 1") Another idea for a new live-action Star Trek series, conceived by Worf actor Michael Dorn, would have focused on Worf as a captain. As early as 7 November 2015, Dorn confirmed the newly-announced series will not be the concept he had wanted. [20]

Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu all offered money to distribute the show, [21] but CBS Corporation President and CEO Leslie Moonves opted to develop the series as CBS All Access' first piece of original content, anticipating that millions would subscribe to watch the show. He also revealed,

Our international distribution guy is going crazy; he can't wait to get out to the marketplace and sell [it]. Right away, we're more than halfway home on the cost of the show from international alone. The risk is small in seeing the track record. [22]
Robert Hewitt Wolfe speculated the decision also "allows for good budgets so it makes sense for Star Trek." [23]

On 9 February 2016, it was officially announced that Bryan Fuller will serve as showrunner on the new Star Trek series. David Stapf, President of CBS Television Studios, explained,

When we began discussions about the series returning to television, we immediately knew that Bryan Fuller would be the ideal person to work alongside Alex Kurtzman to create a fresh and authentic take on this classic and timeless series. Bryan is not only an extremely gifted writer, but a genuine fan of Star Trek. Having someone at the helm with his gravitas who also understands and appreciates the significance of the franchise and the worldwide fan base was essential to us.
Fuller himself said, "It is without exaggeration a dream come true to be crafting a brand new iteration of Star Trek with fellow franchise alum Alex Kurtzman and boldly going where no Star Trek series has gone before." Added Kurtzman,
Bringing Star Trek back to television means returning it to its roots, and for years those roots flourished under Bryan's devoted care. His encyclopedic knowledge of Trek canon is surpassed only by his love for Gene Roddenberry's optimistic future, a vision that continues to guide us as we explore strange new worlds. [24]

On 26 February 2016, it was announced that Nicholas Meyer will be joining the show as a consulting writer and producer. [25] In an interview conducted the next day, Meyer expressed hope in getting to write some episodes, but was not yet sure how big the writing staff will be. Still to begin work on the show, Meyer said he was waiting to be notified when to do so. He did, however, have some ideas about what the new show will entail. Meyer elaborated,

I think it's going to be a different Star Trek. It will go in a different direction. And I think that is probably good. Because the thing that mainly troubles me about Star Trek is the fear of it being maybe re-treads of itself [....] And I think that Bryan [Fuller] – who is a very clever fellow – has ideas – some of which I’ve heard – that are innovative and different. Different is what got me interested.
Meyer also said Fuller considers Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country to be his touchstone for the new series. [26]

On 3 March 2016, it was announced that Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth would be joining the show as executive producers. [27]

On 17 March 2016, two photographs apparently showing behind-the-scenes test shots surfaced, but were later proven to be from an unrelated project. [28]

On 22 April 2016, Pop Goes The News reported that it would be filmed in Toronto, Canada, saying CBS had booked studio space back in September 2015. [29] According to CBS' VP of communications, Kristen Hall, however, CBS hadn't yet confirmed the shooting location by this point. [30] On 2 May 2016, the Toronto location was confirmed in a tweet by CBS. [31]

Also in April 2016, Mark Worthington was confirmed as the series' production designer. Worthington's resume, in addition to confirming his own involvement, also revealed that Alex Kurtzman would direct the pilot episode. [32]

On 30 April 2016, it was reported that the show would be filmed at Toronto's Pinewood Toronto Studios. [33]

On 3 May 2016, it was reported that the show would be available in weekly installments rather than a whole season all at once. Its premiere would simultaneously air on CBS' TV network and All Access, with subsequent episodes exclusive to All Access (US viewers.) [34]

On 18 May 2016, the first teaser trailer, along with the logo for the show was released, simply naming the series as "Star Trek". [35]

On 6 June 2016, it was reported that the project's code name might be "Green Harvest". [36] The Canadian industry union IATSE 873 confirmed the working title as "Green Harvest" and dated the filming between 26 September 2016 and 15 March 2017. [37]

In a red carpet interview at the Saturn Awards on 22 June 2016, Fuller revealed that the first season will be comprised of a thirteen-episode story arc. Filming will take place from September 2016 to March 2017. [38] This will be the second season-long story arc in Star Trek history, the first having been in season 3 of Enterprise.

Fuller noted, "We are not subject to broadcast standards and practices. So we can have profanity if we choose – not that I want to see a Star Trek with lots of profanity. But we can certainly be more graphic than you would on broadcast network television." [39] That also means episodes can be longer than a typical broadcast show. [40]

On 18 July 2016, Netflix was announced as the international broadcaster for the series in countries where it is available outside the US and Canada. In Canada, the series will air on Space in English and on Z in French. [41]

On 1 August 2016, Bryan Fuller suggested that the series would be set prior to The Original Series, stating that the registry number of the Discovery was a clue as to the placement of the series in the timeline. He also stated that it would be possible to read a connection, "or not", to Section 31 in some aspect of the first season. [42]

On 8 August 2016, Bryan Fuller tweeted a picture on Twitter for a makeup test for Discovery which may be a hint for the inclusion of an Andorian. [43]

On 10 August 2016, Bryan Fuller announced that the series will take place in 2255. [44] According to Fuller, the basis for the first season will incorporate "an incident in the history of Starfleet that had been talked about but never fully explored." [45]

In a radio interview on 27 August 2016, Fuller revealed more details. The female lead will be the first officer of the Discovery and referred to as "Number one", honoring Majel Barrett-Roddenberry's character from TOS: "The Cage". [46]

On 9 September 2016, Fuller tweeted that the events of TOS: "Balance of Terror" would provide the "touchstone" for the series story arc. [47]

On 14 September 2016, Fuller announced that the series premiere would be delayed until May 2017, in order to ensure the quality of the show is not compromised. CBS agreed with the move. [48]

Variety reported on 26 October 2016 that Bryan Fuller would no longer oversee day-to-day operations on the show, but would remain executive producer. He will remain involved in breaking stories and providing support for Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts. Sources indicated that CBS, while satisfied with the materials he has created, was concerned that Fuller had too much on his plate with his involvement in other work. This includes Starz's upcoming drama American Gods. [49] Akiva Goldsman joined the show to provide additional support. [50] Fuller later clarified with Newsweek on 2 December 2016 that he was no longer involved with the production. [51]


The show will have a female lead. [52] The first cast member, Michelle Yeoh, was revealed by Nicholas Meyer in an interview on 22 November 2016. [53] Anthony Rapp and Doug Jones were confirmed the following week. [54]

Fuller commented that the cast should be diverse. "Star Trek is a show of firsts. And in researching the characters for this new iteration of Star Trek, I've been talking to Mae Jemison, who's the first black woman in space, and who saw Star Trek in the '60s and who saw Nichelle Nichols on the bridge of a ship and said, 'I see myself in space.' So there's something wonderful about the legacy that Nichelle Nichols represents as giving a gift to people who weren't previously able to see themselves in the future. We are going to be continuing that tradition of progressive casting and progressive character work to be an inclusive world." He also said "eventually, eventually" there will be appearances from previously established characters. [55]

On 24 May 2016, it was reported that some fans wished to see Castle and Firefly alumnus Nathan Fillion in the series. [56] It was even suggested that this was why Fillion ended his commitment to Castle. [57] Further casting favorites were Angela Bassett and Rosario Dawson but both stated that they're too busy filming different projects. [58]

Star Trek alumnus Tony Todd also expressed interest working on the new series and even confirmed he is on a casting list of the studio. [59] [60]

In late October it was reported the cast would feature, in addition to the female lead, an openly-gay male lead, a female and a male admiral, a male Klingon captain, and a British male doctor. [61]

Early news stories of Sonequa Martin-Green's casting in December 2016 identified her character as Lieutenant Commander Rainsford [62]; CBS' official announcement on 3 April 2017 provided the character with the Burnham name.

Appearance interest

Marina Sirtis has expressed interest in reprising her role as Deanna Troi in a phone interview with MZNOW, saying, "I loved playing her...It would be interesting to me to go back now, twenty years later and kind of go 'who did she become? Who is she now?' I would find that very interesting, and I would love to do that." [63]

Both Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan have expressed interest in reprising their roles as Kathryn Janeway and Seven of Nine respectively. In an interview with the TODAY show, Mulgrew said, "I want to be the admiral and I want to boss them around." Ryan, in an interview with Digital Spy, said, "My understanding is that it's in a very different world from any of the previous shows – but never say never. It'd be fun to just drop in and revisit her – not that I want to revisit her all the time!" [64]

Scott Bakula, Jonathan Frakes, and Nichelle Nichols have also expressed interest in appearing on the series.[65] [66] [67]

In an interview with "Variety", Martin-Green's Walking Dead co-star Andrew Lincoln expressed his desire to appear on the show, possibly with alien make-up on.[68]

According to Michael Dorn's publicist, brief discussions were held between Discovery producers and Dorn about a possible role on the show, but that there are no plans for him to appear on it at this time. An Orlando Sentinel writer expanded on the publicist's statement by stating Dorn was offered less than 1 percent of what he was paid for his last appearance as Worf. [69]


USS Enterprise, Planet of the Titans, aft

Concept art for Star Trek: Planet of the Titans

The show's title was revealed by Bryan Fuller at the San Diego Comic-Con on 23 July 2016 with a clip of the title ship, the USS Discovery (NCC-1031). [70] [71] The promo was produced in three weeks and scored by Fil Eisler as an audition for the show. It greatly resembled concept art for the canceled film Star Trek: Planet of the Titans, which the staff could not confirm at the time for legal reasons. [72]

Fuller also announced, at a press junket immediately thereafter, the show will be set in the prime timeline, though Fuller refused to say exactly when in that timeline it will be set.

John Van Citters has chosen "DSC" as the series' official abbreviation. [73] This is consistent with the studio's use of VGR for Star Trek: Voyager, but MA will use the abbreviation DIS for Discovery, for consistency with using VOY for Voyager.

On 31 January 2017, a trailer was released showing behind-the-scenes footage of early filming. [74]


At the Mission New York convention in September 2016, it was announced that IDW Publishing will produce comics (written by Mike Johnson), and Pocket Books will produce novels (the first by David Mack) tying into the series. Both tie-in lines will be co-ordinated with the events of the series, and will be supervised by Discovery writer Kirsten Beyer. [75]


Rick Berman responded to the new series with cautious optimism. On his Twitter feed, he tweeted, "I wish them nothing but good luck and smooth sailing. Just hope it stays true to Gene's vision." [76]

Brannon Braga likewise wished the new series well, commenting on his Twitter feed, "Star Trek is a vast canvass with many artists. Constantly evolving. Godspeed to Mr Kurtzman." [77] Braga additionally remarked, "Hopefully with the new series they can get back to more meditative storytelling." In Braga's opinion, the new series is vital to ensuring Star Trek continues for another fifty years. He stated, "It's all about making sure the next television show is really good and finds a new generation of viewers to keep it going." (SFX, issue 270, p. 68)

Robert Hewitt Wolfe admitted to not knowing anything about the new series, apart from having read about it online, and stated he is currently too busy to write for it. He also commented, "Sounds like it could be great though." As for the way the new series will be released, he stated, "Subscription streaming is an extremely successful model & allows for good budgets so it makes sense for Star Trek." Wolfe tweeted a "congrats" message to Bryan Fuller, upon him being named as the series' showrunner, adding, "You have the conn. Do us proud." [78] [79] [80]

David A. Goodman reacted to news of the series by saying, "Hope it's good, will watch it even if it's bad." [81]

As for whether he and wife Denise Okuda will be involved in working on the new series, Michael Okuda remarked, "We'd love to be involved. Kurtzman already has a talented, experienced team from the last two films, but who knows?" [82] Regarding the announcement that the series will be run by Bryan Fuller, Michael Okuda stated, "Congrats, Bryan! Go boldly!" [83]

Rene Auberjonois dismissed the notion that the new series will feature himself and Nana Visitor portraying their respective Star Trek: Deep Space Nine characters of Odo and Kira Nerys. [84]

On Seth MacFarlane's Twitter feed, he recommended, "Let's make this new Star Trek series optimistic, eh? I think we're all dystopia'd out." [85]

Former Star Trek science consultant André Bormanis has stated, "When it comes back to TV, I hope they do something more in the spirit of the original. Everybody in Hollywood who has ever had even the smallest association with Star Trek I’m sure has a 'How would you do the next Star Trek?' answer. I would probably do something a little more like Captain Pike’s adventures. Go back to that era where it was a little more rugged, a little more fifties’ sci-fi sensibility." (The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, p. 39)

Press reactions to the series' announcement pondered how Star Trek could appeal to a new generation and compete against darker, more mature, shows of the 21st century like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Ronald D. Moore's reboot of Battlestar Galactica. [86] [87] [88] [89] National Post felt there was no need for a new series, arguing Star Trek had become a quaint retrofuture series akin to Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. [90] The Independent was one of the few to argue the optimistic future of Star Trek would make a welcome antidote. [91]

Other articles concentrated on the decision to produce the series for streaming, with some expressing deep cynicism over the idea. [92] [93] [94] Others noted the decision was a win-win in terms of keeping the series going. [95] [96] [97] [98]

Den of Geek and io9 noted most fans would prefer the show be set after The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager instead of the same timeline as the film series. [99] [100] UK magazine SFX reported that was the most wanted request for the series. Other requests, in order of most desired, included: having the new crew undertake a multi-year mission in a starship rather than having them occupy a space station; focusing on controversial social issues; retaining a sense of fun; and introducing new alien species and technology. The magazine also determined that their readers' "dream cast" for the series included Dan Stevens as the captain, Rooney Mara as the first officer, Gina Torres as the doctor, Nick Frost as the engineer, and Wil Wheaton as the Federation President. (SFX, issue 270, pp. 36-37) USGamer expressed hope the series' success could revive interest in Star Trek video games after the failure of the movie tie-in. [101]

During an interview given at CinemaCon (11-14 April, 2016), Brent Spiner commented that "looking at such a pedigree" working for the show, he thinks it is going to be fantastic. He also remarked that J.J. Abrams allegedly just became a producer of the show. [102] In an interview with SFX magazine (issue 275, p. 67) that was published around the same time, Spiner remarked, laughing, that all the new series had to do in order to work in the 21st century was simply "to be there." He added, "And just be entertaining [....] And I think there's a good chance it'll work. There's a really great bunch of people attached to that project, really talented people. I have no doubt that's going to be a really huge success."

Links and references



  • Susan Al'Thor – First Assistant Accountant
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  • Nicholas Augustyn – Second Assistant/Trainee Art Director
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