At last, we're starting to discover more about Discovery.
CBS and TVLine have provided a rundown of some interesting details concerning their upcoming CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery, which were revealed yesterday by Executive Producer Bryan Fuller during the Television Critics Association Summer Tour in Los Angeles. Here are the highlights from the TCA...
- The show's main character will be a human but not the Discovery's captain. She is a "Lieutenant Commander — with caveats," said Fuller. "We've seen six characters from the captain's point of view. In order to understand something that is so completely alien from her, she must first understand herself. That's part of our journey on this planet to get along, and that's part of our journey in this first season."
- The show will feature "about seven" lead characters. Casting for all roles is still in progress.
- One of the characters will be gay. "Star Trek started with a wonderful expression of diversity in its cast," Fuller explained. "We're absolutely continuing that tradition. The thing that makes Star Trek such a lasting, vital part of pop culture is that it's us... and where we're going." Fuller pointed out the franchise's on-screen diversity gives everybody hope, as fans see a future with a wide range of backgrounds and can see that, "we're going to make it through." Fuller added, during his time on the Deep Space Nine writing staff, fans sent hate mail protesting a rumor that Jeri Ryan’s character Seven of Nine was going to be gay. He added that he kept a file folder of the vitriolic mail in his garage, solely to remind him of the importance of including gay characters if he ever got his own Trek series.
- The new series will be set in the Prime Universe (as opposed to the Kelvin Timeline used in the J.J. Abrams-produced films) and will take place about 10 years before Captain Kirk's five-year mission. This means Discovery will bridge the first two series in the timeline, about a century after Star Trek: Enterprise (which was a prequel) and a decade before The Original Series. Fuller said they did this in part so they could utilize the iconography of the original ships and uniforms.
- The central storyline of the 13-episode first season will involve "There’s an incident, an event in Star Trek history in the history of Starfleet that had been talked about but never fully explored. [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."
- The series-opening event is not the Kobayashi Maru, nor the Romulan War, and it won’t involve Section 31 (Starfleet’s black-ops division). Fuller later said the event was referenced during the original series and diehard fans "should be very happy. It’s something I want to see."
- Fuller confirmed that there will be robots in the new series, and "more aliens than you normally do in a Star Trek show. We're going to have new, exciting aliens and also re-imaginings of existing aliens." One of the original aliens is named Saru.
- Fuller hinted that Amanda Grayson (Spock’s mother) might figure into the series. "I love that character. I loved Winona Ryder’s portrayal of her [in the 2009 movie] and it’s a great character. It would be fun in some iteration of this show to incorporate her and her storyline. She’s not a central part of the show, but we love that character."
- Fuller also said he'd be open to involving some of the bridge characters from The Original Series, but didn't have immediate plans for that since he's "digging” the characters they've come up with for the new series.
- Fuller joked about the series’ acronym — STD — and said sex and profanity likely will have a place on the show. "There will probably be slightly more graphic content. We discuss every day about language…Is it appropriate to have a bridge blow up and have somebody say, ‘Oh, shit?'"
Star Trek: Discovery is currently scheduled to premiere on CBS in January 2017, with the next 12 episodes airing on CBS All Access.