In a Television Critics Association summer press tour panel, Star Trek: Discovery Showrunner Bryan Fuller gave fans some details about the new series, which will air on CBS All Access in January 2017.
The series is “set ten years before Kirk, and will bridge the gap between Enterprise and the original series,” said Fuller. “We’re most closer to Kirk’s mission and get to play with that iconography.”
It looks like the series will be serialized. Fuller said it was like a “novel over thirteen episodes.”
Fans will be putting on their thinking caps to figure out to what Fuller was referring when he said, “There’s an incident and an event in Star Trek history, that’s been talked about but never been explored. To do this series, we’re telling a much more serialized story, to dig deep into a very tantalizing [storyline]. And we have a character who’s on a journey, and in order to understand something that is alien she first has to understand herself.” Fuller denied this was a reference to the Romulan War.
The character who is the star of the show will not be the captain in this series, but a lieutenant commander according to Fuller. “We’ve seen six series from the captain’s point of view,” he explained. “To see a character from a different perspective on the starship, one who has a different dynamic relationships with a captain, with subordinates, it gave us richer context.” The lieutenant commander will be human and may be “diverse.”
For those wondering if a gay character will be on the series, “absolutely we’re having a gay character,” said Fuller. “We’ve come a long way since [Star Trek: Voyager]. I feel like actually gay rights have come a lot further in that time that race issues and women’s issues.”
Expect to see aliens, and robots too. “We’ll probably have a few more aliens than you normally do in a Star Trek cast,” said Fuller. One of these aliens will be named Saru.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, sources say that the gay male will be one of the lead actors. There will also be a female admiral, male Klingon captain, male admiral, male advisor and a British male doctor. Treat this as rumor until it is verified.
Fuller will “be looking in the second season to open up to more familiar characters and how they can feed into the [show]. First and foremost, I think we really want to convince you and establish the greatness of the [new] characters that are going to be introduced.” One of those familiar characters might be Amanda Grayson, Spock’s mother. “That character could factor in, but there’s much to be told about that,” he said.
Expect the show to be a little more graphic than fans are used to seeing. “It will probably be slightly more graphic content,” said Fuller. “We discuss language every day. Is it appropriate for somebody to see a bridge blow up and say ‘Oh shit.’ I imagine we’re going to shoot scenes a couple of ways and see what feels more authentic in the editing room.”
Some fans, already unhappy with having to subscribe to CBS All Access will be even more unhappy with the news that the $6.00 a month brings them a show that comes with commercials. CBS Interactive President/COO Marc DeBevoise tried to justify that by saying “the value is the depth and breath of the service that you can’t get anywhere else.” But they are “toying with the idea of a commercial-free option.”