If the first teaser (opens in new tab) for the Star Trek TV series left you gagging for more details, then this huge batch of intel that just arrived should satisfy your Trek thirst.
Talking to press (opens in new tab) at the Television Critic’s Association tour, showrunner Bryan Fuller dropped a massive amount of new information on the show. As rumors have suggested, Star Trek Discovery returns to the franchise roots and takes place in the Prime Universe – not the JJ Abrams-created Kelvin Universe. That’s sure to please Trek fans, but that’s not even the juiciest bit: it’s set a decade before the Five Year Mission depicted in the first TV series.
It’s a prequel of sorts, then. It makes sense as the premise is based around an incident and event hinted at in the original series. Speculation has run rampant on what that might be with fans debating the likelihood of the Four Years War or the Romulan War playing a part, but Fuller refused to confirm what that throwback plotline will be. He did however reveal that it will be delivered across a 13-episode serialized season.
“To do this series, we’re telling a much more serialized story, to dig deep into a very tantalizing storyline.” That storyline will also be deeply connected to the show’s lead character: a female lieutenant commander of the U.S.S. Discovery. “We have a character who’s on a journey, and in order to understand something that is alien, she first has to understand herself.”
Part of the show’s mission to branch out farther into new territory will also see a major perspective shift. Previous Trek series focused on the captain as leader, but this time Fuller says the commander will be the star of the show. “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.”
He adds that in order to maintain the diversity of the original series, Discovery will “absolutely” include a gay character and “new exciting aliens and also new imagining of existing aliens.”
On that note, pre-existing characters from Trek TV aren’t being completely ruled out, yet it’s important says Fuller for the first season to establish “the greatness” of a fresh cast before any familiar faces return. Who might he be tempted to bring in? Spock’s mom. With the promise of more details later this year when the show enters production, it already feels like Fuller is taking the Star Trek brand into a familiar yet fresh direction.
Star Trek: Discovery (opens in new tab) arrives on CBS in January 2017.