Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Bryan Fuller tells Red Alert about cap­tain­ing a new kind of Star Trek TV show

SFX - - Red Alert -

En­gag­ing warp fac­tor 9 for Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery.


1 Bryan Fuller re­veals he was ini­tially in­spired by a piece of fran­chise lore. “There had been an in­ci­dent, an event in Star Trek his­tory and the his­tory of Starfleet that had been talked about but never fully ex­plored,” he says. “We’re go­ing to be telling a much more se­ri­alised story… To dig deep into some­thing, that’s al­ways very tan­ta­lis­ing. And to tell 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. Be­cause for her to truly un­der­stand some­thing that is alien she has to first un­der­stand her­self.”


2 “We haven’t cast her yet,” says Fuller of his show’s lead; who will be a woman but won’t be the tit­u­lar ship’s cap­tain. “We’ve seen six se­ries now from cap­tains’ points of view; and to see a char­ac­ter from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive… who has a dif­fer­ent dy­namic with the cap­tain and with sub­or­di­nates, felt like it was gonna give us a richer con­text.”


3 JJ Abrams’ Trek movies cre­ated a new time­line, but that shouldn’t im­pact Dis­cov­ery too much. “The cor­rect des­ig­na­tions, ac­cord­ing to the in­ter­net now, are the Kelvin Uni­verse, which is the JJ Abrams uni­verse, and the Prime Uni­verse,” Fuller ex­plains. “We’re gonna be set in the Prime Uni­verse. We’re about 10 years be­fore Kirk’s five-year mis­sion. So that gives us an op­por­tu­nity to bridge the gap be­tween En­ter­prise and the orig­i­nal se­ries.”


4 “We’ll prob­a­bly have a few more aliens than we nor­mally do in a Star Trek cast," Fuller says. “Nor­mally you have one per­son with a bumpy fore­head and then seven other peo­ple who look rel­a­tively hu­man. We wanted to paint a pic­ture of Starfleet that is in­dica­tive of a uni­verse where we’re en­coun­ter­ing peo­ple who are much dif­fer­ent than we are. So we’re go­ing to have new ex­cit­ing aliens but also reimag­in­ings of ex­ist­ing aliens…”


5 Just this year, Star Trek Be­yond made fran­chise his­tory by re­veal­ing that Sulu is gay, and it looks like Dis­cov­ery will con­tinue to em­brace the fran­chise’s love of di­ver­sity. “Ab­so­lutely we’re hav­ing a gay char­ac­ter,” says Fuller. “Go­ing into this process as a gay man who worked on Voy­ager… I still have a folder with the hate mail Voy­ager got be­cause there was a ru­mour that Jeri Ryan’s char­ac­ter was go­ing to be gay. The bile in that let­ter… I kept it be­cause if I ever got the chance to do an­other Star Trek show it was go­ing to have a gay char­ac­ter.” We’re sure Sulu and the rest of the En­ter­prise would ap­prove.

Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery will air on Net­flix in the UK in the new year.

Bryan Fuller finds his in­ner Vul­can.

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