Dis­cov­er­ing the past

A new Star Trek se­ries is in the works and will be set be­fore the orig­i­nal se­ries.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - STAR TREK 50 - By BILL KEVENEY

THE new­est Star Trek se­ries will be set about 10 years be­fore Cap­tain Kirk’s five- year mis­sion be­gan in the orig­i­nal se­ries and will fea­ture a woman as the lead char­ac­ter, although she won’t be the cap­tain.

Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Bryan Fuller dropped those tit­bits and a few others dur­ing a Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery panel last month at the US Tele­vi­sion Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion ( TCA) press tour. The pre­miere will be broad­cast in Jan­u­ary on CBS, with 12 more episodes of the se­ri­alised first sea­son stream­ing only on the CBS All Ac­cess ser­vice.

No ac­tors have been cast, although pro­duc­tion on the new se­ries is sched­uled to be­gin in a cou­ple of months.

Fuller tan­ta­lised an au­di­ence of Trekkie TV writ­ers with a ma­jor hint: the se­ries will con­nect to “an in­ci­dent in Star Trek his­tory” re­lated to Starfleet and ref­er­enced in the orig­i­nal TV se­ries. “It was talked about and never fully ex­plored.”

The pro­ducer wouldn’t re­veal that event un­less a TCA mem­ber specif­i­cally brought it up, lead­ing to a “20 Ques­tions” com­pe­ti­tion among the group’s mem­bers, who ap­par­ently did not come up with the cor­rect in­ci­dent.

Although pre­vi­ous Trek se­ries have cen­tred on star­ship cap­tains, Fuller’s lead char­ac­ter will be a lieu­tenant com­man­der.

“We’ve seen six se­ries from the cap­tain’s point of view. To see a char­ac­ter from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive who has a dif­fer­ent rela- tion­ship ( to the crew) would give us a richer con­text,” he said. The story “is about this woman’s jour­ney. In or­der to un­der­stand some­thing com­pletely alien to her, she has to un­der­stand her­self.”

Speak­ing of which, the se­ries will fea­ture “new, ex­cit­ing aliens and re- imag­in­ings of ex­ist­ing aliens,” in­clud­ing a new one named Saru, Fuller said. “We’ll prob­a­bly have a few more aliens than you nor­mally do in a Star Trek cast.”

Fuller said the se­ries also will fea­ture a gay char­ac­ter, an ad­di­tion of sig­nif­i­cance to the gay pro­ducer, who re­mem­bers hate mail that ar­rived when he was work­ing as a writer on Star Trek: Voy­ager fol­low­ing ru­mours that one of the char­ac­ters was go­ing to be gay.

The new se­ries will ex­ist in the “prime uni­verse” of the orig­i­nal 1960s TV se­ries, and Fuller said the de­sign of the star­ship Dis­cov­ery, which was re­vealed at ComicCon in July, is “an evo­lu­tion, and we’re find­ing the look as we get closer to pro­duc­tion

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