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