As one of the greatest science fiction franchises celebrates a landmark, more details surface about the latest installment.
That’s one small step… The words are legendary. Spoken by astronaut Neil Armstrong upon his famous lunar march across the landscape of our very own moon. It was one of America’s and our space programs proudest moments and would herald in the “Space Age”. The Apollo 11 mission would inspire generations of us to look to the stars and imagine all sorts of possibilities. Among them most — what more is out there.
That spirit of exploration was the clear foundation for an aspiring and ambition screenplay writer Gene Roddenberry envisioned a future — a wagon train to the stars — where mankind has taken to the stars to seek out new life, and new civilizations. Roddenberry gave birth to a new kind of television series, a phenomenon really and 50 years later Star Trek would still endure.
After the syndication success of The Original Series the franchise would continue in films, before returning to television for The Next Generation and so on. The original cast was reimagined in 2009 continuing the voyages of perhaps the most famous starship in popular culture. The Starship Enterprise would become one of the most iconic images in television history.
50 years later the franchise welcomes a new motion picture. Star Trek Beyond the third to feature the rebooted crew patterned after The Original Series and soon Star Trek will return to television when CBS prepares to launch an entirely new adventure and fans eagerly anticipate the launch of Star Trek Discovery the fifth spin-off series and the first in more than a decade.
The project is in the capable hands of Bryan Fuller who was handed the reigns to head the new Star Trek for CBS and will be exclusively airing on the network’s “All Access” pay service (as well as Netflix) after the first episode premieres on the network in 2017. An enticing “first look” teaser trailer was unveiled at SDCC this year, and just recently Fuller has given out some additional details about Discovery and its mission.
The series will be set chronologically 10 years before The Original Series which would insinuate that the events of Star Trek (2009) the reboot may not “obviously” play into the plot, although it has been suggested that original cast characters may appear on Discovery. The show will also have a 13 episode first season run and the stories will be serialized, and not necessarily stand alone episodes.
Fuller has said that the entire series will play a novel and each episode an encapsulated chapter, with a beginning, middle and an end, that connects to the overall thread. The main character of the show will be female, but not the captain of the ship. The story will focus on her journey and growth, supported from her perspective and not the captain’s seat.
Elements of the established Trek mythology will weave their way into Discovery including Section 31, the clandestine shadow organization that is part of the Federation. There will be a centrifugal event from Trek history that will be revisited and will serve as the backdrop for the drama. Expect for some other familiar faces from Trek lore to show their faces and be a significant part of the story.
The ship herself is based on a design by legendary artist Ralph McQuarrie who had introduced designs when Paramount first decided to resurrect Star Trek for its Phase II which eventually evolved into Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Fuller describes the ship’s design as something that is still in development, so the version seen in the teaser may not be the final that will eventually appear when the show premieres in January 2017.
The cast is currently being cast and will also feature a gay regular character, as well as more dramatic alien races than ever seen before, although some established favorites will be integrated into the story.
We’ll be closely following more details about Star Trek Discovery as they come to light.