A View from the Bridge
Eve of Star Trek Discovery
Star Trek has taken many forms in its 51 years from television and movies to comics and books. Television is where it shines best. With 6 series and over 23 days’ worth of film already in the can we are on the eve of the next voyage with the release of Star Trek: Discovery.
Discovery will bring to an end the 12-year television drought since Star Trek: Enterprise prematurely finished its series run in 2005.
Airdate: September 24
Star Trek: Discovery premier airs September 24. While Discovery is one of the most anticipated new Sci-fi shows in years it may be one of the most difficult to access. Releases will be split between streaming and cable access. Following the premier on over the air CBS affiliate channels in the US, the succeeding episodes will appear on CBS’s own streaming service All Access. For us here in Canada, CTV will air the premier again on September 24, while ensuing episodes will be available on both Space and CraveTV streaming services.
The rest of the world can watch Discovery on Netflix while also being able to catch up on all previous Star Trek series in a new streaming agreement.
What’s In Store
For those carefully following the Star Trek timeline, the new series will follow in the footsteps of Enterprise as another prequel series picking up about 90 years after the events of Enterprise or 10 years before the events of Star Trek: The Original series. If that isn’t confusing enough, the new series will continue the original TV series timeline that the other 6 television voyages have followed. The wildly popular new 2009 reboot film franchise will continue as a separate timeline now affectionately known as the “Kelvin Timeline.”
Discovery will break new ground for Star Trek, breaking from the traditional episodic signal story format to a more serialized multi-episode story arch made popular with other Sci-Fi series like HBO’s Westworld and Game of Thrones. Moving to a serialized format will allow the new series to capitalize on the complex issues that Star Trek has done so well with in the past with issues like race, war, and politics. Discovery promises to introduce new alien races, new villains, and storylines while exploring the popular Klingon culture and it’s cold war with the Federation.
Cast and Characters
Classic Trek fans will recognize many familiar characters, like Spock’s father Sarek played by James Farin. Harry Mudd, another returning Classic character played by Rainn Wilson from the Office. And of course the return of the already mentioned Klingons. Classic Trek fans should also be optimistic about the return of familiar behind the scenes talent. Discovery will see the return of Nicholas Meyer returning as writer and producer. Meyer wrote and directed the 1982 fan favorite The Wrath of Khan. Next Generation’s Johnathan Frakes also returns to direct an episode.
A Departure from Roddenberry’s Utopian Vision
While the producers set to break new ground with Discovery, they will also break one of Gene Roddenberry’s key utopian visions. In Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future people had put away their differences allowing story conflict to come from outside sources. Discovery’s TV-MA (Mature) rating is another first for a Star Trek series. We will see humans once again in conflict with one another, while keeping with Roddenberry’s vision on how they deal with these conflicts. Rod Roddenberry, Gene’s son will be on board as a producer to help steer through Gene’s original vision and history.
In another departure, Discovery will not rotate around the starship captain but rather focus around the ship’s first officer. The first officer, Michael Burnham is played by Sonequa Martin-Green. Discovery’s captain will be played by Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca.
Much is still not known about the new series and CBS will not allow critics to review the new series until it airs. While the new series is filming in Toronto the set is closed (Rats!). Fortunately we have less than 2 weeks to judge it for ourselves.
I’m a lifelong Star Trek fan who was disappointed with the timeline the reboot series has taken. As a result, I’m reluctant to “boldly go” into the new series until I have experienced it for myself. Regardless, as Spock would say it will be “interesting.”
What about you? Are you looking forward to the first Star Trek series in 12 years? Or are you like me and taking a “wait and see” attitude?
What are you looking forward to the most?