Star Trek: Discovery is about to go where only one other Star Trek has gone before: it”s hiring a female to lead the series – and, in a first for the franchise, the show's main character will not be the captain (or, in the case of Deep Space Nine, the commander). EP Bryan Fuller revealed this as well as a number of other out-of-this-world details about the space travel franchise.
While at the Television Critics Association press tour, Fuller outlined much of his vision for the series, casting updates as well as where the show fits into the overall Star Trek timeline.
“We”re going to be set in the Prime Universe (the William Shatner Star Trek), and we”re about 10 years before Kirk. So that gives us an opportunity to bridge the gap between Enterprise and the original series,” Fuller said.
When it came to the casting of a female to fly the ship, Fuller said that he was simply extending Gene Roddenberry”s long-held vision of inclusion, one that dates back as far as the beginning of the series.
“Star Trek started with a wonderful expression of diversity in its cast,” Fuller said. “We are absolutely continuing that tradition.” This inclusion extends into sexuality as well, a hot topic considering all the news regarding Sulu being gay in the most recent Star Trek movie. On that topic, Fuller said they”re “absolutely” having a gay character on the show.
As for why he wanted to center the series around someone other than the leader of the crew, Fuller said, “To see a character with a different perspective on a starship, who has a different dynamic [and] relationship with the captain, with subordinates, felt like it was going to give us richer context to have different types of stories.”
Fuller then went on to explain how the show will kick off, a topic that the self-admitted Trekkie called “tantalizing.”
“There”s an incident, an event in Star Trek history, the history of Star Fleet that had been talked about but never really fully explored…[I wanted] to tell a story through a character who is on a journey that is going to teach her how to get along with others in the galaxy.”
The series is set to debut January 2017 on CBS TV before moving over to being the cornerstone of the CBS streaming site All Access. The first season will feature 13 episodes, and if its renewed, CBS Interactive President and COO Marc DeBevoise said subsequent seasons will be in the 10-13 episode range.