2016 has been an excellent year for Star Trek. The franchise, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has been churning out headlines left and right. J.J. Abrams rebooted Star Trek franchise premiered its third feature-film this summer. And, what’s more, CBS announced their plans to revive Star Trek on the small screen with a new television series. Titled Star Trek Discovery, the show promises to thrill both new and old Trekkies alike - and it’ll even come with a series of companion comics and novels.
Kirsten Beyer, a writer and producer on Star Trek Discovery, confirmed CBS is partnering with IDW Publishing and Simon & Schuster to roll out these side projects. Beyer will be working with David Mack (Star Trek: Destiny) and Mike Johnson (Star Trek: Boldly Go) to draft these stories. Of course, the writer was hesitant to spill any secrets about the content of these publications, but she did say they'd be out in time for Discovery’s premiere in January.
Of course, many fans are hoping these additional projects will detail important backstory for Discovery. The show is said to be set in the Prime Universe - or, that is, the franchise’s original continuity timeline. So fans shouldn't expect to see any alternate universe mentions of the recent Star Trek films. Discovery will also take place before Captain Kirk’s 5-year mission, and Bryan Fuller teased the series won’t be told episodically.
“We’re telling a much more serialized story, to dig deep into a very tantalizing storyline,” the showrunner explained, comparing the show to “a novel over 13 episodes.” And, what’s more, Fuller also confirmed that Discovery would follow a diverse, female lead who’s not in command of an USS Starship. The character will be a lieutenant commander in Starfleet.
Speaking about the change, Fuller said it was about time Star Trek took a step away from the Captain’s chair. “We’ve seen six series from the captain’s point of view; to see a character from a different perspective on the starship — one who has a different dynamic relationships with a captain, with subordinates, it gave us richer context,” he explained.
Since Fuller gave his first comments, more updates on Discovery have found their way to the Internet. Not long ago, he revealed the series’ second episode will be scripted by Nicholas Meyer, the writer of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He also let it slip that the unnamed female lead is referred to as ‘Number One’ on the show, a fact which many long-time fans have analyzed.
After all, Captain Jean-Luc Piccard called his first officer as such in Star Trek: The Next Generation. And, in The Original Series, Captain Pike's first officer was also called ‘Number One’ as well. Given Discovery’s time, some fans are speculating whether the mysterious lead might be a younger version of Pike’s crew member.
Star Trek Discovery is set to warp onto CBS in January 2017 and continue on the network’s streaming service CBS All Access from then on.