Production on the fourth season of GLAAD Media Awards nominated series Star Trek: Discovery is underway. Little is known about the upcoming season, though there have been hints about a fan-favorite character's return and that the season will focus on rebuilding the United Federation of Planets. During an online panel moderated by Deadline (via Trek Movie), co-showrunner and co-creator Alex Kurtzman hinted at what fans should expect in terms of the antagonist from the show's next outing. "We're actually exploring—we're diving deep into science—in the fourth season, in a kind of new and interesting way," Kurtzman said in regards to the fourth season's plot. "There have been many kinds of villains over the course of Star Trek. What happens when the villain is not actually any kind of living, breathing entity, but something else? How do you solve that problem?"
That's an interesting take considering the series already dealt with a rogue artificial intelligence bent on wiping organic life from the galaxy with season two villain Control. A new take on the same unliving villain archetype, or something else entirely, should be interesting to see.
It is possible that Kurtzman's comments also have to do with the continued evolution of the sphere data that exists aboard Discovery. We saw it take control of some of the Dot robots in the third season's finale. Kurtzman's co-showrunner Michelle Paradise told ComicBook.com that the move is another step towards connecting with the Star Trek: Short Treks episode "Calypso," where Discovery is inhabited and controlled by a fully sentient artificial intelligence called Zora.
"Well, first of all, 'Calypso' is incredible. I mean, it's just, we love it," she said. "And it is now a part of Trek canon, but specifically our show's canon. It takes place many, many years beyond where our heroes are right now, and at some point, we will absolutely have to match up with that so that Discovery as a whole, including 'Calypso,' all fits together as a piece.
"So certainly bringing in that voice in episode four and having -- we'll call her Zora, she doesn't have a name at this point -- but having her hide in the DOTs and be part of the story in 12 and 13 is the beginning of driving toward that. And eventually -- who knows when? -- we will absolutely have to make sure that we sync up with that."
Star Trek: Discovery's first three seasons are streaming now on CBS All Access. Season four is in production in Toronto.