Star Trek: Discovery’s producer plans to keep the franchise’s legacy of progressive social values and inclusivity alive in the new series.
Alex Kurtzman says that Star Trek: Discovery will not only include LGBTQ representation and stories but will use those stories to its advantage.
“I don’t feel that—going back to what you said about where television is at right now, it would be foolish of us to not only ignore it but not to take advantage of the fact that that’s how people are consuming stories and they’re hungrier for more complicated stories,” Kurtzman tells Collider. “What would have been a taboo subject 10, 15 years ago is now everywhere, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
The relationship between Star Trek and contemporary social movements goes back to Star Trek: The Original Series when Dr. Martin Luther King himself famously asked Nichelle Nichols to keep playing communications officer Lieutenant Uhura when Nichols was considering leaving the series for a career on Broadway. King convinced her that her role was important to the civil rights movement’s cause.
The Star Trek franchise got its first openly gay character when the movie Star Trek: Beyond showed Sulu (Jonathan Cho) with his partner and their child.
Star Trek: Discovery was originally slated for a May debut, but a production delay pushed the release window back further. When it does premiere, the first episode Star Trek: Discovery will air on CBS. The remainder of the 15-episode first season will debut on CBS's streaming subscription service CBS All Access.
Star Trek: Discovery was created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman. Fuller was originally intended to be Discovery's showrunner but was forced step down due to commitments to Starz' adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts have taken over as showrunners.
Star Trek: Discovery takes place roughly a decade prior to the five-year mission of Star Trek: The Original Series. In breaking with franchise tradition, the show’s main protagonist will not be a captain. Instead, it will be First Officer Michael Burnham, played by The Walking Dead alum Sonequa Martin-Green.
Star Trek: Discovery’s cast also includes Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca, Rainn Wilson as Star Trek: The Original Series character Harry Mudd, James Frain as Sarek, Spock’s father, and Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou, the captain of another Starfleet ship, the Shenzhou, which will be important to the plot of Star Trek: Discovery. Doug Jones and Anthony Rapp both play science officers. Mary Wiseman will play a final year Starfleet Academy cadet.