star trek discovery character name

When it comes to talking about Star Trek: Discovery, showrunner Bryan Fuller has a unique habit of saying whole lot while revealing very little. Other producers, writers, and directors should take note: this is how you work people into an excited froth without spoiling your show. Today’s deluge of Discovery-related business is full of intriguing morsels, promising suggestions, and even a nugget or two of potential controversy for a certain corner of Trek fandom. Let’s start with the biggest news: the name of the show’s lead character.

In a radio interview (which has been exhaustively recapped by AICN and Trek Movie), Fuller revealed that the show’s lead character, a female human officer who not the captain of the Discovery, will be named “Number One.”

There are few things to unpack here. First, this essentially confirms that the lead will the second-in-command of the ship, a first for the captain-centric Trek franchise. Second, this is a very cool nod to the character played by Majel Barrett (later Majel Barrett Roddenberry) in the original Star Trek pilot “The Cage,” which featured a female first officer who only goes by Number One. NBC and early test audiences balked at the thought of a woman being so far up the chain of command and the character was removed entirely from the second pilot, with Leonard Nimoy’s Spock taking on many of her qualities. Third, Fuller says that her real name will be revealed before the end of the show’s first season, which opens the door to another big question: why is her name hidden and why save it for such a big reveal? Is it possible that Number One is somehow related to someone else in the Star Trek timeline? Or will it be a reveal that somehow serves the plot of the show’s first season, which is be heavily serialized.

The full interview is a treasure trove of intriguing tidbits, so let’s run down what you need to know:

  • As we’ve previously heard, the series will be set in the “Prime” timeline rather than the Kelvin Timeline of the recent movies. This decision was made to keep the series independent of the new films, allowing both to operate separately. Specifically, Discovery is set after the events of Star Trek: Enterprise and a decade before Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise begin their five-year mission.
  • Fuller also spoke about “re-imagining” certain aspects of Star Trek, saying: “It’s fun for all of us who have fetishized the look of these species over the years of watching Star Trek, and it’s fun for us to put a new spin on old favorites.” He explained that certain iconic alien designs will be given a new spin and the uniforms will be different from those seen in both “The Cage” and the original series. In other words, the keepers of the Star Trek canon may have to deal with a headache or two. But let’s face it: Trek needs a shake-up if it’s going to survive the modern TV landscape.
  • The first three scripts for Star Trek: Discovery‘s first season have been finished, along with outlines for episodes for and five. The season will run 13 episodes, but Fuller admits that he’s rather have 10 (a model that has worked for Game of Thrones). The first half of the two-hour pilot was written by Fuller and Alex Kurtzman. The second half was written by Nicholas Meyer, the director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • No decision has been made regarding the show’s opening credits or theme music, although Fuller and his team have access to the music written for the other series (but not the movies).

Star Trek: Discovery hasn’t announced any cast members or revealed an official plot synopsis, but it is set to premiere on CBS in January 2017 before becoming a CBS All Access exclusive. You can read about everything we do know right here.

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