Posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2016 by Fred Topel
CBS concluded its day of Television Critics Association panels with a session on their streaming service, CBS All Access, and their first original series for that service, Star Trek: Discovery. Bryan Fuller answered questions and we already posted his remarks that the lead character was female, and he intended to feature an openly gay character. Fuller also told the TCA that there were roughly seven leads, common for Star Trek series. After the jump you can find out what else we learned about the new Star Trek television series.
1. Discovery Will Be About A Never Depicted Event In Star Trek History
Fuller said that the 13-episode serialized first season was about an event in Star Trek history that had never been depicted on screen before. As the TCA guessed the Romulan War, Kobayashi Maru, Black Ops Section 31, Axanar and more, Fuller ruled them out. When the event is revealed, he promised it would be obvious to Star Trek fans and they would be happy. Fuller also promised more information would be revealed in October, perhaps meaning New York Comic-Con.
2. The Show Will Be Set A Decade Before The Original Series
Set in the Prime universe, 10 years before Kirk’s five-year mission, Fuller sees Discovery as a bridge between Star Trek: Enterprise and The Original Series.
“Star Trek: Enterprise was 150 some odd years before The Original Series and Kirk’s mission,” Fuller said. “We’re much closer to Kirk’s mission so we get to play with all the iconography of those ships and those uniforms, new exciting aliens and re-imaginings of existing aliens which will be very interesting to engage with on the internet. Star Trek fans are very particular about ‘don’t change the antenna on an Andorian.’ We’re producing the show in 2016 so we have to update the style of the sets, makeup prosthetics and effects. For me that’s the most exciting part. As a Star Trek fan, I would see an episode and want to go just one step further into the science or science fictionalization of what it’s like to meet someone different from you.”
3. The Show Will Have A Diverse Cast
Casting has not yet begun for Star Trek: Discovery, and Fuller said he is casting for diversity. Characters are unspecified by race or even gender, so he is open to casting whichever diverse men or women strike him.
4. The Lead Character Will Be Female
The lead character of Star Trek: Discovery is definitely female.
“It’s about this woman’s journey who in order to understand something so completely alien from her, she has to fist understand herself,” Fuller said. “That feels like it’s going right to the heart of not only what’s happening in the world, because it’s so easy to narcissistically think how we would think in [someone else’s] shoes, but it’s a complete inaccuracy. We can’t imagine how they can think. That’s part of our journey on this planet to get along and this character’s journey the first season.”
5. The Series Will Have A Gay Character
It has been Fuller’s longtime goal to create a gay Star Trek character, and this summer’s Star Trek Beyond made Trek history making Sulu the franchise’s first openly gay character. Fuller said Discovery producer Alex Kurtzman even suggested it before Fuller brought it up.
“Before I even got a chance to say we need a gay character, the straight man in the team was telling me we need o have a gay character,” Fuller said. “Absolutely we’re having a gay character. What was very interesting for me going into this process as a gay man who worked on Star Trek: Voyager, I still have in a file folder in my garage the hate mail that Star Trek: Voyager got because there was a rumor that Jeri Ryan’s character was going to be gay. The bile in that letter, I kept it because I was like, ‘if I ever do a Star Trek show, there is going to be a gay character.’”
6. USS Discovery Will Have More Alien Characters Than Any Of The Previous Ships
Diversity also includes aliens in the Star Trek universe. Fuller plans to include more alien characters on the ship than previous series or movies have.
“We’ll probably have a few more aliens than we normally do in a Star Trek cast,” Fuller said. “We wanted to paint a picture of Starfleet that is indicative of a universe where we’re encountering people much different than we are.”