Set phasers to scoop!
Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Bryan Fuller closed out CBS’ portion of the Television Critics Association summer press tour with a panel previewing his anticipated reboot. Herewith are the 10 newsiest bits:
* As we reported, the show’s lead character will be female. Fuller elaborated that she will be human but not a captain. She is a “Lieutenant Commander — with caveats.”
* On the main story driving the 13-episode first season: “There’s an incident, an event in Star Trek history in the history of Starfleet that had been talked about but never fully explored. [We’re telling] that story through a character who is on a journey that is going to teach her how to get along with others in the galaxy.”
* Fuller confirmed that the aforementioned series-opening event is not Kobayashi Maru, nor the Romulan War and it won’t involve Black Ops Section 31 (aka Starfleet’s black-ops arm). Fuller later spilled that said event was referenced during the original series and diehard fans “should be very happy. It’s something I want to see.”
* “We’ll probably have a few more aliens than you normally do in a Star Trek cast,” Fuller revealed. “We’re going to have new exciting aliens and also re-imaginings of existing aliens.” (One of the original aliens is named Saru.)
* Fuller said the new series will be set in the prime universe — aka the universe of the TV series, not the one of the J.J. Abrams movies — and will “bridge the gap between Enterprise and the original series,” which puts it “about 10 years before Kirk” and his five-year mission.
* “There will be robots.”
* “We’re absolutely having a gay character,” Fuller said, recalling how, during his time on the
Deep Space Nine Voyager writing staff, fans sent hate mail protesting a rumor that Jeri Ryan’s character Seven of Nine was going to be gay. He added that he kept a file folder of the vitriolic mail in his garage, solely to remind him of the importance of including gay characters if he ever got his own Trek series.
* Fuller strongly hinted that Amanda Grayson (aka Spock’s mother) would figure into the series. “I love that character. I loved Winona Ryder’s portrayal of her [in the 2009 movie] and it’s a great character. It would be fun in some iteration of this show to incorporate her and her storyline. She’s not a central part of the show but we love that character.”
* Fuller made light of the series’ acronym — STD — and said that sex and profanity likely will have a place on the show. “There will probably be slightly more graphic content,” Fuller said. “We discuss every day about language… Is it appropriate to have a bridge blow up and have somebody say, ‘Oh, s—t?'”
* The series’ opening scene is “not set on Earth, and not on a planet,” Fuller divulged.
* The show will feature “about seven” lead characters. Fuller, meanwhile, agreed “wholeheartedly” that Pushing Daisies‘ Lee Pace would be a nice add.
Star Trek: Discovery episodes will unspool weekly on CBS All Access after initially launching with a two-hour episode on CBS network in January 2017.