A few weeks ago the first details on that new Star Trek series that will be shown on CBS’s new streaming service All Access were revealed at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, including the title, Star Trek: Discovery.
Today at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, co-creator, showrunner, and executive producer Bryan Fuller discussed the show in further detail with reporters, revealing that Discovery will have a female lead character who will be a lieutenant commander instead of a captain. The reasoning behind this decision, in the words of The Hollywood Reporter’s Lesley Goldberg, was to allow the series “to explore stories from a different point of view.”
Fuller talked about his intentions for the still-unnamed character and the role she will play during the events of Discovery:
“We’re going deep into something that was for me always very tantalizing, and [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. For her to truly understand something that is alien, she has to first understand herself.”
Discovery will have seven lead characters, according to Fuller, and he hopes to make his main cast as diverse as the iconic original series’ Enterprise crew:
“Star Trek started with wonderful expression of diversity in its cast: a Russian, a black woman, an Asian, a Vulcan … we’re continuing that tradition and our lead of the show is going to be subject of that same level of who is the best actor and what can we say about diversity in every role we’ll have on the show.”
Fuller, who is openly gay, said that Discovery will feature a gay character as one of the male leads. During his time working as a writer and co-producer on Star Trek: Voyager, the future creator of Hannibal and Pushing Daisies received hate mail after a rumor began to spread that one of the show’s characters could come out of the closet. Although Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote the two Trek features directed by J.J. Abrams and will be working alongside Fuller on Discovery as an executive producer, was the first to pitch the idea for a gay character, Fuller had the intention of including one on the new series from the beginning.
Fuller also revealed that there will be a larger amount of important alien characters than could be found in previous Trek series. “We wanted to paint a picture of Star Fleet that’s indicative of encountering people who are much more different than we are,” he said. Sources for the THR article said that Discovery will also feature “a female admiral, a male Klingon captain, a male admiral, a male adviser, and a British male doctor.”
Although he was not permitted to reveal much about the stories Discovery will be focusing on during its serialized 10-episode run, Fuller did talk about the series’ setting and what sets its narrative in motion:
“There’s an event in Star Trek history and Star Fleet that had been talked about but never fully explored. We’re set in the Prime universe, 10 years before Captain Kirk. We have the opportunity to bridge the gap between the Enterprise and the original series and really help us redefine the visual style of Star Trek.”
In ruminating on the boundless storytelling possibilities for this latest television journey through the amazing Trek universe, Fuller expressed his desire that the new series present stories about how “we come together as a planet and seek new aliens and new adventures.” “That’s what we’re going to do on Star Trek: Discovery,” he said.
A co-production between CBS Television Studios, Paramount Television, Roddenberry Entertainment, and Kurtzman’s production company Secret Hideout, Star Trek: Discovery premieres January 2017 on the CBS Television Network with the premiere and all subsequent episodes available exclusively on CBS All Access.