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Star Trek: Discovery

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Country of origin  United States
Location(s)  Toronto
Networks  CBS, CBS All Access
Original language(s)  English
Language  English
Executive producer  Nicholas Meyer
Star Trek: Discovery Star Trek Discovery CBScom

Created by  Bryan Fuller Alex Kurtzman
Based on  Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry
Starring  Sonequa Martin-Green Terry Serpico Maulik Pancholy Sam Vartholomeos James Frain Doug Jones Michelle Yeoh Anthony Rapp Chris Obi Shazad Latif Mary Chieffo Jason Isaacs Mary Wiseman
Program creators  Bryan Fuller, Alex Kurtzman
Genres  Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure Film
Cast  Sonequa Martin, Michelle Yeoh, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp
Similar  The Young Pope, Star Trek: The Original S, Star Trek: The Next Generation, American Gods, Star Trek: Deep Space Ni
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Star Trek: Discovery is an upcoming American television series created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman for CBS All Access. It is the first series developed specifically for that service, and the first Star Trek series since Star Trek: Enterprise concluded in 2005. Set roughly a decade before the events of the original Star Trek series, separate from the timeline of the concurrent feature films, Discovery explores a previously mentioned event from the history of Star Trek while following the crew of the USS Discovery. Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts serve as showrunners on the series, with producing support from Akiva Goldsman.

Contents

Star Trek: Discovery Star Trek Discovery CBScom

The new series was announced in November 2015, and Fuller joined as showrunner the next February. In addition to Fuller and Kurtzman, who wrote for previous Star Trek series and films, respectively, the crew includes several other previous Star Trek creatives. The production put emphasis on carrying on the legacy of the previous series, including making efforts to feature a diverse cast. In October 2016, Fuller stepped back from showrunner due to other commitments, after establishing the series' mythology and broad story arc. Berg and Harberts took over day-to-day production, and Goldsman joined as support. Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Terry Serpico, Maulik Pancholy, Sam Vartholomeos, James Frain, Doug Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Rapp, Chris Obi, Shazad Latif, Mary Chieffo, Jason Isaacs, and Mary Wiseman, and is filming in Toronto.

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Star Trek: Discovery is set to debut on CBS before moving to All Access. The first season will consist of 13 episodes.

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Premise

Star Trek: Discovery STAR TREK DISCOVERY ComicCon Trailer 2017 YouTube

Set roughly ten years before the events of the original Star Trek, the series follows the crew of the USS Discovery as they discover new worlds and civilizations, while exploring the franchise's signature contemporary themes. The season-long storyline revolves around "an incident and an event in Star Trek history that's been talked about but never been explored".

Cast and characters

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  • Sonequa Martin-Green as Rainsford: A lieutenant commander assigned to the USS Discovery, referred to as "Number One". The decision to not make the series' protagonist a starship captain, like those of previous Star Trek series, was made "to see a character from a different perspective on the starship—one who has different dynamic relationships with a captain, with subordinates, it gave us richer context". The decision to call her Number One was made in honor of the character of the same name portrayed by Majel Barrett in the original Star Trek pilot "The Cage". The character was initially pitched to CBS as only being called Number One in the series.
  • Terry Serpico as Anderson: A Starfleet admiral.
  • Maulik Pancholy as Nambue: Chief Medical Officer of the USS Shenzhou.
  • Sam Vartholomeos as Connor: A junior officer in Starfleet Academy, assigned to the Shenzhou.
  • James Frain as Sarek: A Vulcan astrophysicist, and the father of Spock. Frain appears as a younger version of the character who was first portrayed by Mark Lenard in the original Star Trek series.
  • Doug Jones as Saru: A Science Officer serving as a lieutenant aboard the Discovery. Jones, portraying a member of a species created for the series, was excited that he was able to, "from the ground up, develop and find this character and his species" and not have to honor a previous fan-favorite representation.
  • Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou: Captain of the Shenzhou.
  • Anthony Rapp as Stamets: A Science Officer specializing in astromycology (the study of fungi in space).
  • Chris Obi as T'Kuvma: A Klingon leader who is looking to unite the Klingon houses.
  • Shazad Latif as Kol: Commanding Officer of the Klingons, and protege of T'Kuvma.
  • Mary Chieffo as L'Rell: Battle Deck Commander of the Klingon ship.
  • Jason Isaacs as Lorca: Captain of the Discovery.
  • Mary Wiseman as Tilly: A cadet in her final year at Starfleet Academy, assigned to the Discovery.
  • Episodes

    Star Trek: Discovery Star Trek Discovery TV Series 2017 IMDb

    Nicholas Meyer wrote the series' second episode with Fuller. Jesse Alexander, Kristen Beyer, Aron Eli Coleite, Joe Menosky, and Kemp Powers are also members of the first season's writing staff. Chelsea Dowling will direct for the season.

    Development

    On November 2, 2015, CBS announced a new Star Trek television series to premiere in January 2017, "on the heels" of the original series' 50th anniversary in 2016. It is the first Star Trek television series since Star Trek: Enterprise concluded in 2005, and is "not related" to the 2016 film Star Trek Beyond. Alex Kurtzman, co-writer of the films Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, and Heather Kadin were set as executive producers on the series, the first to be developed specifically for the CBS All Access on demand service.

    In January 2016, CBS president Glenn Geller revealed that he and the CBS network were not involved in the production of the series, saying, "It really is for All Access. While the network will be broadcasting the pilot, I actually can't answer any creative questions about it." The next month, Bryan Fuller, who began his career writing for the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, was announced as the new series' showrunner and co-creator alongside Kurtzman. Nicholas Meyer, writer and director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, also joined the series as a writer and consulting producer. In March, Rod Roddenberry, the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and Trevor Roth of Roddenberry Entertainment also joined the series, as executive producers.

    A teaser shown at CBS's upfront presentation in May 2016 promised "new crews, new villains, new heroes, new worlds", and titled the series Star Trek, with "a more specific title to be unveiled at a later date". The next month, Fuller announced that the first season would consist of 13 episodes, though he would prefer to produce 10 episodes of the series a year moving forward. Fuller revealed that Vincenzo Natali had been hired as producing director for the series, and described each episode's runtime as "flexible", with All Access having given the team parameters ("It was sort of, 'No more than this, no less than that'") rather than a set length to aim for as they would for a traditionally broadcast series.

    In July, at Star Trek's 50th anniversary San Diego Comic-Con panel, Fuller announced the series' title to be Star Trek: Discovery, and revealed that it would be set in the "Prime Timeline" (which includes the previous Star Trek series, but not the reboot films of the "Kelvin Timeline"). Fuller explained that the series had been developed to fit into either timeline, but he felt that there was a "cleanliness" to keeping the concurrent series and films separated, so "we don't have to track anything [happening in the films] and they don't have to track what we're doing". Also in July, CBS Studios International licensed the series to Netflix for release outside the United States and Canada, a "blockbuster" deal that paid for the show's entire budget. At around $6–7 million per episode, the series' high allowance is attributed to the importance of Star Trek as one of CBS's "crown-jewel franchises", and CBS's need for the series to be "the marquee selling point for subscriptions" to All Access.

    By August 2016, Fuller had hired Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts, who he had worked with on Pushing Daisies, to serve as co-showrunners with him. A month later, CBS announced that the series premiere had been pushed back to May 2017. This happened after Fuller and Kurtzman had asked for more time to meet the high expectations for the series, "particularly with special effects", saying that "these extra few months will help us achieve a vision we can all be proud of." By the end of October, production company CBS Television Studios had become concerned with the continued lack of progress on the series' production thanks to Fuller's other commitments showrunning American Gods and rebooting Amazing Stories. The company was pleased with the work Fuller had done so far, but was unwilling to postpone the premiere date again. To keep Fuller actively involved with the series, though not on a day-to-day production level as was originally intended, the production was "quickly" restructured: Berg and Harberts were made sole showrunners, working off of a broad story arc and overall mythology established by Fuller; Kurtzman and Fuller would continue as executive producers, with Fuller still helping the writers break stories; and Akiva Goldsman would join the series in a supporting producer role, similar to the role he held on Fringe alongside Kurtzman, to help the showrunners and other producers "juggle the demands of the series". In a statement, CBS reiterated that they were "extremely happy with [Fuller's] creative direction" for the series, and were committed to "seeing this vision through". In December, Fuller described the situation as "bittersweet ... I can only give them the material I've given them and hope that it is helpful for them. I'm curious to see what they do with it." He expressed interest in returning to work on future seasons of the series if asked to.

    In January 2017, CBS stated that, with production beginning that month, they were willing to be flexible with the series' release date so that it would be the best possible date for the series. This feeling was attributed to "a lot of careful deliberation continuing to go into making Discovery special, from the choice of directors, to set design, to the special effects." Another potential consideration was the recent casting of Sonequa Martin-Green as the series' lead, with CBS looking to avoid "marketplace confusion" by not "promoting her as the star of a new sci-fi show" while she appears in the popular horror series The Walking Dead, which was still airing through April 2017. It was believed that another release change would not affect Discovery's viewership given the All Access format avoids the "seasonal premieres or launch windows" to which traditional broadcast series are beholden.

    Writing

    Fuller explained that after the more than 700 Star Trek episodes already made, "we have to tell stories differently than they've been told for fifty years". Therefore, he looked to take advantage of the streaming format of All Access by telling a single story arc across the entire first season, which he and the writers had completely written by the end of June 2016. They had also broken the first six episodes at that point. Fuller stated that when he first met with CBS, the network did not have a plan for the series, and so Fuller and Kurtzman developed a story for the series "that ties in so many elements of Star Trek", taking certain episodes of the original series and using their "DNA" to find "the spirit of what Star Trek offers, both in terms of high-concept science fiction storytelling and really wonderful metaphors for the human condition".

    The titular ship was named after Discovery One from 2001: A Space Odyssey, NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery, and "the sense of discovery ... what [that] means to Star Trek audiences who have been promised a future by Gene Roddenberry where we come together as a planet and seek new worlds and new alien races to explore and understand and collaborate with". Fuller saw the series as a bridge between Enterprise and the original series—which are set around 150 years apart—but set much closer to the latter to allow the series to "play with all the iconography of those ships and those uniforms". The story arc for the first season revolves around "an event in Star Trek history that's been talked about but never been explored", 10 years before the events of the original series. Fuller elaborated that the original series episode "Balance of Terror", one of his favorites, would be "a touchstone" for the season's story arc.

    Fuller discussed how much the series would "push the content envelope since it won't be constrained by broadcast standards", saying, "We're going to have a broader spectrum to explore those issues, but it's still Star Trek. It will probably be slightly more graphic content. We discuss language every day. Is it appropriate for somebody to see a bridge blow up and say 'Oh shit.' I imagine we're going to shoot scenes a couple of ways and see what feels more authentic in the editing room." On using time travel in the season, a plot device used in at least two episodes of every previous live-action Star Trek season, Fuller said that it had not yet been used for any episode by the end of August 2016—the first three episodes had been written, and the stories through episode eleven were known—and stated, "You never know when you want to pull out that device but I am not anticipating an over-reliance on time travel to tell this season's stories."

    Casting

    By June 2016, Fuller had "met with a few actors, and it's an interesting process. There's a few people that we like and we want to carry on what Star Trek does best, which is being progressive. So it's fascinating to look at all of these roles through a colorblind prism and a gender-blind prism". A month later, Kaden clarified that the series would feature minority, female, and LGBTQ characters, with the latter being of particular importance to Fuller.

    In August, Fuller revealed that the series would star a lieutenant commander, rather than a starship captain like previous Star Trek series, to be played by a non-white actress; he stated that the series cast would include more alien characters than other Star Trek series, "to paint a picture of Starfleet that is indicative of a universe where we’re encountering people much different than we are"; and he confirmed that the series would feature at least one openly gay character, explaining that Kurtzman had been the first to propose the series include a gay character, but that Fuller, who is gay himself, had been determined to create a gay Star Trek character since receiving hate mail while working on Voyager when a character on that show was rumored to be coming out as gay. At this time, Fuller had discussed the casting of the series with Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space, who made a cameo appearance in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

    Fuller also discussed including previously established characters from the original series, saying that "once we get through this first season and establish our own Star Trek universe" and crew of characters, the series will look in a "second season to open up to more familiar characters and how they can feed into the [show]. First and foremost, I think we really want to convince you and establish the greatness of the [new] characters that are going to be introduced". However, Fuller did express interest in including the character of Amanda Grayson, the mother of Spock, saying, "there's much to be told about that".

    Fuller anticipated casting announcements in October 2016, saying, "We've met with fantastic actors and of course there are people I've worked with before that I'd love to see on Star Trek. We're trying to figure out everybody's schedules." However, no announcements had been made by the end of that month. The majority of the series main characters were believed to have been cast by then, but no actress had been cast for the series' lead role. This was a source of "some internal stress" at CBS, with the casting of the character deemed "a far tougher assignment" than expected. Several African American and Latina actresses were being looked at for the role, with CBS "not seeking a huge star and [preferring] a fresh face for the part." Martin-Green was cast in the role in December. The character, lieutenant commander Rainsford, is the first female, African American lead of a Star Trek series.

    In October, the series cast was believed to also include "a female admiral, a male Klingon captain, a male admiral, a male adviser and a British male doctor", with one of those male leads played by an openly gay actor. The next month, Meyer mentioned that Michelle Yeoh had been cast in the series. She was soon confirmed to be cast as Starfleet Captain Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou. Doug Jones and Anthony Rapp were also revealed to be cast, as Science Officers Saru and Stamets, respectively. The former is a member of an alien race created for the series, while the latter is the first Star Trek character to be conceived and announced as gay. Three actors were cast as Klingons in December: Shazad Latif as Kol; Chris Obi as T'Kuvma; and Mary Chieffo as L'Rell. By January 2017, James Frain had joined the series as Spock's father, Sarek, and in February, three actors were cast as Starfleet officers: Terry Serpico as Admiral Anderson; Maulik Pancholy as Dr. Nambue; and Sam Vartholomeos as Ensign Connor. The next month, Jason Isaacs was cast as Starfleet Captain Lorca of the USS Discovery, and Mary Wiseman joined as Tilly, a cadet.

    Design

    Fuller said on the general approach to design on the show, "we're producing the show in 2016. We have to update the style of the effects, the style of the sets, the style of the makeup ... all of the other series have been produced [at a time that] isn't as sophisticated as we are now with what we can do production-wise, we're going to be reestablishing an entire look for the series" and for Star Trek moving forward. Mark Worthington serves as production designer for the series.

    The design of the USS Discovery is based on an unused Ralph McQuarrie design for the USS Enterprise from the unproduced film Star Trek: Planet of the Titans, "to a point that we can't legally comment on it until [our legal team] figures out some things", Fuller stated in July 2016. McQuarrie's designs were based on the concepts created by Ken Adam to feature a vessel with a flattened secondary hull. Fuller wanted "something distinct about what our Star Trek was going to look" like, and after seeing McQuarrie's design "saw sort of harder lines of a ship and started talking about race cars and Lamborghinis in the '70s and James Bond cars and started working on the designs, taking those inspirations and coming up with something completely unique to us."

    Filming

    The series began filming at Pinewood Toronto Studios on January 24, 2017, under the working title Green Harvest (a reference to the working title Blue Harvest used for the film Return of the Jedi). Guillermo Navarro and Colin Hoult serve as cinematographers for the series. Previously, set construction was to begin within a month of June 2016 for a filming period of that September to around March 2017. However, by that September, production was not expected to begin until November. The next month, after Fuller stepped down as showrunner, set construction was expected to be completed by the end of 2016, with filming to begin "shortly thereafter". Filming is set to continue in Toronto until September 7.

    Visual effects

    Visual effects producers were hired to begin work on the series during the initial writing period, with Fuller explaining that the series would require such things as "digital augmentation on certain alien species" and "the transporter beams"; "We're trying to cultivate distinct looks for all of those things that are unique to our version of Star Trek and carry through the themes we love seeing in fifty years of Star Trek, but doing a slightly different approach."

    Release

    Star Trek: Discovery is set to premiere with a "special preview broadcast" on CBS, with that pilot and all subsequent first-run episodes to then be streamed weekly in the United States on CBS All Access. The premiere was set for January 2017, and then May 2017, and has now been delayed indefinitely, with CBS CEO Les Moonves saying in February, "sometime late summer, early fall we’re looking at probably right now" for the series' debut. CBS Studios International licensed the series to Bell Media for broadcast in Canada, and to Netflix for another 188 countries. For Canada, the premiere will be broadcast on the CTV network on the same night as the U.S. premiere, with subsequent episodes initially aired on Bell's science fiction cable channels—Space in English, Z in French—before being streamed on CraveTV. For the other countries, Netflix will release each episode of the series for streaming within 24 hours of its U.S. debut. This agreement also saw Bell and Netflix acquire all previous Star Trek series to stream in their entirety.

    Marketing

    With the announcement of the series' title in July 2016 came a promotional video giving a first look at the USS Discovery. The video did not feature final designs, as the producers had "three weeks to throw that together. We wanted to show fans ... The concepts of the ship are totally what we're going for and they'll be honed up until, I think, the day we deliver". Music for the video was composed by Fil Eisler. In January 2017, a YouTube video presented by alcatel was released, using 360° technology to showcase digital models of previous Star Trek ships. The video ended with the Discovery logo and a "coming May 2017" tag.

    Other media

    In September 2016, writer Kristen Beyer announced that CBS was working with IDW and Simon & Schuster to produce more content revolving around the setting of Discovery, starting with at least one novel and a comic series tied to the television show. Beyer, the writer of many Star Trek: Voyager novels, explained that she would work with fellow Star Trek novelist David Mack and Star Trek comic writer Mike Johnson to ensure that all three mediums "are coming from the same place". The release of the books and comics is set to coincide with the series' premiere.

    References

    Star Trek: Discovery Wikipedia