Right off the bat at today’s TCA session, Star Trek: Discovery EP Alex Kurtzman answered questions before they were asked, specifically why the show’s airdate was delayed from January to September 24.
“[Showrunner] Bryan [Fuller] and I were looking to bring something new, and to justify being on a premium cable service, we knew it had to be huge in emotion and character,” Kurtzman said. “And to build this world, there was an airdate looming, and we couldn’t compromise the show for the sake of a date. We went into Les Moonves’ office and figured the worst we could do is compromise the show to meet an airdate.”
In response to a reporter’s question that Fuller’s departure triggered two production delays, Kurtzman said: “The delay only happened once. This show is massive. We won’t be able to build these sets in time; Bryan’s transition make us think, ‘What are we going to do with our time?'”
He added: “I’m a tremendous fan of Bryan’s and we worked on the story. And when he decided that the balancing act of American Gods and Star Trek would compromise both shows, we set about to protect his vision.”
EP Aaron Harberts seconded that motion: After Fuller exited in late October, his fingerprints on Star Trek: Discovery remained. “One of things that he wanted to do was shake up the design of the Klingons … that they wouldn’t be the thugs of the universe, that they’d be sexy and vital and different.”
Harberts continued, “There were discussions that got deep into their biology and sculpture.”
EP Akiva Goldsman mentioned that the timeline for this canon will not occur during the “J.J. or the Kurtzman”-verse but in an area where familiar Star Trek characters will intersect. He also said that this Star Trek is “the most serialized version” that has ever existed, it’s “longform character story telling.” Even more than Deep Space Nine. Goldsman said the new series is set pre-TOS. “It’s a time of war and we’re trying to find out who we are as a federation and a collection of people in the face of adversity,” said the Oscar-winning scribe.
The lead character Michael Burnham played by Sonequa Martin-Green is Sarek’s foster daughter. For you non-Trekkies, Sarek is Spock’s father. Being a human raised by a Vulcan will impact Michael throughout the series, in fact it will play into some major decisions she makes at the onset of the series. Why does she have a man’s name: It’s just part of Fuller’s iconoclastic style.
Kurtzman also played a clip from Jeff Russo score with a 60-piece orchestra, in case you were wondering how big this show is on a production scale.
The 15-episode Star Trek: Discovery will bow Sunday, September 24, with a special broadcast premiere on CBS. The first and second episodes will be available on CBS All Access immediately after the broadcast premiere, with subsequent new episodes released Sundays on All Access.