Bryan Fuller teased a number of details at today’s Star Trek Discovery TCA panel, which is scheduled to drop in January on CBS All Access with its premiere episode debuting on CBS before moving over to the frosh streaming service. Here’s what Fuller divulged:
–Production starts in two months. “It’s set 10 years before Kirk, and will bridge the gap between Enterprise and the original series,” revealed Fuller. “We’re most closer to Kirk’s mission and get to play with that iconography.”
—Lead female character isn’t a captain, but “lieutenant commander with caveats,” says Fuller. “We haven’t cast her yet and we don’t know what level of diversity, she will be. The story that’s fascinating for me is that we’ve seen six series from captain’s point of view and to see one from another point of view gives us a richer context,” explained Fuller. She’ll be a sensitive hero.
–Overall, there about seven lead characters. Opening scene isn’t on a planet or Earth. One of the alien characters is named Saru.
–Fuller loves the character of Spock’s mother, Amanda Grayson, played by Winona Ryder in the J.J. Abrams 2009 movie. As far as her inclusion in season one, “possibly” said Fuller as the show’s timeline occurs around the same time as Grayson’s. In no way will the show be strictly about Grayson, rather an original member of Star Fleet.
—Star Trek was always about diversity. It was the show where a Russian man and a black woman co-existed on the same space crew. “We’re absolutely about continuing that tradition,” said Fuller, “It’s about who’s the best actor, what can we say about diversity in every role. We’ll have more aliens than you have on a Star Trek cast.”
— “There will be robots.”
–“Absolutely, we’re having a gay character,” said Fuller, “Alex Kurtzman, the straight man in the team was telling me we would need a gay character.
–Thirteen episodes? But most Star Trek seasons are over 20-something episodes. Fuller is keeping it tight, so that the storytelling is cohesive, and there aren’t any tangents associated, which can episode with a fully-loaded broadcast season.
—Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer is in the writers’ room. While there’s no Kobayashi Maru star fleet test, “we talk about Kobayashi Maru scenarios that star fleet officers might face,” added Fuller.
–The Discovery’s look is inspired by the Ralph McQuarrie illustrations from an abandoned 1970s Star Trek movie Planet of the Titans.
–Fuller at Comic-Con revealed that the series wouldn’t be episodic, but novel-like. “We will have episodes that stand alone, but are also part of a bigger story.”
–What about alien sex? “There’s a reason why we call it ‘STD’,” joked Fuller about the show’s acronym, “It’s still Star Trek and we’re not subject to broadcast standards and practices. Hannibal was, and we got away with murder. There will be slightly more graphic content.”
Deadline broke the news that David Semel is set to direct and executive produce the opening episode of the Star Trek series.