UPDATE with video: With the world premiere of Star Trek Beyond earlier this week and today’s Star Trek 50th anniversary panel in Hall H, Comic-Con 2016 is going very Starfleet. Among the news: the CBS All Access reboot will be called Star Trek Discovery, according to showrunner Bryan Fuller. He also confirmed the January 2017 debut date and said that the CBS All Access show “won’t be episodic” but rather will tell stories like a novel.
“Because it’s on CBS All Access, won’t miss anything,” Fuller said of the streaming service. “It’s all at your fingertips.”
Fuller was joined on the panel this afternoon the original Captain Kirk, William Shatner, who got a standing ovation from the packed house, plus franchise stars Scott Bakula, Michael Dorn, Jeri Ryan, and Next Generation‘s Brent Spiner, another fan favorite. (His impression of Patrick Stewart arguing that Captain Picard was the best USS Enterprise leader was a panel highlight.)
“These folks represented the future for all of us,” Fuller told the crowd.
Much of the panel focused on the state of affairs on the actual Planet Earth. “We’re in a time now where identity is under attack,” Spiner said. “It’s disturbing.” He added about the current climate in America: “Politicians could learn from Star Trek.”
Fuller was on the same page, clearly having an idea of where to take the discussion. “Individuality should be celebrated. Star Trek celebrates diversity.” He added: “It seems like a great statement from [Star Trek creator] Gene Roddenberry, who felt the human race just has to get along.”
“Science fiction has always fascinated me not jut because of the science but also the optimism,” Bakula said. “Even when it’s dark, I feel human beings will work it out.”
Deadline broke the news yesterday that David Semel is set to direct and executive produce the opening episode of the Star Trek series. The debut episode will air on CBS before it moves to its permanent home at CBS All Access.
“The new series has to remind audiences the message of Star Trek — continuing to push boundaries,” Fuller said. Later, he said of one of the motivations of the series: “We do have to celebrate a progression of our species because right now we need a little help.”