Star Trek: Discovery is going to have to answer certain questions across the course of its run, that much is clear. Chief amongst them: What does it mean to be Star Trek in 2017?
It’s a good question. Indeed, an essential one; as a show with a legacy spanning half a century, Discovery needs to find an answer as to why it’s a Star Trek show at all – hopefully an answer that goes beyond the need to profit off a well-known franchise.
Does this episode offer an answer to that question? No, not yet. Undeniably, it posits a starting point, giving a diverse vision of Star Trek that entirely unlike any the show has offered before. With a black female lead, an Asian woman in the Captain’s chair, and the promise of a same-sex couple on the horizon, this is the show Star Trek has always claimed to be. Michael Burnham is exactly what the face of Star Trek should be in 2017, if not frankly earlier – with these characters, Star Trek: Discovery is at last able to realise the potential that the franchise has always offered but never fulfilled. It is difficult to overstate just how important this is, but it’s worth remarking on and emphasising it again, because Star Trek has finally joined the 21st Century.
Here’s the first of my reviews of Star Trek: Discovery – click the link to read the full review!
With hindsight, I don’t know exactly how, or even if, Star Trek: Discovery answered the question of what it meant to be Star Trek in 2017. It’s a difficult question, certainly – I’m not even sure I’d know what I’d want the answer to be. (Perhaps the answer was there and I just missed it; I’ll no doubt eventually rewatch the series and write about it again, so maybe I’ll divine the answer then.)
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The teaser trailer gave a January 2017 premier date for CBS All Access, as well as restating that the opening episode of the series would also play on the CBS channel proper. (Within the past week, it was also confirmed that Star Trek: Discovery would be available on Netflix in the UK, within 24 hours of the American release.) David Semel, who has previously worked on Person of Interest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and American Horror Story, will be executive producing and directing the opening episodes. He’s also been nominated for an Emmy award for his work directing the pilot episode of Heroes, making him particularly well suited to helm the pilot episode of Star Trek: Discovery.
Fuller has also stated that the series “won’t be episodic”, and compared the storytelling to being akin to a novel. He was also keen to restate his commitment to continuing the ethos of Star Trek, saying “The new series has to remind audiences the message of Star Trek — continuing to push boundaries”. As well as this, Fuller also commented on the need to “celebrate a progression of our species”, because “right now we need a little help”; he also drew attention to one of the core ideals of Star Trek, stating that “individuality should be celebrated. Star Trek celebrates diversity”.
I’ve written an article about Star Trek: Discovery! It collates some different quotes of Bryan Fuller’s, as well as discussing the new ship design, its antecedents, and what it might mean for the series going forward.
I have to say, I remain very excited for this series.
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