It’s been 12 years since Star Trek Enterprise signed off after a disappointing 4th season. Trekkers were excited when CBS announced that Trek would be returning to the small screen in a 6th series titled Star Trek Discovery. The premiere will be on CBS broadcast network and the remaining will be available online at CBS All Access web streaming service. With the introduction of J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Kelvin timeline, the first question was would the new series be in the Kelvin or the Prime timeline. Much to everyone’s relief, it was announced that the new series would take place in the Prime timeline and would be set about ten years before The Original Series (TOS). Hard core trekkers were even more excited to learn that the new series will address the Earth-Romulan War which was discussed at great length during the TOS Episode (my personal favorite) “Balance of Terror.”
It seems that CBS has put the right pieces in to make this show a success. They brought in Rod Roddenberry, the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry; Alex Kurtzman, who worked on the Abrams’ films; super fan Bryan Fuller and finally Nicholas Meyer; the man who brought us two of the movies (The Wrath of Khan & Undiscovered Country). A group of fans were also brought into the writers room to ensure that cannon was strictly followed. The assembled cast of Michelle Yeoh, Sonquea Martin-Green, James Frain and Jason Issacs is very impressive.
The fact that the production has been plagued with issues has been the worst kept secret in Hollywood. The first sign of trouble was when Fuller left, then we got our first look at the production photos and most were disturbed that sets and costumes look more from the Kelvin timeline than the Prime (CBS has insisted that it could not obtain the legal rights to create a look that would be more consistent with the TOS). We have since learned that Gene Roddenberry’s hard rule of no conflict between the main characters has been thrown away (even Rick Berman strictly adhered to this). On September 24th we will get our first look at Discovery and I am still optimistic that it will be Trek, albeit a darker version.
However, there are rumors circling that Nicholas Meyer is no longer involved with Discovery but is instead working on a different Trek franchise, one more in line with the Prime timeline. This rumor comes from the fact that production has been troubled from the start and fans are not happy with what they have seen, as it seems to be the exact opposite of what was promised. If this is the case, Discovery would appear to have a short life expectancy. It will then be Meyer’s job to clean up a potential disaster and more important restore the faith of fans.