Friday, 24 June 2016

New details of new Star Trek TV series, a 13 episode arc

Collider have posted an interview with new Star Trek TV series showrunner Bryan Fuller, who, while carefully avoiding giving away too many specifics, gave a lot of new details about the show.

First up, speculation that this might be a shorter season than we traditionally get in Star Trek has been confirmed. The first season will be thirteen episodes long, with a season long story arc, and the writing team are already well into it:
We’ve got the arc of the first season entirely written, or arced out, and we’ve got the first six episodes entirely broken.
Interestingly the fact this is being made for a streaming service apparently also mean we might not get the usual episode lengths either. When asked if they would be hour long episodes:
I think our runtime is flexible because it’s streaming.
Fuller also spoke a little about the general shape of the series, and how the creative team was able to shape it:
When I first sat down with them, it was “Do you have a plan of what you want to do?” And they said, “No,” and I said, “I have a plan,” and we started talking. And it was wonderful to be working with Alex Kurtzman, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for, and who’s such an elegant storyteller and crafting a story with him that ties in so many elements of Star Trek that I think people will be really excited about because you can look at the original series and pick out episodes we’re using the DNA of and using the spirit of what Star Trek offers, both in terms of high-concept science fiction storytelling and really wonderful metaphors for the human condition.
UPDATE: Speaking to Moviefone as well, Fuller roundly debunked many of the rumours about the new series, while suggesting some of the reports have hit upon truths:
I mean, it's funny. I've read that we're [set] before "Next Generation," after ["Star Trek VI: The] Undiscovered Country," which is false. I've read that it's an anthology show, which is not accurate. So it's interesting to see those suggestions, and seeing the truth mixed in with them and going like, "Oh, they got that part right..." But it's sort of on the truth-o-meter on PolitiFacts. It's sort of like some truth, and a lot of like, "No -- pants on fire! That's not true."
Responding to the plural use of "crews" in the teaser trailer, he spoke a little more about the arc structure:
No, I think we will be seeing lots of crews in the story. One of the things that is exciting for me is that we are telling a "Star Trek" story in a modern way. We're telling a 13-chapter story in this first season. It's nice to be able to dig deep into things that would have been breezed passed if we were doing episodic and had to contain a story to an episode.
Back with Collider: Looking further into production, casting is apparently underway, and this also offered some indications of the kind of diversity Fuller might be aiming for:
I’ve met with a few actors, and it’s an interesting process. There’s a few people that we like and we want to carry on what Star Trek does best, which is being progressive. So it’s fascinating to look at all of these roles through a colorblind prism and a gender-blind prism, so that’s exciting.
When Moviefone asked about returning characters he seemed open minded:
Eventually. Eventually.
Meanwhile the Collider discussion also identified a new member of the production team:
We haven’t booked directors yet. We booked Vincenzo Natali, who will be our producing director, but he’s not directing the first episode.
And there was some talk of ambitious effects ahead:
We have hired VFX producers, and they’re working with the companies and culling the team together because we need to do a lot of things in-house because if we start paying FX houses per shot for something for the things we want to do like digital augmentation on certain alien species, how we’re going to see the transporter beams, we’re trying to cultivate distinct looks for all of those things that are unique to our version of Star Trek and carry through the themes we love seeing in fifty years of Star Trek, but doing a slightly different approach.
You can read the full interviews on Collider and Moviefone, and also watch the Collider one below:

The new Star Trek series is due to start in January next year. The first episode will air in the US on the CBS Television Network, but subsequent episodes will be available exclusively on the the CBS All Access on demand streaming service. International distribution has yet to be detailed. To keep track of all the latest details from the new show, visit my Star Trek (2017 TV series) Guide page.

1 comment:

Fox said...


I do wonder about his words re: Kurtzman. "Elegant" is just about the last word I'd use to describe the scripts for 2009 or Into Darkness. But, who knows, maybe Bob Orci really is to blame for all the bad writing (he certainly seems to be asking for it).

The only thing that really worries me at this point is the 13-episode arc format. Star Trek is, at its heart, really made for the episodic format. One of the greatest strengths of which is that, if a story is bad, it's only bad for one week. With a serial, if the story's bad, it sours the whole season.

TBH, I really think DS9 is the model to follow. Mostly episodic with 100% character continuity. But with the industry being where it is, and streaming television being all about catering to binge-watching, I guess the serial format is seen as the safer route.