The show will apparently take place about ten years before The Original Series, and focus on a previously established event in Star Trek history, something mentioned in TOS:
There’s an incident and an event in Star Trek history that’s been talked about but never been explored. To do this series, we’re telling a much more serialized story, to dig deep into a very tantalizing storyline. And we have a character who’s on a journey, and in order to understand something that is alien, she first has to understand herself.While the exact natural of that event has not been revealed, a few thing have been ruled out by Fuller, it will not focus on the Battle of Axanar, the Kobayashi Maru scenario, or the Romulan War (although that suggestion was apparently remarked on as being "close"). Section 31 will also not be the focus but “might be some marble through the meat of our season”.
That allows us to bridge the gap between ‘Enterprise’ and the original series and redefine the visual style of the universe. We’re much closer to Kirk’s mission so we get to play with the iconography of those ships and those uniforms.
Since we are doing this series in 2016, and all of the other series have been produced [at a time that] isn’t as sophisticated as we are now with what we can do production-wise, we’re going to be reestablishing an entire look for the series — not only for the series, but for what we wanted to accomplish with Star Trek beyond this series.
We have to update the style of the effects, the style of the sets, the style of the makeup.The setting also of course opens the possibility of many familiar faces being able to turn up, with younger TOS characters very possible, and older Enterprise ones surely also an option. Fuller noted the series wont look to exploit that potential until the second season:
There’s so much about the history that once we get through this first season and establish our own Star Trek universe with the crew that going to be reimagining a lot of Star Trek elements, we’ll be looking in the second season to open up to more familiar characters and how they can feed into the [show]. First and foremost, I think we really want to convince you and establish the greatness of the [new] characters that are going to be introduced.
|Amanda Grayson (and Sarek?) to return?|
I love that character. I loved Winona Ryder’s portrayal of her [in the 2009 movie] and it’s a great character. It would be fun in some iteration of this show to incorporate her and her storyline she’s not a central part of the show but we love that character.Moving on to the new characters, the lead character will be a female, which Fuller described as a "Lieutenant Commander … with caveats". Yep, the captain won't be the star this time:
We’ve seen six series from captains’ points of view, so to see a character from a different perspective, who has a different dynamic with the captain, with subordinatesShe will apparently have:
...a strength and sensitivity and an amusing neurosis that goes with exploring space.Her personal arc will be a major part of the first season, and sounds ripe for allegory with several present day social and political issues:
In order to understand something that’s completely alien from her, she has to understand herself. It’s so easy to look at someone different from ourselves and think how we would think in their shoes, but we cannot imagine how they’d think because we are not them. It’s part of the character’s journey in this first season.
|A recent tease of aliens to come|
Star Trek started with a wonderful expression of diversity in its cast … our lead of the show is going to be subject of that same level of who’s the best actor and also what can we say about diversity on the show. We haven’t cast her yet, so we don’t know what level of diversity she will be, but that’s forefront in our minds. We’ll probably have a few more aliens than you typically have on the show. We wanted to paint a picture of Starfleet where we’re going to have new exciting aliens and also new imagining of existing aliens.
Apparently one of the new aliens will be called Saru. And the show will also feature robots in some capacity!
When asked about bringing in actors from previous projects Fuller stated that:
We’re looking at a lot of folks, we’re trying to figure out if their schedules permit.And also agreed when it was suggested to him that Lee Pace would make a great Vulcan (yes please!).
Fuller also spoke a bit about the structure of the series, again referring to it as being more like a novel:
...with each episode being a chapter of that novel, and within that chapter there's a beginning, middle and end. We will have episodes that exist by themselves but are a part of a much bigger story.It was also noted, as I imagine many assumed, that the first episode will be two hours long.
Quotes and notes via CBS, TV Line, Variety, and Entertainment Weekly.
Star Trek: Discovery is due to start in January next year, it will be distributed almost everywhere in the world on Netflix, except for the US where is will be available on CBS All Access, and Canada where it will be on Bell Media channels and services. To keep track of all the latest details from the new show, visit my Star Trek: Discovery guide page.