Thursday 11 August 2016

New details of Discovery setting and characters

At the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills yesterday, Bryan Fuller, show runner of the new Star Trek TV series, Discovery, reveals lots of new details about the show's setting and characters. Continue below for all the latest.

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”.

Being so close to the setting of The Original Series we can expect to see some of the iconic designs of that era, but don't expect it to be treated like a period reproduction:
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?
Of all the characters that could reappear it seems Amanda Grayson (Spock's mum) is on Fuller's radar:
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 subordinates
She 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
The role hasn't been cast yet, but Fuller is looking to build a diverse cast, with seven main characters, including at least one gay character, and one assumes from all the talk of diversity some decent racial diversity too:
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 CBSTV 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.


rocketdave said...

If Spock's mom is involved somehow, I wonder if they might get Winona Ryder back...

Unknown said...

Pretty certain its the Tomed Incident

Unknown said...

Doubt it. Tomed Incident was in 2311.

Unknown said...

Kinda thinking it might be linked to the battle of Donatu 5 or the aftermath of it. Since the new show is set roughly 8-10 years after maybe the lead character is a survivor,lost family during it, etc.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

A conflict between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, if this lead character is a survivor, flashbacks to it allow the establishment of her backstory and the audience gets to learn details of the event. The main time frame could deal with her coming to terms with her past. Plus if there is a Klingon captain in the show, his character might be a participant of the battle, showing off the Klingon perspective. Just a thought since TOS didn't have alot of definitive event established for that time period. Can't imagine making a whole show out of contact with the Talosians.

Fox said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's going to be the Klingon Wars. They were alluded to in TOS, and pretty explicitly referenced in the Kirk movies, and that era is so light in terms of "canon" timeline stuff, there's really not much else to play with.

Unless it has to do with Kodoss the Executioner, but I kinda doubt it.

Everything seems to be shaping up for DSC to be a very good Star Trek show, even if I'm not super fond of the premise or starship design... but I do wonder about the uniforms. I'd love to see some kind of synthesis of TWOK-era or ENT-era uniforms... I deeply hope we don't end up with any version of the classic TOS uniforms. I'm sorry, but there's just no way to make featureless pastel shirts and pants look even remotely cool.

MattR said...

The Cage and Where No Man Has Gone Before uniforms could be closer to what is used. The colors on those weren't as pastel-y. And I actually like The Cage uniforms and away team jackets. Compare the Mezco Spock figures and there are a lot of differences that make the Cage versions more interesting

Unknown said...

Battle of Donatu V

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