What to Know About Star Trek Discovery

What to Know About Star Trek: Discovery (DIS)

Read the latest “Star Trek Discovery” news

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Updated February 17th, 2017

Note: italicized items are rumors or speculation


CBS is producing a new Star Trek series, set to debut in <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">January</span> <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">May</span> 2017. Actual month is to be announced. The new series is entitled "Star Trek: Discovery" following the USS Discovery
CBS is producing a new Star Trek series, set to debut in January May 2017. Actual month is to be announced. The new series is entitled “Star Trek: Discovery” following the USS Discovery

Who Is Doing It

The Studios

Star Trek: Discovery (DIS) is a new live action Star Trek series following the USS Discovery, being produced by CBS Television Studios for the CBS All Access streaming service. Outside the USA and Canada, it is set to be streamed on Netflix. In Canada, Bell’s CraveTV (streaming) and Space (cable channel) will be carrying the show.

The Producers and Writers

Bryan Fuller (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager), Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek [2009], Star Trek Into Darkness) Rod Roddenberry (son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry), and Trevor Roth will all be the executive producers, Heather Kadin co-executive producer, Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) writer and consulting producer.

Updated (December 3, 2016): News that Bryan Fuller is no longer involved with Star Trek Discovery.

Updated (August 29, 2016): New announcements that Gretchen Berg, Aaron Halberts, and Jesse Alexander have been added to the writing staff.

Updated (October 29, 2016): It has been announced that Bryan Fuller is taking a back seat and that Gretchen Berg and Aaron Halberts will be taking over the roll of show-runners.

Bryan Fuller, Star Trek: Discovery. Comic Con
Bryan Fuller, Star Trek: Discovery. Comic Con

When Does Star Trek: Discovery Happen

The first episode of the new Star Trek: Discovery series, to be aired in January May 2017 (month TBA), will be directed by David Semel.  There is currently no set date of the pilot episode.

In terms of when the series takes place, we believe the new series will be just before, during, or just after Star Trek: The Original Series.  In other words, it’s likely that Star Trek Discovery will take place some time between the years 2230 and 2260.  There is no definitive information on the Star Trek Discovery timeline that has been release yet, however it’s expected that additional details will be released by August 10th.

Updated: The new series will be set approximately 10 years prior to the 5-year mission of Captain Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise.  These details were provided by Bryan Fuller himself during a TCA press conference.

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Filming Location(s)

On May the 2nd 2016, StarTrek.com announced that Star Trek: Discovery (then known only as “Star Trek”) would be filming in Toronto, Canada.

Filming starts September of 2016 (Update: September 15, 2016) November 2016 (Update: December 3, 2016) January 2017 in Toronto at Pinewood Studios, one of North America’s largest purpose-built sound stages.   Set construction was slated to start in July 2016, though as of this writing (August 2016) there has been no official announcements of construction commencing.

Star Trek Discover - Pinewood Toronto
Pinewood Studios, Toronto. Filming location of the new Star Trek: Discovery television series, coming January May 2017 (month TBA)

What We Know About the Show

Set in the prime universe (ENT, TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY), the brand-new Star Trek will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.

The lead of the series will be a human female, Lieutenant Commander Rainsford (rumored to be played by Sonequa Martin-Green), aka Number One, rather than a star ship Captain.  The time period would suggest the series is set during the Klingon Wars.  Indeed, there have been three Klingons cast so far (December 15 2016): T’Kuvma, L’Rell and Kol.

Ongoing Voyages of the USS Discovery

There will be a continuous story arc following crew of the USS Discovery for at least the first season, which will consist of 13 episodes of varying lengths.  It’s expected that episodes will run between 45-60 minutes each.  This is in stark contrast to most Star Trek series which were mostly episodic, Star Trek: Enterprise and parts of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine being the minor exceptions. Back in July, Fuller stated that they had “got the arc of the first season entirely written, or arced out… and we’ve got the first six episodes entirely broken.

Bryan elaborated on this all during San Diego Comic Con when he said “We’re telling stories in a brand-new way. We’re not so much episodic. There have been 762 episodes of Star Trek television, so we’re going to be telling stories like a novel, chapter by chapter.”

What we do know is that Star Trek: Discovery will take place in the Prime Universe.  This is in opposition to Star Trek (2009), Into Darkness, and Beyond, which take place in the Kelvin Universe.

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It is also likely that at least one other Starfleet vessel, the USS Shenzhou under the leadership of Captain Georgiou (played by Michelle Yeoh), will also play a major role in the first season of Star Trek Discovery.

USS Discovery - Saucer SectionHull
The bridge and hull of the USS Discovery, NCC 1031

There is no official word yet on where in time Star Trek Discovery takes place. There are no alpha characters appended to the NCC registry number in the Test Flight video (see below), whereas the USS Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation had the designation of “NCC-1701-D”,  so it’s likely set  just before or during The Original Series (now confirmed), assuming that no time travel has taken place.  It’s also possible the ship has been lost for a long time.

July 25 2016. It seems CBS has disabled their YouTube videos.
So I've used a different copy.

The USS Discovery’s Cast

Update (February 17 2017): The cast for Star Trek Discovery keeps growing.  More recently-added are Sam Vartholomeos, Maulik Pancholy, and Terry Serpico – all Starfleet officers.

Update (November 29 2016): News that Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Rapp, and Doug Jones are the first cast members to be announced.

As far as casting goes, work has begun on finding the right actors, and in typical Trek fashion, expect lesser known, but very  talented people.  More on Star Trek Discovery cast announcements.

Bryan Fuller has already had numerous meetings. “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,” he continued, “to look at all of these roles through a colorblind prism and a gender-blind prism.”

Check out the Star Trek Discovery Cast section for the most up to date details.

How You’ll Watch Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery is set to step into new territory for a Star Trek series by going straight to streaming services.  Here’s how you’ll be able to watch the show.

USA: CBS All Access (streaming)
Canada: Bell's CraveTV (streaming), Space (cable) English, Cinépop (cable) French
World: Netflix (streaming)
Watching Star Trek Discovery
Star Trek: Discovery will be the first Star Trek TV series showing exclusively around the world on streaming services.

Star Trek Discovery Novel and Comic Books

The crew of the USS Discovery will have both a companion novel and a comic book series being released in sync with the show.  IDW will publish the comics .  Kirsten Beyer will be assisting Mike Johnson on the production of the Star Trek Discovery comic books and will lead the effort for a new Trek novel with David Mack.

  • Michael Kurland

    In my opinion, there are several changes that need to happen before this show can even air:
    1. The USS Discovery must be redesigned to fit within the timeline that Bryan Fuller said the show would happen. (Preferably a Constitution-class vessel, with maybe a couple upgrades.)
    2. More diversity for the crews of ALL Starfleet vessels.
    3. A send-off from a character from “Star Trek: Enterprise”, the logical choice being T’Pol (Jolene Blalock). It’s been a tradition ever since DeForest Kelley appeared in the pilot of “Star Trek: TNG”.
    4. If the Enterprise appears, use the techniques from “Star Wars: Rogue One” to resurrect Leonard Nimoy as Spock. (Personal request from Adam Nimoy.)
    5. DO NOT mess with the basics.

    Live long and prosper.

    Michael Kurland
    Pittsburgh, PA