There’s still months before “Star Trek: Discovery” premieres on CBS All Access, but executive producer Bryan Fuller came to the 2016 summer TCA press tour ready to unleash all kinds of spoilery details about the show and the information he dropped did not disappoint.
For all of your “Star Trek: Discovery” needs, take a look at everything we know about the new series below.
A woman at the helm
The main character on “Discovery” will be a woman, but she won’t be the captain of the titular starship. Instead, Fuller wants to tell a “Star Trek” story from a perspective other than the captain. She will have the rank of Lieutenant Commander “with caveats” and is an original member of Starfleet.
There will be a gay character on the show
This was an easy answer for Fuller to reveal. He recalled his time on “Star Trek: Voyager” when the show received hate mail over the rumor that Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) would turn out to be gay. “We’ve come a long way since then,” he says. “I feel like actually gay rights have come a lot further in that time than race issues and women’s issues.”
‘Discovery’ predates Captain Kirk
It was revealed at the panel that the show will be set 10 years before Captain James Tiberius Kirk (William Shatner) took command of the Enterprise, setting off on his mission. It will focus on an incident in the “Star Trek” universe that was mentioned — but never seen — in the original series. Two events he ruled out are The Romulan War and Axanar, but he did say that Black Ops Section 31 could come into play in the new series.
Part of the reason for setting the series in the show’s past, rather than future, is to help evolve what “Star Trek” looks like for modern times. “We are going to be re-establishing an entire look for the series — not only for the series, but for what we want to accomplish for ‘Star Trek’ beyond the series,” Fuller says. “So we have to start early on with a touchpoint where people can understand and have access into it, show them how we’re re-imagining ‘Star Trek’ and then hold their hand as we pull them hopefully into a lot of different iterations of different timelines beyond what we have seen.”
This will be a much more serialized version of ‘Star Trek’
In a teaser video, Fuller described the series as telling the story of a “Star Trek” novel over 13 episodes. That’s a major shift from the historically episodic nature of “Star Trek,” but one he believes fits the episode order.
“I think with modern storytelling the way we’re seeing, particularly in a serialized world, to sustain one story over 22 episodes is going to be really challenging,” he says. “But to stretch it over 10 or 13, you can be much more cohesive and you don’t have to worry about treading water and storylines that take tangents that aren’t really about the bigger picture, so we’ll just focus on what’s important in the story.”
This is set in the Prime timeline
When JJ Abrams and Paramount launched a new “Star Trek” film franchise in a parallel universe, it was dubbed the Kelvin timeline, whereas the TV shows were set in the Prime timeline. That’s where “Discovery” will sit, making it entirely possible that younger versions of original series “Star Trek” characters could pop up at some point. Not until Season 2 at the earliest, though.
There will be new aliens introduced, including …
Saru. Fuller wouldn’t disclose any details about Saru, opting to leave that piece of the puzzle a mystery for now. However, he did say that in addition to new aliens, they would be re-imagining the designs of some aliens you know. After all, it’s 2016 and the prosthetics and makeup used now is far more advanced than it was during the original series.
Things could get pretty graphic
Since “Star Trek: Discovery” will show on CBS All Access, rather than over the air, there’s a bit more leeway when it comes to graphic content. “Well, there’s a reason we call it S.T.D.,” Fuller jokes. He said they may shoot certain scenes more than one way to determine what feels most authentic.
Spock’s mother could play a role
When asked whether Amanda Grayson, the character that happens to be Spock’s mom in the original series, could be a part of “Discovery,” Fuller hinted that it’s a definite possibility, saying, “We’re in a timeline where that character could factor in.” She could even be seen in Season 1.
Yes, there will be robots
It sort of goes without saying, but Fuller was happy to confirm that robots will factor into “Discovery.”
The little things
First and foremost, Fuller says the ship design that leaked has changed considerably already. Meanwhile, the opening scene for the show will not take place on Earth or another planet. Finally, when asked about how big the cast is, he answered, “Gosh, it’s a big cast. It’s standard with the ‘Star Trek’ cast, there are about seven.”
It’s coming in January
While casting is still underway and filming hasn’t begun, everyone expects “Star Trek: Discovery” to be ready to premiere on CBS All Access in January 2017.
Additional reporting by Andrea Reiher.