Star Trek: Discovery began production last week in Toronto and CBS has shared a new production videopreviewing new set construction, new uniforms, and even a new delta shield design.
Discovery will be the sixth series in the franchise. The cast includes Sonequa Martin-Green (The Walking Dead) and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Marco Polo). The production team reassured fans that they were committed to Gene Roddenberry’s vision of diversity and will include a wide representation with its characters. This also means both new and returning alien species. Several species, including Klingons and Vulcans, have already been cast and the original teaser promised “new worlds” although it is unclear how that will work within the already establish cannon of the franchise.
Producers have not revealed too many details however we know the new series will take place shortly before the events of the Original Enterprise’s five-year mission. Early on clues included an older ship design, its registration number (NCC-1031 visible on the early teaser trailer), and producer Bryan Fuller’s hints that the series will revolve around an “incident in the history of Starfleet that had been talked about but never fully explored.”
Later it was confirmed that Discovery will take place 10 years before The Original Series and may even include some characters we are familiar with. CBS has already cast James Frain (Orphan Black) to play Spock’s father. The new production video supports this as it reveals new uniforms that share characteristics of both Enterprise and The Original Series uniforms as well as a very familiar looking Captains chair.
It was also confirmed that this series would take place in the Prime timeline, that is the original one not the one the film reboot is set in. Fuller did tell Ain’t It Cool News that the “timeline was relatively inconsequential” but it was easier to keep to the main timeline where they did not have to track consequences from the films.
The production team has said that it will different from its predecessors in a few key ways including being told from the perspective of an officer, Lt. Cmdr Rainsford (Sonequa Martin-Green), on board rather than having the Captain as the central focus. The structure of the show’s production will also be changing.
CBS has only ordered 13 episodes, on regular cable that is not an unusual move, as companies like to assess the success of a show before committing further. Discovery will not air on cable, however, CBS has set a course for exclusive digital distribution over streaming services which means that each season will probably only be between 10 and 13 episodes as opposed to the 20 or so that cable shows tend to produce. This is both good and bad for fans as fewer episodes could mean better quality to each individual episode.
Production is now fully underway in Toronto, Canada which means the series will likely premiere next fall or in early 2018. Unlike other series in the franchise, Discovery will be distributed exclusively through streaming platforms. US viewers can watch on CBS All Access, Canadian viewers on Space, and international viewers on Netflix.