From the “We All Saw This Coming” files: CBS announced today that the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery has been pushed back to May of 2017.
The greatly anticipated new Trek show has been scheduled for a January premiere since the network announced it last year. Discovery will debut its first episode in a prime-time broadcast on CBS, and then warp to its regular home on the digital streaming service CBS All Access.
The additional time gives the production room to finish casting and begin shooting this year, as well as sufficient post-production time for the 13-episode first season — which is, of course, expected to be heavy on visual effects.
Casting is reportedly underway, but the fact that the cast was not announced and cameras set rolling by the summertime meant that a January premiere was going to be logistically impossible.
“Bringing Star Trek back to television carries a responsibility and mission: to connect fans and newcomers alike to the series that has fed our imaginations since childhood,” executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Bryan Fuller said. “We aim to dream big and deliver, and that means making sure the demands of physical and post-production for a show that takes place entirely in space, and the need to meet an air date, don’t result in compromised quality. Before heading into production, we evaluated these realities with our partners at CBS and they agreed: Star Trek deserves the very best, and these extra few months will help us achieve a vision we can all be proud of.”
“The series template and episodic scripts that Alex and Bryan have delivered are incredibly vivid and compelling,” CBS Television President David Stapf said. “They are building a new, very ambitious Star Trek world for television, and everyone involved supports their vision for the best timing to bring to life what we all love on the page.”
The delay also has the benefit of putting the high-profile show in the important May sweeps period.
Fuller’s public statements in recent weeks have revealed a number of things about Star Trek: Discovery, including:
- The lead protagonist is a woman, but for the first time in Trek history not the ship’s captain but first officer (a Lieutenant Commander … “with caveats”). While we will learn her name eventually, she’ll be identified as “Number One” — in honor of Majel Barrett’s character in the original Star Trek pilot episode.
- The show will also feature a gay character.
- Discovery is set a decade before The Original Series, which on the timeline puts it in the 2250s.
- An alien character named “Saru” appears, but Fuller refused to elaborate on whether Saru is a main character or on Discovery‘s crew
- The show will feature “more aliens than you normally do in a Star Trek show. We’re going to have new, exciting aliens and also re-imaginings of existing aliens.”
- You may see Amanda Grayson, Spock’s mother, though she won’t be a central part of the line-up.
- The classic Romulan battle episode “Balance of Terror” is “a touchstone for the Star Trek: Discovery story arc” (via Twitter)
- The show is set in the Prime Universe, not the reboot of the current feature films (which at this point on the timeline includes a ship of Romulans from the future, who 15 years earlier traveled back in time and destroyed the U.S.S. Kelvin).
Keep it with SciFi Stream for our coverage of Star Trek: Discovery in the months ahead!