‘Star Trek: Discovery’ has undergone a rocky journey simply getting made and has yet to reach fans, but things are seemingly coming together at long last. The show was created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman, but Fuller abruptly exited the show.(He has since moved on to ‘American Gods’.) In his place, Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts were promoted to showrunners.
But fans of Fuller’s work– which includes, ‘Heroes’, ‘Pushing Daisies’ and ‘Hannibal’– Kurtzman insists that Fuller’s influence will still be felt on ‘Discovery’:
“No absolutely there are footprints left on the show. Someone once described Bryan to me as a unicorn and that’s just the truth. He’s a one of a kind writer. He’s just unbelievably brilliant and I really, really loved working with him and I loved seeing the way that his mind worked. Bryan was very involved in American Gods and I think that the scope and scale of what Trek has become made it so that Bryan elected to say, ‘I don’t wanna short-change either of these two things,’ they’re both sort of beloved to him, so we sat down and we figured out how are we going to take what we can have of you and continue that through not only this season of Trek but hopefully set up things that are coming next season. So much of what’s there in terms of story and certainly in terms of set-up, character, big ideas, the big movement of the season, that’s all stuff that Bryan and I talked about.”
Kurtzman also assured that despite the rough start, he thinks fans will be pleased once the show finally arrives this fall:
“I’m really excited for everybody to see Trek and I was extremely pleased with the reception that our trailer got. It was awesome, it was really cool. All I’m gonna say now is that you’re talking about a show that’s being written by a roomful of fans who all have very different relationships to Trek, and I think that’s a healthy thing and it’s a good thing. They love different aspects of Trek. We’re really excited with how the scripts are going; the scripts are going great.”
“We postponed our schedule because the truth is we did not want to put out something that was subpar, and as the vision expanded we started feeling like we weren’t gonna be able to deliver the scope and the scale that was on the page. And CBS was extremely supportive in saying, ’Okay you know what, this is streaming, it’s not like we have to beat out right away, let’s do the best version of this, Trek is too important for all of us.’”
And Kurtzman and the writers aren’t the only fans. Viewers can expect to see a few famous cameos as well:
“So many actors are fans. We literally got a list of them that were like, ‘Here are people who said they want to be on Star Trek’. It was awesome… To just be in an episode or come in or out.”
One new twist– and one that’s frankly overdue– is the inclusion of an openly gay character, Lt. Stemts, played by Broadway vet Anthony Rapp. ‘Trek’ has always been forward thinking, going all to the way back to the multicultural cast of the original show– which also featured the first interracial kiss between William Shatner’s Captain Kirk and Nichelle Nichols’ Lt. Uhura. Martin Luther King Jr. himself recognized the important work the show was doing and even encouraged Nichols to remain on the show after she received hate mail.
“I don’t feel that—going back to what you said about where television is at right now, it would be foolish of us to not only ignore it but not to take advantage of the fact that that’s how people are consuming stories and they’re hungrier for more complicated stories. What would have been a taboo subject 10, 15 years ago is now everywhere, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Do Kurtzman’s words of encouragement sooth any doubt you may have had about ‘Star Trek: Discovery’?
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ debuts this fall on CBS: All Access. Kurtzman’s film directing debut ‘The Mummy’ is out in theaters now.