It’s difficult to believe that 50 years have past since the original Star Trek TV show boldly took audiences where their imaginations had only dreamt. In the same manner, it’s almost shocking that eleven years have past since the last Star Trek series, Enterprise, left the air. Gene Roddenberry’s wagon train to the stars were caught in a temporal vortex until J.J. Abrams somewhat controversial Star Trek reboot in 2009. Another 6 year would pass before CBS and Bryan Fuller – a former Trek writer himself – finally got the wheels (or the dilitheum matrix) unstuck.
In celebration of Trek’s fiftieth birthday, they CBS and Paramount spread out across San Diego Comic-Con this year, offering retrospectives and panels from the latest film, Star Trek Beyond. One of the most hotly anticipated panels, though, has been the Trek 50th Anniversary panel with William Shatner, moderated by Fuller. In it, the one-time Deep Space Nine and Voyager writer revealed the official title of the new Star Trek TV show: Star Trek: Discovery.
Speaking at SDCC, Fuller also confirmed something fans of the classic series were hoping for: Star Trek: Discovery will be set during the Prime timeline rather than the rebooted Kelvin alternate universe. However, Fuller remains mum on the exact era in which the new show will take place. Discovery will also consist of 13 episodes. As Fuller previously teased, the first season will be a continual story arc (instead of the weekly episode format) which will unfold over the season. Each episode will stream on CBS All-Access, although the first episode will premiere on CBS concurrently. You can watch the show’s teaser trailer above.
Along with an official title and its sharp new logo, Bryan Fuller also gave Trek fans their first taste of the latest ship to voyage into the final frontier. Christened the U.S.S. Discovery, with a designation of NCC-1031, the vessel will be the first launched on the small screen format since the Enterprise was ‘decomissioned’ in 2005. Fans’ first view of the Discovery comes as it emerges from what appears to be an asteroid-based space dock or construction facility. The latest ship has an updated look as well. While keeping the traditional saucer section and twin nacelle engines, the nacelles are set to the side, rather than directly behind and above the saucer section. This gives the ship almost hybrid-Klingon battle cruiser design (also similar to the alternate design from Star Trek: The Motion Picture). The Discovery also departs from the classic white/gray hull in favor of a golden-hued plating, unless it’s merely the lighting.
Although there is no in-canon explanation as to what a starship’s registration numbers signify, out of canon references point to original Star Trek designer Matt Jeffries’ numbering scheme. Assuming the antecedent designers followed his lead, the Discovery’s registration means it’s the 10th cruiser design and the 31st serial number of its class (with the 23rd century Enterprise bearing 1701, or 17th design and first of its serial number). Even if there was any merit to the theory, pinpointing an era based on registry numbers is still far from definitive. However, early rumors pointed to the latest series being wedged between the original films and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Hopefully, Fuller will clarify the new show’s point on the timeline and give fans more details soon, since the new Trek show is slated to begin filming this fall. We’ll keep you posted with all the latest news from Star Trek: Discovery.
Star Trek: Discovery debuts on CBS in 2017, before it begins airing on CBS All-Access thereafter.