When Bryan Fuller stepped down as showrunner for Star Trek: Discovery back in October, there were still many questions left unanswered about his future involvement with the show. Seeing as Fuller got his career start on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (which later led to a writer/producer position on Star Trek: Voyager), it was easy to assume that he would stick around in some capacity. And while he did end up sticking around in an executive producer position, his exact role behind-the-scenes was left unclear with Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts now performing showrunning duties.
CBS did confirm that Star Trek: Discovery would follow the story path laid out by Fuller and co-creator Alex Kurtzman and that he would have some involvement in developing stories, but there were still no concrete answers. But now Fuller has revealed the extent of his responsibilities for Star Trek: Discovery - and fans who were hoping for a more hands-on role for the Hannibal creator may be left disappointed.
During a recent interview with Newsweek, Fuller revealed that one of the biggest factors that led to his departure from Star Trek: Discovery was the schedule laid out by CBS, which would have taken away valuable time for his other show, American Gods. More importantly, he disclosed that he’s no longer involved with production on the show whatsoever, confirming that his role will have no future impact on the creative direction of the first season. He did note, however, that he would be more than willing to participate in any potential second season, should it come to fruition. Fuller’s full answer on his involvement can be read below:
I’m not involved in production, or postproduction, so I can only give them the material I’ve given them and hope that it is helpful for them. I’m curious to see what they do with it.
Essentially, Fuller will only stick around Star Trek: Discovery in name only, as he focuses on American Gods over on Starz. Given that the first two episodes of the upcoming show will be based on scripts by Fuller, however, the show will certainly still contain traces of his creative DNA as it moves through its first season. As mentioned before, the show will also follow the story arc created by Fuller, which is expected to expand a whole season (a first for a Star Trek show, which classically relied on shorter episodic arcs).
It’s more than a little disappointing that Fuller will have no further involvement behind-the-scenes of Star Trek: Discovery, and the man himself called the decision “bittersweet.” Still, as much love that Fuller may have for the Star Trek brand for helping launch his career, it’s clear that his attention is focused on adapting Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, which he’s been working on since 2014. Fuller can only stretch himself so far before his creativity suffers for it, and stepping down as showrunner of Star Trek: Discovery could be his way of ensuring fans receive a quality finished product.
Star Trek: Discovery will air its pilot episode on CBS and its premium streaming service CBS All Access in May 2017, while future episodes will air exclusively on CBS All Access.