The new Star Trek: Discovery television series from CBS is starting to get a lot of attention after last week's Comic-Con International in San Diego. The highly-anticipated show finally got an official title and short teaser, giving fans a glimpse at the all-new eponymous starship. The franchise is trying its best to keep Star Trek in the public eye by re-reviving the series for a new, modern audience. New additions to one of the longest-running franchises in both television and film are hoping to capture the same essence and lore of the original Star Trek TV series that first created such a massive fan base – Trekkies.
Although we haven't heard any official details concerning the new crew on Discovery, the show's producers did offer up a few hints at the Star Trek Comic-Con Hall H panel that are sure to excite fans, as the franchise is clearly moving in a more progressive direction. It sounds like showrunner Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and executive producer Heather Kadin (Sleepy Hollow, Scorpion) are leaning towards casting a black female captain to lead the Discovery.
During the panel, they also explained that the show will continue many of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s ideas, while aiming for a diverse and possible female-driven cast:
“I take it really seriously. Fortunately, so does Bryan. Yes, I think as a female you’ll see, when you start to hear more about the series, that’s a big part of it.”
Fuller discussed the potential new captain on Discovery and spoke of astronaut Mae Jemison (the first black woman in space) as his inspiration:
“I think that Star Trek is a show of firsts. And in researching the characters for this new iteration of Star Trek I’ve been talking to Mae Jemison, who’s the first black woman in space, and who saw Star Trek in the ‘60s and who saw Nichelle Nichols on the bridge of a ship and said ‘I see myself in space.’
So there’s something wonderful about the legacy that Nichelle Nichols represents as giving a gift to people who weren’t previously able to see themselves in the future. We are going to be continuing that tradition of progressive casting and progressive character work to be an inclusive world.”
In the previous Star Trek TV shows, there was only one female captain; Captain Kathryn Janeway sat in the big chair in Star Trek Voyager. Now, it sounds like we will be seeing another leading lady commanding the new starship. Because diversity in television and film is currently a hot topic in Hollywood, it's refreshing to see familiar franchises taking the lead on such a serious issue. In fact, these casting decisions are most likely the best way to grab the attention of a new, modern audience.
The new Star Trek series will debut on CBS All Access and Netflix in January 2017.