With filming scheduled to begin this fall on CBS All-Access' Star Trek: Discovery, fans are slowly getting a clearer picture of the latest small screen adventure. Showrunner Bryan Fuller recently confirmed that the show will be set 10 years before James T. Kirk took command of the Enterprise, and that it will follow the ship’s female second-in-command “Number One.” While no casting news has emerged so far, Fuller and crew have been testing primarily African-American and Hispanic women for the lead.
In preparation for the U.S.S. Discovery’s maiden voyage this January, the latest series will get some added support from a couple of tie-ins.
Trek Movie reports (via Screen Crush) that Discovery writer Kirsten Beyer spoke about the show’s forthcoming supplemental materials at the 50th anniversary convention, Mission: New York. She says that Simon and Schuster will publish a series of corresponding novels, with the first book being penned by fan-favorite Trek author David Mack. In addition, Beyer announced that IDW plans on releasing a corresponding comic book series. The artistic talent behind the comic, as well as its overall scope, has yet to be divulged, though. Beyer will also oversee the continuity between Discovery's televised presence, comics, and novelizations – something the former Star Trek: Voyager novelist is perfectly suited for.
IDW is already following up on Kelvin-set Star Trek Beyond, as well as issuing comics that tap into familiar realms like The Next Generation and The Original Series. In addition, a steady stream of novels is still boldly going into the backstory and future of long-established and more recent heroes and villains. It’s no surprise that CBS plans to expand Star Trek: Discovery's universe, as the franchise has often relied on ancillary materials like novels, video games, and comic books to flesh out the myriad characters, alien species, and worlds. Since Star Trek's inception, thousands of spinoffs have kept fans connected, as well as hungry for the next movie or episode.
While many longtime fans were disappointed that Star Trek: Discovery wouldn't venture into post-Voyager realms, the latest Trek will still visit a generally unfamiliar era. With a few exceptions, the period before Kirk and crew warped into our imaginations is one which official books and comics rarely tapped into. Unless uncovering the recent past of TOS, or the distant future of the Star Trek: Enterprise crew, most canonical fiction tends to be hitched to established time periods and characters – aside from a few post-Next Generation and Undiscovered Country-set works.
As a result, there does appear to be plenty of interesting material to uncover in the decades between the 22nd and 23rd century Enterprises. Fuller has a stalwart band of Trek veterans at his behest. Hopefully, they’ll be able to succeed where the prior retrospective-series, Enterprise, went astray.
Star Trek: Discovery debuts on CBS in January 2017 and streams exclusively through CBS All Access thereafter.