Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman is attempting to calm the nerves of anxious Trek fans by promising that the prequel series will not only honor the continuity of the original TV show, but will tie into it in surprising ways.
The upcoming CBS All Access series is the first Star Trek television series since Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled in 2005. Discovery revolves around the lead character of Commander Michael Burnham, played by The Walking Dead alum Sonequa Martin-Green. Previews for Discovery, which is set ten years before the adventures of Kirk and Spock, have showcased a decidedly flashier vision of Starfleet, as well as a seemingly radical redesign of the Klingons.
In an interview with CNET, Kurtzman promises fans that despite the upgraded visuals, Discovery will honor both the spirit and plot of the stories that have come before:
"If you are a fan of Trek you are going to see a lot of things which hearken back to the original series and elements of the original series...I'm not just talking plot, but the spirit of what that show was. We are going to be revisiting a couple of things on Star Trek: Discovery that I think people are going to find familiar. Without spoiling anything we are adhering to a timeline and sticking to the rules, but also I think finding some new areas and avenues that have only been alluded to, but never fully explored."
Kurtzman also points out that Discovery's writers room is stocked with Star Trek devotees who are not going to allow the series to lose sight of what makes Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future so special:
“You've got a roomful of people with very different and very devoted relationships to Star Trek in that writers room. And that carries on a pretty proud tradition of Trek being written by fans. You have to respect canon as it’s being written. You can't say, ‘That never happened.’ No, no no, you can’t do that, they would kill you. Star Trek fans would kill you. No, you have to respect canon. You have to understand the timelines and what the different timelines were and what the different universes were and how they all worked together. You have to keep very meticulous track of who, what, where, when and why. And we have people in the writer’s room whose sole job is to say, ‘Nope, can’t do that!’”
Kurtzman's reassurances come as many fans have grown uneasy about Discovery. Discovery endured a difficult production process earlier on, losing initial series creator and showrunner Bryan Fuller along the way. While very little is being said about Discovery's plot, the fact that the creators are making it a priority to preserve Star Trek's long and storied history is at least a positive sign.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres September 24 on CBS, before moving to CBS All Access for further episodes.