Star Trek is finally returning to the small screen after an absence of over 10 years. The latest entry in the 50-year-old franchise was recently unveiled as Star Trek: Discovery, although its evocative moniker hasn’t been fully explored yet. However, since the term ‘discovery’ has a long history within the science fiction and scientific communities, it’s unsurprising that the production chose to name the ship and show after the evocative term.
Executive producer and showrunner Bryan Fuller has now explored Star Trek: Discovery’s name in greater detail. In addition to explaining its significance, Fuller has expounded upon what the show's title means for the future of the larger Star Trek franchise.
In a video shown at Star Trek: Mission New York (via Comic Book), Fuller discussed the reasons the ship and the show were christened Discovery. The word itself is loaded with significance through its connections to film, books, and human exploration throughout history. The executive producer specified that the name was indicative of the sense of wonder the new Star Trek outing is trying to capture (and recapture) for the series. Fuller said:
“This ship is called the Discovery for a few reasons. Not the least of which is Stanley Kubrick’s contribution to the Discovery on 2001: A Space Odyssey, NASA’s vessel the Discovery, and also the sense of discovery. [It’s about] what the word ‘discovery’ means to Star Trek audiences who have been promised a future by Gene Roddenberry where we come together as a planet and seek new worlds and new alien races to explore and understand and collaborate with.”
Fuller also reiterated that Discovery would introduce and reintroduce alien species, vessels, and technologies both familiar and strange – something which meshes with fans' overall understanding of the project so far. Set 10 years before The Original Series, the latest escapade will follow the ship’s female, non-alien second-in-command (or Number One). It will also include a whole host of alien species both on-board the Discovery and beyond. In addition, the series will follow a non-standard format, being serialized rather than episodic in nature. A full spread of tie-ins is also in the works to further connect fans with the most recent trek through space.
Setting the show between two fairly well-traveled eras could make it challenging to introduce new technology and species on the next Trek, though. Much like its poorly-received predecessor Star Trek: Enterprise, seeking out new life and new civilizations in the past may require a little retconning, as well as some patience from fans. A change in format and perspective, while both potentially interesting developments, could also be undermined by CBS’s choice to air the show on its pay-service, All Access.
At the same time, hosting Star Trek: Discovery on a streaming service does allow for a deeper exploration of adult themes which would be toned-down on network television. And of course, the Star Trek universe is a vast one. Even in 50 years of programming and movies, Starfleet and the Federation have only begun to scratch the surface of their little sector of the cosmos. If Fuller and his team can chart unmapped regions of a familiar timeline, the upcoming Trek has a better chance of standing out among its peers.
Star Trek: Discovery debuts on CBS in January 2017 and streams exclusively through CBS All Access thereafter.
Source: Comic Book