CBS All Access is boldly taking a Star Trek series where no one has gone before in the Trek universe: to a streaming service. Although there's still no casting news regarding the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery, executive producer Bryan Fuller announced Wednesday during the Television Critics Association's fall previews that the reboot will be headlined by a woman.
Fuller (Hannibal) also said that they're looking to cast a diverse actress for the role, noting that the Star Trek franchise has historically been very diverse. "We're absolutely continuing that tradition," he said.
However, the series will be bucking tradition in at least one significant way. The lead character will be human, but she will not be a captain.
"The story that is fascinating, for me, is we've seen six series now from captains' points of view," said Fuller. "To see a character from a different perspective on a starship, who has a different dynamic [and] relationship with the captain and with subordinates, felt like it was going to give us richer context [and allow us to] have different types of stories with that character."
Fuller also promised that the show will include a gay character — something he's wanted to do since his days as a writer on Star Trek: Voyager, when he received angry letters from fans when rumors spread that Jeri Ryan's character might be gay. Overall, the series will include more aliens and more graphic content since the series won't be limited by broadcast restrictions.
Fuller's inclusive approach to the Star Trek series comes only hours after CBS Entertainment President Glenn Geller was grilled by reporters about the lack of diversity in CBS' new fall slate, as each of the network's six new programs are headlined by white men.
Here's what else we know about the series:
- The new series is set 10 years before Captain Kirk's five-year mission chronicled by Star Trek: The Original Series, but Fuller stated that it is not set during the Romulan War. He also confirmed the central event in the series will not be the Kobayashi Maru, a fictional no-win scenario (and name of a starship) used to test captains at Starfleet Academy.
- The new series will be set in the Prime universe as opposed to the J.J. Abrams films, which separated into the Kelvin universe in 2009.
- Although no official casting has happened, other characters in the series include a female admiral, a male Klingon captain, a male admiral, a male adviser and a British male doctor, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
- Star Trek begins production in September. The first episode of the series will debut on CBS in January 2017, before it moves to its permanent home, CBS All Access.
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