A funny thing happened over the weekend. Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Bryan Fuller went and dropped a crucial detail about the golden-anniversary-celebrating franchise’s upcoming return to television with the identity of its main character. However, in doing so, he also validated a theory posted weeks ago right here on Blastr (deduced by yours truly).
On an Aug. 27 radio interview with Hercules of Ain’t It Cool News, Fuller was forthcoming with more details on Star Trek: Discovery, most notably with the reveal of the “Prime” universe-set show’s main character, previously teased earlier this month at the Television Critics Association press tour as a human female “Lieutenant Commander with caveats.” Now, that character has a name, and it’s one we already theorized in Number One, aka the USS Enterprise’s originally intended first officer, played by Majel Barrett Roddenberry in Star Trek’s first attempted pilot, “The Cage.” As the host himself recaps in his report:
“Star Trek Discovery’s” lead character, whom we learned earlier this month would be a female, human non-captain Starfleet officer, will be referred to in the series as “Number One,” showrunner Bryan Fuller told me during a radio chat late Saturday. "When we introduce our protagonist, she is called 'Number One' in honor of Majel Barrett's character in the original pilot ["The Cage," which starred Jeffrey Hunter as Capt. Christopher Pike]. And as we were first talking about the series, talking to CBS, we said initially we will only call this character Number One."
Of course, we shouldn’t expect this new realization of Barrett’s original character to keep cavorting around the spaceways under the nom de guerre “Number One” for the entirety of the series. However, Fuller does clarify that her real name will be one of the primary mysteries of Star Trek: Discovery, promising a reveal “before the end of the first season.”
Fuller also dropped other Discovery details that could potentially sate salivating Trekkies. For one thing, Fuller -- who has his hands quite full juggling Discovery with his television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods -- has hired some familiar personnel as co-showrunners from the writing team in Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, who both worked with Fuller on his celebrated but short-lived 2004 dramedy Wonderfalls. The Berg/Harberts duo have also worked together on a variety of shows such as Reign, Revenge and Mercy.
The writing staff will also add the talents of Jesse Alexander (Hannibal, Heroes) and playwright Kemp Powers. However, the team they have joined are apparently just starting to chip away at the 13-episode debut season. As Fuller explains.
"We have the first three scripts [completed] and then we have outlines for [hours] four and five. We know what the story is for episode 11 and it's one of my favorites for the season."
Fuller obviously couldn’t get much deeper substantively, claiming that the creative crew have not yet even decided on the direction they’ll be taking the show’s theme music. However, he did make an interesting claim, assuring fans that in this nascent stage of the series, Discovery won't be breaking out the devastating deus ex machina meddling of time travel. Additionally, Fuller reveals that sights are set for casting confirmations in a little over a month, stating:
"We'll probably have some [casting] announcements in October. We've met with fantastic actors and of course there are people I've worked with before that I'd love to see on Star Trek. We're trying to figure out everybody's schedules."
So there you have it, folks. Star Trek: Discovery marks a monumental small-screen return of one of the biggest sci-fi properties to the medium on which it made its mark with a tribute to the late Majel Barrett Roddenberry's celebrated character in "The Cage." While CBS plans to broadcast the pilot episode on the airwaves, the show will be used to facilitate the launch of the network’s premium streaming outlet CBS All Access sometime in January 2017.