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SYFY WIRE Star Trek: Discovery

WIRE Buzz - Star Trek edition! New Picard Short Treks and spinoff comics announced; Discovery inbound

By Benjamin Bullard & Tara Bennett
Star Trek Picard Key Art

Even though it’s often referred to as a spinoff, Patrick Stewart’s upcoming Picard series for CBS All Access definitely has the look and feel of a main event for longtime Star Trek fans — and, as it turns out, for CBS as well.

CBS All Access rolled out some cool new updates on both Picard and the upcoming third season of Star Trek: Discovery at today's gathering of the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles, California, noting that Season 3 of Discovery will arrive at the premium platform sometime in the latter half of next year — and unveiling a trove of new projects that’ll tie in closely with Stewart’s Picard return.

SYFY WIRE attended the press event, where CBS All Access EVP Original Content, Julie McNamara, said Picard is shaping up to be a “really nice hybrid” of The Next Generation’s storytelling style, but with the more high-production size and scope of Discovery. The new series is even getting three of its own Short Treks mini-episodes ahead of next year’s launch — which segues nicely into the next bit of new Star Trek goodness:

Via The Hollywood Reporter, two new tie-ins with the updated adventures of Cpt. Picard have just been revealed, and each appears to fit within the new Trek canon that the Picard series is building.

CBS and IDW Publishing reportedly are partnering on a new comic book prequel launch, the three-issue Star Trek: Picard - Countdown, which is being written by Trek and DC Comics veteran Mike Johnson and Kirsten Beyer (a supervising producer on the Picard TV series). The prequel will focus on “a single mission that would change the life of Picard,” via the report, and the first monthly issue is set to arrive this November.

When Countdown’s three-issue run ends in January of 2020, it’ll reportedly be followed by a second spinoff — this one in book form. Written by Una McCormack (Doctor Who, Star Trek), The Last Best Hope will arrive in February as a novel that “will lead directly into the Picard television series proper,” according to THR, introducing new Star Trek characters who’ll go on to show up on the small screen in the main Picard series.

If that’s not enough Star Trek for one day, check out the video below, which sets up a just-announced, officially licensed virtual reality experience that boldly takes the franchise further into VR gaming territory:

What you’re looking at is a free-roaming VR offering from developer Sandbox VR, in partnership with CBS Interactive, titled The Star Trek: Discovery Away Mission. Sandbox says the upcoming project will warp the player and some friends (who round out the crew) aboard the Discovery, for an “authentic ‘away mission’ with phasers and tricorders” to — you guessed it — “explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no one has gone before.”

The Star Trek: Discovery Away Mission will debut first at events staged at Sandbox VR’s Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Los Angeles locations this fall, with a full worldwide launch promised to follow “shortly after.”