As the first live action Star Trek series since Enterprise was cancelled more than a decade ago, the pressure is on for Discovery to get pretty much everything right — and the writers are taking that challenge very, very seriously.
We’ve already heard that Discovery would toss out Gene Roddenberry’s golden rule of not having direct conflict among the crew, but don’t think that means the new Trek series will be throwing out much anything else from the beloved sci-fi franchise. In an interview with CNET, producer Alex Kurtzman said they plan to revisit themes and ideas from The Original Series (Discovery is technically a prequel to the franchise-starter), while also filling a writers' room with hardcore fans.
Taking that a step further, Kurtzman said they literally have a few Trek fact-checkers in the writers' room to ensure that any story or episode ideas don’t step on the toes of established facts and stories within the universe. Check out an excerpt from his comments below:
“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.
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!’”
It’s obviously not uncommon for a new installment in a major franchise to double-check the facts along the way, but for Trek fans, it’s an encouraging thought to know the Discovery team is taking what’s come before so seriously. If they can strike a balance of doing something fresh while also respecting the franchise’s roots, Discovery truly could be something special.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres September 24 on CBS, and the series will run as an exclusive on the network’s CBS All Access streaming service.