Star Trek has been a staple of the #scifi community for more than 50 years, with the crew of the USS Enterprise (and other ships) traveling across deep space in search of new alien civilizations. Creator Gene Roddenberry had a utopian vision of the future in which people had settled all of their differences, and he therefore banned the show's writers from depicting interpersonal conflict between the Starfleet crew members.
The rule didn't count if a member of Starfleet was under any kind of alien influence, of course, but it still posed a challenge. Conflict is the heart of drama, and Roddenberry didn't want to depict any of it.
As the franchise progressed — from the original series (TOS) to The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and numerous films — the rule wasn't followed as strictly. After Roddenberry died in 1991, it was largely abandoned. Still, many subsequent Trek writers didn't want to take the conflict too far, lest they disrespect Roddenberry's wishes.
However, with the latest iteration, Star Trek: Discovery, airing in September on CBS All Access, co-showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg assured fans of Trek drama that Discovery will include members of Starfleet getting irritated with one another, telling Entertainment Weekly:
“We’re trying to do stories that are complicated, with characters with strong points of view and strong passions... People have to make mistakes — mistakes are still going to be made in the future. We’re still going to argue in the future.”
Despite the presence of tension, Harberts reveals that the series will ultimately draw inspiration from Roddenberry when deciding how to handle these conflicts:
“The thing we’re taking from Roddenberry is how we solve those conflicts... So we do have our characters in conflict, we do have them struggling with each other, but it’s about how they find a solution and work through their problems.”
'Discovery' Will Not Be Serialized, Not Episodic Like Previous Treks
Another key change is that Discovery will be heavily serialized — telling a single story over the season, instead of one self-contained story per episode — which, depending on what version of Star Trek is your favorite, will determine whether fans check it out this fall.
Two of the most popular iterations of #StarTrek — TOS and The Next Generation (1987-1994) — are examples of the episodic route. The third official #TV series in the franchise, Deep Space Nine (1993-1999), contained more serialized storytelling by featuring certain connective plot points throughout the series such as the Dominion Wars arc.
The decision for Discovery to focus on serialization allows for more character growth as episodes progress and connecting plot points are weaved through the season.
What This Could Mean For 'Discovery'
As Discovery is set prior to TOS, there is sure to be more tumultuous relationships among crew members and other beings, since peace is not as widespread as it is in other Trek incarnations. Discovery has the chance of becoming the first true serialized Star Trek series in the long-standing franchise; if it manages to find a nice balance between those interpersonal conflicts and planetary exploration, Star Trek: Discovery has the potential of being a brilliantly executed show.
Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Terry Serpico, Maulik Pancholy, James Frain and Michelle Yeoh and is set to debut on CBS on September 24, 2017, with a two-part premiere.
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)
Does this news make you interested in checking out Star Trek: Discovery? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!