It's been a long road, getting from Star Trek: Discovery's first announcement to its actual airdate. Initially, Discovery was slated to air on CBS in January 2017, with subsequent episodes streaming on CBS All-Access. Then came delay after delay, as Discovery was pushed back to May 2017, then warped right into limbo, with a giant question mark hovering over its potential air date. With rumors of a troubled production (that contributed to ex-showrunner Bryan Fuller leaving), some lost hope that Discovery would ever make it out of space dock to boldly return to our TV screens.
But its time is finally near — CBS have officially announced that we can expect Star Trek: Discovery's arrival on September 24th (yes, 2017).
Borrowing heavily from the movie posters for Star Trek: Beyond (tiny ship? check; gleaming warp trail? check), this announcement nonetheless sees thousands of fans' dreams come alive as we all hurriedly jot down that date in our logs.
So Why The Delay?
This was not the only news to be revealed about Star Trek: Discovery this week. New showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg (who graduated from Fuller-run projects like Pushing Daisies) have beamed in to the EW offices to clear up some miscommunications about Discovery's production. And according to them, the show was not held down by anything more than a dedication to world building and traditional production methods.
Harberts: "There’s is so much artistry and custom craftsmanship that go into every prop, every costume, every set. These things have to be designed and manufactured. ... Several items on our uniforms are 3D printed. Some of our sets can take over six weeks to make. CBS has given us the time and the money to make something the fans will find worthwhile."
Berg: "You can’t cut corners or have 95 percent of what’s on screen be completely original and inspired and then have five percent something you bought at a store. It has to be cohesive — and it is. I’m so proud of what’s on screen, it’s so beautiful and it’s taking world-building to a whole new level."
Star Trek: Discovery's first trailer unveiled a rich, detail-focused production that is as dedicated to incorporating old tech as it was to creating an aesthetic that still seems futuristic to modern viewers. And I don't know about you, but I'm geeking out that parts of the Discovery sets and costumes were created by a 3D printer — a device directly inspired by #StarTrek's replicators.
Interestingly, the Entertainment Weekly article also confirmed that — just as many fans suspected — it was not the USS Discovery that we saw reaching for the stars in the trailer, but the USS Shenzou. EW reveals that the Shenzou is an "older" ship than the Discovery, which would seem to be on its maiden voyage during the events of the show. This means that we haven't even glimpsed the bridge of the Discovery yet — and it makes sense that the production took a long time, considering the team had to build sets for not one, or even two, but three ships (including the Klingon vessel) and maybe even more than that.
And yet, by my calculations Star Trek: Discovery was delayed at least once before the majority of production had even begun, so it's likely we'll never discover all the reasons for the show's multiple delays. But it does seem that production was not delayed so much as it was slowed down — CBS's initial airdate was ambitious at best, and Fuller himself touted CBS's tight schedule as the reason he was forced to leave the show. After he left the show was delayed yet again, presumably because the new showrunners (Harberts and Berg) insisted that they needed more time to do Star Trek justice.
It's worth noting that many other Star Trek shows faced similar studio difficulties, with Phase II never making it out of the concept stage, and Enterprise being cancelled as a result of the CBS/Paramount split. However, if there's anything Federation history has taught us, it's that Starfleet really can survive anything, from Borg attacks to CBS production problems. And with this new airdate we know exactly when Discovery will finally sail onto our screens, thanks to a little faith of the heart.
Tell us in the comments: Which is your favorite Star Trek show?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)