While Star Trek: Discovery will take us back to the classic era of Trek — ten years before The Original Series, to be exact — there's nothing old fashioned about this new show. On the contrary, exec Bryan Fuller seems set on helming the franchise into a bold future, continuing Star Trek's tradition of progressiveness and challenging social norms.
But aside from having a woman lead the show, and featuring LGBT characters, there's another way Fuller is breaking the mold with Discovery — the show may not focus on just one ship and crew, as in previous iterations of the franchise.
Going beyond the structure of one main ship and a crew of leading characters is probably the best thing for Discovery, allowing us to see multiple sides of the story. While it's a bit early to tell for sure, some carefully placed hints are suggesting that the Discovery might not be the only ship the new show follows.
Not The Only Ship In The Fleet
The test footage for Star Trek: Discovery certainly got everyone talking, thanks to the interesting design of the ship and the mysterious asteroid base it emerged from. But even before this came the teaser trailer, which promised "new crews", villains, and worlds.
When interviewing Bryan Fuller at the Saturn Awards, Moviefone followed up on this hint from the trailer, asking if the show would follow just one crew.
"No, I think we will be seeing lots of crews in the story. One of the things that is exciting for me is that we are telling a 'Star Trek' story in a modern way. We're telling a 13-chapter story in this first season. It's nice to be able to dig deep into things that would have been breezed passed if we were doing episodic and had to contain a story to an episode."
Fuller seems set on making Discovery a very much modern show, despite being part of such an old franchise, using serialized storytelling rather than the classic alien-of-the-week structure. And of course, the serialized format would make following "lots of crews" much easier.
The idea of following more than one ship in the fleet is really exciting, as before the shows have been very much self contained. While keeping the characters contained in one structure can build character development and relationship dynamics, there's a lot to be said for splitting characters up.
As the main characters all pursue different threads of the same story, we're granted multiple different perspectives on events — we can watch the consequences ripple out and affect different people, and the scope of the story becomes much broader. This would be perfect for Star Trek, as the plot possibilities really are endless when the characters are exploring a vast and diverse galaxy. And we already know what narrative thread could connect all these points of view.
One "Incident", Multiple Perspectives
At the Television Critics Association press tour, Bryan Fuller revealed that Discovery would focus on one specific event from Star Trek's in-universe history.
"There’s an incident, an event in Star Trek history in the history of Starfleet that had been talked about but never fully explored."
Splitting the characters up in order to explore different aspects, consequences, and points of view on one particular event, would be a really interesting narrative choice. This would be atypical for a Star Trek show, breaking the mold and broadening the scope of the story, not to mention building tension with dramatic irony, as the characters are unaware of what's happening to their counterparts.
So far all we have to go on are hints and speculation, but we can be certain that Discovery really will boldly go where no Trek has gone before — and it'll be fascinating to see how this all plays out.
The Discovery has a lot to live up to, as the Federation's flagship was the finest ship in the fleet, with cutting edge technology as you can see in the video below:
Tell us in the comments — which "incident" do you think Star Trek: Discovery will explore?