Star Trek is facing something of a renaissance at present, with a new caretaker team in place dreaming up more exciting and thought-provoking adventures in the universe created by Gene Roddenberry. Despite that, and despite a push by CBS for more Trek on their streaming platform CBS All Access, there hasn’t been a lot of news about their new shows in recent weeks, and what we have heard hasn’t been particularly illuminating.
Last month, Deadline, TrekMovie and other notable Trek and entertainment websites, reported that Michelle Yeoh was in talks with CBS to lead a new Star Trek series, most likely centred around the Mirror Universe’s Emperor Georgiou and her mischief-making in the normal Trek time line.
CBS have not made any official announcement yet, though they have acknowledged they’ve considered the possibility of a Georgiou Section 31 series.
For those of you who may have forgotten, a Season One deleted scene was released earlier this year showing Georgiou being recruited by a mysterious Section 31 operative (possibly their leader) called Leland, played by Alan van Sprang. Months later, Georgiou showed up in trailers for Season Two and the subtext was that she’s now working for that particular organisation.
Why a Section 31 series and not a series that goes back in time to focus on Captain Georgiou?
Firstly, you’d be paying out a lot of money for a cast that would almost never get a break. Georgiou’s Shenzhou also had Saru and Burnham on it, as well as Detmer, and those characters would feature prominently. Between shooting Discovery and a Shenzhou series, Doug Jones, Sonequa Martin-Green and Emily Coutts would barely get any free time to focus on other projects, which is important to an artist if they want to have longevity in the entertainment industry.
Secondly, the sets for the Shenzhou no longer exist. They were struck and used for other sets, which is standard practice in most television shows. Rebuilding that beautiful ship’s interiors would prove prohibitively expensive.
Finally, Michelle has just come off of the success of Crazy Rich Asians, which she starred in alongside Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Nico Santos, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, and Ken Jeong. She’s always been in demand, but she’s going to be in even greater demand now. Will she have the time? Would the beautiful and ethereal Michelle Yeoh even want to commit to a standard 12-13 episode run of a series?
Then again, many of us said the same thing about Patrick Stewart. We thought the new Jean-Luc Picard show would be a special or a limited series, and it was recently announced it would be longer.
Speaking of that series, we still know next to nothing about it.
Alex Kurtzman recently stated that writing on the series had begun, and that actual production was scheduled to commence sometime in April next year (2019) with an air date in late 2019.
We still don’t know the title, if there is one yet, nor the basic premise. Whatever they’re developing in the writers room is not leaking out, which is good, but it would be really nice if they’d share a few plot points now and then.
Our last news item from around the Trekverse comes courtesy of the wonderful Anson Mount. Or, if you prefer, Captain Christopher Pike.
According to Anson, the thirteen-episode order for Season Two has been extended by one episode.
You can read a tiny bit more about that extension, including where the confirmation came from, at TrekMovie here.
This isn’t all that exceptional. It happened in Season One, where Star Trek: Discovery‘s order went from 14 episodes to 15 episodes. Extra episodes can happen for a number of reasons. It could be the studio saying “we are super impressed… give us one more,” or it could be “this is super expensive, let’s get more bang for our buck, do another episode.” They could also be doing an extra episode to create a back-door pilot for a new series.
Either way, I don’t care. More Trek is more Trek and that makes me a very happy fan! Particularly if this new episode gives us some additional time with the crew of Discovery and the crew of Pike’s Enterprise.
I know I’ve said this half a dozen times already, but if one of the new shows coming out is not a Pike’s Enterprise show, I will be SO disappointed.
That’s it for the news update! See what I mean? Not much news out there.
For those of you who don’t know, Star Trek: Discovery Season Two will air in the United States and Canada on January the 17th, 2019. In Australia and elsewhere in the world, Episode One will air January 18th.