More Star Trek: Discovery Details.August 12th, 2016
Star Trek: Discovery is not due until January 2017 and hasn’t even begun filming, but executive producer Bryan Fuller is in full tease mode, having recently spilled some details at a Television Critics Association panel. So what do we know so far?
The series will be set in the Prime timeline, taking place about 10 years prior to The Original Series (which took place between 2265-2270). The plot will center on, “…an incident, an event, in the history of Starfleet that has been talked about, but never fully explored.” One suggestion? The Four Years War, fought between the Federation and the Klingon Empire during the 2250s. This could explain the Klingon-like music used in the teaser footage. Section 31 may pop up, though the organization will not be a main plot point.
The lead character will be a female lieutenant commander — not the captain — a very different approach than the previous five series. Will we be getting something akin to TNG’s Lower Decks? Also, Fuller has said inspirations for the character included Nichelle Nichols and astronaut Mae Jamison. Fuller stated that the show will, “…explore a woman’s journey that will teach her to get along with others in the galaxy.”
There will be about seven diverse main characters, in keeping with Star Trek tradition. Casting for the show is still underway and shooting is due to begin in two months. The show will feature more aliens than usual — new, familiar, and reimagined. At least one character will be gay and there will be robots. The show will work to establish new characters first, but the second season may feature some familiar faces, among them may be Spock’s mother, Amanda Grayson, and the possibility of young Spock himself!
The first season will be 13 episodes long. The show will launch on CBS with a 2-hour pilot episode, with subsequent episodes being released weekly on CBS All Access. The show will have a serialized storyline rather than episodic and will include more graphic content than previous incarnations. Additionally, the design of the ship has “changed considerably”, however it still retains the McQuarrie inspiration.
History Channel Anniversary Special.August 10th, 2016
Mark your calendar and set your DVR for the History Channel’s new 2-hour long Star Trek anniversary special, 50 Years of Star Trek.
This special will celebrate the Star Trek franchise and trace the unique phenomenon from its beginnings in the 1960s to the present, featuring cast and crew from across all of the series and films. New interviews — including one of Leonard Nimoy’s final full interviews — will offer reflection on Gene Roddenberry’s creation. The documentary will explore favorite moments and iconic episodes, offering an inside look at the franchise, and highlighting the effect that the series has had on history and pop culture. The unique fan culture spawned by the series will also be emphasized, featuring celebrity fans such as Simon Pegg sharing their memories — after all, “Trekkies” are the first fandom to be given such a moniker!
50 Years of Star Trek premieres Sunday, August 14 at 8pm ET/PT on The History Channel, with an encore presentation at 12am ET/PT.
Leonard Nimoy Photography Exhibit & New Children’s Book.August 9th, 2016
R. Michelson Galleries will be opening an exhibit featuring 50 of Leonard Nimoy’s previously printed and signed photographs which have never before been on display. This exhibit, Unseen, will run from September 5 through October 25 with an opening reception on the evening of September 9 from 6pm to 8pm. For information about the event — located in Northampton, MA — please visit the Galleries’ exhibit page.
Mr. Richard Michelson, gallery owner and close friend of Leonard Nimoy, will also be on hand during the event to sign copies of Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy. This children’s biography of Nimoy’s life is illustrated by Edel Rodriguez and will be available September 6. If you’re unable to attend the event, you may order a personalized copy here for $17.99.
San Diego Comic-Con & Opening Weekend RoundupJuly 25th, 2016
As previously speculated, the Star Trek 50th Anniversary panel at San Diego Comic-Con did indeed drop some details about the new CBS All Access series coming next year. We learned the name of the ship (and thus the show) — U.S.S. Discovery (NCC-1031) — revealed with a teaser video featuring the vehicle undocking from what appears to be an asteroid station of some sort. The design looks rather similar to Ralph McQuarrie’s late 1970s concept drawings for Phase II. The ship definitely has a retro look, resembling the Enterprise NX-01 and the U.S.S. Franklin (featured in Star Trek Beyond). The music in the teaser definitely has a Klingon feel to me, which may point to an earlier era, however, the design, music, and logo are apparently not final. The show will feature female, minority, and LQBTQ+ characters. Read the official synopsis of the panel here, or watch in full here, and check out the teaser below!
It was announced during a panel of the same name that a special collection of 12 TOS episodes, The Roddenberry Vault, will be coming to Blu-Ray later in the year. Described as a “time capsule into when he show was made”, the set will feature new interviews, behind-the-scenes clips, bloopers, and alternate takes.
IDW is ending their ongoing Kelvin Timeline comic book series with issue #60. They will be relaunching with a new title, still in that timeline, called Star Trek: Boldly Go. The new series will pick up after the events of Star Trek Beyond and will be released in October.
Although Star Trek Beyond has just opened (raking in nearly $60 million), Paramount has confirmed a fourth film set in the Kelvin Timeline featuring, somehow, the return of Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk. A director has not yet been announced, but the screenplay will reportedly be written by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. They’ve also stated that Anton Yelchin’s Chekov will not be recast; it’s too early to say how they will handle this, but there is no doubt that it will be with great care and dignity.
Countdown to Beyond.July 8th, 2016
Star Trek Beyond is set to have the first ever outdoor IMAX world premiere at Embarcadero Marina Park South at the beginning of San Diego Comic-Con on July 20. If you can’t make it to SDCC, you may be able to catch the film early in one of these marathon screenings, also on July 20. The Events Guide for the show features Spock and Star Trek is shaping up to have a huge presence at the convention this year. There will be a one hour panel in Hall H entitled Star Trek: Celebrating 50 Years, which will feature William Shatner, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, Scott Bakula, and Bryan Fuller. Additionally, there will be an art exhibition called 50 Artists. 50 Years. It’s very likely that we will learn some details about the upcoming CBS All Access show during the Hall H panel on Saturday since Bryan Fuller will be in attendance — it would be fantastic if this were live streamed, but there hasn’t yet been any mention of that happening. CBS has the run down on all of the other panels as well as the convention exclusives that will be available at the show.
With just two weeks to go until the release of Star Trek Beyond, the film’s promotional tour has begun. Minor spoilers ahead.
On Wednesday, the film had it’s Australian premiere after which the news has spread quickly that John Cho’s iteration of Sulu not only has a daughter — revealed months ago via a set video featured on Entertainment Tonight during which he hinted at ‘another revelation’ — but he is shown in the film with a male partner. This was meant to be an homage to George Takei, however Takei disagrees with this choice stating that, “…it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation.” While Takei has always thought of Sulu as “straight”, we never actually saw him portrayed in a romantic relationship on The Original Series or in any of the films. He was occasionally flirtatious with women, but that hardly proves anything. Demora Sulu exists, but canonically, we know nothing of her backstory as it was never explored onscreen.
Clearly, Cho’s Sulu is the product of an alternate timeline, like Zachary Quinto’s Spock, and as such it should come as no surprise that the character is the product of a different environment, with different life experiences, and a slightly different personality. That is not to suggest that being gay is an alternative lifestyle resulting from an alternate universe, but that perhaps whatever inherent factors that define sexuality were somehow altered by the butterfly effect. (Or would it be the Kelvin effect?) Sulu is younger than Kirk, so it stands to reason that he was born after the universe changed, becoming a different individual that isn’t necessarily identical to Sulu Prime.
The overall reaction from fans in regards to this news seems to be, “It’s about time!” for Star Trek to have a main character representing the LGBT community. It has long been implied that in the future portrayed by Star Trek, sexual orientation would simply not be an issue, with individuals free to engage in whatever relationships they desire irrespective of gender. Star Trek has certainly approached this subject before, allegorically in The Next Generation (“The Outcast”, “The Host”) and Enterprise (“Stigma”) and then directly in Deep Space Nine (“Rejoined”, “The Emperor’s New Cloak”), however there has never been a main character explicitly defined as LGBT. Supposedly, the scene in which this is revealed about Sulu is not treated as unusual, true to the core of Star Trek being inclusive. We can also look forward to seeing diversified characters in Bryan Fuller’s upcoming Star Trek series.
We really can’t wait to see what this installment has in store. 14 more days!