Thursday, 11 August 2016

Fuller's NEW TCA Discovery Reveal!

Confirmed for Prime Universe...

Now it has been confirmed by Brian Fuller that Discovery will sit somewhere in the timeline between Enterprise and The Original Series - in fact ten years before Kirk which puts it around 2256(ish)

I had suggested when the series name and ship were unveiled that the registry - NCC-1031 - might just be a placeholder and a red herring however it now seems that it's period accurate according to Bryan Fuller himself. At the massive Las Vegas convention it seems Scott Bakula might have let something slip too in regards to it being great if Archer could cameo in the show. This confirmed time period might just make that possible.

So if that's the case then the USS Enterprise is already out there under the command of Captain Pike (or April if it's a bit earlier). Might we get to see it...? No hints so far on that.

As for more info from Fuller, he dropped some big hints at the Television Critics' Association panel. The lead for the series is likely to be a black woman who will be a lieutenant commander "with caveats" rather than a captain which is a huge step away from the standard format of every other series of Star Trek to date. It will also open on a scene not on an alien planet or Earth.

Fuller's attention to diversity means that we will get a gay character, "there will be robots" and we will have more aliens than ever before. One of which we have been teased already but more on that in a sec.

The main cast is set to include seven characters and one is apparently named Saru. Fuller revealed he has a fascination with Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson and hinted that she could appear in the first season but that's not absolute confirmation.  She may not be the only character from The Original Series to appear although Fuller indicated that the younger versions of popular characters probably won't turn up in the first season. I reckon that's a good move to at least let the show bed in and find its own identity.

Perhaps one big point is that with the series going to CBS' All Access subscription service, they will not be "...subject to certain broadcast standards and practices..." noted Fuller. This means that there could well be more graphic content than we've ever had in Star Trek before.

Discovery sounds fascinating already but it does however raise a few concerns. Some we've already encountered with Enterprise and some new ones...

What we learned from Enterprise is that a prequel series has to be in some respects a little predictable. Certain things can happen, certain things have to be in place but you are restricted by what we know will happen in the later series and the adventures of Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway. it will be a Prime Universe show - we absolutely know that for a fact so Fuller and the Writers' Room are going to need to be super-careful with their continuity not just for the shows that run after Discovery but the one that will have come before it as well. Uless of course they do a JJ and just ignore everything.

Now though, there's another factor we need to take into consideration and one I've scarce seen a comment on since this news broke (maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places).

As part of the presentation Fuller did divulge that we will be seeing an incident that's been talked about in Starfleet history before  but "...has never been fully explored..." and will be told from the perspective of this lieutenant commander. It's definitely an event referenced in The Original Series and something both Fuller and fans want to see.

Now, think back to that teaser trailer and the music. Sounded a bit Klingon? A bit combative? Well what if that's just what we're going to see - the war with the Klingons, the aftermath of the Romulan War perhaps and, dare I say it, the Battle of Axanar? Some sites have referenced the Klingon Wars as the period in which it will be set but that appears to be purely conjecture at this time.

Not one to jump into the conspiracy turbolift of Doom but if this is a prequel series set in those as yet untold decades between the NX-01 and the NCC-1701 voyages under Kirk I would not be surprised to see those events. Explaining the evolution of the Federation in its fledgling years and thus stepping away from Enterprise would give so much juicy opportunity for action it would be insane to miss. The time period for the battle places it at 2251 according to internet sources so it's not too far outside that ten year window Fuller describes.

In that case I'm not sure what the reaction is going to be if Axanar does occur. Is this an event that a season would be leading up to and, just because of the proximity to the first season of the new show versus the launch of the lawsuit would I raise the possibility of it being the season one finale/cliffhanger? 

It would make CBS' legal action against Alec Peters make a lot of sense. Remember that the lawsuit came about two months after it was announced that the new series would air in January 2017 and at this point I suspect CBS knew where the show would be heading. 

If it turns out that CBS did launch the action to neuter Axanar ahead of their use of it within Discovery I wouldn't be shocked and I guess they wanted to keep their plans a secret hence the lack of transparency on this seemingly sudden decision to sue.

There were of course rumours that this was among the reasons for the suit back in the day but that ship registry confirmation did nail it home for me. After all, why haven't they gone after some of the other notable productions? Yes the new fan film rules do cut down opportunities but specifically they utterly blockaded Axanar's chances to be completed.

Great news too that on August 8th Fuller posted his first tease of the show and it was...a makeup test for a pair of rather familiar antennae in a shade of blue. Can't imagine which race they may belong to...(see right).

How do I feel about "another" prequel? Well, quite excited. It's not going to be the same vision and direction we had from Berman and Braga back in 2001 and that's a good thing. Fuller seems inspired and driven to produce a show for the fans. Seeing those blue antennae did emphasise that even more but that time period choice might well tie his hands....

Star Trek: Discovery will premiere in January 2017 with a two-hour pilot followed by weekly releases of the remaining season episodes.

Do you think Discovery will enter the Axanar realm? What other "pre-Kirk" events could we see?

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