Thursday, 3 November 2016

Schedule Fuller Than Expected

Dammit - it now seems that due to an outrageous workload, apparent saviour of Star Trek on TV, Bryan Fuller is handing over the main reins of the show to another.

News has emerged that Fuller is finding it difficult to manage the show and continue with other commitments leading Gretchen J Berg and Aaron Harberts stepping up to the plate.  

After the delay from January to May 2017 this is yet another grumble for fans to contend with. What started out as an amazing possibility and one that offered new hope for the franchise on the small screen one thing seems to lead to another. 

Fuller appeared to be the light at the end of the tunnel - someone who understood the franchise more than Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin and could steer the show in a positive direction that would honour the Roddenberry vision yet be something new and exciting. As of now that seems to be over.

Fuller will continue to exec produce and guide the story of the show but day to day will be in the hands of Berg, Harberts and Alex Kurtzman.

So who are these guys?

Both Berg and Harberts have history with our main man Mr Fuller, working with him on Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies and working alongside each other on virtually everything from that time onwards - Mercy, Off the Map, GCB, Revenge and Reign. Clearly it's a strong pairing that's worked although my concern with this is that none of their works have been particularly long-lived. In Harberts case his longest producing role was 22 episodes for Mercy (although he did produce/co-produce Roswell High for longer - 39 - but not in a single role). Is this a wise move? Not sure because these guys don't seem to stick around too long in one place so we could have a new showrunner by the end of the first year/Fuller back depending on how they handle the vision. Might there be an option for Nick Meyer to have a stronger lean on the show for its second season IF it gets green lit?

So now we sit six months from premiere date (or one and a bit if we were still looking at a January start) with a few seconds of footage and a picture of some antennae to show since the announcement in November 2015. Supposedly a few rumours have suggested casting announcements will be forthcoming but with the continual changes going on I'm not holding out any hope - all we seem to be getting is negative and there needs to be some positivity!

The way that other sites are reporting this is that Fuller has utterly abandoned the project which is 100% untrue. He's written the first two episodes and remains in control of the bigger picture rather than dealing with the day to day minutiae. Rather than reporting this is surely just the first stage to it being cancelled (yes, seriously there are some sites pushing that), more that it's an evolution process for the show. What guarantee was there that Fuller would have remained for the duration anyway? Was he actually pulled in just to get the show back on the right track? 

Reports from io9 indicate that as well as our lead non-captain role there will be a male gay character, two admirals and a Klingon captain at the forefront of Discovery. If true then this does cement the possibility that we are going to see the Klingon War and by assumption the Battle of Axanar. Fuller has teased that the show will be very different to any previous Star Trek series and by having this Klingon role plus the two admirals you get the impression that Discovery is going to be set across several locations rather than the familiar single Starfleet vessel we have known since The Original Series. Heck, we might even spend a decent amount of time on an old Klingon ship.

While I remain enthusiastically optimistic I can also see where the doubt could be creeping in - the delays, no casting news, multiple production head changes -is it becoming a case of too many cooks or should it be more a case that there is a lot of creativity being mined to make this the best Star Trek show ever made?

Honestly I don't think we have anything to worry about since Bryan Fuller's imprint on the show has already been made and his overseeing gaze will keep the show pointed in the right direction. These are not new names in the mix and have been working with Fuller since Day One so let's give them a chance to make their mark. 

Concerned? Happy? Undecided if all this is a good move?

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