The Star Trek franchise is about to expand in a big way on the small screen. CBS All Access already plays host to Star Trek: Discovery, but that show’s set to be joined by a follow-up to The Next Generation starring Patrick Stewart as Picard, a new animated series for family audiences, a more mature comedy animated series, a spinoff for Michelle Yeoh’s Philipa Georgiou and so on.
There’ll soon be a lot of new Trek on television, then, but does this mean we can expect a complex, interconnected weave of shows? That question was posed to Alex Kurtzman, who’s serving as showrunner and producer on many of these series, by ComicBook.com. He revealed that, yes, there is an intention to link them up, but only “peripherally.” The reason why is because he wants each show to have its “own identity.”
“They’ll be connected, I would say, mostly peripherally. It’s incredibly important to all of us that each show is a unique prospect, that it doesn’t feel like you’re getting the same thing from each show. And so, each has to have its own identity. That means it’s about certain things. The tone has to be unique and yet still be Star Trek. It has to visually look different from the other shows that we’re planning on making.”
This fits with what Kurtzman’s told us before, which is that he hopes to avoid what happened the last time there were multiple Star Trek shows on air at the same time. Deep Space Nine and Voyager often crossed over during the 1990s, a move that appealed to hardcore fans, maybe, but probably put off more casual viewers. At the time, he compared what he hopes to do with Star Trek to what Pixar or Marvel do with their output. That being making sure every new production is very different from the last but that they’re all of a similar quality.
The first new Star Trek show to arrive will likely be the Picard series, with production due to start soon for its expected release in late 2019. In the meantime, Discovery season 2 is currently airing every Thursday on CBS All Access.