Star Trek EP Reveals His Plans To Expand The Franchise


Between them, Alex Kurtzman and CBS All Access have transformed the Star Trek TV landscape in recent times. Prior to 2017, no series under the umbrella had been broadcast for 12 years. Now, with Discovery, Picard, and an upcoming spinoff in the works, it seems the only way is up, or out (whatever direction of travel space affords).

In a recent interview with Deadline, Kurtzman shared his thoughts on how the production team intend to expand the franchise further, stressing a desire to tell unique stories rather than creating shows for the sake of it.

“I think the idea for us is that it isn’t just about expansion for the sake of expansion. It’s actually about exploring different corners of the universe, in the same way that the Short Treks explore different corners of the world of Star Trek, the idea being that each show should have its own unique identity, and you should not be thinking that you can get from one show, what you can get in another.

“Everything has to feel different, unique, special and specific, and yet you want it all to be of a piece, and tie into the larger Trek universe. So, it’s been a very coordinated effort, on a lot of people’s parts, to make sure that the shows feel different, and are about different things, and are saying different things, and feel different, and look different, and sound different. So, that’s been really fun and really rewarding.”

Evidently, CBS liked what they saw of Discovery. In 2018, Kurtzman signed a five-year deal to produce Star Trek shows for the network, a deal that’s yielded Patrick Stewart’s warmly-received return to the Star Trek universe as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, as well as a mass of ancillary content that’d take centuries to break down.

Really, I had no idea that half of these shows existed. Not Discovery or Picard – I may be ignorant, but I’m not that ignorant. But for instance, just a few weeks ago, a new animated comedy series titled Star Trek: Lower Decks had its premiere. How much Star Trek do audiences need exactly? Are Paramount compensating for the fact that the film series has flown into the void? As always, the questions are numerous, and completely unanswerable.

The useful take-home is simply this. CBS are continuing their Star Trek expansion apace. There was a rumour last week that Kurtzman was going to be on his way out soon, but if true, he doesn’t seem to have got the memo. Picard and Discovery have already had new seasons commissioned, after all.