Earlier this year, Star Trek fans were full of hope as we began to learn more about the new CBS series dedicated to the franchise, Star Trek: Discovery. I even wrote an article about why it was okay to get excited about the show over at Tech Times.
But things change and reality sets in and stuff starts happening that starts sowing the seeds of doubt. And since I wrote that original piece, a lot has happened in the world of Star Trek. And everything that happened isn’t good for the new show. At this point, I can’t help but wonder if we’ll ever see it come to fruition.
I hate to be such a downer, but things aren’t looking good for a Star Trek television series right now, regardless of what CBS’ PR department says. And here’s why it’s okay for us to start worrying about it.
Star Trek Beyond
Although Star Trek Beyond was the best movie in the new rebooting of the franchise, it seems that Paramount isn’t happy about the movie’s performance. Right now, Paramount isn’t even sure it will continue the franchise, with the future films completely dependent on how well Beyond does at the box office. This doesn’t just affect future movies either, because Hollywood will inevitably convince itself (and CBS) that the interest in Star Trek just isn’t there anymore. It is, but in the end, it all comes down to the numbers.
CBS and Paramount also suddenly decided to start creating new rules about fan films dedicated to Star Trek. One of those fan films is Axanar, a big budget fan film that even includes cast members from other Star Trek properties. Many fans feel that this is a slap in the face, meaning that they now have less trust than ever in CBS and Paramount in how they’re handling the franchise. We still haven’t seen how this potentially affects the television series, but expect some kind of fallout.
Originally, Star Trek: Discovery had a premiere date in January, 2016. Fans grew nervous, though, as 2015 started passing by without any news coming out of the production. Perhaps it wasn’t a big surprise, then, when CBS announced that the date got pushed back to May. That’s a long time, but fans figured it had something to do with showrunner Bryan Fuller’s full schedule, as well as an intention of getting things perfect and right. But delays are rarely ever good things and there’s probably a lot more going on behind the scenes than we’re aware of.
When CBS announced that it planned to bring a new Star Trek series to television, fans were optimistic, in spite of the network’s reputation with genre TV (as in, it doesn’t do genre TV). Fans even learned to forgive announcements that the series would air exclusively on CBS’ subscription service, All Access. But if anything, we learned that CBS doesn’t know what to do with genre TV shows. The network failed in getting an audience for Supergirl, a series that managed to do very well on the more genre-oriented The CW. And that’s a telling sign for the future of something like Star Trek. Now, more than ever, there aren’t a lot of Star Trek fans willing to sign up for CBS’ streaming service to watch one show that appeals to them, especially when they already subscribe to the big three streaming services: Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.
One of the main reasons fans had faith in a new Star Trek series was its showrunner, Bryan Fuller. There’s just one problem, though. Reports recently announced that Fuller plans on leaving the Star Trek production. Although many insiders believe it has something to do with Fuller’s busy schedule as showrunner on other shows, CBS knew Fuller’s schedule when they hired him. There’s also reports of differences between Fuller and CBS, which should send out red alerts to fans who understand that Fuller only wanted the best for the series. This doesn’t bode well for the future of Star Trek: Discovery at all.