Long before he even had the job, Pushing Daises and Hannibal producer Bryan Fuller said he imagined a Star Trek series starring two women leads. Today, at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, he confirmed he's halfway there.
Yes, with two months before filming is set to begin and only six months before the new Star Trek series premieres on CBS, Fuller is finally (slowly) pulling back the curtain.
And, yes, a lady lieutenant commmander is gonna be the lead.
Stop. Before you say anything about "SJW pandering" or "Why isn't the female lead the captain?", put the train back in the station and hear the full story. Well, hear the story we've heard so far, at least.
Firstly, the lead will be human, and her role as lieutenant commander will come with as-yet-undisclosed caveats. Maybe she left Starfleet and came back. Maybe she spent some time on a penal settlement, like Tom Paris on Voyager.
Whatever her circumstances are, our protagonist will have "a different dynamic and relationship to the crew" than any main character has had before on a Star Trek series, according to Fuller. Some of the focus of the story will be about how our lead learns “how to get along with others in the galaxy. For her to truly understand something that is truly alien, she first has to understand herself.”
Yup. Sounds like a Star Trek show.
Speaking of terrestrials du extra, "We’ll probably have a few more aliens than you normally do in a Star Trek cast," says Fuller. We'll be seeing some brand new aliens, we'll see reinventions of some old standards. In the past, there weren't always a lot of super visibly alien people (mostly bumpy foreheads, funny noses, and spots), so Discovery could feel a little more like The Animated Series which featured much more visually different species.
Will there be at least one gay character? "Absolutely," according to Fuller who said that Executive Producer, Alex Kurtzman specifically requested as much -- and Fuller was already on it.
And then there's the timeline. You already heard that Discovery takes place in the original Star Trek universe, but it's also been confirmed that this show will be set 10 years before Kirk takes over the Enterprise. Which means, yes, another prequel. But also, a pointed prequel in that it will involve a very important part of the Federation's history. No, not Axanar. Not Section 31. Nothing Kobayashi-related. All these ideas were floated Fuller's way and he denied them all. So what major event is he featuring? Romulan business? Is it Tranya? Is it a whole show about drinking Tranya? Fingers crossed, folks.
As for the ship itself, it's been acknowledged that the final design has yet to be seen. The Discovery trailer showed a ship which has more than a passing resemblance to something created by Star Wars designer, Ralph McQuarrie back in the 70s. Fuller had admitted earlier that he couldn't comment on the design for legal reasons, so we may yet see a very different final ship design.
We don't know anything about the captain yet. She could be a woman, he could be a man. They could be a non-binary person. They could be anything.
Also there's an alien named "Seru" who has "a wide..." something. Wide array of skills? Wide feet? Wide forehead? Is this an inverse This Island Earth situation? Who knows?
And if you want one more piece of hypothetical information, there was a resounding "maaaaaybe" from Fuller on the topic of reintroducing known characters from the original series.
Lots of little tidbits to parse and debate while casting is finalized, but for now, that's it. Okay. You were patient. It is appreciated. You may now begin your wild speculating.