The universe of Star Trek TV series continues to expand, with the news that more animated Trek content is coming.
Kid-friendly Star Trek animated show in the works
The Hollywood Reporter got an interview with Alex Kurtzman today where he spilled the beans on new Trek content. He has plans for at least one more animated series in addition to Star Trek: Lower Decks, the animated comedy from Rick and Morty and Short Treks “The Escape Artist” writer Mike McMahan. This second series would be kid-focused, and unlike Lower Decks, may not be on CBS All Access.
Kurtzman contrasted the two animated series, saying:
“There’s other animated things that we’re building that are an entirely different perspective and an entirely different tone [from Lower Decks],” Kurtzman said of the kids-focused series — which could land elsewhere beyond CBS All Access. “What’s exciting about it is not only looking at each animated series as what’s the different tone, but what’s the different technology we can apply to these things so that visually they’re entirely different?”
There was no indication yet on who else is involved in the kid-friendly series, when or where it would be set, or when it is expected to be released.
Kurtzman also gave some more details on the approach they are taking for Lower Decks, saying:
“[Lower Decks] is totally different from anything we’re doing on any of these other shows and we decided to tell that story and make those people the heroes,” Kurtzman said. He noted that while Lower Decks is an animated comedy, the series — nor any of the other Trek series in the works — will “never” laugh at it. “It’s embracing and loving of all the tropes of Star Trek but it’s never laughing at it.”
Animated Short Treks coming into ever-expanding Trek TV Universe
CBS Chief Creative Officer David Nivens mentioned last month that there will be more Short Treks. Today, Kurtzman told THR that CBS has ordered two mini-episodes, both of which will be animated, to debut in the spring after season two of Star Trek: Discovery finishes.
2018 saw an 8-month gap between the Discovery season one finale and the first episode of Short Treks. It seems for 2019, CBS is trying to keep the Trek content flowing to help ensure fans stick around on CBS All Access. With all the shows in development, it appears that CBS is sticking with its goal of having “a Star Trek something on all the time on All Access.”
In the THR interview, Kurtzman elaborated on his approach to expanding the CBS Trek TV Universe:
“Our goal is to not only expand the definition of Star Trek and what has qualified as traditional Star Trek, but also to tell stories that are both self-contained in a very short period of time that also connect to the larger picture of what we’re doing, not only in Discovery but in the world building of Trek in general, and you get to tell these very intimate, emotional stories that are side stories to characters. So you get the benefit of the experience in and of itself but then when you watch Discovery you’ll see that these were all setting up things in the world of season two.”
But no plans for Kirk
Of course, the introduction of Spock, played by Ethan Peck, into the second season of Discovery – and the development of a new series featuring Sir Patrick Stewart returning to the role of Jean-Luc Picard – has some wondering what other classic Trek characters may show up. Kurtzman was asked if we might see a young Lieutenant Kirk at some point in Discovery:
“What Kirk was doing at this particular time is another question but we don’t have any immediate plans [for the character], I have not spoken to Shatner about it.”
Star Trek: Short Treks is available in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV.