The man in charge of Star Trek on TV is talking more about the expanding Trek universe and how he is managing all the current and upcoming shows.
Is there such a thing as too much Star Trek?
Over the last few months we have seen a number of new Star Trek shows announced, all under the guidance of producer Alex Kurtzman, who has been charged with overseeing the Trek TV universe for CBS. A series with Patrick Stewart returning to the role of Picard starts production in April with a planned release later this year, and Rick and Morty’s Mike McMahan has been tapped to create an animated Trek comedy. A new Hollywood Reporter interview with Alex Kurtzman confirms previous reports that there are two additional live-action shows under consideration, stating there are “deals for a Michelle Yeoh-led offshoot, [first reported in November] and a youth-focused entry (Starfleet Academy) among other series in the works.”
Kurtzman talked to THR about what he sees as his mandate when it comes to this expanding universe of Star Trek, saying:
I came to CBS and said, “Let’s open this world up and see what else there is — and make sure that each show has its own identity.” My job is to run Discovery and, in the case of other shows, remain at 30,000 feet so I can weigh in meaningfully and significantly at all the critical junctures of the development.
With so many shows being talked about, Kurtzman was also asked if their was any limit on too many Star Trek shows, to which he said:
There has to be. At a certain point people are going to say, “It all feels so familiar.” The only thing I’d throw back is that nobody seems to have said that about Marvel. Between film and TV, no one is tired of them. That means that in a world of a global audience, there is always room for more, but the more has to be meaningful.
How Kurtzman is managing Discovery and other shows
Last June, Alex Kurtzman stepped in to take over as showrunner for Star Trek: Discovery after Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts were let go. Kurtzman also talked to THR about taking on Discovery and how it differs from his approach with the other Trek series in development:
Gretchen and Aaron were put in a tough spot because we were inches from production when we lost a showrunner [Bryan Fuller]. They were there to pick up the pieces. When the writers weren’t happy, I couldn’t hand the show off to someone else again. I couldn’t stay at 30,000 feet. It was my responsibility to get into that room and make sure the show was working. I created it, and I didn’t want to stand back and be removed from that process. I wasn’t planning on showrunning Discovery. It was difficult.
Short Treks will tie into Discovery season two
Alex Kurtzman was also at CES yesterday where he spoke with CNet mostly about entertainment and emerging technologies, but he also talked a bit about Star Trek. While discussing how they are approaching the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, Kurtzman noted how they are taking a broader approach:
We think of it like a continuum. It’s not just one season of television, but how does this season of television speak to the season before and the season that is coming afterward. And then, are there characters that we can set up in this season that we can break off into little side-stories.
For example, we did these Short Treks, which are 15-minute shorts, we did four of them. You will watch the Short Treks, you will have a standalone experience which will hopefully be a satisfying individual story. And then when you watch season two of Discovery, you’ll realize that those stories are setting you up for specific episodes and now have a whole new dimension to them.
Star Trek: Discovery is available in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.