Last week’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery (“Point of Light”) introduced a new Section 31 storyline for the show. This was led by Michelle Yeoh’s Emperor Georgiou, who is now an operative for the Federation’s nefarious black ops organization, first introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and seen again in Enterprise and Star Trek Into Darkness. The Discovery storyline could be seen as giving the first hints about the new Section 31 series featuring Yeoh that was announced to be in development in January.
As we reported last week from the coverage at TCA, this Section 31 show is still considered to be in “development” and still has not been given a full series order, unlike the Picard show that goes into production this spring and the animated show Star Trek: Lower Decks. Now, more detailed reports from TCA add more info on the status of the show, including when it may show up on CBS All Access.
Showrunners already fleshing out Section 31 series
Speaking to the press at TCA (via IndieWire and ComicBook.com), executive producer Alex Kurtzman revealed that the Section 31 series showrunners (and Discovery writers and co-executive producers Bo Yeon Kim and Erkia Lippoldt) are already working on the new show. ComicBook.com quotes Kurtzman saying:
“Well, Erika [Lippoldt] and Bo [Yeon Kim] are writing it now, so we’re breaking story now. And they’re amazing, and they’re a big part of Discovery, so they’re on our staff too. So they’re doing double duty this year, and our hope is that we will have a script in the next couple months.
Section 31 series will have to wait
Assuming CBS gives the Section 31 show a full series order, there still remains the question as to when it might air. In January the head of programming for CBS Access indicated it could be a long way off. At the TCA event, Kurtzman didn’t give a date, but did note when he imagines the show would come in the order of things, saying:
…as soon as Discovery Season Three is over we’re rolling right into that show. That’s my hope.
It’s worth noting that TrekMovie’s coverage of the season two premiere quoted Kurtzman saying Yeoh would appear in the third season of the Discovery. In a more recent interview with TV Line, Julie McNamara, CBS All Access’ head of programming, talked about the Section 31 series, also noting how Yeoh is part of Discovery and they have time to consider when to start the Section 31 show:
Section 31 has always been of interest to fans, and she’s such a phenomenal character in Discovery that it only made sense to explore what a series could be. Michelle is still very much a part of the cast of Discovery, so there is time for this to develop before we would consider when it might air.
A third season for Discovery has yet to get an official green light, however, it was described by Variety as a “fait acompli” (effectively a done deal). At the TCA event, Kurtzman did say they already had “big ideas” for the third season. It also follows that they would have to have some major elements of it mapped out if the Section 31 show is set to follow, assuming the storyline picks up where the third season ends.
Yeoh pitched idea for spin-off
Apparently, the idea of Michelle Yeoh leading her own Star Trek spin-off started long ago, well before her connection to Section 31 was established. IndieWire quotes Kurtzman explaining the concept originated before Discovery’s first season even started:
Michelle came to me and said let’s do a spinoff of this character, and I took a minute because it was truly such a brilliant idea — except the series hadn’t aired yet. So really, no one knew what it was going to be and no one knew if it was going to be successful, so the moment it became successful we started that conversation.
It’s likely that Yeoh had her original character of Captain Phillipa Georgiou of the Prime Universe (who was killed off in the second episode of the series) in mind, and not Emperor Georgiou of the Terran Empire (and now Section 31), introduced late in the first season.
How much will carry over from Discovery?
The third episode of Discovery’s second season provided our first glimpse of Yeoh as an operative for Section 31, but it also introduced a number of other elements that could be part of a future Section 31 series. Alan Van Sprang (re)made his debut, playing Section 31’s Leland who recruited Georgiou and is in command of a Section 31 ship, which is a new design and has a shiny new set. “Point of Light” also featured Shazad Latif’s Tyler (formerly Voq) exiting life on Qo’noS and being recruited by Section 31. He has also been featured in a Section 31 outfit in a publicity image.
It could be that Van Sprang and Latif could end up as Yeoh’s co-stars on the series, with the fancy new ship as a major part of the show, or possibly even the focus. We know we will see more of Yeoh, Latif and the ship during the second season of Discovery, which will also likely introduce more elements that could end up carrying over.
Keep up with all the news on the Section 31 show and other upcoming Star Trek TV shows here at TrekMovie.com.