CBS continues to move full steam ahead on expanding the Star Trek franchise. Just this week we have seen the announcement of a new Star Trek group, the first animated show in decades reach a new milestone and a high-profile event to garner award buzz for Discovery. In a new profile piece in the LA Times, the man behind this expansion talks about where he sees Star Trek going.
A psychological Picard show and complex Section 31 series
In a new article about the state of the Star Trek franchise, Alex Kurtzman confirms that CBS All Access is planning on having three live-action Star Trek shows in rotation, but not at the same time. In addition to Star Trek: Discovery, the other two shows are the Picard series featuring Sir Patrick Stewart (which went into production last month) and the planned Section 31 series starring Michelle Yeoh, which is expected to start up after the third season of Discovery (which itself goes into production this summer). Kurtzman also tells the LA Times that there are other unannounced Star Trek shows in development.
The Picard show is set to premiere later this year. Kurtzman outlined their approach:
The mandate was to make it a more psychological show, a character study about this man in his emeritus years. There are so few shows that allow a significantly older protagonist to be the driver…What happens when circumstances have conspired to not give him the happiest of endings? Hopefully, it’s a reinforcement of [‘Trek’ creator Gene] Roddenberry’s vision of optimism. He’s going to have to go through deep valleys to get back to the light.
The man in charge of Trek on TV also explained why they have chosen to spin off a show focused on Michelle Yeoh’s Empress Georgiou from Star Trek: Discovery:
People locked in on Georgiou as being a wonderful oddity. She is wicked, devious, manipulative and yet somehow radiates this incredible heart. People love her…We looked to shows like ‘Killing Eve,’ to franchises like ‘Mission: Impossible,’ things that were complicated on a plot level but also a character level. I think it’s fun for people to see a show with a protagonist who’s entirely unreliable. At the end of the day, she’s going to do the right thing, but in the exact wrong way.
Something new for two animated series
Kurtzman also spoke briefly about the two animated Star Trek series in development. Regarding the recently announced kid-oriented show headed to Nickelodeon, Kurtzman promised it is nothing like the 1970s Star Trek cartoon, adding:
I can’t reveal details on that one, but it’s something that has never been done before in Star Trek.
As for the adult animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks slated for CBS All Access and headed up by Rick and Morty‘s Mike McMahan, Kurtzman said:
It’s a total love letter to Star Trek; there’s no mockery.
Discovery season 3 to go bold
The third season of Discovery is being written right now with Kurtzman and co-showrunner Michelle Paradise. He spoke briefly about the opportunities available to the writers by jumping the show into the future:
Now that we’re free from canon, we get to ask ourselves some incredibly bold, complicated questions. We get to dive deep into our imagination and think about what the universe would look like  years.
Keep up with all the upcoming Star Trek TV shows on TrekMovie.com.