Last week Alex Kurtzman, the overseer of all things Star Trek on TV, gave updates on all the currently announced projects. In the update he mentioned the next batch of Short Treks, which were just filming up in Toronto. Thanks to some folks on social media, we have some news on one of the live-action mini-episodes.
Director Mark Pellington quietly posted two images from his time directing a Short Treks in late-May. Including one with stars Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn. His episode is titled “Chaos Theory.” Also noteworthy is that in one of the Instagram posts he used the hashtag #chabon, implying that Michael Chabon likely wrote the short.
Chabon wrote “Calypso” in the first wave of Short Treks last year, and is part of the writers’ room for Star Trek: Picard. Pellington is a new name to Trek; he’s a producer and director, most notably of music videos, but also of two NBC series: Blindspot and The Enemy Within.
Interestingly, Anson Mount (Captain Pike) is not mentioned or present in the photo. It looks like it’s similar to other Short Treks, such as “Runaway” in terms of being a character piece, and may be a little side story that features just Number One and Spock—two characters that we’d certainly like to see interact more.
Speaking about the shorts in general, Kurtzman has said:
What I love about the Short Treks is that to me they are an experimental training ground, and a place to experiment with different things. Directors who we’ve never worked with before, tones we’ve never tried before.
He also coyly noted that he’s heard fans about seeing more of the crew of the Enterprise of 2257.
I would be remiss in saying you’re going to see Spock again on Discovery because we’ve obviously jumped so far into the future that it wouldn’t make sense…. but the the idea of bringing Ethan [Peck] back, and Anson [Mount] and Rebecca [Romijn] and the Enterprise, I mean, we loved it so much, that to find a way to do that is definitely something we’re thinking about a lot.
Speaking with TrekMovie in March Ethan Peck was also coy about the idea of a short with him, saying: “Yeah, I think it would be pretty cool.”
Looks like they’re making it happen.
Star Trek: Discovery and the related mini-episode Short Treks are 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 and Short Treks news at TrekMovie.
We may hear more about this at the Montreal ComicCon in two weeks. Both Anson Mount and Ethan Peck are scheduled to appear, as well as William Shatner.
Mark Pellington also provided the voice of the Ba’ul in DISCOVERY 206, “The Sound Of Thunder.”
This is awesome news! Funny how ME’s source never hears about good stuff like this……
ME and Nerdjackass are all about spreading lies and hate!!!
As well as copying each other’s lies and hate, because god forbid either of them let a negative story from any fallacious source go unexploited.
ME is full of complete garbage.
Or if they get the slightest drop of gossip, they immediately blow it up into wish-fullfillment of their own anti-Kurtzman narrative.
Kurtzman’s comment in the Deadline interview that all future live-action series will be produced in Toronto is interesting…
It suggests a number of possibilities…
Most obviously, they may not think they can get California grants for more than one Trek series..
Or, CBS wants maintain contractual commitments with Pinewood Toronto Studios or to use its new studio under construction in Mississauga (just west of Toronto).
But it might also be that production has been, for whatever reason, more challenging in California than expected…
@TG47: More likely, it’s that the CA production tax credit is handled on a production by production basis, or they have secured multiple tax credits in Toronto already. I live in CA, I should know this…..
Phil, I’m wondering if CBS got some signals that they should not expect a production tax credit for multiple similar series…
Telefilm Canada, the federal fund in Canada, doesn’t seem to have that issue from what I’ve observed. The issues are mainly about meeting Canadian content thresholds for foreign productions in Canada.
I’m not sure how the Ontario program works, but with CBS putting in a large new studio, they will have Canadian revenue to put tax credits against.
And…not to be discounted is the currently low Canadian dollar. Toronto has a high cost of living for Canada, but the overall production costs may be lower regardless of any government incentives.
And don’t forget, the current Canadian dollar exchange rate is about 30 percent, so even without the tax breaks, US production companies are getting a bargain. Of course this is a variable that can’t be counted on long term.
The Canadian $ has been running closer to 75% of the US $ this spring, or perhaps you meant 1 US $ buys CDN$1.30.
Either way it’s still a huge savings in production costs…until it flips the other way when commodity prices go up.
You mean Alex wasn’t fired? The Picard show isn’t a flaming wreck?? Thank god, I was worried for a nanosecond there. [sarcasm alert!]
Alex was replaced by Control.
I heard Discovery was cancelled before Season 1 aired, and they’re already replacing it with a new Nicholas Meyer show!
I don’t know where you got your info that Picard isn’t a wreck. 80% of audience which did the screening 8 hours after filming the first two episodes hated 90% of the scenes, but 20% that are JJ fans loved the 25% of changes which CBS made so CBS could make a show under the alternate license that CBS sold to CBS. I heard all that on Turdrotic.
Giant flaming dung heap of a wreck!! You can smell it burning all the way from here to Ceti Alpha Five….
Martin …I sincerely hope that you’re in sarcastic mode ;)
This is very welcome news. I am also hopeful this could be a sign of things to come with a Pike/Enterprise show. Yes, I want that show more than any other Trek show save for Picard.
If we don’t get a Captain Pike series, Short Treks is the next best thing.
I would rather a Short Trek of it than a series. A miniseries though would be a reasonable compromise (especially since the Nick Meyer/Khan miniseries most of us didn’t want never happened).
Agree, I think a mini-series would be the best compromise. And I think a Pike mini-series would be way more popular than Discovery is right now (but I’m personally looking forward to seeing them in a post-post-post-post Nemesis setting ;))
But yes, Pike in the 23rd century, Picard in the 25th and Discovery in the 32nd would keep things VERY interesting. ;)
But what is a “miniseries” these days? 4 Episodes? 6? I mean, a 10 episode run seems reasonable, and constitutes a full season in 2019.
I was just about to post the same thing. In the days when a season was 26 episodes, a miniseries was a week or so. I guess these days it would be a few hours long.
Black Mirror just did a 3 episode “season.” Shrug. I’m not sure why 8-10 episodes every year set on Pike’s Enterprise would be too much to ask for.
@ Afterburn: British TV shows seem to have even shorter seasons than US shows. In the case of Black Mirror the show’s creator actually writes almost all the episodes himself instead of having a writers’ room.
I consider any season at or less than 13 episodes to be a “mini” series. But I guess that is just showing my age. I recall when a mini series ran for 5-7 nights and that was that.
Many full seasons last that long. I would consider a miniseries to be six episodes or fewer.
Except, I would not consider them full seasons. I would consider them half seasons. A full season needs at LEAST 20 episodes. 24 or so, really. For example, a mini season ends episode 10 on a cliffhanger. I consider that a first half. In 12-18 months when the next episodes come out, I tend to consider those the 2nd half of the season. It’s just hard for me to justify 10-12 episodes as “full” seasons.
That’s just not really how it works anymore though.
Well, technically it was rare when that happened. I recall new Battlestar operated that way. The vast majority of network shows have 20+ episodes. Pretty much only the streamers and cable people have short seasons. For traditional broadcasters the vast majority of their programming is 20+ episodes.
Streaming and HBO changed the game. 10 episodes or more is season
For their programs. For most everyone else it’s still 20+.
The number of episodes can vary. I consider what distinguishes a ‘miniseries’ from a regular series is to have a definite ending without the possibility for further seasons, such as the recent Chernobyl miniseries on HBO.
Yep, that’s probably the very definition of a mini-series right there (at least imho anyway).
Unless, of course, it consists of 20-odd episodes, in which case it’s probably a ‘complete series’ instead.
There’s also the term “limited series”. Is that a show with a limited amount of episodes per season or a show with a limited (predefined) number of seasons?
My guess is probably the latter…
If a show was intended to tell a story over a pre-defined number of seasons (let’s say 3) then it would probably be referred to (in passing) as a ‘limited series’.
It having that specific known end point (making it “limited”) rather than this being left open-ended (e.g. until ratings start to decline and TPTB decide to wrap it up, or it gets cancelled by the network).
The ‘complete series’ of this show (such as when it was released as a DVD/blu-ray boxset) would then be the full 3-season run.
This is what makes sense in my head anyway, but I can’t say for sure that it’s the correct definition of the term.
Interestingly, does this make both DS9 and VOY “Planned Limited Series” – i.e. shows that were designed to run for the same length of time as TNG (7 seasons) so long as the rantings held up..?
Three episodes seems reasonable, or anywhere from 3-6 hrs.
In regards to a Pike TV show “we’ve already had it.” I’d rather at this point the CBS/Kurtzman machine pump out a single GOOD quality season of ST than keep pandering to fans’ demand for more ST.
Woohoo! Excited to see this!
Sadly, Instagram is giving a message “This photo or video has been removed from Instagram.”
Looks as though Pellington may have got ahead of a scheduled announcement…
Thanks TrekMovie for getting this up and sharing the intel!
Unfortunately irrelevant for overseas viewers.
The first batch of Short Treks did arrive on Netflix eventually. Netflix just released them all at once instead of one per month.
Although things are a little more complicated this time with the distribution of new Trek content branching off.
I guess that Discovery and any spinoff of it will remain on Netflix for the time being. That should include Short Treks related to Discovery such as this one. If they do Short Treks not related to Discovery it is uclear where those will be released internationally. Maybe if it’s related to the Picard show we can expect to see it on Amazon Prime. In any case, I kind of guess it will be one of those two.
Really? They weren’t available in Israel at the time of season 2. I’ll go back and check.
They hid the Short Treks under trailers or something. They are not in the list of episodes
They should have a seperate section called “shorts” or rename “Trailers” to something else. “Bonus Content”?
YES! I found them under “Trailers”!
Thanks so much!!
I hope they can resolve this for our friends overseas. I hate that you can’t see them when we do!
The casting for the reboot of the original Enterprise crew worked out better than just about anyone could have hoped, myself included. Along with Chabon’s participation this is very welcome news indeed.
What was in the images? They are gone.
Never mind, now the images are back.
Pike, Number One, Spock… FOR THE WIN OF THE AGES!!!
This is so thrilling!
An Enterprise Short Trek is just what so many of us have been calling out for.
And a chance to see Number One on screen a bit more is very sweet.
Knowing it’s been shot in Toronto already suggests it may be one of the first ones released during the hiatus.
I really feel for fans outside North America that have to wait for Netflix to batch them.
We just find them elsewhere,lol!
I found a copy of Chabon’s Pulitzer winning novel lying around my beach house and I’ve been reading it. Its nothing at all like Star Trek, but its pretty good. I’m looking forward to seeing his work on Picard.
Truth be told it’s way better than Trek other than when it’s at its very best. And I’m not the least bit interested in comic books.
Chabon doesn’t just write comic books, LOL. “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” is one of the best books I’ve read in years.
The book he won a Pulitzer for is about comic books though.
Does anyone know when the Short Treks start airing?
I have been wondering that same thing but at least we are finally getting some info on them.
If we assume that
-they release one per month as they did last year
And go with the information shared so far that
-Picard airs no later than December 2019
-there are 6 Short Treks in total
Then: either we will start to see them in July…
Or if they begin to be released in September, there will be a couple of them released between the Picard S1 finale and the Discovery S3 premiere.
It looks like this might be a trial run for a Pike and Spock show!!! Because the dynamic of Spock/Macoy won’t be around for another some years, and Spock/Michael is now over, the warring intellects will be Spock/Number 1. So this might be a trial run to see the dynamic of the two of them. I am SOOO excited!!!!! The only thing that could be better is the new Picard series. Q, make time move faster so we can get to these great shows sooner!
I suspect that Number One will be more of a cool, logical but demanding Executive Officer mentor than a sibling competitor like McCoy.
After all, Number One will be Spock’s model for his future role of first officer. There’s lots of room yet for growth in Spock towards the Spock we knew in TOS.
Well look at that! See, things are happening with these characters sooner than we thought. Kind of what I assume could happen, being in a Short Trek, but still pretty surprised it did so quickly. We will probably not see the 23rd century again with Discovery (at least a few years) but I would love a few mini-stories with Spock and the gang. Still like to see a TV movie or mini-series though.
Yup good to see them taking advantage of the momentum developed in season 2 of Disco plus reinforce to the fanbase, just because you don’t get daily or even monthly production updates, doesn’t mean things aren’t moving forward just fine. As for an Enterprise Pike/Spock/Number One show, IMO a full on series would take the franchise backwards (ala Enterprise and Discovery S1&2) and as they said in TNG, they now need to move forwards. That said, Pike/Spock/Number One TV movies or a mini series would be awesome.
It’s occurred to me that Kurtzman and the writers won’t want to spoil Discovery’s S3 premiere arriving in the late 32nd century.
Which constrains what they can do with the Short Treks this round…
So one or two Short Treks with the Enterprise make sense…
Other possibilities could include:
– a backstory Short Trek for one or more of the other major characters, as was done for Saru last year
– a story from Burnham’s mother’s experience as the Red Angel
– a story that teases more context about the Cyclops Owl group
– an S31 story from before control took over Leyland
It could also be cool if the expanded Short Treks beyond just Discovery. They can use it to set up stuff for Picard. It would also be a good way to bring back some of the characters from the other snows that we haven’t seen in years. Fifteen minutes of animated Quark and Odo, for example, would be awesome.
Since we know that they will do at least 2 animated Short Treks I’m wondering whether these will be related to Discovery or Picard or whether they will be stand-alone. I think they have already said the the animated Short Treks will be separate from the animated Trek shows that are in the making.
Yeah, this is a little more evidence they are aware of who the breakout characters from STD season 2 were. Good to see and as others have hoped, let’s hope this bodes well for a potential Pike series.
PS… I guess a mini series (mini in the sense that there is only one season of it) is better than nothing. But I’d still prefer an actual show.
ML31, I would prefer a regular show with 12-14 episodes per year as well.
There’s room in the rotation with the other series given that CBSAA wants new content year round.
I just don’t buy the ‘going backwards’ argument. Or the ‘it’s too hard to deal with canon’ one either.
Those of us who read Trek-lit know that it’s possible…
Especially as much of the crew for this period will be or can be new characters, and that it’s already established that Pike, Spock and Number One have been successfully recast.
I wholeheartedly agree that there does seem to be room for this show. Going forward with a Pike show does not mean the Georgeau show is delayed or canned. I thought the point was to have multiple Trek genres going on. This would seem to foot the bill.
The thing is “too hard to deal with canon” doesn’t mean “it’s hard to come up with stories that fit in canon”, but rather “fans whine whenever something actually happens between established shows that doesn’t fit in peoples’s headcanon”.
No, “too hard to deal with canon” means coming up with plots and stories that don’t contradict elements that came before in the franchise and don’t break the already established rules of the franchise.
I just don’t want another show about the Enterprise exploring strange new worlds. We’ve got three of this. I want something new, and a Pike show would just feel like more of the same.
It might, but for me it would be far more about the characters than the new worlds. Learning more about Pike. Seeing Spock evolve a little more. What happens to #1, Dr Boyce, etc.
Well, Legate Damar, Kurtzman’s strategy is to have a menu of different offerings that meet different niches.
For you, exploring strange new worlds isn’t your niche anymore. Fine.
For many of us, we’d still like to see more exploration. It’s our niche.
More, with more than a decade since exploratory Trek has been attempted on television, and excellent offerings in the books and comics, we’re convinced something fresh, with new science and allegories for today’s global society is very possible.
Let’s get on board with the idea that Trek doesn’t have fit the mould of one-size-fits-all mass media.
Its not that its not my niche anymore. I still love the exploration stuff. Its just that we already have that. If I want to watch the crew of the Enterprise exploring strange new worlds, I’ll watch TOS, TNG, or Ent. I also don’t want another series about a space station on the edge of a wormhole, or a starship travelling across the galaxy to get home.
I think ‘exploring strange new worlds’ is always likely to play at least some part in any Star Trek series, it being one of the core aims of Starfleet and the Federation.
That’s fine for me, personally, as it’s something I’ve always really enjoyed – I feel it’s got so much life in it still, as those new worlds could be absolutely anything and lead to many different story types.
I assume that you’re looking for something based around a different central theme, like DS9 and VOY were..?
Personally, I’ve always been keen to see something from a perspective other than that of the Federation, like a series following the crew of a Klingon or Cardassian starship perhaps.
Bingo. If a particular show isn’t to someone’s liking, just wait… here comes another…
Frankly I hope Discovery arrives back home soon. Just me though.
Given what Paramount did with Voyager’s return home, I wouldn’t ask for for Discovery focus on the return home.
Not only did the series finale Endgame leave fans looking for closure, when a duology was released by Pocketbooks, the tie in novels were basically instructed to break up the crew…Seven and Icheb were imprisoned for being Borg, B’Lanna went off to find her mother, all the technology and logs were put into deep dark quarantine etc. And shortly thereafter one of the leading novelists was directed to kill off Captain Janeway in a crossover novel.
It took a post-Nemesis Relaunch and Kirsten Beyer to salvage things.
All to say, hanging a series on ‘getting home’ seems to create big canvas issues that TPTB want to ignore.
Seven and Icheb imprisoned? Janeway DEAD?! Good lord, that is effed up.
Yup, I enthusiastically bought the first part of the duology and then abandoned Trek-lit for quite a while.
Being promised the fulfillment of the return home and then getting that was pretty embittering for a fan.
Kirsten Beyer took over the Voyager books and put all to rights…eventually.
Which is likely why she got tagged to write the ‘bring back Culber from the dead’ Discovery episode Saints of Imperfection…
She’s already show she can write her way out of just about anything…
Have enjoyed the post-Nemesis novels, but only ever read one ST book (a TNG one) set before this period, so had no idea about this storyline.
I agree. I thought the premises for both DS9 and VOY were crutches to get out of the ‘ship cruising around Federation space’ model which actually made TNG so successful. DS9 managed to break out eventually, but VOY ended up re-hashing old themes, created its own crummy Delta Quadrant analogs of Klingons and Romulans, and then used TNG’s Borg as a crutch to stay viable and limp to closure, when they could’ve just flown home early. Now, Discovery is warping hundreds of years ahead to another realm and from the one that made it the most successful streaming show in history. Hopefully, if it’s not good, they’ll take her back home. I hope it’s good!
Alex is just throwing you guys a bone.
Pike, No1 & Spock have such great onscreen chemistry…this should be made into a long running TV show ASAP!
Join the discussion…I recall that in an interview that Anson Mount gave about the making of his previous series, Hell On Wheels, he mentioned that as they entered Season 5 of that series (I believe he said S5), he noted that they were approaching the place in that story-line that had the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Point, Utah – and it would come at the end of THAT season in the actual, real-life 1860’s time-line, which they were pretty much following. That overall idea is how a Capt. Pike series could work out: they still have at least 6 or 7 years before TOS – when a certain Riverside, Iowa farm-boy takes his own place in the Big-E’s captain’s chair. That leaves a LOT of years of Pike, young Spock and #1 (“Una,” we heard Pike call her in Discovery S2’s finale). I say to Paramount/CBS: beam us aboard and let’s “hit it” as Pike would say!
I hope they make more than one with Romijn and Peck
I hope that they make a mini-series or a series.
Teaser for a new Pike show anyone?
If it succeeds, that is when it will undoubtedly do. Make the fans want that show even more.
Just wish CBS was able to move more quickly towards locking down a Pike’s Enterprise offering.
Variety is saying today that Ethan Peck will be another regular/recurring character on Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (joining Brent Spiner among others).
While Spock is a larger role, it’s frustrating to see Peck and Mount committed to other projects…
If the new Penny Dreadful is nearly as good as the original, that’s going to be a treat. CBS only has themselves to blame if these actors walk to take on other projects – I too wish they’d move on a Pike show sooner than later. Look how long it took HBO to get all the moving pieces back together for the Deadwood movie/conclusion – 13 years.
Time for a Shatner Short Trek.
Excuse me, I have to pee.
It would be amazing if it was animated, so that he could still be young Kirk.
While I hope this is a precursor of things to come, I cannot get exited about this.
My wife and I have been watching DS9 and we are about half-way through season 4. The writing is superior, the acting is superior. The effects don’t hold a candle to Disco, but they are not needed.
I still do not understand how the Disco producers got Pike so right, but Burnham so wrong.
I know this isn’t the focus of your comment, but I just don’t see how you can say that about the effects on DS9 (unless you’re talking Odo morfs, which always sucked), because miniature motion control shooting was at its creative zenith at that point, and the work remains exceptional looking, far superior to anything on DSC outside of their great creature work 1st season.
DSC’s ship stuff just looks like space is a place with a perpetually dirty windshield and badly-exposed images, like GALACTICA reboot but without the context.
“I still do not understand how the Disco producers got Pike so right, but Burnham so wrong.”
Amen to that, Dave.
I find the effects in DS9 far superior to anything DSC has offered thus far. In HD, the space visuals on DS9 would blow DSC off the map, imo.
Just saw “What We Left Behind”, the DS9 doc. While the remastered live-action footage looked quite beautiful there was something off about the HD VFX shots. Now I realize that those shots were probably not done professionally by a VFX studio but it shows that it’s not as simple as just rerendering the scene files in a higher resolution.
Am currently in the middle of a DS9 re-watch myself (near the end of S5).
Haven’t watched Discovery yet (next on the list) but will say that its effects must be FANTASTIC if DS9’s “don’t hold a candle” to them.
I always thought that DS9’s effects were so impressive, especially as it was (mostly) all model miniatures, and still hold up really strongly to this day. The current re-watch has only reinforced that view.
I do take kmart’s point about Odo’s shape-shifting, but that was surely just a product of where CGI was at in the 90’s.
Kurtzman talks a lot but says little. I don’t think it’s a rosy as he makes it out to be.
His words are the same he said a few months back. There is never any thing different.
I am worried it’s the Dark Universe fiasco again
This is awesome, a step in the right direction even if it’s a Short Trek!
If there’s no plans for a full-on Pike series, then how about a limited series consisting of two or three feature length episodes? Kinda like the British Sherlock Holmes series with Benedict Cumberbatch (nee Khan)?