There are currently five Star Trek series in active production, including three live-action shows (Discovery, Picard, and Strange New Worlds). But there is one more show that’s still being worked on behind the scenes.
Section 31 “on a great track”
CBS announced the development of a Star Trek series starring Michelle Yeoh over two years ago. The series was to “expand on Yeoh’s current role as a member of Starfleet’s Section 31,” as seen on Star Trek: Discovery. Now there is an update via a Producers Guild panel discussion (held earlier this year, but just released on YouTube) with the executive producers of Discovery, focusing on season three. When asked about the status of the Section 31 show, Alex Kurtzman pointed to the pandemic for the delay, but also expressed optimism:
We actually have a couple of [Section 31] scripts. COVID frankly, just changed the game for everybody and every show. We were on a very specific schedule that then got thrown completely into whack because of COVID. Even Discovery season four started many months later than originally planned, Picard too. Everything got pushed… So we’re actually on a great track with Section 31 and I’m very optimistic about it.
In 2019, a writers room was put together for the show, headed up by Discovery writer/producers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt. Producers had said it would go into production in 2020 after the third season of Discovery wrapped; however, even after the pandemic production hiatus, the Section 31 show remains in development.
Setting Georgiou up for her own show
Kurtzman also talked about how the third season of Discovery set up the Section 31 show.
Obviously, it’s no secret that we’ve been working on Michelle’s spin-off show for Section 31. So the big question was, how to do it in an organic way? How to do it in a way that paid off the relationship arc that was set up from the beginning? It’s no accident that in the Discovery pilot [Michael and Georgiou] are walking through the desert, and in their final episode, they’re walking through the snow in a visual echo of what we did in the premiere.
There’s a whole relationship arc that they’ve had from the beginning of the series. And also Georgiou has really never confronted—in an honest way—the consequences of her choices as a Terran. And the closer that she gets to the crew of Discovery—with whom she’s very bonded and does not want to say so—the more she is is forced to reckon with those choices. So, in knowing that we were going to bring Michelle into the Section 31 [show], we needed to give her an appropriate goodbye that tied up a lot of the story threads that we set up from the from the premiere of season one.
Michelle Paradise picked up on that and added:
It felt like taking her back to where she began was the best way to show how much she’s grown with our heroes on Discovery… To take her back to a place where she’d have to actually see [her original] Burnham and engage with that Burnham and see who she is now in that world and that world is now something that no longer fits, that she has changed. It felt to us like that was the best way to show that change was to see it through her own eyes. And then obviously, when she comes out of that experience, she’s able to recognize not only that she has changed a bit, but that this version of Burnham is special to her simply for who she is, and vice versa.
Michelle Yeoh has continued to discuss returning to the role of Georgiou in her own Star Trek series: Earlier this year she talked up all the “possibilities” for the character, and said the writers and producers of the Section 31 show “have a lot more things in store for such an amazing character.” However, the actress continues to sign on to other projects. In addition to working with James Cameron on multiple Avatar movies, she was recently cast as one of the leads for the Netflix miniseries The Witcher: Blood Origin.
Keep up with the Star Trek Universe on TV here at TrekMovie.com.