Paramount+ has officially confirmed that the upcoming fifth season of Star Trek: Discovery will be the last. The premiere of the final season has been moved to early 2024.
The show that started it all coming to an end
Star Trek: Discovery kicked off the new era of Star Trek, launching on CBS All Access in 2017. Six years later, there are now a total of five Star Trek series on what has become the Paramount+ streaming service, including the Discovery spinoff Strange New Worlds. Leading up to the final season, Paramount+ is planning to honor the legacy of Discovery with “year-long celebrations and appearances at key events in markets around the world,” according to the official announcement released today that confirmed the news about the series ending.
Co-created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman, the show started off as a prequel series set in the Original Series era, then jumped forward into the 32nd century in its third season. Sonequa Martin-Green leads a diverse cast as Micahel Burnham, promoted to Captain Burnham of the USS Discovery in season four. Martin-Green (who is also a producer) said in a statement:
I can hardly believe that this mind-blowing journey with Star Trek: Discovery is ending. I’m astoundingly blessed by God to have played Captain Michael Burnham and to have taken part in a legacy alongside an extraordinary cast, phenomenal crew and remarkable writing team. To our most supportive partners at CBS Studios and Paramount+, who insisted on making television history, I’m deeply grateful. I’m also deeply grateful for the creative collaboration with our showrunners Michelle Paradise and Alex Kurtzman, as well as Olatunde Osunsanmi and the incomparable team of executive producers. I will never forget how it felt to stand together as a show family, cradling the heirloom of ‘Trek’ with all those from the franchise at large and with the fans. The fans welcomed us into their hearts as we launched a new iteration of ‘Trek’ and an entire entertainment platform, and we’ll never forget it. 65 episodes later, here’s to the entire company of Star Trek: Discovery, to the show and its fifth and final season, to its beloved fans and to all those who envision a better future. Let’s fly…
Paramount+ also included this image in their social media announcement of the news…
Showrunners pay tribute to cast and crew
Executive producers and co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise also shared their thoughts on the show’s conclusion:
As lifelong fans of ‘Star Trek,’ it has been an immense honor and privilege to help bring Star Trek: Discovery to the world. The ‘Trek’ universe means so much to so many – including us – and we couldn’t be prouder of everything Discovery has contributed to its legacy, particularly with representation. If just one person sees themselves, or the possibilities for their future, in a new way because of Discovery, then we think we’d have made Gene Roddenberry very proud.
Of course, there would be no Discovery without Sonequa Martin-Green and the extraordinary team of artists, both in front of and behind the camera, who have brought this show to life. Their passion and determination to make every episode special has been deeply inspiring; so too has their love and support for one another and their genuine love for ‘Star Trek.’ Discovery has truly become a family over the years – and we couldn’t be more grateful to be part of it.”
To the fans around the world, thank you for joining us on this incredible journey. Your love for these characters and your excitement for every episode, every season, has meant the world to us. We can’t wait for you to see what we’ve been working on for this final season; we appreciate your patience in the meantime and trust us when we say it’ll be worth the wait. We love you all! LLAP.
Additional filming set as Paramount+ says goodbye to its first Trek
Production on season 5 wrapped up last November, however, Variety reports additional filming is taking place. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the additional filming will “help craft a conclusion for the series.”
This news confirms TrekMovie’s analysis from earlier this week that Paramount+ could wrap up their longest-running Star Trek series as part of a larger effort to control costs across the board. According to Variety “The ending of Discovery comes as Paramount looks to continue building on the success of the “Star Trek” franchise while also coming to grips with the financial realities of the streaming era, as most major media companies have announced plans to slash content spending in the years going forward.”
In the official statement announcing the end of the series, Paramount chief programming officer Tanya Giles said:
Star Trek: Discovery is a perennial favorite on the service, near and dear to the hearts of legions of ‘Star Trek’ fans as well as all of us here at Paramount+. The series and its incredible cast and creatives ushered in a new era for ‘Star Trek’ when it debuted over six years ago, embracing the future of streaming with serialized storytelling, bringing to life deep and complex characters that honor Gene Roddenberry’s legacy of representing diversity and inclusion, and pushing the envelope with award-winning world-building. This final season will see our beloved crew take on a new adventure and we can’t wait to celebrate the series’ impact on the franchise leading up to its final season early next year.
CBS Studios David Stapf added:
When we first started talking about the return of ‘Star Trek’ eight years ago, we never could have imagined the indelible impact Star Trek: Discovery would have,” “The series brought back a beloved global franchise, and just like its predecessors, Discovery honored ‘Star Trek’s’ legacy of ‘infinite diversity in infinite combinations,’ representing the best of what we could be as humans when we celebrate our differences. I’d like to thank Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise, who have led this show with heart, passion, and as fans themselves with vivid storytelling – always ready to push boundaries like those before them. And finally, I’d like to thank this talented cast, led by the brilliant Sonequa Martin-Green, whose leadership both onscreen and off has helped guide the way from day one.
Discovery will be the second original Paramount+ series to wrap up, following the third and final season of Picard, which wraps up in April. There is still no word yet from Paramount regarding the future of the rest of the Paramount+ Star Trek originals. A second season of Strange New Worlds has already been produced and is expected to debut later this year. A third season for the series set on board Captain Pike’s USS Enterprise is likely but has not been officially confirmed. 2023 will also see the fourth season of Lower Decks and the first half of the second season of Prodigy, with no official word yet on if the two animated Star Trek shows will get additional seasons.
There is also no news regarding any potential new Trek shows getting the official green light. In recent years Alex Kurtzman and Paramount+ executives have also talked about a number of potential new Star Trek series in development including a Section 31 show starring Michelle Yeoh and a show set at Starfleet Academy. A spinoff of Picard has also been discussed by that show’s cast and showrunner.
Final season to be an “epic adventure”
The fifth season of Discovery will be seeing some changes for the show. Firstly it will be 10 episodes, bringing it in line with the other Trek series. The show is also moving away from the usual galaxy-ending storylines, with the showrunner promising a shift in tone to more action and adventure.
Here is the new official synopsis:
The fifth and final season will find Captain Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery uncovering a mystery that will send them on an epic adventure across the galaxy to find an ancient power whose very existence has been deliberately hidden for centuries. But there are others on the hunt as well … dangerous foes who are desperate to claim the prize for themselves and will stop at nothing to get it.
Season 5 cast members include Sonequa Martin-Green (Captain Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Saru), Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), David Ajala (Cleveland “Book” Booker) and Blu del Barrio (Adira). Also returning are guest stars Tara Rosling (Ni’Var President T’Rina), Chelah Horsdal (Federation President Rillak), Oded Fehr (Admiral Vance), and David Cronenberg (Kovich).
Callum Keith Rennie joins the cast in a series regular role as Captain Rayner. Also new this season are Moll and L’ak, played by Eve Harlow and Elias Toufexis.
Discovery seasons 1 through 4 are currently streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. Internationally, the series is available on Paramount+ in Australia, Italy, Latin America, the U.K. and South Korea. It will also stream exclusively on Paramount+ in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria later this year. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
Keep up with news for the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.