It’s finally here. After months of rumors, speculation, and behind-the-scenes turmoil, we’re finally getting our first look at Star Trek: Discovery. With some fans growing increasingly concerned about the future of the show, CBS has finally decloaked Discovery with a media blitz that reveals a show that looks, if nothing else, slick and very similar to look of the recent big-screen movies. (That could be a good or bad thing, depending on your feelings about the J.J. Abrams-helmed Trek reboot that began with the 2009 film.)
Stat Trek: Discovery is set a decade before Kirk, Spock, and McCoy’s Original Series adventures aboard the Enterprise. It follows a young Starfleet officer named Lt. Commander Michael Burnham (The Walking Dead‘s Sonequa Martin-Green) as she serves as First Officer aboard the titular exploratory vessel. Story details are sparse at this point, but the new trailer makes a couple of things clear: there will be crazy aliens, there will be bold exploration of the unknown…and the Klingons are going to be a problem.
It can’t be overstated how crucial this first trailer was. Discovery has been plagued by bad news for months, at least since original showrunner Bryan Fuller (American Gods, Hannibal) left the series. His involvement went a long way towards reassuring skeptical fans that the wayward Star Trek franchise might finally be returning to his roots. His departure hit Discovery like a photon torpedo blast, and the show’s been trying to recover good will ever since. It hasn’t helped that there have been repeated delays. Whether this trailer will win over fans enough to convince them to pay for a CBS All Access subscription when the time comes…well, we’ll have to wait and see.
Even though the show is a prequel, set well before the events of the original Star Trek series, it’s no real surprise to see the Discovery cast in sleek uniforms rather than the colorful outfits Kirk and company first sported. Given how controversial the reboot films have been among many longtime Trek fans, Discovery will likely want to carve its own space — and give itself a little distance from the recent films.
Martin-Green cuts a commanding figure in uniform as Lt. Commander Burnham, and we also get to see Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou, who looks to be a mentor figure for Burnham. (We know Georgiou is captain of a vessel called the Shenzhou, so it seems likely that’s where Burnham has been serving prior to her transfer to the Discovery.) James Frain is also front and center as Sarek, father of Spock and a recurring character in Discovery. The funky pink dude who can “sense death” is likely Doug Jones (Hellboy) as the Discovery‘s science officer, Saru.
All in all, Discovery‘s maiden voyage looks great…but it’s all going to come down to execution. Will Discovery redeem the franchise and take fans to the strange new worlds they’ve been longing to see? And will they pay to see it, or just pirate the hell out of the show? We’ll find out this fall…assuming the damn thing isn’t delayed again.