We’re only a couple of months away from the long-awaited premiere of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery, but now a wild rumor suggests there might be a whole other Star Trek series in the works. And while Discovery is focused on a whole new crew of characters (with a few noteworthy exceptions), this other rumored series would put the spotlight on one of Trek‘s most infamous villains: Khan Noonien Singh.
The news comes from Geek Exchange, which cites two unnamed sources — so take all this with a grain of salt. Geek Exchange claims that Nicholas Meyer, who directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and has been working on Discovery, is developing a limited series that will tell focus on Khan and his followers during the years they were stranded on Ceti Alpha V. Trek die-hards will recall that Captain Kirk marooned Khan and company on Ceti Alpha V at the end of “Space Seed,” the Original Series episode that first introduced Khan. When Khan reappeared in 1982’s The Wrath of Khan, most of Khan’s followers were dead — including his wife — and Khan had developed a serious grudge against Kirk. We know those years on Ceti Alpha V were rough, and if this rumor is true, we might finally get to see just how those dire missing years played out.
While this is strictly unconfirmed rumors at this point, a Meyer-led Khan prequel series would make a certain amount of sense. We know that original Discovery showrunner Bryan Fuller wanted that show to be an American Horror Story-style anthology, with each season exploring different characters and a different corner of the vast Star Trek universe. While CBS allegedly scaled back those ambitions for Discovery, a Khan limited series could be a way to test this approach. It’s definitely not a story concept that could necessarily fuel multiple seasons, but a single miniseries could tell the tale of Khan on Ceti Alpha V quite nicely. And if it works, then CBS has proof of concept to experiment with other standalone Trek story arcs, either separate or related to the theoretical ongoing adventures of the Discovery crew.
Assuming it happens, this Khan series would be the fourth time we’ve seen the character on the film or TV screen. After Ricardo Montalban’s turns in “Space Seed” and The Wrath of Khan, Benedict Cumberbatch played a young version of Khan in 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Of course, that iteration of Khan was very different, something explained away by the film taking place in the so-called “Kelvin timeline” spawned by the 2009 psuedo-reboot directed by J.J. Abrams. Discovery is allegedly unfolding in the original “Prime” Trek timeline, although there are hints that things aren’t quite as simple as that. But Meyer would likely stick closer to his earlier vision of Khan, so don’t hold your breath for him to cast a pasty British dude in the role.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres Sunday, September 24 on CBS. All subsequent episodes will air exclusively on CBS All Access.