J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of Star Trek brought the 50 year old franchise into the modern era of film aesthetic. For better or worse. Despite the success of the film series, many fans have believed that the franchise belongs on the small screen from which it originated.
A new television series, Star Trek: Discovery, was finally announced and we’ve been getting new info about the show piecemeal over the past few months. What has been very evident is that, like the film reboot before it, Discovery will be influenced by contemporary television.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg revealed how event series like Game of Thrones has influenced the upcoming Star Trek television show. Here’s what Berg told the outlet:
“Game of Thrones changed television. They almost made it difficult to fall in love with people because you didn’t know if they were going to be taken away from you. That show’s had an influence on all TV dramas that have come after it.”
One of the things about Game of Thrones is that when a character dies, it means something. Even though The Walking Dead also features a cast whose characters tend to be killed off, the deaths seem to be done more for shock value. Harberts adds that this won’t be the case with Discovery:
“Death isn’t treated gratuitously on this show. It’s not for shock value. But when it happens we want to make sure that people really feel it.”
Star Trek is no stranger to killing off characters, but they almost always tend to be due to behind-the-scenes reasons. Denise Crosby wanted to leave The Next Generation near the end of the first season and was killed off, while Terry Farrell left Deep Space Nine in season 6, as two such examples.
Some of the details of Star Trek: Discovery have worried fans. The upcoming series will do away with one of Gene Roddenberry’s golden rules that the crew cannot fight, while the showrunners have been teasing a more serialized story. Personally, this is the kind of change that I welcome. I love Star Trek, but it really did need to be updated for modern audiences.
Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on CBS on September 24, 2017 at 8:30 pm. The first and second episodes will then be available on-demand on CBS All Access immediately after the premiere. The series will then move to its regular timeslot of Sundays on the streaming platform.