While entries in the movie franchise like Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan have cemented themselves as icons of cinematic pop culture, and the JJ Abrams directed 2009 Star Trek reboot was certainly a lot of fun (let’s just skip talking about Star Trek Into Darkness for now), I’ve personally always felt that Star Trek belongs on TV. Tuning into the weekly adventures of Capt. Picard and the rest of the crew of the USS Enterprise is what helped turn me into the proud sci-fi geek that I am today. Which is why I was really chuffed with the recent news that CBS was bringing Star Trek back to the small screen. And it looks like the man responsible for leading that revival is a old member of this starship crew.
Variety is reporting that Hannibal‘s Bryan Fuller has been tapped by CBS to act as the new series’ showrunner. He will exec produce alongside Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote and co-produced the modern JJ Abrams movies. Fuller’s Star Trek credentials are rather legit though, as way before he was chewing on the story of Hannibal Lecter, he actually started his career as a writer on Star Trek: Voyager (1997-2001) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1997). But Fuller revealed that his love of sci-fi – and especially Star Trek– began even earlier.
“My very first experience of ‘Star Trek’ is my oldest brother turning off all the lights in the house and flying his model of a D7 Class Klingon Battle Cruiser through the darkened halls. Before seeing a frame of the television series, the ‘Star Trek’ universe lit my imagination on fire. It is without exaggeration a dream come true to be crafting a brand new iteration of ‘Star Trek’ with fellow franchise alum Alex Kurtzman and boldly going where no ‘Star Trek’ series has gone before.”
Kurtzman was also pretty excited that a lifelong fan like Fuller would be shepherding the new series.
“Bringing ‘Star Trek’ back to television means returning it to its roots, and for years those roots flourished under Bryan’s devoted care. His encyclopedic knowledge of ‘Trek’ canon is surpassed only by his love for Gene Roddenberry’s optimistic future, a vision that continues to guide us as we explore strange new worlds.”
David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios, also added his stamp of approval.
“For the past 50 years, ‘Star Trek’ has been a groundbreaking franchise that not only changed the landscape of television, but made a significant impact on pop culture. When we began discussions about the series returning to television, we immediately knew that Bryan Fuller would be the ideal person to work alongside Alex Kurtzman to create a fresh and authentic take on this classic and timeless series. Bryan is not only an extremely gifted writer, but a genuine fan of ‘Star Trek.’ Having someone at the helm with his gravitas who also understands and appreciates the significance of the franchise and the worldwide fan base was essential to us.”
The new series will be taking the very unique approach to its distribution model though, by first premiering on CBS in January 2017, before having the rest of the episodes exclusively air on CBS’ All Access digital subscription service. This is the first time a major series has ever done this broadcast network to VOD approach, but CBS is taking this route so as to use the Star Trek brand recognition to launch their digital service. The new show will also be debuting just months after the original series’ 50th anniversary in September this year, so Star Trek fever will certainly be running high.
We will of course also be getting the Justin Lin (Fast & Furious series) directed Star Trek Beyond in July this year, but it’s been reported that this new series will be ignoring the continuity of both the modern movies as well as the classic series, instead focusing on new characters and story elements.
I was already excited for the new show, but now with Fuller – a man who worked extensively on the last truly great Star Trek show, Voyager – on board, my hype has just hit warp factor nine. My only concern is Fuller’s multitasking skills though, as he is also writer/showrunner on Starz’s upcoming American Gods adaptation, which kicks off production April. Looks like he’s going to be needing a teleporter to beam himself back and forth between the two shows.
Last Updated: February 10, 2016