The first season of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery series got mixed reviews. Though the production got off to a problematic start behind the scenes with changes in staff and significant delays before its eventual debut this past spring, most critics found things to like in the finished product. Set in the earlier days of Star Fleet, several years before Kirk and Spock boldly went on the Enterprise, the show’s remit was to lay down the groundwork for many of the concepts seen in the original Star Trek series while also giving them a wash-and-brush-up and creating aspects of its own mythology.
Certainly the result was glossier and broadcast on a platform that allowed more violent content and occasional profanity. It was an ensemble show but with the pivot being around (The Walking Dead‘s Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Berman, an officer whose self-belief threatened to tip humanity and the Klingons into a full-on deadly cosmic war rather than keeping the peace. The first season traced her voyage of self-discovery and fleshed out her disparate crew-mates and their own trials and tribulations. Though it was somewhat uneven in its pacing, the result earned it a second season which has been filming over the last few months and which will be broadcast from next January. It appears the Klingon elements will not be as prominent in the next set of episodes.
The audience at SDCC were treated to a panel and the first real glimpse of where the second run will boldly go. Those who watched the first season know that it ended with *spoilers* the arrival of the Starship Enterprise, under the control of Kirk’s predecessor Christopher Pike. Pike will feature more prominently in the 2019 episodes as he assumes temporary control of the Discovery and sets out to solve a cosmic mystery that may be linked to Berman’s half-brother, the one and only Spock. Anson Mount (most recently seen in The Inhumans) plays Pike but it is not known at this point whether an actor has been cast as Spock as yet – though the character will appear. Rainn Wilson will return to reprise the character of Harry Mudd and there are several new faces set to appear – including Rebecca Romijn as Pike’s Number One, Aldis Hodge (Leverage) and comedian/actor Tig Notaro (who moderated the SDCC panel).
Co-creator and producer Alex Kurtzman said that the show would continue to dovetail into established Trek canon and he also announced that there will also be four Star Trek: Short Treks each running to about 10-15 minutes with a self-contained story linked to the themes of the show which will begin in December.
(Some territories can’t see the geo-locked trailer above, so here’s an alternative…)