Everything we know (that you need to know) so far about Discovery


For a show that has been in stages of development for almost two years, there’s a lot of misconception and misinformation about Star Trek: Discovery. We’ll endeavor to clear them all up here.

Even now, less than five weeks away from the debut of Star Trek: Discovery, incorrect information and beliefs about the show abound among fans. For every informed opinion based upon accurate details, there’s a fan dismissing the show because it’s set in the JJ-verse or it’s in the wrong timeline.

In the interest of clearing up as many of these erroneous beliefs as possible, we’re going to do a rundown of everything we know (and that you need to know) about Discovery, and we’ll leave the takes and opinions for another article. We’ll break the facts down in no particular order.

Discovery is NOT set in the Kelvan timeline. 

That’s right, everything you heard about this show being set in the Kelvan timeline, J.J. Abrams’ creation for the movie reboots, is wrong. Discovery will be set in the prime timeline, the one which leads to the original series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager, unperturbed.

Discovery’s lead will be a female.

The lead character of Star Trek: Discovery will be Michael Burnham, a human female played by Sonequa Martin-Green. Her rank is First Officer and she is a scientist (a xenoanthropologist to be specific) who specializes in first contact. In an interesting twist, she’ll be Spock’s half sister.

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At least one episode of Discovery will have a TV-MA rating.

In a trailer released last week, we saw a snippet in which a TV-MA rating is flashed on the screen. We’ve discussed both the pros and the cons to this topic here, but it’s important to remember that we don’t yet know if this rating will be consistent across the series or if it’ll be specific to just one or more episode.

A younger Sarek will return.

We will see Ambassador Sarek, and he will have a foundational impact on this show because he and his wife Amanda (mother of Spock) raised a young Burnham after being orphaned by Klingons.

Discovery’s writers are conscious of canon. 

Star Trek fans are obsessively aware of canon, the events and precepts laid out before that help inform the whole of the franchise. Even a small overstep from a show can result in loud outcries from enraged fans, and the powers that be of Discovery are well aware of that. They won’t fully constrain themselves to it, mind you, but it will influence stories and decisions.

Harry Mudd will appear. Quite a bit, we think. 

Rainn Wilson will reprise Harry Mudd’s original series character in Discovery. In fact, Wilson is listed to appear in nine different episodes according to IMDB. That’s a lot of Mudd.

Discovery will air on CBS, and then…

Ok, stick with me here. The premiere episode of Star Trek: Discovery will air on CBS on Sunday, September 24th, at 8:30 p.m. EST. It’ll be a two-hour event. From that point forward, Discovery will air every Sunday, but never again on CBS. Instead, in the United States it will air on CBS All Access, a subscription service. That will cost $5.99 per month if you don’t mind commercials, and $9.99 if you’d like the commercial free version. In Canada, those subsequent episodes will air on Space, and you can stream episodes on Crave TV. As for audiences around the world, they will be able to watch on Netflix.

Discovery will have 15 episodes.

Originally slotted for just a 13 episode season, Discovery will get a 15 episode run.

There will be Klingons.

We’ll see plenty of Klingons, and they’ve gotten a redesign. They’ll be bald, with newly-designed ridges (which are essentially sensors, enabling them to be apex predators on Qo’Nos and other worlds in the Klingon Empire). There are 24 Klingon houses, but it’s a bit ambiguous whether the show will focus on 24 houses, or if there are 24 houses in the whole of the Empire. The Klingons will also speak actual Klingon, aided with Klingon linguists and dialect coaches on set. Dialogue will be supplemented with subtitles.

There will be no standalone episodes.

Discovery will not be episodic, instead utilizing a serialized approach spanning the entire season (and possibly beyond).

Next: Discovery is set to arrive at the perfect time

If there remains anything else Star Trek: Discovery-related you’re wondering about, let us know on Twitter @RedshirtsdieFS and we’ll do our best to inform you.