Star Trek: Discovery will move into more hybrid storytelling territory, matching past and future versions of Star Trek.
According to Inverse, the fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery will revert to a hybrid model of storytelling, mixing in both episodic and serialized forms of television. This was something sort of explored in season three, according to Discovery producer Michelle Paradise.
“Discovery has that sort of serialized-season-long story baked into its DNA,” Michelle Paradise told Inverse. “We also wanted to give the show more of an episodic feel, in Season 3, and we knew that going in. We got to explore a story of the week or a villain of the week. It gives us time to explore some of our characters who we normally we wouldn’t have time to explore. …Even in our new iteration of Star Trek, it feels like we harken back to TOS and some of the other great series.”
This isn’t all that surprising, even though Inverse didn’t quote Paradise directly in their article, this is the exact same thing that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will be doing when that series finally launches. The idea is to have character development throughout the season, but have episodes that are self-contained that aren’t continued on through the season.
Think of a show like The Simpsons or Rick and Morty. Both shows have self-contained episodes but also harken back to past events as well. In the case of the Simpsons the characters never really evolve but they do in Rick and Morty. This was also the format that Star Trek: Voyage adopted for the most part, and the format that Star Trek: Deep Space Nine mostly moved away from after season four; which to be fair, was when the series was at it’s best.
There is no right or wrong way to do Star Trek, as we’ve seen both versions be very successful in telling stories. This seems to be the way that ViacomCBS wants the brand to go.