Star Trek: Discovery is filming its fifth season and its longevity will set the standard for the rest of the new shows.
Star Trek: Discovery was the first show of the new era of Star Trek to launch. It launched on a failed streaming service and was met with constant criticism; both rightfully so and not. Despite that, it’s found its place in the Trek timeline, by going forward through it. While it’s not a great show, it has at least found its niche in the fandom.
Its longevity, however long that will be, is going to become the benchmark for all future series. The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager all got seven seasons. The Original Series and Enterprise by comparison only got three and four. The conversation about all five is how the last two didn’t get their seven.
Season five could be it for Discovery, or season six or season seven. Right now no one knows. When it does finally wrap for good, Discovery’s length of time will become the new expectation for a majority of these new shows.
Expecting a Star Trek series to surpass 100 episodes is no longer realistic
The new world of streaming has brought higher production values than ever before, but also fewer episodes. This has made the idea of a Star Trek series hitting 100 episodes ever again a very unrealistic possibility.
Look at Strange Things, they’re wrapping up after season five, and if past season trends are a good measurement, will finish with 43-44 episodes when it’s all said and done. Discovery has 55 episodes already made, and another 10 on the way. The dramatic reduction in episodes sure does make season five feel like the last one.
65 episodes and/or five seasons seems like the new level of expectation in a post-syndicated world. If that’s the case, then that’s what you can expect from all future iterations of Trek, at least as long as streaming is the new normal.