Star Trek: Discovery is claiming they’re taking the show in a new direction which may be due to Strange New Worlds’ influence.
It kinda gets glossed over but most networks and streaming services have a general idea of what series or film is going to be a hit. Various different metrics, engagements, and various studies give studios an idea of what a film will make or how many eyes will see a television show. So it’s fair to say that execs believed in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds before it ever started airing. So it’s entirely possible that Paramount refocused all of its Star Trek properties to fit that vision. This could explain Star Trek: Discovery’s change in tone for its fifth season.
While speaking during the 2022 New York Comic Con, Michelle Paradise revealed that the show’s fifth season was going to be a different tone entirely. As TrekMovie.com reported, Paradise went on to share what this tonal shift will include.
"We do have a bit of a tonal shift this season. We try to keep every season feeling fresh and new. Coming into the season, Alex and I talked about shifting the tone a little bit because there was a bit of heaviness in season 3 and particularly in 4 with the DMA. So this is more of an action-adventure sort of season. There is a mystery. There’s a quest, and this mysterious power… It is a quest that our heroes are on and they do have a chance to go on quite a few adventures this season, which will be fun."
It’s an adventure season, much like the original Star Trek, which Strange New Worlds is borrowing from. So Discovery is going to be more like Strange New Worlds then? That’s not a bad thing, necessarily. I mean, the influence of Strange New World can be felt elsewhere too, like with Prodigy and the new season of Picard. There’s far more humor in that one trailer than in two full seasons of the show.
Well, good humor anyway.
Is it too late for Star Trek: Discovery to find its footing?
When you say things like “we try to keep every season fresh and new” and constantly change the show’s tone, that’s a sign that you don’t have a reliable audience. Supernatural lasted for 15 seasons because it didn’t change its tone, and didn’t try to be different or “new” every season. They were telling a story. A very long, very long story.
Discovery has never been the hit Paramount has wanted, which is why its budget and episode count has been reduced over the years. Wilson Cruz can claim all he wants on the internet that Discovery was “never in danger” of being canceled, but the facts don’t match the opinions. Shows don’t get their budget slashed while filming if the show is in a good place. Nor does it have episodes cut from production while filming if it’s a strong show.
That’s common sense.
Likely, season five could and probably should be the last in Discovery’s run. It has its viewer base, sure, but it’s not a big one, hence the reduced budget. Discovery was supposed to be the show to attract fans but it didn’t and only developed a niche audience.
Paramount would do well to end the show after season five, regardless of how good or bad it is, and roll the budget into Strange New Worlds to give them more episodes per season.