Classic Star Trek Episode Will Serve as 'Touchstone' For Discovery

An episode of the original "Star Trek" series appears to serve as inspiration for the main story arc for CBS's upcoming television revival.

"Star Trek: Discovery" Executive Producer Bryan Fuller described the 1966 episode "Balance of Terror" as "a touchstone" for the show's story, which is set a decade before the events of the classic series. However, he didn't provide any further details in the tweet.

The 14th episode of "Star Trek's" first season, "Balance of Terror" marked the debut of the Romulans. In the episode, Capt. Kirk leads the Enterprise in a cat-and-mouse game against a Romulan Bird of Prey. Actor Mark Lenard played the Romulan commander, who engages against Kirk, as the two leaders try to outmaneuver one another. (Lenard famously later played Spock’s father Sarek.)

Does this mean events in the first season of “Discovery” will connect in some way to events depicted “Balance of Terror”? Not necessarily. By referring to it as a "touchstone," Fuller may simply mean he and the show's writers simply may view "Balance of Terror" as a standard for storytelling.

Fuller and CBS have promised "Discovery" will feature a diverse cast and a female lead. The series will also eschew the franchise's traditional episodic approach to storytelling in favor of a season-long arc.

“Star Trek: Discovery” will premiere in January 2017 on the streaming platform CBS All Access.

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