Star Trek: Enterprise aired its last episode in May of 2005, and in September of 2017, the world saw the debut of Star Trek: Discovery. Set before the original series, Discovery deals with the Federation fighting the Klingons as well as a unique, never before seen method of traveling through space. To hedge their bets, CBS staffed the show with long-time Trek collaborators, such as Gene Roddenberry’s son, The Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer, and 2009 Star Trek writer and producer Alex Kurtzman. How are they doing so far?
The show is giving us dramatic conflict amongst the crew, something that Roddenberry said could not and would not happen with Captains Kirk and Picard. We also see insight into previous characters such as Harry Mudd and Sarek that give them new life and the audience new perspective. Even behind the scenes we are getting Jonathan Frakes returning to the director’s chair. What has happened so far? What else can fans expect to see? Is there more Trek on the way? Get ready to explore 8 things about Star Trek: Discovery we know are true and 7 wild rumors!
RED ALERT: Spoilers De-cloaking!
15. FACT: THE FIRST EPISODE HAS KLINGON SUBTITLES
Qapla’! Raise your hand if you remember reading an article a few years ago about Portland, Oregon hiring a Klingon interpreter for those that may request one in court cases? We’re sorry to say that was one of those internet lies, like that duck quacks don’t echo or that Klingon’s can’t cry. Actually, that last one is true because Klingons don’t have tear ducts.
For some fans, Star Trek: Discovery can be watched on Netflix. If you go into the menu settings for the first episode, you will find that you can turn on subtitles in a variety of languages, such as Korean, Polish, and Klingon! The Klingon language was actually devised by Producer Jon Povill and James Doohan. Yes, Scotty helped create the spoken Klingon language for Star Trek: The Motion Picture! Now go download the Klingon Christmas Carol, spoken primarily in Klingonese.
14. FACT: EPISODES WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE MIRROR UNIVERSE
Who knew that, in order to show you’re in a different universe, all you had to do was slap a sweet mustache and goatee on your actor? In the Original Series episode “Mirror, Mirror,” a transporter accident places several Enterprise crew members in an alternate timeline where humans are the bad guys. This mirror timeline is later visited multiple times in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Star Trek: Discovery has touched on such classic Star Trek elements as Sarek, the war between the Federation and the Klingons, and even Harry Mudd. Thanks to some confirmed rumors, we know that the U.S.S. Discovery will head to the mirror universe for at least one episode. Perhaps after the last botched jump through the mycelial network in “Into The Forest I Go” we find out they’re already there?
13. FACT: TAKES PLACE 10 YEARS BEFORE ORIGINAL SERIES
The U.S.S. Enterprise was around for a long time, longer than most starships in Star Fleet. Star Fleet seems obsessed with rolling out different classes of ship year after year, which is why it was so comforting to see Constitution Class NCC-1701 US.S. Enterprise last for so long. Kirk wasn’t the first Captain of the ship, and neither was Christopher Pike. The first Captain was Robert April, who kind of looks a lot like Gene Roddenberry.
Before the Enterprise was destroyed in 2285 near the Genesis Planet, it was in service for nearly four decades! So where is Discovery in all of this? They are about 10 years before the original series. In fact they even mention the Enterprise by name in the episode “Lethe.” So if it’s 10 years before and they’re on five year missions, who’s the current skipper? Technically it should be Pike, but only time will tell.
12. FACT: SPOCK/SAREK RELATIONSHIP EXPLORED
In the first episode, “The Vulcan Hello,” we learn about Michael Burnham and her connection not only to the Vulcan culture, but to Sarek and Spock’s family. Sarek (Spock’s father) makes young Michael his ward and that technically makes Spock her foster brother. You think Spock would mention such a thing, but then again Spock waited until Star Trek V: The Final Frontier to mention he had a half-brother.
In “Lethe” we learn that both Spock and Michael applied to the prestigious Vulcan Expeditionary Group, but the group said that due to the controversy (Spock was half-human and Michael was human but raised Vulcan), they would only let one of Sarek’s kids in. Sarek opted to send Spock, but Spock declined and joined Star Fleet, which now explains why Sarek had buried animosity towards his son. We don’t normally like retcons, but in this case we’ll make an exception!
11. FACT: JONATHAN FRAKES WILL DIRECT
What is it about first officers directing Star Trek? Leonard Nimoy, besides directing Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, directed a number of successful films and television episodes. Following in his footsteps was Jonathan Frakes, who besides directing Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection, also directed for both the small and big screens.
The last time Jonathan Frakes directed a Star Trek episode was in 1996. “Prototype” was an episode of Star Trek: Voyager in which B’Elanna Torres was forced to assist a sentient robot build more of its species. Twenty-two years later, Frakes will direct an episode of Star Trek: Discovery entitled “Despite Yourself.” It will premiere January 2018 and will focus on Discovery attempting to find a way home from their unknown position.
10. FACT: SOME EPISODES ARE RATED TV-MA
Star Trek prides itself on going where no one has gone before. Week after week, Star Trek explores strange new worlds, seeks out new life and new civilizations, but did anyone guess that the undiscovered country would be in the form of an F-bomb? In the episode “Choose Your Pain” Tilly and Stamets say a word that rhymes with truck. What the frack?
Star Trek is the first Trek series to have some episodes with TV-MA ratings. Besides the language, we hear about some pretty graphic things never before dealt with in the franchise. How many people caught the bit of dialogue on the Sarcophagus Ship where they said they ate Captain Georgiou? What about the sequence of Mudd killing Lorca multiple times? Damn it, Jim, I’m watching Star Trek, not a snuff film!
9. FACT: SERIES SET IN REGULAR CONTINUITY
There were lots of rumors buzzing about before the launch of Star Trek: Discovery. When was it supposed to take place? How many Captains were there going to be? Most importantly, what timeline was it going to happen in? J.J. Abrams dubbed his version of Star Trek to be in the Kelvinverse, named after his grandfather, Henry Kelvin. From the looks of it, the bridge and the uniforms looked more like Abrams’ version than the previous television series.
According to numerous reports, Star Trek: Discovery takes place in the continuity that we’re familiar with. The crew shares the same timeline as Archer, Kirk, Sisko and Janeway. The weapons’ fire and the filmic style seem to be mere homages to what Abrams set up in his reboot of Star Trek, as well as Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond.
8. FACT: MICHAEL DORN NEEDS MORE GOLD PRESSED LATINUM
Michael Dorn at numerous conventions confirmed that he was asked to make an appearance on Star Trek: Discovery. In fact, his appearances aren’t limited to just Star Trek: The Next Generation. He played his own ancestor, Colonel Worf, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. In total he’s done more Trek than any other actor, appearing in five films and 272 television episodes. MajQa’!
What was the obstacle from preventing Michael Dorn from returning to Star Trek? There were multiple reasons cited, but one big one was the amount they offered. Sure, Dorn isn’t as famous as some of his co-stars, but he still felt like they could dig a little deeper if they wanted him to put on the prosthetic forehead one more time. Given the amazing production values of each episode, they might have some extra latinum in a cargo bay somewhere.
7. RUMOR: SECTION 31 WILL BE INVOLVED
When asked why Discovery had the registry NCC-1031, Producer Bryan Fuller’s response was that he’s a big fan of Halloween. That may be true, but is there also a hidden agenda behind those numbers? Although the United Federation of Planets is as close as you can get to a utopia, there is a price to pay for paradise, and that cost is Section 31.
We first see Section 31 appear in the Deep Space Nine episode “Inquisition.” If the Cardassians have the Obsidian Order and the Romulans have the Tal Shiar, the black ops division for Starfleet would be Section 31. Section 31 also made appearances in Star Trek: Enterprise and arguably in Star Trek Into Darkness. Given the shadowy operations that Discovery engages in, could there be a connection? Think about that the next time the ship engages Black Alert!
6. RUMOR: FAMILY REUNION
One of the interesting twists that connects Discovery to the original series is Michael Burnham’s connection to Spock. We didn’t see it coming and it certainly has been a wonderfully interesting development. For some it was out of left field, for others it was in character because Spock was never forthcoming about his family history. Remember Sybok? Anyone care to remember Star Trek V: The Final Frontier?
In the fifth installment, we learn that Sarek, before marrying a human, married a Vulcan and they had a son named Sybok. Sybok rejected the Vulcan way of logic and went off exploring the galaxy looking for Sha Ka Ree, the Vulcan equivalent of Heaven. Does this mean that we’ll see the return of another foster brother for Burnham? We already saw young Amanda Grayson and Sarek, why not younger Sybok?
5. RUMOR: SPINOFF IN THE WORKS
When Star Trek: Discovery went into production, there were a lot of delays and people behind the scenes leaving at the last minute. Producer Bryan Fuller left the show due to disagreements over budget and co-workers. He was also working on the Starz drama American Gods and there are only so many hours in the day. But there was one big departure that was heartbreaking for some, and that was Nicholas Meyer.
Although still listed as a producer, Meyer is not as active with the show as everyone initially thought. A lot of his initial input into the show was not accepted, even though he directed probably the most popular Star Trek film, The Wrath of Khan. Rumor has it that he’s not done with Trek: Meyer is developing a new show that might be related in some way to Khan Noonien Singh, possibly even documenting the destruction of Ceti Alpha Six.
4. RUMOR: DISCOVERY WILL WRITE ITSELF OUT OF EXISTENCE
Discovery has shown some very innovative technological achievements. For example, the ship’s ability to travel through space organically using a fungus called Prototaxites stellaviatori is something we’ve never seen before in Trek. However, that’s actually a problem. Considering that the series takes place in the 23rd century, they’re using technology more advanced than what we’ve seen in Star Trek: Voyager, which takes place in 2371.
How do they resolve this? Perhaps they don’t have to. Could there be a pressing of a big reset button that undoes all of their actions? We’ve seen that travel through the mycelial network isn’t perfect, and since space and time travel go hand in hand, they could in theory undo their own existence either by accident or on purpose. Reset buttons were used in Voyager’s episode “Year of Hell” as well as the Deep Space Nine episode “The Traveler,” just to name a couple of instances.
3. RUMOR: THE RETURN OF MORE CLASSIC CHARACTERS
The casting of Rainn Wilson as Harcourt “Harry” Fenton Mudd was quite clever. Mudd was a comedic character and one of the few reoccurring characters that appeared on the original series of Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry was not in favor of long episodic arcs and wanted most of the episodes to be standalone, separate entries. We saw that continue with Star Trek: The Next Generation, but completely ignored with the multiple season-long arcs for Deep Space Nine.
We certainly have seen storylines last more than one episode in Star Trek: Discovery, and we’ve already seen Harry Mudd appear in two episodes. So what are the chances that we’ll see not only reoccurring characters, but have characters appear from previous shows? How would Lorca deal with Trelane? Could Burnham outthink the Talosians? There’s at least one episode in the mirror universe, so we might be seeing characters with goatees!
2. RUMOR: ASH TYLER IS VOQ
This rumor has been bouncing around for a while and as the weeks go on it went from being a long-shot to a definite possibility. A good amount of time was spent with the political struggles of the Klingons as they try and unite their race. One of the leaders vying for power was Voq but he was ousted. Eager to lead, he was willing to sacrifice everything to unite his people and destroy the Federation. Then we never heard from him again.
However, the next week, we were introduced to Ash Tyler, who had been tortured regularly by Klingon L’Rell. He even suffered from somewhat PTSD flashbacks when Tyler was around her. Fans have pointed out, however, that the idea of L’Rell torturing a human for months doesn’t really jibe. Also, Voq disappearing and Tyler’s debut is too well-timed. We may need to take this out of the rumor column very soon.
1. RUMOR: ABRAMSVERSE INTEGRATED INTO REGULAR CONTINUITY
In 2009 J.J. Abrams gave us an alternate version of Star Trek that was not only a respectful homage but also a new direction for the franchise. Seeing Sulu’s fencing skills in action, witnessing the creation of McCoy’s nickname and Spock meeting Spock were some of the highlights of the movie. The lens flares and giant bridge designs clearly impacted how Discovery was created, but is it just more than looks that the show is borrowing?
Instead of taking rebooting the main Star Trek continuity, could Discovery be a way of rebooting the reboot? Star Trek has no problems with multiple realities co-existing, but could Discovery be an attempt at bringing the Star Trek cinematic universe closer to the small screen series? J.J. Abrams is no stranger to directing television having directed episodes of Alias and Lost. Could Abrams find time in his Star Wars schedule to come back and direct episodes of Discovery?
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