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STAR TREK - DISCOVERY

Star Trek: Discovery is an American science fiction web television series created for CBS All Access by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman. It is the first series developed specifically for that service, and the first Star Trek series since Star Trek: Enterprise concluded in 2005. Set roughly ten years before the events of Star Trek: The Original Series and separate from the timeline of the "reboot" feature films.

The series was announced in November 2015, with Fuller joining as showrunner and wanting to make an anthology series. CBS wanted a single, serialized show first, with an idea for a prequel to the original series developed. After further disagreements with CBS and struggles with other commitments, Fuller left the series in October 2016, replaced as showrunner by Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts for the first season, with producing support from Akiva Goldsman. Goldsman did not return after the first season, while Berg and Harberts were fired by CBS during production on the second; Kurtzman took over as sole showrunner.

Star Trek: Discovery premiered on September 19th, 2017, at ArcLight Hollywood, before debuting on CBS and CBS All Access on September 24th. The rest of the 15-episode first season was streamed weekly on All Access. It was seen in Canada on the premium cable channel SPACE. The series' release led to record subscriptions for All Access and positive reviews from critics.

By June 2016, Fuller had met with several actors, and said that "we want to carry on what Star Trek does best, which is being progressive. So it's fascinating to look at all of these roles through a colorblind prism and a gender-blind prism". A month later is was announced that the series would feature minority, female, and LGBTQ characters. Fuller said there would be "about seven" lead characters, and unlike previous Star Trek series would star a lieutenant commander to be played by a non-white actress. He said the series would also include more alien characters than other Star Trek series, and would feature at least one openly gay character. Fuller, who is gay himself, had been determined to see this happen since receiving hate mail while working on Voyager when a character on that show was rumored to be coming out as gay.

By August, Fuller (left) had discussed the series' casting with Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space who made a cameo appearance in an episode of The Next Generation. He anticipated casting announcements in October, but none had been made by the end of that month. The majority of the series main characters were believed to have been cast by then, but no actress had been cast for the series' lead role. This was a source of "some internal stress" at CBS. Several African American and Latina actresses were being looked at for the role, with CBS "not seeking a huge star and [preferring] a fresh face for the part."

They searched long and hard to find an actor to pull off Burnham's divided nature between Vulcan and human. Harberts said, "We read a lot of people and they either went way too robotic and chilly or way too emotional." Kurtzman (right) felt the character's portrayal needed to have "remarkable duality inside her" between being "highly emotional" while also being "contained".

"That was the single most important thing to define the character, and I think we just had a sense that [Sonequa] intuitively understood it." Kurtzman said, "It's a tough thing to learn with actors. You either have the ability to roll that off your tongue, or you don't. And if you don't, everything kind of trips over itself... And when [Sonequa] read, we all breathed a massive sigh of relief, because she brought an instant authenticity to it. It was very clear that the language was not going to be difficult for her."

Sonequa Martin-Green first met with Discovery co-creator Bryan Fuller at New York Comic-Con in October 2016. Fuller talked to her about Burnham, a human orphan raised on planet Vulcan alongside Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy in the original series), leading to a conflict with her two cultural identities. Knowing that her character Sasha would be killed off The Walking Dead, she shot a video audition. However, AMC refused to release her from her contract, leading CBS to look elsewhere. Fuller revealed that he had long set his sights on Martin-Green to star in Discovery, but CBS pushed back because AMC would not release her from her contract until Sasha's death was shown on-screen. CBS' second premiere date delay from May to September was due to the restrictions of Martin-Green's contract, though the first delay opened the door for her to land the role. She auditioned in person in December, and then began shooting in January.

THE CAST

Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham

A Science Specialist on USS Discovery. Burnham (originally named Commander Rainsford) was First Officer of the USS Shenzhou, where she was referred to as "Number One" to honor the character of the same name portrayed by Majel Barrett in the original Star Trek pilot "The Cage". (Rebecca Romijn would play Barrett's "Number One" character when the Enterprise shows up in season two of Discovery).

Burnham was born to human parents, who were killed when she was a child during a Klingon raid on a Human-Vulcan research facility on Doctari Alpha, where the family lived. She was then adopted by the Vulcan ambassador Sarek (James Frain) and his human wife Amanda (Mia Kirshner), who are also the biological parents of Starfleet officer Spock, and moved to the Vulcan homeworld. She was the first human to attend both the Vulcan Learning Center and Vulcan Science Academy as a xenoanthropologist. After completing the academy she was brought by Sarek, who shared his Katra with Burnham, to the USS Shenzhou to rejoin her people.

The decision to make Burnham related to the history of original series character Spock was controversial and some felt it "broke canon" since Spock had never mentioned having a "sister" before." Others accepted the premise citing the fact that Spock never mentioned his half-brother Sybok until he showed up in the film "The Final Frontier" (1989). Spock also wasn't volunteering the information that his parents were Sarek and Amanda in the original series episode "Journey to Babel" (1967, and the first appearace of Sarek and Amanda). A fact Captain Kirk (and the viewers) learn later. Spock also never told anyone he was engaged (betrothed from childhood to T'Pring) until he was in the throes of his Pon Farr (Amok Time 1967). It would appear Spock never gives away any personal information unless he really has too. It must be a Vulcan thing.

Unlike the protagonists of previous Star Trek series, Burnham was not made a starship captain, in order to see the character from a different perspective on the starship, one who has a different dynamic relationship with the captain and subordinates. Series creator Bryan Fuller deliberately gave Martin-Green's character a traditionally male name, which he had done with the female leads (George, Jaye and Chuck) in three of his previous series. Martin-Green later decided that the character was named after her father. Fuller had numerous inspirations for conceiving the character of Michael Burnham, including the cultural impact of Nichelle Nichols' portrayal of Uhura in the original series. Following the announcement of Martin-Green's casting, Nichelle Nichols tweeted "All my love @SonequaMG, I've been smiling since I heard. You're gonna knock em dead." Nichols and Martin-Green both posed together on the red carpet at the Star Trek: Discovery premiere. Martin-Green shared on Instagram that Nichols whispered, "Enjoy this time. It's yours now." Sonequa Martin-Green praised Nichols thereafter saying, "What a blessing, what a woman. I stand on your shoulders Nichelle Nichols"

The decision to create a diverse cast led by Martin-Green sparked debate online on the question of what had been referred to as 'forced diversity'. George Takei, the actor who played Sulu in Star Trek: The Original Series offered his view on the issue of cast diversity in the Star Trek franchise. He said, "You know, when you go out into space, you're going to have even greater diversity. These so-called trolls haven't seen a single episode of the new series because it hasn't been aired. And they don't know the history of 'Star Trek,' that Gene Rodenberry created this with the idea of finding strength in our diversity."

Martin-Green spoke out on the criticism, saying she "would encourage [critics of the diverse cast] to key into the essence and spirit of Star Trek that has made it the legacy it is, and that's looking across the way to the person sitting in front of you and realizing you are the same, that they are not separate from you, and we are all one. That's something 'Star Trek' has always upheld and I completely believe that is why it's been a mainstay in society in the hearts of so many people for so many decades. [...] It's one of the foundational principles of Star Trek and I feel if you miss that then you miss the legacy itself. I'm incredibly proud to be the lead of this show and be at the forefront of an iteration of Star Trek that's from the eyes of a black woman that's never been done before, though obviously there's been other forms of diversity that have been innovated by Trek. I feel like we're taking another step forward, which I think all stories should do. We should go boldly where nobody has gone before and stay true to that."

Sonequa Martin-Green (born March 21st, 1985) is an American actress and producer who was best known for her television role as Sasha Williams on The Walking Dead, a role she played from 2012 to 2017. Before that, she had starred in several independent films before gaining her first recurring role as Courtney Wells on The Good Wife. Later, she had recurring roles as Tamara in Once Upon a Time and Rhonda in New Girl.

Doug Jones as Saru

First Officer of the USS Discovery, Saru (below left) was previously Science Officer of the USS Shenzhou. Saru is the first Kelpien to enter Starfleet. Kelpiens, a new species created for Discovery, were hunted as prey on their home planet and thus evolved the ability to sense the coming of death, giving them a reputation for cowardice. Jones based Saru's walk on that of a supermodel, out of necessity thanks to the boots he had to wear to portray the character's hooved feet, forcing Jones to walk on the balls of his feet. The producers compared Saru to the characters Spock and Data from previous series.

Jones (born May 24th, 1960) is an American actor, contortionist, and mime. He is best known for his multiple collaborations with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, starring in Mimic, as Abe Sapien in Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, the Faun and the Pale Man in Pan's Labyrinth, the ghosts of Edith's Mother and Beatrice Sharpe in Crimson Peak, and the Amphibian Man in The Shape of Water. He has appeared in films such as Tank Girl, Hocus Pocus and The Bye Bye Man. He portrayed the titular Silver Surfer in the superhero film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and appeared in the TV series Falling Skies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and del Toro's The Strain.

Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly

Sylvia Tilly (above right) is a cadet in her final year at Starfleet Academy, assigned to the Discovery. She works under Stamets aboard the Discovery, where Burnham becomes her roommate. The character was included to represent people "at the very bottom of this ladder" of the Starfleet hierarchy. She is "the most optimistic... has the biggest heart", and showrunner Aaron Harberts described her as "sort of the soul of our show."

Mary Wiseman (born July 30th, 1985) is an American actress who grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland, attended the DC Shakespeare Theatre’s high school outreach program, earned her BFA in Theatre Arts at Boston University,[2] and studied at Juilliard School's Drama Division where one of her classmates was future Star Trek: Discovery collaborator Mary Chieffo (who plays the Klingon L'Rell). Wiseman has also apearred in Baskets and Longmire.

Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets

Paul Stamets (below left) is the Chief engineer aboard the USS Discovery and a science officer specializing in astromycology (the study of fungi in space) whose research led to development of an experimental organic propulsion system on the Discovery. The character is inspired by a real-life mycologist of the same name. He is the first openly gay character in a Star Trek series, and the showrunners "wanted to roll out that character's sexuality the way people would roll out their sexuality in life." Rapp noted that Hikaru Sulu was portrayed as gay in the film Star Trek Beyond, calling that "a nice nod. But in this case, we actually get to see me with my partner in conversation, in our living quarters, you get to see our relationship over time, treated as any other relationship would be treated".

Anthony Rapp (born 1971 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American actor and singer known for originating the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway production of Rent. Following his original performance of the role in 1996, Rapp reprised it in the film version of the show and then the show's United States Tour in 2009. He also performed the role of Charlie Brown in the 1999 Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and originated the role of Lucas in the musical If/Then in 2014. His older brother is playwright, novelist, and filmmaker Adam Rapp.

After his parents' divorce in 1974, he was raised by his mother, a trained nurse. Rapp participated in community theatre as a child and won numerous awards for his singing in junior high school. Rapp attended high school at Joliet West High School and theatre camp at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. Rapp had a close relationship with his mother and credits her for instilling values of justice and respect in him by leading by example. She died of cancer at age 55 in 1997 while Rapp was working on the Broadway production of Rent. During a 1997 interview with Oasis magazine, the actor explained his sexual identity as "queer" rather than "gay" and has also identified as "bisexual". In late October 2017, Rapp alleged in an interview with BuzzFeed that actor Kevin Spacey made an unwanted sexual advance toward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. At the time, Rapp and Spacey were both appearing in Broadway shows – Rapp in Precious Sons, Spacey in Long Day's Journey into Night. In response, Spacey said that he did not remember the encounter, which had allegedly occurred 31 years before, but nevertheless said that he was "beyond horrified to hear his story" and offered Rapp the "sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior". At least 14 other accusers came forward after Rapp in 2017 ultimately costing Spacey his starring role on House of Cards and involvement in other projects. Rapp faced harassment and criticism for the accusation.

Wilson Cruz as Hugh Culber

Hugh Culber (above right) is a Medical Officer aboard the Discovery and Stamets' love interest. Cruz (whom Rapp had previously worked with on the musical Rent) felt that portraying the first openly gay couple in Star Trek was "a long time coming" and praised the way the series did not go out of its way to focus on their relationship, instead just making it feel normal. The character is killed off during the first season, which was criticized by some as following the "bury your gays" trope. However, the executive producers of the series, Cruz, and GLAAD immediately released a statement saying "death is not always final in the Star Trek universe" and that the relationship between Culber and Stamets would continue to be explored. Cruz was subsequently promoted from his recurring guest role to the series' main cast for the second season.

Wilson Cruz (born Wilson Echevarría on December 27th, 1973) is an American actor known for playing Rickie Vasquez on My So-Called Life, Angel in the Broadway tour production of Rent and the recurring character Junito on Noah's Arc. As an openly gay man of Puerto Rican ancestry, he has served as an advocate for gay youth, especially gay youth of color.

Jason Isaacs as Gabriel Lorca

Gabriel Lorca (below left) was Captain of the Discovery, a "brilliant military tactician". Isaacs described the character as "probably more fucked up than any of" the previously seen Star Trek captains. He plays the character with a slight southern U.S. accent, and had initially wanted to ad-lib a catchphrase for the character feeling that all Star Trek captains should have one, coming up with "git'r done" which the writers turned down due to it being widely used and trademarked by Larry the Cable Guy.

Jason Isaacs (born June 6th 1963) is an English actor and producer, best known for playing Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, Colonel William Tavington in The Patriot, criminal Michael Caffee in the Showtime series Brotherhood and Marshal Georgy Zhukov in The Death of Stalin.

Anson Mount as Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike (above right) is Captain of the Enterprise who temporarily takes command of the Discovery in the second season. The character was first portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter in the original Star Trek pilot "The Cage". Mount described Pike as "very by the book, usually, and a good person", while executive producers Heather Kadin and Alex Kurtzman described him as being the opposite of Lorca with a "very captain-like" presence and "enough confidence and authority to apologize when he is wrong". Mount did not try to imitate Hunter's performance.

Anson Adams Mount IV (born on February 25th, 1973) is an American actor. He portrayed the fictional character Cullen Bohannon in the AMC western drama series Hell on Wheels. He was also cast in the role of Jim Steele on the short-lived NBC series Conviction and appeared in the film Tully (2000). In 2017, he portrayed the Marvel Comics superhero Black Bolt in Marvel's Inhumans.

Shazad Latif as Voq / Ash Tyler

Voq (below left) is a Klingon who undergoes surgery to pose as the human Tyler (below center), chief of security for the USS Discovery. Tyler’s mind is also altered, so he initially believes he was held as a prisoner of war by the Klingons. Latif was originally cast in the role of Kol. Voq was initially credited as being portrayed by Javid Iqbal, an invented actor named for Latif's father, to hide the connection between the characters. Latif described his character as "a very complex and painful and deep character", and noted that "there's a chemistry, a relationship" with Burnham. Latif's accent for Voq is Arabic-inspired, and he tried to maintain "a kind of pharyngealness" to Tyler's American accent. For the second season, Latif felt that he was playing a third character that meshed Voq and Tyler together, comparing their relationship to that of Bruce Banner and Hulk in Marvel Comics.

Shazad Latif (born 8 July 1988) is a British actor, who starred as Tariq Masood in the BBC TV series Spooks, Clem Fandango on Toast of London, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on Penny Dreadful.

Mary Chieffo as L'Rell

L'Rell (above right) becomes the chancellor of the Klingon Empire after being a battle deck commander for a Klingon warship. L'Rell is a member of both the house of T'Kuvma and the house of Mo'Kai, the latter having been first mentioned during Star Trek: Voyager. Chieffo said that because of this, there would be an "interesting exploration of what it is to be of two different ideologies" for the character. Chieffo looked back at past female Klingons seen in Star Trek for inspiration, and said that she wanted L'Rell to follow in the vein of Grilka from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Chieffo was born in 1992 and grew up in the neighborhood of Valley Village, Los Angeles in California, only daughter of actors Michael Chieffo and Beth Grant. Her acting debut was at the age of three when she played a sleeping girl in Sandra Bullock's short film Making Sandwiches in which her mother too had a role.

Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou

Philippa Georgiou (below left) was the captain of the Shenzhou. Georgiou has a "mother and daughter" relationship with Burnham after the latter joins the Shenzhou. Yeoh chose to retain her ethnic Malaysian Chinese accent for the role, another way the series diversified its cast. Georgiou is killed in battle by T'Kuvma in the aftermath of the Battle at the Binary Stars. Later in season one the Mirror Universe Georgiou is introduced. In this universe she is the ruthless Emperor of the Terran Empire and adoptive mother of Mirror Universe version of Michael Burnham.

Tan Sri Dato' Seri Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng (born August 6th 1962), better known by her stage name Michelle Yeoh, is a Malaysian actress who rose to fame with frequent roles in 1990s Hong Kong action films, and is best known internationally for her roles in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, and the Chinese-language martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). Her other works include Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), Reign of Assassins (2010), The Lady (2011), and Crazy Rich Asians (2018). Rotten Tomatoes ranked her the greatest action heroine of all time in 2008. In 1997, she was chosen by People as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World," and in 2009 the same magazine listed her as one of the "35 All-Time Screen Beauties", the only Asian actress to make the list.

Jayne Brook as Katrina Cornwell

Katrina Cornwell (above right) is a Starfleet admiral. She appears several times as Captain Lorca's direct superior and later confidant. She and Lorca had a previous romantic relationship. She was captured by the Klingons while replacing Sarek as a peace envoy and held on the Klingon Ship of the Dead. Surviving her ordeal she forms an odd non-friendship with L'Rell and is later rescued by Burnham and Tyler. Her background is in mental health and psychology, which was vital in breaking Tyler out of a PTSD flashback long enough to aid in the escape from the Sarcophagus ship. After her rescue she returns to Starfleet.

Jayne Brook (born Jane Anderson on September 16th, 1960) is an American actress, best known for her role as Dr. Diane Grad on the medical drama Chicago Hope, as a series regular for five of the show's six seasons. Her first acting role was in the film Superman IV: The Quest for Peace in 1987 and went on to appear in numerous film and television roles including: Kindergarten Cop (1990), Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991), Sirens (1993), L.A. Law (1993), Bye Bye Love (1995), My Mother, the Spy (2000), Boston Legal (2006) and NCIS (2007) with her former Chicago Hope co-star Mark Harmon.

James Frain as Sarek

Sarek (below left) is the Vulcan ambassador to Earth, an astrophysicist, the father of Spock, and the surrogate father of Michael Burnham. Frain appears as a younger version of the character who was first portrayed by Mark Lenard in the original Star Trek series episode "Journey to Babel".

James Frain (born March 14th 1968) is an English stage and screen actor. His best known roles include those of Thomas Cromwell in the TV series The Tudors (2007–2009), vampire Franklin Mott in season three of the HBO drama True Blood, as Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, in the BBC drama serial The White Queen (2013), as Ferdinand in Orphan Black (2015), Theo Galavan/Azrael in Season 2 of Gotham as David in Spartacus (2004).

Mia Kirshner as Amanda Grayson

Amanda Grayson (above right) is the human wife of Sarek. Kirshner appears as a younger version of the character who was first portrayed by Jane Wyatt in the original Star Trek series episode "Journey to Babel". Majel Barrett provided the voice of Amanda in the animated Star Trek series. Cynthia Blaise played her in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. In the 2009 Star Trek, the role of Amanda Grayson was played by Winona Ryder.

Mia Kirshner (born January 25th, 1975) is a Canadian actress, writer and social activist who works in movies and television. She is known for her role as Jenny Schecter on the cable TV series The L Word (2004–2009), and for her recurring guest role as the terrorist Mandy on the TV series 24 (2001–2005). She has also been seen in: The Black Dahlia, Road to Avonlea, Wolf Lake, CSI: NY, The Vampire Diaries and Defiance.

The Discovery bridge crew includes: Sara Mitich as Lt. Commander Airiam, the USS Discovery’s Spore Drive ops officer (above left), Oyin Oladejo as Lieutentant j.g. Joann Owosekun, Ops officer (abover center), Emily Coutts as Lieutenant Keyla Detmer, Conn officer (above right), Patrick Kwok-Choon as Lieutenant Rhys, Tactical officer and Ronnie Rowe, Jr., as Lieutenant B.A. Bryce, Communications officer.

Other characters included charismatic con-man Harcourt Fenton "Harry" Mudd (portrayed by Rainn Wilson above left). Wilson was cast as a younger version of the character first played by Roger C. Carmel in the original Star Trek series episode "Mudd's Women". He described his version as, "a reimagining, a reinvention in the same way so many things have been reimagined and reinvented. He's a bit more dastardly than the original. But that character made such an impression on me, and it is a dream come true to try to bring him to life with as much drama and comedy as possible." Wilson "stole a lot of things that I loved from [Carmel's] performance, and then added a lot more of my own." Stella Mudd was portrayed by Katherine Barrell). An android replica of the character was previously portrayed by Kay Elliot in the original Star Trek series episode "I, Mudd".

Clint Howard (above right) portrays an Orion drug dealer who Tilly encounters on Qo'noS. The role was written specifically for Howard, adding to his previous appearances in the franchise, with guest roles on episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series (in 1966 at age seven), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (in 1995), and Star Trek: Enterprise (in 2002).

In season two Rebecca Romijn plays Number One (below left), First Officer to Pike on the Enterprise. The role first portrayed by Majel Barrett in the original Star Trek pilot "The Cage". Also introduced in season two, Tig Notaro plays Jet Reno (below right), the Chief Engineer of the USS Hiawatha. Notaro joined the series because of a preexisting relationship with Kurtzman, who had the part written for the actress. The character was originally named Denise Reno, but Notaro was able to rename the character and changed it to Jet Reno.

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On November 2nd, 2015, CBS announced a new Star Trek television series to premiere in January 2017, "on the heels" of the original series' 50th anniversary in 2016. It is the first Star Trek series since Star Trek: Enterprise concluded in 2005, and the first show to be developed specifically for the CBS All Access on demand service. Alex Kurtzman, co-writer of the films Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, and Heather Kadin were set as executive producers on the series, which is "not related" to the 2016 film Star Trek Beyond. The January 2017 date was the earliest that CBS could release a new Star Trek series after an agreement the company made when it split with Viacom in 2005. Showtime, Netflix, and Amazon Video all offered "a lot of money" for the rights to release the series, but after heavily investing in the new All Access service, CBS believed that a returning Star Trek could be "the franchise that really puts All Access on the map" and could earn more money in the long run.

In February 2016, Bryan Fuller, who began his career writing for the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, was announced as the new series' showrunner and co-creator alongside Kurtzman. Nicholas Meyer, writer and director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, also joined the series as a consulting producer. In March, Rod Roddenberry (the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry) and Trevor Roth of Roddenberry Entertainment also joined the series as executive producers. Fuller said that working with people previously involved with Star Trek was "really about making sure that we maintain authenticity".

Fuller had publicly called for Star Trek to return to television for years, particularly because of its impact on minority groups and wanted to be part of that representation for a new era. When Fuller first met with CBS about the series, the company did not have a plan for what the new show would be. He proposed an anthology series with each season being a standalone, serialized show set in a different era, beginning with a prequel to the original series, then stories set during the original series, during Star Trek: The Next Generation, and then "beyond to a time in Trek that's never been seen before". Fuller compared this to what American Horror Story did for horror, and described the proposal as a platform for "a universe of Trek shows". CBS instead suggested a single serialized show to see how that performed first, and he began further developing the concept of a prequel to the original series.

Fuller announced in June 2016 that the first season would consist of 13 episodes, though he would had prefered to produce 10 episodes a season. A month later, Fuller announced the series' title to be Star Trek: Discovery, and revealed that it would be set in the "Prime Timeline" (which includes the previous Star Trek series, but not the modern reboot films) to keep the concurrent series and films separate, so "we don't have to track anything [happening in the films] and they don't have to track what we're doing".

CBS Studios International licensed the series to Netflix for release outside the United States and Canada, a "blockbuster" deal that paid for the show's entire budget (around US $6–7 million per episode). During pre-production on the series, Fuller and CBS continued to disagree on the direction of the show, which was starting to overrun its per-episode budget, and was falling behind schedule due to Fuller supervising all aspects of the series as well as another new show, American Gods. This caused frustration among CBS executives who felt Fuller should be focused on having Discovery ready for release by the January 2017 premiere date. By August 2016, Fuller had hired Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts, who he had worked with on Pushing Daisies, to serve as co-showrunners with him. A month later, he and Kurtzman asked CBS to delay the series' release so they could meet the high expectations for it, and the studio pushed the series premiere back to May 2017.

At the end of October, CBS asked Fuller to step down as showrunner, and announced a restructuring of the production: Berg and Harberts were made sole showrunners, working from a broad story arc and overall mythology established by Fuller; Kurtzman and Fuller would continue as executive producers, but with Fuller moving his attention fully to American Gods; and Akiva Goldsman would join the series in a supporting producer role, similar to the role he held on Fringe alongside Kurtzman. CBS reiterated that they were "extremely happy with [Fuller's] creative direction" for the series, though some elements of the series that came directly from Fuller were dropped, including some designs and "more heavily allegorical and complex story" points. Fuller later confirmed that he was no longer involved with the series, but expressed interest in returning for future seasons.

With production set to finally begin in January, "a lot of careful deliberation [was] continuing to go into making Discovery special, from the choice of directors, to set design, to the special effects." Ted Sullivan also joined the series to serve as supervising writing producer.

At CBS's 2017 upfront presentation, CBS Interactive president Marc DeBevoise confirmed a "fall" release date for the series, and announced that the episode order for the first season had been expanded to 15 episodes. In June, CBS announced a new premiere date of September 24th, 2017, with the season airing through November 2017, and then beginning again in January 2018. This break gave more time to complete post-production on the second half of the season. Also that month, Kurtzman said that he and Fuller had discussed future seasons before the latter's departure, and promised that "what's there in terms of story and certainly in terms of set-up, character, big ideas, the big movement of the season, that's all stuff that Bryan and I talked about" and would not be altered. Goldsman said in August that the producers wanted "a hybridized [anthology] approach. I don't think we're looking for an endless, continuing nine or 10 year story. We're looking at arcs which will have characters that we know and characters that we don't know." Kurtzman added that the success of Discovery could lead to other new Star Trek series that could potentially use the anthology format. By the end of August, Berg and Harberts had developed a "road map" for a second season, and "the beginnings of one" for a third. It was also revealed that an average episode of the first season had ultimately cost US $8–8.5 million each, making it one of the most expensive television series ever and exceeding the original Netflix deal, though CBS still considered the series to be paid for already due to the number of new All Access subscribers that the show was expected to draw.

After the series' premiere, Kurtzman said that the producers wanted to avoid announcing release dates and having to delay those for any future seasons, due to the external pressure that caused with the first season, but that he hoped a second season would be available in early 2019. The second season was officially ordered in October 2017, for 13 episodes. Goldsman did not return for the season after clashing with the series' writing staff during production on the first, and in June 2018, when production on the second season was underway, CBS fired Berg and Harberts. This was due to the first episode of the season going significantly over budget, and alleged abusive behavior by the pair directed at the series' writing staff. Kurtzman was made sole showrunner, and was set to "regroup" the writers without causing any delay to the season's production timeline. The season was subsequently confirmed to be on track for a January 2019 premiere. The series was renewed for a third season on February 27th, 2019. Michelle Paradise will work on the series as showrunner, alongside Kurtzman.

The series' writers are based in Los Angeles, and include "fans who all have very different relationships to Trek," which Kurtzman said is "a healthy thing and it's a good thing". Fuller wanted to differentiate the series from the previous 700+ episodes of Star Trek by taking advantage of the streaming format of All Access and telling a single story arc across the entire first season. He and Kurtzman developed this story from "so many elements of Star Trek", taking certain episodes of the original series and using their "DNA" to find "the spirit of what Star Trek offers, both in terms of high-concept science fiction storytelling and really wonderful metaphors for the human condition". Berg said that the series' writers "are so in love with" The Original Series, The Next Generation, and the family aspect of those series, while Harberts added that Meyer's Star Trek films were an especial influence on Discovery because "his storytelling is complex and intellectual and yet there's a lot of room for character voices".

The titular ship was named after Discovery One from 2001: A Space Odyssey (above left), NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery (above right), and "the sense of discovery... what [that] means to Star Trek audiences who have been promised a future by Gene Roddenberry where we come together as a planet and seek new worlds and new alien races to explore and understand and collaborate with".

Fuller saw the series as a bridge between Enterprise and the original series, which are set around 150 years apart, but set much closer to the latter to allow the series to "play with all the iconography of those ships and those uniforms". In May 2017, Sullivan described the series as "a genuine prequel" to the original series, with Goldsman later adding that there were many classic Star Trek elements that fans among the writers wished to include in the series, but couldn't because they were included in the original series as something being discovered by Starfleet for the first time then. The choice to feature a single serialized story throughout the first season was inspired by the general change in television to tell more realistic and serialized stories rather than the "new destination-based adventure each week" format mostly used in previous Star Trek series. Fuller had been one of several writers during the 1990s pushing for Deep Space Nine and Voyager to move towards this style. Also inspired by modern, "peak television" series such as Game of Thrones was a willingness to kill off major characters for dramatic reasons, though the writers wanted to avoid doing so gratuitously or for "shock value".

Fuller said the series could "push the content envelope since it won't be constrained by broadcast standards." Harberts ultimately described the series as a "hard PG-13", saying the series could include "some violent things or [a] tiny bit of language" but they still wanted the show to be for families and to "honor what the franchise is."

The series' writers chose to ignore Gene Roddenberry's longstanding rule that Starfleet crew members not have any significant conflict with one another or be depicted negatively (a rule that Roddenberry himself did not always strictly follow). Harberts explained, "We're trying to do stories that are complicated, with characters with strong points of view and strong passions. People have to make mistakes, mistakes are still going to be made in the future. We're still going to argue in the future... the thing we're taking from Roddenberry is how we solve those conflicts." Because of the show's position as a prequel to the original series, the producers felt it was more important for Discovery to build towards Roddenberry's ideals, and to show that "you can't simply be accepting and tolerant without working for it, and so this show is about that struggle."

Mark Worthington and Todd Cherniawsky served as initial production designers for the series, with Tamara Deverell taking over during production on the first season; Gersha Phillips and Suttirat Anne Larlarb designed the costumes for the series; veteran Star Trek designer John Eaves designed starships with Scott Schneider; Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page of Alchemy Studios provided prosthetics and armor, with Page having previously designed for the "Kelvin Timeline" Star Trek films; and Mario Moreira served as prop master for the series. The series also employed seven art directors, over nine illustrators, more than thirty-five set designers, and over four hundred and fifty painters, carpenters, sculptors, model makers, welders, set dressers, and prop builders. The designers consult with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for scientific accuracy.

Fuller said on the general approach to design on the show, "we're producing the show in 2016. We have to update the style of the effects, the style of the sets, the style of the makeup... all of the other series have been produced [at a time that] isn't as sophisticated as we are now with what we can do production-wise, we're going to be reestablishing an entire look for the series" and for Star Trek moving forward. Fuller had wanted the series' uniforms to reflect the primary colors of the original series, but this was discarded after his departure. However, Fuller's designs for the Klingons, which he "really, really wanted" to redesign, were retained. 3D Systems' "cutting edge" 3D printing techniques were widely used in the making of the series. For the prosthetics, Page and Hetrick took detailed laser scans of the actors so they could simulate make-up and prosthetics in a virtual environment before creating the practical version. Fabric for the Starfleet uniforms seen in the series was custom-dyed in Switzerland; the costumes were cut and assembled in Toronto by Phillips and her department. The main uniforms seen in the series are a navy blue specifically mixed for the show, with gold or silver embellishments depending on the division of the officer. Medical officers wear a "hospital white" variant, also custom-dyed in Switzerland, while the captain's uniform is the standard navy blue but with additional gold piping on the shoulders. Starfleet insignia badges were molded from silicon bronze, and then polished and plated by a jeweler to create custom colors for the series, based on the division of the officer wearing the uniform: gold for command, silver for sciences and medical, and copper for operations. Props such as tricorders and hand scanners, communicators, and phasers were produced with 3D printing and heavily inspired by their designs in the original Star Trek series.

The design of the USS Discovery is based on an unused Ralph McQuarrie design for the USS Enterprise from the unproduced film Star Trek: Planet of the Titans in the 1970s. McQuarrie's designs were based on the concepts created by Ken Adam to feature a vessel with a flattened secondary hull. Fuller wanted "something distinct about what our Star Trek was going to look" like, and after seeing McQuarrie's design (below) "saw sort of harder lines of a ship and started talking about race cars and Lamborghinis in the '70s and James Bond cars and started working on the designs, taking those inspirations and coming up with something completely unique to us." The design for the Discovery went through several revisions and refinements before the final version was approved in December 2016. Variations of McQuarrie's design had been built before and had appeared both in the background in spacedock in Star Trek III, and also in the debris field at the Battle of Wolf 359 and the ship graveyard depot at Qualor II. Discovery's call letters, NCC 1013, was specifically chosen by Fuller to represent his favorite holiday, Halloween.

The sickbay on the Discovery was inspired by that of the Enterprise from the original series. Other Federation starships created for the show include the USS Shenzhou and the USS Europa. Sets for the Discovery's interiors were described as a "tangle of corridors and rooms", and were designed to match with the exterior design of the ship, so "the rooms [could believably] fit inside the house", but there was some artistic license taken in places. The graphics used for the Starfleet computer systems were designed to be believably more advanced than modern technology, but to also "honor the look and feel" of the designs used in previous series. The initial colors allowed for the graphics were mostly restricted to blues, with the intention of these becoming more colorful the closer the series gets to the time period of the original series.

The opening title sequence for the show was created by Prologue using 2D motion graphics. The sequence, which uses a "vivid, sepia-soaked palette", depicts elements from throughout the history of Star Trek, such as phasers, communicators, and the Vulcan salute, and deconstructs them, which was intended to be an homage to past Star Trek series as well as an introduction to the more grounded and gritty tone of Discovery.

In the Short Treks episode "Calypso," it’s revealed that the crew eventually abandons the ship some thousand years or so after 2410. After being ordered to stay put until the crew returned in the future, the ship’s advanced computer software begins to do what we all fear robots will do in the end: becomes self-aware and sentient. She names herself Zora and has a fascination with the Audrey Hepburn movie Funny Face. In "Calypso," she is seen in avatar form when a man named Craft (adrift in a V'draysh escape pod) is caught in a tractor beam from the USS Discovery and is brought on board.

Star Trek: Discovery is filmed at Pinewood Toronto Studios and took advantage of multiple soundstages at the studio, including the largest soundstage in North America. Some episodes for the show were filmed solely on existing sets while some scenes from the show have been filmed on locations around Toronto. The Aga Khan Museum stood in for the planet Vulcan, while scenes from the Kelpien homeworld were shot at the Scarborough Bluffs.

For the visual scope of the series, Kurtzman felt that the show had to "justify being on a premium cable service". The showrunners were particularly inspired by Star Trek: The Motion Picture and its "wider scope", with Harberts explaining that the series is shot in a 2:1 aspect ratio which "just lends itself to a very lyrical way of telling the story." He added that some of the series' visuals were influenced by the modern Star Trek films from J. J. Abrams. The producers worked closely with pilot director David Semel to make the series look as cinematic as possible. The cinematographers for the series wanted to emphasize on set sourcing, with lighting built in wherever it would naturally appear to help create a more realistic feel, and distance the series from the "stage" feel of the original series. The lighting could also be controlled to create completely different situations and Harberts said that the cinematographers wanted the series to have a "Rembrandt texture".

Visual effects producers were hired to begin work on the series during the initial writing period, with Fuller explaining that the series would require such things as "digital augmentation on certain alien species" and "the transporter beams". He said, "We're trying to cultivate distinct looks for all of those things that are unique to our version of Star Trek and carry through the themes we love seeing in fifty years of Star Trek, but doing a slightly different approach." Pixomondo is the primary visual effects vendor for the series, with Spin VFX and Crafty Apes also working on the show. Kurtzman noted that the series utilizes multiple CG environments which take several months to properly render. The shuttle bay of the Discovery is completely computer-generated, with actors performing in front of a green screen for scenes in that environment; using the digital set is more expensive than any other set created for the series, including the practically-built ones.

The first teaser for the series featured music composed by Fil Eisler, which he "threw together as an audition" within three weeks. Before production on the series began, Charles Henri Avelange had also composed and recorded music for the series, which he described as "a showcase for CBS". In July 2017, Jeff Russo was announced as composer for the series and recorded the series' score with a 60-piece orchestra, incorporating elements from the original Star Trek theme. Russo noted that not all fans were going to appreciate the new theme, but felt that regardless of how some felt it compared to previous Star Trek themes it still accurately represented this series. Soundtrack albums for two chapters of the first season were released on December 15th, 2017, and April 6th, 2018, respectively.

The first full trailer for the series was released in May 2017. Forbes's Merrill Barr noted that the trailer was a good sign for many who believed the series would never be released following the many production setbacks and delays, saying, "Having a legitimate trailer that can be watched over and over again brings signs of hope, particularly for fans that have been waiting over a year for this moment. Star Trek: Discovery is real, and now we have proof." Chris Harnick of E! News described the trailer as "gorgeous" and "truly cinematic", and because of the appearances of Sarek and the Klingons in the footage, "this is the Star Trek you know and love." Aja Romano at Vox called the trailer's visuals "sumptuous" and "modern, but still very much in keeping with the aesthetic of previous Trek series".

McFarlane Toys signed a toy license deal with CBS to produce "figures, role play weapons and accessories" for Discovery. CBS Consumer Products senior vice president Veronica Hart explained that McFarlane was chosen as the first licensee for the series because of its "commitment to quality and dedication to fans". The deal will also see the company "create merchandise from the entire Star Trek universe, ranging from the classic Star Trek: The Original Series to its popular movie franchise."

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The first episode of Star Trek: Discovery aired in a "preview broadcast" on CBS in the United States on September 24th, 2017, as well as being made available with the second episode on CBS All Access. Subsequent first-run episodes, making up the first chapter of the season, were streamed weekly on All Access through November 12th. The second chapter began streaming in January 2018.

CBS Studios International licensed the series to Bell Media for broadcast in Canada, and to Netflix for another 188 countries. In Canada, the premiere was simulcast with CBS on September 24th, 2017, on both the CTV Television Network and on the specialty channel Space before being streamed on Crave; it was also broadcast in French on the specialty channel Z. Subsequent episodes will be released through Space, Z, and Crave, with Space airing each episode 30 minutes before it's streamed on All Access. In the other countries, Netflix will release each episode of the series for streaming within 24 hours of its U.S. debut. This agreement also saw Bell Media and Netflix acquire all previous Star Trek series to stream in their entirety, and to broadcast on Bell Media television channels.

In June 2018, after becoming sole showrunner of Discovery, Kurtzman signed a five-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios to expand the Star Trek franchise beyond Discovery to several new series, miniseries, and animated series. Kurtzman announced in July 2018 that a spin-off miniseries of shorts would be released between the first two seasons of Discovery to "deliver closed-ended stories while revealing clues about what's to come in future Star Trek: Discovery episodes. They'll also introduce audiences to new characters who may inhabit the larger world of Star Trek."

In September 2016, Discovery writer Kirsten Beyer announced that CBS was working with IDW and Simon & Schuster to produce more content revolving around the setting of the series, starting with at least one novel and a comic series tied to the television show. Beyer, the writer of many Star Trek: Voyager novels, explained that she would work with fellow Star Trek novelist David Mack and Star Trek comic writer Mike Johnson to ensure that all three media "are coming from the same place". The release of the books and comics was set to coincide with the series' premiere. Mack described writing around the continuity of Discovery as "tricky to get right", as the time period "is light on detail and almost unique within the Star Trek continuity. That made it a challenge to represent that era faithfully while also staying true to the new elements being introduced" in the new series.

The first tie-in to the show is Desperate Hours, a prequel set a year before Discovery and a year after "The Cage". Written by Mack, the novel follows Burnham as she serves aboard the Shenzhou. Fuller had asked for a book to be written based on that premise, and Mack had worked with the Discovery writers to stay "in the loop throughout the season with all the scripts and the story development. There were a few false starts, but eventually, it allowed us to collaboratively create this story". The second Discovery novel, Drastic Measures, was written by Dayton Ward and is set 10 years before the show, following the characters Georgiou and Lorca as they hunt for "the man whom history will one day brand 'Kodos the Executioner'". A third novel, Fear Itself, was written by veteran Star Trek author James Swallow, it focuses on Lieutenant Saru's attempts to overcome his fears as a Kelpien and become a successful Starfleet officer. The fourth novel, The Way to the Stars, follows Tilly's life at age 16 and the events that leads her to decide Starfleet was her future.

In July 2017, IDW announced the first tie-in comic series, also titled Star Trek: Discovery, to be written by Johnson and Beyer with art by Tony Shasteen, who previously worked with Johnson on the comic Star Trek: Boldly Go. Johnson compared working with Beyer on the comic to his work on the Star Trek: Countdown comic, a tie-in to the 2009 Star Trek film that he wrote with Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, saying that her position as a staff writer on the Discovery show "means we have all the inside access that we need. So the story in the comic will really matter and not just feel like a one-off. It is actually able to expand the story you guys are going to see in the show itself." The first comic would be a four-issue miniseries focused on T'Kuvma and his followers and that IDW intended to create a series of comic miniseries based on different aspects of the series to create "targeted stories on some different subjects". The second four-issue miniseries was given the subtitle Succession and will be set in the Mirror Universe, expanding on the Mirror story arc from the second half of the first season. Additionally, a Star Trek: Discovery annual comic was released March 2018, focused on Stamets' mycelial research.

On Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Commander Sisko was promoted to the rank of Captain during what season?

Season 2
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"Star Trek", the Star Trek logos and images copyright © CBS Studios Inc.

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