Star Trek: Discovery kicked off its 2017 TCA Summer Press Tour by addressing the elephant in the room: It’s massive delays.
“We also knew that in order to justify it being on a premium cable service, it had to be huge. I don’t mean huge in terms of scope, but story and character…the world was massive and an airdate was looming that was going to compromise the show,” Alex Kurtzman, executive producer, told the press.
The show needed to get the sets right, while there is CGI, Kurtzman noted they wanted to keep things practical, “immersive and real.”
“We wanted to do it right, and that’s the truth,” he said.
They also needed the show’s star. Sonequa Martin-Green was under contract with The Walking Dead and reports indicated AMC wouldn’t let her out of her contract until her character’s death was shown on screen. Martin-Green teared up talking about the significance of the series, including the historical component: It’s the first Star Trek series to have a minority female as lead.
“The honor is mine. The pleasure is mine. I feel that we are all running over—our cups are running over with gratitude and excitement,” Martin-Green told the press. “We’re bursting at the seams from the weight of it and the breadth of it. We just—we couldn’t be more thrilled to share this journey with you because we understand its significance. We know we’re telling a story we believe in. Everybody is so passionate…This is an epicly grand, yet microscopically tuned, deeply emotional story. We don’t take it for granted. We don’t take it lightly. I certainly don’t. I feel like—it’s a dream to be able to be a part of history. It’s a dream. So, thank you.”
The show is set in the “the prime universe,” the universe of the Star Trek TV shows. It takes place 10 years before the original William Shatner series and “cross paths with components Trek fans are familiar with,” Akiva Goldman, executive producer, told the press.
“You will find this to be heavily more serialized than [Star Trek: Deep Space 9],” Goldsman said about the new frontier for Star Trek. “It’s long-term character storytelling.”
As for the other elephant in the room, Bryan Fuller‘s exit from the series, Kurtzman noted the American Gods creator’s contributions and his ultimate exit because of the work balance with his Starz series.
“We honor what he did and much of what is still there came from his mind and that’s the real answer,” Kurtzman said.
Star Trek: Discovery also stars James Frain, Jason Isaacs, Mary Chieffo and more in a sprawling cast.
The second episode is available on CBS All Access after its premiere on CBS proper on Sunday, Sept. 24. New episodes drop on Sunday. And if you like talking Trek, there will be an aftershow streaming with the episodes.