LOS ANGELES — If you’re the kind of Star Trek fan who was at San Diego Comic-Con last month to see the cast, or who has followed every twist and turn of the saga to launch the somewhat delayed Star Trek: Discovery, there’s probably nothing I can tell you after Tuesday’s Television Critics Association session at CBS Studio Center that you don’t already know.
I mean, the trailer looks cool. The cast seems fun.
For the rest of America, though, there may be a few questions about the nearly 51-year-old franchise’s latest installment, starting with: How do I watch it?
Starting Sept. 24, after its pilot launches at 8:30 p.m. on CBS, Discovery will go where no other Star Trek show has gone before — directly to a subscription streaming service. CBS All Access customers will be able to watch the second episode that same night. Subsequent episodes will be available on Sundays, with the first eight episodes rolling out through Nov. 5. The rest of the 15-episode season begins streaming, one episode a week, in January.
Here are five more things to know about the new Star Trek:
- There’ll be an after-show, Talking Trek, produced by the same people who do AMC’s Talking Dead.
- The theme music, composed by Jeff Russo (Fargo, Power), was recorded by a 60-piece orchestra. After showing reporters a clip of the recording session, executive producer Alex Kurtzman, a “soundtrack junkie” — he listens to sound tracks in his car — got a little verklempt. And at a time when broadcast networks have cut opening themes to the bone, this one’s going to run a minute and 30 seconds. It’s pretty stirring.
- Discovery takes place in “the prime universe,” according to executive producer Akiva Goldsman. “It’s not the J.J. [Abrams] ‘verse or the Kurtzman ‘verse. It is 10 years before [the original series]. So we are in a section of canon that has … been referred to a lot. There is a lot of speculation about it. We are considering the novels not to be canon, but we are aware of them. And we are going to cross paths with components that Trek fans are familiar with, but it is its own stand-alone story with its own characters and its own unique vision of Trek.”
- Sonequa Martin-Green (The Walking Dead) stars as First Officer Michael Burnham, who has a relationship to the original’s Vulcan Spock, having been a ward, or “foster adopted daughter,” of Spock’s father, Ambassador Sarek (James Frain), executive producer Aaron Harberts said. “The relationship between Michael and Sarek plays a huge part, not only in her backstory, but in where she was raised and what she brings to every ship she serves on. Her time on Vulcan causes her to make several choices in our first episode, choices that will really have aftershocks throughout the entire series. … We are able to tell father-daughter stories,” he said, “and we are able to really drill down on particularly what’s interesting about a Vulcan raising a human, a human child.”
- These are not your grandparents’ Klingons. One legacy of executive producer Bryan Fuller’s time at the helm — he stepped down as showrunner last fall — was to get the Klingons an upgrade. “One of the things he really, really wanted to do was shake up the design of the Klingons, and one of the first things that he ever pitched to us … was his aesthetic for the Klingons and how important it was that they … not be the thugs of the universe,” Harberts said, “that they be sexy and vital and different from what had come before.”