‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Will Shift Away From An Age Old Gene Roddenberry Guideline

Star Trek has been a staple of the sci-fi community for more than fifty years and throughout its rich history has seen the crew of the USS Enterprise traveling across deep space in search of new alien civilizations. To expand on his idyllic version of the future, creator Gene Roddenberry urged Trek writers to avoid depicting significant interpersonal conflicts among the Starfleet crew as these issues could portray characters in a negative light- among other notable exceptions in previous Trek incarnations, the rule didn’t count if a member of Starfleet was under any kind of alien influence, of course.

As the franchise progressed — from my personal favourite iteration with the original series (TOS) to The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and numerous films — the rule wasn’t followed as strictly. After Roddenberry died in 1991, it was largely abandoned. Still, many subsequent Trek writers didn’t want to take the conflict too far, lest they disrespect Roddenberry’s wishes.

With the latest iteration airing in September, co-showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg assured fans of Trek drama that Discovery will include instances where members of Starfleet become irritated with one another:

“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.”

Although there will be more inner-conflicts present, Harberts reveals that they will ultimately draw inspiration from Roddenberry when deciding on how to handle these conflicts:

“The thing we’re taking from Roddenberry is how we solve those conflicts… So we do have our characters in conflict, we do have them struggling with each other, but it’s about how they find a solution and work through their problems.”

‘Discovery’ Will Not Be As Episodic As Its Counterparts

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Star Trek Discovery | CBS


Another key change is that Discovery will be heavily serialized — telling a single story over the season, instead of one self-contained story per episode — which, depending on what version of Star Trek is your favorite, will determine whether fans check it out this fall.

Two of the most popular iterations of Star TrekTOS and The Next Generation (1987-1994) — are examples of the episodic route. The third official TV series in the franchise, Deep Space Nine (1993-1999), contained more serialized storytelling by featuring certain connective plot points throughout the series such as the Dominion Wars arc.

The decision for Discovery to focus on serialization allows for more character growth as episodes progress and connecting plot points are weaved through the season.

What This Could Mean For ‘Discovery’

As Discovery is set prior to TOS, there is sure to be more tumultuous relationships among crew members and other beings, since peace is not as widespread as it is in other Trek incarnations. Discovery has the chance of becoming the first true serialized Star Trek series in the long-standing franchise; if it manages to find a nice balance between those interpersonal conflicts and planetary exploration, Star Trek: Discovery has the potential of being a brilliantly executed show.

Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Terry Serpico, Maulik Pancholy, James Frain and Michelle Yeoh and is set to debut on CBS on September 24, 2017, with a two-part premiere.

(Source: Entertainment Weekly)
featured image source: CBS

Does this news make you interested in checking out Star Trek: Discovery? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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