Excited though Star Trek fans are to finally have the franchise back on TV with Bryan Fuller’s Discovery, many had to wonder why the series opted to follow the prequel route yet again. The series will venture early into Trek history with a pre-Kirk setting, something writer Nicholas Meyer says offers more “room to maneuver.”

Wrath of Khan director Meyer explained the decision during a panel at the Mission: New York Star Trek convention over the weekend, noting that the pre-Kirk setting allowed them to avoid too much expectation of familiar characters, or history. Meyer likened it to some of his own experience writing Sherlock Holmes, and having to find “gaps in the chronology.”

It was about finding a space in the chronology to maneuver and create stuff. Bryan didn’t want to use the same characters from other series, and a 10-year pre-Kirk thing seemed perfect.

Exploring different eras of existing Star Trek continuity also fits with prior sentiment from executive producer Brannon Braga, who suggested that going too far into the future risks plausible technology and design.

Shooting in Toronto this fall, the new 13-episode Star Trek: Discovery is officially said to take place 10 years before Kirk’s original Enterprise mission, as well to be “heavily serialized,” akin to a novel, more-so than an episodic nature. The new series will also feature a non-captain female lead, and explore the fallout of an event referenced, but never seen in the original series.

Bryan Fuller will headline the new streaming iteration of Star Trek as co-creator and executive producer, while Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer has also joined alongside Gene Roddenberry’s son Rod, fan-favorite Voyager novel alum Kirsten Beyer, franchise vet Joe Menosky and Heroes writer Aron Coleite. So reads the initial synopsis for the series, which debuts on CBS in January 2017 before moving to All-Access:

The brand-new “Star Trek” will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.

Additional details will emerge within the next few months, including an updated ship design, but what else should we expect from the new streaming Star Trek: Discovery?

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