The new Star Trek TV series is to centre on a female character, the show’s executive producer has revealed.
Bryan Fuller said Star Trek Discovery will feature about seven lead roles, but will focus on a female lieutenant commander instead of the captain.
According to Deadline, it is thought the lead character will not be white in an effort to increase diversity.
Fuller also said the new show, which will air next year, will feature a gay character in the ensemble.
It is not the first time a Star Trek series has had a female lead – Kate Mulgrew played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, which ran from 1995 to 2001.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association panel for US network CBS, Fuller – who has also written the pilot episode – described the lead in Star Trek Discovery as a “lieutenant commander with caveats”.
He said he decided not to focus on the captain because “we’ve seen six series from captain’s point of view and to see one from another point of view gives us a richer context”.
The other details Fuller revealed about the series included:
- The show will be set 10 years before the original series featuring Captain Kirk and will bridge the gap between 2005 series Enterprise and the Kirk years.
- There will be more aliens than you would usually expect on the crew – it will not be “one person with a bumpy head”. And there will be robots.
- There may be the possibility of seeing younger versions of the characters seen in Kirk’s crew, but not until the second season. There is also the chance to see the character of Spock’s mother, Amanda Grayson, played by Winona Ryder in JJ Abrams’s 2009 big screen adaptation.
- The first season will consist of 13 episodes rather than the traditional 20-24 episodes to keep storytelling tight.
- Because the programme will be shown on CBS’s on demand platform, it will not be “subject to broadcast standards and practices” usually seen on network TV. Fuller said it would allow a “broader spectrum” of content including “slightly more graphic content” and profanity.
The new series, which begins production in two months, will be streamed globally on Netflix the day after it is made available on CBS All Access in North America from January.