Star Trek: Discovery's Showrunner Explains Why She Doesn't Feel Competition From Strange New Worlds

Michael Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery
(Image credit: Paramount+)

With each new episode, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds continues to win over critics and fans, to the point that one can’t help but wonder how it may shape the franchise going forward. With this success, there may be some wondering whether or not the creatives behind the existing shows feel competition or pressure to emulate the new addition but, according to Discovery’s showrunner Michelle Paradise, that’s not something to be worried about. 

Michelle Paradise and other cast members of the Star Trek: Discovery cast did a Twitter Spaces event with The Wrap (via TrekMovie) and during the conversation, talked about the success of Strange New Worlds. The host asked Paradise if she felt any need to compete with the latest Trek series and the episodic format Paramount+ subscribers have praised. With this, the producer explained that she doesn't have to worry, given the plans laid out by the powers that be:

No, there’s absolutely no competition at all. And one of the things to Alex [Kurtzman]’s credit that he has said from the beginning is that each of these shows needs to occupy its own space within the larger universe because you don’t want two shows that feel very, very similar. So Discovery and Strange New Worlds, for example, feel very different by design. And Discovery is heavily serialized. And when Strange New Worlds came out, I know, they worked very hard to make sure that it would be its own distinct thing.

As mentioned, it was the intention of the producers that Star Trek: Discovery and Strange New Worlds feel very different. In short, for those wondering if perhaps the success of the new show might inspire Discovery to transition from a serialized to episodic structure, that doesn’t sound like something that would’ve happened or will ever occur. The showrunner was clear about the desire to have these shows to exist within their own spaces and be different, and making them too similar would compromise that objective. 

Michelle Paradise, who recently teased on Twitter that her series began filming Season 5, talked more about the collaborative efforts between her and the other Trek creatives. And based on her comments, there's clearly a firm network of support amongst the people privileged enough to head up these different shows:

And we are aware as writers and showrunners for all of the shows, we all get together on a pretty regular basis and talk to one another to make sure that the storylines aren’t overlapping. And in ways that don’t make sense for the larger universe. We talk about all of that stuff so that we are aware of those things. Because all of us want to make sure that the shows that we helped shepherd continue to occupy their own space, but that it all feels of a larger piece that Alex and his team at Secret Hideout kind of oversee all of them. But there’s not a competition. We love what they’re doing.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 has an air of mystery to it, as it’s not quite clear where Michael Burnham and her crew will head next. CinemaBlend recently spoke to executive producer Olatunde Osunsanmi, who teased that there might be more reveals regarding the Short Treks flash-forward “Calypso,” but we don't currently know much more than that. One thing we can at least be sure of, though, is that is we won’t see see the series take creative cues from Strange New Worlds as it charts its course for future episodes. 

Star Trek: Discovery is set to return to Paramount+ for Season 5, though a release date has yet to be revealed. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait too long for details on the season's story and when we can expect to see it. In the meantime, stream previous seasons and check out new episodes of Strange New Worlds, which hit the streamer on Thursdays.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.