For months, Star Trek fans were on the edge of their captain chair seats waiting to learn what the new TV show would be called, and it was revealed the upcoming sci-fi drama and its central ship will be named Discovery. That's a word that has many connotations, which is precisely the reasoning (or at least part of it) behind that name choice. Here's how creator Bryan Fuller put it.
This ship is called the Discovery for a few reasons. Not the least of which is Stanley Kubrick's contribution to the Discovery on 2001: A Space Odyssey, NASA's vessel the Discovery, and also the sense of discovery. What the word 'discovery' means to Star Trek audiences who have been promised a future by Gene Roddenberry where we come together as a planet and seek new worlds and new alien races to explore and understand and collaborate with.
Let's see, I'm trying to think of how Bryan Fuller could have done a better job at answering that question. He starts off with iconic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and one of the most acclaimed films of all time, 2001: A Space Odyssey. In that film, the central spacecraft heading to Jupiter is the Discovery One, whose onboard computer HAL 9000 remains one of the most haunting presences in sci-fi. Of course, the Discovery One is eventually left behind as the main character goes on his time-looping transition into a fetus, but the ship's impact had already been felt.
From there, we jump to NASA, which is still mankind's most successful surveyor of outer space, and the shuttle Discovery racked up more spaceflights than any other craft over the course of 27 years in service. Though more private sector companies have entered the space race in recent years, it'll be a long time before anything can eclipse NASA's efforts here on Earth. But normal restrictions won't be stopping the Discovery at the center of a Star Trek series, and this ship will be able to go places we can only dream of.
It's that third point that is, of course, the most exciting. Since Star Trek's earliest days on the small screen, the franchise has done more than any other media-spanning form of entertainment to take fans to the furthest reaches of the universe and the imagination. And Bryan Fuller wants to find even more new things for people to get jazzed about, telling the crowd at Mission New York (via io9) that he's using this project as a way to refresh a lot of what we already know about Star Trek, while also adding a number of new alien races, ship designs and gadgets that will presumably enter the real world decades later.
Viewers will also discover what it will be like to watch a Star Trek series that doesn't have the ship's captain at the center of the narrative. We'll get to see Number One leading things, and Fuller claims this will allow the show to go deeper into how life goes on this particular Starfleet ship, giving it a different dynamic from what we're used to.
Unfortunately, we're still months from actually seeing Star Trek: Discovery on a weekly basis. The project is set to hit CBS All Access in January 2017, with its series premiere airing on CBS proper. But while you're waiting on that, check out everything else hitting the small screen in the coming months with our fall TV schedule.