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Why Star Trek: Discovery Shut Down But Strange New Worlds Didn't Have To

Star Trek: Discovery was in production for its upcoming Season 4, but things had to be put on pause temporarily in the Vancouver-based production. Luckily, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is also filming in Toronto but didn't shutter its production. Ultimately, the latter was able to continue due to the unique exposure to COVID-19 that led to Discovery's temporary shutdown.

Star Trek: Discovery decided to halt production after it was discovered that an individual associated with the show's production came in close proximity with another person who tested positive for COVID-19. Though the infected individual was not a part of the production and the exposure came off the show's set, Deadline reports that CBS Studios ultimately made the call that it's better safe than sorry. As of writing, the show is out of production but is scheduled to resume work on Season 4 on Thursday, May 6.

Due to the circumstances of the exposure, the 80-person production team of Star Trek: Discovery will not be required to go into quarantine. Of course, it may be preferred that they do, though, to prevent more delays on Season 4. The producers, cast and crew of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds are likely glad they can keep working away at the moment. It's possible that had the newer Star Trek series filmed in the same space as Discovery, it would've happened, but the two are filming in different studios.

The bad news, however, is that the city of Toronto has once again become a hot zone for COVID-19. The area of Ontario, in general, has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, with the daily case rate exceeding the third highest positive case rate since the start of the pandemic. Businesses have been put back under lockdown, but production on shows like Star Trek: Discovery and Strange New Worlds have been allowed to continue.

With that said, audiences are perhaps more aware than ever before how productions can change during a pandemic. While Star Trek and other shows are allowed to continue filming (for now), it's always a possibility that Canada could change its mind and ask shows to go on hold until these cities have COVID-19 under control once again. Obviously, it hasn't come to that yet but, with the situation in Toronto like it is, the possibility is there.

The major side effect of a shutdown would mean less Star Trek in 2021, which is when Star Trek: Discovery was originally promised to return. The Paramount+ series was already announced to be a Q4 addition to the service so, if the shutdowns continue to add up, the series and even Star Trek: Strange New Worlds could hypothetically be pushed to 2022. Obviously, it's not ideal, though it would make 2022 a major year for fans with those two sandwiched in with Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard.

For now, let's hope that Star Trek: Discovery is able to resume production as scheduled, and Trekkers will be able to see Season 4 later this year on Paramount+. For more on the world of Star Trek and its spinoffs, check out the latest on what was said about the Section 31 spinoff, and whether or not it will happen.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.