Bryan Fuller Wanted ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ as a Franchise-Spanning Anthology
Star Trek: Discovery looks about how we’d expect a modernized take on classic Trek, but we’ll always wonder how Bryan Fuller would have imagined it. New details of the showrunner’s exit reveal an anthology approach that would have visited multiple Generations, and a more “complex storyline” now scrapped.
Fuller offered Entertainment Weekly surprising details of his Star Trek: Discovery exit, covering everything from budget concerns, difficulty making a February 2017 premiere date, and his divided attention with the first season of American Gods. For one, it seems early reports were correct that the new Star Trek might take an anthology approach and visit multiple eras of canon, before CBS stepped in:
The Hannibal and Pushing Daisies showrunner initially wasn’t envisioning a single Trek series, but multiple serialized anthology shows that would begin with the Discovery prequel, journey through the eras of Captain James T. Kirk and Captain Jean Luc Picard and then go beyond to a time in Trek that’s never been seen before.
‘The original pitch was to do for science fiction what American Horror Story had done for horror,’ Fuller says. ‘It would platform a universe of Star Trek shows.’
CBS countered with the plan of creating a single serialized series and then seeing how it performed.
Everything from directors to uniforms ended up under scrutiny (you can see Fuller’s costumes here), as Fuller disapproved of pilot helmer David Semel, preferring someone with cinematic experience like Edgar Wright. Fuller’s original vision was said to be a “more heavily allegorical and complex storyline,” though he at least got his wish of casting Sonequa Martin-Green, and seeing women of color lead the franchise:
I got to dream big, I was sad for a week and then I salute the ship and compartmentalize my experience … What I can say [about the final product] is … my reaction was that I was happy to see a black woman and an Asian woman in command of a Starship.
Fuller’s vision was also said to carry on into Season 2, but will Star Trek: Discovery live up to the franchise revival that might have been?