Star Trek: Discovery is getting a spinoff as it is being reported that the show’s home, the CBS All Access streaming service, has ordered a new live action series centering on co-star Michelle Yeoh’s character Phillipa Georgiou.
Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt are set to write the series with current Star Trek maestro Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth serving as executive producers.
Yeoh’s character started off on Discovery as a mentor and friend to series lead Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) but was killed off fairly early on. Yeoh returned in the later half of the season as Georgiou’s evil counterpart from the Mirror Universe where she has assumed command of the ruthless Terran Empire. By season’s end though, she had been brought back to the main Trek universe to work with the Federation.
This spinoff will see Georgiou working with the secretive Black Ops group Section 31, a squad that does all of the dirty work behind the scenes to keep the Federation’s utopian ideals squeaky clean. Section 31 first showed up on the 1990s Trek series Deep Space Nine and fans have been looking for more about them ever since.
In a statement, Yeoh said –
I’m so excited to continue telling these rich Star Trek stories. Being a part of this universe and this character specifically has been such a joy for me to play. I can’t wait to see where it all goes – certainly I believe it will go “where no WOMAN has ever gone before!”
Last week it was revealed that the planned fourth installment of the rebooted feature film arm of the Star Trek franchise had recently been shelved. At the time, we speculated that it might have been in part to the studio wanting to concentrate more in developing Star Trek content for their CBS All Access streaming app. With Discovery‘s second season getting ready to debut this coming weekend and animated series and another show which would see the return of Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, it certainly seemed as if the studio was going all-in on TV Trek versus film Trek. Today’s news further cements that line of speculation.
While I can understand CBS All Access’s desire for more Star Trek as it most likely helps to drive subscriptions for the service, I really wish that they could get Discovery running smoothly first. The initial launch of Discovery on All Access was marked with disruption after disruption. Bryan Fuller, the original showrunner on the series, was replaced after a handful of episodes were already shot. New showrunners came in, some story material was scrapped with new material shot as the season’s story arc was changed. The premier was delayed nine months. The cost of the show continued to escalate until the series that CBS honcho Les Mooves was hoping to be done on the cheap had become one of the most expensive series ever made. Season two has yet to prove itself in terms of its writing, but the fact that this season sees yet another new showrunner suggests that the show will tacking direction yet again.
But even without all the overly painful birth pangs that Discovery has gone through, I am not really that excited for another Trek series as I don’t think that Trek has really embodied the ideals and positivism about humanity’s future that Star Trek‘s original creator Gene Roddenberry imbued his creation with back in the 1960s. Over the years and decades that the franchise has chugged along, it has strayed further and further away from what Roddenberry created in terms of tone and theme. And while there is certainly drama to be found in flawed characters doing bad things, there is also something noble about stories of good characters who inspire ourselves to give power to our better natures the way that the original Trek series did.
Star Trek: Discovery season 2 premiers this Thursday on CBS All Access.