New trailers, first looks, and tantalizing hints for the future were a part of Star Trek Day, the fan event commemorating the 54th anniversary of the debut of the original “Star Trek” TV series on Sept. 8, 1966. Panels covering every “Trek” TV series, from the original TV series to the recently announced new series “Strange New Worlds,” unfolded over a three-and-a-half-hour period on Tuesday, hosted by “Star Trek: The Next Generation” co-star Wil Wheaton and Mica Burton (daughter of “The Next Generation” star LeVar Burton), in between a day-long marathon of classic episodes from every “Trek” series.
Here are the highlights:
The full trailer for Season 3 of “Star Trek: Discovery” debuted on Tuesday, along with a brand new title treatment that suggests a fresh direction for the CBS All Access series. The trailer, introduced by star Sonequa Martin-Green, launched the start of Star Trek Day, with “Discovery” co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise, and new costar David Ajala (“Supergirl”) who plays Cleveland “Book” Booker, participated in a panel on Season 3 of the show.
At the end of Season 2, the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery, led by Commander Michael Burnham (Martin-Green), jumped 930 years into the future to the year 3188 to prevent the total destruction of the Federation. As the new trailer reveals, however, Burnham and the Discovery crew learn the Federation is a shadow of its former self, ravaged by something Book ominously calls “the burn,” when “the galaxy took a hard left.”
In the panel, Kurtzman said the burn is a “cataclysmic” external event that hits the Federation when its at its strongest, and Paradise said that the first episodes unfold as a mystery, as Burnham and the Discovery crew try to figure out what happened to the Federation. When they do, Paradise said, “we’ll find that it’s still in existence, [but] much diminished from what it once was.”
The trailer makes clear that Burnham meets Book while she’s initially separated from the Discovery crew after their jump into the future. The crew, led by Command Saru (Doug Jones), is also marooned after their starship crash lands on a seemingly barren planet. The trailer also features Anthony Rapp (as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (as Ensign Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (as Dr. Hugh Culber) and Michelle Yeoh (as Philippa Georgiou), as well as new actors Blu del Barrio (Adira) and Ian Alexander (Gray), who are playing respectively the first recurring gender non-binary and trans characters in “Star Trek” history.
The show also unveiled a new title treatment that jettisons the angular typeface of the show’s first logo, and making “Discovery” much larger than “Star Trek,” which returns to the classic look from the original series. Kurtzman said in the panel that the original logo used a “variant” look that was meant to evoke the war with the Klingon Empire, which the series has moved well beyond for Season 3. (It’s also worth nothing that Season 3 marks the first season of “Discovery” after the CBSViacom merger.)
The new logo can be seen in the “Discovery” Season 3 poster below.
“Star Trek: Lower Decks” and “Star Trek: The Pod Directive”
Voice cast Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells, and Eugene Cordero and series creator, showrunner and executive producer Mike McMahan discussed the ongoing animated series “Lower Decks,” and how much they’re enjoying watching fans begin to understand what the series is shooting for.
John de Lancie is reprising his role as Q on an upcoming episode, McMahan said, though it won’t be a major role. In the same episode, “Trek” alumni Kurtwood Smith (“Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”) will play a different alien. Jack McBrayer and Tim Robinson are also set to play guest roles.
At the end of the panel, Newsome announced that the upcoming “Star Trek” podcast “Star Trek: The Pod Directive” that she is hosting will be co-hosted by actor-comedian Paul F. Tompkins (“BoJack Horseman”). Guests will include actor Ben Stiller, author Reza Aslan, “Star Trek: Picard” costar Michelle Hurd, “Lower Decks” executive producer Mike McMahan, politician Stacey Abrams, comedian and “Discovery” costar Tig Notaro, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, and “Picard” and “Short Treks” composer Jeff Russo.
Newsome also debuted a preview for the show, which runs weekly Sept. 14 through Nov. 9.
“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”
The newest “Trek” series for CBS All Access hasn’t started shooting yet, but a few key bits of news still managed to slip out from stars Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn, and Ethan Peck; executive producers Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers; and co-executive producers Akela Cooper and Davy Perez.
The show is set on the U.S.S. Enterprise with Captain Christopher Pike — the original character conceived by creator Gene Roddenberry to lead the original “Star Trek” series in its first pilot that NBC famously rejected. The pilot was reshot with William Shatner as James T. Kirk, but Roddenberry reconstituted the original pilot into the show, establishing that Pike was the previous captain of the Enterprise before Kirk.
“Strange New Worlds” will capture that era of “Trek” history, as first introduced on Season 2 of “Discovery” with Mount as Capt. Pike, Romijn as Pike’s first officer known only as Number One, and Peck as a young Spock. Unlike the serialized storytelling behind “Discovery” and the other CBS All Access “Trek” series “Star Trek: Picard,” Goldsman explained that the show will follow a more episodic format like the classic “Trek” series from the 1960s and 1990s.
Still, Cooper and Perez noted that “Strange New Worlds” will maintain a single storytelling thread, and Romijn said that Number One will receive a backstory on the show. Her husband, Jerry O’Connell, is also playing the first officer on “Lower Decks,” and she said they have a healthy sense of competition over who has the better role. That led Goldsman to note that he’s been “agitating” for a crossover episode between “Strange New World” and “Lower Decks,” even though the latter show is set some 90 years later in the future.
While the series was officially announced in May, Romijn said the actors were “sitting on this information for a while … over a year.” Mount explained that he learned that the show was happening from Kurtzman, who oversees all the “Trek” TV series for CBS All Access, two days after he first broached the idea of bringing some closure to the characters during the “Short Treks” mini-episodes they were about to shoot. It was only later that Mount learned that Goldsman had been agitating to make a “Discovery” spin-off series set on the Enterprise for many months prior.
“Star Trek” The Original Series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Star Trek: Enterprise,” and “Star Trek: Picard”
The panels for the previous “Trek” shows mostly oscillated between nostalgia-inflected memories and trenchant evocations of the late Gene Roddenberry’s underlying philosophy for “Trek” of respect and celebration for infinite diversity in infinite combinations.
For the original series, costar George Takei joined Roddenberry’s son Rod to talk about how groundbreaking it was at the time to have Asian and Black actors on the bridge crew of the show. Takei recalled how one of the signature scenes for his character Sulu, in which an alien infection causes him to race shirtless with a fencing foil through the Enterprise, evoked his childhood memories of playing Robin Hood from the classic film “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” Takei also expressed regret for remaining closeted about his sexuality for much of his adult life, and that he’s thrilled that “Discovery” depicts a loving and committed same-sex couple (played by openly gay actors Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz).
Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes reunited with Wheaton to share memories from both “The Next Generation” and “Picard,” including how Frakes’ determination to learn to direct episodes of “TNG” inspired Stewart to do the same. Stewart also dropped the briefest of hints at what to expect for Season 2 of “Picard,” mainly that the first for episodes of the season “are unlike anything I’ve read before for ‘Star Trek.'”
Much of the panel for “Deep Space Nine” was spent on remembrances of late cast members Rene Auberjonois, who played the shapeshifting security chief Odo, and Aron Eisenberg, who played the young and eager Nog who became the first Ferengi to enter Starfleet. They both died in late 2019.
“He was very talented,” executive producer Ira Steven Behr said of Auberjonois. “He could be prickly as hell; he could be sweet as hell. He was a joy to watch.”
“Aron was everybody’s best friend,” said Alexander Siddig (who played Dr. Julian Bashir on “DS9”). “He was a sweet, sweet human being.”
During the panel for “Star Trek: Voyager,” celebrating 25 years since its premiere, star Kate Mulgrew remembered how “overwhelmed” she felt when she first stepped into the role of Capt. Kathryn Janeway, the first female lead of a “Trek” series.
“The technobabble was just a spectacular challenge to me, because I’d always prided myself to embody any character with nuance and subtlety,” Mulgrew said. “Well, that went right out the window just trying to grasp the language itself.”
The panel for “Star Trek: Enterprise” was the most subdued event, with panelists Linda Park, John Billingsley, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, and Connor Trinneer starting by praising star Scott Bakula for making everyone feel welcome and celebrated on set.
As was the case with every panel during Star Trek Day, the “Enterprise” cast also spent time talking about the pride they still feel about helping to bring to life Roddenberry’s vision of the world in which people are not prejudged based on their race, ethnicity, nationality and gender. But Billingsley, who played Dr. Phlox on the show, brought that message even further, underlining how the mega-event was also designed to support organizations that promote social justice, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative.
“The one thing that has always been my question is, can ‘Star Trek’ tell us how? How do we get to the place where we put nationalism and racism and intolerance and greed and selfishness aside and put the needs of humanity first?” Billingsley said. “I love TV just as much as anybody, but I also always want, when I meet people who are fans of TV, to ask what it is that TV allows them to take into action.”