The Star Trek Universe: Where are we?

By Bodan Landar

It’s a really great time to be a Star Trek fan, with streaming service CBS All Access forging ahead building much of its content strategy around our beloved franchise. Outside of the US too, as Picard has released internationally on Amazon Prime Video, while Netflix retains the rights to Discovery.

In 2019, overseer Alex Kurtzman said “The idea is to always have something Star Trek-related on TV. Two years from now, a show will end, there will be a little breath and then another show will begin.”

Well that ambitious plan for 2021 has of course been somewhat slowed down by the global coronavirus pandemic. But whilst TV production has its headaches, there’s no doubt that CBS has enough content in the pipeline to back that up even if it’s later than first anticipated. Unbelievably, there are six ‘new’ Star Trek shows that are publicly known right now, and a few more that are rumoured

Star Trek: Lower Decks – Release date: August 6th 2020

It is quite a scoop for CBS that they have Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan for this first adult animated Star Trek series, which takes place on the lower decks of the USS Cerritos, a less important Starfleet vessel specialising in ‘second contact’ and set shortly after the events of Nemesis. It is the first Star Trek animated series in decades, and features a pretty big-name voice cast, including The Boys’ Jack Quaid. Two seasons have already had the green light, streamed through CBS All Access.

Star Trek Discovery Season 3 – Release date: October 15th 2020

Having already been guaranteed at least five seasons, the third season of the CBS flagship show Discovery finished filming a while back, and whilst post-production has been ongoing through the pandemic it has naturally slowed. It has recently been announced that it will release on October 15th on CBS All-Access and the following day Internationally. 

Season 3 has a killer hook, taking us 1,000 years into the future of the prime timeline, which will hopefully give the writers a lot of scope to tell big stories without any canon-based restrictions. 

Star Trek Picard Season 2 – Release date: 2021

Filming on Picard season 2 was meant to happen this June, but has been delayed for obvious reasons. It is expected that filming will commence this year though.

Where the story will go is something of a mystery after the series’ eventful finale. In season 2, expect more Trek cameos, after season 1 gave us all-too-brief glimpses of Riker and Troi. It is reported that Robert Picardo will appear and Whoopi Goldberg will be reprising her role as Guinan. 

Star Trek: Section 31 (Working Title) – Release date: 2021

This show is fully scoped out with about 50% of episodes already written. Filming was due to start in May of this year, but will now likely start filming concurrently with Picard Season 2. Michelle Yeoh will reprise her role as the Mirror Universe’s version of Philippa Georgiou, who joined the mysterious Federation organisation in Discovery. This should show a side of the Star Trek universe we haven’t seen yet.

Star Trek: Prodigy – Release date: early 2021

The all-new CG-animated series Star Trek: Prodigy, will follow a group of lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning and salvation. The series is developed by Emmy Award winners Kevin and Dan Hageman (“Trollhunters” and “Ninjago”). The series will debut exclusively on Nickelodeon in 2021 for what CBS hopes will be a new generation of fans.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – Release date: 2021/22

Star Trek’s new versions of Captain Pike, Spock and Number One were massively popular and fan pressure means that they’re getting their own spin-off. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds features Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn reprising their roles in what’s been described as a ‘classic’ Star Trek series with an angle of optimism, which should sit nicely alongside the more densely serialised likes of Discovery and Picard. As a more direct prequel to the Original Series, it’ll be about the crew of the Enterprise in the pre-Kirk days.

Star Trek XIV

Star Trek XIV is the planned next Star Trek film, following 2016’s Star Trek Beyond and several different ideas have been developed since then. From 2016 to 2019, a script centring on James T. Kirk meeting his father George Kirk was in various stages of development, before ultimately being abandoned.

Currently two different projects remain in active development: one based on an idea by Quentin Tarantino which would continue along the Chris Pine timeline, and another to be written by Noah Hawley which would start afresh with a new story and new characters. What we will end up with and when, is anyone’s guess at this time.