The Final Days of Star Trek Discovery: What to Expect From Season 5 and Beyond

Exclusive: Star Trek: Discovery showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise tell us what fans should expect from the show’s final season and what’s next for the franchise.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Cast
Photo: Marni Grossman /Paramount+

When producer Alex Kurtzman launched Star Trek: Discovery nearly a decade ago, the idea of bringing the Star Trek franchise back to TV was a gamble. Back in 2015, the most popular science fiction TV series were either on the SyFy Channel or Doctor Who. After having gone out with a whimper with Enterprise in 2005, could Trek rematerialize as a fully rejuvenated version of itself? Could a mainstream audience be enticed back to the final frontier by yet another new crew? At first, the answer was maybe.

After several delays, Star Trek: Discovery debuted in 2017 on a newly minted streaming service, CBS All-Access, and the reviews were mixed. After the departure of Bryan Fuller, some critics felt DISCO’s first season had a patchwork quality, amounting to a Trek tapestry that was as challenging as it was audacious. To say Discovery’s early years were some of the riskiest in Trek history is something of an understatement.

“We were the great experimenters,” executive producer Alex Kurtzman recalls while talking to Den of Geek magazine. “Discovery was the first in the door. It allowed us to understand what works well in modern Trek and what works less well. But it all started with DISCO.” 

Because Discovery was the progenitor of all the new Star Trek that has followed, its scope and influence are bigger than most Trek series. Although it began as yet another prequel to the 23rd century of The Original Series, by the end of its second season, Discovery jumped to the 32nd century, making it the only Trek iteration ever that is a prequel and a sequel simultaneously.


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