Star Trek: Discovery Premiere Date Announced, NCC-1031 Design Finally Revealed

  • Science Fiction
Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery.
Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery. CBS All Access

Star Trek: Discovery will premiere Sept. 24 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS. Remember, only the first episode. Yes, that’s really their move, the one drug dealers get unfairly accused of all the time: the first is free. After the premiere Star Trek: Discovery goes to CBS All Access, part of the single-network streaming service ecosystem of the future, where TV is hell again.

But I’m only being shitty to CBS because I wish I weren’t so excited for this show (and Les Moonves). There’s only been one major misstep: the loss of Bryan Fuller and the addition of Akiva Goldsman (though we haven’t heard about him lately… maybe he was too busy with Transformers to detonate the writers’ room). Everything else is just delays. Lots of delays, annoying delays, but just delays. The trailer was… fine. I’m willing to give a Star Trek show time to grow and improve, like TNG and DS9. But if it’s wrong, it’s wrong. And the level of obvious studio interference — CBS has staked their streaming future on this — should drop the reading on anyone’s expectation thermometer.

And it’s not the end of those delays, either. There’s going to be another one. Because while the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery will hit the fall release date target, only the first eight episodes will air in 2017, with the last on Nov. 5. Star Trek: Discovery airs a day later outside the U.S., where it will be available on Netflix. The second half of the season will premiere in Jan. 2018.

Showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg explained the reason for all the delays to Entertainment Weekly.

Here’s Harberts:

“There’s is so much artistry and custom craftsmanship that go into every prop, every costume, every set… These things have to be designed and manufactured. We flew a costume designer to Switzerland to pick up the fabric for the Starfleet uniforms. Several items on our uniforms are 3D printed. Some of our sets can take over six weeks to make. CBS has given us the time and the money to make something the fans will find worthwhile.”

And Berg:

“You can’t cut corners or have 95 percent of what’s on screen be completely original and inspired and then have five percent something you bought at a store. It has to be cohesive — and it is. I’m so proud of what’s on screen, it’s so beautiful and it’s taking world-building to a whole new level.”

Enough with delays and explanations for delays. Who will remember a year from now? The real highlight of the premiere date announcement is this poster, also available in motion poster tweet format. There’s probably an Instagram one, but Instagram sucks. Words > pictures.

The new poster for Star Trek: Discovery.
The new poster for Star Trek: Discovery. CBS All Access

That’s a very different USS Discovery NCC-1031 from the early version we saw at Comic-Con 2016. It’s blue, not brown and no longer looks like a nurse shark with blinkers, though it still has the same basic shape. The saucer section looks even more radial, a circle within a circle. It looks way more like a UFO. But most distinctive by far are the stripes all over its angular body. There’s definitely something Klingon-esque going on here. It looks like war paint.

For comparison’s sake, here’s the old version:

And the new:

The USS Discovery NCC-1031.
The USS Discovery NCC-1031. CBS All Access

Star Trek: Discovery premieres Sept. 24 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS.

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