The distress signal is getting louder by the week – this series is in trouble.
Discovery was announced by CBS November of 2015. A teaser with the logo came out in May of last year that stated the series would debut January 2017 on CBS’ all new subscription service, CBS All Access. Bryan Fuller signed on as show runner, and Nicholas Meyer came on as a consulting producer. It looked promising. The first look at the ship was given at SDCC last year. It didn’t get the reception they wanted – the CG was subpar and the ship design was odd, to put it nicely. The first visual look was bad, but the interviews with Fuller and the producers were still reassuring. It was going to be better.
CBS handed the entire production to its fledgling All Access crew – the problems with this started to show over the coming months. Fuller stepped back from show runner to producer, and when the release date was pushed back to May 2017 Fuller left completely. It was left rudderless. Akiva Goldsman was brought in to help get the whole thing back on track.
Cast members – including Michelle Yeoh as a starship captain – were slowly announced. With that casting news came more delays due to the availability of various actors. Some of the initial plans laid out by Fuller – like the show being focused on a female Starfleet captain – went to the wayside. When the show went into production in January CBS released another trailer that revealed information that was meant to reassure fans.
Note that it’s May 1st. We have no show. We don’t even have a trailer with the cast in it.
Various department heads at CBS have said contrary things about the Star Trek being the most important property CBS has and saying that sci-fi isn’t a good fit for broadcast TV. CBS Interactive president Marc DeBevoise did an interview with Vulture and had this to say about the project:
It’s going great, I’ve actually been up there [to the set]. It is, you know, phenomenal. It is huge. And we’re very excited about the content, the creators, the actors, all coming together. As you said, we’re not tied to any specific release date. It’ll be there when we’re ready to do it, and when we feel it’s in a great place. We’re not worried about anything here. We’re excited, and we’ll have more specifics as we get closer to what will likely be the release dates.
That was followed up with a direct question about a release date maybe in the fall, which was answered: “We’re not stating.”
Ok, then. I guess they’ve learned from their mistakes with announcing release dates. Hopefully they’re learning from other mistakes, as well. As with most things: I want this to be good, but they’re making it very hard to be optimistic.
What’s your take?