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Bryan Fuller had a very different vision for Star Trek: Discovery

#1 User is offline   p0is0n0us Icon

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 06:04 AM

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What would Star Trek: Discovery look like if Bryan Fuller had stayed on to run it? Apparently the show might have gone where no Star Trek series had gone before.

In a new Entertainment Weekly story on the show (excerpted by TrekMovie), it's revealed that the vision of the show put forth by Fuller -- who was taken off the series by CBS last year because of conflicts with his other commitments to American Gods -- was a drastically different and, dare we say, possibly far more groundbreaking one than what it looks like we're getting.

For one thing, Fuller wanted this iteration of Star Trek to be something that no other series in the franchise had ever been: an anthology series in the mold of American Horror Story or Fargo. His pitch included a first season set in the time of Discovery (around a decade or so before The Original Series), but future seasons would have featured different casts and would take place in the TOS and Next Generation eras -- and then beyond, into never-before-seen eons to come.

A risk-averse CBS nixed that idea, going instead for a serialized show set during one time period instead of anything more expansive -- at least until the network saw whether the show was a success or not.

But Fuller had other ideas that were beamed into deep space as well: He wanted to develop what was described as a "a more heavily allegorical and complex story line,” while his concept for Starfleet's uniforms was “a subdued spin on the original series’ trio of primary colors" instead of the bland blue jumpsuits we're seeing now.

Fuller and CBS also fought over the show's budget of $6 million per episode, and over the choice of a director for the pilot: CBS wanted veteran Emmy-nominated TV helmer David Semel -- known for handling pilots -- while Fuller wanted somebody more "visionary," and had even considered hiring Edgar Wright.

CBS won that battle, although Semel and Fuller reportedly "clashed" while prepping the pilot. In the end, however, that didn't matter either: With CBS jonesing to meet a January 2017 premiere date for Discovery (which it missed), the network became concerned about Fuller splitting his time between their show and Starz' American Gods, so he was given his walking papers last October.

So where does that leave us? As a lifelong Star Trek fan, I have not been impressed so far by what I've seen from Discovery; it seems like Fuller's "allegorical and complex" tale has been sacrificed for war and soap opera (in other words, Game of Thrones in space). Of course, we don't know whether Fuller's vision would have worked either, but it sounds like CBS took the cheaper, easier, and faster route rather than find out. We'll see in September.

Source: SyFy
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Posted 31 July 2017 - 07:12 AM

It would've been interesting, if perhaps a bit too expensive, to do an anthology ST series. In fact, I think that's something we've discussed on these boards. I like it as a concept, but my biggest concerns would be expense; science fiction shows, esp futuristic space operas, tend to be more expensive because everything down to clothes and furniture can't look so recognizable or be easily found in standard prop/costume storage. An anthology with season long arcs might work if they keep it within the same century or close enough to where they could reuse standing sets, props, uniforms, perhaps (?).

Another problem is that if a particular season's characters really catch fire with an audience, audiences won't wash to wipe the board clean for the next season. That's a problem I hear a lot from my sister, who is a fan of American Horror Story; sometimes an idea for one season is really good and you get really into it...only to have the whole thing change on you the next, with a less interesting/successful group of characters.

I applaud Fuller's outside-the-box thinking, but part of ST's appeal is tuning in and watching the evolution of characters over a period of years; esp DS9, which had a more serialized format than other ST shows. That wouldn't have been possible with an anthology format. On the plus side, a particularly popular set of characters could opt for a spinoff of their own, but this might be biting off more than the producers could chew.

I think the producers of DSC ultimately went the right direction. ST is about the people and their ongoing evolution as much as the situations and format.
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Posted 31 July 2017 - 10:19 AM

Yeah I agree that it would be better to leave the same cast in for more than one season. I wish Star Trek would get some consistency with their uniforms. Seems to be drastic changes between Enterprise, Discovery, TOS, TMP, ST 2 onwards.
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Posted 31 July 2017 - 08:10 PM

View Postp0is0n0us, on 31 July 2017 - 10:19 AM, said:

Yeah I agree that it would be better to leave the same cast in for more than one season. I wish Star Trek would get some consistency with their uniforms. Seems to be drastic changes between Enterprise, Discovery, TOS, TMP, ST 2 onwards.


Well, I used to get irked about that as well till I remembered that Starfleet is composed of members from many planets; it’s not surprising that there’d be many different planetary/cultural influences flooding into their wardrobe choices.
I think TWOK’s jackets were probably the longest lasting Starfleet fashion choice; going from the late 23rd century till at least 2268 (“Yesterday’s Enterprise”).
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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:03 AM

Just learned at the Discovery writers' panel yesterday that the show is DEFINITELY set in the prime timeline, but with the caveat that ST has always differed from one to the next, even within the same timeline. He used the correct example of TMP to TWOK; and how the whole visual language between the two films (still set in the PT) was very different.

Akiva Goldsman (Oscar-winning writer who is working on DSC) was at the panel, along with Kirsten Beyer (the VGR novels) and Ted Sullivan.
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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:31 AM

Discovery looks good, looking forward to seeing it.
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Posted 05 August 2017 - 09:33 AM

View Postp0is0n0us, on 03 August 2017 - 09:31 AM, said:

Discovery looks good, looking forward to seeing it.


After attending three panels (so far), seeing the exhibit of the props/costumes again and meeting one of the cast in person? I'm actually VERY excited for this show. I can barely wait...
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Posted 06 August 2017 - 01:54 PM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 31 July 2017 - 08:10 PM, said:

Well, I used to get irked about that as well till I remembered that Starfleet is composed of members from many planets; it’s not surprising that there’d be many different planetary/cultural influences flooding into their wardrobe choices.
I think TWOK’s jackets were probably the longest lasting Starfleet fashion choice; going from the late 23rd century till at least 2268 (“Yesterday’s Enterprise”).

Yep. Thats exactly how I see it. Once upon a time we had influences from a plain, bar bones society (TOS), then a couple of decades later we absorbed the Redonians into Starfleet and their Redonian culture inspired the TWOK look. Then when their general died off we ended up with the influencual Spandaxites just in time for TNG....

For me the look and feel - and ever evolving uniforms - are just an extension of that variety.

As for Disco - I'm just REALLY looking forward to it at this stage. And not long to go!
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