How The Walking Dead influenced Star Trek: Discovery production

Star Trek: DiscoveryWhen Star Trek: Discovery premieres on CBS All Access a little bit later this year, it is going to do so after a lengthy wait. There have been multiple delays, a showrunner switch after Bryan Fuller was let go, and then also even more waiting as casting and pre-production started to get going.

As it turns out, there was also a time when the new Star Trek could have been delayed thanks to the interest Fuller had in Sonequa Martin-Green of The Walking Dead in the lead role. This part in Michael Burnham is the focal point of the new Star Trek series, but there were some issues in that her contract with the AMC show rendered her unable to work on the show until after her character was killed off on the show onscreen. (The wait would further minimize the presence of spoilers, though to be honest there were already plenty of them that were out there.)

It turns out that there was a very good reason why Fuller was willing to fight so hard to get Martin-Green in the role. Speaking per Entertainment Weekly, the Hannibal/Pushing Daisies guru (who has vast experience with the franchise) had the following to say:

“Her audition was fantastic … I found her incredibly insightful as an actor and delightful as a human being.”

It ultimately was a perfect storm of other factors, including the delay and the showrunner change, that led to Martin-Green actually being available and cast for the part. The casting of both her and Michelle Yeoh is enough to make Fuller pleased, even if he has no direct involvement in the show anymore.

What was also interesting to learn from Fuller’s interview is that he originally wanted to do a Star Trek anthology series where every year could be spent navigating a wide array of different stories in the greater universe. Personally, we would’ve really liked that, especially if it went back through the main canon and explored various holes in the past few series — while also giving you some that move forward into the future and showcase what life was like beyond the efforts of Picard, Janeway, and others.

New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery will start to air this fall; the first episode will air on CBS proper before shifting over and becoming a streaming exclusive. Expectations here are enormously high, and understandably so given the long wait and the fact that many consumers are going to be paying extra in order to watch the series. The majority of All Access consumers at the moment are doing so in order to watch the Big Brother live feeds or another original series in The Good Fight — we don’t think either one of these is necessarily in the Star Trek: Discovery demographic.

Are you as excited for Star Trek: Discovery as you were back when Fuller was in charge of it? Be sure to share some more of your thoughts in the comments! (Photo: CBS All Access.)

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