One of the more interesting rumors floating about back when “Star Trek: Discovery” was first announced was that showrunner Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal,” “American Gods”) had planned to do the series in an anthology format with different eras of “Star Trek” explored with each new season.
Of course Fuller exited the project and what we’re left with is a standard serialised drama set within one period – ten years before the time of Captain Kirk. As part of a new Trek-centric issue of EW (via TrekMovie, a source has finally confirmed that original report and goes into a bit more detail about Fuller’s vision which was: “to do for science fiction what ‘American Horror Story’ had done for horror”:
“Fuller sat with CBS executives to deliver his pitch. It wasn’t just for a ‘Trek’ series but for multiple serialized anthology shows that would begin with the ‘Discovery’ prequel, journey through the eras of Captain James T. Kirk and Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and then go beyond to a time in ‘Trek’ that’s never been seen before.”
CBS wasn’t prepared to go that far, instead opting to create a single serialized show and seeing how it performed first. Other Fuller ideas that were set aside included “a more heavily allegorical and complex story line” (ie. more like “Star Trek”), and a “subdued spin on the original series’ trio of primary colors [for uniforms]”.
The article goes further into the clashes with the studio from the $6 million per episode budget being insufficient to the hiring of procedural vet David Semel to direct the pilot which the network wanted. Fuller, who clashed with Semel, reportedly wanted a proper film director and even reached out to filmmaker Edgar Wright for the gig.
The main issue though was scheduling with Fuller being let go by CBS in October last year. CBS Studios president David Stapf says Fuller’s fingerprints are still there: “The good news is Bryan created a really nice template that was unbelievably specifically detailed.” Fuller himself adds: “I got to dream big. I was sad for a week and then I salute the ship and compartmentalize my experience.”
Fuller got his start working on episodes of the acclaimed “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and the less well-regarded “Star Trek: Voyager” before he went on to forge his noted producing career.
The non-Fuller ‘Trek’ kicks off September 24th on CBS All Access.