The new Star Trek Discovery drama series that South African viewers will be able to watch on Netflix from early 2017 will feature a female lead who will very likely be black, along with a gay character, known and new aliens, and will be set 10 years before the original Star Trek series of Captain Kirk.
Bryan Fuller, co-creator, executive producer and showrunner of the new Star Trek series, told TV critics and journalists at the Television Critics Association conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday that the new series will focus on a Starfleet woman who is "a lieutenant commander with caveats", as one of about 7 main characters.
The female lead character in the first season of 13-episodes, who has not yet been cast, will not be a captain like Captain Kathryn Janeway was in Star Trek Voyager.
"It's set 10 years before Kirk, and will bridge the gap between Star Trek Enterprise and the original Star Trek series and redefine the visual style of the universe," he said. "We're much closer to Kirk's mission, so we get to play with the iconography of those ships and uniforms," he said.
Bryan Fuller revealed that there "will be robots", time travel and "absolutely we're having a gay character" and that because Star Trek Discovery will be on a streaming service, there will be more graphic content like sex and profanity.
According to Bryan Fuller, the latest Star Trek iteration will also feature more aliens than before - both familiar aliens from the Star Trek universe, but also new ones, with one named Saru.
"We'll probably have a few more aliens than you normally do in a Star Trek cast. We're going to have exciting new aliens and also re-imaginings of existing aliens".
The main story will revolve "an incident, an event in Star Trek history in the history of Starfleet that had been talked about but never fully explored," he said.
"We're telling that story through a character who is on a journey that is going to teach her how to get along with others in the galaxy."
"We've seen six series from captains' points of view, so its to see a character from a different perspective, who has a different dynamic with the captain, with subordinates."
"In order to understand something that's completely alien from her, she has to understand herself."
"It's so easy to look at someone different from ourselves and think how we would think in their shoes, but we cannot imagine how they'd think because we are not them. It's part of the character's journey in this first season".
Filming on Star Trek Discovery will start in October at Pinewood Toronto Studios in Toronto, Canada, with the design of the USS Discovery ship still evolving.