Thursday, September 15, 2016

Production drama with impossible deadlines sees new Star Trek: Discovery launch inevitably postponed by months from January to May 2017.

It was inevitable and now the wholly unrealistic launch date of January 2017 of the latest new Star Trek: Discovery has finally been pushed out by months to May 2017.

After CBS and executive producer Bryan Fuller a few months ago announced mind-boggling production dates - saying that filming would start in September - this month - on Star Trek Discovery, it quickly became obvious that the unrealistic deadlines would never be met.

Without any proper Discovery ship designs - let alone actual ship and bridge sets construction (and up in Toronto, Canada where it would be filmed) - with no confirmed cast, with no female lead, with only 3 episodes' actual scripts, artistic issues like the shockingly bad new ship demo that producers suddenly said is not the final version and is being redesigned, and with no established editing and special effects departments, the insane Star Trek: Discovery announcements about when it would do what, started to feel like Hlaudi Motsoeneng's hot air SABC proclamations.

Also remember that Star Trek: Discovery isn't Bryan Fuller's only project - like Hlaudi Motsoeneng constantly darting off to Venda, Durban and Cape Town - Bryan Fuller is also furiously working on other shows like American Gods with divided attention.

With actual filming that had to start now in Toronto while basically very little else exists, CBS and the production company had no choice but to pull the plug on the already chaotic behind-the-scenes production madness to announce a postponement.

And chaotic behind the scenes at Star Trek: Discovery it surely is, although CBS is keeping a lid on what is really going on.

TV's business is also - very importantly - almost more than anything else it is a scheduling business (once again: Hlaudi Motsoeneng's SABC3's local content order is a flopsies because the forced scheduling caused a washout).

CBS plans and schedules better than the SABC. So when it sat down and planned Star Trek: Discovery to start shooting in September and then broadcast a first episode in early January, it did that, working on mapped out production schedules.

So clearly day-to-day deadlines and production deadlines went very wrong and now CBS and the TV show had to backtrack.

It's a big problem, since CBS wanted to use Star Trek: Discovery to launch and relaunch its CBS All Access video-on-demand (VOD) service in America, with Star Trek: Discovery that is being distributed in the rest of the world on Netflix.

Instead of starting in January 2017 as fakely and unrealistically promised, Star Trek: Discovery has now been pushed out by 5 months to May 2017.

Earlier this month, producers already started the process of tempering and trying to adjust down the expectations of the show - which means that they knew they would have a crap product given the production deadlines.

In fact, Star Trek: Discovery might still be - but hopefully won't - be bad, since the producers seemed to hint that the budget isn't as big to fully realise the vision of what Star Trek viewers expect the show to be.

It seems as if producers want Star Trek viewers to tone down their expectations and rather expect a Star Trek: Discovery that's close to the trash-bad Star Trek: Enterprise than the smoother high brow Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: DS9.

Star Trek: Discovery executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Bryan Fuller now say in a statement the show must be delayed by months to mid-2017 "to achieve a vision we can all be proud of".

"Bringing Star Trek back to television carries a responsibility and mission: to connect fans and newcomers alike to the series that has fed our imaginations since childhood."

"We aim to dream big and deliver, and that means making sure the demands of physical and post-production for a show that takes place entirely in space, and the need to meet an air date, don't result in compromised quality," they say in a statement.

The producers reveal that they misjudged what it would take to ramp up the production machine on the new iteration of the science fiction series that will have a 13 episode first season and suddenly got to a point where they realised it's not possible to film Star Trek: Discovery starting in September.

The actual filming of Star Trek: Discovery will now only start in November - two months later.

"Before heading into production, we evaluated these realities with our partners at CBS and they agreed: Star Trek deserves the very best, and these extra few months will help us achieve a vision we can all be proud of".

CBS TV Studios president David Stapf says in the same statement announcing the Star Trek: Discovery postponement: "They are building a new, very ambitious Star Trek world for television, and everyone involved supports their vision for the best timing to bring to life what we all love on the page".