As we get ready to revisit the 24th-century future in Star Trek: Picard , and still eagerly await the USS Discovery’s jump to the 32nd-century in season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery, we can’t help but look further ahead in our current timeline to even more Star Trek television…
According to a statement made by Trek producer Alex Kurtzman at the Television Critics Association last week, “There are two more live-action shows that haven’t been announced yet” beyond Picard, Discovery, and the as yet untitled Section 31 series. So what are those two shows? With a dash of speculation, mixed with facts and topped off with a degree of intrepidity, here are five possible live-action Star Trek series that could materialize sometime in the next few years.
The Pike, Spock and Number One Show
For nearly a year now, nearly every involved with Star Trek: Discovery season 2 has doubled-down on the idea that a spin-off series centered on Anson Mount as Captain Pike, Ethan Peck as Spock, and Rebecca Romjin as Number One could happen, but nothing’s been confirmed yet. Aside from Pike, Spock, and Number One, Discovery also left a few key characters behind in the 23rd century—specifically, Ash Tyler and the Klingon Chancellor, L’Rell. The comic book miniseries Star Trek: Discovery: Aftermath has already connected the dots between what happens after Discovery jumps in the future, and how the 23rd century as we know it continues without them, which could easily be adapted (and expanded) for a TV series. Plus, when Michael Chabon wrote the Short Treks episode “Q & A,” he apparently also pitched another story about Number One’s last day on the Enterprise. So, in theory, there’s already one possible storyline floating around for this era of the classic Enterprise. Could there be more?
The Khan Miniseries
Since 2017, it’s been an open-secret that Nicholas Meyer—Wrath of Khan director, and creative consultant for Discovery season 1—had been in talks to write a 3-part miniseries about the exile of Khan on the planet Ceti Alpha V. This series would take place after the events of of “Space Seed,” but, obviously, before The Wrath of Khan. According to numerous sources—including Meyer himself—the project was stalled by legal hangups due to the Trek films and Trek series not falling under one big happy corporation. But in 2019, CBS and Viacom remerged, meaning the Star Trek films rights and TV rights are in the same place again, so a Star Trek thingamabob that overtly has to reference both a TV episode (like “Space Seed”) and a feature film (like The Wrath of Khan) can now be made with relative ease! So does this mean Khan is in our future? We’ll see.
An Anthology Series Set in Different Parts of the Trek Timeline
Well-after Bryan Fuller left the day-to-day production of Star Trek: Discovery it was revealed that Fuller had, at one point, planned to have the new series span the entire canon of Star Trek. One of Fuller’s ideas would have united all aspects of the Trek timeline with an American Horror Story approach, resulting in a “universe of Star Trek shows.” From a certain point of view, this pitch has actually come to pass. Picard is set over a hundred years after the first two seasons of Discovery, and the new season of Discovery will be set nearly 1,000 years beyond anything Star Trek has ever touched. But what if this timeline-hopping kept going? What if there was a new Star Trek series, similar to Short Treks, but with full-length episodes that could take place in any era? Think of it like The Twilight Zone, only every single episode is set in the Star Trek universe. One week, a standalone episode set in the TOS era, the next week a two-parter set aboard the Enterprise-C. Who knows? It’s not the craziest idea, and on some level, this kind of mix-and-match with the various timelines is already happening.
The Long-Rumored Starfleet Academy Show
Another long-rumored show, one that was being discussed right before Patrick Stewart stunned the world with the news he would return as Jean-Luc Picard, was an entire series set at Starfleet Academy. This one has been an official no-comment situation for a long time, which means it’s a feasible contender to be one of the two live-action shows that haven’t been actually announced. The question is: What would this show be like? Riverdale but Star Trek? Buffy but Star Trek? Saved By the Bell, where everything is the same, but Screech is Data? (You see where I’m going with this.)
But beyond tone and structure, a Starfleet Academy show would still need to pick an era. A show about Starfleet Acaemdy set in the TNG era would be amazing. But then again, what about Starfleet Academy pre-Discovery and TOS, but post-Enterprise? The early 23rd century is an era of Trek we don’t know much about, and it might be amazing to see what it was like.
A Series Set in a Totally New Era as a Lead-Up to the New Films
On the outskirts of all of this television news, very quietly, there’s a new Star Trek feature film being prepped by Noah Hawley. Variety has confirmed that Kurtzman and Hawley are at least emailing at this point, so it stands to reason some synergy between the current slate of TV series and new films will happen. And what if Hawley and Kurtzman are doing more than just checking in? What if a new live-action TV series was specifically designed to connect to a new feature film? In interviews, Hawley has suggested that the characters for the new Trek feature film will be brand-new. Not rebooted old characters, but actually new characters. So what’s the best way to test out those characters? Put them in semi-related TV series! Basically, this could be just like how Baby Yoda sneakily introduced Rey’s new Force power on The Mandalorian one day before The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters, but on a huge scale, involving years of planning, tons of new Star Trek characters, and a concept that perhaps goes where the franchise has never gone before.
Ryan Britt is a longtime contributor to Tor.com and the author of the book Luke Skywalker Can’t Read and Other Geeky Truths (Plume 2015.) His other writing and criticism have been published in Inverse, SyFy Wire, Vulture, Den of Geek!, the New York Times, and StarTrek.com. He is an editor at Fatherly. Ryan lives with his wife and daughter in Portland, Maine.