This series will take place in the prime universe, not the alternate universe, also known as the 'Kelvin Timeline.'
James Frain has been selected to join the cast to portray the beloved character Sarek, father of Spock.
The design of the USS Discovery bears a strong resemblance to the original concept design (by Ralph McQuarrie) of the refitted Enterprise for the canceled 1970s film Star Trek: Planet of the Titans. When that film was canceled, the design was also considered for the canceled television series "Star Trek: Phase II".
This is the first "Star Trek" television series since Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) ended in 2005.
This is the first time since Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) that a "Star Trek" television series premiered on a "big three" network. That series ran on NBC from 1973 to 1974.
The ship name and title were inspired by the fictional space craft Discovery from 2001:A Space Odyssey and the real life NASA Space Shuttle Discovery. Producers also felt the name reflected what they called a "Sense of Discovery" relating to the overall Star Trek franchise.
The starship USS Discovery carries the designation NCC-1031. Coincidentally, the Space Shuttle Discovery had the designation of OV-103 and held many of space explorations "firsts" including the first female pilot Eileen Collins.
During a question-and-answer session at ComicCon in 2016, then-showrunner Bryan Fuller said that the inspirations for centering the show around a female lead and a character of color were the actress Nichelle Nichols (who played Lieutenant Uhura, the only black character and the only woman in the main cast of the original series) and the astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space. Sonequa Martin-Green, the actress who was eventually cast as this character (then said to be called Lieutenant Commander Rainsford) is the first black actress to be the lead in a Star Trek series. Martin-Green also has in common with Mae Jemison that both women were born in Alabama: Jemison in Decatur and Martin-Green in Russelville.
Has been picked up straight to series at CBS, premiering on the network fall 2017. The premiere and all subsequent episodes will then be available in the United States on CBS All Access, the network's digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service. Star Trek marks the first original series developed specifically for CBS All Access.
The name of Jason Isaacs's character, Captain Lorca, is a reference to the Spanish writer and poet Federico García Lorca, killed by fusillade on August 18, 1936, under accusations of being homosexual and a spy for what was then the USSR. His corpse was never found.
The announcement by CBS is interesting since that network originally rejected Star Trek (1966) in 1964 in favor of Lost in Space (1965).
The series will air on television in Canada, the pilot on CTV and the rest of the series on Space.
Creator Bryan Fuller voluntarily stepped down as showrunner in October 2016, citing his involvement with other projects as the main reason to take an executive producer role instead. Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts took over with Fuller's blessing.
In the cover story about Star Trek: Discovery that was published in the August 4, 2017, issue of Entertainment Weekly, journalist James Hibberd recounted a moment on the set when Jason Isaacs (playing Captain Gabriel Lorca) ad-libbed the phrase "for God's sakes!" as a new ending to a line. Kirsten Beyer, who wrote the episode, explained to Isaacs that he couldn't insert "for God's sakes" into his dialogue because one of the rules that Gene Roddenberry set for the universe he created states that in his vision of the future in which all "Star Trek" media is set, religion--and therefore all conceptions of "God"--no longer exist. Isaac's sarcastic retort to Beyer was, "how about 'for fuck's sake'? Can I say that?" And Beyer's response was, "You can say that before you can say 'God.'" However, in the 2009 Star Trek reboot, Karl Urban (as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy), expresses his frustration by swearing, "good God, man!" and "my God, man!" It also does not explain the twist at the end of the original series show titled "Bread and Circuses".