There was a noticeable disappointment online back in October when it was announced that Star Trek veteran Bryan Fuller would no longer be the showrunner for CBS’ franchise revival Star Trek: Discovery. Having written the first two episodes & created the overall arc for the first season, there was at least the news that Fuller would remain as an executive producer.
That title though seems to be just that, a title. Speaking with Newsweek, Fuller revealed that while he has that title for his contributions he is no longer working on the series in any capacity.
“I’m not involved in the production or post-production, so I can only give them the material I’ve given them and hope that it is helpful for them. I’m curious to see what they do with it,” he said. “They have my number and if they need me I will absolutely be there for them.”
Having broken into the industry through work on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, Fuller was seen by many to be the perfect choice for shepherding Star Trek’s return to television after over a decade. A full schedule, including his work on Starz’s American Gods and NBC’s Amazing Stories, reboot among other projects, led to Fuller’s exit and the naming of Executive Producers Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg as the new showrunners.
“Ultimately, with my responsibilities [elsewhere], I could not do what CBS needed to have done in the time they needed it done for Star Trek,” Fuller said. “It felt like it was best for me to focus on landing the plane with American Gods and making sure that was delivered in as elegant and sophisticated a fashion as I could possibly do.”
Fuller’s impact will still be felt on the series as CBS is said to be sticking to the vision he had for the series, and things that Fuller wanted to see like a gay crew member and a female lead that isn’t a captain are still happening.
“It is bittersweet,” Fuller said. “But it was just a situation that couldn’t be resolved otherwise…so I had to step away.”
The series recently added Michelle Yeoh, Doug Jones, and Anthony Rapp but casting is still underway for the female lead and other roles. Filming is expected to get underway relatively soon to meet deadlines since the series was delayed from it’s original January 2017 launch.
Star Trek: Discovery will premiere it’s first episode on television, on CBS, before subsequent episodes will all appear only on the CBS All Access service in May 2017.