The Next Golden Age of Star Trek May Be Upon Us

We’ve long bonded over Star Trek. As you’d expect, my friend Stephen and I have spent hours… probably more like years, dissecting every detail of the Trek universe. Given that a new series premieres in a few weeks (!!!), we’re completely caught up in the excitement of the moment. As part of the Star Trek: Discovery publicity onslaught – all of which we’ve consumed and debated with gusto – one article really stood out to us.

In this week’s EW cover story, ex-Discovery showrunner Brian Fuller talked about his original vision for Star Trek’s return to television. It seems that Fuller was looking to take a page from shows like American Horror Story and Netflix’s Marvel series by making an anthology show. Meaning that each season of the show would have moved across the time and space of Trek’s vast shared universe, with one season taking place pre-Kirk and Spock (where Discovery is actually set) and the next at another point in the Prime Timeline.


Obviously, Star Trek is no stranger to this type of storytelling or existing in a shared universe. And while Star Trek didn’t invent these concepts, it was playing in the kind of shared universe that is currently all the rage, well before Marvel popularized it. The shared Trek universe was at its zenith in the mid-90s when TNG was ending on a high, films were released every few years, Deep Space Nine was hitting its stride, and Voyager was getting started. In addition to what was taking place on both television and theatre screens, there were countless novels, comics, toys, video games, etc. that served to enrich the universe and keep fans wanting more.

Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard and Avery Brooks as Captain Sisko
Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard and Avery Brooks as Captain Sisko | Photo credit: CBS

Discovery is clearly (and rightly) gunning to earn its place in this larger and rich shared universe. Quality is something that is clearly a focus for this show. The cast, the effects, the uniforms, the costume design, they’re all first rate. We can debate about Klingon evolution and technology consistency all you want but don’t try to tell us it doesn’t look great. There is love and attention here. The Shenzhou’s design, the gleam of the new delta shields, the heft of the phasers (seriously… those phasers!), it all looks terrific. And, while we haven’t seen it yet, it appears that they’re building up some pretty strong narrative threads that will play out over the course of a heavily serialized season (something the DS9 fans in us are way too excited for).

So when you think about both Fuller’s original pitch and the quality of what will actually be beamed to our screens in a few weeks, we couldn’t help but wonder if we are about to enter a new “golden age” of Star Trek. One that rivals the excitement and breadth of what we got in the 1990s.


Thinking about this question, and Trek’s history of shared and overlapping stories, if Discovery becomes as successful as we hope it does, then this could certainly be a jumping off point for something much, much larger. Star Trek is, after all, a commercial enterprise.

Let’s say that Discovery’s first season is wildly successful and that U.S. and international markets demand more. There are possibilities, then, for building the Trek universe back into something large and far-reaching. So in the truest geeky form, we started thinking through what that could look like.

What we want from Star Trek‘s next “golden age”:

    1. Another Series

      Riding on Discovery’s success, you could easily develop and launch a new series; there is after all precedent for airing more than one Trek series at the same time. This could be a Discovery spin-off or a new crew in a completely different era (perhaps our first show set in the 25th century).

    2. Standalone TV Movies

      Think 2-hour specials on Netflix. A number of tightly focused stand-alone movies could be developed to explore key events in Trek lore. Let’s revisit one of the fronts of the Dominion War, tag along on the Enterprise-C’s maiden voyage, or lose a battle against the Borg (think Trek’s answer to Rogue One). Dare I say Axanar?

    3. Trek Anthologies

      True to Fuller’s original vision for Discovery, an anthology that explores unique groups, time, and events in a mini-series format (4-8 episodes). We could learn with the cadets at Starfleet Academy, engage in the politics of the Romulan-Vulcan divide following the destruction of Romulus, go on a covert mission with Section 31, or ride out the horrors of the Eugenics Wars.

We think, like you, that there’s a lot more Star Trek to be explored. If Discovery nails it, we will see a new era of Star Trek ushered in. This is our opportunity to recommit to the establishment of a shared universe – one that is truly unrivaled as it has 50 years of stories and characters from which to draw on.

If our wishes come true, and the Trek universe did expand again, where would you like to see in Trek’s new Golden Age boldly go?

When not drinking coffee or watching Star Trek (or other sci-fi), Carlos spends his time running around London working on several projects. He has incredibly rambunctious boy-girl twins (his wife foolishly did not let him name them Luke and Leia).

You can follow Carlos on Twitter @doublemacc.

25 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Brandon Taylor

    I for one would LOVE to see a whole series built around the Klingon Empire. For example, what happened to Worf after DS9? And how does he die with honor? Maybe we could even see a Klingon production of, say, Romeo and Juliet. That would be so awesome! I know Klingons are a passionate species, and I for one would love to see how that translates to the stage.

    • Bruce

      Michael Dorn actually pitched this a few years back after Enterprise finished. They decided to go in another direction unfortunately…

  • The Chadwick

    Being a long time trekkie like the trek news group, I wholeheartedly agree with what is said in this article. I truly hope this series does well and that Bryan Fuller is invited back (and accepts) being onboard with Star Trek to allow his vision to come to fruition.

    I grew up with TOS reruns and the premier of TNG. I fondly remember the golden age with DS9 and VGR on TV and TNG movies, what a great era.

    I have loved everything I saw with Discovery from the beginning. I never had an issue with the way the Klingons or anything else looked boucle for me, that is part of the fun of Star Trek is finding reasons or explanations of how all these things, all these changed fit in. Granted I’m a little disheartened at the info released in the EW article about Fuller being let go, his anthology idea and tri colour uniforms being nixed. But considering its been 12 years since a new TV has aired, I can understand CBS wanting to be cautious and test out a new show before diving into something more complex like an anthology series. Point being, CBS wants to bring in new fans, if we start jumping around it might confuse or turnoff some new viewers. Its possible I’m not give current TV viewers enough credit, but making a show that follows the same characters for more than one season, to really flesh them out and to get to know them is a much more logical way to bring in new viewers.

    The idea of an anthology series is amazing, especially with it going beyond Voyager possibly 25th century. I would love to see what happened after the Dominion War. Did Bajor end up joining the Federation? After receiving help from the Federation in liberating them from the Dominion does the Cardassian Union join the Federation? With Rom as Grand Nagus ushering in a new era for Ferenginar do they join the Federation?

    There is so much yet still to explore. Maybe the Federation develops coaxial or quantum slipstream drives to venture out farther into the Milky Way without it taking 75 years to cross the same distance. There could even be a time when the Federation sets up some type of “jump gate” large enough for starships to travel through that allows them to explore other galaxies. And personally I would love to see what came of the Multi Vector Assault Mode and Ablative Armour technologies. And going even farther in the future there is without question a time when the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Empire become Federation members.

    I would love a second show taking place in the 25h century, I would love TV movies. Im hoping Discovery is successful so CBS can capitalize on it and bring us more Star Trek.

    Its a little embarrassing that the actors and producers have already had to deal with hatred and bigotry before Star Trek even airs. Id like to think that the bigots are not true trek fans, cuz we’re better than that.

    Its not the time to quibble over minutiae about how the Klingons look or the transporter room. Now is the time for Trekkies to band together and support the franchise we love. Star Trek needs our enthusiasm and support now more than ever.

    • Maverick_F14

      Perplexed.

      You said it’s been twelve years since a Star Trek TV series yet all the shows you mentioned are far longer than that.

      There’s a huge gap that was either left out erroneously or by design.

      • Talos4

        Star Trek Enterprise, the most recent Trek series, ended its run in 2005… twelve years ago.

    • Lyk

      It will not be and as a Long-time fan of Star Trek I will be more than happy this Series will fail, I don’t want JJ-influenced Star Trek with Lenseflares and shooty shot, i want the feel i had in TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT, i want a Series that is about Exploration, i want a series that is true to the established Canon.

      I want a freaking Post-Nemesis Series

  • Paul Wand

    I do not like to rain on everyone’s parade with all the compliments given to Star Trek Discovery thus far, but I have to be honest since I have been watching Star Trek since 1966 with TOS. I was hoping that a new series would take place in the future beyond Voyager, looking forward to seeing advances in technology, weapons, etc, as opposed to a less advanced technology prior to TOS. One of the endearing features of Star Trek is the dazzling special effects which incorporates advanced technology, doubtful to be present in a series less advanced than TOS. I do in fact recall watching Star Trek Enterprise with Captain Archer and thinking that it was like watching a throw back series, and how disappointing it was.

    Another aspect which I would like to see considered is a series based upon the fact that the Earth will be destroyed in the future (read future spin off series) and the human population has to leave the planet in order to survive, an idea espoused by many current scientists today including the famous physicist Stephen Hawking. In fact, I became so interested in this concept that I recently wrote a book on the topic and published it on Amazon called Earth 2.0 Exodus, Escaping our doomed planet. I find it most fascinating that science fiction can be based upon actual real science which some have named “factual science fiction”. This story takes place 90 million years in the future, and it full of all kinds of new hi-tech including unique starship configuration, engine design/propulsion, more advanced version of Androids than Data, and many other unique aspects of the voyage to a new Earth (2.0).

    Of course this is not the only option, and I would welcome any other permutation on familiar types of story-lines as have been developed over the years. I do enjoy other shows such as Dark Matter, Killjoys, etc.

    • The Chadwick

      Naturally all Trekkies want a new series post Voyager, but thats not what we’re getting. So I urge people to accept that fact and look for positive things in Discovery to look forward to.

      I too watch Dark Matter and Killjoys (just finished the second season of both) but they are lacklustre (B quality) sci fi’s, not my preferred type of sci fi. I also enjoyed Defiance but I’m not surprised it was cancelled. The only new sci fi show out now thats scratching my itch until Discovery airs is The Expanse. Star Trek, StarGate and Star Wars are my favs, each covering a slightly different aspect of sci fi.

      I can’t agree with your interpretation of Enterprise, I think its a fantastic prequel series and my second favourite series behind DS9. TNG being in 3rd, TOS in 4th and Voyager 5th.

      I am not at all enticed by a Star Trek series depicting the destruction of Earth. Some other sci fi, sure. But I’m too attached to this big blue and green sphere and too attached to the concept of hope to have any inclination to watch a series about the downfall or destruction of Earth.

      • Paul Wand

        I appreciate your opinions and of course we are all entitled to those choices. You do not have to worry about the demise of Earth anytime soon or in your lifetime.The scientific truth is that the Earth is going to be destroyed, so the people of Earth will have to face that dilemma in the distant future. How the situation is dealt with is another issue.

        I much prefer futuristic shows which entails more sophisticated everything, and hence a story which takes place in the future. Just my opinion like you have yours. As for Voyager being last on your list, did you consider that it is the only series with a woman plays the role of both Captain and Chief Engineer, and they do a great job acting, with excellent written story lines.

        • bearbutt

          Totally with you on Trek moving forward into the future. I want to find new life and new civilizations, but we’re just getting Klingons, Harry Mudd, and enless tie-ins to existing things. Playing it safe. RISK, people. That’s why we’re aboard her! If this fails because they played it safe and pandered to fans, Trek is dead.

      • Admiral Byrd

        Series won’t last long! It’s a wast of time and money! If they make it past 3 years, it will be a miracle!

    • Admiral Byrd

      I agree! Star Trek is about the future, not going back to the past! That’s why Enterprise was such a disappointment and a waste of time and frankly, a waste of CBS’s money to make! Who cares what happened in the past with Star Trek! Let the FANS make those films CBS! Stop letting Gene Roddenberry Jr. (who never liked the show in the first place, trash the show his father was so proud of). Gene Roddenberry Jr. hated everything related to Star Trek because it took all his time away from his father during his childhood, and he is still holding that grudge, so he is wanting run this show right into it’s grave, which Discovery is going to do! It’s nothing but trash! And Gene Roddenberry would be turning over in his grave on this piece of trash! Start Trek goes forward into the future, not back into the past! Anaxar could finish the time line just fine! Just face it, CBS is greedy, and wants to make money of the Star Trek name just like Disney has done with Star Wars, which is nothing but garbage now!

      • Paul Wand

        Interesting Admiral (BTW your name is similar to Admiral Kirk, and is why I used the Admiral Birk in my novel), and I am very glad to see another person who shares my view. Add to the above, a competing show will air 9-10-17 before Discovery, and is created by Seth McFarlane and the physicist Neil de Grasse, set 400 years in the future. The CBS show will be on regular TV (free on your cable or satellite subscription) but only the debut will be on regular TV for Discovery, and thereafter will require an additional payment, to which I object! Time will tell which series will prevail, but I am voting on Seth McFarland’s “The Orville” to be shown on Fox TV.

        • Annie M

          Isn’t it also supposed to be airing on Netflix?

          • Talos4

            Star trek Discovery is only airing on Netflix outside of the USA. It will air only on CBS All Access, a pay service, in America.

      • Annie M

        How can you tell that Discovery is trash? Just from the trailer?

    • Mark Naccarato

      Clearly people still aren’t putting two and two together on this notion that another Trek series should “move forward” in the timeline past DS9 and Voyager. So let’s recap:

      When Voyager finally returns from Federation space, fully intact, the ship clearly now has the technology to:
      1) Go faster than warp 10
      2) Armor its ships to withstand any Borg weaponry
      3) Take out Borg cubes with one shot
      4) Create a permanent holographic crew based on the upgrades to the Doctor’s program

      Now add that to the fact that they now have the ability to recrystallize dilithium crystals, that they no longer need real provisions or spare parts anymore thanks to replicators that never fail, that they have bioneural computer systems that can do an infinite number of computations, and that the only serious threats to the Federation – the Romulans and the Dominion – are neutralized. Plus, they’ve made what looks to be a permanent alliance with the Klingons.

      Now. Think about all that for a second. If we were in any other “universe” of storytelling (Star Wars, BSG, B5, etc.), this would be the end of the story. Fade out. The end. Why? Because there are no adversaries left who can defeat or pose a serious threat to the Federation. Simply put, Voyager’s arrival and the rout of the Dominion have drastically changed the balance of power in our galaxy in favor of the humans. That’s it. Nothing left to say.

      THIS is why both series after Voyager have been prequels. The writers have to find obstacles and adversaries that can actually challenge our characters. There IS NO CHALLENGE to Starfleet in a post Voyager-world. Nobody should expect any new Trek show to take place after “Star Trek Nemesis” in the prime timeline. How interesting is it to see our characters be invulnerable? Or never want of anything? Or simply go faster or outgun everyone who dares challenge them? Answer: it’s not. It’s boring and the writers won’t be able to get any interesting stories out of a premise like that. The Berman/Piller regime wrote themselves and every future Trek team into a corner and while the fans apparently aren’t able to understand that, trust me – the producers and studio execs who work on Star Trek for a living DO.

      Frankly, the only option available to them if they want to keep going forward into the 25th/29th century etc. is to have a disaster that basically destroys the Federation or renders warp drive impossible. A post-apocalyptic “Walking Dead” type scenario that resets everything and takes Starfleet’s tech edge away. And that concept has already been used by Roddenberry’s “Andromeda”, so you are unlikely to see some variation on that for legal reasons and the fact that all these fans who want to go into the future so bad will be among the first to scream that such a premise is a rip-off of Andromeda.

      So give it up. We are NOT going past the DS9/Voyager/Nemesis time period unless it is for a single-season, one-shot event type thing that does not rely on a permanent setting. This is what Voyager has done – they’ve basically ended the current Trek timeline from a narrative perspective. Deal with it and embrace the prequels. Prequels in and of themselves are nothing bad – it’s all in the execution and I for one am willing to give Discovery a chance to prove itself as any REAL Star Trek fan would.

  • Matt North

    No nothing into today’s society is even close to zeitgeist and if it is anything like this shit they turn out it wont be worth watching.

  • Matineer

    I don’t see it myself. The golden age was the 1970s; the conventions brought thousands; the toys (mego) sold in the millions, and the show was unbelievably #1 in syndication. The books hit the bestseller list when they came out. The Star Trek Technical manual was on the New York Times bestseller list — high if not number one for a time. Not to mention the whole TOS cast was out making appearances, including at the Space Shuttle roll out, which NASA named Enterprise. You can’t replicate all that now. They played the Trek theme when they rolled the ship out. It’s a different time now, even if this show hits.

    • W. Adams

      Agreed. The “Golden Age” was either the ’70s or the late ’90s. Certainly not now, especially given that nothing I’ve seen or heard so far makes ‘Discovery’ look good at all and the less said about the Abramsverse the better in my mind.

  • Howard Johnston

    A stand alone series based upon the Machiavellian world of the Romulan Star Empire would be good – “Under the Raptor’s Banner” etc.

  • Annie M

    I’ve never liked Jason Isaacs, hope he doesn’t ruin this show for me.

  • Dawn

    no. we entering s dark age of trek. because the fans are at war with each other and the studio is at war with the each other and the fans

  • Erik

    I don’t see that coming with this series. Perhaps if there will be a post voyager series, then maybe…

  • ziplock9000

    How the hell can this be a golden age or even speculation of a golden age when the last movie bombed, most hardcore trekkies dislike it and the new series hasn’t even started?