Tribbles To Appear On ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ Series Aims For “Hard PG-13” Rating

Star Trek: Discovery’s showrunners are planning to have more edgy content than previous TV iterations of Star Trek, but they aim to maintain a PG-13 rating and faithfulness to Gene Roddenberry’s original family-friendly vision.

Discovery showrunner Aaron Harberts says series will most likely be a “hard PG-13”

Showrunner Aaron Harberts offered his thoughts on the mature content streaming services like CBS All Access provides over broadcast television, in an interview with EW.

“Every writer’s impulse when you get to work on the streaming shows with no parameters is to go crazy,” Harberts said. “But then you look at things like: How does nudity play on Trek? Eh, it feels weird. How does a lot of [profanity] on Trek? Not so great. Are there moments where it merits it that we’re trying to push here and there? I would say we’re trying to push more by having the type of complicated messed-up characters who aren’t necessarily embraced on broadcast.”

Star Trek isn’t known for its mature content outside its weighty themes, in an effort to keep the franchise family friendly. However, J.J. AbramsStar Trek Into Darkness (2013) received some criticism for its unnecessary shot of a half-naked Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), and the Star Trek movies are known to drop a curse word or two. Time will tell how closely Discovery keeps to Roddenberry’s original vision regarding the show’s mature content, or whether the showrunners will opt for an edgier approach.

“I’m not saying we’re not doing some violent things or doing a tiny bit of language,” Harberts said. “But what’s important to the creative team is the legacy of the show — which is passed down from mother to daughter, from father to son, from brother to brother. We want to make sure we’re not creating a show that fans can’t share with their families. You have to honor what the franchise is. I would say we’re not going much beyond hard PG-13.”

The television equivalent to PG-13 is TV-14.

The return of Tribbles?

Another facet of the show was teased by executive producer Alex Kurtzman, where he confirmed that everybody’s favorite balls of fur – the Tribbles – will make an appearance in Discovery. However, it’s unknown where or when they will appear. Hopefully, they will keep their libidos in check this time.

Tribbles were first featured in the classic Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles,” then again in The Animated Series episode “More Tribbles, More Troubles,” and then again in the Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations.” They also made cameo appearances in four Star Trek films and in the Enterprise episode “The Breach.”

From "The Trouble With Tribbles"
From “The Trouble With Tribbles” | Photo credit: CBS Home Entertainment

Star Trek: Discovery‘s 15-episode first season is set to premiere on Sunday, September 24 at 8:30 PM ET on CBS. Immediately following the first episode’s release, the second episode will be available in the U.S. on CBS All Access, with subsequent episodes released on Sundays. The first eight episodes will run from September 24 through November 5, with the series returning in January 2018.

The cast of Star Trek: Discovery includes Sonequa Martin-Green (First Officer Michael Burnham), Michelle Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou) Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Chris Obi (T’Kuvma), Doug Jones (Lt. Saru), Kenneth Mitchell (Kol), James Frain (Sarek), and Shazad Latif (Kol), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Stamets), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Sam Vartholomeos (Ensign Connor), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Tilly), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell) and Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd).

TrekNews.net is your dedicated source for all the latest news on Star Trek: Discovery. Follow @TrekNewsnet on Twitter, TrekNews on Facebook, @TrekNews on Instagram and TrekNewsnet on YouTube.

Kyle Hadyniak has been a lifelong Star Trek fan. A graduate student at the University of Maine, Kyle spends his time either doing school work, playing music, reading history, or immersing himself in a good video game.

You can follow Kyle on Twitter @khady93.

7 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Talos4

    As the gang from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ might say (or sing…): Soft tribble, warm tribble, little ball of fur! Happy tribble, sleepy tribble, purr purr purr!

  • JB

    PG-13 Trek and tribbles too… Maybe they reimagined the tribbles… Like, they are covered in razor sharp hair or they eat people.

    • Talos4

      Sounds like mirror-universe tribbles…

      • JB

        Plot twist!

  • Spock

    Unfortunately, the industry keep pushing the line on what they consider “PG-13”, so I have little hope that I’ll be able to share this program with my Trek-loving children, at least not until they are older.

    • newk

      Knowing how resourceful Trek fans are, I imagine there will be “re-edited” versions online that will be family friendly.

  • ZOD

    Yes, yes… Harden that PG-13! Make this the bleakest, darkest, edgiest, most violent utopian society ever! We have to win!