Much to the chagrin of Star Trek fans around the globe, Bryan Fuller will no longer be the showrunner for Star Trek Discovery.
News broke last week that Fuller would be stepping down and handing the reins off to the writing duo of Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts. So, who are these new writers, and what does that mean for the show?
Who are the new showrunners?
Berg and Harberts cut their teeth writing in the late 90s on Beverly Hills, 90210. From there they transitioned to Roswell, working under another veteran Trek writer, Ronald D. Moore. The pair first worked with Fuller, writing three episodes on his short lived series Wonderfalls. Four years later they would rejoin Fuller on Pushing Daisies, contributing another three episodes on that show. Since then, they’ve written and served as executive producers on five shows, most notably Revenge and Reign.
Fuller brought Berg and Harberts in early on, so the two have been involved with the development of the show for some time now. Though they have never run a show before, Fuller has the utmost confidence in them.
Riker spent 7 years of TNG unready for Captaincy, @GretchenJBerg @AaronHarberts are ready. Thrilled to see them in command of the Bridge.
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) October 27, 2016
Fuller’s still involved.
Just because he’s stepping down doesn’t mean that Bryan Fuller’s going away.
A press release from CBS explains that workload on Fuller’s other two shows – an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and a new Amazing Stories for NBC — got to be too much when combined with his work for Discovery. Rather than delay the series again, the decision was made to promote Berg and Harberts to handle Discovery’s day to day needs.
While this will almost certainly means more creative input for Berg and Harberts, the writers will be following an outline put forth by Fuller. According to Variety, Fuller wrote the first two hours of the show and laid out the “broader story arc and mythology” for the remainder of the first season. CBS is reportedly happy with what Fuller has done so far, so now it’s up to Berg and Harberts to fill in the rest.
Bryan, you're my brother, mentor & friend. We will continue what we started & make you proud. I love your gorgeous heart & soul. Thx. xxoo https://t.co/V4tOpxVauy
— Gretchen J. Berg (@GretchenJBerg) October 28, 2016
More help’s coming.
Along with the same announcement was news that Academy Awarding winning writer Akiva Goldsman will be joining the staff in a “top creative role,” according to Variety. The outlet reports that Goldsman will provide producing support to Berg, Harberts and Discovery executive producer and co-creator Alex Kurtzman
Goldsman won an Oscar for writing A Beautiful Mind in 2001. He broke into the industry penning several Joel Schumacher films in the early 90s, including Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. After writing many blockbusters in the 2000s, including the Will Smith films I, Robot and I Am Legend as well as The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Goldsman moved to TV writing on Fringe for Kurtzman, J.J. Abrams and Roberto Orci.
While some of Goldsman’s early works are hit or miss, and Star Trek fans have been burned by Oscar nominated screenwriters in the past, it seems like Goldsman was courted for his producing chops rather than his writing ones, so those fearing his addition will turn Discovery into a repeat of his late 90s reboot of Lost in Space needn’t worry.
With production slated to start this month in order to meet the show’s May premiere, casting news should be out in the open by now, but Variety reports that this is part of the problem. According to their article, most of the actors are in place save for the lead, which Fuller himself previously revealed to be a human female who isn’t the captain.
As if to fan expectant flames generated by the news, The Hollywood Reporter included new details on what the cast of Discovery might look like. According to the outlet’s sources, the rest of the cast will consist of “an openly gay actor as one of the male leads (which Fuller confirmed), a female admiral, a male Klingon captain, a male admiral, a male adviser and a British male doctor.”
The addition of a Klingon captain is particularly interesting. As the Klingons and the Federation were not on good terms when the show is set to take place, this could either the show’s main villain or it could lend credence to earlier speculation that Discovery will chronicle a covert joint mission between the two factions. The inclusion of two admirals and an advisor certainly seems to point towards the later.
At first blush, the news that Fuller stepped down may seem bad, but it seems like everything has been put in place in order to preserve his vision for the show. As the start of production nears, more of what that vision is should be coming clear soon.
The first episode of Star Trek: Discovery will premiere with a broadcast TV special on CBS next spring. That episode and all subsequent episodes will be exclusively shown in the U.S. on the video streaming service CBS All Access.
Stay tuned to TrekNews.net for the latest news related to the new Star Trek TV series and Star Trek Beyond. Follow @TrekNewsnet on Twitter, TrekNews on Facebook, TrekNews on Instagram and TrekNewsnet on YouTube.
Arron Bubba Ratcliff
November 2, 2016 at 9:13 pm
To be brutally honest nothing i have read any where including here puts my mind at ease.I’ve said it before the entire cast should be in place and all ready doing script readings.This close to production and the lead role is still empty is not a good sign.If this fails CBS is likely to toss star trek in to the dust bin for another ten years.Most likely even longer since the All Access part of there website is counting on this to bring in money.The fact that they are willing to spend five or six million per episode depending on which article you read on this project means it better be the best looking trek series ever.
November 2, 2016 at 9:26 pm
In my opinion this series was a disaster from the get go. I think part of the reason they pushed the release date back was because they realised everyone thought their model ship was completely garbage… which it is. If they wan’t to make a decent star-trek show in the original star-trek universe they need to go back to the roots. They need to keep the ship design within the boundaries set by previous star-trek shows. They especially need to scrap this idea about having the show based on a low ranking crew member. Although another Female lead would be great. I think fuller left the show because he realised the pile of junk he made. And he now wants to leave it to other people to clean it up. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely exited for this show. I am a huge startrek fan. But i’m sure a lot of people will agree this so far from what we have seen… this show is not going in the right direction.
November 3, 2016 at 12:32 am
Maybe the initial shape of it, but the ship was not complete, which everyone should know by now lol. Still needed a lot of texturing. I agree that they need to keep the ship within the design boundaries of that era. They could make the awesome looking TOS ships we were expecting in the reboot movies. But Fuller bailing because he created a pike of junk, I can’t agree with. Fuller loves Star Trek as much as we do. You look at his list of DS9 and VGR episodes and they are good and great episodes. Im just surprised he bailed on Star Trek rather than one of his other two shows!? All Im really pissed at is Bryan Fuller bailing on Star Trek for American Gods and Amazing Stories! Seriously you’re bailing on Trek for those two shows rather than bailing on one of those for Star Trek. The show being pushed back didn’t bother me, but Fuller bailing as show runner, weak.
Arron Bubba Ratcliff
November 3, 2016 at 8:58 am
to be honest i don’t think he bailed out.I think he was forced out.The higher ups a CBS were not happy with how long things were taking and over the fan backlash.that teaser clip of the ship was like the most hated trek video video ever .i understand it was a quick and dirty thrown together clip but it looked awful.There are some head writers and producers in Hollywood right now that are running 3,4 and even 5 shows so i don’t buy the excuse they put out in the original statement. he was canned plan and simple.
November 3, 2016 at 12:26 am
Meh, none of this phases me, nor do I think this was a troubled production. Countless productions have had issues and been pushed back. Optimism, I’ve got that in spades!
November 3, 2016 at 12:02 pm
They’re making this up as they go along, aren’t they?
November 4, 2016 at 8:39 pm
An openly gay crew member? You would think that in 300 years they would have cured that.
November 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm
No, but they have cured homophobia. Still working on stupidity, though.
November 6, 2016 at 1:25 am
A “phobia” is an irrational fear. I have no fear of gays. I think their practices are disgusting perversions. I have no fear of dog crap on my boots. I simply think it’s disgusting.
November 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Such strident opposition to recognizing that homosexuals are human beings, as well as American citizens with full rights, tend to be religiously indoctrinated repressed homosexuals. Don’t let your personal issues be your justification for posting your bigotry online.
November 7, 2016 at 8:27 am
Number one, pal, I did not SAY they were not human beings, or Americans. They are human beings, some of whom are Americans, who do morally reprehensible, disgusting, unnatural acts with each other.
Number two, “tend to be religiously indoctrinated repressed homosexuals?” Um, yes… I am a Christian. The Bible states unequivocally that homosexual acts are “an abomination before God.” Which is why people like you trying to justify it pisses me off so much. And that crap about being repressed homosexuals is firstly an unsubstantiated attempt by homosexuals to normalize their behavior by bringing the rest of us down to their moral level, and is secondly irrelevant. If a person DOES have homosexual urges and represses them because their moral fiber tells them that indulging in those acts is reprehensible, then they continue to behave correctly in the same way as a person represses the urge to play the lawsuit lottery because it is immoral.
And finally, morality is NOT bigotry. Bigotry is a bias against someone for a factor they cannot control- race, ethnicity, handicap, gender, socioeconomic background, etc. Homosexual activity is a CHOICE. Any sexual activity is a CHOICE. If it is not a voluntary choice, it is called RAPE. Period.
November 7, 2016 at 8:54 am
Your sky fairy isn’t real. Your arguments are invalid. Grow up.
November 7, 2016 at 9:17 am
And where, precisely, do YOU think life on this planet originated? Random molecules floating around in an ocean somewhere, several billion of which just happened to line up in the right order to form thefirst strand of DNA, which just happened to bump into a few billion other molecules that had gotten together to form the other organelles in the first cell, and all of these things just happened to stay together long enough to be surrounded by a functional cell wall and cytoplasm, then get acted on by some energy source that started RNA duplicating the DNA to cause this cell to divide? Puhleease. Sounds like a pretty desperate reach for an alternative to Creation.
Oh, and by the way, precisely how could homosexuality have EVOLVED? Isn’t a non-procreative practice somewhat self-limiting? I mean, not too many babies are born out of people’s butts.
November 7, 2016 at 7:58 pm
Such hoary Christian Apologetics at work here. You need to understand how science works before you launch a critique of the field. “The Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) is a favorite of many Christian apologists. Here it is:
1: Whatever begins to exist had a cause
2: The universe began to exist
3: Therefore, the universe had a cause
And from this conclusion, they’ll move on to argue that the cause was God. I’ve replied to that argument here, finding numerous problems with both the first and second premises.
One frustration in this business is critiquing an argument and getting no response. It’s like hitting a tennis ball back over the net with no one to return it.
But the Force is with us today. “11 Objections to the Kalam Cosmological Argument” by Randy Everist is a recent Christian response to objections to the KCA. He says, “I believe each objection can be satisfactorily answered so that one is justified in accepting the KCA.”
Let’s take a look to see if the KCA has been made any stronger and how much of my argument is left standing. (I’ll give the objection to the KCA in bold and then the Christian rebuttal to that objection in italics.)
“1. ‘Something cannot come from nothing’ is disproved by quantum mechanics.” Premise 1 is “Whatever begins to exist had a cause.” This is often misunderstood as “something can’t come from nothing,” and then this is refuted with quantum mechanics. In the first place, that’s not premise 1, and in the second, while virtual particles do come into existence, they came from vacuum energy, not nothing.
There’s no need to misunderstand premise 1, because it’s nicely refuted by stating it correctly. “Whatever begins to exist had a cause” is refuted by quantum mechanics. The Copenhagen interpretation of QM says that many quantum events can be described statistically but don’t have causes—the decay of a nucleus or the creation of an electron, for example.
“2. Truth cannot be discovered wholly from reason. It’s true that one needs some level of empiricism in order to judge many things. However, one absolutely needs reason to judge all things.” The KCA, by its nature, is an argument that can be reasoned out.
(These eleven arguments aren’t mine, and some don’t deserve much attention, such as this one.)
Since we’re talking about the origin of the universe, experimentation is essential. Since the KCA is a logical argument, reason is essential. While I don’t know where the objection is headed, I guess we agree.
“3. Some truths are counterintuitive, and therefore intuition cannot be a guide to truth. This is a classic non-sequitur, on par with ‘some people have incorrect thoughts, therefore thoughts cannot be a reliable guide for truth.’ The point is this: why should I doubt my intuition because someone else got theirs wrong?”
Other people’s intuition sometimes leads them astray, and you’re wondering what relevance that has for your use of intuition? I’m puzzled that this needs to be explained, but very well: while this doesn’t prove your intuition wrong, it means that your intuition is unreliable.
As for the claim you’re attacking—“intuition can’t be a guide to truth”—yes, that’s wrong. One that I would support: Intuition is a poor guide at the frontier of science. If common sense unlocked the puzzles, scientists wouldn’t still be puzzling over it.
Quantum mechanics is an example—quantum entanglement, quantum tunneling, virtual particles popping into existence, a single particle taking two paths to different destinations at once—it’s a crazy violation of common sense. It also happens to be true, thoroughly verified by experiment.
(This objection reminds me of William Lane Craig’s nutty claim that his personal experience of the Holy Spirit was reliable evidence. What do you do when someone from another religion has a contradicting religious experience? Since each party appeals to the supernatural, how do you judge which, if either, is correct? Craig says, “Why should I be robbed of my joy and assurance of salvation simply because someone else falsely pretends, sincerely or insincerely, to the [Holy] Spirit’s witness?” That’s right, he just assumes the other guy is wrong so that he can dismiss the claim. Problem solved.)
“4. Since science is not itself a metaphysical enterprise, the arguer cannot apply science to a metaphysical argument.” Yes, science isn’t metaphysical, but science can still be a tool to study a metaphysical claim.
The KCA is a metaphysical argument? I don’t see how. It makes a claim about the universe, which is squarely in the domain of science. And when it’s tested by science, it fails.”
November 7, 2016 at 8:00 pm
“5. The first cause is logically incoherent because it existed ‘before’ time.” This isn’t an objection to either premise.
This is indeed an objection to premise 1. It questions whether there can be a cause of any sort given that time didn’t exist before the universe did.
The First Cause didn’t precede the universe, because it acted in the first moment—that is, the First Cause and the first moment were simultaneous. “So what we have is a timeless, unchanging (because it is timeless) First Cause whose first act is bringing the world into existence.”
This is metaphysical bullshit. The simple solution is to drop the idea of any cause (First or otherwise) for the universe. The God hypothesis is jammed in as the answer despite its not fitting into this puzzle at all. The naturalistic explanation doesn’t need one, and the KCA vanishes without one.
How could a god outside of time decide anything, such as that the universe should be created? “Timeless and unchanging” means frozen and inert. No conclusions, no changing of his mind, no initiation of any creative act.
“What could cause the universe if there were no time beforehand?” is like “How could a frozen and inert god do anything, like create a universe?” And they’re both neatly dismissed by hypothesizing no cause for the universe, as allowed by quantum mechanics. God becomes a solution looking for a problem. Apologists spend more effort keeping the God card relevant than using it to show that it explains things better than naturalistic solutions.
Cosmologist Sean M. Carroll debated Craig on cosmology (more on that debate here), and Carroll ticked off several models of the universe with no place for a First Cause such as a universe with a beginning but no cause and one that is eternal without a beginning.
And let me step back to marvel that this godly First Cause is advanced by apologists with no evidence whatsoever. Carroll noted that cosmology textbooks don’t appeal to “transcendent cause” or “First Cause” or God, they use differential equations!
“6. If some metaphysical truth is not well-established, one is unjustified in saying it is true.” Does “not well established” mean that philosophical truth is discovered by a poll? And now can new truth bubble to the surface if no one accepts it until a majority do?
When metaphysicians have a track record like scientists, where they give us reliable new knowledge, then yes, polls would be useful. We laypeople could rely on them to know where they’ve reached a solid consensus, and we could treat that as provisional truth. But metaphysics has no such track record. (I argue that laypeople must accept the scientific consensus here.)
As for his concern about “a new idea is fine as long as it’s not new,” we must separate the experts from laypeople. In an evidence-guided meritocracy with a high bar for entry like science, the experts can dream up, advocate, and accept whatever they feel the evidence demands. While we lay outsiders can critique, we have no standing for accepting anything but the consensus (where it exists).
That describes science, not philosophy or metaphysics.
“7. There could be other deities besides the Christian God.” This doesn’t object to either premise of the KCA. Let’s be clear that the KCA is used as natural theology (understanding God through nature), never revealed theology (understanding God from his personal revelations).
Nevertheless, the properties of the cause of the universe—timeless, spaceless, changeless, powerful, creator—do sound like the Christian god.
“Imagine, if you will, a timeless, spaceless, all-powerful Creator of the universe. Sounds like God, doesn’t it?” Well, it sounds like what Christians today think of God, but consider God before he hit the big time—back in the Old Testament when he was still doing vaudeville. He had to personally investigate Sodom and Gomorrah to see if the gossip he’d heard was correct (Genesis 18:21), he regretted having made mankind (Gen. 6:6), he spoke to Moses “face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (Exodus 33:11), he was beaten by the Moabite god Chemosh and couldn’t defeat tribes with iron chariots (more), and he was just one of many gods in a pantheon.
He was more super than the rest of us, but certainly not the omni-everything god of today. God has evolved.”
November 7, 2016 at 8:01 pm
““8. There are non-theistic explanations that remain live possibilities.” Even if the universe has a beginning, there are possibilities besides God. If you’re thinking of aliens or the multiverse, that just pushes the problem back a step.
What is it with this obsession for an immediate answer? Can’t we just say, “I don’t know”? That approach has done well for science, because it puts the spotlight on interesting questions, which then tend to get answered.
Of course, it’s clear why apologists demand an answer right now. They know that science regularly replaces supernatural explanation with evidence-based explanations. Their time window is brief, and they want to score some points for “God did it!” before they have to move on to another unanswered scientific question and hope that everyone forgets the last one they embraced.
Some have argued that a computer simulation like the Matrix will eventually be no more difficult than a homework assignment. Given that, is it likelier that we’re in a simulation or reality? (I don’t know what I think of this option, but I wanted to throw it out there as yet another non-God alternative.)
The multiverse would indeed demand an explanation, but why imagine that God is it? God has never been the answer to anything. If God is the explanation, show that he exists first and then infer that he created the universe/multiverse. The Christian god who loves us and desires a relationship would be obvious, and the obtuse KCA wouldn’t be a way to find him. Every clue points to naturalism as the explanation for this and other unknown puzzles.
“9. Popular-level science teaches the universe had a beginning, but someone says the real science shows it doesn’t. We aren’t given any argument as to why it’s really the case that a potentially-successful model for the beginning of the universe shows no finite beginning. We’re simply to take someone’s word for it, when we actually have physicists and scientists admitting these theories don’t work.”
There’s not much to respond to here, but I include it for completeness. I’ll just note that cosmologist Sean Carroll’s list of proposed models for the universe (there are many) includes a beginning-less universe (more).
“10. The KCA relies entirely on current science, and science can change.” “First, simply because some claim remains open to change does not mean that claim cannot be accepted as true…. Of course we can claim it is true!”
As long as we remember that science can change (and overturn a previously held conclusion), I’m fine with science being used in an argument to support the KCA.
“Second, the KCA does not rely entirely on science. In fact, the second premise (“the universe began to exist”) can be defended solely on rational argumentation.”
I think we’ve found your problem: thinking that “rational argumentation” (can I call this “common sense”?) is reliable at the frontiers of physics (see claim #3 above). The origin of the universe is within the domain of quantum mechanics, remember? You check your common sense at the door.
QM has already defeated the first premise, “whatever begins to exist had a cause” (see claim #1 above).
11. Your first cause falls to the infinite regress problem. If God is your first cause, what created God? God didn’t begin to exist. The First Cause must logically precede all else. There simply can’t be, by definition, anything that came before.
Be cautious when a definition brings something into existence. Like the Ontological Argument, which just thinks God into existence, that may be too good to be true.
You didn’t say this, but let me just add the caution that apologists shouldn’t respond to a scientific question with a theological claim. “My religion says that God was uncreated” is no answer in the real world.
You say that God didn’t have a cause … just because? That’s magic, and I need evidence. Why does God not need a cause if everything else does? Why is God eternal, but nothing else is? How did God create something out of nothing? How can he create the universe when he was outside of time—doesn’t deciding and acting require time?
The most charitable view is that you’ve resolved “What caused the universe?” with God, but you now have these new questions about God. You’ve simply repackaged the question, not answered it.
And if God can exist eternally, maybe that’s true for the universe (or the multiverse).
The author concludes:
Each objection has been dealt with by providing an answer. This means that each Christian, and each person, is rationally justified in accepting the KCA. If that is true, then it seems that the KCA’s truth implies God–not just any God, but the God of the Bible!
Nope. My original post is intact. I leveled five attacks on the first premise and three on the second. None of those were addressed in this article. No, rational people are not justified in accepting the Kalam Kosmological Argument.
You’ve probably seen the famous Sidney Harris cartoon where one scientist points to an involved equation on the blackboard and says to his colleague, “I think you should be more explicit here in step two,” where step two says, “Then a miracle occurs.” God is the step two—the implausible savior of Christians’ apologetic arguments.
The universe that we observe
has precisely the properties we should expect
if there is, at bottom,
no design, no purpose,
no evil, and no good,
nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
— Richard Dawkins”
November 7, 2016 at 3:47 pm
I see I hit a nerve with you Mark. I know it is difficult for you to struggle with your deeply repressed sexual desires for other men. Your Christian faith causes such cognitive dissonance that you feel like you will explode from the conflicting feelings of disgust and attraction. So you lash out in anger against homosexuals praying that will make you feel better and quiet that nagging lust in your heart. I’ll pray for you to find the courage to admit to yourself the truth about your self-loathing and anger. Part of your fear and anger comes from the mistaken and disproved belief that homosexuality is a choice. None of us make a choice about who we find attractive and who we love. When I hit puberty, the sexual orientation fairy didn’t appear to ask me if I wanted to like girls or boys. I was born being heterosexual. Same is true for homosexuals. You were born with to be attracted to the male sex. The ironically painful reality is knowing people who are born GLBT who repress and deny their sexuality because of the brainwashing indoctrination they receive from their supernatural faith-based belief system. So we will all pray for you to overcome this baseless fear, hate and self-loathing so that you may find peace in your life and stop lashing out trying to hurt others to cover up your own pain.
November 7, 2016 at 6:07 pm
Whatever. I have better things to do than deal with you. ‘Bye.
November 7, 2016 at 6:31 pm
Rather than confront your personal demons about homosexuality, you run away from the subject. Seek help before you hurt yourself or others. I’ll pray for you to have your eyes opened. Such anger, hate and bigotry leads to the dark places of the soul where the Devil takes advantage of you. Repent now before it is too late!
November 20, 2016 at 1:26 am
go commune with your Trumpettes friends….get ready for more of these ass holes as bigotry is now OK in the Trump era
November 9, 2016 at 3:02 pm
Yeah, Robert Karma was right. You’re in denial.
November 13, 2016 at 4:03 pm
Hey, “Mark.” You spelled your own name wrong. Here, let me help you… T R O L L. There ya go.
November 20, 2016 at 1:23 am
I bet you are at Trek for Trump member…. you ASS
November 17, 2016 at 4:23 pm
Middle of November and still no casting news wonder if there’s gonna be another delay or get cancelled all together.
November 20, 2016 at 1:22 am
Maybe this is me just being a “baby” but it CBS Paramount spend as much effort on making ST Universe features and TV series as they spend harassing Axanar we would get a better product…Maybe they should hire the Axanar, ST Continues and Phase 2 people and we would get the Trek we all know and love…. (I like the Kelvin Verse so don’t think I am slamming it….. IDIC you all)
November 28, 2016 at 4:56 pm
November nearly ending so it’s not filming this month so maybe December or January.
November 28, 2016 at 11:00 pm
2016 is turning out to be the worst year in Star Trek history.
Paramount gave us a movie that we did not want, and CBS is giving us a TV show that we do not want at all.
Star Trek is dead.