After a long absence from television, the iconic science fiction franchise “Star Trek” returned in 2017 to the small screen in the form of “Star Trek: Discovery” starring Sonequa Martin-Green and Jason Isaacs. Despite some initial misgivings over its setting – just ten years before the “Original Series” from the sixties start – the debut of its short 15-episode inaugural season on subscription-based CBS All Access was well-received in reviews, and users of All Access actually more than doubled during its run. A new season is due to arrive next year, but before then, CBS will present some short stories to tie over the new “Discovery” viewership.
According to The Verge, the standalone mini-episodes of “Star Trek: Discovery”, subtitled “Short Treks”, will begin premiering on CBS All Access this coming October. One “Short Treks” episode will be released every month leading to the January 2019 kickoff of “Discovery” season 2. Originally announced during the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con back in July, they are described by show-runner Alex Kurtzman as one-and-done little adventures with immediate narrative closure but will “delve deeper into the ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ universe”. A CBS All Access preview of “Star Trek: Short Treks” was uploaded on YouTube this Thursday.
Each Short Trek episode but one follows a character already seen in the first season of “Discovery” and putting them in various situations. The first, “Runaway” on October 4, stars Mary Wiseman in her role as USS Discovery crew and Starfleet Academy cadet Sylvia Tilly, helping a mysterious stranger named Craft (Aldis Hodge). “Calypso” on November 8 will bring back Craft on a solo adventure after waking up inside an abandoned starship with only a computer interface as companion. December 6’s “The Brightest Star” follows Discovery First Officer Saru (Doug Jones) before he entered Starfleet. Finally, “The Escape Artist” on January 3 stars the young TOS-era con man Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson) on a heist.
The “Short Treks” episodes are estimated to variably run anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, and would serve to show a story that is too short for the average episode length of 20 to 40 minutes, but just long enough to show off a single character, how he ticks, and how he fits in the larger picture of the main series. All in all, “Star Trek: Short Treks” should serve as a great primer for “Star Trek: Discovery” as the show moves into its second season starting sometime next year.
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