The Star Trek: Discovery season 3 release date is imminent. With today's star date locked in on CBS All Access and Netflix, we couldn't be more ready to head further into the future than any other Trekkie has travelled before. And, once the weekly episodes are all out, it seems there's more Discovery to look forward to afterwards: writing on season 4 looks like it's already underway.
But let's stick to Star Trek: Discovery season 3 for now, and we know quite a bit. We will be taken farther into the future than any time in the history of the show, the 32nd century. Season 2 was rightly criticized for its convoluted story and heavy exposition, but this jump into the unknown is an exciting, welcome reset.
Our remaining questions will only be answered by the series itself now, so we're counting down the hours with you until we're back with Burnham, Saru, and co. Until then, here's what we know about Star Trek: Discovery season 3, the early footage released so far, and the cast we'll be joining on our next set of intergalactic adventures.
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Star Trek: Discovery season 3 release date: October 15
The Star Trek: Discovery season 3 is Thursday, October 15, 2020 on CBS All Access. Today, in other words. International viewers will need to wait a day later to watch it on Netflix. The 13 episodes will roll out weekly until January 7, 2021.
The wait is over – we can finally announce the #StarTrekDiscovery Season 3 premiere date! Prepare to jump into an unknown future Thursday, October 15th on @CBSAllAccess 🖖🏻 pic.twitter.com/nrZhqy0rc8July 27, 2020
It seems as if writing on a fourth season of Discovery has started, too, even though CBS hasn't formally ordered one yet. In a chat with Gold Derby, Kurtzman mentioned that, despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, "we have actually been able to get quite ahead in scripts for upcoming seasons of Discovery". This at least does mean season 4 is in the planning stage, but given the popularity of the show it's likely CBS will renew it once again.
Star Trek: Discovery season 3 trailer: watch the opening title sequence
With Star Trek: Discovery season 3 almost here, we can now see the title sequence, and it's got a few noticeable changes. We can see Michael's longer, braided hair, for a start - when we saw this in the first trailer it suggested the crew reside in this future timeline a long time.
We also see what looks like a 32nd century Starfleet pistols and badges, DOT-7 robots, a red dilithium crystal, Booker's ship, and the wormhole that took our motley crew to their new destination.
As part of Star Trek Day 2020, we got a second glimpse at Discovery season 3, and it shows a galaxy gone wrong. As expected, the Federation isn't faring well this far into the future: it "mostly collapsed" after an event known as "The Burn". That's about the extent of the new plot details we've been given, but the trailer suggests the show has rediscovered its heart and sense of fun.
Let the video above play on after the trailer to watch a panel with Kurtzman, Paradise, and, David Ajala (Nightflyers) who plays new character Cleveland Booker. As reported by Variety at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Kurtzman said Booker or ‘Book’ "is going to be a character that breaks the rules a little bit."
#StarTrekDiscovery takes fans 930 years into the future at #NYCC #StarTrekNYCC https://t.co/6WRTcSa4d0 pic.twitter.com/c1hnkYmGC5October 5, 2019
Above is the first official Star Trek: Discovery season 3 trailer. In it we get our first look at the crew of the Discovery exploring the 32nd century, but we also see a United Federation of Planets Flag with only six stars - is the Federation no more in this time period? Could they be the 'ghosts' Book refers to in the trailer?
It also looks like Burnham is spending a long time in her search to find "that domino that tipped over and started all of this." Early in the trailer we see Burnham change her hair and appearance, suggesting that her adventures may take months, or even years.
Star Trek: Discovery season 3 cast: here's who's confirmed
Here are the key cast members we know so far:
- Michael Burnham: Sonequa Martin-Green
- Saru: Doug Jones
- Sylvia Tilly: Mary Wiseman
- Dr Hugh Culber: Wilson Cruz
- Lt. Joann Owosekun: Oyin Oladejo
- Keyla Detmer: Emily Coutts
- Paul Stamets: Anthony Rapp
- Emperor Georgiou: Michelle Yeoh
- Blu del Barrio: Adira
- Ian Alexander: Gray
- David Ajala: Cleveland Booker
- Tig Notaro: Jett Reno
- Rachael Ancherii: Nhan
- Sara Mitich: Nilsson
- Patrick Kwok-Choon: Gen Rhys
- Ronnie Rowe: RA Bryce
- Maulik Pancholy: Dr Nambue
- Terry Serpico: Admiral Anderson
- Sam Vartholomeos: Connor
It might be worth forgetting Captain Pike and Spock, as they languish in the present. "Our bridge crew is so capable," Kurtzman told The Hollywood Reporter. "We're going to be using all of them much, much more. Especially because this crew has forfeited their lives for each other."
The show has also cast its first non-binary and transgender characters. Blu del Barrio will play Adira and Ian Alexander will be Gray - you may remember the latter as Lev from The Last of Us Part 2. While Gray's character is being kept hush hush, Barrio said (via GLAAD) Adira is "a wonderfully complex character." They're "an introvert, but they keep a few people close to their chest".
Star Trek: Discovery season 3's story is set way in the future
So, how far did the Discovery go? At SDCC 2019, Kurtzman said: "Obviously we made a pretty radical jump into the future at the end of season two – we're going almost 1000 years into the future in season three, which is crazy. Further than any Trek series has ever gone before." 930 years to the as-yet-unexplored 32nd century, to be specific.
Kurtzman also mentioned at the panel that he’s excited by the prospect of getting to "honor canon but shake it up hugely." For Sonequa Martin-Green, speaking to Syfy Wire, this is an opportunity for the show to boldly go where no one has gone before, properly. Visiting new planets, timelines, and sectors is "the perfect way to define us, because we are new yet familiar."
But who will be the captain? Before we had Lorca, and then Pike, but currently the chair is vacant for season 3. And while Burnham and Saru are hot favourites, at the virtual SDCC 2020 panel, a fan question asked Mary Wiseman whether Tilly was in a place to take up the mantle. "I think so. There are some pretty big speed bumps in season 2 on that road. But that's always her pie-in-the-sky, reaching the zenith of leadership within Starfleet." Wiseman said. While the team lurched into the future is "on the edge of the unknown", Tilly was the captain of the ISS Discovery in the Mirror Universe, so it could happen.
Can Discovery bounce back?
The first season of Star Trek: Discovery proved a promising start to the prequel series, but it rather lost its way in season 2. Viewers waded through reams of exposition and technical jargon, and it mostly failed to capitalize on the engrossing, galaxy-consuming war of season 1. Hopefully this new Frontier will be the fresh start the series needs in Star Trek: Discovery season 3, without having to lean on familiar characters.