It's a rich time for new Star Trek content, with streaming service CBS All Access building much of its content strategy around expanding the sci-fi franchise. If you're outside of the US, too, it's been pretty easy to keep up with it all, since Picard has released internationally on Amazon Prime Video, while Netflix has the rights to Discovery.
In April 2019, overseer Alex Kurtzman told THR that "The idea is to always have something" Star Trek-related on TV. "Two years from now, a show will end, there will be a little breath and then another show will begin."
While that ambitious plan for 2021 might be slowed down by this year's coronavirus-based TV production headaches, there's no doubt that CBS has enough content in the pipeline to back that up. Seven Star Trek shows are publicly known right now, though a couple don't have titles or even a premise yet, and this includes ongoing seasons of Picard and Discovery.
Do Star Trek fans like the shows being made? As with any franchise that has a long and complicated history, it's really hard to figure out what the consensus is on Trek as it stands. But the volume and tonal range of what's in the works surely has to excite an audience that once enjoyed 18 years of unbroken Trek shows.
We expect to learn a lot more about these series when Star Trek takes over a whole series of panels at Comic Con at Home, starting on July 23.
Below, we'll talk you through every Star Trek TV show currently confirmed to be in the works, so you can figure out if you want to watch them or skip them.
- How to watch Star Trek in order
- The best TV shows of 2020 so far
- What we know about Star Trek: Discovery season 3
Star Trek: Lower Decks
Release date: August 6
Getting Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan was quite a win for this first adult animated Star Trek series, which takes place on the lower decks of the Cerritos, a less important Starfleet vessel. It's the first Star Trek animated series in decades, and features a pretty big name voice cast, including The Boys' Jack Quaid.
McMahan wrote one of the all-time best Rick and Morty episodes, Total Rickall, and co-created the recent Hulu series Solar Opposities, so hopefully the end result here will be good. Two seasons are on the way.
We're not sure where it'll be streaming outside of the US yet, though.
Star Trek Discovery season 3
Expected release date: late 2020
A third season of CBS All Access' flagship show Star Trek: Discovery finished filming a while back, and post-production has been ongoing. We're expecting this one to debut some time after Lower Decks has finished rolling out its 10 weekly episodes.
Star Trek: Discovery season 3 has a killer hook, taking viewers 1,000 years into the future of the Star Trek timeline, which will presumably give the writers a lot of scope to tell big stories without any lore-based restrictions.
Season 2 spent a little too long in the shadow of legacy characters, as well-acted as they were, so hopefully this season will shift focus back to the Discovery's own extremely likeable crew.
Star Trek: Picard season 2
Expected release date: 2021
Star Trek: Picard season 2 is officially happening, but where the story will go is something of a mystery after the series' eventful finale, as Picard survived (sort of) the Romulans' attack on the synthetic world of Coppelius. In season 2, expect the show to deal with the fact that (spoiler alert!) Picard now has a synthetic body, as he found a way to cheat death. We're expecting more TNG cameos in season 2, after season 1 gave fans all-too-brief glimpses of Riker and Troi. We also know Whoopi Goldberg will be reprising her role as Guinan from that series.
Our hope is that the writers will focus on making the crew of newer characters on the La Sirena a little easier to like; Star Trek: Picard doesn't yet have the complete-feeling ensemble that Discovery does, and that's a challenge they need to overcome.
Filming on Picard season 2 was meant to happen this June, but has been delayed for obvious reasons. We still expect to see it next year at some point, though.
Section 31 (working title)
Expected release date: 2021
The most intriguing spin-off in this list, and reportedly the next one in line for filming after Discovery season 3. Michelle Yeoh will reprise her memorable role as the Mirror Universe's version of Philippa Georgiou, who joined the titular mysterious Federation organization in Discovery. Section 31 operates autonomously in protection of the Federation, and is commonly known as an extreme group that works for what it perceives as the greater good. This should show a side of the Star Trek universe we haven't seen yet.
Reports suggested Section 31 was supposed to film in May of this year, but naturally that's bound to be impacted by the current global health crisis.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Expected release date: 2021 (or later)
Star Trek Discovery season 2's versions of Captain Pike, Spock and Number One were evidently popular enough that they're getting their own spin-off. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds features Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn reprising their roles in what's been described as a 'classic' Star Trek series with an angle of optimism, which should sit nicely alongside the more densely serialized likes of Discovery and Picard. As a more direct prequel to the Original Series, it'll be about the crew of the Enterprise in the pre-Kirk days.
Nickelodeon Star Trek animated series
Every ship needs a crew. Welcome aboard!We are proud to announce our very talented Writers’ Room for @Nickelodeon‘s untitled @StarTrek animated show: @TheJulieBenson @shawnabenson @DiandraWrites @QuandtumTheory @GoodAaron @Shoopeedoobydoo @nsjayaram @E_Mac777 @TheKeithSweet pic.twitter.com/LflgH34Oq2July 30, 2019
Expected release date: 2022
Star Trek has so far lacked a counterpart to Star Wars' Rebels and The Clone Wars animated series, but that's set to change. A so-far untitled Star Trek CG TV series is coming to Nickelodeon in the US, and as of July 2019, it had a writers' team in place. Dan and Kevin Hageman, who worked on the excellent Netflix series Trollhunters, are the key creatives behind the show, suggesting that something of a high quality that doesn't talk down to its audience is in the works here.
Little is known about the show, but it will have serialized storylines, and Kurtzman has suggested we might not even see it in action until after 2021. Like Lower Decks, two seasons of it have been ordered, which is partly motivated by the long lead times needed on animated series.
Untitled live-action show (possibly Star Trek: Starfleet Academy)
Back in January, series overseer Alex Kurtzman explained (as captured by Trek Core) that two more live-action Star Trek series were yet to be revealed.
With Strange New Worlds' later announcement, we found out about one, but what about the other? It remains a mystery, but a younger-focused series called Starfleet Academy was reportedly in the works back in 2018, from the Gossip Girl duo of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. An old Variety report about Kurtzman's work on Trek also suggested it was possible a series about the antagonist Khan Noonien Singh was also in the works.
We'll just have to wait and see on this last one. It might even be a different project we haven't heard about yet.
One thing's for sure, though: you'll get all the Star Trek you can handle over the next couple of years.
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Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.