Beverly Hills, Calif. • To be absolutely, 100 percent clear, I am eagerly awaiting the premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery,” and I am cautiously optimistic about the series.
Well, I’m trying to be cautious in an effort to keep my expectations from getting out of control. Which is very close to happening.
But it made me at least a bit less confident when Akiva Goldsman, one of the “Discovery” executive producers, told members of the Television Critics Association that the forthcoming series is “the very first-ever serialized ‘Star Trek.’”
Ack! That is absolutely not true. Not even close.
Goldsman’s comment was met by groans of dissent from several of the critics — including yours truly. When one of my colleagues pointed to “Deep Space Nine,” Goldsman responded by trying to out-”Trek” the people who corrected him.
“I was at the 1976 ‘Star Trek’ convention. I still have my brochure,” he said. And, yes, he has an Oscar for best adapted screenplay for “A Beautiful Mind” in 2002.
But he clearly didn’t watch all the “Trek” series, because he is flat-out wrong about “Discovery” being the first to be serialized.
“Deep Space Nine” (1993-99) introduced the highly antagonistic Dominion in Season 2, and the Dominion War was serialized over Seasons 3-7. Before the series ended, it dropped stand-alone episodes in favor of an arc built around that war.
It was the first serialized “Star Trek,” but it was not the last. “Voyager” (1995-2001) was serialized from beginning to end. Not all 172 episodes, but it began with Capt. Janeway and her crew being flung across the galaxy — 70,000 light years and 75 years of travel from home.
There were plenty of stand-alone episodes, but the series was always driven by that journey — and it culminated with a two-parter that saw the Voyager returning to Earth.
And “Star Trek: Enterprise” (2001-05) certainly had serialized elements. There was the Temporal Cold War, which was introduced in the series premiere and continued, off an on, through the two-part Season 4 premiere, 78 episodes later.
And “Enterprise” turned all of Season 3 into a multichapter battle against the Xindi.
So, no, it’s not true that “Discovery” is the first serialized “Star Trek.” Not even close.
“Let me amend it — the most serialized version of ‘Star Trek’ that has ever existed,” Goldsman said.
From what we know of “Star Trek: Discovery,” that’s true. Season 1 will be like one big movie. Like one 15-episode miniseries.
I have high hopes. The effects look amazing, and from what the cast and the writers told us about it, I can hardly wait to see the premiere. (It debuts Sunday, Sept. 24, on CBS and online on CBS All Access; all the other episodes are CBS All Access only.)
Oh, and Goldsman is not the “Discovery” showrunner. He’s one of a whole slew of executive producers.
And that makes me more confident, too.
Scott D. Pierce covers TV for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.