Travel & Leisure

Going Boldly Back to the Future

Star Trek is Back!

By Lola Augustine Brown

If you’re a diehard Trekker (Star Trek fans don’t like being called Trekkies), you probably already know that a brand-new incarnation of the franchise has just begun its run on TV, airing on September 24.

It was 51 years ago that Star Trek made its debut on TV (and 12 years ago that the last Trek show, Star Trek: Enterprise, last aired). It was the turbulent ’60s, and the show’s optimistic messages about a bright future, racial harmony, conflict resolution, and humanity’s potential were just what America needed. Fortunately, given current events, Star Trek: Discovery is filled with the same spirit.

Sonequa Martin-Green stars as Lieutenant Commander Michael Burnham. Photo: Courtesy of CBS.

Set about 10 years before the original series, the series starts off with Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou, the captain of the USS Shenzhou. The star of the series, though, is the ship’s First Officer, Lieutenant Commander Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green (it was co-creator Bryan Fuller’s idea to give her a male name).

In an interview in Rolling Stone, Fuller and co-creator Alex Kurtzman acknowledge that the show reflects what’s happening politically in the United States right now—an ultra-religious Klingon leader’s rallying cry of  “Remain Klingon!” echoes President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”

For a fan, the series is a satisfying blend of old and new, full of familiar sights and sounds and including more than a few nods to its roots. Burnham, for example, is a human raised on the planet Vulcan by Sarek—the father of Spock—and if you look carefully, you’ll see that Captain Georgiou has a rather special bottle of wine in her quarters: a Chateau Picard, from the vineyard of the family of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (iconic captain of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation from 1987 to 1991).

And a bit of trivia just for us Canadians: the series is filmed at Pinewood Toronto Studios.

Photo: Courtesy of CBS.