The new series, announced back in May, will follow the iconic Star Trek characters in the decade before Captain Kirk boarded the USS Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy.
Star Trek producer Alex Kurtzman confirmed Thursday during the Star Trek Universe panel at Comic-Con@Home that the writers' room has already opened and the team is hard at work at crafting the first season, which will consist of 10 episodes.
"The room has started. There are 10 stories broken, which is very exciting. And they're just sort of at the beginning," Kurtzman said. "But it was one of those shows that everyone came in with such enthusiasm and so much love."
He revealed that the spinoff had been in the works since at least summer 2019. "We heard the fans. I really wanted to tell everybody about it last Comic-Con," Kurtzman acknowledged, saying that "real active conversations" were being had at that time.
Peck, Mount and Romijn all took part in the virtual Comic-Con conversation, and they all shared glimpses into how their time on Star Trek: Discovery will shape their characters moving forward on Strange New Worlds.
"Spock's interaction with Michael Burnham is essential to transforming Spock as someone who was born on Vulcan and is half-human, but has been taught to be Vulcan. I think Michael Burnham gives him the permission to be human and teaches him what it is to be human," Peck offered during the Comic-Con@Home panel. "So that is essential to the development of Spock, as we follow along between the emotions and logic going forward to when we first see Leonard Nimoy in the original series. It's a huge character point for me and dictated a lot of behavior for Spock because of his interaction with Michael. I think that's most important for Spock."
"The biggest thing was seeing my future," Mount said of Pike's mindset heading into the new series. "When you see how it's all going to end -- that it's not so pretty -- what do you do with that? I think there's a reason we only see our past because we're a very neurotic species and we wouldn't know how to comport ourselves. So the question becomes, how do you move forward? I think he's going to wrestle with how he can best utilize the rest of his life for the good of the world, the universe."
Romijn chimed in: "And I think a lot of it is surrendering to the unknown together."
"That's probably a very important point," Mount agreed. "He's probably not thinking about it as a team yet because he's wrestling with it himself. I hope he's going to learn to let other people help him wrestle with it."
A spinoff featuring Pike, Spock and Number One had long been rumored, ever since they were welcomed into the Discovery fold. The last time viewers saw the trio was in Discovery's season 2 finale, when the USS Enterprise crew returned to their starship to go off on their next galactic mission as the USS Discovery crew blasted off into the future. (Mount, Peck and Romijn reprised their characters for standalone episodes of Short Treks.)
Over the past two years, ET caught up with Mount, Peck and Romijn about their time playing these iconic characters for the small screen.
"The thing that I liked most about Pike, particularly for Discovery coming out of a situation with a captain they couldn't trust and coming out of a canon where the famous captain we know of, Kirk, is a swaggering lothario, it's great to play a captain who's equally effective but doesn't operate so much from a place of ego as a place of extreme conviction in the Starfleet code and curiosity of what's out there," Mount told ET last January. "He's almost egoless to a fault. If he had a superpower, it would be to turn his bridge crew into a larger brain. When he is in doubt, he has no problem saying, 'I am completely lost. I have no idea what's going on and the best idea wins. Go!' There are all these scenes where you see that happen and you see that happen in the first episode. You see him turn that crew into a brain and I think it makes for great television."
"Absolutely daunting, terrifying. I started out almost wishing I would get fired because I was like, 'This is impossible. How's this gonna happen? How's this gonna work? Am I capable of this?' And I came into a situation that could not have been more supportive, starting with Sonequa [Martin-Green], who really sets the tone for the set and the rest of the cast, the crew -- everybody was just glass half full kind of people," Peck told ET in February 2019 of joining as Spock. "Not only is it Spock, who is iconic and beloved, but it's very difficult as an actor. The work that's done on Star Trek is very challenging and very technical so I had a lot of things to really align and get right to walk away feeling good about it. It was just an incredible experience. It was an experience of a lifetime."
Romijn recalled getting fitted into Number One's iconic Starfleet uniform for the first time when she spoke with ET in July 2018. “When they fit me, they fit me in the original gold uniform from Enterprise because Discovery takes place 10 years before the original series," she said at the time, adding she was "stunned" when she first slipped into her costume. "But when they fit me for that uniform, I was teary-eyed. Because Enterprise was shot in the ‘60s, we’ve gone with a little bit of a ‘60s flair, which is great. And being there on set, there’s a ‘60s vibe on set. The production is amazing. Just walking through the stages up there, it’s gorgeous -- really, really beautiful sets.”
Star Trek: Strange New Worldsis the latest Star Trek series to launch on CBS All Access, which already counts Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek:Picard and the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks in its arsenal. CBS All Access is also in development on Michelle Yeoh's Section 31 spinoff. Sister network Nickelodeon will also premiere the animated kids' series Star Trek: Prodigy in 2021.