Star Trek: Discovery’s Emperor Georgiou fans will be pleased to learn that hope is not lost for the planned Section 31 spinoff.
The Star Trek franchise currently has five series in active production, including three live-action shows (Discovery, Picard, and Strange New Worlds). But there is one more show that is still being talked about but is yet to produce anything tangible.
CBS announced the development of the Star Trek Section 31 spin-off starring Michelle Yeoh in 2019. The series was to expand on Yeoh’s current role as a member of Starfleet’s Section 31, as seen on Star Trek: Discovery. But we are no closer to a cast of characters much less an air date.
What do we know about the Section 31 spinoff?
We do know that Michelle Yeoh is set to reprise her role as Phillipa Georgiou and will likely head up Section 31. We also know that the series will be based on the not-so-secret organisation that has been a part of Trek lore since it was first introduced in the 1990s on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series and was heavily featured in season 2 of Discovery.
There were plans to start production on the show’s pilot episode immediately after Discovery’s third season wrapped. These plans had to change due to COVID-19. Discovery’s season 3 just about finished production before lockdown went into effect, leaving no time for Section 31 to begin filming.
All is not lost as Star Trek executive producer Alex Kurtzman remains optimistic about the show’s future. During a Producers Guild of America panel about Star Trek: Discovery he said the show was still in the works.
“We actually have a couple of [Section 31] scripts. Covid frankly, just changed the game for everybody and every show,” Kurtzman said. “We were on a very specific schedule that then got thrown completely into whack because of covid. Even Discovery season four started many months later than originally planned, Picard too. Everything got pushed… So, we’re actually on a great track with Section 31 and I’m very optimistic about it.”
Kurtzman also talked about how the third season of Discovery set up the Section 31 show.
“Obviously, it’s no secret that we’ve been working on Michelle’s spin-off show for Section 31. So, the big question was, how to do it in an organic way? How to do it in a way that paid off the relationship arc that was set up from the beginning? It’s no accident that in the Discovery pilot [Michael and Georgiou] are walking through the desert, and in their final episode, they’re walking through the snow in a visual echo of what we did in the premiere.”
“There’s a whole relationship arc that they’ve had from the beginning of the series. And also, Georgiou has really never confronted, in an honest way, the consequences of her choices as a Terran. And the closer that she gets to the crew of Discovery, with whom she’s very bonded and does not want to say so, the more she is forced to reckon with those choices. So, in knowing that we were going to bring Michelle into the Section 31 [show], we needed to give her an appropriate goodbye that tied up a lot of the story threads that we set up from the premiere of season one.”
I’d say they did a great job tying up Georgiou’s story on Discovery and look forward to the new series going into production and premiering on a TV screen near me.