Well, this is unexpected.
I was skeptical when news first broke about the upcoming Star Trek reboot headed to CBS All Access in 2017 because the last two movies were generally mediocre and I don’t have much faith in the creative team responsible. However, that was before we learned that the network planned to add some new talent to the mix. CBS has announced that Bryan Fuller will step in as the co-creator and Executive Producer of the new series, and I suddenly find that I’m very curious about everything related to the reboot. The longtime TV veteran recently finished work on a little show called Hannibal, and while I don’t want to overstate matters, Hannibal is basically the greatest TV show ever created and it will always have a special place in the hearts of everyone here at Dork Shelf.
It should go without saying that he’s a fantastic addition to the Star Trek team. Fuller is responsible for some of the most inventive and ambitious television in recent years – in addition to Hannibal, he created Pushing Daisies and is currently helming an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods – but he’s no stranger to more traditional genre fare. Fuller launched his career as a writer for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, so he’s clearly familiar with the workings of that universe.
In some ways it’s a little disappointing. Fuller has an unparalleled eye for the weird, the outlandish, and the surreal, and that talent seems like it might be more constrained on an ordinary network production. I’d rather see him focus on shows like American Gods, if only because there are far fewer show runners that could handle such strange source material than there are show runners that could do decent work with a show like Star Trek, which already has an established aesthetic template.
However, those limitations didn’t hold him back with Hannibal, and that’s also what makes him such an inspired choice. Fuller is such a singular talent that he improves everything he’s associated with and his hiring immediately makes the new Star Trek destination television (at least for the first few episodes). I can’t wait to see what Star Trek looks like with his design.