Will “Star Trek Discovery” Be Better for Losing its Showrunners?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: CBS)

It’s not often that I get really excited to hear that a TV series has lost its showrunner. But, then, not every TV show is “Star Trek Discovery”.

Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts took over from Bryan Fuller as the lead creative force behind “Discovery” while the show was still in pre-production. The pair were responsible for taking Fuller’s idea for an anthology show, and turning its initial storyline into a longrunning saga.

Now, the pair are leaving. No specific reason is given for their departure, and certainly CBS seems very happy with their work on the show, but either way, they’ve gone.

In their place, executive producer Alex Kurtzman is going to oversee things for the moment. It’s unclear whether he’ll be aided in this by any other senior creatives.

Personally, I’m very happy with this change.

Fixing “Discovery”

I can’t say I was ever very pleased with how Berg and Harberts went about building the story of “Discovery”. The show’s foundations always seemed solid, but the plot and characterization really irked me throughout season one.

The show relies a little too heavily on sensationalist plot twists and dumb contrivances. All the characters behave like morons or jerks, and the logic behind this is enough to make even (or, indeed, especially) the most dedicated “Trek” fans lose faith in the show.

I’d just love for “Discovery” to be a fun show about likable characters. Is that too much to ask?

Captain Lorca Star Trek Discovery
Source: CBS

It’s easy to throw the blame for this at the feet of the showrunners. Bryan Fullers’ wider body of work suggests that he’s very good at creating engaging characters. Naturally, it’s logical that the flaws in “Discovery” must have crept in after he left the project.

This might be harsh, and I’m willing to reassign blame once season two comes out if it perpetuates the mistakes of season one.

At the same time, the idea of a second season of “Discovery” that’s functionally identical to the first season is inherently tiring.

Captain Georgiou Star Trek Discovery
Source: CBS

I’m very glad, one way or another, that the creative focus of the show will be shaken up thanks to this change. I’d like to see what Kurtzman can bring to the table.

This creative change gives me hope for the future of “Star Trek Discovery”.

Considering that “Star Trek” is supposed to be primarily about hope for the future, this seems fitting.

If the characters are at least a little bit more likable this time, I’ll be pleased.