Star Trek: Discovery will break the longstanding - but somewhat unspoken - "Roddenberry's Box" rule of the Star Trek universe - a rule laid out by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry which says that members of Starfleet cannot be shown in deep conflict with each other or portrayed in too negative a light.
That rule - that Starfleet members must be ultimately upstanding - has been stretched a few times in the series' 50 year history, especially in recent films. But Discovery's showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg say the show will explore conflict between members of Starfleet in more depth than ever before.
“We’re trying to do stories that are complicated, with characters with strong points of view and strong passions,” Harberts told Entertainment Weekly
. “People have to make mistakes — mistakes are still going to be made in the future. We’re still going to argue in the future.”
“The rules of Starfleet remain the same,” added Berg. “But while we’re human or alien in various ways, none of us are perfect.”
But Gene Roddenberry's vision of a utopian future will still guide the series - in a way that, according to the showrunners, is more in line with modern serialized TV dramas.
“The thing we’re taking from Roddenberry is how we solve those conflicts,” Harberts explained. “So we do have our characters in conflict, we do have them struggling with each other, but it’s about how they find a solution and work through their problems.”
Star Trek: Discovery will debut on CBS on September 25 before moving to the CBS All Access app for the remainder of the first season.