This week, just ahead of First Contact Day, Paramount announced some of the future for the Star Trek universe. For many, the announcements came as welcomed news of new shows and renewals. For others, it felt a little like Paramount was milking the franchise in a way reminiscent of Disney and Star Wars. But, either way, there is a lot more Star Trek on the way.
Right up front, we've got information about a few of the shows already in production. The next seasons of both Stance New Worlds and Lower Decks are set to begin airing on Paramount+ this summer. Stance New Worlds Season 2 is slated to begin on June 15 with a 10-episode run. Lower Decks Season 4 is set to premiere later in the Summer, though an exact date and runtime were not announced. We can assume from previous seasons, as well as other series, that 10 episodes can be expected. The kids' series Star Trek: Prodigy, however, will return with Season 2 in the Winter - again without any release date or episode count. Season 1 was longer, but we should not have the same expectation this time around.
In addition to the release windows being revealed, we also know that at least 2 of the shows have already been renewed beyond the next seasons. Stance New Worlds has been renewed for its third season, and Lower Decks has been renewed for a fifth season. Both will have 10 episode runs and will likely premiere in 2024, along with the final season of Star Trek: Discovery.
In addition to the renewals, we've also got news of another series coming to the streaming platform. Starfleet Academy is on the roster to enter production soon. The idea is to follow the students through the academy, allowing for an earlier view at the experience. Cameo appearances would be easy under these circumstances, as Admiral Janeway theoretically runs the Academy at some point, and Barclay is a professor. Plus, other characters could be guest lecturers, etc.
This project has been in various states of consideration and production dating back to the 1990s. The initial conversations of the project were for a film but was replaced in the production schedule by Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country. During the run of Star Trek: Next Generation, Michael Dorn, who played Worf, became a proponent of the concept, but as a TV series to compliment or follow the series.
The concern over another new series is that Star Trek is beginning to feel like Star Wars or the Marvel Cinematic Universe - too much content at one time to be able to follow. Fans are worried that, with too many series, we'll see the quality cuts that have happened at the Mouse House. So far, the production quality has been high, but spreading yourself too thin can produce lower quality, or a less cohesive universe.
Another cause for concern is the new series itself. The series could also be used to springboard other shows, following the popular cadets after they graduate onto their first deployment. Each of these could be new shows, once again leaving room for quality issues. Hopefully this won't be the case, as our crew loves Star Trek and would love to see more GREAT content, but no more BAD content.