The design of the USS Discovery bears a strong resemblance to the original concept design (by Ralph McQuarrie) of the refitted Enterprise for the canceled 1970s film Star Trek: Planet of the Titans. When that film was canceled, the design was also considered for the canceled television series "Star Trek: Phase II".
The ship name and title were inspired by the fictional space craft Discovery from 2001:A Space Odyssey and the real life NASA Space Shuttle Discovery. Producers also felt the name reflected what they called a "Sense of Discovery" relating to the overall Star Trek franchise.
The only country where Discovery will be broadcast in its entirety is Canada. It will air on Bell Media's Space cable channel before being streamed on its Crave service. In the US, only the first episode was broadcast, on CBS, before moving to CBS All Access for streaming. Netflix will stream the entire series outside the US and Canada.
The name of Jason Isaacs's character, Captain Lorca, is a reference to the Spanish writer and poet Federico García Lorca, killed by fusillade on August 18, 1936, under accusations of being homosexual and a spy for what was then the USSR. His corpse was never found.
In the cover story about Star Trek: Discovery that was published in the August 4, 2017, issue of Entertainment Weekly, journalist James Hibberd recounted a moment on the set when Jason Isaacs (playing Captain Gabriel Lorca) ad-libbed the phrase "for God's sakes!" as a new ending to a line. Kirsten Beyer, who wrote the episode, explained to Isaacs that he couldn't insert "for God's sakes" into his dialogue because one of the rules that Gene Roddenberry set for the universe he created states that in his vision of the future in which all "Star Trek" media is set, religion--and therefore all conceptions of "God"--no longer exist. Isaac's sarcastic retort to Beyer was, "how about 'for fuck's sake'? Can I say that?" And Beyer's response was, "You can say that before you can say 'God.'" However, in the 2009 Star Trek reboot, Karl Urban (as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy), expresses his frustration by swearing, "good God, man!" and "my God, man!" It also does not explain the twist at the end of the original series show titled "Bread and Circuses".
The main title theme's very first musical note has the same pitch, length and spacing to the second note as the main title theme for Star Trek the original series. From there it varies until almost the end where a small portion of Alexander Courage's original theme is duplicated.
During a question-and-answer session at ComicCon in 2016, then-showrunner Bryan Fuller said that the inspirations for centering the show around a female lead and a character of color were the actress Nichelle Nichols (who played Lieutenant Uhura, the only black character and the only woman in the main cast of the original series) and the astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space. Sonequa Martin-Green, the actress who was eventually cast as this character (then said to be called Lieutenant Commander Rainsford) is the first black actress to be the lead in a Star Trek series. Martin-Green also has in common with Mae Jemison that both women were born in Alabama: Jemison in Decatur and Martin-Green in Russelville.
Has been picked up straight to series at CBS, premiering on the network fall 2017. The premiere and all subsequent episodes will then be available in the United States on CBS All Access, the network's digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service. Star Trek marks the first science fiction series developed specifically for CBS All Access. On February 19, 2017, CBS launched "The Good Fight" as the first original TV series developed specifically for CBS All Access.
The starship USS Discovery carries the designation NCC-1031. Coincidentally, the Space Shuttle Discovery had the designation of OV-103 and held many of space explorations "firsts" including the first female pilot Eileen Collins.
This is the second "Star Trek" television series to feature a woman as the lead of the series, after Star Trek: Voyager (1995), where USS Voyager was commanded by Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew).
Creator Bryan Fuller voluntarily stepped down as showrunner in October 2016, citing his involvement with other projects as the main reason to take an executive producer role instead. Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts took over with Fuller's blessing.
Every episode of Discovery, from its third onward, will make its world premiere in Canada. Space will broadcast the series on Sunday night at 8 pm ET, 30 minutes before the episode appears on CBS All Access in the United States.
Star Trek: Discovery is the first of the six TV series not to be produced by either Desilu or Paramount. It is also the first Star Trek TV series to be produced by CBS following its acquisition of the rights to the series in 2006.
Anthony Rapp's character (Paul Stamets) in Star Trek Discovery is loosely based on the Top Mycologist in the world, Paul Stamets. The real Paul Stamets has been seen on Ted Talk and can be found on YouTube.
When Saru asks the computer to list the best captains in Starfleet, living or dead, the list includes Captains Archer (From the TV show Enterprise), April (From the original Gene Roddenberry plans for Star Trek the Original Series) and Pike (From the pilot episode "The Cage" from Star Trek the Original Series) as well as Captain Georgiou from the first two episodes of the Star Trek Discovery series.