Bryan Fuller reveals his original pitch for Star Trek Discovery, and why he left

Multiple disagreements led to the lauded showrunner leaving CBS’ big-time TV Trek reboot.  One of the many exciting aspects about the original announcement of Star Trek Discovery was news of the involvement of Voyager alumni Bryan Fuller. He is better known, of course, as creator of cult shows Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me, and Pushing Daisies, a writer on Heroes, and one of the central figures responsible for bringing Hannibal and American Gods to US TV screens. Thus, his involvement in a new Star Trek project was big news for fans.

It didn’t work out so well, however.

Towards the end of last year, Fuller was ejected from his own show, and left to focus on the now-successful American Gods adaptation. It seemed like bad news for the franchise at the time, and fed into a lot of negative chatter amongst fans regarding what CBS was planning to do to with the TV franchise going forward.

Now, while we still await a really good look at the new show – a recent three-minute trailer is the most we’ve had – Fuller has been speaking to Entertainment Weekly about what happened to his plans for Trek.

The first issue appears to have been a central difference of opinion over the format. Fuller says his original pitch was an anthology series, that would have delved deeper into already established periods of the show. It would have, the EW story says, begun before the original series, told stories around Kirk and Picard’s adventures, and then moved on beyond the established timeline.

“The original pitch was to do for science-fiction what American Horror Story had done for horror,” Fuller told the magazine. “It would platform a universe of Star Trek shows.”

When CBS vetoed that idea and opted for a more standard serial drama, Fuller remained on-board. However, problems mounted up – the choice of a pilot director (apparently Fuller wanted Edgar Wright, but got a more conservative choice in the form of David Semel), the budget, the choice of stars, and his workload on Gods in the face of delays to Discovery all caused clashes with the network.  Eventually he was asked to step aside from the show, and was replaced by collaborators Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, who have been working alongside Alex Kurtzman – the writer of Star Trek Into Darkness, amongst many other things – to eventually get the show on screen in September.

Here’s that Comic-con trailer, that gives us our best glimpse so far as to what’s in store.