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Star Trek: Discovery Showrunners Reveal Storyline

Unlike previous Star Trek television series, the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery won't follow the captain of a Starfleet ship, and it won't be centered on just one ship—at least, not at first.

In fact, there's so much going on in the beginning that showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg recently gave away some of the details to Entertainment Weekly.

Set a decade before the original show, the series follows Starfleet First Officer Michael Burnham (The Walking Dead's Sonequa Martin-Green), who is the first human to attend the Vulcan Science Academy. 

"Burnham [has] spent a lot of time on Vulcan, but she's human," Harberts said. "Sarek [Spock's father, played by James Frain] plays an important role in her life, which has been completely planned until she makes a very difficult choice that sends her life on a very different path. When we meet her, she's the First Officer on the Starship Shenzhou [captained by Philippa Georgiou, played by Michelle Yeoh]. And Burnham's choice that we're alluding to is most difficult choice you can make—it affects her, affects Starfleet, affects the Federation, it affects the entire universe. That choice leads her to a different ship, the Discovery [helmed by Captain Lorca, played by Jason Isaacs] and there we begin what Gretchen and I call our 'second pilot.'"

Berg said that revolving the show around Burnham affords the show more opportunities to come at the material from different angles. "The joy is in the journey," she said. "The advantage to her not being in charge of the bridge right now is we get to tell stories from a very different point of view. It's a fresh feeling because we're not on the bridge all the time. We get access to more parts of the ship."

The producers also confirmed (as the first trailer shows) that Klingons are a big part of the first season, and they'll be as villainous as ever.

As for which previous Star Trek series inspired the new series, Berg said: "There's a hint of all of them, but in the writers' room people are so in love with The Original Series and Next Generation, and they talk about the family aspect of those cast members."

Star Trek: Discovery will premiere Sept. 24 on CBS before shifting to the CBS All Access streaming service. Until then, take a look at some things we want to see in the series.