Star Trek: Discovery will see its fifth and final season premiere in April 2024. Though fans were made aware of the series’ conclusion, this wasn’t necessarily the case for the cast and crew involved with the series. Just last month, series co-showrunner Michelle Paradise told sources that they didn’t actually know the series was coming to an end until they wrapped production for season 5.
Though Star Trek: Discovery’s cancellation caught everybody off guard, Paramount+ and CBS Studios allowed the cast and crew to go back into production, and tie up some loose ends so the series will have a satisfying conclusion. It may not be an ideal scenario, but it’s better than the show getting canceled without addressing and ironing out some pretty significant story arcs that would have otherwise been left incomplete. One of the more notable story arcs that will be addressed involves Burnham’s position as captain of the titular spacecraft, a position she secured at the end of season 3.
In other words, even though Star Trek: Discovery is ultimately getting canceled, viewers will be able to appreciate the fact that the series will stick the landing with an ending that’s somewhat close to what the showrunners originally intended.
Star Trek: Discovery is the seventh Star Trek series. Starting out in the 23rd century, about a decade before the events that took place in The Original Series, Discovery traveled to the 32nd century in season 2, which remained the primary setting for the remainder of the series. Critically speaking, the series was well-received and doesn’t have a Rotten Tomatoes rating below 81 percent throughout the first four seasons.
Despite Star Trek: Discovery’s critical success, it was far from a fan-favorite. Though all four seasons boast an average 85 percent critical score, the audience score is at a dismal 37 percent. Since audience scores are more strongly correlated to overall viewership, Discovery simply wasn’t pulling the numbers to make it a financially viable intellectual property.
Each episode of Star Trek: Discovery is rumored to cost up to $10 million per episode. And ever since streaming services like Paramount+ raised their subscription prices, the decline in revenue resulted in the series no longer turning a profit.
Star Trek: Picard also saw its conclusion on April 20, 2023, but for a different reason. Though Picard was both a commercially and critically successful Star Trek series, it was canceled because the show’s story arc was always planned to run across three seasons. In a world where viewers liked it more, Star Trek: Discovery could have been renewed for subsequent installments, but the unfortunate reality is that the streaming numbers weren’t strong enough to take this route.
But not all hope is lost. Though we’re going to have to say goodbye to Star Trek: Discovery upon its season 5 release, Trekkies still have new seasons of the much better-received series’ Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds to look forward to. A new series, entitled Starfleet Academy, is also currently in the pre-production phases after having been green-lit by Paramount+ this past March.