Star Trek Seasons Are Getting Shorter And That’s Not Going To Change

By Jason Collins | Published

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Star Trek: Discovery is currently taking its final bow after five seasons and one soft reboot, ending the longest-running show of the modern era, totaling 65 episodes. Thankfully, there are other Star Trek releases to look forward to; Discovery might not have been the fandom’s favorite, but it did spin off into Strange New Worlds, which is quite good. Still, we haven’t seen a Star Trek show other than Voyager ever hit the 100-episode mark, and Star Trek producer Alex Kurtzman believes that that isn’t going to change.

10 Episode Seasons

During an interview ahead of Star Trek: Discovery’s premiere, Alex Kurtzman shared his thoughts on a modern franchise entry ever reaching 100 episodes. Kurtzman stated that such an episode count feels like a tall order, considering that most current seasons of modern Trek are only about ten episodes in length. However, he also added another factor into the equation by saying that “most people watch two seasons of a streaming show, and they check out, you know, and that’s not specific to Trek.

Discovery Season 5 Happening At All Is A Mircale

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Alex Kurtzman isn’t wrong on that front; streaming has forever changed the world of television because content on demand actually provides more options for viewers. This makes it difficult to keep the viewers glued to a single show, especially since the audiences are bombarded with plenty of content from other streamers. Kurtzman also added that the fact that Discovery made it to Season 5 is nothing short of a miracle; sure, the series might’ve been canceled, but far more popular shows, like Stranger Things, also have shorter episode counts for the reasons we previously mentioned.

Older Series Used Filler Episodes

Admittedly, a shorter format isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Star Trek or any of the other shows currently on streaming. Older Star Trek and many other shows were often pushed for 22-episode seasons, which implied creating filler episodes that, honestly, weren’t as good. The audience could always spot a filler. Having a ten-episode season forces everyone involved, from writing to production, to make each of the stories featured in those episodes count as much as it possibly can.

Strange New Worlds Sets A New Standard

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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds actually adheres to this short format in a rather masterful way; it focuses more on character-driven serialization that intertwines personal narratives with the crew’s daily adventures. The recipe is so effective that Discovery reportedly mimicked the narrative style of Strange New World for its final season. Honestly, this might be the new storytelling format for the entire franchise from now on, and if that’s the case, we might actually witness Strange New Worlds make it to 100 episodes.

More Strange New Worlds On The Way

Star Trek: Strange New World Season 3 is currently in production, and the series has already been renewed for Season 4, which isn’t all that surprising considering that it has been a fan-favorite from the moment it first aired. Some of its episodes, like the musical episode and the crossover episode with Lower Decks—which is also concluding its run—have been some of the most-watched episodes on streaming over multiple weeks.  

Source: Cinemablend

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