2020 wasn’t good for much, but it was a great time to be a Star Trek fan. New seasons of three different Star Trek shows released. Two new Star Trek series aired. Fans got 23 weeks straight of brand new Star Trek content.
2021 was supposed to be just as jam-packed with Star Trek content. Both Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery were supposed to start filming over the summer of 2020, which likely meant release dates mid in 2021. However, filming for both series was derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Work on all three current Star Trek series — and a few new ones — hasn’t stopped. It’s definitely slowed down, but progress is being made. What does this mean for new Star Trek in 2021? Here’s the status of each of the Star Trek shows currently in development and predictions about whether they’ll be out in 2021.
‘Discovery’: Maybe This Year
Discovery was the first show to return to in-person production after being shut down by the pandemic. Some of the actors, and showrunners Michelle Paradise and Alex Kurtzman, announced that they would be headed back to set in early November. Unlike Picard, shooting for Discovery did actually start on schedule, as Paradise confirmed on Twitter. So, the cast and crew have been back at work for two and a half months, give or take a few weeks.
So, will any new episodes of Discovery come out in 2021? It depends on whether production stays on schedule. According to the Director’s Guild of Canada, production on Discovery is scheduled to end in June of this year. The episodes will then head into post-production, which can take a few months.
Though Discovery is the most likely of all the live-action Star Trek series to air in 2021, late fall is probably the earliest new episodes could come out.
‘Picard’: Maybe This Year
Late last week, one of Picard’s showrunners tweeted that production was underway. The tweet was promptly removed, but not before people got screenshots. The showrunner continued to post tweets hinting that production had begun without saying so outright. The next day, Michelle Hurd, who played Raffi in season one of the show, posted a picture to her Instagram that confirmed she was on set.
So, after several delays, the cast and crew of Picard have only been on set for a few days. Given how long production is scheduled for on Discovery, it’s likely Picard won’t be finished with production until at least late summer or early fall. Factoring in post-production, it’s still possible that Picard season two could premiere by the end of 2021. However, it doesn’t seem all that likely.
‘Strange New Worlds’: Maybe This Year
Almost a week ago, the lead actors for the brand-new Star Trek series Strange New Worlds began to arrive in Toronto, where the show is shooting. Ethan Peck, who will be reprising his role as Spock, posted a picture to his Instagram and geotagged it in Toronto. In the comments, he confirmed that he was there for filming. Rebecca Romijn, who will be reprising her role as Number One, also posted a picture to Instagram that showed her in the Canadian city.
So, the cast and crew of Strange New Worlds have been on set for just under a week. Their production schedule is likely to be similar to Picard’s, though it could be a bit quicker given the younger cast. The studio might be more eager to launch the new show than a new season of Picard, so fans may get episodes of Strange New Worlds before new episodes of Picard.
Though the brand new show could potentially air by the end of the year, the likelihood of the release getting pushed to 2022 is high.
‘Lower Decks’: Likely This Year
Things are different in the world of animation. The much longer production timeline for animated series means that the creators have to get started long before the potential release date. So, season two of Lower Decks has actually been in production for a while.
In a December interview with YouTuber Ketwolski, showrunner Mike McMahan revealed that work on the show was well underway. He told Ketwolski that the entire season had been written and that several episodes had already been animated. He went on to say that he was hopeful season two would still release in 2021.
Since production on the show has been happening for so long, it’s likely that Lower Decks will be the first Star Trek content fans get this year.
‘Prodigy’: Likely This Year
Like Lower Decks, Prodigy has been in production for quite some time. The show was confirmed in 2019, according to TrekMovie.com, and has been in production since then. However, the projected release date wasn’t until this year because of the lead time in producing an animated series.
Kate Mulgrew, who will be reprising her role as Captain Janeway, confirmed in January that season one of the show would be coming this year. She also confirmed that they were already working on season two.
Given that production is so far along on season one, it’s likely that Prodigy will premiere this year. Whether it comes out before or after the next season of Lower Decks remains to be seen.
So, it does seem likely that fans will get to see some new episodes of Star Trek in 2021. None of the series currently in production have official release dates yet. All of them are still targeted for release by the end of the year, though Strange New Worlds and Picard could easily get pushed back to 2022 if production gets behind.