The rumors were true: Star Trek: Discovery's fifth season wasn't originally meant to be the final one, co-showrunner Michelle Paradise has confirmed.
Much has been written about the sci-fi show and its legacy ever since it was announced that its fifth season would be the last one, but it wasn't until CCXP 2023 that we heard more about it straight from co-showrunner Michelle Paradise and star Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham).
We'd already heard from Star Trek veteran Jonathan Frakes that maybe season 5 had to be reworked into a final season for Discovery after principal photography had ended, and Paradise confirmed that was the case: "We did not know going into season 5 that it would be our final season. We found out after we were done shooting the season. So thankfully, Paramount+ and CBS Studios gave us the ability to go back and shoot some additional scenes, so really, at that point, it was about wrapping it up in the best way and having it feel wonderful for all of the people who love Star Trek."
It doesn't sound like an ideal scenario, but with all the talent involved, we're hoping for the best.
Martin-Green expressed her excitement and conflicting emotions about ending her Star Trek run alongside an amazing crew, but it appears the showrunners and writers did manage to give her a full arc that was planned from the very beginning. We're of course talking about Burnham eventually becoming the captain of the Discovery. Here's what she had to say about the long-in-the-works arc, highlighting how much of the show was about going on that journey with her: "It feels amazing… We had planned for this to be a journey to the chair, and I couldn’t exactly share that with everybody, ‘cause it was a little bit of a secret then… When Burnham sits down on that chair for the first time, at the end of season 3, you feel it too."
As far as TV shows cancellations go, this one doesn't sound too bad, so maybe Star Trek: Discovery has a solid chance at sticking the landing.
Star Trek: Discovery season 5 will debut on Paramount+ in April, but we don't know the specific date of its final premiere yet. Meanwhile, Star Trek's TV plans remain healthy in spite of Discovery's cancellation, with Strange New Worlds spearheading the charge with a third season that should be shooting well into 2024.