CBS decided to not so subtlety release Star Trek: Discovery’s rating. If you look at the promotional trailer below, on the top left corner, you’ll see the show will be for adults only receiving a TV-MA rating.
— Star Trek: Discovery (@startrekcbs) August 17, 2017
TV-MA is a first that I can ever remember for Star Trek. Heck, previous shows have rarely even entered the territory of a TV-MA rating. Even though the rating is a bit high from what fans are used to, showrunner Aaron Harbets made it clear the show wouldn’t be more than “hard PG-13.” Harberts spoke to Entertainment Weekly:
I’m not saying we’re not doing some violent things or doing a tiny bit of language.”… But what’s important to the creative team is the legacy of the show — which is passed down from mother to daughter, from father to son, from brother to brother.We want to make sure we’re not creating a show that fans can’t share with their families. You have to honor what the franchise is. I would say we’re not going much beyond hard PG-13.
Harberts did add that they would push here and there.
Are there moments where it merits it that we’re trying to push here and there? I would say we’re trying to push more by having the type of complicated messed-up characters who aren’t necessarily embraced on broadcast.
However, with a TV-MA rating, it appears things have changed since that interview back at the end of July.
There have been times that adult themes have made an appearance on different shows and in the movies. In fact, J.J. Abrams pushed the envelope by showing Captain Kirk in various stages of undress as well as showcasing Alice Eve’s Dr. Carol Marcus in her underwear in Star Trek: Into Darkness.
To add to this revelation is the fact that Discovery will make use of long-form serialized story telling instead of episodic stories that Star Trek series have normally been used to using. Though there are a few examples of an early attempt at long-form story telling such as the Dominion War story arc of Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
Star Trek: Discovery will go live September 24th on CBS All Access in the United States. However, for those outside the U.S., it will be available on Netflix.
How does the rating make you feel? Does it give Star Trek needed flexibility? Or do you think Star Trek is going down the wrong road?