CBS’ Julie McNamara and Alex Kurtzman provided an update on the planned Section 31 Star Trek spin-off show starring Michelle Yeoh. The series was announced back in January.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, CBS All Access executive vice president of original content Julie McNamara confirmed they are working on the show and that scripts are already being written and a writer’s room has been assembled.
“We are very excited about the Section 31 show and Michelle Yeoh is excited to do it. She is in the current season of Discovery so she’s working on that right now but we have scripts getting written, and Alex has a writer’s room.”
“We love what we’ve heard so far. It’s yet another tonality of Trek. As Alex has mapped it all out, each show has its own unique sort of voice and vision.”
When asked about the tonality of the show, Star Trek overseer Alex Kurtzman would answer:
“What we don’t want is for you to watch one show and be like, well I don’t really need to watch that other Star Trek show cause I’ve already watched Discovery or whatever. So to me Section 31 is sort of like the black ops CIA division of Star Trek and it was established in Deep Space 9.”
Kurtzman would elaborate saying:
“It occupies an area of the Trek universe that’s never really been explored geographically. It has a new mythology to it, which is very interesting. And it puts Michelle’s character to the test in a lot of ways that Discovery can’t. In some ways it will be her Unforgiven, I would say.”
This is an interesting comparison because the movie Unforgiven centers around an aged outlaw who takes on one more job after he had retired to farm his land. The Clint Eastwood western is hailed for its approach and statements regarding violence, heroism and the reinvention of the person.
Michelle Yeoh previously described her character of Captain Georgiou back in 2017:
“So, I know that she is a war veteran. She has seen the horrors of war because it comes out in the dialogue as well. But she is a very compassionate person. As I look into her, she, by heart, is an explorer. She loved the universe. She loved the ability and the possibility of seeing new stars, new novae being born. She’s always awed by that. That’s what I love about this character.”
“She’s not cynical. She’s not jaded by all the things. She believes — and she firmly believes — in the hope and the goodness of humanity. It’s very pure to play a character like that, to bring her to the fore, but she’s also very smart. Otherwise, she would’ve been dead a long time ago. (laughs) Space is quite a dangerous place.”
Kurtzman credits Yeoh for pitching the idea.
“Full credit goes to Michelle Yeoh for coming to me and saying in season one, before we even launched, “I want to do a spin off of my character!” With Michelle Yeoh, it’s very hard to say no.”
As for who is already working on the show, Kurtzman revealed Star Trek: Discovery writers Erica Lippoldt and Bo Yeon Kim are working on the pilot.
“Erica [Lippoldt] and Bo Yeon [Kim], two writers on our Discovery staff, started writing a pilot and it’s really different.”
What do you think of this Section 31 idea? Are you interested in seeing a Michelle Yeoh led spin-off? Let me know your thoughts!