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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ delayed again; James Frain joins cast

James Frain is joining the cast of

James Frain is joining the cast of "Star Trek: Discovery." Credit: CBS TV Studios

To all Trekkers, assorted Federation personnel, Klingons and sundry other interested bystanders holding their collective breaths in anxious anticipation of “Star Trek: Discovery,” the perhaps single most important new series of the entire year arriving this May: You may all exhale at this time.

That May launch date? It’s not happening.

CBS All Access — where “Discovery” will eventually stream — confirmed a flurry of Wednesday afternoon reports saying the launch date has been moved back a second time. Perhaps realizing that handing out launch dates only sparks more press coverage — and fan paranoia — when they’re ultimately abandoned, CBS this time declined to say when the new launch date will take place.

In a statement, the service said, “Production on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ begins next week. We love the cast, the scripts and are excited about the world the producers have created. This is an ambitious project; we will be flexible on a launch date if it’s best for the show. We’ve said from the beginning it’s more important to do this right than to do it fast. There is also added flexibility presenting on CBS All Access, which isn’t beholden to seasonal premieres or launch windows.”

All that sounds reasonable but it also sounded reasonable back when CBS All Access first informed fans that it wasn’t arriving January of 2017 — as originally scheduled — but in the spring.

What happened this time? CBS officials declined further comment. However, a story in Entertainment Weekly — taking note of newest cast member, James Frain, the fine veteran British actor whom All Access had announced to play Sarek, father of Spock — said that All Access was particularly concerned about fan confusion over Sonequa Martin-Green. She plays Sasha Williams on “The Walking Dead” and will be Lt. Commander Rainsford on “Star Trek: Discovery.” Per EW, there was concern about launching her new character so soon after “TWD’s” season wrap in April.

Yes: Great reason. But why didn’t this occur to anyone months ago?

Not to quibble, but fairly or not, delays are rarely good news. They suggest production problems, or more generally “creative direction” problems. While there’s nothing to suggest that’s what’s going on here, fans are probably best advised to just take CBS All Access’ word on this one: “We’ve said from the beginning it’s more important to do this right than to do it fast.”


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