Star Trek: Discovery showrunners replaced by Alex Kurtzman


Disappointing news at Star Trek: Discovery, as showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts have been removed from the show and replaced by executive producer Alex Kurtzman.

Slash Film reported that executive producer Akiva Goldsman also departed the show.

While production still seems to be on schedule, season two hasn’t been without its tribulations and it’s barely gotten started. Showrunners Berg and Harberts have been removed from Discovery for a number of reasons, one being that the season premiere went over budget, taking money allotted to future episodes.

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But the main reason is conflict within the writers’ room, specifically abusive and unprofessional treatment of writers by Berg and Harberts.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Harberts had been verbally abusive toward certain writers and then threatened them to keep it quiet when he heard rumors of the writers’ intention to report him to HR. This is disappointing behavior, particularly from someone working on a socially idealistic show like Star Trek.

One would hope that the creative minds involved in such a show would have more integrity. Discovery also sees the departure of executive producer Akiva Goldsman, who apparently “had a management style and personality that clashed with the writing staff.”

The rate at which Discovery burns through showrunners is somewhat concerning for the stability of the show’s future. Before the series started production it lost what could possibly have been its greatest asset in executive producer Bryan Fuller.

Granted, Fuller’s departure is not unique to Discovery as the man has a colorful history of creative differences and subsequent departures — which in my opinion is everyone’s loss. We’ll have to see how season two does once it’s released and if the series runs into any more problems.

As it stands, I would be surprised if Discovery gets renewed past season three.

As for Kurtzman, there are few people more qualified to take over showrunner responsibilities at this time. Kurtzman, along with being executive producer, is credited as Discovery’s co-creator and also wrote and produced two of the new Star Trek films.

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While he’s the right choice to carry out the season due to his intimate understanding of the show as it is, it is concerning that there isn’t someone more attuned to Star Trek’s intellectual and social roots to balance out Kurtzman’s future-y-flashiness.