Star Trek: Short Treks

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Star Trek: Short Treks
Created by
Based onStar Trek
by Gene Roddenberry
Theme music composerJeff Russo
Composer(s)Jeff Russo
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes4 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Ted Miller
  • April Nocifora
  • Brendan Steacy
  • Boris Mojsovski
  • Franco Tata
Editor(s)Steve Haugen
Running time15–18 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkCBS All Access
Original releaseOctober 4, 2018 (2018-10-04) –
present (present)
Related showsStar Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Short Treks is an American anthology web television series created for CBS All Access by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman. It originated as a spin-off of Star Trek: Discovery, and consists of several shorts that utilize settings and characters from that series and the wider Star Trek universe. The shorts are between 15 and 18 minutes in length.

After signing a deal to expand the Star Trek franchise on television, Kurtzman announced Short Treks as the first such project in July 2018. The first four episodes aired from October 4, 2018 to January 3, 2019, between the first and second seasons of Discovery. The shorts were mostly produced by cast and crew members from Discovery, including composer Jeff Russo who provided a new main title theme for the series. Filming took place in Toronto, Canada on the set of Discovery.

In January 2019, it was announced that the series had been renewed for two additional animated episodes that are set to air following the conclusion of Discovery's second season. Four additional live action episodes were announced in June 2019; three featuring Captain Christopher Pike, Number One, Spock and the crew of the USS Enterprise and one set prior to the start of the series Star Trek: Picard.


Each episode of Star Trek: Short Treks tells a stand-alone story that serves as an "opportunity for deeper storytelling and exploration of key characters and themes that fit into Star Trek: Discovery and the expanding Star Trek universe."[1]


In June 2018, after becoming sole showrunner of the series Star Trek: Discovery, Alex Kurtzman signed a five-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios to expand the Star Trek franchise beyond Discovery to several new series, miniseries, and animated series.[2] A month later, he announced at San Diego Comic Con that a spin-off miniseries titled Star Trek: Short Treks, consisting of four shorts, would be released monthly between the first two seasons of Discovery. He said they would "deliver closed-ended stories while revealing clues about what's to come in future Star Trek: Discovery episodes. They'll also introduce audiences to new characters who may inhabit the larger world of Star Trek." The shorts were expected to be around 10 to 15 minutes long.[1][3]

CBS CCO David Nevins indicated in December 2018 that there would be more shorts released between the end of Discovery's second season and the release of the new series featuring the Star Trek character Jean-Luc Picard.[4] A month later, CBS All Access was confirmed to have ordered two new installments of Short Treks to be released in that time period, with both set to be animated. Kurtzman described the shorts as expanding "the definition of Star Trek" and allowing them to tell "very intimate, emotional stories that are side stories to characters. So you get the benefit of the experience in and of itself but then when you watch Discovery you'll see that these were all setting up things" in the main series.[5] Kurtzman suggested in February that future shorts could tie directly into other new Star Trek series instead of Discovery, and be used to introduce ideas to audiences and set up mysteries.[6]

In July 2019, six new shorts were announced. The shorts will include three-live action shorts starring Number One, Spock, and Captain Pike. The names for the shorts were announced as "Ask Not", "Q&A", "The Trouble with Edward", "The Girl Who Made the Stars", "Ephaim and Dot" and "Children of Mars"; these include the previously-announced animated shorts. One of the shorts will include the Star Trek alien species Tribbles.[7]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Runaway"Maja VrviloJenny Lumet and Alex KurtzmanOctober 4, 2018 (2018-10-04)
Following a discussion with her mother, Sylvia Tilly encounters a young Xahean stowaway named Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po. Tilly, who is accustomed to taking orders from others, decides to make decisions by herself, to help Po return home in time for her coronation.
Cast : Mary Wiseman as Silvia Tilly, Yadira Guevara-Prip as Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po, and Mimi Kuzyk as Siobhan Tilly
2"Calypso"Olatunde OsunsanmiStory by : Sean Cochran and Michael Chabon
Teleplay by : Michael Chabon
November 8, 2018 (2018-11-08)
The USS Discovery, after holding position in space for a thousand years, has evolved to the point that its computer system has become sentient and named itself Zora. She retrieves a passing escape pod carrying a man named Craft. Zora reveals that she has been ordered to hold her current position for the past millennium. Zora initially keeps Craft aboard the ship since she enjoys the company and is beginning to fall in love with him but eventually lets him take Discovery's last shuttle to return to his home and family on Alcor IV.
Cast : Aldis Hodge as Craft and Annabelle Wallis as the voice of Zora (with Sash Striga as the hologram of Zora)
3"The Brightest Star"Douglas AarniokoskiBo Yeon Kim & Erika LippoldtDecember 6, 2018 (2018-12-06)
Young Saru, of the planet Kaminar, is curious and wants to learn about life outside the pre-warp society of his village. Unhappy with the knowledge that he, like all Kelpiens, will eventually be harvested as food by the predatory Ba'ul, Saru manages to send a distress signal into space, which is answered by Lieutenant Philippa Georgiou. Saru departs his homeworld with Georgiou, knowing that he may never return to his planet.
Cast : Doug Jones as Saru, Hannah Spear as Siranna, Robert Verlaque as Aradar, and Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou
4"The Escape Artist"Rainn WilsonMichael McMahanJanuary 3, 2019 (2019-01-03)
Harry Mudd is captured by a bounty hunter and taken to a Federation ship, but there the hunter finds multiple other versions of Mudd already detained. Elsewhere, the real Mudd continues to create android copies of himself so he can continue to evade the authorities.
Cast : Rainn Wilson as Mudd


Initial shorts[edit]

Of the initial four shorts ordered in July 2018, three were set to feature characters from Discovery, with Mary Wiseman, Doug Jones, and Rainn Wilson reprising their roles of Silvia Tilly, Saru, and Harry Mudd, respectively, in a short each. Jones's short would explore the backstory of Saru, while Wilson would also direct the short that he was starring in. Aldis Hodge was set to star in the fourth short as a new character, Craft.[1][3] The shorts were produced on the set of Star Trek: Discovery in Toronto, Canada.[8] In August, Wilson revealed that it was written by a writer from the popular science fiction animated series Rick and Morty and described it as "very funny and weird. You see some alien situations you have never seen before in the Star Trek canon, and I am thrilled." He added that in making the short he assumed it was set after his last Discovery appearance, "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad", but he was not certain of this since it "stands alone" and "doesn’t really tie into" Discovery.[9] The Rick and Morty writer of his short was later revealed to be Star Trek fan Mike McMahan,[8] who went on to create another of Kurtzman's new Star Trek series, the animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks.[10]

In October, Wiseman explained that her short ("Runaway") "fleshes out a little bit who this character is" and introduces Tilly's mother, but otherwise would not affect the second season, so anyone who did not see the short could still understand the main series. Because of this, she did not have an exact placement of the short in the series' timeline though Jones pointed out that Tilly's hair in the short indicates it takes place during the second season due to her change in hair style between the two seasons. On his short ("The Brightest Star"), Jones confirmed that it is set before the rest of the series and explores how Saru first joins Starfleet. He said that his short would tie-into the second season more than the others with "breadcrumbs" and "hints", but the idea was still for the short and the second season of Discovery to stand alone.[11] The writer of Hodge's short ("Calypso"), novelist Michael Chabon, explained that he had been working on a film project with Discovery producer Akiva Goldsman while development on the shorts was beginning, and through Goldsman joined the series as a writer for this short as well as a writer on the new Jean-Luc Picard Star Trek series. This short was the first work that Chabon wrote for television to actually be produced.[12]

Animated shorts[edit]

Kurtzman explained in February 2019 that the animated shorts would have a different animation style to the series Lower Decks, and that they would be directed by Discovery producing director Olatunde Osunsanmi and composer Michael Giacchino—who wrote the score for the Star Trek "Kelvin Timeline" films that Kurtzman wrote.[13] Producer Heather Kadin revealed that the animated shorts would answer questions that previous Discovery seasons had left and "fill in some blanks", while Kurtzman elaborated that the two shorts would also have different animation styles from one another which would tie into the story and tone of each installment.[14]


Star Trek: Discovery composer Jeff Russo composed the music for episodes 1–4 of the Short Trek shorts. He composed a new main theme for the shorts based on his Discovery title theme, and was able to produce a different version of it for "The Escape Artist" which is not something Russo would be able to do between episodes of the main series. Russo approached each short's underscore individually. He was unsure how to approach the score for "Calypso" at first, and whether to have it similar to the music for Discovery due to that ship's presence or to intentionally make it different due to the different time that the short is set in. Russo was ultimately inspired for the music by the dance sequence in the short.[15]


The shorts are released on CBS All Access in the United States.[1] Bell Media broadcasts the series in Canada on the specialty channels Space (English) and Z (French) before streaming episodes on Crave.[16] The first four shorts were released monthly, beginning in October 2018 and ending in January 2019.[16] At the end of January, they were all made available to countries outside of the United States and Canada on Netflix under the "Trailers and More" section of the streaming service's Star Trek: Discovery page.[17]


Critical response[edit]

In a positive review, IGN's Scott Collura mostly praised the series after the release of the first four episodes saying, "The Short Treks have been an interesting experiment that have mostly worked, and it seems with this final installment that the Trek production team was just starting to nail the formula down."[18]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2019 Golden Reel Awards Broadcast Media: Short Form Music / Musical "The Brightest Star" Won [19]
Costume Designers Guild Awards Excellence in Short Film Design Gersha Phillips (for "The Brightest Star") Nominated [20]


  1. ^ a b c d N'Duka, Amanda (July 20, 2018). "'Star Trek: Short Treks' Set On CBS All Access, 'Discovery' Season 2 Trailer Unveiled, Rebecca Romijn Joining The Cast – Comic-Con". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 21, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ Otterson, Joe (June 19, 2018). "Alex Kurtzman Sets Five-Year CBS TV Studios Pact, Will Oversee Expanded 'Star Trek' Universe". Variety. Archived from the original on July 21, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (July 20, 2018). "'Star Trek: Discovery' Spinoff 'Short Treks' Set at CBS All Access". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 21, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ O'Connell, Michael (December 4, 2018). "David Nevins Touts More 'Star Trek,' Streaming Stats and Backend's Endurance". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 8, 2019). "'Star Trek': Second Animated Series, More 'Short Treks' Coming to CBS All Access (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 8, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ Lovett, Jamie (February 3, 2019). "Star Trek: Alex Kurtzman on the Future of 'Short Treks'". Archived from the original on February 4, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ Liptak, Andrew (2019-07-20). "Star Trek: Short Treks are returning to CBS All Access this fall". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  8. ^ a b Wright, Matt (September 15, 2018). "'Rick And Morty' Writer Revealed For Harry Mudd Episode Of 'Star Trek: Short Treks'…And More?". Archived from the original on January 13, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ Brian, Drew (August 3, 2018). "STLV18: Rainn Wilson Says 'Star Trek: Short Treks' Mudd Episode Will Be "Funny And Weird"". Archived from the original on December 13, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (25 October 2018). "'Star Trek: Lower Decks' Animated Series From 'Rick and Morty' EP & Secret Hideout Ordered By CBS All Access". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 25, 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ Ulster, Laurie (October 11, 2018). "Interview: Doug Jones And Mary Wiseman On How Their 'Short Treks' And 'Star Trek: Discovery' Fit Together". Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ Wilensky, David A. M. (October 29, 2018). "Q&A: Michael Chabon heads for the final frontier — 'Star Trek'". J. The Jewish News of Northern California. Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ Silliman, Brian (February 1, 2019). "Composer Michael Giacchino is Set to Direct One of the Animated 'Star Trek: Short Treks' Episodes". Syfy. Archived from the original on February 1, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ "James McAvoy Gives His Young Picard Pitch + Producers Talk Animated 'Star Trek: Short Treks'". January 28, 2019. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ Ulster, Laurie (January 24, 2019). "Interview: Composer Jeff Russo Talks About The Challenges Of Scoring 'Star Trek: Short Treks'". Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ a b "'Star Trek: Short Treks' To Premiere On CBS All Access In October – Watch The Teaser". September 20, 2018. Archived from the original on September 20, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ Lovett, Jamie (January 20, 2019). "'Star Trek: Short Treks' Now Streaming on Netflix in International Markets". Archived from the original on January 23, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. ^ Collura, Scott (January 4, 2019). "Star Trek: Short Treks - "The Escape Artist" Review". IGN. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  19. ^ Pedersen, Erik (January 18, 2019). "Motion Picture Sound Editors Reveal 2019 Golden Reel Nominations". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  20. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (January 10, 2019). "'Mary Poppins Returns,' 'A Wrinkle in Time,' 'Star Trek: Discovery' Among Costume Designers Guild Nominees". Variety. Retrieved January 16, 2019.

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