Even though it had been said that Bryan Fuller would remain an executive producer for Star Trek: Discovery, Fuller is now clarifying that the only work he will do on season one of the show is what he’s already done.
Speaking to Newsweek, Fuller stuck to the explanation already given — that he was just too busy with getting American Gods right to stay with Star Trek. Specifically, he, said, timing was the problem:
Ultimately, with my responsibilities [elsewhere], I could not do what CBS needed to have done in the time they needed it done for Star Trek. It felt like it was best for me to focus on landing the plane with American Gods and making sure that was delivered in as elegant and sophisticated a fashion as I could possibly do.
Interestingly, Newsweek also has Fuller explaining that, even though he will be billed as an executive producer, his work for Star Trek: Discovery is done. He did write the first two episodes and help conceive the show's direction, but he's not giving them any more guidance.
"I'm not involved in production, or postproduction, so I can only give them the material I've given them and hope that it is helpful for them," said Fuller. "I'm curious to see what they do with it."
Fuller, it should be noted, is a giant fan of Star Trek who really seemed to understand what the show should be about. Star Trek: Discovery was exciting partially because of Fuller's very public, stated commitment to delivering a show that was diverse and explored the themes central to the franchise's ethos. Themes Fuller described as, "How do we get along with people who are different than ourselves? How do we find common ground? How do move into the future together?" and said would be "implicit" in the scripts that will launch Star Trek: Discovery.
It's really a shame that we're only going to see a fraction of what Fuller's vision for the show was. And it's a shame that CBS is rushing to get this show out. Newsweek says that it was the network that decided to move forward without Fuller, no matter how diplomatically Fuller describes it. And if the show were to get a season two, Fuller told Newsweek, "They have my number and if they need me I will absolutely be there for them."
Somewhere, there is a universe where we got both Fuller's American Gods (which looks amazing) and Star Trek: Discovery. Sadly, it is not this one.