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What's the Star Trek Discovery season 3 release date? Plot, trailer and latest news

Michael Burnham and the crew of the USS Discovery ended up nearly a thousand years in the future at the end of season two - but what will they find there?

Star Trek: Discovery season 3
Published: Tuesday, 22nd September 2020 at 4:30 pm

After a long wait (made longer by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic) Trekkies can finally rejoice: there's not long to go until the beginning of the long awaited third season of Star Trek: Discovery, and in fact we now have an official UK start date!


After the latest trailer for the series revealed a new logo and a new Starfleet badge, fans have now been given another glimpse at what to expect in the coming season - and it looks like we're in for a pretty exciting new series of adventures.

Picking up where the season two finale left off as Commander Burnham entered a wormhole sending her 900 years into the future, she'll have her work cut out for her in order to reunite with her crew in one piece.

And when they do find each other, the crew of the Discovery will have new challenges to navigate as they track down what's left of The Federation in the far future and take on new threats.

Speaking in Star Trek magazine, actress Sonequa Martin-Green said: "In the… time that I spent alone, I marched to the beat of my own drum, in a way. But then I’ve also always been so duty-oriented.

"So, there’s been this interesting progression of not having to work, not having to be so principle-based, but to just be on this mission to find my crew. We see what it feels like for me to get a little rougher around the edges."

Star Trek: Discovery has ushered in a whole new era of Star Trek on television, as the franchise looks to be more prominent than ever before with four separate shows airing at once.

Fans of Gene Roddenberry's creation should also look out for TNG follow-up Star Trek: Picard, animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks and the upcoming Captain Pike spin-off Strange New Worlds.

However, Star Trek: Discovery remains the current flagship series, but when exactly is season three coming out? And what can we expect to see? Here's everything we know so far.

When is Star Trek Discovery season 3 released on CBS All Access, Netflix and Channel 4?

After months of secrecy, CBS has revealed that Star Trek: Discovery season three will debut on CBS: All Access on Thursday 15th October, with new episodes released on subsequent Thursdays.

The show's UK home will continue to be Netflix, meaning a UK premiere of Friday 16th October - continuing the service's tradition of debuting new episodes a day after US transmission.

The Star Trek Discovery season 3 release schedule will see new episodes follow on Netflix every Friday for the duration of the series, meaning UK audiences won't have to wait much longer than their US counterparts.

The release date comes roughly 18 months since the season two finale, with the delay said to be caused by the coronavirus lockdown, which made postproduction a far slower process.

In May 2020, editor Scott Gamzon revealed that post-production was ongoing on Star Trek: Discovery, with teams working from home as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

He added that it was going to take a little longer than first planned for the series to be ready but promised fans it would be worth the wait.

And star Doug Jones, who plays Commander Saru on the show, recently provided another update in an interview with We Got This Covered.

He said: "I thought I had a guesstimate of when season three was going to start airing, but I have been proven wrong because post-production not being able to work at the pace it would have normally without a pandemic.

“I understand why people are wondering. It has been a while since season two wrapped and the storyline left you hanging with us jumping into the future. That leaves everybody wanting more. I don’t blame you for that. But I got the same message, which is it is coming. I promise you it is coming.”

The first season of Star Trek: Discovery aired on E4 from December 2019, marking the series' UK terrestrial TV debut. It is not clear if and when season three will air on E4 in the UK.

If you're looking for a verdict on the new episodes, you can check out our Star Trek Discovery season 3 review.

Is there a trailer for Star Trek Discovery season 3?

Yes! The latest trailer was released in September 2020 as part of Star Trek Day, giving an in-depth look at the Discovery crew's struggles to find out what they can about their new far-future home, carry the values of the Federation into a new age and try out some very snazzy new Starfleet insignia badges.

You can check out the new trailer - which also includes a look at new characters like Cleveland "Book" Booker 0 above, while below you can check out some new images that were released of Michael Burnham, Saru and Sylvia Tilly shortly after the trailer debuted.

The first trailer for season three was released at New York Comic-Con way back in October 2019, catching up with the Discovery crew after they were flung into the far future.

The short clip teases alternate versions of lead character Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and a universe where the Federation is an all-but-forgotten relic.

Who’s in the Star Trek Discovery 3 cast?

Series regulars Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Saru), Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly) and Wilson Cruz (Hugh Culber) are all returning to the Star Trek Discovery cast.

Additionally, Michelle Yeoh’s Captain/Emperor Georgiou is expected to appear as a guest star in multiple episodes, but her character finds it harder to cope with the trying times ahead.

"I think she’s really pissed off," Yeoh said at Star Trek's Comic-Con@Home panel. "It’s like, ‘Michael Burnham, don’t get in my way.'"

David Ajala and Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery season 3 (CBS)
David Ajala and Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery season 3 (CBS)

The main new addition to the series this year is Supergirl star David Ajala as Cleveland “Book” Booker, a man living in the future timeline where the crew unexpectedly finds itself.

His official character description reads: "Smart and capable, Book has a natural charisma and devil-may-care attitude that tends to get him into trouble as often as it gets him out."

Fans can also expect the franchise’s first binary and transgender characters. Adira, a non-binary character played by newcomer Blu del Barrio is described as "highly intelligent with a confidence and self-assurance well beyond their years” (via EW).

Gray, a transgender character played by Ian Alexander (The OA) is described as "empathetic, warm, and eager to fulfil his lifelong dream of being a Trill host, but he will have to adapt when his life takes an unexpected turn".

"Star Trek has always made a mission of giving visibility to underrepresented communities because it believes in showing people that a future without division on the basis of race, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation is entirely within our reach,” said Michelle Paradise, co-showrunner and executive producer.

"We take pride in working closely with Blu del Barrio, Ian Alexander, and Nick Adams at GLAAD to create the extraordinary characters of Adira and Gray, and bring their stories to life with empathy, understanding, empowerment, and joy."

Plus, it’s been revealed that Kenneth Mitchell, who played several Klingon characters on the show will be appearing in human form.

“I’m playing a human character,” Mitchell told the official Star Trek magazine (via Trek Core). “It’s beautiful, and I’m excited for the fans to meet him.”

What will happen in Star Trek Discovery season 3?

Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery season three (CBS)
Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery season three (CBS)

After investigating the mysterious Red Angel and the signals it was leaving in season two, the Discovery crew battled against the evil AI Control, sending themselves into a wormhole over 900 years into the future (and far beyond any Star Trek TV series we’ve ever seen) to stop Control once and for all. (You can read our full Star Trek Discovery season 2 recap here.)

Now, as the trailer makes clear, the Discovery crew find themselves in a completely new environment where the intergalactic power of the Federation and Starfleet has faded and new conflicts draw our heroes into trouble.

"We felt strongly that we wanted to give ourselves an entirely new energy for season three with a whole new set of problems," co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman said of the new setting.

"We're farther than any Trek show has ever gone. I also had experience working on the [J.J. Abrams] films where we were stuck with canonical problems. We knew how Kirk had died, and we wondered how we could put him in jeopardy to make it feel real. That's what led us to go with an alternate timeline; suddenly we could tell the story in a very unpredictable way.

"That's the same thought process that went into jumping 930 years into the future. We're now completely free of canon, and we have a whole new universe to explore."

Speaking about the crew, he added: "Now all they have is each other. Their families are 950 years in the past. It will be very interesting to see the consequences of the choice they made.

"Saru said, ‘We all signed up for this, and we knew what we were doing. We love each other, respect each other and need each other enough to know we're going to make this decision as a group, as a family’. But it doesn't mean that it won't come with emotional consequences. That's something we'll explore in season three."

While Burnham is going to have a tough time fending for herself in the future, Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green told Star Trek Magazine she'll also encounter challenges upon the reunion with her crew.

She explained: "It’s tough to come back, and to come back to the rigidity that I once knew, that was once home to me.

"I’ve gotten to live in a world where things are looser. I’ve gotten to feel what that feels like. So, It’s interesting because it’s not an easy transition back to the crew."


Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream on Netflix. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.


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