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Star Trek Discovery showrunner drops first major hints about season 4

Star Trek Discovery
(Image credit: CBS/Netflix)

Star Trek Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman has opened up for the first time about what to expect in the fourth season of the CBS series.

Touching on everything from – spoilers – Burnham in the captain’s chair to a potentially very different villain to the one we’re used to on the show, Star Trek Discovery season 4 has had its core tenets outlined by the man in charge of Star Trek’s television output.

Speaking at an online panel hosted by Deadline (H/T Trek Movie), Kurtzman said the show will be "diving deep into science" and also hinted at an upcoming villain – or entity – that will be facing down the Discovery crew.

"There have been many kinds of villains over the course of Star Trek. What happens when the villain is not actually any kind of living, breathing entity, but something else?” Kurtzman pondered. “How do you solve that problem?"

Star Trek Discovery has already dealt with AI, of course, with season 2’s Big Bad in the form of Control. This, however, could be something different.

Happily, Discovery’s much-lauded human aspect still remains as Burnham’s new role as captain sees some trouble in her personal life: "Her relationship with Book will be tested in many ways, for reasons that I won’t tell you," Kurtzman teased.

Elsewhere, the Federation remains intact but, as Kurtzman pointed out, "it’s not fully back together." Star Trek Discovery season 4 could deal with that, alongside spinning the plates of Burnham, a new villain, and a heavier emphasis on science.

Star Trek Discovery 4 is currently filming. The first three seasons will be available on Paramount Plus in the US from March 4 and is streaming on Netflix in other regions worldwide. Be sure to fill out your watchlist with the best Netflix shows and the best Netflix movies.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.