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Star Trek: PBS

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Variety , March 20, 2020: "Spacefaring reality series 'Star Trek' announces season 1 cast"

Officially endorsed by NASA, PBS’s new reality series Star Trek is being pitched as an intellectual spin on shows like Big Brother and Survivor. A crew of eleven highly trained individuals will spend six weeks on a simulated space voyage, completing challenges that test their mettle as scientists and explorers.

Unlike most reality shows with an ensemble cast, Star Trek will be more about teamwork than competition. Captained by 28-year-old mountain rescue pilot James Kirk, the crew includes astronauts, physicists, anthropologists, and Olympic athletes. Aimed at the 18-34 market, weekly episodes will be accompanied by live social media updates from the cast, who are otherwise cut off from “Earth.”

[Image: Twitter thread between two fans.]

@softbalrog: i wanna like this spaceship show but theres onlu 1 woman in the crew? srsly???

@wosbv72: no theres like 3 other girls, they just used a bad pic for that article. buzzfeed has the full cast list.

@softbalrog: wait why do some of them have different uniforms

[Image of Keyla Detmer in a Discovery-style Starfleet uniform.]

@wosbv72: idk maybe its like soccer teams having different costumes for home and away games?

@softbalrog: "costumes"

Buzzfeed, March 20, 2020: "Get ready for 'Star Trek,' the spaceship reality LARP show"

We didn't expect our new favorite reality show to air on PBS of all places, but we need something to fill the void between seasons of The Bachelor, and apparently that's... Star Trek?

This show is meant to be an educational look at the future of space exploration, but let’s be real here: it’s a big-budget LARP. Its creators clearly had fun with the worldbuilding, because there's a whole backstory involved. Star Trek's cast of sexy nerds are officers on the U.S.S. Enterprise, tasked with exploring the galaxy. They’ll go on missions to (fake) alien planets, following orders from a peacekeeping organization called Starfleet.

We kind of expected to see some Z-list celebrities in there, but PBS went for a crew of... actual smart people? Check out this exhausting squad of high-achievers:

  • Captain James T. Kirk, a mountain rescue pilot and competitive chess player.
  • First Officer Spock, an astrophysicist with a weird haircut and a black belt in judo. He only has one name because he was raised by Vulcans - an obscure meditation sect that kind of sounds like a cult??
  • Helmsman Hikaru Sulu, a test pilot and NASA trainee astronaut.
  • Helmsman Keyla Detmer, a roboticist who designed her own cybernetic eye.
  • Navigator Pavel Chekov, a 17-year-old math prodigy from the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
  • Medical Officer Leonard McCoy, a doctor. Kirk’s IRL best friend; they met while working for Doctors Without Borders.
  • Communications Officer Nyota Uhura, a professional translator who speaks 12 languages. Nationally-ranked sprinter in Kenya.
  • Operations Officer Joann Owosekun, an anthropologist. (If anyone knows what “operations officer” means, sound off in the comments. We’re just sharing what the PBS press release told us!)
  • Engineer Montgomery Scott. He’s an engineer; whatever.
  • Security Officer Gaila Orion, the only person here who actually seems like a normal reality star, because she’s done some underwear modeling.
  • Science Officer Michael Burnham, a quantum physicist and extreme sports enthusiast. 

[Image: A Twitter thread commenting on PBS's Star Trek announcement tweet.]

@StarTrekPBS: Eleven crewmates. Six weeks. One spaceship. Join the U.S.S. Enterprise as we venture where no one has gone before.

@derrick96: holy shit. PBS is gonna make someone fuck an alien.

@martinjose1: my tax dollars at work lol