Paramount has officially given the green light to the "Star Trek" spin-off "Section 31" focusing on the clandestine operations of Starfleet's military intelligence branch.
However, instead of a series as was thought to be the direction the streaming service was going, turns out that it's going to be a "Star Trek" movie and Michelle Yeoh is set to reprise her role as Philippa Georgiou.
Section 31 is a clandestine security organization working for the United Federation of Planets and was first introduced in the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode "Inquisition" (S06, E18). It's similar to Bureau 13 on "Babylon 5" (that's probably no coincidence) and to a lesser extent, the Psi Corps and the NID in "Stargate."
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Ever since it was reported by The Hollywood Reporter in 2018, we've understood that a Section 31 spin off series was in negotiation, but for one reason or another that all fell through. And then Yeoh went and won an Academy Award for the really rather excellent "Everything Everywhere All At Once."
Whether that slowed things down or expedited the process, we'll probably never know. Given we've had to wait this long, it's more than likely the latter, but it's also sure to have an impact in the planning process, which is probably why this is a standalone movie rather than a television show of 10 episodes or so. And let's face facts, Yeoh is big in China where "Star Trek" currently isn't.
Yeoh's original character died early on in the first season of "Discovery," but the actor returned as a Mirrorverse version of Georgiou who was that alternate reality's Emperor of the Terran Empire, also in the first season. This alt-reality Georgiou eventually ceded power and started a new life as a cabaret owner, and was later recruited by Section 31 by Leland (Alan Van Sprang) — remember him?!
During the "Star Trek: Discovery" panel at the 2018 New York Comic Con, Yeoh said, "And for Georgiou now, it’s a really interesting role, because not everybody knows that I was from the mirror universe. So, sometimes I get to play the good captain, which is always very nice. Compassionate, kind and then, with Philippa Georgiou from Section 31, she is, cunning, devious, and we’re all in leather, the whole time. It’s hot! I mean, it’s hot!"
The show will be written by Craig Sweeny and directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi. Sweeny is a relative unknown in the television sci-fi genre with a Consulting Producer credit on every episode of the first season of "Discovery." Osunsanmi has directed two "Short Treks" (remember those?) the excellent "Calypso" that ultimately didn't connect to very much and "The Girl Who Made the Stars" plus a total of 12 episodes from all four seasons of "Discovery" with a nice equal balance of some truly excellent installments (S04, E01 "That Hope Is You, Part 1") and some fantastically awful ones (S04, E13 "That Hope Is You, Part 2").
On a side note, we do so very much hope that Harcourt Fenton Mudd makes an appearance in the not too distant future. Mudd is magnetic. Mudd is mesmerizing. He is enigmatic, charismatic and just plain mischievous, plus Rainn Wilson's portrayal of this epic, underrated character was magnificent. When is he going to get his spin-off series?
"Star Trek: Picard" and every episode of every "Star Trek" show currently streams exclusively on Paramount Plus in the US. Internationally, the shows are available on Paramount Plus in Australia, Latin America, the UK and South Korea, as well as on Pluto TV in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi channel. They also stream exclusively on Paramount Plus in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In Canada, they air on Bell Media's CTV Sci-Fi Channel and stream on Crave.
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