Star Trek: Discovery promises big changes in season four, with a new captain - albeit one we already know very well - and the promise of "a threat unlike any they’ve ever encountered."
We explore what you can look forward to when the crew of the Discovery return in season 4.
When is the release date for Star Trek: Discovery season 4?
We've known for a while that Discovery season four should arrive by the end of 2021, but Paramount has decided to cut it pretty close: the show will debut on 18 November.
That's the US airdate of course, where the show will debut on Paramount+. Other countries may see the series launch a little later - though here in the UK at least, Netflix usually airs episodes just one day after their arrival in the US.
Watch the Discovery season 4 trailer
A first trailer for the season was unveiled at 2021’s Star Trek First Contact Day, back on 5 April:
What is the plot of Star Trek: Discovery season 4?
The official blurb for the season doesn't give much away:
“Season four of Star Trek: Discovery finds Captain Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery facing a threat unlike any they’ve ever encountered. With Federation and non-Federation worlds alike feeling the impact, they must confront the unknown and work together to ensure a hopeful future for all.”
From the first trailer above, we can see that a gravitational anomaly, measuring five light-years across, is threatening catastrophic damage to life in the galaxy. It will take Burnham and crew, plus the alliances they can forge with the Vulcans and other species, to fight this phenomenon and save the universe once more.
Obviously, the idea of coming together to fight an invisible force that can devastate lives feels quite apt for the Covid-ravaged times in which we find ourselves. So, maybe season four will bring a little cheer and help us all see that working to put aside our differences and helping each other is the best way to avoid being wiped out by enormous gravitational anomalies.
At the end of season 3, Michael Burnham had taken her place in the Captain’s chair on the bridge of Discovery, so season 4 will no doubt see her new status tested in the far-future where they find themselves.
In a panel hosted by Variety, co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman discussed how Burnham earned her command in the last scene of season three and what that means for the upcoming episodes.
"In some sense, it’s an ending, but it’s very much a new beginning because season four for Michelle and I has been largely defined by this question. Every time we broke story, the question is: 'How is this affecting Burnham as a captain?' And I don’t mean affecting, I mean challenging her. Just because she has the chair doesn’t mean that she’s necessarily ready for certain things. And there are choices that she now has to make as a captain that she wouldn’t have to make as just an officer on the ship.
"So every story was calibrated to what new door does this open to her experience of being a captain and what new challenge does she have to face the ship to face and what new thing does she have to learn about herself and to discovery."
Who are the cast and crew for Star Trek: Discovery season 4?
The crew from season three all looks set to return, with the following already confirmed:
- Sonequa Martin-Green – Captain Michael Burnham
- Doug Jones – Saru
- Anthony Rapp – Paul Stamets
- Mary Wiseman – Sylvia Tilly
- Wilson Cruz – Dr Hugh Culber
- David Ajala – Cleveland ‘Book’ Booker
- Blu Del Barrio – Adira
- Ian Alexander – Gray
- Emily Coutts – Keyla Detmer
- Oyin Oladejo – Joann Owosekun
- Tig Notaro – Jett Reno
The director for season 4 is Olatunde Osunsanmi, who has also overseen episodes for Star Trek: Short Treks, Bates Motel, Gotham, Legends of Tomorrow, Falling Skies and Timeless.
Writing duties are spread among several authors, with Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Sean Cochran, Anthony Maranville, Brandon Shultz, Chris Silvestri, and Michelle Paradise all returning.
Where can I watch Star Trek: Discovery season 4?
This varies depending on your region. In the USA it will be exclusive to the Paramount+ streaming service (formally CBS All Access), while Canadian viewers will find it on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streamed on Crave.
In the UK and in most of the rest of the world you’ll be able to continue watching Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix, though failing that there are ways to watch Paramount Plus from outside the US if necessary.