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Fighting for the FutureEssays on Star Trek: Discovery$
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Sabrina Mittermeier and Mareike Spychala

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621761

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621761.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

From Series to Seriality

From Series to Seriality

Star Trek’s Mirror Universe in the Post-Network Era

(p.105) From Series to Seriality
Fighting for the Future

Ina Batzke


Until Star Trek: Discovery aired in September 2017 on CBS: All Access, all previous Star Trek series typically conformed to the prevalent narrative formats of their historical periods, i.e. most episodes were self-contained. When the series format was violated, e.g. in the two-part episode “The Menagerie” (Star Trek, 1966), this most often resulted not from a desire for narrative innovation, but from budgetary constraints, or to generate cliff-hangers at the end of a season. With Star Trek moving to CBS, and particularly its All Access platform, this traditional format – in parallel to other adaptations for streaming services – changed significantly: Discovery was created as a post-network serial, instead of a series. This chapter aims to investigate how this move from series to serial influenced not only the narrative structure, but particularly the world-building strategies and possibilities inherent in Discovery. As this becomes especially prominent when comparing the story world of the Mirror Universe, a fictional universe which has haunted the Star Trek characters since the franchise’s earliest instalment, this chapter focuses on episodes set in this dimension.

Keywords:   Star Trek, Star Trek Discovery, seriality, streaming, post-network television, mirror universe

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