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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

Discovery and the Form of Victorian Periodicals

Discovery and the Form of Victorian Periodicals

(p.145) Discovery and the Form of Victorian Periodicals
Fighting for the Future

Will Tattersdill


In its move to a streaming service and, with it, a less episodic structure, Discovery breaks new narrative ground for the Star Trek franchise – a wholesale move into the serial format. In a marked departure from The Next Generation (somewhat prefigured by the later years of Deep Space Nine), virtually no episode of Discovery functions independently of its fellows; watching the show out of order would not only be confusing, but actively ruinous to an assumed viewing experience built around slow accretions of narrative, long arcs of character development, and carefully placed disruptions of the status quo. The adoption of this format pairs intriguingly with the decision to release episodes weekly, which contrasts with the increasingly fashionable Netflix model of dropping an entire series at once. This decision also brings Star Trek’s storytelling into contact with some far older forms of science fiction, and this chapter seeks to understand Discovery’s serialisation by comparing it to that of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds.

Keywords:   Star Trek, Star Trek Discovery, serialized storytelling, narrative, science fiction, periodicals, victorian, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, H. G. Wells

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