Star Trek: Discovery Season Five will be its last, here’s why

Why did Paramount Plus cancel Star Trek: Discovery?

Sonequa Martin Green as Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery is coming to an end.

On March 2nd, 2023, Paramount Plus announced that the upcoming fifth season of the hit sci-fi series will be its last. While a lot of fans were shocked by the news, others saw it coming when the streaming service only ordered 10 episodes for the show’s fifth season. For comparison, season 1 of the show had 15 episodes, season 2 had 14, and season 3 and season 4 had 13 episodes each.

Why is Star Trek: Discovery ending?

Tanya Giles, chief programming officer at Paramount Streaming, along with Discovery co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise, as well as series star Sonequa Martin-Green all released lengthy statements in line with the show’s cancellation. No one of them, however, mentioned why exactly the show is concluding after five seasons.

Sonequa Martin Green as Captain Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery
Sonequa Martin-Green as Captain Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery – the first series in Star Trek history to feature a black female lead as the main protagonist.

But according to a report by Variety, Paramount Plus’s decision to end Discovery with season 5 reflects the financial challenges that most streaming services are facing today. As suggested by Seán Ferrick of TrekCulture in a recent vlog, the decision to conclude Discovery with season 5 is part of the cost-cutting strategy of Paramount Plus, which is currently in the middle of a merger with Showtime.

At an investor event in February 2023, Naveen Chopra, Paramount Global Chief Financial Officer, said that while 2023 will be the peak year of investment in streaming services, Paramount Plus may implement some cost-cutting measures in the near future to improve its financial performance.

But why Discovery is the one that needs to go? Ferrick pointed out that with any TV series, as seasons go on, costs tend to go up for cast members’ salaries, crew members’ salaries, and overall production. And since Discovery is now on its fifth season, Ferrick said that it makes sense that it’s the one that Paramount Plus decided to end.

Why Star Trek: Discovery Is Ending

Has Star Trek: Discovery been cancelled or renewed?

Yes. Discovery has been cancelled. Though it’s already been confirmed in March 2022 that there will be no Discovery season 6, the show is still far from over, as the fifth and final season of the show has yet to come out.

Discovery’s spinoff series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is also still ongoing. The latter’s second season is set to premiere on June 15th and a third season of the show has already been ordered.

When does Star Trek: Discovery season 5 start?

In March 2022, it was revealed Discovery season 5 will premiere in early 2023. But in March 2023, it was announced that the fifth and final season of the show will debut in early 2024.

Principal filming for the fifth season started in June 2022 and wrapped up in November 2022. But in March 2023, a source told Deadline that there will be some additional filming that has yet to take place.

Star Trek Discovery: Season 5 release date on Netflix

Discovery season 5 won’t be available on Netflix in the United States. Since the TV series is an original Paramount Plus series, the final season of the show will exclusively stream on Paramount Plus in the country.

What will happen in Star Trek: Discovery season 5?

Here’s the official synopsis for the final installment of Discovery: “In season 5, Captain Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew of the USS Discovery uncover a mystery that sends them on an epic adventure across the galaxy to find an ancient power whose very existence has been deliberately hidden for centuries. But there are others on the hunt as well… dangerous foes who are desperate to claim the prize for themselves and will stop at nothing to get it.”

Although plot details about Discovery season 5 are scarce, executive producer and producing director Olatunde Osunsanmi revealed in an interview with Screen Rant in March 2022 that the themes and the storytelling approach for the show’s last batch of episodes will take more inspiration from Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation than its previous seasons did, noting that the final season will feature “more exploration and more adventure.”

The remarkable writing team for the upcoming fifth season of the show includes Michelle Paradise, Alan McElroy, Kyle Jarrow, Lauren Wilkinson, Sean Cochran, Johanna Lee, Carlos Cisco; Kenneth Lin, Brandon A. Schultz, M. Raven Metzner, Eric J. Robbins, and Ari Friedman.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5 trailer

Discovery season 5 doesn’t have an official trailer yet, but Paramount Plus dropped a first-look teaser for the show’s new installment at the New York Comic Con in October 2022. The minute-long video opens with sage doctor Kovich (David Cronenberg) posing a question to Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green): “The greatest treasure in the known galaxy is out there, what are you waiting for?”

After Michael answers “Let’s fly,” the clip goes on to display a montage of exhilarating scenes showing the Discovery crew exploring the wild and often dangerous future that they’ve found themselves in. While the teaser doesn’t reveal much information about the plot, the promo video is equal parts action-packed and heartfelt. You can watch the teaser for the new epic adventure of the USS Discovery crew below:

Star Trek: Discovery | Season 5 First Look (NYCC 2022) | Paramount+

Who will be in Star Trek: Discovery season 5?

In addition to Sonequa Martin-Green who plays Captain Burnham in the sci-fi series, the main cast members of the upcoming fifth season also include 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) and Callum Keith Rennie (Rayner).

Star Trek: Discovery season 4 poster
L-R: Blu del Barrio as Adira Tal, Doug Jones as Saru, David Ajala as Clevelan “Book” Booker, Wilson Cruz as Hugh Culber, Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham, Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly, and Ian Alexander as Gray Tal in Star Trek: Discovery

Appearing in recurring roles in season 5 are Eve Harlow (Moll) and Elias Toufexis (L’ak). Meanwhile, confirmed actors to appear as guests in the upcoming season include Oded Fehr (Charles Vance), Chelah Horsdal (Laira Rillak), Tara Rosling (T’Rina), David Cronenberg (Kovich), and Tig Notaro (Jett Reno).

The future of Star Trek on TV

Although Star Trek: Discovery is nearing the conclusion of its incredible journey and Star Trek: Picard is currently airing its third and final season, lifelong fans around the world can look forward to new shows from the beloved global franchise coming out in the near future.

As per earlier reports, CBS Studios and Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout are developing new series titled Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Another Star Trek series in production is Section 31, a spinoff of Star Trek: Discovery featuring Michelle Yeoh’s character, Emperor Philipa Georgiou.

Besides Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, other ongoing Star Trek shows are, Star Trek: Lower Decks, and Star Trek: Prodigy.

Sources:, TrekCulture, Deadline
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