SAN DIEGO (AFP) - US television network CBS celebrated the 50th anniversary of Star Trek at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday (July 23), revealing that the keenly-awaited new series is to be called Star Trek Discovery.
The name was revealed at the end of a 76-second teaser trailer shown at the sci-fi and fantasy festival which showed a starship pulling out of its mooring inside an asteroid.
Bryan Fuller, a Star Trek veteran who started out in the 1990s writing for Deep Space Nine and Voyager, is to return as co-creator and executive producer of the new show.
"We're telling stories in a new way. We're not so much episodic. We're going to be telling stories like a novel," he told the Comic-Con audience.
He didn't elaborate, but "non-episodic" series typically have story arcs which run across a whole season or even longer, unlike the previous five Star Trek shows, which were mainly made up of self-contained episodes.
The new series, which begins filming in Toronto in September ahead of a premiere planned for January next year, will be the franchise's first new outing in more than a decade.
The premiere will be broadcast on CBS's main channel, with the rest showing on subscription service CBS All Access in North America and Netflix - with a delay of 24 hours - in the rest of the world.
The original Star Trek told the story of the flight crew aboard the USS Enterprise spaceship, which ventured around the galaxy exploring new worlds.
It snowballed into a cultural phenomenon in the 1970s and 1980s, making household names of the late Leonard Nimoy, who played the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr Spock, and William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk.
Shatner was joined onstage for the panel by other actors in the Star Trek canon, including Scott Bakula, Michael Dorn and Jeri Ryan.
Shatner described the Star Trek ethos as "the basis of law and order" and "the basis of civilisation".
"I think Star Trek in general has been about individual rights and about respecting everyone, no matter who or what the are," said Brett Spiner, who played the android Data in the Star Trek: The Next Generation television and film series.
"A lot of our politicians and our fellow citizens could take a page from Star Trek and have a bit more respect for each other and for all of us," he added.