Star Trek uniforms have a fascinating history, both in the real world and in the fictional timeline of the universe. From the first pilot episode, "The Cage," to the second, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," there was significant change. Of course, back in the 1960s, those decisions were made for artistic or budgeting reasons. What's cool is how the writers — and the fans — have retconned these material changes into the grand narrative of the Federation.
The new Star Trek: Discovery is set to premiere on CBS and CBS All Access in September. A new series brings new uniforms. While the show will be the most recent and modern of the six live-action series, it takes place circa 2254, a decade before the adventures of Kirk and Spock in The Original Series. This happens to be about the same point as "The Cage" in the Star Trek timeline. And, as any Trekker will know, this is about a century after the happenings of Star Trek: Enterprise.
So, this was the challenge facing costume designers on Discovery: The costumes should look something of a cross between Enterprise (made in the early 2000s) and The Original Series (made in the late 1960s), while seeming like contemporaries of "The Cage" (made in 1964) and appealing to modern sci-fi audiences of 2017. Phew.
Their success at ticking all these boxes are up for debate. Let's take a detailed look at these new uniforms, with a lovely infographic courtesy of TrekMovie.com.
With everyone on the crew wearing the same hue of dark blue, Discovery certainly brings to mind the more military-styled vibe of Enterprise. The touches of gold, silver and bronze bring to mind the tops worn by Captain Pike and co. in "The Cage." Take a look at Pike and Spock from that episode here and note the color similarities.
Seemingly, the Federation got a bulk discount on brightly colored velour over the next few years. The Discovery threads bear very little resemblance to Uhura's bold red tunic or Kirk's dressy green get-up.
Perhaps they'll explain those sartorial changes in some upcoming episode. We shall see.
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