Bad news for Star Trek fans in the UK, just days before the premiere of Discovery’s Season 4: the show is leaving Netflix, which has been its home (outside the US and Canada) for the past four years.
Instead, the show will eventually air in the UK (and around the world) on Paramount+, the video-on-demand subscription service owned by ViacomCBS – the same service that currently airs it in the US.
The problem, however, is that Paramount+ isn’t set to launch in the UK until sometime in 2022 – which means Britons will have to wait several months (at the very least), before they can watch the upcoming new season of Star Trek: Discovery (unless you use a VPN).
The news was revealed by Deadline, and was a big surprise in the UK and over the world, as even the show’s actors – some of which were in London this weekend, for the Destination Star Trek conference – kept saying Season 4 is coming to Netflix in the UK this Friday.
Look! Cmdr Stamets got new clothes! Season 4 of #StarTrekDiscovery starts next week: the 18th in the US on @paramountplus (& on @CTVSciFi in Canada) & the 19th on @StarTrekNetflix all over the world. (There’s also way more cool stuff than new clothes to see in this season…) pic.twitter.com/RSXp4vGIvN
— Anthony Rapp SAG-AFTRA National & NY Board Member (@albinokid) November 12, 2021
Star Trek Discovery started its life as a prequel series, set a decade before ST: The Original Series. The show premiered in 2017, on “CBS All Access” – the streaming service that eventually turned into Paramount+.
International streaming rights (outside of the US and Canada) were then bought by Netflix, and each episode was available in the UK just hours after its US debut.
The same deal continued with Seasons 2 and 3 of Discovery, and many were expecting the same for Season 4, which is premiering in the US on November 18.
Alas, instead of airing Season 4 – Netflix will be removing all episodes of Discovery from the service this week (There’s no word yet on the other Star Trek shows that are on Netflix in the UK – and whether those are set to be removed as well).
What Is Paramount+?
Paramount+ launched in the US in 2014 (as CBS All Access), with content from the North American TV network CBS.
From its early days, the channel also produced a few original shows, such as The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight, and Star Trek: Discovery.
The success of Discovery has led to additional new shows in the Star Trek universe, including Picard and Lower Decks (both air on Amazon’s Prime Video in the UK).
In March 2021, CBS All Access changed its name to Paramount+, following the merger with Viacom, bringing in content from additional partners, such as Showtime, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures.
Last August, it was announced that Paramount+ will be coming to the UK (as well as Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria) in 2022.
As part of its partnership with Sky, Paramount+ will initially be available as an app on Sky Q (and free to some customers), adding its content library to Sky’s subscribers (presumably in a similar fashion to Peacock, another US streaming service that was added to Sky this week).
However, Paramount+ will also be available as a standalone app, on mobile phones and on a variety of streaming devices.
In the US, Paramount+ offers two paid tiers: $4.99/month with adverts, and $9.99/month without adverts – but it’s still unknown what the UK cost is going to be.
You can learn more about Paramount Plus’ upcoming UK launch here.
Star Trek: Discovery Moving To Paramount+
The removal of Discovery from Netflix came as a shock to fans in the UK and worldwide – and many took to Twitter, where the official Star Trek account made the announcement:
— Star Trek (@StarTrek) November 16, 2021
ViacomCBS Networks International streaming president, Kelly Day, told Deadline that with the expansion of Paramount+, the streamer has decided to bring their titles “home”.
“Repatriating beloved series like Star Trek: Discovery for Paramount+ is another step forward as we bring fans more must-watch series worldwide.”
There’s no word yet on what will happen to the other modern Star Trek shows that are currently on Prime Video in the UK. Season 2 of Picard is set to launch next year, and both seasons of Lower Decks are currently on Prime Video as well.
It’s safe to assume that at some point, those shows will also move to Paramount+.