Make It So: Star Trek: The Series by Jerry Whitworth
Hard to believe it has been seven years since there was a Star Trek series on television. And yet, at the box office, the Star Trek franchise was rebooted three years ago amidst controversy while becoming the highest earning film in the history of the Star Trek film franchise (with a sequel being shot currently and set to be released the summer of 2013). And while I’m sure this sequel will do well at box office, why stop there? Science fiction shows have fizzled out as late. Fringe is on the way out in 2013, Alcatraz was canceled, we’ll find out in a few weeks how the second season of Falling Skies will be received, and it appears the space opera is dead. So, why not put a new Star Trek series on television? When Star Trek: Enterprise died, it was blamed on fans being burned out on the franchise (considering you had Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager on air within a year of nearly running at the same time together and Enterprise pick up as Voyager wrapped, this should be of little surprise). But, that was again seven years ago and a hot, new Star Trek film again premiered three years ago with another soon to come, the time is ripe for a new series.
Imagine, the history of Star Trek was radically changed due to the events of the recent film. The attitudes and behavior of its characters altered to coincide with these changes. So, to bring this into context, the original television series has likewise been altered so that events either transpired differently or not at all. With this in mind, it creates a cascade effect for everything to come. What if the Klingons never became Starfleet’s ally? What if, for example, it was instead the Romulans? What if the Klingons continued their conquering ways, perhaps sacking planets like Ferenginar, Betazed, and Bajor? What if Spock never met his evil counterpart in an alternate universe, never inspiring him to bring about change on his mirror Vulcan which led to the Klingon/Bajoran/Cardassian alliance taking power in their universe? What if Noonien Soong didn’t stop at B-4, Lore, and Data but laid the groundwork for his positronic androids as its own species through mass production? What if the Borg destroyed Trill instead of El-Auria? What if Picard never met Q? As you could imagine, the events of the film franchise lay the groundwork of an entirely different history, in some ways familiar to us yet flipped in ways that we will be surprised in virtually every episode.
There are several ways this series could work. Consider, Fringe and Alcatraz were both developed by Bad Robot, the same company behind the new Star Trek films, the fan favorite Lost television series, and the latest television hit Person of Interest (and lets not forget Alias). In this capacity, they’re perfect for adapting a new series for the small screen. But, they obviously can’t base the series alongside the film franchise, lest the movies lose their purpose. Instead, it has to coincide in the time frame of the Next Generation era, say ten years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. This way, you don’t risk detracting from the films, you allow the television series writers the room to explore this new frontier, but you also have the ability to bring back actors from three of the television series which can attract older fans (but with the Bad Robot twist for new fans). For that matter, bring back Rick Berman to write the series bible and as executive producer to add credence to the series. And if you really want to get fans excited, garner involvement from the cult favorite space opera television series Firefly by bringing in the show’s set designers, writers, and maybe even cameos with some of their actors. Heralding back to Next Generation, you could even have Zachary Quinto play an elderly Spock to complete the circle with the film franchise.