One of the bigger ‘gaps’ in Trek history is the one between the end of Enterprise and the beginning of The Original Series. Before J.J. Abrams and his band of merry men take a crack, Simon & Schuster are planning their own Enterprise sequels and TOS prequels in this period. Margaret Clark is the editor in charge of the Enterprise series at S&S and tells TrekMovie.com that she wants to make it all make sense. "I have taken a lot of what [Enterprise show runner] Manny Coto started and am taking it forward in such a way that it will make sense to Star Trek fans. So they will go "oh this is how we got to Kirk’s era" says Clark. To that end she has taken on the pos-ENT books like an executive producer and laid out an arc and an end point. The first of these novels (the recently released "The Good That Men Do") starts off by tackling the much maligned "These Are The Voyages" series finale of Enterprise. The good news for fans is that Clark feels she has ‘fixed’ it, saying "For the first time I am being allowed by CBS to contradict an aired episode."
Making it all make sense
In the Enterprise finale one of the main characters died, but it was all shown in a holodeck recreation from the TNG period point of view. The logic Clark uses to ignore the events of the holodeck recreation from the series finale is simple "it was 200 years in the future, do you ever think there may be some historical inaccuracies?" The plot for "The Good That Men Do" (in book stores now), takes that premise and explains why there are inaccuracies. "Why is it that Trip isn’t known in Starfleet history, and why did he have to die and stay dead," explains Clark. One of the areas that people most malign Enterprise for is how the look and the technology for show does not seem to easily lead to the Original Series, but Clark feels she has that covered : "There has to be a logical reason the NX-01 looks the way it looks and the NCC-1701 looks the way it looks. If you look at some of Enterprise’s later season episodes with the Romulans, you will see them set up something that by the time we hit the Wrath of Khan there is a logical explanation why Starfleet Ships had to ‘de-evolve.’ Clark seems to have an answer for everything…well maybe not everything. "I can explain everything but the mini skirts," she jokes.
Exploring the Kobayahshi Maru and the Romulan War
Clark doesn’t like the term ‘relaunch’ that is often used for the popular post season finale DS9 books, preferring to think of the new Enterprise books as being from the 5th, 6th and 7th seasons that never were. The next book in this series tells the story of how Captain Hernandez (of the USS Columbia) and Captain Archer are patrolling the Klingon border and come to the aid of a merchant ship in trouble. That ship and the name of the book are "Kobayahshi Maru" due out in 2008. "There is a reason why every Starfleet cadet takes the Kobayashi Maru simulation as a character test in Kirk’s time. It has to be an important event in Starfleet history," says Clark referring to the famous opening scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Next up will be a 3 book series covering the Romulan War. These books should lead up what would have been the second half of the 7th season of Enterprise in 2009. "Manny [Coto] gave me the clues so I can take Archer, his ship, Starfleet and the Coalition of Planets into the Romulan War and into the founding of the Federation" enthuses Clark.
Shatner has his own prequel
While one set of writers works the post-ENT end of Trek history, William Shatner himself is weighing in on the pre-TOS era (with the help of co-writers Judith and Garfield Reeves Stevens). "Star Trek: The Academy – Collision Course" is the first of a two novel series chronicling James Kirk and Spock’s life at Starfleet Academy. Due out this October, Shatner originally pitched the Starfleet Academy story as a series to Paramount in 2003. The books will feature other well known Trek characters such as Spock’s parents Sarek and Amanda. Editor Margaret Clark points out that there is no relation to these books and Star Trek XI, saying "this is Mr. Shatners own interpretation of how James Kirk got into the Academy." The second book in the series is due in late 2008.
MORE: this is the first of two articles from our interview with Margaret Clark. Part 2 on TNG novels here
At the time of this (first!!!!!1) post,
the article has 2 different spellings of the word:
But Memory-Alpha and Wikipedia use a third spelling, “Kobayashi”.
Which is teh correct spelling? I thought it was “Kobayashi”.
did anybody catch the recent CSI episode where
a character named Hodges mentioned that his cat’s name
is “Mister K”, for “Kobayashi Maru …”
(In that scene, he begins to explain the reference,
but he gets cut off in mid-sentence just before he
would have said “Star Trek”.)
Awesome! Enterprise was really getting good in season 4, and now we can finally see how it moves on! Also excellent idea about the origins of the Kobayashi Maru.
Definitely going to pick these up.
I’m takin’ a stab at it here, but I’ll go with this Wikipedia mention:
Originally, Kobayashi Maru was the name of the ship used to transport the supposed jeweled, solid gold, life-sized statue of a falcon in the film The Maltese Falcon.
Oh, and Rura Penthe originally was the penal island from Verne’s 20,000 Leagues.
I’ll still say “Strangers from the Sky” is the best trek fiction book I’ve read so far… but, I have read only a fraction of what’s out there. I tend to skip things with TNG and X-Men on the same cover. Stewart would love that one, I’m sure.
Premise: Paramount is letting Pocket do novels about Kirk’s and Spock’s Academy days.
Conclusion: Trek XI is NOT primarily an “Academy movie.” And in my opinion, that’s good. Let the Shat sink that ship.
I don’t like these long winded explanations for why set pieces don’t match up together from one series to another. Why does the Kirk-era have to “de-evolve” to explain why the original show looked so rudimentary? Why can’t it be conscribed to a changing sense of architectural style and design instead–especially after 100 years? Hasn’t any one heard the old saying, the simplest explanation is the most likely?
I agree with you, Chris.
It’s a tv show- my appreciation of its value doesn’t diminish because “Enterprise” is slicker looking than “TOS.” 35 years separated those two shows. I accept the fact that they have their differences- no cute explanations needed, thank you!
I look forward to seeing one authors “account” of the post-Enterprise to pre-TOS era. I had fun with the last season of Enterprise.
I personally like these stories. It sounds like the Khan Novels and the Crucible books currently out. They build on canon to entertain. I know that to some of you this is an outrage to humanity.
by the way…vote in the latest poll about novels (right column)
Trek Novels are one of the areas we are looking to expand our coverage for both news and reviews…assuming there is interest in this area.
by the way…if you are an experienced writer who would want to write book reviews…send me an email via the tip line.
I read “The Good That Men Do” this week and I can’t say it did much for me.
There is already a Trek book called, “The Kobayashi Maru”. It came out in 1989 and was written by Julia Ecklar. You can read about it here: http://trekkieguy.com/pb1989_06.shtml
I’m also a little leery of ‘explaners.’ Look what happened when they tried to explain TOS vs. Movie era Klingons. There was one cute throw away line in “Trials and Tribble-ations.” We don’t talk about it… or some such. That’s a nod to the audience and it should have stopped there. But no, we get some of the dullest episodes of Enterprise forcing the explaination into our lives. Just accept that this is fiction. Hell, even if it’s real, you can read books on the Civil War and World War Two and not connect all the gadgets.
I read “The Kobayashi Maru.” They worked Kirk’s “solution” from that book into the computer game Starfleet Academy… which was extremely fun. (“Captain Kirk? Captain *James T.* Kirk?!)
But I don’t see the problem with another one called “Kobayashi Maru.” After all, this IS the same franchise that gave us episodes called “First Contact” and “Nemesis” before giving us the movies “First Contact” and “Nemesis.”
I don’t mind these so called “canon violations” so I don’t feel a need to see it all explained and hooked together.
Spock was never at the Academy when Kirk was a student there. Period.
How do we know that for sure?
Does anybody actually include Enterprise in the cannon? Does Paramount even include it? I mean, if TAS can be excluded certainly that dreck should be.
#16 Mark 2000,
Not all of it was “dreck”.
Yes, Paramount includes it and if it bothers you, don’t view it or read it. Simple.
And as for the “cannon” you mentioned, be careful. The business-end of that pea-shooter can sink pirate ships and can really ruin your day, matey.
That’s right Xai, only the parts between the opening and closing credits were dreck. ;)
If Star Trek existed only in a parallel Joshiverse, of my choosing, official Trek canon would look something like this:
Star Trek- the animated series
Star Trek- The Motion Picture
Star Trek- Phase II
Star Trek- The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek- The Search for Spock
Star Trek- The Voyage Home
Star Trek – The Undiscovered Country
Star Trek – The Next Generation
Star Trek- First Contact (altered to a degree)
Star Trek- Deep Space Nine
Upcoming Abrams movie assuming it doesn’t suck and blow.
I am very happy to have new “Enterprise” novels past the series finale. I am in the minority when I say that Enterprise was among my favorite spin offs.
What I have a problem with is the term “De-Evolve” Technology changes in style from time periods but always gets faster and more complex. TOS’ technology was not primitive but streamlined and way more powerful.
Enterprise had a “Vulcan Submarine” style to it. I would suppose because the Vulcans gave them the technology . In the first season of Enterprise they explained how the Vulcans were running the show and spoon feeding Starfleet little increments of new technology. The warp core of the NX-01 was definitely not of Earth origins.
The Columbia NX-02 from season 4 was starting to take on a more gray/white, 23rd century appearance. Games like, legacy, showed star fleet ships post Enterprise that were starting to look very TOS-like. I always wrote it off as Earth making their own style.
NOTE: I am trying to make a computer case mod that is TOS style. If anyone knows where to find parts, skins and sounds, please let me know.
If she wants to talk “De-Evolution”, write a book about the Defiant in the -[22nd] century getting primal and tearing up the ships of the period.
I want to become a regular for this site. Anthony, Matt any positions open?
#18 “suck and blow”
Come now Josh T., you know it’s a physical impossibility to suck and blow at the same time. Then again, I have fond memories of an old girlfriend who came close…
I see Mr. Potty Mouth is at it again (#20). It’s fun being a third grader, isn’t it?
Why would TOS tech “de-evolve” from 22 century tech? Did the cylons invade Earth or something?
We saw on ENTERPRISE that a TOS starship was vastly more powerful than any of the ships in the 22nd century. Just because styles changed doesn’t mean the technology was de-evolved.
Me personally, I want to see some more “ducks ass” Klingons as visualized in the first film, what with their swarthy hairdos, white contact lenses, Starsky and Hutch like Fu man Chus and goatees, and rather hyper-pronounced single crest skull ridges receding nicely back to the ducks ass hairstyles.
Mark Lenard came off as cool as hell and didn’t even utter a word of English, the man just had stage presence.
Speaking of which, something occured to me after contemplating the state of Trek affairs on these boards the last few months.
Everyone that seems incapable of accepting a potential reimagining of Trek, take note: There is already a precedent there I haven’t seen anyone comment on.
Look at how radically different TOS appears visually contrasted with TMP.
With the exception of the actors, who had changed with age as well, not ONE solitary feature from the original series translated over to the first film. Everything was extrapolated, augmented, enhanced, retconned, or re-imagined. Even the FONT in the titles was changed.
Granted, this was a future event taking place post TOS so that time period had not yet been established visually, yet if we can suspend disbelief to such an extent that suddenly toggle switches and static backlit display boards went out of style in favor of cool 70’s hairstyles, pajamas, and awesome Lite Brite Oscillating wave graphics, why couldn’t an equal departure in Trek visual aesthetics be acceptable?
So the uniforms are different for three months one year prior to TOS, so the Enterprise has some funky greeblies and does nothing detailing, at a future point prior to TOS they can have decided well hey, it looked nice but it simply wasn’t working.
It isn’t like this film in all truth can bury Trek deeper in the hole, from rock shit bottom you can’t really go anywhere but up so, I think we should give Abrams SOME artistic license. If it’s a good film, we can rationalize for 6 months how and why some things were different or changed, and if it’s a turd film, it took place in that quantum multiple-universe Gulag where such cosmological anomalies such as Voyager, Enterprise, Generations, Insurrection, Nemesis, and the Final Frontier reside and chew away at stellar matter and reality.
I think personally rather than getting hung up on the details , ( NO NO the Enterprise has a weathered primary hull plate third from the left behind the navigational beacon adjacent to the access hatch from an errant debris field that the navigational deflector didnt well, deflect) if Abrams can capture and translate the spirit and essence of Star Trek, which is sadly what has been missing for some time, we can have winner even if everything doesn’t quite physically look how we think it should.
I am glad that they brought Trip back to life in the book. I do look forward to reading it. It would be great if they used this book as the blueprint for a made for DVD movie. Having a movie where Trip is shown to have not died would be great and help wash the bad taste that was left from him ‘dying’ on the show. Also, having Jake and Nog discovering the truth would be great!
yeah I wish they do an ENT TV movie or better still season five with Manny Coto pulling the strings. I think he had some very good ideas and I liked his writing team’s solution for the Klingon ridges conundrum. I thought season four was good and you could see where he was going to take the series. It would be good if we did eventually get to see a more satisfying ending for the true fans of Star Trek ENT.
I think we would have eventually seen the ENT era slowly changing to a more pre TOS era if we had got the whole 7 seasons.
The last episode should have been a very old Archer, T’Pol and (still alive) Trip at the launch of either April or Pikes Enterprise depending on who ever they decided was Her first captain. They would be reflecting on there last mission together. That would have been my perfect ending for it anyway. I am not sure how old they would have to be to make it to that launch date well into their hundreds as we know it wouldn’t be a problem for T’Pol being Vulcan, Archer and Trip could be evidence of the new golden age of medicine a bit like McCoy still being around at the start of TNG.
If CBS is becoming willing to ignore what was shown on TV, they should simply jettison Enterprsie from canon completely. The events covered to the jerky Vulcans to the technology cannot be reconciled with established Trek lore.
Enterprise was the least popular show of the 5 and added nothing to Trek history other than frustration. In fact the only good Enterprise accomplished was finally getting Paramount to fire Berman & Braga.
De-volve. Must have lost funding like todays’ space program.
Fortunately for the rest of us, none of the haters matter in terms of what the studio considers part of Trek continuity.
Here’s the deal, kids: the studio will never disavow anything that it owns. Even the kiddie cartoon show is being rehabilitated.
Paul Cornell is Absolutely Right(TM) about “canon” pissing matches when he discusses them in reference to “Doctor Who”:
“you’re not saying something like ‘for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction’, you’re saying something like ‘the South will never surrender’. You’re yelling a battle cry, not stating the truth. Because there is no truth here to find. There was never and now cannot be any authority to rule on matters of canonicity in a tale that has allowed, or at the very least accepted, the rewriting of its own continuity. And you’re using the fact that discussions of canonicity are all about authority to try to assume an authority that you do not have.
In the end, you’re just bullying people.”
Read that – it’s one of few intelligent things ever posted on the Internet about “canon” and continuity.
#27 – Dennis Bailey
Thanks for that link… it was a great read and makes perfect sense about “canon”. Would love for some people here to read this.
The one thing I found particularly amusing about Cornell’s piece is that he has a rather idealized notion of Trek and Whedon fandom – he seems to think that we fight less about continuity than DW fandom.
I would have thought the opposite, until reading his article – the DW fans I encounter IRL are such a creative and humorous bunch – but I guess the old Army saying is true: “Where you sit determines what you see.”
The final ENTERPRISE story should have been Archer christening the USS ENTERPRISE (the original 1701). That’s what the final scene of the series should have been, not some unheard speech.
When you look at canon violations, just take Arthur C Clarke’s introductions to his various “Odyssey” series books into mind; each novel was a sequel to the last one without being a direct sequel or even existing in the same universe, per se. So each one could be — should be — enjoyed on its own and for its own merits.
Without a flagrant canonical violation, every Trek novel can be a fun ride.
Hating Enterprise doesn’t make you a Trek hater. If anything, you might argue that liking Enterprise does that, since again, it can’t be reconciled within real continuity and the people who made that mess loathed the original series.
Here are just three examples of things that can’t be reconciled:
1. Vulcan women do not undergo Pon Farr–see Trek III
2. There were no cloaking devices in the 22nd century–see Balance of Terror.
3. There were no viewscreens in the 22nd century–see Balance of Terror
This doesn’t even get into how Vulcans were complete jerkoffs on Enterprise, the fact that Klingons first contact caused 75 years of animosity (meaning it was after the Enterprise era), and the fact that they didn’t bother to write down any info on the Borg.
I have no problems with the Trek novels. I have many and think some are really great works. I don’t really care about canon … but I do think continuity needs to be respected for the most part. Trek isn’t a historical documentary, it’s fantasy sci-fi. It’s meant to be enjoyed. When I read some of the novels.. I think, why can’t this be part of the Trek universe I am reading? Some even follow canon, so why not? I’ve always thought of the animated series to be the rest of the 5 year mission. Anyway, my feeling is that canon is in the eye of the beholder. If a novel or the new movie does not follow it.. it will not take away from my enjoyment.
The best Trek movie, Star Trek 2, took many liberties with canon … like the famous Chekov/Khan meeting. And this was the fan fav film.
Don’t take things too seriously.. enjoy the work and attention Trek is getting the past 40 years. It’s a fun ride that won’t end any time soon.
Thems my 2 Canadian cents worth..
“1. Vulcan women do not undergo Pon Farr–see Trek III
2. There were no cloaking devices in the 22nd century–see Balance of Terror.
3. There were no viewscreens in the 22nd century–see Balance of Terror
This doesn’t even get into how Vulcans were complete jerkoffs on Enterprise, the fact that Klingons first contact caused 75 years of animosity (meaning it was after the Enterprise era), and the fact that they didn’t bother to write down any info on the Borg.”
The most respectful response to that which is at all appropriate would be along the lines of “BFD.”
I like most things called “Star Trek” – the original series, the movies, most of the modern series most of the time. I have my own preferred and less preferred – some *much* less – but for the most part am not willing to assume that anyone else ought to agree with me in order to be “right.”
The haters have nothing interesting to say. They bore me.
So it seems based off that MTv interview, this film is finally confirmed to be a re-imagining, not a prequel, intended to be titled simply “Star Trek” and featuring Kirk,Spock, and the U.S.S. Enterprise with “more action than any other Trek film.”
Anthony I think this may deserve it’s own topic.
34: BFD–that’s the attitude that got Trek canceled in the first place. It IS a BFD. It was a sign of the lazy, sloppy writing and sheer hatred for TOS that got B&B into trouble. And it is also indicative of the fact that the horrible writing of the Berman era is indefensible, even by the apologists.
BFD–that’s about what most people would say if Enterprise was completely ignored by all future Trek, just like it was pretty much ignored by the TV viewing public.
As for the MTV interview, the word, re-imagining is not in quotes, it was used by the author. If the movie is going to follow canon, it doesn’t matter how it’s labeled. My biggest concern is whether Shatner and Nimoy will be used and how.
I’m glad to hear it Enterprise was a great show and probably the best of all the series. With episodes like Dear Doctor, Cogenitor, Babel, Damage, The Breach and so on this show have now became my favorite trek. If you don’t want to acept Enterprise then fine but don’t be made if other people do.
#32 – Was that actually said by Saavik in Star Trek 3? I don’t recall her saying to David that females did not experience pon farr.
MTV interview with writers Orci and Kurtzman :
Not a prequel but a “reimagining” which is somehow completely true to the fanbase while discarding the previous economic model for the films based upon “bringing the broad audience into Trek for the first time.”
Have at it. 8)
She mentioned how Vulcan males undergo Pon Farr. She specifically said males.
Enterprise should just be considered some alternate universe and not part of Trek canon, not unlike TAS.
#40: “Enterprise should just be considered some alternate universe and not part of Trek canon, not unlike TAS.”
You’re free to consider it whatever you like in your own little world. It is part of “Star Trek” nonetheless, and always will be. 8)
Very soon now we’re going to have a whole new, updated, recreated “Star Trek” featuring new versions of Kirk and Spock. Check out the MTV interview.
It may take a new TV series to flesh out this new incarnation. Or a series of tele-films. New movies every 2, 3 years, could introduce a new crew and starship Enterprise 20 or so years into the future.
I don’t know I guess it is just my preference but I love the Shat’s books. All of his books seem really well put together to me.
“Orci and Kurtzman also confirmed that the film is not in any way a prequel but a reimagining of the franchise. ”
And I am out of here. Well okay I’ll still come back for TOS-R news but I am officially “not keen” on this new project. Did we really expect people who can screw up the Transformers – the most formulaic show ever – to do Star Trek the way we’d like it?
Guess what? Just because you’re the hottest thing in Hollywood right now doesn’t mean you know better than 3 generation of fans who have admired the show for 40 years. TOS done with modern production values looks just fine in Trials and Tribblations and Through a Mirror Darkly and TOS-R.
People are going to come back with ‘Ah give it a chance, Pike! It’s still a long way off!’ But I can tell from that interview it won’t be the movie for me.
One way to “screw up the Transformers” is to be stuck with something to begin with that is “the most formulaic show ever” and be expected to, uh, transform it into a big budget movie that hordes of people besides fans are willing to pay real money to see.
In other words: D.O.A.
The difference, is unlike you Dennis, I’m not in my own little world. In your little world, you actually believe that the Berman era was a positive contribution to Star Trek, and you are one of the dozen or so people that think Enterprise was good.
The reality is the Enterprise audience was insignificant, and if jettisoned from canon, few people would care.
Enterprise may be part of Star Trek. Then again, an appendix is part of the human body. Still irrelevant.
#46: “… I’m not in my own little world.”
On the subject of continuity and “canon” you very much are – because deciding what “counts” and what doesn’t is something that you can do only on your own behalf – yet you think those judgments ought to be matter to Paramount and lots of other people.
Frankly, I’m relieved to see that Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman and the studio are poised to render all this nonsense moot once and for all. Wonder who the new Captain Kirk will be? 8)
#36: Bad story telling will kill any show, anytime. It happened to all the Trek series, including TOS. Not following canon, as in “sheer hatred for TOS”, or not following it to a ‘T’ as some here would consider a crime, is really not a Big Deal, and not a show breaker.
Every see “Smallville”? Now here is a show that chucks canon out the window as much or more that Trek or Dr. Who show. By canon definitions flown around here, it should have never lasted the fist season. Yet, “Smallville” is in its 6th season, 128 eps., and counting, and seems to be going strong. Why? Good story telling for the most part. Format too, I suppose. Let’s call it what it is, a teen/young adult soap.
How about the current “Battlestar Galactica”? I remember the original gripes. “It doesn’t follow canon of the original.” Well, the original is swill compared to the new. Great story telling in the current version has me, and its fans, riveted to show weekly. It’s not your father’s 1970’s prime time family viewing, mind you, but it tells great stories about the human condition the original BS never did and that Star Trek did (does) at its best.
I like Star Trek, all of it. I’ve been watching it since the ’70’s when I could see it in syndication, sometimes 2-3 times a day. I read all the novels that came out in the 80’s-90’s. (Come to think of it, I like a lot of sci-fi).
I never once thought an entire series, novel, or movie was bad because it took liberties with canon. However, tell a bad or uninteresting story, then that’s another matter. For a series, tell enough bad stories in a row, then it dies.
So I’ll repeat, canon, BFD. Star Trek is science *fiction*, not science *fact*. Fiction = story. Tell good stories, even bend canon now and then, no one will hardly notice.
I’m look forward to ST XI, no matter where it plants itself in the time line. Then I judge it on its story. As for the books announced above, I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve read them.
#49: That reply should have been to 37, not 36. Sigh.