On Thursday TrekMovie revealed that there was indeed a Star Trek: Federation series proposal written at the behest of Bryan Singer as a possible pitch for his Bad Hat Harry production company. However, while Singer and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie were at the inception of the project at a Sushi dinner in late 2005, the actual 25-page long document was written by Robert Meyer Burnett (also at that dinner) along with Geoffrey Thorne. And after JJ Abrams signed on to produce a new Star Trek movie in early 2006, the Federation project was shelved along with the first (and only) draft of the series proposal.
While it never was actually pitched to CBS or Paramount, the Star Trek: Federation series proposal still makes an interesting read. Today TrekMovie reveals another Trek not taken.
Logo for “Star Trek: Federation” designed by Mike Okuda
The approach — Something old and something new
The series proposal starts with a forward, outlining how the creative team of Bryan Singer, Ralph McQuarrie, and Robert Meyer Burnett planned to make Star Trek on TV competitive again. Their solution was two pronged: Firstly acknowledge that “television storytelling had evolved” away from the five-act story structure of Star Trek with shows like The West Wing, Lost, The X-Files, Desperate Housewives and Battlestar Galactica taking on “more complex serialized stories.” Secondly they planned to return Star Trek to its roots of telling “compelling stories about our world today” instead of just telling stories more about the Trek universe itself. The “Federation” solution was laid out thusly:
Let STAR TREK breathe. Let it return to the marketplace in the hands of people willing to write the sort of stories that confront and entertain today’s audiences. Let’s grapple again with the issues of the day- issues of diversity, government power, gender frictions, a controversial war on foreign soil, and a host of other things. Embrace modern television storytelling techniques. Most importantly, as with the original STAR TREK and THE NEXT GENERATION audiences must recognize the world they live in today in the far-flung future, then take the show’s concepts and lessons with them back into their everyday lives.
However, unlike the 2004 “re-boot the Star Trek universe” pitch from Bryce Zabel (Dark Skies) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), The Star Trek: Federation team proposes to “not start from scratch,” as noted in the forward:
The great strength of STAR TREK is the very Universe in which it’s set. The Characters. The Starships. The Aliens. The stories.
Gene Roddenberry himself provided the perfect example how to create a wildly successfully new STAR TREK series…
Acknowledge what’s come before, but then set your stage far enough in the STAR TREK future when everything old is new again.
Turn the STAR TREK Universe upside down. Shake vigorously.
The Universe — A Federation in trouble
The way the team proposed shaking up that universe was to move the action to the year 3000 with a different United Federation of Planets. In Federation the UFP is still espoused to be a civilization of alien races united in respect living in a “Golden Age of Peace”, but not all is well:
Utopia as a goal is like the fire in a nuclear engine. Utopia in practice is stagnation; it’s dry rot; eventually it’s death. Which is precisely where we find the United Federation of Planets a few centuries after the last Age of Discovery.
Here are some key changes in the Star Trek universe six centuries after Picard:
- Earth’s Humans have become “fat and happy” but this has led to complacency where humans are “giving up exploration for incremental colonization and focusing more on the rightness of their own cultural view over all others”
- Many younger members of the UFP have left, eschewing this “human-centric” Federation
- Vulcans have been disengaging from the Federation and have reunified with the Romulans, spending most of the last 3 centuries focused on creating a new “joined society” overseen by two “quasi-religious clerics who rule according to logic and what is best for their unified peoples, combining Romulan Machiavellian politics with Vulcan logic.
- Bajorans have withdrawn from the Federation to become insular in order to focus on their religion and communing with the Prophets. Bajor is now “like a planet sized Tibet”, handing over all temporal concerns to the Ferengi
- The Klingons have undergone a “massive reformation” moving away from their Viking-like brawling to become a “civilization of warrior mystics” akin to the Tang Dynasty), now flying “sleek” and “serene” ships and while they maintain diplomacy with the Federation they have returned to expanding the Empire via conquest
- The Cardassians have transformed into a “society of artists and philosophers” who now “walk the path” and are now dedicated to a philosophy with “the view of the galaxy as a place created solely to test the faithful.”
- The Ferengi are no longer a “joke” but have become “quite powerful”. Equality for females (including a female Nagus) is “the only concession they have made to progress” and with “the Greater Federation’s cashless society as a restriction, the Ferengi Alliance is now able to shine in its full capitalist glory.” The Ferengi are also making big bucks marketing the Bajoran religion around the galaxy, including pilgrimages to the Bajoran Wormhole.
- Starfleet has been reduced to a “mere peace-keeping force” protecting fringe worlds from aliens and from fighting each other, with starships are old and spread out too thin
Entering into this troubled Federation is a new “powerful” and “ruthless” enemy called “The Scourge” who confronted the Federation ship USS Sojourner at what became a key pivot point. The ship along with two colonies are lost and the sole survivor will become a key player in the future of the Federation. From the document:
Lieutenant Commander Alexander Kirk is the only survivor of the “Sojourner Incident,” as it’s come to be known in the press. And he has no clear memory of the events themselves. Attempts to “help” him remember cause him to become irrational and violent. All he has is images of carnage and death and a hidden malevolent presence lurking behind it all. When called before his superiors, he paints a picture of the enemy that is scarcely believed and which, if true, might tip the already fracturing Federation Alliance into true collapse.
This incident leads Vulcan, Bajor, Betazed and other members to pull out of the Federation leaving it with just twenty systems and surrounded by the Klingons, Ferengi, Cardassians, etc. Kirk is also drummed out of the service.
The Mission — A New Enterprise & Crew
All of this turmoil is just the backdrop to the series itself. A motivated admiral commissions a new USS Enterprise to be built, the first “Enterprise” in over 300 years. Publicly the mission is a traditional return to the era of exploration and discovery, but the true mission is to find the truth behind “The Scourge” and to save the Federation (hence the title of the proposed series).
The document includes a partial list of the crew (of around 400) of the new Enterprise, giving the show its main characters:
- Captain Alden Montgomery: Human and the “perfect Starfleet officer” who is “The Captain America of the Federation” but who unfortunately gets killed off early on, leaving room for…
- Commander Alexander Kirk: (X-O and 3rd in command) Reinstated for the new mission Kirk is described as having a “checkered past” with an “aggressive manner” who is thrust into leading the mission after Montgomery and first officer get killed and is able to deal with it well, but is “total crap at PR aspects of job.” He alone (even though he doesn’t understand it) “possesses information vital to Enterprise’s true mission.”
- Lt. Cmdr. Chel Forlaan (Security Chief): A female Ektosi (a feline species) who has “cat-like” grace, temper and insight with natural hand-to-hand combat capabilities akin to Jem Hadar or Klingon. Joined Starfleet for the “fun”, posesses a “mercurial nature” which initially makes her ill-suited to security chief. Biggest flaw is “intense curiosity which sometimes overpowers her.” (get it? she’s a cat!)
- Lt. Cmdr. Sergei Kenyatta (Com & Political Officer): A genetically enhanced human “Alpha” from Proxima Centauri, with a perfect physique along with mental enhancements. Described as gifted in math, linguistics, technology, and diplomacy, yet struggles with personal relationships.
- The 76th Distillation of Blue (aka Diz) (Chief Engineer) a member of a gaseous species from the gas giant Penumbra who use “motion suits” to interact with the rest of the “solid” universe. For the show Diz would look like “a slender male humanoid” in the suit, but he can also appear in his gasous state or even change to a solid or a liquid, but he is “not a shape shifter.” Described as a fantastic engineer who is more at home with machines than with other people.
- Dr. Felicity Chen: A cybernetically enhanced physician based on (now safely evolved) Borg technology. Many medical instruments are built into her, so no need for tricorder. She can use her “nanospines” to heal injuries, but there is a personal cost to her. She still has to wrestle with her own humanity
- M.A.J.E.L.: The sentient Enterprise computer (Multitronic Architecture Junction/Interactive Energetic Library) that runs the ship and his a personality of her own, including emotions.
- Admiral Nelscott: Female Starfleet admiral who saw the threat of The Scourge and bucked the system to get the Enterprise project launched. Not on board the ship, but issuing orders from Starfleet HQ.
The character descriptions also describe various tensions, loyalties and connections between the main characters, so this series does not need to always look externally to see conflict and drama.
The document also has an Appendix dedicated to the technology of the new USS Enterprise. The ship is described as not being too big “something bigger than Voyager, but nowhere near the size of The Battlestar Galactica”. The ship would include some new features, such as:
- The Central Core: an open shaft at the center of the saucer where all corridors intersect in an open area, which would act like a “town square” for the ship
- Mobile Mission Modules: standard habitats which can be customized for various missions about the size of a bus
- Landing Envelope: Force-field projector that can shoot down to a planet giving landing parties an atmosphere even on hostile planets (apparently originally conceived for TNG).
- Singularity Engine: Enterprise powered by microscopic black hole (like TNG Romulan ships)
- Cloaking Device: Document suggests this might be a possibility and could help with covert mission stories, but makes telling combat stories difficult
The document also suggests that the production could use “virtual sets” or CGI to create some of the larger environments such as the Hanger Deck, Shuttle Launch Control, Central Core, Botanical Gardens, etc.
The Pilot(s) — Four episode arc to start Federation
The “Star Trek: Federation” series proposal concludes with 1-2 page descriptions of the first four action-packed episodes, which constitute a sort of pilot for the series.
1. The Widening Gyre: Alden Montgomery encounters another planet where the inhabitants have destroyed themselves in an ‘orgy of violence’. Admiral Nelscott orders him to put together his crew for the fast-tracked Enterprise project, leading Montgomery on an origin story recruiting mission picking up various staff, including Kirk who is no longer in Starfleet and doesn’t want to join, but is the only person who has dealt with The Scourge (forcing Montgomery to “Shanghai” Kirk).
2. The Blood-Dimmed Tide: Kirk and Dr. Chen explore a found small alien obelisk and deal with the crew of the Enterprise who have become victims of the violent “Scourge”, including the Captain.
3. Mere Anarchy: The Enterprise chases a larger alien obelisk through space, eventually leading them into hostile Klingon space.
4. The Ceremony of Innocence: Kirk, now trapped in the obelisk with some Klingons, gets to the bottom of the mystery only to find out the Obelisks are tied to the Preservers (from TNG) who had seeded the galaxy with the building blocks of humanoid DNA.
The document concludes with this:
So, the riddle of the Sojourner Incident is solved and the threat of the obelisks is removed (apparently) but at great cost. Frictions between the Federation and the Klingons have never been worse. The internal fissures are growing wider based largely on Enterprise’s secret mission and Admiral Nelscott’s lies to cover up that mission with the council. And, of course, lots and lots of people died.
What’s next for the survivors of these events? Tune in next week, folks.
The Star Trek: Federation proposal is very interesting and has some promising ideas, especially for a first draft. The notion that a new Star Trek TV series needs to break out of the traditional storytelling structure that worked for TNG in the early 90s but was becoming increasingly passé by the time of Enterprise was spot on. It is also true that a return to the origins of Star Trek with telling allegorical stories in a science fiction setting is welcome. Both of these are important in bringing in new viewers.
I am also impressed with how the proposal shows nods to hard science fiction. Burnett says that they were heavily influenced by literary sci-fi including Dan Simmon’s “Hyperion Cantos,” Stephen Baxter’s “Manifold” trilogy and Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” series.
The approach of moving to a declining Federation in the year 3000 seems to be another attempt to rightfully move away from the perfect (and conflict-less) world of the Federation’s 24th century. Brannon Braga and Rick Berman tried this with Enterprise, but in the end their 22nd century universe and storytelling techniques were not different enough. This troubled future Federation approach was also the one taken by Dave Rossi in 2006 with his unmade animated series “Star Trek: Final Frontier“.
Creators of any new Trek show post-Voyager & Enterprise were faced with the choice, if you want to change things you need to move the action to a distant century or move into an entirely new (alternate timeline or rebooted) universe. I worry that with the universe described Federation, the show could become unrecognizable. While holding on to the canon of the Star Trek universe, this radical jump could run the risk of losing the essence of Star Trek.
The characters outlined for the show seem to each have a few interesting things to work with for creating drama, both in their strengths and in their flaws. And I agree with the approach for tension and conflict within the crew, something Star Trek avoided after the original series. I am sure subsequent drafts would have polished some of the edges as well. But again I wonder, if you want a different Star Trek show starring a Kirk, why not just reboot it (re-timeline it) instead of creating a 30th century Kirk. Is staying in the same universe worth it?
I do believe that Star Trek is at its best on TV, a medium that allows for more complex storytelling and character development. I also believe that eventually CBS will start considering a new Star Trek TV series, likely after Paramount has made three JJ Abrams Star Trek movies. The best thing about the Star Trek: Federation approach is that it embraces Star Trek with a love for what has worked, but also sees that in the 21st century you need to do something different to make Star Trek work again on TV. I may not agree with every choice made, but I also don’t think there is a single “right answer” to how to make a new Star Trek TV show. And with a strong creative team, I think Star Trek: Federation could have been an interesting ride.
I didn’t thoroughly read the article but just skimming it….I’m guessing this Commander Kirk is a descendent of the man we know? Or not?
I think some of this is great. (A less perfect Federation, the allegories to modern times, etc)
While others not so much. (Too unTrek in some respects, but toned down it wouldn’t be too bad.)
It, however, does not “fit” into Trek, because the year 3000 is Daniels time from Enterprise.
Kirk as Starbuck!
I agree with a lot of the touchy feely abstract goal setting for the show. But, reading about the characters and the future projection is not very convincing to me. It would get me to watch only in the same way that I have watched every series and movie sans TAS.
It sounds really interesting! Cast list a bit overly conceptualized, but I’m sure that would be tempered in development, if only for monetary reasons. I like how bold it is, and potentially violent with aspirations of utopian glory. It’s like BSG meets DS9 meets TOS meets… well, Federation. Wish we coulda seen it.
Hmmm, interesting premise. Don’t know if I cared that the Federation was basically the UN now, but I’d have to see how that played out. Could be very cool, if the Enterprise, changed the thinking there, and over the course of the series more of the same class of ships were produced.
I would have changed the back story of what happened to the Federation we knew.
Basically have the Federation involved in a century long war that left them with a lot of member leaving and starfleet very weak.
I don’t like the idea of a darker Federation. The Federation is the one thing, that would/should never change. It stands for all the good in the universe. Where many civilizations come and live together in peace and harmony.
This reminds me of the Roman Empire. For many years it was the most powerful nation on Earth. But latter they becamse to arrogent and finaly they fell. Federation looks like it would be the same except that there were a few who saw what would happen. I think this would and could work for a Star Trek Series.
I think that this was a brilliant idea, especially for a first draft. This makes Star Trek seem real (which is kind of ironic, as so much of the tech from TOS has become a reality). I am actually inspired to write some fan fiction based on this concept. Hopefully CBS, or SyFy or whoever will own the rights will seriously consider this coccept for a series.
I say they jump ahead about half a century or a century, not six, and ABSOLUTELY include the Destiny storyline or some variation thereof. Ignoring it would be a grave mistake and would ignore some of the best stories Star Trek has put forth in these TV-less years.
Think of it this way: instead of showing the Destiny story all at once, drop hints here and there about what really happened and give little infodumps here and there to fill in the back story.
You could also have details about the origin of the Borg and consequences of the end of Destiny peppered all around; I’m trying not to give away too many details for those unlucky souls who haven’t read it yet (PLEASE GO BUY IT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT – TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!)
Yes it looks good… I’m curious about this “Alexander Kirk”, too … some connection with James T. Kirk? … or would be just a reference to attract the audience … it’s very interesting!
The titles for all four of those episodes, in case anyone didn’t notice, are lifted directly from Yeats’ great poem, The Second Coming.
OK, I admit to loving the idea of M.A.J.E.L.
M.A.J.E.L. is the best part! XD
wow this sounds lame. good thing this didn’t become a series. sounds like a lot of PC nonsense – a federation too concerned with human interests? right because a federation that started on earth by the human race wouldn’t want to have human interests in mind lol. they should just hand over earth to the klingons so as not to appear offensive and racist.
do they really think they’re reinventing things with yet ANOTHER enterprise and ANOTHER kirk as captain 700 years after kirk commanded? how totally unbelievable. the best thing about star trek voyager was that it was a new ship and a new crew and proved that trek didn’t have to be about ENTERPRISE all the time.
Maybe I missed it but was there a link to this story treatment? We are able to read the JMS reboot series treatment, and would like to view this document as well if possible…t
I like this concept, a federation in decline, a kirk on the bridge, and the klingons, yeah! but if the studio wants to start fresh maybe they should look into presenting a new trek in the mini-series format, tell a story of the human romulan war, or the klingon wars with the federation.
It would be interesting to see if the successor to warp drive would allow travel to other galaxys…
Sounds super-cool. Too bad it never happened. I like the changes to aliens and the turn back to making the episodes more topical. The crew sounded very promising. My faves are the gaseous engineer and the cat-chick. A new Kirk would have kicked ass, but the genetically-altered dude never would have replaced Spock. You can’t have Kirk without Spock and Bones.
There’s some interesting stuff here, maybe it’s a bit too negative in its view of humans and Vulcans. The human centrism sounds like US politics 2000-2008 (pre-economic meltdown). I’m all for a good serialized story, but story arcs can also be overused. And they’re not new, TV soap operas have been stretching out plot elements since the 1950s. It’s usually easier to dole out plot elements over many episodes than to knock out one memorable hour show.
I’m still glad this didn’t happen. It sounds to much like “Battlestar Galactica” and the story of the Federation becoming complacent, corrupt and on the verge of collapse reminds me too much of the events of the “Star Wars” prequels. All that was needed was a high-ranking political figure secretly pulling all of the strings leading to a dictatorship. No thanks.
And lest we forget, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” was created in part to shake up the establishment, with the conflicts with the Klingons and later, the Dominion War.
I think it sounds great! I like the notion of a distressed Federation especially if the storyline includes efforts and successes to bring it back to its former heart and glory.
Oh… and I like the nod to Majel being the computer’s acronym but cringed about it having emotions.
Let’s make this so sometime, m`kay?
Ok, I take back everything I said yesterday about how this show concept had potential. It reeks of being more of the same-old same-old.
@16 “good thing this didn’t become a series. sounds like a lot of PC nonsense –”
Um, that is what the show has always been, but Roddenberry didn’t call it nonsense.
As I have said on the earlier thread, Paramount wasn’t going to give the green light on this proposal. They understood that, after 18 consecutive years of Trek on t.v, “Star Trek” had run its course. This “Federation” proposal, would NOT have appealed to the mainstream, and probably would have turned off a lot of old fans. It would have piled on more canon on top of all the prior history, despite being set over five hundered years after the TNG era, and would have felt detatched from it at the same time as well. It would have become similar to the expanded “Star Wars” universe, in my opinion.
As much as I loved the old Treks, the franchise needed a reboot. The only logical way to do that (and to bring in new fans) was to reboot with Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
this is the first time i’ve seen a story treatment for a trek show do something more than the usual. I agree that it is rough (as it is intended to be in a first draft) but i do think it could have made a fine addition to trek. Trek is such a hard concept to create for because there is so much history and so much story telling that in order to satisfy an audience, you have to cater to that history while at the same time being bold and new to attract an audience that may not have been interested before while at the same time hitting the target demographics (18-35 yr old men). Not an easy thing to do. (and I’m a film/tv producer…trust me, its hard!)
Seems like a combination of Enterprise and Andromeda.
Thanks to Anthony for bringing this info to us. This is the sort of post that will fuel Trek fan discussions for years to come.
dam nother white cpt….. sometimes i hate being asian. cant aud for those cool roles…
Would this concept have worked for the general public and not just Trek fans? I almost think a new Trek series has to be llike Trek 90210 in order to get the general public watching. A new Trek series would at least 10 million viewers a week to survive on a network, cable ratings maybe 4 million?
It would’ve been nice if they had some initial design drawings for the
characters, Enterprise and other ships
Sounds like it could be a really good Trek book series. Haven’t had one of those in awhile
Some parts of this sound kind of similar to the Trek idea I had been thinking of. It sounds like it could be interesting and if it has Singer behind it Im on board.
I Think theirs a lot Star Trek can learn from Ron Moore’s BSG.
some good some bad…love M.A.J.E.L. as well…. and Kirk. sounds better than Voyager hands down.
Let’s see what the next couple years brings. Whatever happened to the web/animated “series?” was that on StarTrek.com? (post Nemesis’ far flung future?)
Oh wow to me it sounds cool and definitely something that should have gotten further consideration not to blow my own trumpet but has a few similarities to a Star Trek fiction i started writing years ago, it picked up some time after the end of DS9 mine ignored Enterprise and Voyager was a footnote being as it hadn’t returned from the Delta quadrant at the start of my version. Mine included a greater emphasis on the Federation and Starfleet command and had a ship with cloaking technology and a few other common denominators.
That aside is not why i like this pitch it just seems to take Star Trek home to tv where it belongs and creates a new and interesting sounding premise. Yes after how tired Trek was at the end it needed a break but i think it can come back and be relevant and entertaining again like TOS, TNG, DS9 were, it also needs a complete break from anyone previously involved in writing or producing tv Trek seriously i think it could well be back on tv sooner than the break between the original and Next Gen just in the last week i’ve read about more attempts to resurrect Trek on tv than anytime since Enterprise ended.
Honestly i even think think Jonathan Frakes USS Titan pitch and this could both be on air without harming the JJ Abrams film franchise
That was a great read, would love the chance to read the entire proposal.
I still think if Paramount was smart one day they would give Singer a chance to Direct a Trek Film. He is a great genre director and a fan of material.
And if not a film, then the eventual trek series that comes along in a few years. In some ways I wish we were allready at the last of the J.J. films (and thats not a knock at him at all, i loved trex XI and i know i will really like Trek XII and XIII) just cause i am hungry for a star trek television series again.
I like the idea, some things that don’t work but it has heart to it. But I like JJ Abrams idea better. Reboot Trek so you have a clean slate but at the same time do it in a way that’s respectful of the original universe. We can still have novels and Star Trek Online to satisfy our need for stories and adventures in the old universe while on the big screen (and eventually) small screen we get a fresh take on Trek that isn’t bogged down by years of canon that the mainstream can sit down and enjoy.
It does remind me a little of DS9, my favorite Trek, and that is good because DS9 was ahead of its time, proven by the fact that future Treks until 2009 went back to the old formula of storytelling.
I like it a lot better than JMS’ reboot idea because his didn’t seem to respect past canon the way this or JJ Abrams did and I think that in ANY version of Trek, even if you reboot it you need to show that you respect the existing fan base otherwise you risk alienating them and that is a bad thing.
That being said, I feel that its time Paramount start thinking about a new series. With Stargate going off the air and Blood and Chrome possibly a ways away from getting started, next year will be the first year since TNG aired that there won’t be a space drama series on TV and that to me is sad. I love all forms of sci-fi but more than anything I love space-based shows that focus on exploration, whether they be darker like Battlestar or brighter like TNG. I’ve heard lots of people saying it, its time for a new Trek. Fringe is about the only really serious SF show on TV right now.
I would drop the last name Kirk (but have the character find out they are a decendant of Kirk.) One way to get a Shatner story in there, for sure. Other than that, this is a Star Trek I would want to see!
Lots of potential there, but like many concepts, excecution would have been the determining factor. Still, using storylines to hold a mirror up to modern day societies would have made a fine tribute to the original concept. Also liked the return to harder science fiction for the franchise along with the human equation.
Execution, … of my phone.
I gotta admit, this sounds surprisingly good. I would have liked to hear more about The Scourge though — hopefully they would have been less cheesy than The Borg and much less cheesy than The Wraith.
I like this a lot. Yes, this would have done nicely.
Except for the name Kirk I like the concept. Leaves a lot of ’empty space’ from the late 24th century to fill but I like it. The Scourge sound interesting as does the UFP in decline. Maybe Daniels from Enterprise was really part of a faction to stop the fracturing of the Federation.
I like the idea of bumping off the captain early on, that would be a good swerve. and I think everybody loves M.A.J.E.L.
The detail that Alexander Kirk is the only human to have encountered the Scourge, but doesn’t consciously remember the details, reminds me of the backstory of some of the characters from Babylon 5. The political set-up is interesting, but would have needed a bit more polishing and clarification before the show went into production: as presented here, it’s very unclear how and why the “Sojourner Incident” led to the withdrawal of so many key Federation members. Now, if that’s meant to be given to the audience as a mystery of sorts, that’s all very well, but the writers would need to have figured out the answers in advance.
Also, do I detect a subtle Douglas Adams reference in the engineer’s character? Surely a gaseous lifeform called “The 76th Distillation of Blue” is more or less the same thing as “a hyperintelligent shade of the colour blue”?
“Utopia in practice is stagnation”
That sounds not unlike the Berman years. Sorry, Captain Neil.
MAJEL. heh. neat. As is the felinoid (a mainstay of some of the novels, and TAS) and gaseous engineer (resist inserting a ‘gassy’ joke about the movies’ Scotty here).
Modern TV storytelling and real drama would be darned welcome.
The TNG aliens seem a little tired (Cardassians etc) but maybe a fresh take would help. And a fresh take visually, too. Frankly, I never want to see
another Ferengi again. Who am I kidding? Same goes for the Bajorans and the Cardassians. So homogenous, one-note and boring. And ditto for the TNG version of Klingons.
Centuries passing would be a relatively plausible way to reinvent the various species (and, ideally, without constantly mentioning ‘we are not like we were 500 years ago,’ as humans were wont to do in early TNG).
Which is why I’d like to see a brand new take on them (the Klingons) in this
Don’t like the Alex Kirk thing….make him a new guy with no ties to James T.
It feels like Babylon 5 to me….i don’t know.If there is a new tv show in the near futur,my guess is it will take place in the J.J. univers.
Wow, this is everything that is the complete opposite of what should be done.
Warning signs of hack writing and imaginative hackery:
-“Turn universe upside down. Shake vigorously”. Oooh… so cool and edgy. Also douchy and pretentious.
-Kill the perfect “Captain America” captain early – no room for professional competent righteous characters in this universe!
-Make room for the new crap captain with the checkered past and agressive attitude, prone to fits of irrational violence. He’s REAL:, man, none of this mature, responsible “Captain America” stuff!
-Every character is conflicted and struggling and wrestling and mercurial. In other words, they all need to be kicked in the ass and told to grow up.
-The female Admiral giving orders from HQ, who lies, and “bucked the system” to start some secret mission. Yawn. What is this, Charlie’s Angels?
-“Storytelling has evolved…”. Bullshit. Storytelling has gotten muddled, convoluted, confusing, and undramatic. The classic structures work, even though today’s writers are bored with them. They have no respect for mainstream audiences – they write for sycophants, which is why sci-fi never seems to catch on mainstream.
-TOO MUCH POLITICAL INTRIGUE – no one wants to see a future where our political institutions are rotting. Trek is about how humanity gets it RIGHT, and then has to deal with the rest of the universe. No one is going to try to unravel some epic backstory of secret missions and conspiracys.
-Fan-wank trick names like Kirk and M.A.J.E.L.
Whatever the next Trek series is, they need to do the exact opposite of everything above. Humanity is good. We figure out how to govern ourselves. Our institutions will be more open, with no tolerance of secret agendas. Mankind and our service memebers will become more mature and grown-up, not less. The hunger for exploration and adventure will GROW, not wither.
Remember the “Wagon Train to the Stars” concept? Or ‘The Fugitive”? or “Route 66”? They’s basically anthology shows where a few characters and some background players move to a different place every week and variously have serious, humorous, action-oriented, mysterious, or even preachy adventures. I know the professional writers have seen everything and can’t wait to “shake vigorously”. Successfully story telling has been figured out since Shakespeare. You’re not going to reinvent it. Forget that you think you’ve seen everything and write for the mainstream audience that HASN’T.
“Utopia in practice is stagnation; it’s dry rot; eventually it’s death.”
If Trek is to go back on TV, it must boldly go. A once great society grapples with the realization that it may all be coming to an end? That is epic, timely and worthy of the name Star Trek. Kirk and the Enterprise saving us from the biggest threat yet… our own political and sociological entropy.
Two words – Adult Swim. An animated version of this concept would be a great way to get Trek back on TV without competing with JJ’s Trek. It would be cheaper too.