“Star Trek Beyond” Fan Creator Makes His Pitch For A New Series

beyond_cover

Star Trek turns 50 next year. Yet it feels like it’s at a nadir in its cultural importance. A movie every few years just isn’t enough. Iconic cinematic franchises continue to churn out movie after movie: Harry Potter, DC, Marvel, Hunger Games, Marvel, Star Wars, Marvel, Fast & Furious, Marvel. Michael Chang Gummelt, creator of fan-made story Star Trek Beyond (coincidentally the same name chosen for the new Star Trek feature film) and owner of www.StarTrekBeyond.com, takes a look at the state of the franchise through the eyes of a fan creator in the below essay.

UPDATE: The project is now officially titled “Star Trek Uncharted” and is hosted at www.StarTrekUncharted.com.

Fantastic fan productions are doing nearly as much to keep Trek relevant as the films (especially among longtime fans). But for Trek to fully regain its place as a forward-looking source of inspiration for our next generation of scientists, leaders and adventurers, it must return to the medium that it was born from: TV.

I’ve written Trek before (the “Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force” video game) and had a series concept that I’d been toying with for 20 years. So I figured: why not? Write up my proposal, try to get it noticed and start a conversation amongst the fan community about what Star Trek should be in the future, and what that future might look like. I wrote a series bible, a 2-hour pilot, and 4 episodes. I named it “Star Trek Beyond” and put it all up on www.StarTrekBeyond.com (UPDATE: now at www.StarTrekUncharted.com). I sent it to any industry contacts I could find as well as Trek and sci-fi blogs. Of course, nobody showed much interest in it because everyone and their brother has a Star Trek idea to pitch.

More than a year later – by sheer happenstance – it turns out Paramount has chosen the same name for their next movie! Suddenly the website and concept are getting lots of attention! I’ve been getting tons of great feedback on the idea and even some industry insiders are responding to my e-mails now. And I’m certain Paramount is aware of it, too. Before the announcement, my website was getting maybe 50 hits a day, but the day that TrekMovie broke the news that the new movie was to be titled Star Trek Beyond, it jumped to 6,500.

So this is my chance – my chance to express why I think it’s so important that Star Trek return to TV; why it needs to be reborn and modernized – in format, technology and in its themes.

Why TV?
Star Trek on film has always been different from Star Trek on TV, and necessarily so. Big-budget movies need to stick to a high adventure, short-story format for the masses. The audience wants to see the heroes win and get closure in the span of about 2 hours. The problems have to feel “big” to justify it being a movie instead of a TV episode. This has been a curse for Trek films since the beginning. If you make a movie with a story that feels too small (like, perhaps, “Insurrection”), then people complain that it feels like just another episode. But if you make the story too big (Earth/Galaxy/Timeline in peril), then fans complain that it doesn’t feel like Star Trek anymore.

I can’t think of another franchise with this peculiar dilemma. Star Trek is a TV series that has become so popular that the movies need to somehow simultaneously distance itself from the show while maintaining its spirit.

I love what Pegg has said he wants to do with Star Trek 3. It’s the perfect direction for the movie series and it’s sorely needed. We need to see this new incarnation be explorers, to have a sense of camaraderie like the Roddenberry/Coon crew had. We need to see them on a heady sci-fi adventure like TOS had, written by some of the best sci-fi writers of the time. We need to see the crew be friends, be competent and have fun.

The film that accomplished this best was “Star Trek IV: The One With The Whales.” It was the first Trek film to really reach a wider audience. Maybe because it stripped away a lot of the trappings of Star Trek (the Enterprise, the future, Klingons, etc.) and brought the characters to our era, and then just had fun with its concept. It was a fish-out-of-water story (so to speak). It had high stakes (established concisely at the onset), was broadly appealing (relatable, funny) and felt like a Star Trek episode (time travel was nothing new to Trek). A neat hat trick, and certainly difficult to repeat.

I think Pegg may be onto something, though, when he mused about possibly taking a story people are familiar with (a heist, a western, etc.) and putting the Star Trek characters in it. This might actually be the secret sauce to finding a way to have your cake and eat it, too (and other mixed metaphors). Maybe he’s busy writing the NuTrek equivalent of Star Trek IV (I have faith in him – his movies have always been entertaining, he’s clearly a bright, insightful person and loves Star Trek).

And yet, still, Star Trek movies are not what most consider the heart & soul of Star Trek. It needs to return to the format that made it what it was in the first place: episodic television. Not because TV is superior. But because a multi-hour series allows the show to slowly introduce you to the wonderful world-building that Star Trek is so great at – all of the amazing technology, interesting civilizations, bizarre lifeforms and strange new worlds. As good as the movies are, they don’t have the time to reveal these things to the audience.

But most importantly, like any good TV series, the characters get time to reveal themselves, grow and change. We see them in quiet times and in crisis. We learn their quirks and idiosyncrasies. We see how they behave in all different situations. We get to know them, understand them, feel for them. They become important to us. And Star Trek, as much as it’s been about sci-fi, space opera and action/adventure… has always been about the characters when it’s at its best.

What format?
Episodic TV has come so far, even since The Next Generation. On my website, I propose a 10-13 episode premium cable format series along the lines of a Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, or the new Daredevil series on Netflix. I see the amazing potential for Star Trek if that premium, quality-over-quantity model was applied to it. Imagine the deep storytelling, compelling narratives and character growth that you could get out of a show like Star Trek when approached with modern storytelling techniques. It could be the greatest Star Trek ever. That’s my hope, and that was my goal with my proposal: to bring Trek into the modern era of TV.

While CBS owns the rights to produce a new Star Trek series, there’s no reason it couldn’t air on a premium cable channel like Showtime (in the same corporate family as CBS). In fact, a premium cable Star Trek series might be freed from the restraints of the 4-act format, 42-minute running times, a budget stretched thin over 23 episodes and commercial sponsorship. These days there are new options, such as Netflix series or Amazon.

Why now?
Star Trek has been off the air for 10 years. It is true that almost 20 years passed between TOS and TNG, but keep in mind that TMP was originally going to be a series called Star Trek: Phase II, which began production in 1977. If no new Star Trek series is in the works already, this is certainly the longest time that TV Star Trek has lain completely dormant.

The 50th anniversary of Star Trek is coming up. That’s half a century of mind-expanding science fiction on TV and film! What better time to both celebrate what it has meant to all of us… while at the same time giving it a rebirth and launching it into the future with a new focus, a new mission and a new outlook on the very different world we live in today?

Why Star Trek Beyond?
Star Trek Beyond is an attempt to revitalize a vision that Roddenberry had, modernized for the 21st century. With a new format, new technology, a new crew and a new mission. I’ve been working on this concept for 20 years, revising and polishing the concept, continually updating it as the years passed. All the while, I tried to keep the core values of Good Trek in mind:

  • Interesting, diverse characters who interact and grow
  • A progressive, optimistic view of the future
  • The thrill of discovery, the adventure of the unknown
  • Space exploration
  • High concept sci-fi, but with a respect for and grounding in real science
  • Cutting-edge technology

Star Trek Beyond is set several decades after the time of Captain Kirk. Starfleet is more diverse than it has ever been, with people from over 1,000 member worlds serving in active duty. It is a time of relative peace, the “Pax Galactica”. There have been no major wars for 20 years. Much of the Galaxy has been explored and Starfleet is largely a policing force.

But unknown to most, a mysterious signal was received 20 years ago – from the Andromeda Galaxy. A new Enterprise with a new generation of explorers are sent to answer the call, in person.

Here are some key elements of my concept:

Diversity
The diversity in the crew is designed to allow for stories that can comment on our modern world of ethnic, cultural and gender diversity, of always-on connectivity, of escapism, of stress and overworking and of inequality and prejudice. For the first time, Star Trek would have a balance of male and female characters as well as some sorely needed genderqueer characters. Characters of all races, cultures and variations (both Human and alien) that would reflect our modern world and the issues we face today, like classic Trek did in its time. One of the best decisions TNG made was to add Worf. To take a species that had been the “other”, a one-dimensional aggressive enemy, and make them a friend. By making Worf a protagonist, we got to see the depth of the Klingon psyche and come to understand them. We came to see how they are really a part of us. The Klingons became the Vulcans of TNG. By bringing diversity to “Star Trek Beyond”, it adds diversity to our own self-image.

CastNew
The concept cast for Beyond

Rebirth
It is easy to be very pessimistic about the future. The economy is depressed, jobs are still difficult to come by, there is still much prejudice and conflict in the world and we even seem to have given up on space, itself. It’s been a very difficult 10-15 years where we’ve been turned inward as a people, instinctively, protectively. I believe we need to be optimistic about the future; we need to return to lofty goals, great dreams and reach for the stars, both figuratively and literally. The crew of Star Trek Beyond will rise to the occasion, face the unknown and venture into a whole new galaxy in search of answers. We get to see a real frontier story, reminiscent of TOS. It will take Trek in a new but familiar direction, let it grow, let it build off of what came before, and let it recapture some of its original “wagon train to the stars” spirit.

TestRender
Test render of an Enterprise concept by AdamKop of DeviantArt based on a 20-year-old sketch I sent him

Modern Storytelling
One major approach that could help revive Star Trek is to present its stories in a more modern way. The best shows nowadays tell their stories in a more naturalistic format, with less expository dialogue and more reliance on acting and directing to convey subtext (“show, don’t tell”). Stories don’t all wrap up nice & neatly, with everything back to normal by the end of an episode. I’ve designed Star Trek Beyond in this way: there’s a theme to each season of 13 high-quality episodes and stories are told in long arcs with overlapping subplots, mysteries and character arcs.

1781502
A monster from the Pathfinder RPG. I use it on the site as an example of the kind of bizarre intelligent species my crew will find in Andromeda (not just humanoids).

New Technology
Star Trek has many “old” new ideas built into it as part of its legacy – communicators, transporters, replicators, touch screens, warp drive, artificial gravity, etc. My goal is to keep those that still make sense and introduce or update others that seem likely given the direction of modern technology (for example: already our smartphones have far surpassed the PADDs and communicators in previous Star Trek series’, so I’ve jettisoned them for the most part and introduced new technology to replace them that still seems futuristic).

world-builder-large1
Updated future tech

Star Trek Is A Community
At the beginning of this piece, I said this is “my chance”. But, really, I think this is our chance, as a fan community, probably the largest, most vocal, most active fan community in the world! We should speak up and be heard; we should let the powers that be know that we want Star Trek back and better than ever! We should let all the stakeholders know that, whatever the obstacles, it will be worth it and Star Trek can be a cultural phenomenon again if it’s allowed to be reborn again and run free. It’s up to all of us to make this happen: Star Trek has always been made stronger by the passion of its fan community.

As so many of the people who have responded to my concept have said to me, so I say to all of you: “Make it so!”

For more thoughts, see my Captain’s Blog



 

newest oldest
Notify me of
J.c. England

Guess they paid you folks a bunch
to advertise this rubbish…

David

I like the passion and the drive of what you are trying to do. I do not like the concept of continuing the JJ timeline though. At all. I’m not a “purist” but IMO JJ really messed up by jacking with the timeline. I like the movies for what they are, but I do not feel like those belong in Star Trek canon except to maybe say they are some mirror or alternate universe that we got to take a glimpse of. There are so many stories that are part of the normal timeline that haven’t been told yet. Look at fan productions like Star Trek Axanar, Renegades, and Horizon, to name just a few. Plenty of good room and stories left to tell.

What about a series about the Enterprise B or C? Or something completely new is fine as well.

TUP

Firstly, please dont continue on in the Alt Universe. I just dont see it. its not broad enough and speaks only to a small audience that watched Bad Robot films, liked them, and understood them.

I like the time frame. I understand being in the Alt Universe allows a painting over of Trek history. But again, I just dont see it.

I sort of wonder…how would we feel if the time frame was Enterprise B. Considering they would have to recast, update sets and effects, would we accept the “canon violations”? it would allow stunt casting in that first 12 episode season of William Shatner and potentially Sulu and Chekov as well. To be honest, i’d accept using Quinto & Urban with aged make up too.

Now that I write this…I sort of like it.

I had written some fan fiction back in my high School days that had Chekov forced out of retirement and assigned as Harriman’s first officer. Star Fleet didnt blame him for Kirk’s death but he felt they did and basically saddled him with “training wheels”. Chekov resented it too, wanting to enjoy retirement but feeling a sense of duty in the wake of Kirk’s death. yadda yadda yadda

Visitor1982

I don’t care what the new Star Trek TV series is, as long as it’s being made soon!

Wouldn’t be surprised though if CBS is already working on something for next year.

Oscar

Largely awful and unoriginal. Not impressed.

Ensign Ricky

Some of these ideas are actually pretty good. I would give it a look if it were on TV.

->1. J.C. England
Sorry, but I wrote this article and TrekMovie.com was nice enough to publish it. I’m merely a passionate fan, I don’t work for Paramount. Now if they’d like to offer me a job… :)

Martin Pollard

#1 – Are you always such a cynical jerk, or did someone urinate in your cornflakes this morning?

GornStar

Would this series take place in the main “prime” Trek universe or would it be some new reboot of continuity? I ask because setting it 30years post-Kirk doesn’t jive with the description of the technology.

TUP

In moderation already?

Mad Mann

While the 13-16 episode season seems to be the norm for high-quality shows now, I would miss the “filler” episode of Star Trek. Episode like “Data’s Day” would never exist in a Breaking Bad-like show, and that’s a bummer.

But I’ll take whatever I can get!

I thought it would be cool to have 2-3 different shows on simultaneously, 2 on a ship and one on a space station. Kinda like what we had in the 1990s, but in a smaller scale. There could be even more cross-overs, kinda like DC TV with Arrow, Flash, and now Legends of Tomorrow.

Maybe have one show on Netflix, one on Showtime, and one on a network.

Danpaine

Re: 1. J.c. England – June 3, 2015,

I’ll never understand people like you. You contribute nothing of worth. Nothing at all.

Good article, Michael. Thought-provoking and hopeful.

->6. Mad Mann
Yes, I think there could easily be several Trek shows. Start with a core one along the lines of what I propose, then branch out into other genres.

Make a Klingon show that has a Game of Thrones feel to it – lots of intrigue and drama and violence.

And make a Starfleet Academy one about a group of young people from diverse backgrounds having to come together to be a team, then go off to a war (that could happen in a movie or series crossover event) and have to grow up quickly and experience loss.

Imagine if Star Trek could pull off what Marvel is now with its movies and TV series – how Agents of SHIELD ties in the the movies. How they have shows on broadcast TV and Netflix. All of these properties support and strengthen the other.

Star Trek could be the same way. It’s a rich universe with tons of untapped potential!

9. GornStar

The article originally included some info about it taking place explicitly in the JJ Trek timeline and described a Romulan collapse, etc. That was an accident.

The idea is that this takes place “in the future”, regardless of how far or which timeline.

Legate Damar

At this point, I’ll be happy with any Trek on TV.

Elias Javalis

Very 70’s logo:)

Finnigan

Agree that Star Trek should return to TV which is the best venue for this franchise, IMO. I appreciate the effort that went into the concept but it doesn’t feel like Trek to me. Looks more like a cross between Voyager and Stargate Universe.

I’d like to see a reboot of TOS that takes place in the original timeline. Take Star Trek Continues for example, go out on that second five year mission. The reboot would allow for updating the tech to be more appropriate to the capabilities we’ve reached since the 1960s. Center it on the original Enterprise and crew.

Or….

Pick-up where TNG left off and give of the Next Next Generation.

crazydaystrom

Love the look of the new future tech example shown. That’s the sort of thing that I’d find interesting in new Trek. And I greatly prefer that Enterprise concept to the BR E. It shows how it can be new, updated and cool and still be recognizably ‘of the Trek’ we know and love. The BR E sill doesn’t door for me.

New Trek on tv. Come on PTB!

French Trekker

According to Premiere, a french leader media concerning movies, Pegg wants Shatner in the movie “for a cameo that serves the story”.

http://www.premiere.fr/Cinema/News-Cinema/Star-Trek-3-Simon-Pegg-veut-faire-jouer-William-Shatner-4186511 (french, but you may translate)

Prodigal Son

Well, I bet you are going to cash in on selling your website to Paramount when they come knocking!

Red Dead Ryan

Maybe you ought to change the name of your production. I highly doubt Paramount will allow you to keep the name “Star Trek Beyond”.

And quite frankly, this concept seems too similar to TNG and Voyager.

What we need is a show with elements taken from TOS/DS9. More grit, more interspecies and interpersonal conflict, less galactic utopianism, and less reliance on technobabble to solve problems.

Michael Hall

I’m fully in agreement with the author about the potential of Star Trek as a premium cable TV series. Given the right premise and people to execute it, the new show could easily be the best Trek ever.

But there’s the rub, as always–execution. Mr. Gummelt’s premise seems workable enough, but what about the details? Who captains this ship (or do they even have such a command structure on Starfleet ships anymore)? Are they committed to staying in Andrometda, or can they always just run for the safety of the Milky Way if things get too dicey? And what about the relationships of this “diverse crew,” and how they pan out over the course of the show’s life? Modern TV drama is often premised on a group of individuals with interests in common (an ad agency, a hospital, the meth trade), and who yet invariably come into conflict–something utterly antithetical to Trek’s optimistic premise. How do you make this work in the modern era, and still keep it Star Trek?

I’m glad that Gummelt is considering these questions, and from what I’ve seen the producers of AXANAR would consider their efforts as proof-of-concept for much of the same. For my money, this property took a drastic wrong turn in 2009, and to bring it back to cultural relevance again will definitely require the skills of a Matt Weiner or David Chase. Plus a whole lotta luck.

TUP

@19 Well should be the biggest news of the week and a leading story on this site but I doubt we’ll get one.

What concerns me is, Pegg would know with certainty if he has Shatner in his film and if Shatner is willing and able to do it. Is William Shatner signed? Are they going to try out the old Khan (con) and lie about it to preserve a needless surprise at the chose of millions in easy PR?

And more importantly, if he’s in it, is he going to simply be playing old Chris Pine (in which case they might as well cast Pine’s father) or OUR Captain Kirk?

dennycranium

I commend your drive and passion but it just falls flat for me.
It’s just another derivative of TNG or Voyager which frankly, I don’t watch anymore.
I still watch TOS, however.
Were Star Trek to return to TV, (and it should) it would need to tell Kirk/Spock/McCoy stories in the Prime Universe.
I’d like to see the 12 episode more mature arc on a premium cable channel.
They do need to BOLDLY GO and see and find new races and new threats.
It’s that Kirk/Spock/McCoy chemistry that gets me to tune in every week.
I’d tweak the sets and props a little. Just enough to be the same, but different at the same time. Think subtle changes when a car makes a model year change.
It also has a better chance at success or renewal in our million of channels landscape.
Like original TOS did by filming in color at the time, I’d film in cinema 4K for best picture quality possible.
Another thing I would welcome is a remake of specific episodes.
I’d love to see Doomsday Machine reshot.
I’d love to see Harlan Ellison’s original City be filmed.
Maybe these could be done as holiday specials.
Again sir, great effort but it doesn’t excite me.
If you got a Netflix two season deal you stand a better chance. I would binge watch your series over a weekend.
It would take a while for you to build an audience with new characters and the networks expect instant results. Especially as expensive a Star Trek series would be,

Red Dead Ryan

#20.

“Well, I bet you are going to cash in on selling your website to Paramount when they come knocking!”

Assuming Paramount doesn’t haul his a$$ into court first. :-)

Jon1701

I like the idea of new technology. Any new Star Trek series really has to push the envelope of new ideas. No point retreading old ground. TNG is radically different in tone and tech from TOS. The last thing I want to see is a handheld tricorder, a flip top communicator or a comm badge on someones chest.

Alex Rosenzweig

This might be interesting to me, if it were removed from the Abramsverse and placed back into the Primeverse. I like the thought process and reasoning for doing a new series, but I wouldn’t support more Abramsverse.

Just MHO, but there it is.

Schultz

I also second some of the other opinions here: original timeline, definitely. The Abramsverse is a fad they constructed for the current set of movies. And I would like to see it further in the future, i.e. not a couple of decades after Kirk, but after Picard, after ST:Nemesis. We need to see the future of the future, not another part from the history of the future that we kind of already know. (That would also explain the technological advances btw.)

I like the Andromeda idea, but if we’d go that way, why would there be humanoids? It would presuppose that the ancient humanoid seeder race (TNG “The Chase”) also traveled there. Not very likely. So that would mean developing elaborate mocap CGI templates for Andromeda aliens. I already see the budget skyrocketing.

So the simplest option would be to turn it around: let the Andromeda aliens come here. Would it be an invasion? Or just one ship? A couple of ships? Refugees? Outcasts? Missionaries? Exploration vessel(s)? Many possibilities. In any case, it would be a truly alien element injected into the Federation world, a tough challenge, not necessarily in a military way, but in terms of culture clash, different values etc. A bit like turning VOY on its head. That way you would tell a Trek Story from a different angle, through the eyes of an alien culture. You can still have alpha quadrant humanoids on that ship (those ships), but they would be in the minority for a change. They wouldn’t even need to be Starfleet. Would make for some interesting confrontations. That’s what I would prefer to see. Trek with a twist.

Question for both concepts would be: Are they going there on purpose? Or are they stranded? If the Starfleet vessel is not stranded in Andromeda (or the Andromeda vessel in the Alpha quadrant), then there needs to be stable connection, like a wormhole. That would make for some interesting plot developments, because such a wormhole would need to be kept secret, at least at first. That could work in both worlds/galaxies. Well, I could go on forever, but all in all, I’m not convinced by the concept. I could think of several other series that would be more compelling, more “modern”, at least to me.

James

@#3

More people went to see the last two movies than any of those that came before (with TMP the possible exception).

ST09 and Into Darkness are Star Trek for a large number of people. Some may dislike it, but there it is. Any further adventures in TV or film will likely be in the nu-trek timeline.

DWNicolo

Whatever design you use for the Enterprise, it should be a radical revamp. Throw out Roddenberry’s rules of ship design and do something completely different with the Enterprise design.

Dswynne

@3 (TUP):

“Firstly, please dont continue on in the Alt Universe. I just dont see it. its not broad enough and speaks only to a small audience that watched Bad Robot films, liked them, and understood them.”

You mean, compared to the small audience that made ENT and NEM such a huge hit that a soft reboot of the franchise was warranted in 2009???

Fred Javelina

22. Very well said.

I like a lot of Mr. Gummelt’s ideas, but the pilot script lost me with some rather clunky dialogue and piles of exposition right off the bat. Stuff we’ve seen in every new Trek series’ pilot episodes where you set up the characters (except TOS, interestingly enough.) It feels all too familiar.

I also found it a little bit uncreative to have two 30something Caucasian dudebros _yet again_ be in charge of things. I know audiences need an “in”, you can’t give them an amorphous gas cloud as science officer…but you know, how about an older Indian woman? (Aside from Sulu and Kim there are remarkably few Asians in Trek, to start with…) And maybe they’re all getting to know each other. Easy backstory is a cop-out, show the relationship building on screen.

So yes…execution is key, but also, fresh eyes and different style. Reverse the tropes, lampshade them.

imagine a different Trek:
– Joss Whedon Trek?
– Aaron Sorkin Trek?
– Dan Harmon Trek? (Ok, it might get a bit silly, but he’s a damn good writer and his idea of the ‘clock’ for story and character arcs is brilliant).
– Christopher Nolan Trek?
– heck, what would Tina Fey’s Trek look like? (Captain, the Blerg are hailing us.)

AJ

Not to be off-putting, but these very same ideas have lived and died on Trekmovie and the Internet dozens of times, and the debate is over. It’s just a matter of time.

It’s depressing to see so many other franchises, even unsuccessful ones, get reboots and retreads, and, mostly, to see the care lavished on fans by the owners of competing fantasy franchises (Disney), while Trek fans get nothing whatsoever. Not even PR. Leonard Nimoy’s death was the closest thing fans had to “attention” to the franchise since STID was released.

Whatever “bunch of diverse beings in a tin can goes exploring in space” version is adopted for TV, it has to be, right from the start, of the same quality vs. the competition that TNG was when it hit its stride in season 3. No two years of garbage before hitting its stride. No longer allowed. The 10-13 episode pay-TV model is one way to go, though DC and Marvel have done well on the regular boob-tube with several comic-book properties at up over 20 eps per year.

At this point, fans can only really hope the next film is made on time, considering how late in the game we are before filming begins (many films are in the can this close to release, even with a teaser), and that it doesn’t suck. Considering that Paramount’s idea of making money is doing Transformers spin-off movies, and considering SImon Pegg’s recent lamentations, we have no guarantees whatsoever.

22 and 33:
Your thoughtfulness on what would make good Trek, execution and focus on characters is exactly along the lines of what I’m thinking. I can only say: give it more of a chance.

33, you mention the two main characters are white – they’re not. One is white, the other is Asian/Hispanic/mixed race. Yes, they’re both men, but that doesn’t mean they’re in charge of everything. The Science Officer, Doctor and Security Chief are all senior positions and are women. And while I wrote some roles as male or female, there’s no reason a genderswap couldn’t happen if the right idea or actor came along.

As for character relationships, that’s actually the part of the show I’m most compelled by. To me, good Star Trek has always focused on the characters. I have a 7 season character arc planned out for all of them. Each one will go through struggles and conflicts and change and growth over the series, I also have a “relationship” matrix that charts the characters on a 2 dimension graph with descriptions about their opinions and feelings toward each other character. I use this as a guide when writing scenes between my characters.

I have a lot of exciting ideas and plans for these characters. But I can’t rush and throw it all in the pilot or give things away too so. Or just explain what makes them unique. I need to be able to reveal them over time to make them interesting and get the audience invested in them, let them grow and change naturally. It’s a great temptation to throw all your ideas out there right at the start, but it would be a disservice to the characters.

So as I said, all I can say is: give it a chance. :)

Tom O.

It’s nice that you want Trek back on TV. I would like to see it too along with the optimism. But your concept is meh.

My idea was to set it about 50 years after Voyager and DS9. Starfleet has rebuilt and made peace with everyone and now wants to explore the rest of the galaxy. But they can still return to Federation space. New characters, stories, great SF ideas. We can do better CGI for new aliens and far out planets. Ii could last 5 seasons but not be so “episodic” like the old stuff. Connect the stories and have some 2 or 3 parters.

Slornie

I would actually like to see a new series continue the alternate universe created in the recent movies. As I’ve posted several times before on here, a series around the ALT equivalent of the Prime Enterprise-C under Rachel Garret could be really interesting (and another opportunity to show a strong female lead and the Federation’s egalitarian nature).

First off, it’s set midpoint between Prime TOS and TNG, so it’s an unexplored era; second the events of ST13 and STID mean the military and political balance of the Alpha quadrant is hugely changed from Prime anyway – Vulcan destroyed, Praxis destroyed, etc; third the Federation has driven exploration up a gear due to the Nero incursion thing (ref: early discovery of Botany Bay).

Also as the JJ-verse has used modern technology (which to some extent is inspired by Trek itself) to update Trek, so that lends itself more towards the sort of revamp hinted at in the article than a Prime series which is hindered by it’s 50 years of baggage.

Nice work, Michael. A lot of cool ideas here. Cheers.

Prodigal Son

RDR has a point here. Since you have Star Trek in the title, Paramount can probably just “grab your site” anytime they want. You risking waking up one morning, going to your site, and seeing it gone and a new Paramount site in its place for the new movie.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
21. Red Dead Ryan – June 3, 2015
Maybe you ought to change the name of your production. I highly doubt Paramount will allow you to keep the name “Star Trek Beyond”.

(Don’t forget, TAS was active in the TOS-TMP gap, too. Not well-remembered in all quarters, but it was new Trek).

I dig this. I already read through the proposal on the site. Not a huge fan of the limited/premium format, but hey… whatever gets the show back on TV. I’d support this concept.

Mad Mann

Good Ideas, Michael.

A Klingon show and a Starfleet Academy show on while the main show is on would be cool, but I would also like a return to a space station show. A commodore on a starbase in command of an armada of ships within a certain sector would tie it all in. It could be in an explored part of space that has some weird SF stuff. Your Star Trek Beyond show based on the new Enterprise-A would be one of those ships. Can we get John Cho to be Captain Sulu?

Mad Mann

RE: Klingon show

To keep make-up costs down of a Klingon show, we could use the helmets from STID since we are in the JJ-verse. Of course, main characters with speaking roles would be seen sans helmets.

I’m really liking this idea the more I think about it.

Russell Meyer

I’m always open to new Star Trek concepts. If it can’t be made into a series, make a new video game for us gamers! We desperately need a good Trek game, that’s for sure!

As I’m sure you know the potential for rich storytelling is available through that format like no time before.

Jack

Try it.

I do sort of disagree, though, that Trek is at its nadir of cultural importance. Maybe it feels like it, but…

Love the holographic tricorder idea — I remember thinking that would be cool way back in the ’80s when I was a kid and it hadn’t really shown up in movies yet.

The world needs more people who actually do things with ideas, unlike me. Good on you.

Ahmed

@ 35. Prodigal Son,

“RDR has a point here. Since you have Star Trek in the title, Paramount can probably just “grab your site” anytime they want. ”

If you two actually bothered to check the website, you will see this at the end of the webpage.

=============================

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. The content, the promotion thereof, and/or any other materials created for Star Trek Beyond are not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and are non-commercial fan-made films intended for recreational use. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

In no case is the use of said copyrighted material, with or without identifying symbols, intended as a claim of ownership or infringement of those copyrights/trademarks by the maker of these videos or their content providers.

Any trademarked names and marks present on this site and its content are nominatively used non-commercially under the “trademark fair use” doctrine.

All copyrighted names or content present on this site and its content are used non-commercially under the “copyright fair use” doctrine.

http://www.startrekbeyond.com/

Kruezerman

This feels like every other Star Trek fanfilm out there. No originality, no interpersonal conflict, just more of the same TNG-style blandness. JJ Abrams had the right idea to bring back the human part of Star Trek. We cannot return to a Trek where technobabble saves the day. It has to be about the characters.

Now, could I be wrong? Of course. But the thing here is that they don’t make seven seasonsX21 episodes shows anymore. Television series have to tell a story. Look at Sherlock or Breaking Bad or whatever else is out there. You can’t saturate television anymore.

A personal pleas from me though, don’t go back to the Prime Timeline. It’s over in terms of television. You have an entirely new timeline to work with, you can rewrite favorite episodes or comics or whatever in that time period to YOUR liking. Make a Star Trek horror episode or a Spring Break episode, but do it in the new timeline. That’s where the energy is. Besides, everyone else is doing the old timeline, maybe you should break the mold.

Ahmed

Also Simon Pegg didn’t confirm if the movie is called “Star Trek Beyond” or not.

=================================

Asked directly about the title, which is said to be Star Trek Beyond, Pegg said, “I don’t know if it’s the title or not at the moment. That’s sort of playful.”

http://www.trektoday.com/content/2015/05/pegg-shatner-in-star-trek-3/

ADeweyan

That’s an interesting concept, and though there would be parallels with Voyager’s long-term trip — that sort of overlap is nothing new to Trek.

I don’t think the ship should be named “Enterprise,” however, and only partly because it would be difficult to fit it into the existing history. While the name “Enterprise” has been used for vessels of exploration, this mission is somewhat different. This should also be a dramatically different vessel. It’s designed to sustain high warp for very long periods, and is also designed to be a generational ship.

I agree that Trek belongs back on TV, and it’s time for that to happen.

enterprise1965

that was a very good blog Michael I enjoyed the article you have some good ideas. keep it in the prime universe JJ verse isn’t too appealing anymore.

Jack

“i sort of wonder…how would we feel if the time frame was Enterprise B.”

It’s an interesting idea — but one I like about setting it after TNG etc. is that it’s open-ended. You’re not limited by what will come after. With a prequel, like the B, you can really fall into the trap of mostly just setting future things up (a lot of Enterprise) and you have to jump through hoops (Temporal Cold War) to make any surprises.

This is why the Abrams nu-niverse is a good storytelling idea, even though some fans hate it (I still don’t really understand the hate — I can’t see any other workable way of telling new TOS stories with a new cast). You’re not chained to future continuity — and the stories have weight because they’re not going to be reset by timeline corrections.

Roddenberry wisely tried to keep TNG from mining TOS (except The Naked Now, which was a disaster).