Shuttle Pod: The Podcast Episode 13 – Nick Meyer, Rod Roddenberry, and the Crew of Star Trek All Access


Trekkies were just treated to two big announcements concerning the future of the next Star Trek television* series, what we are currently calling Star Trek All Access: the announcement of Trek vet Nicholas Meyer as the first member of the writing staff and the addition of the caretaker of Star Trek’s legacy, Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, along with the COO of Roddenberry Entertainment, Trevor Roth, as Executive Producers. In this episode of the Shuttle Pod, Brian, Jared, and Kayla discuss what this means for the future of the franchise.

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Tidbits from the podcast:
Nicholas Meyer has gone on the record as saying that the new Star Trek series is “going to be a different Star Trek“. Specifically, he mentioned Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country as a “taking off point” for the thinking behind the new show:

The one thing I can relate to you is that The Undiscovered Country—according to Bryan [Fuller]—is a real sort of taking off point, or touchstone for how I guess he’s thinking about the direction of the new show. I don’t want to be misquoted and I don’t want to misquote him, but he’s fond of that film. Let’s put it that way.

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Listening to it now. I don’t know how people can argue with a melting pot (or cultural mosaic) like Kurtzman, Fuller, Meyer and Roddenberry. The only way this could get better is D.C. Fontana, David Gerrold, or Ron Moore…and yes yes I know he is working on Outlander.

Manny Coto!!

Never understood the love for Fontana or Gerrold. Moore would be a good consultant, only because — as good as he is– i’m not sure what he might do with trek if he real creative freedom. On his own projects he’s gone pretty “out there.”

But isn’t the point of Star Trek to go “Out there”? To Boldly go?

! ! !

We as fans are collectively excited about the creation of a new Star Trek TV show. CBS has brought on a great creative staff for the new series, however they have made one fatal flaw in the distribution of the new show.

The company CEO himself has decided to debut the first episode on primetime television and then make all new episodes only available through the CBS all access paid subscription service.

This essentially limits distribution of the new series and puts a nail in the coffin of any chances that it may have at being truly successful.

The purpose of this petition is to directly email the CBS executive staff and CEO requesting to reverse this decision and make Star Trek available as a broadcast tv show so everyone may enjoy it.

CSI: Cyber, one of the worst reviewed television series ever is given a primetime slot, but Star Trek is left to be viewed through an online pay service.

Fans of Star Trek want and deserve better.

Science fiction and fantasy television shows are giving many other television networks egregious amounts of revenue and ratings. Why can’t Star Trek be given the proper platform to do so as well?

We as fans demand that Star Trek not be exclusive to CBS all access and be available to all as a broadcast TV series.

We are actually getting a new Star Trek series. Who cares if its on TV or online? The fact that we are getting anything is amazing.

I think you have it backwards my friend. *Not* putting it on network TV is what save this show. Star Trek has never faired well on Network TV. At best it would get good ratings early on but it never lasts long term. I think what CBS is doing parallels what made TOS popular – A new approach. In the 60s in was syndication, today the answer may be streaming. Star Trek fans are typically forward thinking people willing to accept change and since streaming is undoubtedly the wave of the future, I think CBS chose the right fan base to usher into this new streaming age of media.

You wouldn’t want the show to die early or jump the shark early because of the pressures that come with instantly needing good ratings on a network would you?. I think they will have a longer leash on CBS all access. Streaming is more tailer made for trek fans of today and the younger crowd in general. The “viral” nature of the internet or streaming content is it’s own asset and a better option that relying on the old and (arguably) archaic Neilson Ratings system.

Personally, I would of hoped CBS partnered with Netflix instead though. Just way more exposure to have it available on such a well establish streaming brand. But Since I’m from Canada, I still may get my wish if Netflix Canada picks up the show. Hopefully they will soon announce how the show will be distributed internationally.

Trekfan_1, I think you have it backwards. Streaming is not the same as syndication. The show was syndicated in the late 80’s because the producers didn’t want network executives breathing down their necks like they did as a network show in the ’60’s.
CBS would have been much better off putting the show on USA or one of their other sister cable networks. Streaming is of incredibly low quality for many and not a reasonable option for even more.

But it often produces creatively superior television: Daredevil, House of Cards, Transparent, Orange is the New Black, etc. USA, for example, has never had the best record in terms of quality original programming.

Agreed. One reason I think streaming shows have produced more creative storytelling is that writing for a streaming time slot is more uninhibited than writing for a T.V slot where you need to shoehorn in an exact number of ads. . With streaming, you don’t have to worry about going over in episode run time or artificially write in “mini cliff hangers” to lead into commercial breaks at certain point of an episode..

I never said streaming and syndication are the same but simply theres some broad parallels. Both were “different approaches” than the norm. For example, as you said producers “didn’t want network executives breathing down their necks”. It has been confirmed that CBS network will have nothing to do with the new series. The streaming branch of CBS is in control. Presumably that may mean they would be more in tune to what’s best for the show instead of of some distant high level CBS executive who only looks at old school ratings. Steaming trek has already proven to be a success with trek fans:

Les Moonves also agrees:

“Star Trek” is an expensive show, it’s the family jewel, obviously. The previous “Star Trek” shows that we sold to Netflix did extraordinarily well; I don’t think it’s a great surprise that Trekkies would go to the [streaming services] of the world. So we sort of felt that we had a tiger in the bottle.

Do you think the new Star Trek TV series will be more Action Oriented?

I wonder if it will be set right after the events of The Undiscovered Country and will deal with the peace between the Klingons and the Federation. Or perhaps Meyer meant what he said in a more general way and the new show will be more about the politics and relationships between species/cultures, kind of in the vein of DS9. Whatever the case, considering everyone who is involved, I am super excited.

Could do an alternate Enterprise B.

Set inbetween Star Trek 6 and TNG?

My initial thoughts about the setting for this show was that it could be set during TOS era based around the Klingon / Federation conflict with numerous series leading right up to TUC. However after thinking about it more afterwards I’m leaning more towards the approach of it being set in a different (future) time after the events of TUC with the basis for the show being more about politics which seems to be popular at the moment in a lot of successful shows. Sounds promising anyhow

Could set it in an alternate post Star Trek era with Excelsior, Enterprise B or C.

And how are all the other Star Trek fans, who do not live in the US, going to enjoy this new series? Not! I don’t think CBS all access will be available outside of the US. Bummer.

I’m sure it will get an international release eventually.

They have said there will be international distribution through various means, it will not be US exclusive.

Russell Meyers,

Not only that but Moonves said 60% of the show’s cost was recovered in international distribution sales which suggests rapid exploitation of the previous series’ international distribution channels.

Andromeda II?

It will be set in the future but begin with political overtones and not “great unknown / new ideas/ new discovery” overtones. No need / no reason to set it after STVI. Just forces producers to be constrained. Set it after ST: Nemesis.

Create an alternate post TUC era.

With Nicholas Meyer on board it’s unlikely to be post Voyager.

As soon as the podcaster suggested that CBS hire people who produce the fan shows, I stopped listening.

Rikers Mailbox,

I don’t know. I found the subtle, yet not overt, suggestion that Fuller in demonstrating the willingness to hire outside the standard industry labor pool, as in the case of Rod and Trevor, as a contributing factor in the Axanar lawsuit to, in effect, increase the labor pool for STAR TREK All Access and thus help keep its labor costs down, fascinating. It should be noted that it was also reported that Peters hired actual card carrying industry types as well so that may have been another or the actual factor too.

Seems to me, if the new producers try to set up a series based on the ideals and sensibilities of past Treks, the series is being set up to fail…there arent enough die-hards (see the failures of Nemesis and Enterprise) to carry an expensive series…fresh new audiences don’t care about it…you have to tap into the awarenes of the masses and the young audiences out there, if you want to stay relevant in this day and age. It’s not time for the Titan, it’s not time for Q’s return…it’s not time for a “clever” reboot with Captain Kirk and Miss Spock. It’s time to build on the new awareness that the new movies have brought to the franchise and boldly go to the small screen. The week to week adventures will build your audience and new fan base, it just has to be good. They just have to be really careful not to alienate the new demographics by pandering to the old.

ENTERPRISE was in no way setup to be based on the ideals and sensibilities of past Treks. It was designed to explore an era before those ideals and sensibilities came to be. Your assertion that it was is just plain wrong. It didn’t in any way pander to fans of Trek, die-hard or otherwise. If there was any pandering, it was to the ideals and sensibilities of two producers whose well of enthusiasm for the product had long exceeded its sell-by date.

And they carried that ennui over from NEMESIS which itself was also NOT designed in any way shape or form to appeal to the audiences that showed up for STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE.

And Les Moonves absolutely refutes your assertion that the die-hards not showing up for those two products in any way indicates that their numbers have dwindled and/or abandoned the ideals and sensibilities which made them fans of STAR TREK.

Please…Enterprise was promoted as “not being your father’s trek” yet it was just more paint-by-numbers Trek off of the Berman assembly line. The last season was loaded with pandering to the TOS crowd to try and lift the series up and out of it’s spiral…and I enjoyed the characters more than any of the other Berman era Treks…but don’t kid yourself, Enterprise was a failure…mainly because it promised to be different but was just more of the same.


Absolutely nothing in your reply supports your contention that ENTERPRISE failed because the die-hard fanbase dwindled to unsupportable numbers.

You admit the show was not promoted to the die-hards but then turn around and fault them for responding to the promotion exactly as PARAMOUNT and Berman intended.

“…but don’t kid yourself, Enterprise was a failure…mainly because it promised to be different but was just more of the same.” — Jonboc

How am I kidding myself? I said EXACTLY the same thing. The only difference is I was referring to Berman as one of the two producers pandering to himself as you surely acknowledged when you admitted he hadn’t promoted it to the die-hard fans. He certainly couldn’t pander to people who never showed up to begin with.

You are the one kidding yourself that somehow there’s a correlation between the size of the pool of die-hard fans and Berman’s failures.

There is more news on this than the 50th anniversary movie. What gives?

Well there’s one thing wrong with this distribution model. If this is streaming you not only have to sign up with CBS you also must purchase a streaming device such as Apple TV to watch this in HD on your big screen in the living room. You say well there’s your computer. Please the quality on my 55″ Panasonic in the living room or the 50″ in the bedroom looks better than any computer monitor. If you can’t do that without buying addition equipment this is a flawed distribution model. Sorry CBS you’ll have to do better.

Would be nice to see the TOS movie uniforms again at least a updated version.

As long as there is no Shakespere! I loved the atmosphere and cinematography but the dialogue was clunky as f12k.

Also, no anachronisms!!!

My guess is Myer wants to establish his authority early. He mentioned (off hand) that fuller wants it to follow up on Star Trek 6, which is misquoting at its best. Then he says he is fond of that film, which is probably closer to the truth.

But being a fan of a film doesn’t mean your going to use that as a starting point. That is putting words into others mouths.

This could be the first salvo fired in creative differences.

Meyer just wrote a really nice obit for Ken Adam on his facebook page. In case you don’t know Ken Adam is one of the two or three most influential and brilliant production designers in the history of film (DR STRANGELOVE, early Bond, tons of other stuff.)

The launching point for the series should deal with the Romulan refugees who were not on Romulas when it’s sun went Supernova.
There were colony worlds, and annexed planets with thousands- if not- millions of Romulans who are without a home world, or leadership.

Maybe someone significant reaches out to the Romulan refugees, and convinces the Vulcan’s to invite the Romulans to resettle somewhere on Vulcan.

Then, if the show launches from there, then moves on to 5 years later, you could have a Romulan or two serving on the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701/F.
Maybe even the Yorktown…

I am Excited about Alex Kurtzman and Nicholas Myer on the new Star Trek TV series, Alex Kurtzman Wrote the new movies Star Trek 09 and into Darkness so I am excited he is on board he may make this feel like new Trek and I am Glad Nicholas Myer is on board he wrote and Directed the Wrath of Khan so hopefully this will have a combination of the new Movies and Wrath of Khan in it, but when they brought in Rod Roddenberry in this my hopes fell a little.

“… The Undiscovered Country—according to Bryan [Fuller]—is a real sort of taking off point, or touchstone for how I guess he’s thinking about the direction of the new show. …”

It might be interesting to see some post-Praxis-explosion history. The Klingon empire begins to rapidly decline, Star Fleet is wracked by political machinations, there is a Klingon diaspora, etc.

Throw in some romance and you end up with The Last of the Mohicans meets Romeo and Juliet in space.