Alex Kurtzman has given a couple of brief updates on the upcoming series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and the future of Short Treks as well.
Kurtzman on bringing back TOS style for SNW
On Sunday Alex Kurtzman participated in a Deadline Contenders panel, promoting his Emmy nomination for Star Trek: Short Treks. While most of the panel focused on the latest season of Short Treks, Kurtzman also gave an update on Strange New Worlds, the recently announced series set on the USS Enterprise featuring Anson Mount as Captain Pike, Ethan Peck as Mr. Spock, and Rebecca Romijn as Number One, all reprising their roles from the second season of Star Trek: Discovery and Short Treks.
The executive producer in charge of the Star Trek Universe gave an overview of how Strange New Worlds would have a different style and tone from Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard:
I think Strange New Worlds, under the guidance of Henry Myers and Akiva Goldsman, it’s going to be a return in a way to TOS [Star Trek: The Original Series]. We are going to do stand-alone episodes. There will be emotional serialization. There will be two-parters. There will be larger plot arcs. But it really is back to the model of alien-of-the-week, planet-of-the-week, challenge-on-the-ship-of-the-week. With these characters pre-Kirk’s Enterprise. I think what people responded so much to in all three characters is this kind of relentless optimism that they have. And that they are at the young phase of their careers.
Pike keeps his optimism, despite knowing his fate
Kurtzman also spoke about how Pike learning of his fate will be informing the character in Strange New Worlds:
That Pike, who has experienced this extraordinary trauma, which he is famous for. It is how he knows how he is going to die. The idea is, how does a character who knows how he is going to die live optimistically from that point on and lead a ship? It’s a great question. I have never seen a show where a character knew that already. You have to have an inherent optimism in your world view in order to say, “I am going to get up every morning knowing how it is going to end for me.” And still lead everybody to be the best versions of themselves.
In the season two episode of Star Trek: Discovery “Through the Valley of Shadows,” a time crystal showed Captain Pike a vision of his future, where – while not actually killed as Kurtzman describes – he will be horribly maimed, and fated to exist in a motorized chair, only able to communicate via beeps. Pike’s destiny was first seen in the TOS episode “The Menagerie,” which established that in the year 2266, one year after handing command of the USS Enterprise over to James T. Kirk, Pike will be crippled after exposure to Delta radiation during a training exercise. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will likely start off shortly after the events of the second season of Star Trek: Discovery which was set in the year 2257.
During the Deadline event, there was no update on the status for Strange New Worlds, but in other recent panels, Kurtzman has revealed that a writers’ room is already at work on the new show. As of July, they had already broken the stories for ten episodes, indicating the first season would have ten episodes. And last week Kurtzman stated that the show is expected to go into production in 2021.
Short Treks may experiment with musical and black & white formats
Currently no future episodes of Star Trek: Short Treks have been announced, but during the panel Kurtzman again expressed hope that the series will continue, and will find new things to try:
The thing that we definitely discovered is that these shows are as challenging as making the full shows. There is really no difference in terms of time commitment and energy spent. But I think there are so many forms that these shows can take. And because they are really an experimentation tool for what we can do on Star Trek, I have said I would love to do a musical. We have talked about doing them in black and white. But you have to do that for a reason. You can’t just do it to do it. There has to be a story reason to do it that way. Obviously there has been stuff in black and white in Trek before. But I don’t know man. I would love to keep experimenting and seeing how far we can push it. And I am incredibly grateful for the nomination, because I think it has emboldened everybody to keep going.
Kurtzman’s mention of Star Trek using black & white in the past is likely a reference to the Captain Proton holodeck stories featured in Star Trek: Voyager. Star Trek has never done a full-on musical, but some members of the Star Trek: Discovery cast participated in an episode of Carpool Karaoke. Check out the musical promo below, which features Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Repp, and Mary Wiseman singing in costume and makeup on the Discovery set and has clips from the episode.
Keep up with the Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.
We need more optimism on television especially in this day and age. I have had enough of the doom and gloom of our world. TOS style Optimism in Strange New Worlds is nice to hear.
Alex Kurtzman gets it. Optimism is Star Trek at its best. Without optimism, Star Trek is nothing more than a generic sci-fi tale full of exotic aliens and space battles.
I agree – but it can’t be magic we’ll-just-evolve-and-everything-will-somehow-work-itself-out optimism.
It has to show how we get there, how we keep from moving back and how we move forward. Even as things get better, we’ll keep struggling with each other and with ourselves.
We’ll keep facing problems, struggles and human nature. And Star Trek should show all that.
That’s just a fact of life – and it also makes for a watchable TV show. If there’s no conflict, what’s the point?
Which is why I really liked Enterprise. It showed the ups and downs of being in space and Archer frankly was starting to feel very cynical about it, especially after the Xindi incident. But then we started to see that optimism come alive when he created the coalition of planets to face off the Romulan threat. That started to help groups come together with the Andorians and Tellerites which we obviously know would eventually turn into the Federation with the Romulan war at the forefront. It was showing humanity was moving forward in a technological, political and social manner even in the mist of dire consequences.
Yeah, I too enjoyed Enterprise – too bad not enough viewers shared that opinion. I really liked the episodes where they showed how the non-interference directive developed as well as the early relationship between humans and Vulcans and Andorians. Now, it should be fun to see the early voyages of the NCC-1701.
Well to be honest about it, I didn’t really like it until AFTER it was cancelled. ;)
But yes once I went back to it and got beyond the first season which was when I stopped watching I realized just how good of a show it became. STILL not perfect and lots of flaws but it actually became a very good show that was probably on the thrust of being a great one.
And yes one of the things I did love from the outset was the Vulcan-Andorian relationship and the Vulcans in general. I always liked them but until Enterprise they had become pretty boring and one note by the 24th century. That show finally gave another side to them I really loved and that Discovery picked up a little.
“ Well to be honest about it, I didn’t really like it until AFTER it was cancelled.”
Because the owners then are imbeciles trying to get people to get their cable operators to get UPN it whichever useless (premium?) channel it was on. Cut to CBS All Access and me not seeing anything besides the first half of the Discovery pilot until years later.
Not sure what your point was but UPN was an over-the-air network. No cable required. It was not some premium service one had to subscribe to. If you got cable the local UPN affiliate would have been on the most basic of service.
That’s like saying the only way to be sober is to get drunk a lot.
This is the best comment I’ve seen on this because it’s exactly true. New Trek has been drilling into such a deep and dark hole the last few years I wonder if there’s enough optimism left to fill it. Unfortunately, people can’t have feel good stories anymore unless they’re dragged through misery first. And in the end, the field good part is simply a return to normalcy in disguise. But, hey, I guess if optimism is no one died or cried today, then ok.
Optimism and conflict are important but optimism is a Star Trek trait.
“and it also makes for a watchable TV show. If there’s no conflict, what’s the point?”
Star Trek already gave us 30 years of examples to choose from on how to tell interesting stories with conflict, but still have a sense of optimism.
And it’s partially done that by admitting 23-4th century humanity isn’t perfect – they are continuing to strive to be better, as always. That’s what it is: not explicitly solving our existing problems, but the drive to approach and solve problems in general.
Things like “we don’t smoke anymore” and “we learned to contribute, without greed” are merely flavor aspects of the setting – not the optimism and passion it shares – that comes from the “present-day” stories, people and conflict.
Alex Kurtzman doesn’t get it. That’s why Picard and Disco are a mess.
He’s never gotten it — else he’d be delivering shows that actually work, and succeed on multiple levels. He’d also not be letting Goldsman run anything more complicated than a dishwasher, let alone put words in ANY actor’s mouth. That s2 DSC wrapup’s final 1/2 hr or so, all the stuff with Burnham and Spock, was miss atop miss atop miss. It’s a massive discredit to the whole creative team that it got to screen in such poor shape, without anybody saying WTF or NO!
But AK does know what platitudes to mouth. (Now that I have the acronym AK in mind, I will start picturing Kurtzman as one of the invaders in MARS ATTACKS!)
And until somebody in power wises up — or realizes that whatever the numbers are now, they could be immensely better with a brilliant or even seriously competent (and by competent, I mean something WELL above Berman-level) overseer in place — AK TREK is going to continue to explore (or stripmine) the not-so-strange-new-world of missed opportunity.
Sorry if the above words fail me here, but the board doesn’t allow for the profanity necessary to accurately convey my feelings about the way these series have been written and produced. And make no mistake, that level of profanity is the only accurate way to describe these shows.
Your words worked for me, Kmart. I agree with you whole-heartedly. With the exception of one or two episides of both DSC and PIC, I have been extremely let-down with what we’ve been given so far. I like PIC better, but that’s not saying much.
We are on the same page regarding Secret Hideout Trek. They really need to hand off the shows to DIFFERENT people at the very least. Tired of seeing the same producers on STD, STP and now SNW. LDX is currently their best offering and it’s the one with the fewest of their company’s hands on it!
It shouldn’t take 15 producer credits to get a show done. When everyone is a producer, no one is a producer.
Huh? Picard was excellent (except for the reason Stewart is upset about season 2)
DISCO is good for what it is just like every star trek show has its own take. Enterprise was terrible when it was doing its own thing until it started connecting the dots to TOS and the rest of the ST universe.
What is Stewart about in season 2?? They haven’t even started filming it yet.
picard was a violent, nhilistic show which had people saying “dude” The story also made zero sense. This is why you dont let actors write your show.
You must not have watched to the end… Picard was trying to teach everyone involved a better way, a way of sacrifice. Picard was laying down his life to protect all involved. The violence and nihilism is a contrast to Picards sacrificial way.
The only space where I think they got it wrong (and I think Stewart agrees in some sense) is Picard as we know him should have died. Either totally and completely but certainly NOT the older golem that we have now. Either have his death mean something (sacrifice) or have Picard reborn (as a younger man/actor).
I agree the golem thing wasn’t a great idea but it was no way they were ever going to kill Picard or have a younger actor play him next season. The entire point of the show is to star Patrick Stewart. It only exist due to his involvement. Thats why it was no way he was ever really dying and I wish they just stayed completely away from that subject matter.
I still think they should have saved the golem thing for the series finale and had it be a cameo with Tom Hardy.
That’s actually not a bad idea at all. For real. But at the very least they should have ended the series with Picard’s death. Be if from that syndrome he had or something else. If they wanted to create a gollem then fine. But it should have been the end of the series. Not first G.D. season fer cripes sake!
He not only “gets it” but he “has it” is every sense of the phrase. He produces, directs and writes multiple Treks. You write comments.
That was SO true that I felt his pain. LOL
+1. PICARD has been excellent. It’s a spinoff about a lion in winter, not TNG redux.
Disco and Picard are nice but not perfect.
Star Trek was never perfect
Every iteration has taken 2-4 season to get it right (but never perfect)
Until now every iteration did not require the viewers to pay a fee and jump through hoops just to see it. Unless you count the feature films. And those are judged differently than the series’. So it seems more fair to compare these short season shows to a feature film. Meaning, there is no excuse for taking 2-4 seasons to get it right. That is an EPIC fail.
Kurtzman clearly gets something- perhaps not something you personally enjoy, but something. We’re into prep for Discovery S4, Picard S2, Lower Decks S2 and pre-production on three other Star Trek shows.
Is the working theory here that a multinational media corporation is happy to spend the last 5 years or so throwing millions at a set of projects in spite of disastrous numbers and terrible fan feedback?
I think he has the right idea in general and I honestly do not have a huge problem if he was a general overseer of Trek. It’s just that each show should have different people running them. Not the same group involved in all with perhaps one or two different ones. I mean completely different producers and writers. I agree with him that it is a good idea to have multiple series’ with different tones and genres. Even his idea of the Short Treks is a good one. It’s just that he has the same people involved in all of them. That means that their touch will be present on all of them. That means that if a show with that production team is not good, then odds are the other shows with the same team will also not be good. If you truly want to embrace the variety of different tones and takes, then every show has to have its own production team. They can overlap production design and SPFX people to maintain cohesion among shows. But the writing and producing should be separate.
You need TEMPERED optimism, not STAR TREK: HAPPY DAYS.
I think the only reason I ever held SYMBIOSIS in any esteem is because it at least offered a very rare TNG downer ending, something TOS did a little more often and with great success. Even a middle of roader like A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR still gave a tingle and sting with that “serpents … serpents for the garden of Eden. We’re very tired Mr. Scott. Beam us up home.”
Balance mature storytelling with some level of positivity. Sort of like FIREFLY plus, since you’d have to do better than that with the science. TREK can’t compete with THE MANDALORIAN on the simple direct mythmaking, not without resurrecting Gene Coon, anyway.
Happy Days had it’s dark moments…
Optimism is Star Trek but mythmaking should be a goal. Trek can’t be like Star Wars. It can be like The Expanse.
“Balance mature storytelling with some level of positivity.”
Precisely this. DS9 handled it great. Even in the latter half when things are serious and grim with the war, the show doesn’t wallow in grim darkness. It takes the topic seriously, but it’s still perfectly accepting of light-hearted fun and optimistic outlooks.
Not that it needs to happen, but I’d love it if Scott Bakula finally gets to do a handover, as Admiral Archer. According to a graphic onscreen for Enterprise episode “In a Mirror Darkly, Part II”, he attended the launch of the U.S.S. Enterprise in 2245, with Robert April as Captain.
Maybe a chance to show that in flashback at some point during Strange New World, establishing Pike was with the crew at the time?
Better give the NX-01 Crew a Mini-Series about the Romulan-War and the
“Rise of the Federation”-Novels as a series would be better!
A fifth season of Enterprise to give the crew a better send-off would be awesome.
Until NCIS: New Orleans is finished, I don’t think Bakula would have the time; and even then, I’d put money on him trying to do one more Broadway musical before he’s too old for any of the major roles.
You are quite accurate.
One thing I loved about Berman-era Trek series is the handoff in the premier episode. TNG had McCoy, DS9 had Picard, and VOY had Quark. I was super disappointed that LDS didn’t have a handoff from a TNG character in the premier episode, as that was the best opportunity for one in the Kurtzman era. I would love to see Archer show up in the premier of SNW. Or better yet, Trip Tucker, in a way that shows the events of the awful ENT finale never actually happened.
“These Are the Voyages” was ultimately a holonovel, where the viewer inserted herself into what was essentially a biopic about Jonathan Archer and the founding of the Federation.
It’s easy to think that the author might have taken a few liberties with minor characters for dramatic purposes, just as (for instance) the otherwise very accurate THIRTEEN DAYS embellished the role of Kenny O’Donnell in the Cuban Missile Crisis a bit to give Kevin Costner a meatier role.
It’s just me but until I see something canonical otherwise, I’m just going to say TATV was just a TNG episode and not 100% the case in regards to the events of the NX-01.
I can go with that idea too. Maybe it will save us from Trip being dead. ;)
I would prefer Story arcs over 2-3 episodes like Enterprise Season 4 !
“i have never seen a show where a character knew that already.”
Londo Mollari !
A) I wouldn’t exactly call Mollari living optimistically. Hedonistically, yes, but optimism doesn’t exactly come to mind. Sheridan and Delenn may be more on point about optimism, Sheridan knew he had a fixed number of days.
B) I don’t presume Kurtzman has watched anything unless he has tried to imitate it.
point B feels true beyond words to me.
Love it. Just fix the frakking collars on the Enterprise uniforms.
I wish we had the Cage-era collars that were the same colour as the uniforms. They always seemed super-retro to me, like they could have been from the ‘50s.
Everything about The Cage is very 50s-era retro sci-fi
I think the asymmetric collars on the uniforms are great design.
There’s nothing to fix.
The number of fans buying fairly off-the-shelf cosplay versions and looking great in them is a testament to Gersha Phillips’ work.
I love the asymmetric collars. They’re a tribute [I think] to the collars on Number One’s, Colt’s, and Dehner’s uniforms in “The Cage” and “WNMHGB”.
I just wish the collars in Pike’s Enterprise were the same color as the shirts, because the black just doesn’t work, IMO.
OTOH gold is just a terrible color. Always has been.
Its a bit frustrating, i dig the CAGE collars too, they give the era aund distinctive feel (together with the more grey/toned down set colors and the, lack of red uniforms).
The frustrating part is: the DISC overalls already had collars colored in the respective uniform color (white for medical and blue for the “rest“)
If they just kept that aspect, i’d be lucky
Henry Alonso Meyers. Known primarily for “The Magicians” – Quentin Coldwater enrolls at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy to be trained as a magician, where he discovers that the magical world from his favorite children’s book series is real and poses a grave danger to humanity, in the form of the multiverse-destroyer known as The Beast.
If you’re going to steer in the direction with Pike and his knowledge of his fate, please please don’t overkill that. If you show him pondering woulda, shoulda, coulda for the next several seasons (give or take) before his ultimate fate, it could ruin showing too much of the gut wrenching, physical and emotional tragedy for the character and the audience along with it.
Hey, Pike was something of a grind right off the bat in THE CAGE, way before all this. So his having a Russian temperment or fatalism isn’t something he just now acquired.
This is all great news. Again, its pretty clear Kurtzman has been listening to the fanbase since so many been begging for something like this again; just more planet/crisis of the week stuff, exploration, etc. Basically TOS/TNG although it will be more serialized on a personal level. I’m really looking forward to this show now. And with LDS proving you can do episodic episodes it will be nice to get something like that in live action again.
I really hope Short Treks comes back, but its pretty clear its not a guarantee. I said this before but my guess is just not enough people were signing up to watch them since end of the day that was mostly the point. The idea is nice, but its not something people are begging to watch. And then the second season still hasn’t even been shown internationally yet. It looks like Netflix just isn’t really all that interested in having them. That’s probably another reason third season hasn’t been approved.
I really like the idea of them though. And its more Star Trek. ;) They even gave it its own section on All Access! C’mon don’t give up on it now! Maybe if it actually wins the Emmy that will sway them.
Strange New Worlds is already the best Star Trek show since TOS. Yes, I said it! I have faith in it so much.
That’s probably why I’ve never embraced religion. I have no faith of the heart. I have faith that when I eat beans I will fart (actually wrote ENTERPRISE spoof lyrics along those lines once), but that’s about as close as I come.
It doesn’t exist yet. So no, it really, really isn’t, in a very literal sense.
Wow, easy on the kool-aid.
Ninja, I think its great you are excited and optimistic but its probably better just saying you HOPE it will be the best Trek show. When you say things like this, it feels a bit too much. It can’t ‘already’ be since the show has not even been shot yet.
I’ve been thinking a fair amount about how stand-alone drama has really been CBS’ thing.
There are a few series that had long arcs of evolving backstory but still maintained a standalone format (The Good Wife, Big Bang Theory). But it’s fair to say that serials are not only something Secret Hideout has struggled with, but also something that CBS senior management has not demonstrated that it understands how to finance and manage.
I’m wondering if some of the problems Kurtzman has had with starting production before the writing is complete come out of the bureaucratic management norms in CBS that are good for episodic television but inappropriate for serialization.
It may be that Short Treks and SNW may be a way for SH to show it knows how to do episodic television well while pushing for a financial and production model that makes better sense for the serialized series.
Serial drama does not work very well on broadcast network television traditionally; Lost and 24 are notable exceptions. The commercial broadcast model is what created episodic television, because that way a new viewer could see any episode of a show without having had to watch the previous umpteen episodes and seasons to understand what was going on. Premium cable like HBO and streaming has created a new world where serialization is the norm rather than the exception like it was at CBS and other broadcast networks. CBS is still not very adept at that reality.
Except CBS All Access isn’t broadcast television; it’s a paid subscription service. If I’m paying $10/month, I except quality, not fluff.
That is what I’ve been saying since the beginning. There is no excuse NOT to come out of the gate with something good when you are asking people to pay DIRECTLY for your service. Saying, give them 2-4 seasons to get it right is unacceptable under these conditions.
“ its pretty clear Kurtzman has been listening to the fanbase”
Er no. That’s how we have the mess that is Picard and Disco and Klingons that look like orcs.
Uh, the reason they STOPPED looking like orcs is because people hated them in the first place. I don’t get your point on that? No one WAS asking for them to look like orcs lol.
And we got Picard because people complained they wanted to move forward in the franchise again and of course TNG was a huge factor obviously so they brought in Stewart. Yes the execution wasn’t that great but they DID listen to fans by doing a post-Nemesis show.
Steve Jobs famously dismissed focus groups because he said that public didn’t know what it wants.
If a move away from serialization is “listening to the fanbase” (and I’m not sure it is, especially given the near-religious way in which some DS9 fans view the series), then he needs to listen to his creative vision, not govern by poll.
A. DS9 wasn’t completely serialized though. It didn’t really become fully serialized until it’s sixth season and even then they still had standalone episodes. But the overwhelming majority of the show were still standalone episodes, there was just the Dominion story line looming in the background in them and that didn’t even start until third season.
B. The issue isn’t that people don’t want serialized stories, but the ones they been telling on Discovery and Picard has become more convoluted doomsday scenarios and has overtaken what most people miss about Star Trek: exploration and more character based stories. That’s what most fans whose been watch Trek since TOS has been conditioned to watching. And of course it’s nothing wrong to go another direction as the TV medium changes but in this case it hasn’t improved the shows from a lot of fans perspective and why they went something more traditional because they know it worked.
And honestly if they were just better told then maybe most would be fine with SNW and other shows being serialized.
Doesn’t mean it will be better just because its more standalone again with SNW, but is obviously the hope. And I’m well aware part of the knock against VOY and ENT was that they weren’t more serialized from the start given their premises so none of this is an absolute.
But I know for me we had 3 seasons of these new shows and yet I outside of a handful of episodes, I haven’t rewatched much of either show. But yet I still watch episodes of all the old shows every week from TOS to ENT I been watching for decades now because you don’t need to know what’s going on in the entire season to understand what’s happening in an episode in 80% of classic Trek.
Out of boredom, I decided to go with your DS9 argument and just typed in a DS9 ‘best list’ to see what I come up with and not surprisingly most of what people consider the best episodes are the standalone ones. And I basically count standalone as the episodes that are not related to the Dominion war in any way and/or is an episode whose story is only told in that episode and never expanded upon in the series. Here is a good example:
Out of the 15 episodes listed I would say 9 of those are completely standalone. So it’s not that cut and dry by a long shot. The reality is even in serialized seasons the best episodes that stand out are usually the episodic ones and why Trek fans are more drawn to them even if they still like what DS9 did overall.
Short Treks is the clostest to Anthology Trek we will ever get. And with them being able to produce them on the cheap by reusing standing sets from the (now) many live-action shows, it’s really win-win for everyone!
“Short Treks is the closest to Anthology Trek we will ever get.” That a pretty bold prediction. Given how many Trek series are being produced or are in the works, I think just about any concept is possible in the future. It wouldn’t surprise me at all of a full-blown anthology series is announced one of these years.
I should’ve specified: “live action anthology series”. This is a business decision more than anything else (see: Bryan Fuller’s Discovery anthology concept). I have no doubt an anthology series could be done as animation or in CG, without actors, but even then the “commitment factor” is not as strong for the audience as with an ongoing crew. I mean, that’s the reason they cite for serialization’s superiority to episodic television, no? The binge factor. Not that I buy into it, I would love an anthology in live action, but that’s what the suits are thinking :/
VS from what I understood from the interviews, the animated Short Treks last season were a huge commitment in time and creative energy.
A live action Short that can use existing sets and props sounds like less not more onerous in resource use.
Once the relaunched CBS All Access (or maybe Paramount +) streaming service is available internationally, and the dependencies on Netflix / Amazon for int’l distribution are gone, I see the likelihood of more Short Treks increasing. Particularly if we ever get close to the vision of new Treks being released year round, there might be more incentive to fill any gaps with Short Treks to keep people subscribed.
That’s my sense of it too Mike2, but a ‘season’ of 4 Shorts a year would be fine in the meantime.
Sorry, but Paramount+ will fail massively international. There is literally nothing people internationally are really interested to spent extra money. This works in US with customers used to pay this idiotic cable fees, but internationally they will be victims. No, Paramount would definitely have more success with subrenting their service, maybe like the addons you can do on Amazon Prime. But as own service? No chance!
The idea is nice, but its not something people are begging to watch.
My Trek friends who are overseas have been begging to see Short Treks every year. I don’t understand why CBSAA/Paramount/whoever didn’t sell them as part of the DSC “package” to Netflix UK/EUR. It boggles my mind.
Marja given that Netflix buried season 1 of Short Treks as “trailers” for Discovery it doesn’t sound as if that streamer was willing to pay for an anthology series of shorts.
Or something. Netflix just doesn’t buy shows in this niche unless they are done and packaged.
Once Short Treks was listed as its own independent series, they became a poor fit for either Amazon or Netflix.
The one thing I don’t understand is why ViacomCBS doesn’t sell them on YouTube one by one or on subscription.
Yeah, use Short Treks as free marketing for the rest of Trek. Tell short stories that tie into the Trek universe and specific shows. Release them for free somewhere like Youtube.
I’m sure people want to watch them, the question is it enough of them and are they willing to pay to watch them? Since Netflix has not bothered to pick up the second season after airing the first season then clearly their own data and numbers told them it wasn’t worth it because one thing you can say about Netflix they will buy ANYTHING if they think people will watch lol.
Everyone seems to like Short Treks because we are hardcore fans, we’ll watch anything. But I’m guessing this is probably not on most fans radar, especially casual fans. Again they may watch it, but they probably would never pay to watch it.
I struggle to think of any “must-see TV” series in recent years that are stand-alone dramas. Series like HAWAII FIVE-0 and NCIS continue to be mostly fluff. LAW AND ORDER, perhaps, although that formula eventually grew stale, and worked only because it showed the judicial side of police work, which was innovative at the time. The most critically-acclaimed dramas, like THE AMERICANS, BREAKING BAD, OCCUPIED, or 13 REASONS WHY, are serialized.
Back in the day when Brannon Braga, rather than Kurtzman, was the net’s favorite whipping boy, Planet-of-the Week was derided as Forehead of the Week — and not without reason. Yes, we have some standout episodes (“The Inner Light,” etc.) But we also had lots and lots of turkeys — frankly, probably about 50% of the entire series. That’s why so many people flock to those “essential TNG” lists. It also is what got people excited about DS9, whatever DS9’s other flaws. Planet of the Week is what gets you Janeway turning into a salamander.
So yes, this announcement does present some red flags. Maybe.
Now, what worked really, really well in ENT season 4 — for my money probably the best single season of any Trek series — was its trilogy format: the Vulcan trilogy, the Augments trilogy, the Andorian trilogy, and the Terra Prime trilogy (OK, duology, depending on how you see the finale). That format allowed for building sophisticated storylines and complex characterization.
I’m hoping that the references to “lots of two-parters” and “emotional serialization” are really getting at something like ENT season four. They could do a lot worse than to bring back Manny Coto in some fashion.
I don’t think people are against serialization. Nearly every show I watch today are indeed serialized. I have no issue with it at all and I agree with you, pretty much the most acclaimed shows today are serialized shows.
But it just seems to be the issue with the new Trek shows is that the people writing them simply don’t know how to write those stories well enough. I mean there are tons of great serialized stories every year. If Picard’s story was anywhere as tightly plotted with strong character arcs and a great conclusion as the Expanse was its first three seasons (I haven’t seen season 4 yet), which also has ten episodes every season, then we probably wouldn’t be arguing about it now. Or if it was as good as Better Call Saul in season 5, Mr. Robot last two final seasons, Snowpiercer’s first season, Homeland, The Watchmen, 12 Monkeys, The Ozark, The Leftovers, etc, etc.
I can go on and on and on. I mean I do watch tons of TV that has nothing to do with Star Trek (some here may be shocked to know that lol). And while Star Trek is my favorite franchise overall, period, no way is DIS or PIC anywhere close to those other shows I just mentioned in both their story telling or character development. Not even close because they just either turn into convoluted messes or half baked stories with tons of plot holes and very unsatisfying character developments.
I just started watching The Handsmaid’s Tale a few weeks ago for the first time and currently on season 2 now. I am completely riveted by that show and it couldn’t be farther from Star Trek if it tried lol. But it’s done so well and of course its a series long arc, not a seasonal one, so those stories like LOST and GOT before it has to deliver every season or its easier to drop them if the story as a whole is just not clicking. Serialized stories are great when they click overall but when they don’t, yeah…
And that’s the problem with Star Trek. These are just seasonal stories and they still failed to really deliver by the end of the season and why fans are now wanting more standalone stories because its not only what Star Trek did in most of its run, they know it works.
And I’m said this to you in another post here, what makes standalone stories work is that you can just go back to them over and over again. The fact is I have no interest in watching most of season one of Discovery or Picard but yet I can rewatch first seasons of the other shows from TOS to ENT knowing they had bad episodes because the good ones can be watched as one solid story. Its literally why Star Trek has found a new life on streaming because the stories are so varied, creative and fantastical, you can just watch individual episodes from ANY show over and over again. If you like Borg or Klingon stories, you have plenty of options. Same for time travel stories. Courtroom stories. Crazy anomaly stories. Q episodes and yes the various planets of the week. I constantly rewatch a lot of those. I love Homeland, but no I’m not rewatching individual episodes either. Either I decide to rewatch the entire season or I simply don’t bother. And I have only rewatched one season (season 4) out of that show’s entire run even though its one of my favorite shows of all time.
And lastly what I find interesting in DIS and PIC is that the episodes people seem to gravitate the most so far are the more standalone episodes. At least for me! The few favorites I do have are ‘New Eden’, ‘Nepenthe’, ‘Lethe’, ‘Magic Make the Sanest Man’, ‘Remembrance’, ‘Brother’, etc. It’s certainly none of the finales which seem to be some of the worst IMO.
That’s the issue. I just don’t see myself rewatching these new shows like I do the old even if the old had a lot of bad episodes. Well it’s easy to just not watch those lol. With serialized shows it’s literally all connected and you can’t just watch the good ones in the same way.
Hopefully in the future these shows will just have better stories but at the moment I can’t blame anyone for wanting more standalone episodes because the ones that are good will be rewatched at least.
“That Pike, who has experienced this extraordinary trauma, which he is famous for. It is how he knows how he is going to die.”
Nope, Kurtzman. Know your trek
The fact so many people are begging for a Pike show after he was shown on Discovery proves that he does. And obviously he doesn’t literally mean dying, it’s figurative.
Adama… I think Kurtzman referring to how Pike will die… is figurative. As in Pike’s life is over as he knows it after the accident and put into his life support wheelchair.
Kurtzman not understanding the difference between life and death on anything except a metaphorical level would certainly explain some things about his era of Trek, which has misunderstood a great deal.
Maybe he was thinking of Pike’s fate in the Kelvinverse? He co-wrote those movies after all. Kind of betrays his thinking what is the real Trek in his book :/
They’re both real Trek.
It’s like Classic Coke and NuCoke, man. Both are “real Coke”, but otherwise, it’s no contest :)
I agree with Mike2 on this, Kelvin universe is just as in canon as PU, it’s just a different timeline. But yes you can certainly ignore it as I know a lot of fans do today. I still think how funny that is given a lot of fans at the time had no issues with the Kelvin universe becoming the main universe and the PU basically thrown in the background as ‘past Star Trek’.
How the tables have turned again.
I searched for this comment… i am not a hater of nu trek, as i think it absolutely revived the franchise (like a adrenalin shot to the heart..XD ) but i am enough of a nerd to be bothered by this seemingly incorrect assertion. Luckily the writers will probably stick to what was established (in DISC moreso)
I would like to see some flash-forwards, similar to how BETTER CALL SAUL opens its seasons in Nebraska. It may be that Pike’s story doesn’t end with “The Cage.”
This sounds like a good direction to take strange new worlds. I approve.
Yep because we’ve had almost 60 years of that formula actually working well. They should have got this into their head before Picard, before Disco.
It’s almost like the franchise was handed over to people who were kind of ashamed of Star Trek and wanted to make anything else…
No Bryant Burnette, it’s more like everyone from Berman and Braga on through Abrams and Fuller have been at a loss how to make aspirational Star Trek valid in the post 9/11 grimdark entertainment vortex.
Discovery was sold as a new model of Trek that would be appealing to new audiences in a period when grimdark was what the studios believed was what audiences want. Aspirational Trek was viewed as quaint and old-fashioned.
Well, it’s not only been two decades at this point, but we’re living through 2020, a year that at the global level will have far more impact on audience preferences than did even 9/11.
The pendulum is swinging back and Kurtzman recognizes that.
I just hope that Goldsman and the other writers can let go of two decades of thinking that shows have to be a certain way that isn’t a good fit with the franchise.
It’s not figurative. There’s no reason why Kurtzman should be so sloppy as to say Pike is going to die since The Menagerie is all about Spock’s successful attempt to have Pike return to Talos IV so Pike could enjoy his life.
Strange new worlds is supposed to be optimistic because Kurtzman got Star Trek so wrong in his work so far. Even anybody with a cursory understanding of Trek knows it is supposed to be optimistic in the first place. Instead he gave us all STD. I guess Kurtzman knows how to make money, so he is going to remain at the helm of Star Trek. But Kurtzman does not understand Star Trek and he has decimated Star Trek. I’m no longer angry, I’m just sad.
Discovery was optimistic. Bad and dark things happen, but the protagonists ultimately save the day by remaining optimistic and maintaining the values of the Federation.
Exactly. I see lots of optimism in Discovery and Picard. It’s just not spoon-fed to the audience.
I think of Burnham in the Agonizer room, talking with Mirror [she doesn’t know yet] Lorca, thinking that when she beams down to talk with Fire Wolf, maybe they can form a coalition of forces opposing the Empire. That all these “races” could come together and fight evil. Talk about optimism! [If only Lorca had been Prime Lorca …]
Burnham was Federation through and through!
you must hate DS9 and voyager to some extent and most of Enterprise Archer is an an egotistical colonialist for Earth/humans. I get the point of that show is to show humanity transition from individualist/nationalist
to the unified federation but its definitely not the optimistic ST you describe.
Kurtzman knows very well that Pike doesn’t die in the accident, and Kurtzman knows that he returns to Talos IV to live out his life. DSC season 2 demonstrates clearly that Kurtzman knows and understands Pike’s story. Episode 8 even used original footage from The Cage (brilliantly, I might add). I’ve been waiting for more Pike since 1968. And Alex Kurtzman is finally the person to do it. I don’t think everything he’s done is perfect, but this 50-year Star Trek fan is very, very thankful for Kurtzman’s leadership of the franchise.
I have enjoyed Anson Mount’s portrayal of Pike but I don’t think it was necessary for Pike to know his fate. They could have done foreshadowing without him literally being presented with his future…it also doesn’t make sense that acquiring a time crystal would have sealed his fate either.
That was the premise. If you take a time crystal, you will see your fate. If you’re brave enough to accept that fate, then you get to keep the time crystal and fool around with time.
This helps the new audience understand how courageous Pike is in the course of helping others.
I just can’t believe the words [TIME CRYSTAL] made it out of the writers room. Thats the only thing I’ve hated about DISCO.
In my mind, the fact that they even came up with the concept of a “time crystal” was a symptom of the poor writing and producing and show running that we had already seen from both seasons at that point. I had come to expect lunacy like that from this group. And that’s just sad.
eh I’ve enjoyed this new era ST and EVERY ST show has stumbled and found its footing after 2-3 seasons. And really most of whats bad about ST becomes what people love about it. Star Trek is campy no matter what the genre of the version (DS9, VOY, TNG, TAS, OTS, ENT) your watching now DISCO w/ time crystals. I hate it now but it’ll just become a beloved quirk in 10 years.
Read my other posts about how putting the show behind a pay wall means the “give it 2-3 seasons” excuse is unacceptable.
And yet, dylithum crystals allow you to fly faster then the speed of light. Go figure.
Dilithium crystal sounds like SOME thought went into it, extrapolating in some way from lithium.
Chrono-whatsit crystals would have as well.
Time Crystal sounds like a 3rd grader’s first writing effort, before a kid ever even lays eyes on a thesaurus or has done enough reading to develop a real vocabulary.
If they can do a musical episode even close as good as the Buffy episode, I can’t wait.
You and me both!
I hope this ends up being as great as I feel like it could be.
I’ll believe it when I see it. I am extremely dubious after enduring what has been served up under the Star Trek banner by Kurtzman so far. I am fairly sure that he’ll do everything he can to ruin this series as Anson Mount’s portrayal of Capt Pike is son Star Trek point that so it highlighted just how grotesque Disco and Picard are.
Kurtzman wrote the part, cast Anson Mount, and directed him in his very first episode. Either (1) Kurtzman was not on set for every Anson scene, or (2) you’ve already enjoyed at least SOME of what Kurtzman has served you. And I’m sure you’re ready for seconds!
Two things: A broken clock is right twice a day and 2) When you’re starving and someone throws you moldy bread, you’ll eat it. Was Pike great because of the direction, or did Pike only seem great because what he was surrounded by was pretty horrible. No one was asking for a Pike show five years ago, that ought to tell you something.
That’s actually a very good point. Eddie Murphy said in a comedy routine that if you give a starving man a cracker that would be the greatest cracker in the history of the world. Which is part of why while I liked what I saw from Pike, Spock and #1 I still have doubts if SH is capable of doing it well.
Please let SNW have aspirational themes at its core. Intelligent, thoughtful writing without plot holes. No more situations of rage-filled disrespectful members of Starfleet creating a hostile environment that would have been thrown out many incidents long ago. No more actors so covered in makeup only their eyes remain that can only speak with spit-flying garbled dialog. Set us free from the suits seeking to make fans buy anything carrying the name Star Trek. I need a dose of good grownup Trek. I‘ve been so very long without it.
Well put, and agreed.
Sounds good. Now make Section 31 a single episode of Short Treks in which Federation prosecutors convict every member, who all then stay perpetually in Seinfeld-finale limbo so we never have to hear about such an anti-Roddenberry crapfest again.
One can only imagine Fuller and Kurtzman wheeling into CBS with a copy of The Cage and trying to convince their execs to sink millions of dollars into bringing back Star Trek based on the original pilot featuring Captain Christopher Pike, Number One and Mr. Spock on board the U.S.S. Enterprise. I shudder to think what would have happened. Fortunately for us, like it or not they instead sold them on a new project called Star Trek Discovery and the rest is history. Anticipating the October season 3 premiere of Star Trek Discovery and can’t wait to see the series premiere of Star Trek Strange New Worlds!
This what I was trying to propose back in 2014/2015 when I pitched Star Trek Uncharted at Paramount (though it was a sequel series, not prequel). They said they wanted to do “something new”. Which is fine. But they forgot what made Star Trek special on the first place. Glad they’ve finally come around!
Mcg: any chance we will see any details of that pitch? Or could you at least throw any hints? It’s interesting you pitched this after Star Trek into Darkness came out.
Oh, yeah, I put the whole pitch online in 2014 and TrekMovie covered it in 2015 then Paramount invited me to pitch it in the summer of that year. Nothing came of it, obviously, and I didn’t expect it to (Hollywood is a very insular place it seems, and unless you know people, you’re not getting anything made). But my goal was really to just say how much we need Trek and need it to be back on TV where it can tell the sort of stories that made it such essential science fiction in the first place, and not be beholden to telling action-adventure stories for the sake of movie ticket sales.
My site is actually still up, miraculously:
Dude I love your ideas! This sounds like something I been wanting to see as well. A true post-Nemesis show with a brand new Enterprise exploring a new galaxy. Love your cast of characters too. I haven’t read your script yet (I need a lot more time ;)) but the premise alone sounds great and for Star Trek to push forward and evolve on one hand while still very feeling traditional in its core setting.
Sorry you didn’t get more than a pitch meeting but as you said Hollywood is a very who-you-know kind of place. Certainly many people have broken through new to the scene with a good screenplay or something but my guess is that’s a low minority and very hard to crack.
But its also why I’m excited about Discovery. I know its based on a fallen Federation idea but I would LIKE to think if the show is going to really stick it out there and they do get Starfleet up to what it was in the 23rd and 24th century we can see stories like that in the future. Especially since they literally have a piece of technology that can transport them to anywhere in the known universe….and yet they only seem to use it to stick around just Federation space for some reason when they now literally have the means to go where no man has gone before. Sigh.
Thanks, it was a lot of fun to write, and I had full season and series arcs and character arcs planned for 7 full seasons. I wanted to make sure the show had some forward momentum so that each season was a bit different (at the end of season 1, the first starbase goes operational and a second ship comes through to join them, captained by a young, cocky captain who is the great-grand-daughter of Kirk and thinks the Enterprise should have been hers). And so on.
That site also has a link to download the entire 2-hour pilot script, too:
If any of you believe this, “return to optimism” garbage from Kurtzman, I have some swamp land in Florida I want to sell you. Kurtzman said the same thing about the second season of STD and the first season of Picard. Neither case was true. This was him spinning things as he obviously does so well.
He talks about “emotion” and “optimism”. How about well crafted stories that are character driven and embody the ideals of Star Trek. Not shows where half of the main characters are murderers and the other half are apathetic to it – Picard or where people vocally pat themselves on the back for using math to solve a problem when supposedly every day of their existence in this universe is spent using math and science as a tool to resolve problems. Both of these examples are but two examples of too many to count that illustrate Kurtzman’s (and the people that working under him) grasp of the fundamentals of telling Star Trek stories is non-existent. What is worse is that he and his colleagues have thoroughly demonstrated no care or concern for understanding these fundamentals.
I agree. What’s so amazing is that people responded to my post, which is much the same as yours about how Kurtzman disregards Trek’s optimism, saying how “optimistic “ Discovery and Picard are, despite so many of us pointing out how negative they are. I am rapidly developing an acceptance that people will just see what they want to see, and nothing is going to stop them.
I am beginning to think some people see what they want to see and nothing is going to stop them seeing all negatives in things that actually are positive, because they don’t like the way it’s done.
Optimism is what pulls you through bad times. Optimism helps you build. Optimism helps you help others. Optimism is many things, not just one thing.
Discovery and Picard are not optimistic enough. Star Trek must be more optimistic. Optimism is the golden rule.
Short Treks experimenting with musical and black & white formats is a cool idea. Star Trek musical… The Hamilton of Trek.
CBS should do a Captain Proton show.
Great news, especially in the light of the Lower Decks garbage.
I don’t think it will be good. I have lost all faith in Star Trek since Kurtzman and co. Decided to do away with Trek and just use it as a platform for their personal political views. They’ve had 3 attempts at making Trek and failed miserably every time, it’s an embarrassment even calls mg it Star Trek. This will be no different, if it even gets made, remember section 31?
I have to agree 100%. I have absolutely no faith in these showrunners whatsoever.
It won’t take long for everyone here to hate the show because it not “Their Star Trek”. Planet of the week episodes don’t mean it won’t have a season story arc.
Let’s just think about this for a moment folks. Strange New Worlds has to deliver the cannon that has been well established since TOS, they have to give the reasons why Kirk Spock and the crew did the things they needed to do and how they did them. Yes Enterprise came before but Enterprise did not establish Cannon the way that one character of one ship did in just 2 episodes in TOS timeline so no they’re not just going to be a series there going to be a history lesson and homage to the fandom. They have to do it the right way with the right attitude and the right morals here’s hoping that everybody gives them a chance and realizes that it might be a little bit dated and it might be a little bit out of play for today’s effects but I think somewhere along the line this series needed to be done a long time ago. I for one am looking forward to it how about you?
Goldsman, Kurtzman, Aaronikoski, Chabon, Beyer, Waldman, etc. So much for DIVERSITY.
I’d like to see Kurtzman make greater efforts for behind the scenes diversity also.
He’s said it’s important, and that was stressed in interviews when Hannah Culpepper got to be the director of the premiere for Picard. They’ve also stressed Gersha Phillips and Tamara Deverell’s leadership in production in Toronto for Discovery.
But this particular show seems to be leaning into the usual Hollywood bubble of people who know people.
I’m very glad that Beyer is in there as a woman, but she’s still working her way up the WGA hierarchy. I don’t think she’s a full EP yet.
I’d really like to hear about more diversity across all dimensions in the writers room, the production design and even the supervising director who will be on site managing things in Toronto. I’d like to see diversity in terms of creatives from different countries, cultures, racialized communities, gender. It would make for a better Trek.
Looking forward to this, imho star trek has always been best when showcasing the wonders of space, from strange alien races to temporal anomalies, from lush green worlds to inhospitable deserts, too much emphasis on big battles, wars and politics recently in star trek,, let’s get back to exploring the myriad of possibilities.
I LOVE the idea of a musical Short Trek. They need to hire Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex Girlfriend”) to compose it!
I think it pretty obvious how Pike is able go to on after being exposed to that future. The only way to reconcile it is to convince yourself that the future isn’t set. That is is only a “possible” future. He can change it.
Wow after 2 seasons of STD, 1 of STP, failure of S31, and a zanny cartoon for kids with swear words for adults. Kurtzman is now going to try and make a more positive entertaining Star Trek. What happened to his negative, WOKE vision? Took you long enough to listen! I hope you didnt spend all the goodwill and money for your stupid version of Star Trek.
I’m glad to hear all this, but at the same time I don’t think running on nostalgia by directly emulating The Original Series (in the same era, with some of the same characters, no less) is the way to go.
The later shows like Deep Space Nine and Voyager managed to keep the core values and format of Star Trek, but still do their own, unique things with it. They evolved without direct imitation.
I agree with this which is why I want to see Trek keep going forward. It doesn’t mean it will be BETTER but it actually expands the franchise, not just keep looking back which prequels usually do. That said I think SNW is kind of needed in the sense it could be that show that gets back to basics. DIS and PIC didn’t do that and while that’s not what made them bad I do think people are just missing going to a planet and looking around for an episode and not have it all deal with it being the end of the galaxy.
Simpler stories and smaller crisis usually relating to the state of the ship or a group of people somewhere is really what most shows like TOS/TNG/VOY etc did for most of their runs and would be nice to see again.
It’s why I’m enjoying LDS so much now. It feels like an extension of the other 24th century shows, but just in animated form.
I feel very similarly, Lego. More pre-TOS is Not needed, imo.
I honestly would rather they fill in the gap from post TUC. That is the era I wish they would explore further. I’m not against prequels and would be fine if they did one that actually worked with what they were leading into, which obviously Discovery failed to do in spades. Just because STD didn’t work as a prequel doesn’t mean the fault was with the concept. The fault was with the execution.
I know I’m probably in the minority but to me the TNG era is just not all that exciting. There is a near 80 year gap just waiting to get filled. I’d rather see that than anything post Nemesis. And I still wonder why it has been ignored for so very long….
Agreed, I’ve been wanting a post-TUC series since stumbling out of the opening night of GENERATIONS. Not a fan of 24th century Trek outside of DS9, but the transition that got us from TUC to TNG is of great interest to me, especially right after TUC. I like the look of the bridges from that era, plus you have all that great 70s-feeling political paranoia evinced in TSFS (“sir I don’t think you should be discussing this matter in public’) and TUC.
“Return to planet of the week and TOS optimism.” Hmmm…haven’t we been repeatedly told that no one wants the “old” trek way of doing things because serial and sad is the new way of telling Trek stories? I don’t think anyone deserves a pat on the back for finding optimism again. You shouldn’t have written it out in the first place.
No, what you’ve been seeing on All Access is not optimism unless you’ve got a very low bar.
Credit where credit it due. Between Star Trek Discovery, the broken characters and more personal stakes of Star Trek: Picard, the craziness of Star Trek: Lower Decks and the episodic nature of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, plus the presumed darkness of Section 31 and the possibly lighter more child-friendly tone of Star Trek: Prodigy, say what you will about current Trek, but it is really diverse and not doing the same thing twice. I like that. When Star Trek got stale is when it “died” back in the 2000s.
I don’t mean to be that guy but Pike didn’t learn how he is going to die in the second season of disco..he learned of the accident he would be involved in that change his life for a while. A second look through a time crystal would show him that ultimately everything would work out.
I’m looking forward to Strange New Worlds and Discovery Season 3. It is a great time to be a Star Trek fan. I only wish there was a new feature film on the horizon but we cannot have everything. For the first time since the 1990s, Star Trek is alive and vibrant again, and with all the different series being made and planned there is something for everyone.
I hope Strange New Worlds will feature the mini skirt uniforms as seen in TOS :)
i thought Disc S1 was pretty good but S2 plot line got to be so fantastical it seemed very far fetched. at this point how do they top it with the next threat? less is more most of the time. the short treks are kind of better than the seasons minute vs minute. and after some review videos pointing out all the flaws and holes, im not desirous of any more Picard. bringing back these old characters and actors doesnt do it for me. they’re just too goddamn old. a borderline obese Riker just seems like fan service. i cant imagine sitting down to rewatch any of the new trek stuff because either its not episodic so you have to watch the whole season, or its just not good enough. that’s one thing they’re missing (and yet got right with short treks): Trek has endured because its re-watchable in reruns. i’ve seen some TOS/TNG episodes 25 times and im still not bored of them.
“That Captain Pike, who has experienced this extraordinary trauma, which he is famous for. It is how he knows how he is going to die. The idea is, how does a character who knows how he is going to die live optimistically from that point on and lead a ship? It’s a great question. I have never seen a show where a character knew that already.”
Alex, his name was Londo Mollari and that was Babylon 5, a quarter-century ago.