We are living in a great time for Star Trek documentaries. Earlier this week we reported on the new Voyager doc breaking crowdfunding records. And today brings news that the History Channel is doing a full series all about the 55-year history of the franchise.
The “ultimate” history of Trek
The Nacelle Company, producers of popular documentary series like The Toys that Made Us and The Movies That Made Us, is taking on the final frontier. Today they revealed they are working on an 8-part series titled The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek for the History Channel. The series promises to do the deepest of dives into the world of the Star Trek franchise. According to the announcement, The Center Seat will be “the ultimate Star Trek documentary that everyone has always wanted, and now they’re getting.”
Each episode of the series will focus on a different chapter in Star Trek history, starting with the inception of the original Star Trek series at Desilu. The doc series will feature interviews with people who worked on the show in front and behind the camera, as well as experts. The Nacelle Company promises The Center Seat will “reveal never-before-seen backstage stories and offer fresh insights” with “no stone is left unturned, including lesser known aspects of the franchise like The Animated Series and Phase II.”
The new Trek docuseries was created by Nacelle CEO Brian Volk-Weiss, who will also serve as director. “Star Trek, from before I was ten years old, gave me the closest thing I have to a code to follow in my life. If it wasn’t for the words ‘I don’t believe in the no-win scenario’ I’d be very alone, broke, and miserable in this world. So to say this is a passion project would be a tremendous understatement.” said Volk-Weiss in a statement provided to TrekMovie.
In 2016, Trekmovie interviewed Volk-Weiss for his previous Trek documentary for the History Channel, 50 Years of Star Trek. Volk-Weiss told us then that he wished he’d had a whole hour to go into Lucille Ball’s contribution to the very existence of Star Trek, so that’s likely a subject the doc will explore. He also told us that his interview with Leonard Nimoy—the last one ever done with the actor—gave him “one of the greatest moments in my entire life.”
There are some other familiar faces working on this exciting new project. One of the executive producers for the show is Mark Altman, co-host of the Inglorious Treksperts podcast and co-author of The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek. And Star Trek: The Next Generation castmember Gates McFadden is also one of the executive producers for the new docuseries.
No specific date on when the series will be released, but the announcement indicates it will be timed to coincide with Star Trek’s 55th anniversary, so it seems likely to debut in September 2021.