All Access Star Trek Takes Star Trek Pitches From Nick Meyer

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 32 - TrekMovie

[Nick Meyer interview discussion starts at 21:18]

Tony and Laurie start with the latest news: the new Star Trek documentary miniseries coming to the History Channel, Kate Mulgrew talks Star Trek: Prodigy, Colm Meaney on if he would play O’Brien again, Michael Chabon’s deep dive into Romulan culture, the final award season nominations for Star Trek Universe shows, and the latest on the Voyager documentary.

Then they devote the rest of the podcast to Tony’s new interview with writer/director/producer Nicholas Meyer, playing excerpts from it and discussing Meyer’s revelation that he pitched a new Trek movie to Paramount, the status of his Khan mini-series, and tales from his work on Star Trek II, IV, and VI.

Links to news topics discussed in the pod:

Kate Mulgrew Talks ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’; Creators Explain Why Animated Janeway Hasn’t Been Revealed

‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Showrunners Ink Extended Deal With CBS Studios

Colm Meaney Skeptical Of A Return To Star Trek; Reacts To ‘Lower Decks’ Tribute To Miles O’Brien

(Miles O’Brien (as “Falcon”) with an eyepatch)

Michael Chabon Reveals His ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Romulan Mythology… In Intimate Detail

All Access Star Trek Explores The New Extended Literary Universe With Author James Swallow

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ And ‘Picard’ Nominated For 7 Saturn Awards

History Channel Launching ‘The Center Seat’ Docuseries All About Star Trek

‘Star Trek: Voyager’ Doc Crowdfunding Passes $625K, Expanding Scale Of Project

Watch: William Shatner And Christopher Lloyd Reunited In ‘Senior Moment’ Trailer And Clip

Mentions during movies discussion:

Exclusive: ‘Wrath Of Khan’ Director Nicholas Meyer Has Pitched A New Star Trek Movie To Paramount

Exclusive: Nicholas Meyer Talks Star Trek: Discovery’s “Niche” And Hints At Another Star Trek Project

Interview: Nicholas Meyer On Why ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ Endures After 35 Years

Dr. Gillian Taylor follow-up


Tony: Dr. Swati Mohan talks about Star Trek to President Biden and Klingon language updated for the pandemic

Laurie: Three generations of guest stars: Herta Ware, Ellen Geer, and Willow Geer
Herta Ware, Ellen Geer, Willow Geer

Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and please post your suggestions for topics we should cover in the future as well as guests you’d like us to have on.

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Khan may be the most famous villain, but I wouldn’t say he’s the best. His motivations are pretty simple and boring. He blames Kirk for stranding him and he wants revenge. Lots of Trek villains have much more interesting motivations. Chang is afraid of the future, Soran is afraid of his own mortality, Shinzon feels like a cheap copy of Picard, and Edison feels like Earth gave up its freedom to the Federation. These are all much more three dimensional motivations than Khan’s quest for revenge.

I completely agree on all counts. Khan is fun, but he’s very overrated.

My guess is Nick Meyer has an awesome story about Kahn and crew, abandoned, having to survive the explosion of Ceti Alpha Five/Six (whatever). Problem is that we all know what happens to Kahn.
I’d recommend if that is the case – take the story and apply it to a colonization ship with Federation outcasts (prison ship??) which ends up being transported elsewhere due a Supernova or Axion star collapse, something (are they even in our universe, who knows, who cares, they are their own), crashes on a devastated world. There you go, you can probably re-use 99% of the script – all the gain, none of the negatives of Kahn and potential spin off to them setting up their own “Federation” (empire), maybe saving other enslaved races or something, see Kirk’s comments on a “space seed” growing on that episode.
You can do Enterprise right with them blasting off in a warp rocket and having that SpaceX star trek type show, blank slate, no canon conflicts, an excuse to ignore all things Snoozy on TNG, an excuse to use movie era everything.

So I’m going to disagree with you on this! Khan was complicated. He wanted revenge on Kirk, but he also wanted revenge on a world that had created him and then feared and abandoned him. He was a leader of his people and until he became so consumed by revenge that he couldn’t see past it, he thought he was leading them to a new future. Soran being afraid of his own mortality didn’t make him different from most people, and his character wasn’t developed to the point that we knew why he thought his mortality was worth the death of hundreds of millions of people. Edison, same thing. I never understood why he was SO mad, mad enough to kill a whole lot of innocent people just because… .wait, why? How did killing people on the Yorktown resolve his issue? He SAID he was mad but I didn’t really connect with why (and I really like that movie). To me, Shinzon is the most forgettable villain ever; I don’t even remember what he wanted. (Oops.) Chang has some depth. Maybe I’d put him with the Borg Queen. But I still put Khan far ahead of them all. He just had a deeper, richer personality, and it wasn’t just because of Space Seed that I understood it.

I think the problem with the Ceti Alpha show isn’t Kahn himself, he is fantastic (the ST II:TWOK version). It’s that his fate is known.
I personally feel that the show works as a tragedy but probably would be a real let down for most not getting to see the Space Seed unleashed on the galaxy by the end, him having to meet his fate with Admiral James T Kirk.
One potential solution is the Kelvin verse, but that Kahn wasn’t so awesome (poor Kahn, has to get his family back from big bad Starfleet). If they wanted to go the bad Starfleet route, should have had Kahn play everyone that he runs starfleet (originally hired for strategy, ends up running the show by manipulating everyone until it’s too late – that’s KAAAAAHHHHNNNNN!!!).

Definitely agree with you about Khan – the best movie villain IMO. Though I always thought Chang was a good adversary too, and the Borg Queen was certainly unique in that first appearance in FC.

To be fair, Soran was simply driven by an all-consuming desire to return to the Nexus, and whatever bliss it held for him. The actual consequences of his actions no longer seemed to hold any real sway over him. I believe he was supposed to have spent the intervening years since his ‘rescue’ searching for an alternative way, but was very much desperate by the time of GEN.

A sad tale really, as he effectively wasted his life. Guinan experienced the exact same trauma, though she channelled her life in a positive direction.

As for Shinzon, I can’t believe you don’t remember…

Raised in the harsh environment of a Dilithium mine, he received no sense of pity or compassion from the Romulan guards…

Molded by the darkness, he didn’t see the light until he was already a man. By then, it was nothing to him but blinding…

Having dedicated his life to honing body and mind, he would ultimately rise from the darkness, from the pit, and go on to become…


Oh no, wait…

Agreed, I always thought Trek used concepts as better villains than people. The Vger and probe from the movies for example always intrigued me more than the more “revenge” oriented bad guys. With concepts we can’t really be sure about them and therefore our imagination can be used more, with more human bad guys this is not really the case.

Imo, Edison’s motivations weren’t properly fleshed out in Beyond – they only really came to light in articles afterwards. Lame villain on-screen and a total waste of Elba’s talent, just imo. I did enjoy the film overall, though. I am totally done with Khan too, like many others…

Yeah I always liked Khan, but there is only so much you can do with him now given we covered all the basics of who he was. End of the day, he was a super human who came from the 90s and was in stasis for centuries before ending up on a barren planet. You just can’t do a lot with that now.

My favorite villain will always be Gul Dukat. But then the character was in over 60 episodes, so there was tons of development for him which Khan could never get if they tried (and please don’t try ;)).

What was the movie pitch?!?! Retried Ent-A on colonization duty or Ent-B crew lost in action who knows where?? Kirk during the lost years as head of Starfleet? Reboot movie era with Kirk’s second five year mission TWOK TV show (reboot Saavik, Carol Marcus, David Marcus)?? Excelsior with recast Sulu, Janice Rand and Saavik?!? Transwarp experiment gone wrong?? Organians captured while the Excalbians start the ultimate war between the Federation and the Klingons-Romulans and only movie TOS crew (using Kelvin cast) can save it?!? Colonization effort far from home??? A Discovery era movie where those on the frontier try to set out on their own and flee an anti-exploration anti-freedom stagnant Federation??
TWOK, TVH and TUC were fantastic. Wagon Train to the Stars/Horatio Hornblower in space.

I’m on board with your vision there, Cmd.

Thanks Laurie and Tony. I thought that was your best podcast yet and it’s been a high bar. The interview clips with Meyer were gold. I had no idea that Marla McGivers appeared in any versions of the script for Trek II and as for the “so what question is whale probe asking”, that was astonishing.

I’m with you Laurie (re: your point from last week) in which you suggested keeping the movies to the Kelvin timeline and as such distinct from the television universe. I know many fans consider “Beyond” as the best of the Kelvin films but for me it’s the one I like the least for the reasons Laurie articulated during the podcast. I just couldn’t wrap my head around Edison’s motivations. That he as a Starfleet captain would seek revenge on the Federation because they didn’t rescue him when based on his location, rescue would be unlikely, seemed ludicrous.

Always enjoy listening to these podcasts, so thanks for the latest edition. Was good to hear the interview extracts too.

Of the two, I would definitely be more interested in Meyer’s idea focused on the “gap in chronology”, especially if it’s something set between TUC and TNG.

As for the Ceti Alpha V mini-series…

I think TWOK was a great movie, and Khan was a compelling villain. I don’t particularly think there’s any real need to revisit him at this point though, especially since that was already done (for the worse IMO) in STID. I would much rather they focus on something NEW.

That said; if this was something that they were determined to push ahead with, then I definitely think Meyer has the right approach. 3 x 45/60 min. episodes seems sufficient to me. Trying to drag it out much beyond this (presumably to maintain subscribers) seems like overkill, and the story may well suffer as a result.

Completely agree about Colm Meaney. He’s had plenty of other successful work and so doesn’t really need to revisit O’Brien at this point in his career. Unless CBS offer him a big payday, or a really compelling script, I suspect we won’t see him again…in person, at least.

Was really impressed with the three generations feature at the end too. Had no idea about that!

Oh, and Laurie over-using the word ‘interesting’. I don’t think I’ve made a single post here without using it. Everything interests me, apparently!

When I heard the word “interesting” come out of my mouth for the 85th time I almost punched myself. As a writer I always say, “You don’t need to tell people something is interesting. If it’s interesting, they’ll know!” But when I’m speaking I forget my entire vocabulary and use the same handful of words ad nauseam. Tony is a great speaker, so here’s hoping I rise to the level of my very articulate co-host!

I tend to agree that Khan is done.

You’re actually both good conversationalists IMO. It’s what makes the podcast enjoyable to listen to.

Besides, I know if I was ever made responsible for recording one, every other word out of my mouth would be “…err…” and the running time would end up being twice as long!!

Very glad you’re enjoying it. It’s a lot of fun to record, that’s for sure.