We now have our first look at the upcoming Star Trek documentary coming to the History Channel, which was announced earlier this year.
First look at The Center Seat
The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek is a brand new multi-episode documentary series, which will be narrated by Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Gates McFadden. It is being produced by the same team behind History’s 2016 50 Years of Star Trek documentary. The Nacelle Company, who also produced the popular Netflix docuseries The Movies That Made Us and The Toys That Made Us, just released a trailer for Trek docuseries.
Each episode of The Center Seat will focus on a different chapter in Star Trek history. According to a release from Nacelle Company the documentary will be wide-reaching, detailing “how it began, where it’s been, and how it’s boldly going where no television series has ever gone before!”
The Center Seat is directed by Brian Volk-Weiss (The Movies That Made Us, The Toys That Made Us). Ian Roumain serves as showrunner and executive producer, with Gates McFadden, Cisco Henson, Ben Frost and Mark Altman serving as executive producers for the series.
Originally set to be released this fall, we still don’t have a final release date for The Center Seat, but we hope to have more details on the docuseries soon.
Find more news and analysis on Star Trek documentaries at TrekMovie.com.
This looks amazing. I can not wait.
Why not “The Trek That Made Us”?
Wow, I was just thinking about this doc a few days ago. I was wondering was it still happening?
So glad to hear that it is. Although ONCE again, I know I bring this up a lot, but why is no one and I mean literally no one, from the Kelvin movies involved????
I just never understand it. All these new events they have and its like those movies just don’t exist anymore. I was almost shocked to hear the main Kelvin theme played on Star Trek day but complete peanuts outside of that.
I hear fans constantly say these movies ‘saved’ Star Trek. I NEVER believed that at all, but yes I DO believe they certainly created a new excitement for the franchise, especially at a time it was needed the most. And yet 5 years since Beyond, all the old stuff is getting praised again and everyone seem to have forgotten the three movies that re-energized the franchise not that long ago. They should just be more acknowledged even if a lot of the fanbase turned their backs on them. I haven’t.
Always Nice to hear from a fellow Kelvin fan.
I’m a fan of all of it! It all matters to me and the Kelvin movies are just as much in canon as classic Star Trek is. I’m not even begging for another Kelvin movie, but it should still be celebrated in Trek like everything else is these days.
And I do feel a little bad for the hardcore Kelvin fans out there. There used to be tons here in fact, but I guess that was another life ;). It must be very weird to them when these movies were treated like, sorry, the next generation in the franchise and was suppose to be a big influencer going forward to now not even getting a brief shout out in all their big anniversary events and specials.
But that said, just because there is no one directly from the movies involved in the documentary, it doesn’t mean they won’t be discussed in their place in the universe(s) either. So fingers crossed I guessed.
I think that we need to keep in mind that, until the re-merger into ViacomCBS, the Kelvin IP made by Paramount under license from CBS was a nightmare to license for tie in media.
For example, there were a series of Kelvin tie-in novels contracted for by Simon & Schuster and written by the usual group of authors that sat unpublished for a decade or more. One was reworked to be a TOS novel, but the other two have just been released this year.
Recently, in talking about the Litverse and what they needed to bring that continuity to an end in the book trilogy just being released, the authors mentioned that they hadn’t been able to work in events leading up to the Romulan supernova in the main timeline because, until Picard, that was seen as under the Paramount Kelvin IP.
So, while all the IP related constraints stuff was bogus for CBS productions as it was the original owner, it sounds as though negotiating secondary licenses for stuff coming out of the Kelvin films was a real barrier until they were back under one house.
This documentary was authorized before the remerger, so it would have bumped into that.
Yeah that’s a really good point as well. The tie in stuff must have been really hard due to the separation. And now that they are back together again, there isn’t much going on in the Kelvin tie in now. I did read somewhere about holding the novels back until recently. That just sounded so bizarre. Why would they decide to hold them back AFTER they were written? BTW, have you ever read any Kelvin books? I know you love a lot of the post-Nemesis novels but curious how those stacked up?
I read one of the two that just came out (the one by David Mack aka “Angel of Death” in Trek-lit circles).
It was really quite good and filled in between movies. He actually reworked it a bit before publication to resolve some conflicts with Into Darkness.
OK thanks. One thing I do know about you is that you’re a big David Mack fan lol. Sadly I never even heard of him until Discovery started but his novels seemed very loved in the fanbase.
Because CBS sees more gold and certainly larger profit margins in the Prime expanded universe than in the Kelvin’s core universe. There are still people at Paramount who want to make Kelvin films and if they survive the current regime change, they will eventually get something set in the Kelvin Universe made for theatrical release, because that is still what they have to play with without having to go to the corporate bigwigs to ask permission and the CBS executive management will eventually want to have movie revenue to add to the Paramount+ revenue for Star Trek to make their job performance look better when their contracts are up for renewal.
I understand that but you can still just acknowledge the films exist, right? That’s all I’m talking about. Yes Beyond flopped and there is obviously not a clear direction where to take the movies next. I completely understand that and have said that I can’t blame them if they move on from the Kelvin movies IF they can’t get the budgets down to a certain number. And they probably still want to do more of those movies because it must suck to have to start from scratch when you already have this built in product people already know and generally like. The issue is they don’t like it as much as Paramount hoped they would or basically didn’t meet their expectations. And the actors only get more expensive per movie, not less.
Either way they made SOMEONE money at some point. But because the last movie didn’t meet expectations doesn’t mean they should just be forgotten either. Enterprise was cancelled in fourth season and yet we are still talking about that show today. It’s still very acknowledged and used a lot in canon, mostly Discovery. I’m just asking to have an actor or writer to be given the chance to tell us why those films still matter like the rest of them every once in awhile.
There is a base of fans who still see them as part of the franchise even if there are no more movies after Beyond.
It says that it is a multi-episode series and all we have seen of it is a two minute trailer, so it is entirely possible if not probable that Kelvin Universe people are involved in some way.
All true. I really hope you’re right.
I’m only going on the cast listing they put on in their press release. It’s basically actors and producers from the old shows and films. But it doesn’t mean it’s everybody either.
I’m with you that it should, I was just trying to give the most logical answer to your question with my minimal knowledge of how big business and Hollywood in particular operates.
I gotcha and agreed.
In my opinion the Kelvin movies have always been treated (and i am going to use a very old saying from my youth and I can say this without remorse because I was a carrot top myself) as the red headed stepchild. They have never been included in anything and a lot of fans continually make derogatory remarks about the Kelvin movies. To me it is very ironic that their pictures or scenes from their movies are constantly used when articles are written about or promoting Star Trek. I enjoyed the Kelvin movies and would like to see what this cast could do with a well written script.
think we’ll get a Kelvin/Prime crossover movie for ST4 that will be like a ‘Generations’ type movie (but better than Generations) starring the JJ cast with various Prime characters (lots of cgi/deepfakery involved) its about the only thing that could get trek fans/general audiences reasonably excited in this brave new Marvel movie multiverse we now live in
Again I’m not really talking about making another movie (although it would be nice). I know that’s VEEEEERRY complicated at the moment, but yeah we’ll see. Honestly I gave up on another direct Kelvin movie about two years ago now. I wouldn’t mind a big crossover type of movie. It would certainly get a lot of Trek fans excited. Would LOVE to see someone from the Kelvin universe with characters from Enterprise, TNG, VOY, whatever! That would be tons of fun. But I have doubts that’s what the next one that is suppose to come in 2023 will be. But would love to be proven wrong.
But in this case, I’m just talking about the OLD movies getting more exposure today. We had Star Trek Day last month for the 55th anniversary. Why not include it in the look back segment like all the old shows got? Why not have one panel to discuss it with Orci, Kurtzman, Karl Urban, John Cho, somebody, anybody??? It feels like someone is going to get sued if they acknowledge those movies and I just can’t figure out why? They have two of the Kelvin movies on Paramount+ now. Why not promote them like they do all the old shows?
But maybe I am jumping to conclusions about the documentary. It is a mult-part series so maybe it will be covered in detail.
i could see the JJ crew in like a big screen version of Yesterdays Enterprise (as tptb know everyone worships that ep) opening with the JJ Ent-A fighting the Klingons or Borg and being blasted into the primeverse and teaming up with the TOS movie Ent A (therefore requires cg/deepfake ‘maroon’ versions of Shatner & co, but mainly Shatner who could act in the film but be deaged to VI/Gen era). so itd pretty much be Yesterdays Ent meets Generations meets the Orci ST3 they shouldve done instead of Beyond
I completely agree. If mirror Trek is a topic, so should Kelvin Trek. It’s all part of the franchise.
I too enjoyed the Kelvin movies and I have come around to thinking, maybe they didnt save Star Trek, but they did keep it relevant in Hollywood and in the mainstream entertainment industry – preventing it from the old adage “out of sight, out of mind”. Let’s hope the ST 11-13 movies get some love.
As for the movies themselves, they hold up well and even Into Darkness is a good standalone story. If they had made one change – waking up another one of the augments instead of Khan – then I think the movie would have been a hit with the traditional fanbase.
Btw thanks for continuing to document the virtues of LDs. Although it is not my cup of tea and I usually dont watch, I did check out yesterday’s episode and it was easily the best I have seen. I would give it a 4 out of 5 and was like watching a 30 min live action story from the TNG era. I wonder if any of the CBSAA P+ shows will be in the documentary?
The preview emphasizes mostly all negative takes on the franchise . Interesting and disturbing
It kinda looks like a downer to be honest.
Have fun with this documentary guys, but it looks like a no from me.
Honestly, I’m almost as much a fan of the juicy behind-the-scenes drama of Star Trek as I am what’s onscreen. Not that I’m glad any bad things happened to anyone, it’s just really interesting, historically. I’m down for another scandalous tell-all.
Like the old Cinefantastique days 😊
I don’t see that at all. The first half is all super positive takes on various things not shown yet, while the second half is like “but we aren’t just going to sugar coat it”. It think it is, so far, showing a balanced take. They are trying to show they are going to cover everything, the good and the bad.
For others feeling like they are going to not see these, I wouldn’t count out seeing them until you see more than 30 seconds of out-of-context interview snippets.
You know my life philosophy has always been to take the good with the bad so I don’t mind one bit. I think people in general need to have a little more backbone towards criticism or the negative and try to use them as a learning opportunity instead of completely dismissing them.
Waiting for the documentary about Star Trek documentarys….
Paramount offering Kirstie Alley LESS than Trek II to play a bigger role in Trek III has to be one of the worst business decisions of the film franchise. Kirstie WAS Saavik!
I totally agree with that. Robin Curtis was ‘fine,’ but the difference was jarring. In the theater I was like, who the hell is she?
Since Saavik was a new character and only appeared in that one movie when she was recast I didn’t have TOO much a problem with it. Wished Alley had returned but I didn’t deem her to be too important a character.
However, it would have been a tone better if they used her (I understand Meyer wanted Alley back or he didn’t want Saavik, which is why we got Valeris.) in TUC. She still would have seemed like the obvious traitor but since we were with her for some of the movie series it would have been a little bit more of a gut punch. As it stood, it was pretty damn obvious who the traitor was. But that was a long time ago…
The version of that story that I heard was that Meyer actually wanted Saavik to be the traitor in Star Trek 6 to make that gut punch happen but Leonard Nimoy didn’t want that character to “break bad” so to speak as the audience had invested in her character for so long so they basically created the Valeris character as a result. Of course I don’t think anyone will know the absolute truth in this case.
I heard the version that Nimoy was against it, too. Although the concept that the character was “too invested” by the audience I think is a huge stretch. Her largest part was in WoK and in SFS it was reduced some. Her role in TVH (god, I hate even bringing that awful movie up but it was indeed made…) was really a “blink and you’ll miss her” kind of thing. Since Nimoy was so very involved with the story and directing I was thinking that if he felt Saavik was endeared by fans why wasn’t she used more in his movie? So I’ve always had a hard time buying the Nimoy explanation. But I suppose elements of both versions could have truth to them. For instance, I am pretty sure Meyer did want Saavik to be the traitor. Maybe it will get mentioned in the documentary?
I didn’t find out until just this year watching a Youtube video on TrekCulture that we were suppose to find out Saavik was pregnant with Spock’s baby after TSFS and apparently why she stayed on Vulcan in TVH. I have no idea how I manage to miss this piece of trivia after all this time.
But apparently Nimoy himself never liked that idea and why it was not written in TVH.
As for Saavik being the traitor in TUC, that I did hear about and if true I kind of have to agree with Roddenberry. I certainly get why Meyer wanted to do it, it would’ve felt like a true shock and no one would see it coming (honestly I didn’t see it coming when it was revealed Valeris was the traitor ;)) but I do think it would’ve made the character a lot less likeable. Of course it’s fiction and that happens all the time but this was probably the right call IF true.
But I remember reading a different version of this story, this one from Shatner himself in his Star Trek Movie Memories book (and to bring this back full circle) Saavik didn’t come back in TUC because Alley wanted too much money so they just invented a new character. I guess both stories could be true at the same time though.
-Who is Penny Johnson talking about? Terry Farrell?
-Ditto, David Gerrold. Roddenberry?
-What is Beltran talking about?
-When did Braga get out? He was on through all the runs.
My gut reaction when hearing David Gerrold say that was that he was referring to Leonard Maizlish in the early TNG era. In Chaos on the Bridge, Gerrold said “David, go do it. Go push that bastard out of the window. They’ll give you a medal!” in reference to how he felt about Maizlish.
This is gonna be a fine addition to my hobby room Netflix rotation of only shows that start with “Star Trek”… even though this one appears to end with it – I will let that slide :)
Does that mean you watch Enterprise only from Season 3?
Wow, I totally overlooked that, ha! naaa, the first two ENT seasons are in good standing despite their lacking titles :)
Looks absolutely fantastic, and I love those “…that made us,” docs on Netflix.
Hmmm… Looking forward to this. Although it almost feels like just about everything there is to say about Star Trek has been said. But willing to give it a shot since it will be on the History Channel. I can easily record it.
Weird choice to be so negative.
Why though? I think in life you gotta take the negative with the positive. Not everything is always sunshine and rainbows. I wouldn’t call it more negative but maybe more honest.
A “55 Years of Star Trek” docuseries that, based on this preview, seems primarily to be interested in muckraking just strikes me as an odd decision. Call me crazy, I guess.