Nicholas Meyer’s ‘Ceti Alpha V’ Khan Prequel Series May Become Star Trek Podcast

The saga of Nicholas Meyer’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan prequel has been going on for five years since the writer and director first hinted at it in a 2017 TrekMovie interview. His Ceti Alpha V project has been revealed to have been written as a three-part mini-series when he was a consulting producer on the first season of Star Trek: Discovery. It told the story of Khan Noonien-Singh’s time in exile on the planet Ceti Alpha V following the events of the Star Trek episode “Space Seed,” before Star Trek II.

However, the project never got past the writing stage, and as recently as April, Meyer was talking about how it remained dormant. Now it appears there might finally be some movement and a possible transition for the project into a new medium.

Khancasting with Nick Meyer

As a guest on the latest episode of  Page One: The Writer’s Podcast, Nicholas Meyer was asked about the project. He replied, “That will be a podcast,” and when the host laughed, Meyer revealed he was serious:

It is. I’m not joking… I am concluding a deal to turn it into a podcast which I will write and presumably direct. And if the podcast is a hit, then maybe we’ll revisit it on film of some kind.

Meyer didn’t get into any other details but when asked directly by TrekMovie, he confirmed the project is currently a possibility. On the Page One podcast, Meyer talked about the benefits of audio drama:

I love radio plays… when I was in college, I directed a play a week. Talking on behalf of radio plays, I believe that all great artistic media rely for their success on something that they leave out. Paintings do not move. Music has no intellectual content. Words are merely code on a page. In each of those cases, it is the imaginative contribution of the listener, the reader…  When your imagination complements the sounds, which is otherwise just sounds… Film alone has the hideous capacity to do everything for you. We call this eye candy and candy is not good for you. So I look for ways for things to leave out. And radio is a great way for things to leave out. Imagination does not need any training.

Nicholas Meyer on set with Ricardo Montalban during the filming of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Trek audio dramas

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a Star Trek drama podcast. In his April interview with TrekMovie.com, executive producer Alex Kurtzman revealed he was developing new Star Trek podcasts. And in February Simon & Schuster Audio released the audio drama Star Trek: Picard: No Man’s Land, written by Mike Johnson and Picard co-creator Kirsten Beyer and featuring the voices of Michelle Hurd and Jeri Ryan.

Podcasting is a growing business for Hollywood, with a number of studios moving in to make audio dramas. Other franchises have branched into episodic audio dramas, such as DC with multiple Batman audio dramas including Batman: The Audio Adventures on HBO Max, which featured TNG’s Brent Spiner as the Joker.

As of now, there hasn’t been any official announcement from Paramount about this project, so the saga of the development of Ceti Alpha V continues. But we will report any new updates as they happen.

Picard audio drama released in February


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Cool news. There have been many Star Trek audios throughout the years, and many of them have been good.

I like radio dramas quite a lot if they’re written well.

Can’t say this topic is at all interesting though.

Find a VO artist who can do a decent Montalban and it would be gold.

Dana Carvey?

That will be amazing. I just hope Meyer didn’t blew it by telling this before the deal is closed. I love him, but the guy speaks just too much, gee…

I’m hard of hearing, so radio and podcasts don’t work well for me. When I watch Star Trek, I have subtitles on, and I hope a transcript will be released with any podcasts. Or books. Books are beautiful.

Oddly enough, my father is losing his sight, so i’m sure he’d enjoy this. He was losing his hearing too, but hearing aids basically solved that for him.

I have hearing aids, and they do help some, but not quite enough. Perhaps I need new ones…

Best wishes to your father! It’s great how many recorded books there are nowadays.

Star Wars publish all their recent audio dramas scripts as books so it’s possible!

Sounds cool.

To me this just makes the case that the Star Trek franchise should make space for some limited streaming series and direct-to-streaming movies.

Not everything fits the 10 episode per season, multiple season model.

Totally agree. I’m wondering if the deal with Bad Robot prohibits them from making films without them, or prevents them from making Trek films that aren’t theatrical. Because otherwise, it feels like such a no-brainer to do a streaming film.

Agreed TG47!

I am hoping in time we get more types of formats on Paramount+. We did have Short Treks but I think it wasn’t successful enough and it was, yeah, too short lol.

I think mini-series or movies will be the next direction to go in. I think in time we will get movies though; especially if the fourth Kelvin movie happens but under-performs. Future movies could move to that site more permanently.

As a pro voice actor and audio drama regular I welcome this, such a great medium for star trek.

I grow fatigued hearing about this news.

I see what you did there.

I would very much want to listen to that! Half the fun of an audio drama is allowing your imagination free reign to the words you are hearing.

Myers screenplay for this mini-series was intelligent, but his story illustrated two-dimensional thinking, hence the mini-series will now be presented in a medium with one less dimension for the viewer.

;-)

Boo

Still not sure just how interesting a bunch of people sitting in storage containers for fifteen years can be, but where there’s a will, and a sponsor, and a sign off by the suits, there’s a way.

Wait a minute, this project’s a possibility?? If I buy a lottery ticket, there’s a possibility I will win. The likelihood is, I won’t. Nothing to see here, either.

Always assumed this project would feature flashbacks to the rise and fall of khan during the eugenics war, so there probably would have been more to it. You would also get to see ceti alpha v experience an apocalypse and the death of his wife.

Greg Cox managed to make a pretty good novel out of Khan’s time on Ceti Alpha V. Basically a post-apocalyptic survival story with creature horror, conflict among the survivors, etc.

If I’m remembering the novel correctly, the storage containers were actually an entrance to an underground system of caves where they spent most of their time. The book also touched on what was happening before Ceti Alpha 6 exploded and Khan even went on an away mission to see if any part of the planet was habitable. So there’s lots of ways they could go with it. Quite honestly I’d be happy with an adaptation of the novel

Yeah, it’s been over a decade since I read it, but I remember enjoying it.

Yet “Storage Wars” has been on the air for like 15 years. (-:

All joking aside, I agree with you.

Nick, please use AI Respeecher for Ricardo Montalban. If it’s pure audio there’s no reason why Khan can’t sound exactly like Khan.

That would be VERY disappointing, and a huge waste of Meyer’s talent. No offense to radio dramas, but this story seams perfect for a streaming movie or mini-series.

How would it be a waste of his talent? This seems like it can work as an audio drama at least as well as it can work on TV.

There’s a voice actor in Skyrim, the guy who voices Miraak and on first play, I thought did Ricardo Montalbán provide voice acting for this as a side-gig. He did not, but I think if they should cast anyone to play him, it should be that guy.

I would be very interested in listening to this if Nicholas Meyer made it. I didn’t care for the novel that chronicled Khan’s exile nor the comic book but this I’d give a try. I’d be intrigued to see who he gets to play Khan. My vote is for Antonio Banderas.

If anybody could get him to do a podcast, it would be Nicholas Meyer. Because it’s an audio drama, that makes it easier probably to get him too because Mr.Banderas is very adept at reading off his lines in a closed booth, just look at Shrek and Puss In Boots. If anybody could take over for Ricardo Montalban, it would be Antonio Banderas in my book. I would love ❤️ to hear Mr.Banderas say Khan’s “buried alive” line from TWOK in my ears.

Oh, my God, that would be so awesome 👍! I just thought of a way for him to be able to say that line, maybe after leaving Admiral Kirk and his landing party stranded on Genesis, Khan could recite those from TWOK, right, and then after he mentions burying Kirk alive, Khan could sit back in the Reliant’s Captain’s chair and reflect back on what his struggle was like on Ceti Alpha V, that would work, right🙂? Maybe 🤔 that’s what Mr.Meyer will do, I hope 🤞. Live long and prosper, Trekmovie 🖖.

This sounds like a decent compromise to me. As someone who doesn’t care about this project at all, I actually would consider listening to this if they make it happen.

And as the article pointed out, Kurtzman said they wanted to expand Star Trek into other mediums like podcast stories so we may be hearing more about them. I do wonder will they count as canon though? It doesn’t matter if they don’t, just curious but probably not.

Reminds me a bit of the Alien 3 audio drama from a few years back. There was little chance the original script for the movie was ever going to be made as a movie, but audio was a nice compromise.

That’s a really good question, Tiger2. I would think that the podcasts would be considered beta canon, like the Captain Sulu audiobooks that came out back in the ’90s. Those are beta canon. They were good stories, though, and they gave us a taste of the Captain Sulu show we were supposed to get after Star Trek VI but didn’t.

On the other hand, these podcasts could be considered canon because the Picard podcast, No Man’s Land, is canon. That’s a good 👍 question. Maybe the answer is that it’s up to the listener whether they want to believe it’s canon or not? Live long and prosper, Tiger2 🖖

Good. Now I can just Ignore it

…could just get the audiobook from the second volume of the Khan prequel that was already written two decades ago

A podcast. Seriously. “Literally NO ONE with money was interested in doing this, so I’m just going to read it aloud in my own basement.” I love Meyer’s work, but dude, let it go. Or write a book – I’ll buy it.

I don’t revere Khan like most of you do. I think he is a villain with a one-track mind and for a guy with superior intellect he sure got outsmarted easily each time Kirk beat him. So, I really don’t care about a series that takes place on Ceti Alpha 5 with Khan and what happened to him prior to Chekov showing up. All the interesting bits are all explained. It just doesn’t interest me. If it does you, then wonderful.

This is so ass-backwards. By all accounts this is very good. So it’s relegated to a podcast? It’s a prequel, so should check all the boxes of this creative braintrust. Do we need a modern day Bjo Trimble?

that thumbail photo is fnn hillarious