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Boldly Go: The New Star Trek Series

Star-Trek-New-Series-Announced

Okay, so there was an announcement during the week that caught me (and many, from what I’ve heard online) by surprise: CBS, the American television network, has commissioned a new Star Trek series, to air in January of 2017. Trekkers around the world no doubt spat out their coffee and punched the air with delight (as they should), but the relative dearth of information about said show has led to numerous sites hypothesizing as to what form it may take.

First: what we know.

The series will be produced by Star Trek ’09’s co-scribe Alex Kurtzman. The first episode will début on CBS’s terrestrial network, before the remainder of the series will appear on CBS’s digital platform, CBS All Access. No word yet as to the number of episodes, nor the tone the show will take (will it be set in the new Trek-verse, set up by Kurtzman’s Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness), and as yet no word on casting or any other production details, such as show-runner or directors. The show will also introduce new characters (and presumably a new starship), effectively keeping Kirk and Co confined to feature film appearances at this stage. Keep in mind, the third Star Trek film in the new universe is set to arrive in 2016, directed by Furious 7 helmer James Wan.

New Trek series producer Alex Kurtzman.
New Trek series producer Alex Kurtzman.

Second: The Grey Area

Obviously, in the months to come we’ll be playing a game of “guess the cast member” lotto, as well as slaking our thirst for new television Trek from the tidbits of gossip and underground scooping we’ll have to endure until the show débuts. Fans have long clamoured for Trek to get back into “exploring strange new worlds”, which was the original show’s premise, and something the New Trek didn’t exactly make it’s prime directive (pardon the TrekPun). One would hope that a new show would send a brave new crew off into the uncharted reaches of space, on a mission of exploration (of some kind). No doubt following in Roddenberry’s vision, the crew would be ethnically and sexually diverse (can’t wait to meet the obligatory transgender crew-member!) and would have to overcome racial and species derived themes typical of humanity at this point.

The core problem I see is the show’s availability only on a US based subscription service – man, the pirates are gonna have a field day downloading this thing to counteract the geoblocking and paywalls. I suspect CBS may relent in the face of fan pressure (I could be wrong) but international fans (such as myself) might have reason not to pause over the “download torrent” button over on Pirate Bay. Out of this whole thing, this is the part that legitimately annoys me.

As problematic as Enterprise was, and as stifling as Voyager and Deep Space Nine turned into in the end, the prospect of a new Star Trek series is cause for celebration. The franchise turns 50 next year, so a new show in it’s 51st year can only be a good thing.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I was definitely excited about this. I've been following the Trek news for a while now, and Michael Dorn had made it clear in his recent Reddit AMA that CBS had a couple of Trek series to choose from and they were going to decide on one of them. So the news wasn't a total shock. What is unknown, however, is which they went with: was it Captain Worf (Dorn's proposed show), Star Trek Uncharted (a heavily favored fan-proposed show), or something else entirely?

    I agree that this online only thing is utter crap. Nobody is going to buy their digital-only service. And as a result, the ratings will be low, and CBS will cancel the series. They need to just put it on regular TV, or at least allow it to be viewed on other services such as Hulu (which they hate since none of their stuff is on Hulu).

    I believe they did state that it will not have anything to do with NuTrek.

    • I'm kinda thinking Worf's time in the sun is over. I'm more excited to follow a new crew doing what Kirk and Co did, with solid characters and a mandate to actually explore the galaxy (like Voyager, and unlike DS9, which just parked its ass in one area and had to stretch itself to go to new places). If they can refrain from using the Borg (puhlease, I'm a bit over the Borg) and Q again, then I'm gonna "swallow whatever they give me to swallow".

      • I think it depends which universe they go with. If it's the prime universe, then the Borg is basically dead and Q is pretty old, so I doubt they would use him much (maybe a cameo). I'd prefer it to be set 70 years (or whatever) after TNG, similar to how TNG took place after TOS, so they can still have some guest stars from previous shows (like Dorn). But that way they can still focus on their new cast and new universe.

        If they go with the reboot universe then all bets are off.

        I personally liked DS9 a lot. I found the stories much more engaging, and the fact that the station couldn't move forced the writers to come up with different stories. And they couldn't just "reset" everything next week when they visited a new planet. I wished it had gotten better ratings/more love than it did. But, hey, it had 7 seasons and completed its storyline, so I don't have much to complain about!

        • Well, it couldn't be any worse than Voyager's last few seasons, which turned into the Let's Perv On Jeri Ryan Show. God, how tight were those outfits? Mmmmm….

          Ahem

          Regardless of which universe the series is set in, one would hope they look at the current crop of successful TV shows (like GoT, Daredevil, Arrow and Flash, House Of Cards, OITNB etc) and realise that quality writing, compelling characters and some bigger budgets is the way to go. If they do that, they're on the way to recapturing what made Trek great in the first place (perhaps without the budget…LOL)

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Never blessed with a body worthy of a porn star, nor being the heir to a wealthy industrialists fortune, nor suffering the tragedy of having his parents murdered outside a Gotham theater, Rodney is, contrary to popular opinion, neither Ron Jeremy, JD Rockefeller, or Batman. As a serious appreciator of film since 1996, Rodney's love affair with the medium has continued with his online blog, Fernby Films, a facility allowing him to communicate with fellow cineasts in their mutual love of all things movie.

Boldly Go: The New Star Trek Series

by Rodney Twelftree
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