CBS has a bunch of new Trek shows in development, but here are a few other suggestions on how to keep the franchise fresh.
As was reported this week, Star Trek: Discovery co-creator Alex Kurtzman has been tapped by CBS to develop a new batch of Star Trek TV shows and miniseries. Among the possible projects on the docket are a series set at Starfleet Academy, a Wrath of Khan-related miniseries (!), another mystery miniseries, and a second Star Trek animated series (the first since 1973). There’s also talk of a Trek show that Patrick Stewart is involved with and which presumably involves Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Captain Picard. CBS hasn’t confirmed any of these yet, but it’s clear there are some big plans in the works.
And while most of us good Trekkies would watch the heck out of The Adventures of Old Admiral Picard, the thought of opening up the Star Trek universe into bigger and more creative areas is equally exciting. Star Trek, as its title suggests, has always been about traveling, exploring, discovering, and uncovering new ideas. With the final frontier back open for business, we’d love to see the following.
The Klingon High Council
The most popular species on Star Trek has always been the Klingons. Not only do they have a strict code of honor and a hankering for action and combat, but they behave like pirates, often arm-wrestling onboard their ships, swilling grog, and engaging in violent subterfuge. A Klingon-based TV series could potentially be an epic, Game of Thrones-type show with all the violence and drama therein. It would be all about the inner political workings of the Klingon Empire, the complex Klingon power structure, and what an empire of warriors must go through to maintain their dignity. They could face a rising tide of ultra-violent factions. Or conquer more judiciously in a time of peace. Klingons provide plenty of their own drama and conflict.
A few questions about a Klingons-only series, though: Which design of the Klingons do we go with? The Discovery Klingons, the Kelvin Klingons, or the Next Generation Klingons? Original Series? It seems the Next Gen type would work best here. Oh yes, and the show would be performed entirely in the Klingon language. Because, of course.
Although he bafflingly appeared in a Starfleet uniform in Star Trek: Nemesis, fans know that Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) was once trained by a superpowered cosmic being called The Traveler to move about the universe without the need of a starship. By the time Next Gen ended, Wesley was essentially a wandering demigod who can teleport to just about anywhere on a whim.
A series about Wesley the Traveler could feature what sort of adventures he’s been having since we last saw him. He would, doubtless, be helping those in need and doling out Zen-like wisdom (The Traveler was a peaceful man). Think of a Star Trek version of Kung Fu, with The Traveler roaming the byways, aiding the disenfranchised. It would be a show about the idealism of Starfleet, simply without the tech.
For comic relief, maybe his sidekick could be the disgraced time-traveling thief Berlinghoff Rasmussen (Matt Frewer, reprising his role).
Some fans have been entertaining the rumor that Star Trek: Discovery may eventually be about Section 31 – the Discovery’s call number is NCC-1031, after all – but that hasn’t been officially confirmed anywhere (the group will apparently figure into Season 2 of Discovery in some capacity, though). Section 31, as introduced in Deep Space Nine, is the Federation’s super-secret spy organization that operates in the shadows, officially doesn’t exist, and holds to a flexible moral code. They wear black Starfleet insignia, and the group also goes back to before the formation of the Federation, as Malcolm Reed from Enterprise was once working for Section 31.
A Mission: Impossible-like spy series about the pseudo-ethical shenanigans of the Federation’s ultra-secret spy organization would be a great corner to explore, and would reveal how the Federation, while trying to do the most ethical thing at all times, sometimes has to rely on dirty work.
One of the primary features of Star Trek is its technobabble, and many Trekkies would deeply appreciate a deep, deep dive into the franchise’s extensive imaginary technology. Utopia Planitia, as we all know, is the space-bound shipyard orbiting Mars where many Starfleet vessels are built (just ignore that scene of the Enterprise being built on the ground in the 2009 feature film).
We would love to see, say, a 10-episode miniseries about a team of engineers who work at Utopia Planitia, and who spend their time trading extensive, near-impenetrable shop talk about warp engines, gravimetric fluctuations, and dilithium crystals. Perhaps a team of engineers has been abandoned on Utopia Planitia during some sort of major apocalyptic crisis. An invasion or a rogue planet is drifting toward Mars. The engineers have to fight bureaucracy, acquire rare materials, and work on new building techniques as quickly as they can to complete a Federation starship that would save the day. Every episode would be at least 80% technobabble.
The Rules of Acquisition
Everyone loves the Ferengi, right? How about a Star Trek series set entirely on a pre-revolution Ferenginar, the Ferengi homeworld? At the end of Deep Space Nine, the planet was going to enter a new, less greedy phase, so a Ferengi series would have to take place in the era preceding the age of Grand Nagus Zek. Here’s an idea: The lead character — not necessarily anyone we’ve met before — is a disgraced small business owner of some kind who has to, over the course of the series, slowly rebuild his fallen business empire. We could witness the hero connive to get ahead, bribe everyone in sight, make the most aggressive of business decisions. He would eventually become the shadow financial master of the entire planet.
And to humanize a Ferengi protagonist, he would have to possess a dirty secret. How about this? He likes to give to charity and lives in fear of being caught. The finale of the show, as chronology dictates, would end with the placement of Grand Nagus Zek. Think of a Breaking Bad situation, but as a comedy.
Star Trek: The Last Generation
Between Enterprise, the Kelvin films, and Discovery, Star Trek’s most recent efforts have been fixated on origins. No Star Trek TV project since Star Trek: Voyager, however, has been about moving forward. In that case, why not move forward all the way to the very end? How does the Federation fall?
An idea for a show at the dusk of the Federation: Set several centuries after the events of Star Trek: Voyager, this new show would follow the adventures of the final ship commissioned by the Federation as the organization crumbles. The galaxy has fallen into a new dark age of combative nationalism, and the utopia promised by the Federation has been reduced to a single ship. What’s more, the galaxy’s written history is being erased at the hands of a species of fascistic bad guys. These villains – Klingons? Romulans? Newly fascist Bajorans? – have made it their goal to erase all libraries from the known galaxy.
Our heroes, then, would be on the run without backup, fleeing the galaxy with a repository of information and armed only with the Federation’s ideals. Does Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a galactic utopia still exist if the Federation is made up only of a single crew? It would be a provocative way to explore Star Trek’s central philosophy.
What type of Star Trek series would you like to see? Let’s discuss in the comments!