Star Trek: Ideas for New Series
As the date of the new Star Trek movie draws nearer and I begin to get to see the trailers the desire for new Star Trek begins to grow and I suspect that if this movie does well Paramount will take that as a sign that it might be time for another Star Trek TV series.
The fear I have of this is that because the movie is set in the original series time that they will decided they need to continue in that timeline. I think Enterprise already established how difficult it is to do a prequel in a series with hundreds of hours of history that you have to adhere to, so I decided to write down a few of the series that I would like to see.
Idea one: Star Trek: Trans-warp
Set a few years after Voyagers return the federation has built its first ship designed from the ground up to use trans-warp. This is the most advanced ship in the federation and because it can go so many times faster than any other ship it is often far out of range of any other star fleet vessels.
One of the key features of this advanced ship is the full integration of holodeck technology. Thanks to advancements in holodeck technology nearly all nonessential systems in the ship are built using holodeck technology allowing for the inside of the ship to be reconfigured for unique situations as well as encouraging the use of holographic crewmen.
In most ways this show would be most similar to Star Trek the Next generation, but thanks to trans-warp technology the crew would be able to make contact with species from the Gama and delta quadrant allowing for connections to all the modern series.
One of the major problems in telling stories in Star Trek is that all the conflict is from outside of the ship. Even on voyager when they had a crew made up from two enemy ships everyone got alone. The answer to this seems to be to move outside of the realm of Star Fleet.
A merchant vessel that operates on the edge of federation law seems perfect. these are people like Harry Mudd. Self serving, but smart, interested more than anything on staying outside of the grip of the federation.
The key advantage of this type of show, beyond having characters on the ship who don't like each other is that you could know everyone on the crew. One of the things that most disappointed me about enterprise was that they had too big of a crew. The show would have been better if there had only been 10 people on the enterprise and every one was a main character.
With a ship that is falling apart and a crew that is on the edge of the law we could explore the darker edges of the Federation, while still having people who at least on occasion are good people.
Star Trek: The not a series series.
There are a great many things that people would love to see in Star Trek, but that wouldn't carry a full series. The idea of this not a series series it to have a miniseries and one shot episodes each one in a differnt part of the federation.
This would require truly skilled writers, but the possibilities would be great. You could have a four episode arch on the Klingon home world with no humans in site and the next week be on Risa where William Riker and Wesley Crusher have started a private detective agency.(It's called Risa Nights and I stole the idea from Make it So).
Well written this type of a show, even with different actors and story lines each week could tell a grander scale ongoing story of the federation. Perhaps a war which is brewing, and each week some element of that story is explored.
In addition this makes guest stars easier than in any other Star Trek. If Brent Spiner is free for a week no need to come up with some contrived plot to put him on, just write an episode about B4 becoming Data.
With this you could even tell the history of the federation. Rather than having a entire series dedicated to these characters you could do an episode about the founding of Star Fleet.
The major downfall of course will be that this type of series could be spotty. Even the twilight zone which was the best of this style of series had week episodes and that was without the Star Trek writers.
Star Trek: New Frontier
If you haven't read anything by Peter David you're missing out. He is one of my favorite authors and he spends considerable time writing Star Trek novels based around the ship Excalibur and its crew.
The advantage of making this into a series is three fold. You have numerous stories already written with interesting characters. This allows for less of the first season troubles that most Star Trek series face.
Second you have a built in audience. These books have been coming out for quite some time so there is a built in understanding and excitement about this idea.
Third, you have a really good writer who understands and loves and understands Star Trek in Peter David and the any star trek show could only be improved by having him involved.