Monthly Archives: August 2016

New Star Trek (2017)

Next year there will be a new Star Trek TV series. This is about the best 30th birthday present I could imagine. What’s even better is that this will be in the prime universe rather than the Abramsverse. To me this is wonderful news as Star Trek has, in my opinion, always been better in television form. While I like a lot of the films they tend to focus on revenge and explosions. The TV shows had a much better scope of stories. It is my hope that this series will showcase the best that Star Trek has to offer.

There are a few things I’d like to see from this series.

One

Give it a name!

I didn’t think much of Star Trek (2009), I actually preferred Into Darkness, but one thing that really annoyed me was the lack of a title. When Star Trek started in 1966 it had no need of any other title, for obvious reasons, but after TNG it became known as The Original Series. What ever happens this new series needs a title.

  • Addendum: I moved house between writing this and now. This is rather later than planned we now know the name of the new series. Star Trek: Discovery.

Two

Have a gay character!

Star Trek has danced around this idea for far too long. The closest we got, in the prime universe was in Rejoined:

Kira: … why (can’t) Dax and Lenara … just pick up where they left off. I mean if they’re still in love.

In this episode Dax meets a woman who she was married to in one of her past lives. She carries a symbiont and it was formally in a man. The episode discusses why she can’t pick up the relationship and continue. The reason is that Trill society forbids new hosts from reassociating with former partners. It is described as unnatural. However the fact that they are both women is completely irrelevant and is never even mentioned.

In this new series we need to have a gay character. I think that a male gay character would be better as, in general, it is less accepted. Furthermore there is still the feeling in some places that being gay, for a man, means they are less of a man. If we had a gay man on this new ship who was a capable and strong character it would be an excellent thing to see.

Three

Female Command Staff

We’ve had female first officers, and we’ve had a female captain, but why not have both being women. This would be an excellent more for the series.

Every Star Trek series has had female characters but we have never really had two woman in charge. Picard and Riker and Spock and Kirk made excellent teams and I want to see the same with two women. It has never been done and I thing that this would be good.

  • Addendum: We now know that the main character will be a female, human, Lieutenant Commander.

Four

An Alien Captain

This in a minor point but I think it is worth mentioning. The United Federation of Planets is supposed to represent over 150 planets. Yet all the captains we see are human and from Earth.

So why not have an alien captain. My vote would be to have an Andorian or a Tellarite captain. These two races have had little exploration and it would be good to see.

Five

More Aliens

Related to the above we need more aliens in general. When the ship’s are all human crews it starts to look a little silly, the Federation is supposed to be many worlds, so more aliens, even if only in the background, would be a great thing.

Six

A well developed secondary cast

A secondary cast is one of those little things that can make a huge difference. Often times they only exist to die but even if they manage to survive they are never seen again.  It would be good for the series to have familiar faces throughout. Just a smattering of characters here and there. The other advantage is you get away from the problem of senior officers doing everything. And if a character has reoccurred throughout killing them has more impact.

Seven

Do What Only You Can Do

Of all the previous series DS9 is my favorite; followed closely by TNG and TOS. What all these series did well was take full advantage of their settings. DS9 had stories that wouldn’t have worked on the other shows, because of the stationary setting, and TNG had stories that couldn’t have been done on TOS because of social constraints. TNG could be far more direct, sometimes too direct, in its social commentary.

I feel that this was a failing of Voyager and Enterprise.

Voyager is supposed to be the story of two crews forced to work together. They have no resources to call on and have to survive alone. Yet we frequently see the ship trashed and then perfectly fine the next episode. Voyager seems to have an inexhaustible supply of shuttles and torpedoes. Furthermore the Maquis behave like everyone else, for most of the series, rather begging the question of why they were included.

Enterprise is a prequel series. As such the expectation is that it will show us what happened before Kirk. However Enterprise has: gravity plating, phasers, and a transporter. The ship looks fundamentally the same as the later ships and, in my opinion, there is little of the series that couldn’t have been done in the 24th century – with the notable exception that Picard is a competent Captain and Archer – well… A Picard speech could bring implacable enemies to the negotiation table. An Archer speech could start a fight between two pacifists.

When Star Trek: Discovery arrives it needs to do something unique. Something we haven’t seen before. Having the focus shifted to a Lieutenant Commander is a very good sign. Perhaps this will be the Star Trek we’ve been waiting for – at least those of us disappointed with the 2009 reboot.

Conclusion

I have high hopes for this series. In spite of the problems associated with prequels I think this could be a very interesting series. I can’t wait to see it.

***

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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