ByWill Reitz, writer at
Will Reitz

The answer to the title question is 'yes, yes, a thousand times yes!' But how, exactly?

How about a little history lesson. Star Trek was canceled right out of the gate. The only thing that was salvageable from the pilot was the character Spock. (The character of Christopher Pike would later appear in the original Star Trek’s only 2-episode arc, and the character appears in both J.J. Abrams movies.) Star Trek was reportedly canceled again after its second season, to be saved for one more season by a fan campaign.It was then resurrected as an animated show, to be cancelled yet again after a season and a half.

The first Star Trek movie was made in the wake of the Star Wars phenomenon. Somehow, Paramount watched the first movie and said, “We need another one of those.” Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan saved Star Trek. From that point on, Star Trek would never be irrelevant again. In rapid succession, there came 4 more movies, The Next Generation (an idea that was simply unprecedented), 4 TNG films, Deep Space Nine, & Voyager. Each of the TNG-era shows lasted seven seasons. Then came Enterprise. To be sure, it wasn’t the same as what came before. The casting was not as inspired as TNG. But it became a victim of fan backlash momentum. The show really is an excellent bridge between the 21st Century world of Star Trek: First Contact & the 23rd Century world of Captain Kirk. The show was canceled after season 4, just when the show was getting into stride. (Similarly, Deep Space Nine’s first couple of seasons were mostly needless, even dreadful. But once DS9 got into stride, it produced some of the best seasons of Star Trek.) For the first time in 2 decades, Star Trek had lost momentum.

Love them or hate them*, J.J. Abrams’ “alternate timeline” movies have added pure Fast-&-Furious-esque adrenaline to Star Trek, and there is no better time than now to get Star Trek back onto the small screen. The way I see it, there are several options:

1. Make a limited run with the current cast. This may be problematic, because the current cast has some bona fide movie stars in it, and movie stars don’t like to do TV. But the real problem is that the current cast is tied to big, expensive visuals. If it costs $50 million to make an episode, it will never happen. The only way to do this would be a straight-to-Netflix 8 episode run leading up to Star Trek 3. … Likelihood: Very Low.

2. Use the long-gestating “Captain Worf” concept. Michael Dorn has appeared on screen for more Star Trek than any other actor. At the conclusion of Nemesis, Worf was the logical choice for 1st Officer of the Enterprise (despite what happened in an awful deleted scene). He is one of the most interesting characters in Star Trek canon, and it would be even more interesting to see him in command. If the Star Trek camp decides to go this route, the entire first season should deal with the destruction of Romulus, the wrath of Nero, the Nerada & Spock’s ship disappearing into the black hole, and the aftermath. Captain Worf’s crew should be more diverse than previous casts, which have done pretty good in terms of human diversity, but with a very limited number of alien crew members. Captain Worf could be a chance to reintroduce species that we introduced in Enterprise, as well as the Andorians, who are seriously underplayed in the TNG era. … Likelihood: High.

3. Maybe it is time to skip ahead. TNG was brave to go well beyond the Original Series on the timeline. For a new series, we can ask what the Federation will be like in the late 25th Century? The way I see it, you can go two ways. You can merely do the next next generation, where society is just as idyllic, the technology is just better. Good writing can overcome this monotony, for there are still good TNG-like stories to tell. … Or the new show could take place in a time of great distress for the Federation. Romulus has been destroyed. Perhaps that emboldened the Klingons to become a threat again. Or maybe the Dominion comes back to the Alpha Quadrant in full strength, believing that they would have won the Dominion War if it weren’t for the Romulan Empire. … Or perhaps there could be an environmental theme. The Omega particle introduced in Voyager renders faster-than-light travel impossible. What if terrorists have set off hundreds of Omega particles, cutting the Federation into chunks? The show could be a Firefly-esque future where Starfleet is powerless and rendered merely a planetary defence force. Starfleet outsources interstellar exploration to small, private ships that can carefully traverse the polluted space in the Alpha Quadrant. Stories could be divided between legitimate exploration and counter-terrorism military engagements. … Likelihood: Medium; higher for a “next next generation.”

4. Starfleet Academy. This idea has bounced around since the pre-production of Star Trek 6. Star Trek (2009) incorporated many elements of Starfleet Academy, but there are hundreds of stories that can be told from the Federation’s most prestigious college. There can be plenty of training missions, for action. Drama will not be in short supply, as most of the primary cast will be under 24. Starfleet Academy can be set at almost any time in Star Trek history, meaning you can stick it in the very early 25th Century and use almost any regular from TNG, DS9, or VOY in guest spots as professors, visiting lecturers, captains of various ships on shore leave. … Likelihood: High … Likelihood to be cancelled too soon: Very Very High.

5. Restart Enterprise. This is not very likely at all. I doubt the powers-that-be want to try again with a show that they feel has failed. Furthermore, it is not very likely that all of the regulars would be willing to give it another go. (On second thought, none of Enterprise’s regulars seem to be overly busy right now.) The only reason to consider this is to bridge more gaps. There is the first Earth-Romulan War, mentioned in Star Trek. There was a war between Earth & the Kzinti mentioned in the animated Star Trek, a war where Earth won thoroughly. … Liklihood: Nearly non-existent.

6. The Mirror Universe. I really did not like what they did with the Mirror Universe in DS9. I like the idea of the Mirror Universe where all the good guys are bad guys. I’m not sure that you can make an entire show out of this, though. … Likelihood: It ain’t gonna happen.

Note: * Love them, of course!


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