Good news Trekkies! Not only is [Star Trek Beyond](tag:817262) shaping up to be pretty darn awesome, Paramount could be shopping pitches for a new Star Trek TV show set to be released sometime in the near future. With Simon Pegg promising surprises for The Original Series' 50th anniversary, and everyone from William Shatner to Michael Dorn coming up with show ideas, there's a lot to be excited about in the [Star Trek](tag:3299704) world!
Ever since Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled, fans have been clamouring for a new TV show and there have been rumours aplenty. So here's a breakdown of exactly what's happening, what the new show could be, and whether it's likely to make it to TV.
A New Frontier
After Enterprise ended, CBS considered continuing the franchise with Bryan Singer's proposed Star Trek: Federation. The show would have a bleaker outlook, set during the Federation's decline. Thankfully (or not, depending on your opinion), CBS dropped the pitch, leaving parent company Paramount to pick up a reboot film franchise instead.
So much for the backstory. With Star Trek 3 ready to blast into cinemas in 2016, the Star Trek franchise has had a new start, and CBS are once again ready to consider TV series options.
"We love the Star Trek franchise, its fan base and the many possibilities for its future when the time is right."
And that time is now! Paramount have not one, but two different TV show pitches to choose from: a proposed "Captain Worf" show by Trek veteran Michael Dorn, and Star Trek: Uncharted, a fan creation. Not only that, but Paramount invited Uncharted's writer Michael Gummelt to pitch the show in a summer meeting. Though there have been many fan created Star Trek productions (like the recent film Renegades), this is the first time the production company has reached out to fans for syndicated TV possibilities.
Captain Worf would, naturally, continue many of the plotlines of TNG and DS9, with plenty of guest stars from previous shows. Michael Dorn has reportedly "sent [the pitch] out" to Paramount, and news on that is a bit thin. But what's the deal with Uncharted, and when are we going to see it?
Meeting Our Makers
The idea for Star Trek: Uncharted is pretty exciting, combining the spirit and concept of the previous shows with a brave new direction that would set this series apart. Here's the basic synopsis:
A mysterious signal is received from the Andromeda Galaxy, claiming to be from the creators of life in the Milky Way, and inviting us to come meet them. A new “space folding” technology developed– a Hyperwarp Gate constructed to warp jump 2.5 million light years to the Andromeda Galaxy.
So far so... fascinating. For those you who remember The Next Generation episode The Chase, the creators of humanoid life did exist at one point, leaving clues in DNA for developed races to discover later on. The plot was later dropped, though this creator race could be the Preservers from the TOS episode The Paradise Syndrome. If Uncharted choose to pick up this plotline then it could be very intriguing, and an ambitious journey to the Andromeda galaxy will provide lots of story options.
But here's where the pitch starts to get a little complicated. The ship to explore Andromeda is, naturally, an Enterprise. But according to Gummelt, this is the first Enterprise to bear the name since the original NCC-1701 was destroyed 200 years previously in "The Galactic War". This immediately sets Uncharted apart from the original timeline, as NCC-1701 was destroyed in the 1984 film Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock.
This is definitely the crux of the issue when it comes to TV show possibilities after JJ Abrams' reboot erased the original timeline to boldly go in a totally new direction. Would Uncharted follow on in this timeline?
Considering it takes place 200 years after TOS, Uncharted doesn't really need the freshness of a new timeline, and would mean too many unanswered questions about what happened in those 2 centuries. If Paramount choose a show that's set in the original timeline this would please many fans, but would mean the movies would be totally separate, dooming hopes for a Marvel-esque cinematic universe with a unified canon. Uncharted has the potential to lay plenty of movie hints with this Galactic War plot, and the two could feed into each other nicely despite the 200 year time gap.
So what is the likelihood that Uncharted or a different Star Trek TV series will make it to air?
The Future Is Bright
Logistically, a new show makes a lot of sense for Paramount. With the Star Trek movies going from strength to strength, and franchises becoming increasingly popular, Paramount could gain a lot from expanding into a TV show and continuing Trek into the far future. Whether they'll produce a show while the movies are still going on is another matter, but it's a fair bet to say we'll be seeing a new Trek series soon! However, there are licensing issues that complicate matters, as Paramount hold film rights while CBS takes care of TV. If Paramount really want a TV show to complement the films, they'll have to work out some kind of a deal with CBS... But that's far in the future.
Gummelt's pitch was slated to take place early August, so news about Uncharted is coming. As for other TV shows... we'll have to wait until after Star Trek 3: Beyond is released, and the box office figures come in. That's when Paramount will know whether the franchise still has enough traction for a new series.
So watch this space! As reboot Scotty would say, "it's all very exciting!"