The new Star Trek series will premiere in 2017, and fans are already excited. After over 10 years off the air, Star Trek will finally return, but that's pretty much all we know so far. The new show isn't connected to Paramount's reboot movies, which means it will probably be set in the Prime Timeline.
But what stardate? And what part of the galaxy will they be exploring? Here's what we think the new show should take from all our old favourites, and how CBS should continue the Star Trek story...
TOS: The Adventurous Element
There are many, many things to love about Gene Roddenberry's first foray into the brave world of scifi television, but one of the things The Original Series is best known for is the spirit of adventure.
Kirk and the crew of the NCC-1701 were the first to boldly go, and that really sticks with you. Of course, there's strong philosophical themes in TOS, ones which continued into TNG and beyond. But there's a strong sense of humour in The Original Series which is hard to beat.
Of course, The Original Series does look a bit dated now. The exaggerated incidental music, slapstick comedy, and shaky sets would look out of place in the new Trek series. But the spirit of adventure is something which is mandatory for any new Trek show, as well as the fact that ultimately, Star Trek is an optimistic view of our future.
"Star Trek was an attempt to say humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day it begins to not just tolerate but take special delight in differences of ideas and differences in lifeforms." - Gene Roddenberry
So many modern scifi stories focus on dystopias, but Trek has always sent the message that if we strive to be better, we can build a better future. Now more than ever we need a Star Trek show which embodies these ideals: take note, CBS!
TNG: Thought Experiments
The Next Generation continued the thoughtfulness of TOS into a new era, going even further into thought experiment territory. While it could also be silly and fun (I'm looking at you, holodeck episodes), TNG is remembered as one of the most intelligent Star Trek shows.
Trek has always pushed the boundaries of what was accepted, challenging societal ideas. Some of the best loved TNG episodes are the ones which force us to see humanity differently, and question what we think we know. There's Darmok which examines communication, The Inner Light which makes us question the show's narrative, and The Outcast which challenges normative gender.
How to continue this into the new show? TNG episodes were often shaped around ideas and possibilities, and many of them are framed like philosophical thought experiments. Delving into what we know of space today, and the exciting yet terrifying possibilities of deep space travel, would definitely be interesting to see.
DS9: Progressive Social Politics
Oh, Deep Space Nine. This is when Star Trek started to get a little niche: although DS9 has held up very well over time, it's not the best loved Trek show. It's my personal favourite though, and of all of the old shows I think there's a lot which the new series should take from it.
First and foremost has to be the diversity element. Deep Space Nine is the only show with a person of colour as the captain, and that should definitely change when the new show rolls around. It's also the only show with a main queer character: Jadzia Dax expresses attraction to both women and men on more than one occasion. Her gender is also an interesting point...
It'll be 2017 by the time the new show is released. That's definitely about time to see an openly LGBT character in Star Trek! But diversity aside, one of DS9's strengths was the way it developed the ideas from TNG and TOS. The Federation was shown to be a lot less ideal than we thought (In The Pale Moonlight is fantastic), many alien cultures were developed, and ultimately there's a lot of back and forth between DS9 and the rest of Trek which really makes us feel immersed in the universe.
But here's the rub when it comes to the new show: DS9, TNG, and Voyager all overlapped. There were also the TNG movies while DS9 was airing. Aside from the Paramount new movies, there's been a huge gap of Trek storytelling recently, which means that the new show has to strike out on its own as well as develop ideas from the old shows. This is one of its biggest challenges.
VOY: New Territories
Voyager took Star Trek to a whole new Quadrant, which allowed the show to introduce new species while standing on its own.
The show was a bit hit and miss, and while its stories were very enjoyable, some of the characters suffered from underdevelopment. It's still a great show, and if nothing else it proves that exploring a new area of space is exciting. The new show could take this one step further by exploring outside the galaxy.
However, as we don't really know what happened in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants while Voyager was stuck in the Delta Quadrant, it might be nice for the new show to return to the species we know and love. What happened with the Romulans? Did they eventually go to war with the Klingons? A lot of this has been explored by Star Trek Online, the popular computer game, and it will be interesting to see what parts of this story the new show incorporates into the canon.
ENT: Offering New Perspectives
Enterprise is the little Trek show which tried... and didn't always succeed.
Personally, I really liked the retrospective aspect, and ENT definitely came into its own when it started exploring the Third World War and the Mirrorverse in seasons 3 and 4. However, it was cancelled just as it was getting really interesting. One of the reasons it never chimed with many fans was because it strayed a little too far from the essential Trekkiness of Trek: set after humans developed warp travel, Enterprise's aesthetic was an odd mix of classic Trek and real world space travel.
So how could the new show follow on from Enterprise? Mostly, it shouldn't. ENT trod over old storylines to give a new perspective, and while that was enjoyable to watch, it's not really something the new show could, or should, do. The time setting is interesting, but while the new show shouldn't look back it should probably look forward, perhaps to the distant future.
Ultimately, there are a lot of challenges ahead of the new Star Trek show, but we're hopeful CBS's new series can be as trailblazing in 2017 as The Original Series was in the 1960s! But what would you like to see in the new show? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!