The new Star Trek series has fans overjoyed: finally, after 10 years off the air, Trek will boldly go back to TV. Not much about the plot has been confirmed, other than the fact that it will probably be set in the Prime Timeline. And now we have our showrunner: Trek alumni Bryan Fuller, whose concept for the new show couldn't be more perfect...
Bryan Fuller Is A Super-Trekkie
Bryan Fuller's first TV writing gig was actually for Deep Space Nine: he provided the story for the episodes 'Empok Nor' and 'The Darkness And The Light'. Fuller went on to work on Voyager for several years, penning 22 episodes himself.
But not only did Fuller write for Star Trek: he's also a huge fan of the show, as he explained in the showrunner press release.
"My very first experience of Star Trek is my oldest brother turning off all the lights in the house and flying his model of a D7 Class Klingon Battle Cruiser through the darkened halls. Before seeing a frame of the television series, the Star Trek universe lit my imagination on fire."
Bryan Fuller has actually been pushing to run a new series since Enterprise was cancelled back in 2005. Before J.J. Abrams's 2010 movie was green lit, Fuller and CBS were in talks to go ahead with a new show instead. Thanks to this, Fuller already has a concept of what he wants to do with the story.
Looking Back While Pushing Forward
Bryan Fuller is best known for the critically acclaimed Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and Hannibal. Fuller's offbeat style blends whimsy with the macabre, and his characters are atypical and engaging with excellent group dynamics. For me, there's no better example of this than in Pushing Daisies...
This style is absolutely perfect for Star Trek. While all the shows have a distinct style, they have one thing in common: they challenge the viewers to see past our preconceptions. The new show has to combine this thoughtfulness with the sense of adventure which is essential to Star Trek. And there's definitely a risk that the series will veer into the dark and gritty style with permeates the genre today. However, Bryan Fuller's concept harkens back to the fun of The Original Series, or so he told iF Magazine in 2009...
"I told CBS... I want to create another Star Trek series and have an idea that I'm kicking around. I would love to return to the spirit of the old series with the colors and attitude. I loved Voyager and Deep Space Nine, but they seem to have lost the '60s fun and I would love to take it back to its origin."
If Fuller's work on Pushing Daisies proves nothing else, it's that he can blend nostalgic, brightly colored adventure with poignant plots. Which is definitely what we want from Star Trek.
But as much as the new show should look back to what made Trek great, it must also forge ahead. And Fuller already has plans on how to boldly go where no Trek has gone before...
Diversity: As Important Today As In The '60s
Star Trek is known for its diverse casts and progressive social commentary. Yet to date there has only been one person of color as the show's captain (Sisko, DS9) and one female captain (Janeway, VOY). In 2013, Bryan Fuller commented to DenOfGeek that he would like to change this, and his casting choices couldn't be more awesome.
"I want Angela Bassett to be the captain, that’s who I would love to have, you know Captain Angela Bassett and First Officer Rosario Dawson. I would love to do that version of the show and but that’s in the future to be told."
Although Fuller said this several years ago, the Internet was quick to remind everyone of this possibility. Twitter exploded with enthusiasm about this casting soon after it was announced that Fuller would be running the new show.
Considering Angela Bassett and Rosario Dawson are both very busy actresses, it seems unlikely that we'll actually get to see this version of Star Trek come to pass. But the sentiment is still there, and it's possible that the 2017 Star Trek show will be a new triumph for representation.
All in all, Bryan Fuller is the perfect choice to helm the new Star Trek show: he's a fan of the franchise, he's wanted to run the show for years, and his style is perfect. And of course, there's the fact that the press release praised Fuller's "encyclopedic knowledge of Trek", which is a reference to Futurama... referencing Star Trek.
So if nothing else, we know that these people are as nerdy as we are.
We might have a year to wait until we finally see this happen, but until then we can look back at the best moments from Fuller's other shows, and revel in the fact that the new Star Trek is going to be awesome.