After months of waiting, we finally got our first glimpse at the new Star Trek show when the new trailer dropped last night. Airing in January 2017, the new show will be helmed by Hannibal's Bryan Fuller, who honestly couldn't be more perfect for the job. Joining him will be Nicholas Meyer, known for co-writing and directing Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home, and The Undiscovered Country.
The prospects for the new 2017 show are already very exciting. Although we don't know much yet, the trailer itself contains a few more hints than you'd suspect from the first glance, and there's a beautiful homage to The Next Generation in the footage.
The trailer seems to be a sneak peek at the opening sequence for the new show — each Star Trek show begins with the camera speeding through space, passing stars, planets and gas clouds. The exception to this rule is of course Enterprise, which took the viewer on a journey through time instead (and despite the criticisms, I will defend that opening sequence until my dying day).
So what about the homage to The Next Generation? Well, the sequence already seems very similar to the TNG opening credits, starting from Earth and zooming off through the solar system. The trailer even concludes with a warp flash embedded in the Starfleet logo — the TNG opening sequence also concludes with such a flash. And of course there's the use of the classic theme, which was incorporated into the themes for both The Next Generation and The Original Series.
This could be more than just a nod to one of Trek's most popular TV shows though, as there are some intriguing rumors that tease a vital connection between Fuller's new series and TNG.
Continuing TNG's Legacy
The Next Generation is known as one of Trek's quintessential shows, and for good reason. Eighteen years after The Original Series ended, the continuing popularity of the classic show had prompted several films already, and interest in the ponderous space opera was still strong. The Next Generation wasn't just a revival of Star Trek, it was something of a reinvention, and after a shaky first season the show settled into the themes and storytelling innovations that were nothing short of groundbreaking — you can still see TNG's tropes repeated in shows today.
It's understandable then, that beyond any of Trek's other popular shows, CBS is focusing on TNG's legacy. After such a long time off the air, the 2017 series already has a lot in common with TNG, as it too has the challenge of reviving the Trek franchise.
But it's not just about style and real-world parallels. A few months ago, Devin Faraci of BirthMoviesDeath reported that the 2017 show would pick up where The Undiscovered Country left off, bridging the chronological gap between this film and The Next Generation. This means the first season of the new series will be set in the early 24th century, which was a tumultuous time for the Federation.
According to Faraci's source, the new show will deal with the aftermath of the Khitomer Accords, the peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. By the time The Next Generation rolled around, the situation between the Klingons and the Federation had gone from hostile to almost amicable. Of course, this is just a rumor, but it is corroborated somewhat by Nicholas Meyer's recent comments to DenOfGeek.
"The one thing I can relate to you is that 'The Undiscovered Country' — according to Bryan [Fuller] — is a real sort of taking off point, or touchstone for the direction of the new show."
It's possible that the new series will explore what happened in the interim, and how the consequences of the Khitomer Accords rippled out to the rest of the galaxy.
However, the fact that the new trailer stresses that the crews will travel to "new worlds" and face "new villains" does imply that the 2017 show will forge its own story even within this familiar setting. Oh, and the series won't be set on an Enterprise, according to Faraci.
All in all, it looks like CBS is setting their phasers to stun us with this new show, filling in some chronological gaps in Trek's history while establishing its own style and plot. And honestly, we couldn't be more excited.