Thoughts on the Star Trek TV Series Announcement

Thoughts on the Star Trek TV Series Announcement

Hurray! Star Trek is returning to TV! Excited doesn’t even capture me right now. All I can say is that I am beyond words that CBS finally decided to bring Star Trek back to TV. And with that, here are some words.

There is honestly just so much that I want to know, what didn’t seem to be revealed in the announcement itself. Who are the characters? What time period is this set in? Will there be Vulcans? Andorians? Romulans? Borg? But unfortunately, all of this is left to my imagination. Star-Trek-616433But let’s start with what we know. Perhaps the biggest piece of information is that Alex Kurtzman, co-writer of the J.J. Abrams Star Trek films as well as co-creator for shows like Fringe and Sleepy Hollow, is listed as executive producer. While not terribly informative, we can assume that this means the new Star Trek series will be set in the alternate timeline colloquially known as the “JJ-Verse.” Let it be known that I am a full-on fan of most everything J.J. Abrams has ever done including his Star Trek films so I have zero problems with it should this be the case. Setting this new series in a Star Trek universe that is both familiar and yet unknown presents many different paths it could go.

Vulcan_consumed_by_black_holeMy personal biggest hope is that they address the elephant in the room and deal with the destruction of Vulcan. When Nero created a singularity at the center of Vulcan, destroying one of the Federation’s founding cultures, as well as Spock’s mother, one would hope that it would be addressed. While admittedly Star Trek Into Darkness had its story dealing with different matters, I always hoped that the destruction of Vulcan would impact the Alpha Quadrant in some heavy ways. Most notably, how will the Romulans take it? Several episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series show Romulans as being conniving but also a respectable and proud people who hold their Vulcan cousins in decently high regard. Will the Romulans give the Vulcans humanitarian, or in this case vulcanitarian, aid? Or will the Romulans take advantage of this weakness and invade? Who knows.

My only other major hope, and I know I’m about to get a lot of flack for this, is that they don’t set the show on an exploration ship. Yes, I know Star Trek, with the notable exception of Deep Space Nine, has always been set on an exploration ship and that’s precisely my point. That concept is tired.  We’ve had 21 seasons of 4 incarnations of Star Trek all set on an exploration ship and I think its time to move on. Sure, exploration can still be a theme but having one ship with one captain, one XO, one engineer, one tactical officer, one helmsman, one navigator, and one science officer is just something Star Trek needs to get away from for a while. We don’t need a show that’s essentially another rehash of The Original Series or Next Generation… again. The bulk of Voyager and the first two seasons of Enterprise proved that. I know people are going to say that Star Trek‘s exploratory theme is where its roots lie but I would argue this. Yes, Star Trek is about exploration but not the universe, they were exploring the human condition. What you see in The Original Series is exploration of the universe used as a metaphor for exploring what makes humanity so human and I believe there are ways to do this without resorting to the same concept used by Star Trek for 21 seasons. Star Trek writers are some of the most creative bunch out there and I believe them perfectly capable of bringing us something so clearly innately Star Trek but not a tired unimaginative redo of the same thing we’ve known for 50 years. Star Trek is better than that.

cbs-all-access-logoOne possible concern I know several people have is its distribution model. This new Star Trek show has been announced as only being available on CBS All Access or as I call it, CBS Not Netflix. While yes, I understand your frustration for them not releasing the series on cable like normal but let’s be real here. Bringing Star Trek back to TV is an enormous gamble for CBS and I’m sure they want some reassurance that it will be a successful venture before they sink so much money into actually doing that for a cable audience. This new series is their beta tester and should it do well, I have no doubts that Star Trek will return to cable for everyone to enjoy. So let’s make that happen.

Finally, I want to address something disturbing I’ve noticed just today since the announcement was released and that is the absolute mind-boggling hate and general nastiness that so many people have posted in regards to the new announcement, mainly because of how Alex Kurtzman is attached to it and Kurtzman worked for Abrams. I’ve seen so many post hateful and negative remarks about how Star Trek is dead and they won’t watch it with Kurtzman at the helm. Star Trek finally returns to TV and this is the reception they get? Star Trek‘s return to TV heralded by negativity and disdain? It’s simply sad to see that what the fans claim to have wanted for so long suddenly turn against it because one of Abrams’ writers is at the helm. Regardless of how TV network politics and money matters happen, it’s the fans that kept Star Trek alive for this long and it’s also the fans that can kill it. To everyone, I urge you to not be pre-maturely judgmental. Be open, be positive, be accepting, and be the fans that kept this franchise alive for 50 years with 30 seasons and 12 movies. We all want more so let’s be open to more even if it’s different.

Sovereign_Crew_QuartersNow as I raise my glass, here’s to season 31. Make it so.

About the Author
Avid science fiction fan with a penchant for stories that explore the human condition.

5 comments on Thoughts on the Star Trek TV Series Announcement

  1. derreckmayer says:

    I think you put this all very well. I am incredibly excited for this series and the opportunities it provides the franchise. While I would prefer a series in the Prime universe, due to the chances for cameos by Trek Alum, I understand why the JJ-Verse is the most likely direction. It’s less confusing for fans and newcomers but also the direction the studio is going with the film franchise. I know the release says it’s not directly related to Star Trek Beyond but that doesn’t mean they don’t want some cross promotion.

    The negativity from Trekkies and Trekkers is frustrating and disappointing. At this time, we know so little about the project. Like you said, we don’t know when it will take place, who will be on it, what the show will be about, or even what universe it will be in. So why complain? Why get mad? Right now, we have hope. We have something to shoot for, something to be excited about.

    To your point about the setting of the series, I agree with you there too. I especially hope they do not use an Enterprise. We’ve had three of those shows already and DS9 and Voyager showed that we don’t need the Enterprise for good Trek. I would like to see something different. An idea I’ve enjoyed is the thought of something like the way American Horror handles their seasons. Each season is a new setting, new story, new characters, like an anthology. I think that will be very cool to watch.

    As far as CBS All-Access goes, my hope is that it provides us more independence for the series, more flexibility on ratings to avoid early cancellation, and maybe more flexibility on budget and episode length\order.

    In the end, I can’t wait. I haven’t been this excited in a long time.

    Boldly go!

  2. Frank Bones McCoy says:

    The press release pretty clear cut about the show is being more away from the Abram’s verse. I would take note that they talked about star trek’s legacy, while not mentioning the newer films.
    “The brand-new Star Trek will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.”
    I don’t know but to me it’s interesting the fact that they made more of an emphasis this legacy and made no mention of the elephant in the room, the Abrams verse. That and CBS owning the show and Paramount owning the film rights, they probably don’t want to step on each other’s toes. Even in the days of TNG, Vygr, and DS9 they were careful to avoid each other’s areas of interest. The new show will be the same.
    Considering it probably won’t be set in the newer Abrams verse there are only two real options. Either post Enterprise or post Voyager, maybe even fill in the gap between Voyager and the Spock time travel. Either of these would be great to see. Either way its all speculation but my money is on post Voyager.
    One thing of interest is just how quick they’ll be getting the show out, we’re talking next year. This means they’ve already decided on the idea of the show and probably have an idea of who they want to star in it, probably negotiating contracts as we speak. I look forward to them dropping announcements about the show, finally an excuse to check LOL.
    Lastly the controversy about the Kurtzman is understandable but unjustified. To me the biggest thing is how well the show is written and it all depends on who Kurtzman brings on board to do it. It isn’t like he’ll be writing the darn thing all by himself. This was what one of Enterprise’s biggest down falls was, they used writers who didn’t really care much about Sci Fi. I hope the new one fairs better.
    A much bigger controversy I’ve been seeing on the net is kick back from the pay as you go format. Sure I’d rather watch it for free but I’m hoping this gives them more creative freedom, kinda like what we see on cable channels and Netflix. Shows like Battlestar Galactica, Walking Dead, and Orange is the New Black. These are great shows yet very different from anything that broadcast TV does. Not that gore, nudity, and violence is needed but it gives them more creative license. I’m excited for the pay as you go format, I’ll gladly pay for select shows I love, so long as their good. To hope it will be broadcast on TV is outdated thinking. So many of us have pulled the cord to subscription service and instead opted for Netflix and amazon style services instead, this is the future. And Star Trek is going to be apart of it. We should rejoice.

    1. Sam Williamson says:

      I don’t know about that. That sentence, to me, says they’re not going to follow the Enterprise or any of the characters we’ve seen in the JJ films but could still be set there. Considering that’s the universe Kurtzman has worked on for the past six years, makes sense they would keep that going rather than jump back to Prime. But that’s me. And if they did decide to go Prime, I would bet on it being set post-destruction of Romulus. That would give them excuse to jump off things seen in 2009 but also still be Prime. But again, that’s me.

      1. Frank Bones McCoy says:

        I believe they tagged Kurtzman because he helped create a new world . No matter what he does he’ll have to recreate the new star trek universe. If it has to be redone their isn’t realy any reason to go back near the Abrams verse, except maybe cross promotional. And Star Trek really never did much of that with films and TV shows. We’ll have to take a betting pool for this some time before it gets leaked LOL. My money is one post Vygr by about 20 years 🙂

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