6 Rules for Rebooting a Star Trek TV Show Comments - Mania.com


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jfdavis 12/7/2009 1:04:24 PM

I loved the new movie and agree a reboot needed to be done. It's more Trek than Universe is Stargate That said, it's too soon to use that alternate universe for a series.  I'd wait until the third or, better yet, the fifth for that.   That said, speaking strictly as a Trekie, it's not too soon for a new series for me...

My must haves, in no particular order:

1. Likable characters-Tension is great but Stargate: Universe vs. Voyager/DS9 has shown even characters that hate each other in the beginning eventually should get along. Even Enterprise characters grew on me by season 2...

2. A ship-Space, time or space and time, I don't care but there must be a ship.  DS9 was and still is my favorite of the franchise but the main complaint about it was they "didn't go anywhere."  A load of crap by season 3 especially but why take chances? 

3. Do something with cool ideas-A complaint I still hear about Voyager is that they'd introduce a cool concept/alien then not do enough with them.  The Swarm and 8472 being the main examples.  Apparently moving out of their space wasn't enough of an excuse.  Again, why chance it? 

4. Don't try too hard to appeal to all your fans because you will fail-The biggest problem with Enterprise for me was that I expected the "Birth of the Federation" stories we got mainly in season 4 and Berman and Braga decided to add the Temporal Cold War and anachronistic TNG elements ( The Ferengi anyone?) because that's what they knew but also because they wanted to appeal to fans who strongly felt TOS was antiquated crap so they didn't bother to watch it.  The new movie may have helped this problem...

5.  Find a network that's wiling to give it a chance or just go back to syndication-NBC cancelled TOS after three seasons. Under the supervision of CBS president Les Moonves,  lowly UPN cancelled Enterprise after only 4 seasons. In this day and age of Windows Media Center, and maybe DVRs in general, you don't have to know when a show is on. It can be on at 4 am on a Tuesday; it will be found.  

Yeah, I mentioned Time.  Set a show in the future but have a crew made of an El Aurian who can sense when timelines are changed and humans, Bajorans, Vulcans and the other sort-of human looking aliens to go back in time and fix it. Essentially give the TCW storyline it's own show.  Yeah, probably too different...

Finally, I can't help but notice the errors in the above comments.  It was Section 31, not 9 ( I think that would have been a good idea about a decade ago but I think tooo much time has past) and it was Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe with the help of Ron Moore who added the Dominion angle...       

Chris Beveridge 12/7/2009 1:20:35 PM

Ah, yeah, 31. It's been so long and I do work with a company called Section 23 so I was getting my sections confused, thinking of the Ghost in the Shell piece.

jfdavis 12/7/2009 1:28:59 PM

Sorry, I'm a librarian and a stickler for accuracy... ;-)

karas1 12/7/2009 1:50:45 PM

I once had an idea for a show set in the Star Trek universe about a ship but it wasn't a Federation ship.  Civilians in the Federation could be interesting too.

G671 12/7/2009 2:08:44 PM

Or, as the original article said, a more complex stage.  For example, how about multiple ships and crews??  Starfleet, on a grand scale. With no one ship necessarily at the center of the story each week, but more centered around the entire 'fleet' and Starfleet Headquarters, exploration. first contacts, confrontations.   One episode could follow one ship, for example. The next week could be another ship. And, then of course, intertwine the stories as part of a story arc as they go.

kwsupes 12/7/2009 2:41:19 PM

 There definitely is a "we" because I thought the new Star Trek film was quite excellent. I thought it captured the spirit of the original and set up a blank slate on which they could tell new stories. TKay I agree dude it didn't hurt anything for them to blow up the bad guy, lest we all forget that he was trapped in a black hole and couldn't escape so what they did was kind of an act of mercy. Oh by the way they offered to beam them over if they were lower their shields. I think Gene would have been fine with that solution. I can't wait to see what they do next whether it be Khan or the Klingons which I think we would all agree they are headed one of those two ways.

As far as DS9 goes, I loved it too. I thought it was the best of all the Star Trek shows save the original. I would love to see a new Star Trek t.v. show in that vein and really one that took the best of what Sci Fi tv has evolved into since then, but not yet. I think we need at least three more years of no Star Trek. The new film opened the door for Star Trek to continue. I think we need to let team JJ hit another home run with the second new Star Trek and then let's go with a new T.V. show. 

fenngibbon 12/7/2009 3:07:32 PM

 I particularly love the bit about how Roddenberry was all about tolerance, yet in most of the episodes I recall, someone would make an incredibly intolerant crack about Spock's appearance or Vulcan heritage.  The goal of everyone in the crew seemed to be to have Spock be more human--could you imagine anyone making a series today where a black character was constantly being encouraged to be more white?


Count me in among the DS9 fans; it was the most realistic of the series.  I liked TNG, and I still watch the episodes occasionally, but they seem dated now (especially the special effects in the early seasons).  In addition, there was such a disconnect from our world (Voyager, where Tom Paris like old movie serials and TV shows and Enterprise, where they watched old movies, gave a sense of connection--to watch TNG, you'd think all cultural memory of the 20th and 21st centuries was destroyed in WWIII) .  And the TNG characters verge on the annoyingly elevated--if it weren't for Q showing up to mock them occasionally, I think the show might have gotten insufferable (one of my favorite lines remains when Q tells Picard that he sometimes thinks he visits only to hear Picard's monologues).


As for a new series, certainly keep it in the original timeline; you don't want to burden the rebooted film series with weekly details they'll have to keep account of, and it's an olive branch to those offended by the reboot (have a universe where Vulcan is still around, etc.).  And allow the timeline to progress.  Don't jumpt it a century or two, just have it be where the timeline would be if time had progressed at the same rate in the ST universe as in ours.  So it would be sometime around the end of the 24th century, if I remember correctly. The point of that is jumping forward too far doesn't really serve any purpose, other than to reboot the concept (and for all those complaining about Abrams, TNG was essentially the first reboot), and we don't need another reboot.  If you want a series in the original timeline, you should be able to link it to people and events in that timeline, and the best way to do that is to have it so that you can have people and events from that timeline appear or be referenced (have a news story in the background about Grand Nagus Rom or have someone onscreen talk to Admiral Janeway or something).


As for the premise, there have been four series with ships on journeys, and the new, rebooted movie series presumably doing that as well, so something fresher is needed.  The stationary locale has also been done, and I don't know what new thing you could do with a space station (and who needs more whining from J. Michael Straczynski about his ideas getting ripped off?).   I heard an idea for a Starfleet Academy series, but I suspect that without a REALLY tight rein such a series would rapidly descend into 90120, the Next (to the 20th power) Generation--in other words, an angsty teen drama with Klingons.  


One way of making a new series fresh would be to have nonhumans be the focus, or have nonhumans be predominant.  Instead of Starfleet Academy, how about the Vulcan Science Academy?  Have a mix of students of different species trying to make it through an institution run by logical, emotionally suppressed, Vulcans.  Kind of a The Paper Chase in Space (that was a law school drama in the 1970's).  Or, if you must have a ship based series, how about the Ferengi?  "Space... the Final Sales Territory. These are the continuing voyages of the starship Profit Motive. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new markets, to seek out new consumers and new sources of cheap labor, to boldly deal where no Ferengi has dealt before."  Okay, so that would be a series with a decidedly humorous edge.

Personally, I would like a Section 31 series.  You can have both fixed locales and travel, and lots of action/adventure/getting it on with exotic alien babes as well as deep, philosophical debates.  To some extent, the existence of Section 31 suggests that the premise of the wonderful, enlightened, crime-free, poverty-free, etc. Federation pushed particularly in TNG is what Plato would call a Noble Lie. No matter how pretty and perfect a society is, you still need to get rid of the garbage, maintain the sewers, etc.  In short, there's dirty work and someone has to do it.  And that someone is Section 31.  There's a lot of potential; you could have stories involving spy missions and space battles and whatnot, but you could also do a lot of character driven stories involving these people who deal with the nasty aspects of existence so that hundreds of billions of others can live in virtual ignorance of them.    


jacobjoseph 12/7/2009 4:55:50 PM

I think Enterprise should have been allowed to continue at least one more season. I think a new series should either be based off Jendrensen's unused script for Star Trek: The Beginning, and focus on the Romulan War, or be based on the Federation "timeships" of the 29th century, seen in Voyager and hinted at with Daniels in Enterprise. That could allow for storylines to take place in any Trek era, and to explore new eras.

movieboy 12/7/2009 9:11:27 PM

The first 15 min or so was best part of the new film.  I was hoping the finish would have the same impact as the opening.  

Also, I was torn on how to feel about it when it was over.  The thought of kirk not going through his son's murder, spocking dieing to save the ship, etc.  All that getting erased, just didn't feel right.  And yet I liked it, wanted to like, still felt weird.

goldeneyez 12/8/2009 4:10:53 AM

@ movieboy: The new movie didn't destroy original Trek history.  It still happened, the new movie is just on a divergent timeline.  Think of it like the old Marvel "What If" comics.

One thing that I don't think anyone mentioned, is that they're making a Star Trek MMORPG based in the original continuity and several years after Star Trek Voyager I think.  Hopefully this may be an outlet for the die hard fans that are aching for more adventures / stories in the original uinverse.

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