As we all wait patiently for news on Star Trek 2017 all we can do is speculate. We now know who the main writers are going to be. We welcome Star Trek alumni Bryan Fuller as a show runner and Nicholas Meyer from the Star Trek films to the writers room. So far though we’ve been given only rumours and hints at what this new series will be, when and where it will be set.
The consensus seems to be that this new series will be set in the prime universe. There are several reasons to believe this. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles it’s very unlikely to be set in the JJ Abrams reboot universe for legal reasons. Paramount own the movie rights to Star Trek and CBS retain the Television rights. This means that even if they wanted to make a series set in the new timeline they would have to make a deal with Paramount. A deal that wouldn’t be in CBS’s financial interest. This is a good thing as it means CBS are in a position to realistically do two things. Set ST17 in the original canon universe or create their own new, new timeline. Creating another new timeline makes absolutely no sense as they should know that they have already alienated millions of fans with the reboots. For the money it makes sense to stick to the canon universe.
Prime Universe All The Way
When is it set?
There have been many rumours lately suggesting that ST17 will be set in and around 2293 in the Star Trek timeline. Just to give you an idea that’s the year Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and the prologue of Star Trek Generations are set. 69 years before the first episode of Star Trek the Next Generation, which is 2364. The reason for this speculation comes from a Nicholas Meyer interview with Den Of Geek in which he mentions Brian Fuller seeing Star Trek VI as a jumping off point. This could mean a variety of things. Fuller could simply mean this tonally. The sense of adventure and the slightly darker Star Trek, less glossy and shinny as TNG or Voyager.
The Star Trek 2017 Crew?
It would however be a great time period to set the series in as it’s a mostly unexplored era and would knit the gap between the adventures of the original Enterprise’s crew and the Next Generation. The Undiscovered Country sets up a very interesting universe. Peace with the Klingon Empire has just been signed. A peace treaty like this has ramifications throughout the whole of the Federation and Klingon Empire. It could make the Empire look weak to it’s enemies and as some of you may know that Klingon Empire is a massive sector of space made up of many worlds and many species not just Klingons. This could create problems with colonies and occupied worlds and many conflicts of interest, rogue Klingon Generals and Captains who don’t agree with peace stirring up trouble. It is an interesting landscape to set a series in and to create situations that could bring back the social commentary and heart of Star Trek. Plus those burgundy red uniforms and the ship designs and technology of this period are awesome.
There is one problem here however. It means that to keep it canon the show can’t be set on an Enterprise as we’ve had glimpses of the Enterprise B and their crew in Star Trek Generations and the Enterprise C in The Next Generation episode “Yesterdays Enterprise“. This means the writers will have to be true to canon events of the time period and set the show on a different ship. We could simply get the continued adventures of the Enterprise B with a now experienced Captain John Harriman played by Alan Ruck. This is a large 69 year time period for the writers to play with which leaves plenty of room to create new and interesting stories without repeating what has come before.
USS Enterprise C
Ever since it was announced that we would be getting a new Star Trek Series in 2017, everyone has suggested that Star Trek will move to a more modern television format. For one, CBS are using it as their flag pole for their All Access on demand subscription service. Most likely we will not be getting 26 stand alone episodes with the odd two parter like the last few incarnations. It’s been heavily speculated that we’ll more likely get the Netflix format, 10-13 episodes that tie in together and follow one main story like a broken up long film. However a new rumour has hit the internet this week which suggests that Star Trek 2017 will have each season as a standalone anthology. Not unlike “Fargo” or “American Horror Story”. This would mean each season would have a new ship and a new crew or at least a new setting and each season could potentially jump to various timelines. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It opens the show up to be set in any timeline from First Contact all the way up to life after the Dominion War and the return of Voyager. The negative side is that audiences will find a ship and crew they love only to never see them again except maybe in a cameo. This latest rumour came from BirthMovieDeath.com who don’t sight their sources but claim to have inside information.
What would be your ideal setting for Star Trek 2017?
All we can do now is wait and hope that no matter what timeline the series is set in that it truly is Star Trek in feel and setting. That the characters are interesting and the stories are compelling and make you think in a way only Star Trek can. Here’s to real Sci-Fi and less nonsensical action. To adventure and hope and a strive for human evolution and progress. Here’s to Star Trek may it live long and prosper.
January 2017 is the expected release date for the new series.
As I’m sure you have all heard by now that CBS is making a new TV series of Star Trek. It’s due to air in early 2017 on the coat tails of the franchise’s 2016 50th anniversary. I am a huge Star Trek fan but I’m also a mostly reasonable one. This week the internet went ballistic with hatred for this new show that hasn’t even been written yet. One reason is that Alex Kurtzman who co-wrote the first two reboot films is behind the project. Honestly I don’t think it is really that important who is behind the show, so long as they stick to these 10 very important things.
1) Keep it Star Trek
This is the most important thing that has to happen. Keep Star Trek as it should be. Star Wars is a fantasy in space, “NuTrek” is a Sci Fi action film series. Star Trek the TV show has always been pure Science Fiction that comments on socio-political issues all while being fun with action and adventure. It needs to have heart and make the audience think and ponder. Star Trek aired in 1966 and broke profound social issues on racism and war, putting a mirror up to society. It was this ground breaking social commentary that made Star Trek the dynasty it is today. It’s a tone of morality that is by far the biggest thing missing from the last two reboot films. Without a sense of morals and tone, any new series simply wouldn’t be Star Trek.
Making History through love
2) Keep the Original Cannon
Star Trek as a TV series, even before the JJ Abrams reboot, kept the feature films very separate from the TV show. Although the films were canon stories, their style, mood and tone were very different. From Star TrekThe Original Series (TOS) all the way up to the end of Star Trek Voyager (not to discount the prequel series Enterprise) a whole world of canon, history, characters and rules were long established. Despite the reboots, it would be a shame to stray away from this long fan loved history of 703 episodes that spanned five TV shows. To just disregard the 40 plus years of stories and history that were established to attract new audiences would be a crying shame. Many fans are calling for their dream version of Star Trek. The problem there is that everyone has a different vision. I’ll be happy if the new series is set after Voyager, before The Next Generation or set during the Romulan war between Enterprise and TOS , as long as it’s not the NuTrek alternate timeline. A new series has to add to the legacy, not start over.
Boldly Going into the Future of TV
3) Be Brave
As much as we love what Star Trek has done in the past the new series has to be different. The new series has to be brave and try new things and stand on it’s own two feet. Voyager set itself up to be a very different show at the beginning but fell back into old routines, never quite rising itself. Enterprise once again tried to be different but took several season to be brave about it. It would be great to see a darker side to Star Trek and the Federation. After all change and progress is the fundamental ethos of Star Trek.
4) Have Cameos
We would all love to check in our favourite characters. The last we heard of Commander Riker, he was Captain of the USS Titan, Worf was ambassador to the Klingon Empire and Janeway was an Admiral. It would be great to have those characters pop up on a view screen of a new ship or for them to pop by for an episode. In the case of a prequel series, Captain Archer could throw in an appearance as a wise admiral. The big thing however is that the new series does have to be able to stand on it’s own two feet just like Deep Space Nine and Voyager did with some small cross over characters in their pilots. Over use of known characters would unfortunately just turn into fan service and result in unlikely stories and scenarios unless it’s done in the right way. For an example of this done badly just see how little sense it makes for Walter Koenig to be in Star Trek Renegades.
“I should be long dead” (Russian Accent)
5) A New Ship
A new Star Trek needs a new ship and to me, that ship can be any ship. It doesn’t have to be the next Enterprise or an old one for that matter. Despite my personal feelings towards certain characters in Voyager and some of the storylines, adventures on a different ship were exciting and fascinating to see. I would be hesitant to be on the Enterprise F, J or H far in the future and being thrown into a universe we really don’t know, with technology that’s reached a point of being completely magical. This was a pitch made by Bryan Singer about eight years ago. A new ship is essential for the series to work. Trying to recreate the Enterprise E again with a different crew would just be sad and would lack imagination and progression. I’m sure thousands of fans are probably calling out for the return of the TNG crew to a new series, it’s been over 20 years and it ran for seven seasons and four movies. Let it go friends, let it go.
6) A New Enemy
We need a big new threat. DS9 struggled through it’s first few seasons despite some great stand out episodes, it just didn’t connect with audiences well. Then they introduced The Dominion and if you haven’t gone back and watched it, I highly recommend it. It became a fantastic war series. The same in Voyager, they’re ultimate enemy most definitely being The Borg. Since however there has been a throve of novels, comic books and games with The Borg as the main enemy and we are done with them. Janeway crippled them and that’s that. What we do need is a whole new threat to the Federation. A new species that are hard to understand, something truly alien or a well known ally turned foe. The last we checked in with our universe the Romulan home world had been destroyed not long after making peace with the Federation. How interesting would it be for Starfleet to have to now defend and care for their former enemy, against forces trying to take advantage of the fallen empire.
“We are the Borg. Using us is futile”
7) Have an Overall Story Arch
DS9 and Enterprise changed how Star Trek ran. With the exception of the odd two part special, every other Star Trek series ran with very independent episodes with very little relationship to one another. We rarely got a hint of a new enemy or story direction in TOS or TNG that would later reappear. In DS9 we had The Dominion War span three seasons, an idea that was planted in early season two and was carried to completion in season seven. That show had some great frame work. Enterprise, despite having some terrible story arch’s, still had full season stories. This is how most TV works these days, giving little hints each episode for a big final. It would be a shame for Star Trek not to evolve with TV. The new series is going to be released on CBS’s All Access online subscription channel and I would be very surprised if they’re stand alone episodes in our modern binge watching society. More likely we’re going to get HBO or Netflix style 10-13 episode season that supports one main story like Game Of Thrones, Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
8) A Strong Female Lead
In an ideal world this point should go without saying, however, women haven’t been depicted well in the reboot films. Falling into the Hollywood trope of sex sells, Doctor Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness had the sole purpose of existing to be topless for the trailer.
“I’m a Doctor. Not a stripper!”
The Original Series sadly is a testament to it’s time and is extremely misogynistic. Thankfully Star Trek evolved. Back in the 90s we had this sorted, in 1995 we put a woman in the Captain’s chair. I personally had a lot of problems with Janeway as a character, but having a woman in command was no big deal and it worked for seven seasons.
DS9 had great female leads in Major Kira and Lt. Dax, the types of characters that TNG just didn’t hold well. I’m looking at Councillor Troy here, she was always so weak. Despite the strong start with Lt. Tasha Yar, her character was never replaced with a similar trope after her death. The closest we got was Whoppi Goldberg and she only made guest appearances. So I’m cool with it whether the Captain is going to be a man or a woman. No matter which way the casting goes the next senior officer has to be of the opposite sex. A Female Captain needs a male 1st Officer and vice a versa. It’s a dynamic that works and creates characters that everyone can relate to.
9) An LGBT Character
As mentioned above Star Trek has a long history of breaking social boundaries and highlighting modern thinking. One fact that has always failed Star Trek is it’s portrayal of Homosexuality in the future. It’s a part of life in the Federation that has only been hinted at and brushed with very lightly. Many writers and producers were very shy about portraying it and the only on screen appearances of homosexual relationships have been two women. David Gerrold wrote an episode of TNG entitled “Blood and Fire” that featured a gay couple. Sadly the show’s producers were terrified of public backlash and they buried the episode. It’s since been adapted as a fanmade TOS episode and you can see it here
What we need is a strong, male lead character, a senior bridge officer, somewhere between the Captain to Helm Officer. A man with a position of authority who is just as capable as any other male character, who just happens to be in a same sex relationship with another crew member. The most important thing is that it has to also not be a big deal, it has to be subtly written and portrayed just like any other relationship.
The main reason I’m calling out for a male/male relationship is that unfortunately studio executes wouldn’t be able to help themselves with a female same sex relationship and it would turn into sexy scenarios. For proof just look at the increasing tightness of T’Pol’s cat suit’s in Enterprise and Seven of Nine’s outfit’s on Voyager. Sex sells. But the point of showing a relationship like this is to almost not draw attention to it and to depict it as the norm.
Look at how Caprica did it with Sasha Roiz portraying the cold blooded gangster who was married to a man. Until we saw this character sitting at home entertaining dinner guest holding hands with his husband and offering a tender forehead kiss, there was no mention or attention given to his sexuality.
Caprica more equal than Star Trek
10) Be Set After Voyager
Now this is just a personal preference of mine. I really want to be able to check in with my favourite characters and see what is going on in the future of the Star Trek universe. However I wouldn’t be heartbroken if we were given a series set between TOS and TNG or any other timeline. I made a comparison to Game of Thrones earlier for a reason. My dream show would depict several locations, with a lot of characters and cameos to work with. Follow a new ship and crew but have us check in with Starfleet Command, visit the USS Titan with Captain Riker and his crew. Lets us see Worf struggle with politics and have all their stories connected. Both Jonathan Frakes and Michael Dorn have been trying to get their own spin off shows made for years. Lets join them all together with a new ship and crew and make some fantastic poignant TV while we’re at it.
So that’s really 9 things I think are very important and 1 hopeful wish for 2017. So what do you want to see in the 2017 from the New Star Trek Series?
Over the last few hours the internet has been rife with fans getting excited, angry and confused by an imgur post of a poster titled “Star Trek: Prime”. This 80’s looking Sci-Fi poster is most definitely a fan made image that has no connection to CBS or their TV news site TV.COM
Although “Star Trek: Prime” would be a great title and hints at the new series coming in early 2017 being set in the much loved original canon prime timeline. A timeline with nearly 50 years of history and characters that was last touched in “Star Trek Voyager”. One could argue that Star Trek Enterprise although being in the past played with some time travel and some slightly strayed away from canon.
What we here at Star Trek Eire would love to see is a series set in the Prime universe, at any point in the timeline. For CBS to ignore the TV fans would be a shame and honestly a big mistake.
I see three possibilities for the 2017 series.
It’s set in the Prime universe some time after Voyager or before The Next Generation, maybe even between Enterprise and TOS.
It’s set in the JJ Abrams time line, perhaps another ship set in the white washed lens flare Starfleet. This seems the least likely to me as Alex Kurtzman and CBS have hinted that it will have nothing to do with the films.
A whole new reboot universe. Of all the options this is unfortunately the most likely. We’ll get a new vision of Stat Trek with whole new characters, crew and ship. It will be it’s own third timeline made specifically to attract new audiences.
Personally I am in favour of the Prime universe coming back in any capacity. Although any series no matter what version it ends up being must be Star Trek in heart and tone. It has to hold a mirror up to society, comment on humanity and hope and most importantly be about people, not explosions in space.
What do you want to see from the new series in 2017?