This week it was reported that writer/producer Alex Kurtzman has entered into a five-year deal with CBS All Access to oversee a variety of Star Trek series and mini-series. In the original report from Variety, their sources said four different Trek projects are in development:
1. A Starfleet Academy show from creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, creators of Gossip Girl and Marvel’s Runaways.
2. A limited series based around the character of Khan, most famously portrayed by Ricardo Montalbán in both the classic episode “Space Seed” and again in the film Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. This would presumably be about his exile under the orders of Captain Kirk.
3. A limited series whose plot details are being kept under wraps.
4. An animated series whose plot details are being kept under wraps.
That's a lot of Trek over the next few years! But if Star Wars is going to expand to multiple streaming series as well as animated shows, why not Trek as well? Assuming each of these projects gets past the concept phase, here's what we'd like to see from each of them:
The Starfleet Academy Series
Starfleet Academy is an idea that has been floating around in one form or another for decades, but has never gone past the idea stage. Back in the early '90s, Paramount thought that the original crew might have finally gotten too old for the big screen, and figured that maybe the next film would feature younger versions of Kirk and Spock in a story set in their Academy days. Fans revolted, demanding one more film with the original cast, saying that this Starfleet Academy movie would be the equivalent of "Star Trek 90210." Instead, we got the original cast back together again one last time in the excellent Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Another time a Trek spin-off centering around the Academy was rumored was when Wil Wheaton's character Wesley Crusher left The Next Generation to go off to Starfleet Academy. It seemed we might see a show with Wes at the center of it, but those just turned out to be rumors. Nevertheless, a Starfleet Academy series does have merit. Maybe a group of cadets on a training mission, similar to what we see in the beginning of The Wrath of Khan? Hopefully something set in a previously unseen Star Trek timeline. We could even see younger versions of famous characters from the franchise in their youthful days. The possibilities are endless.
The Khan Series
A series about the exile of Khan and his genetically enhanced supermen has been rumored for a while, with talks of The Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer writing and directing it. While this is maybe my least favorite idea on paper, with Meyer involved it could be a cool prequel series if executed correctly. Still, Alex Kurtzman had better do a much more capable job recasting Khan than he did in 2013 with Star Trek Into Darkness, because Benedict Cumberbatch didn't resemble or sound like Ricardo Montalbán in the slightest. If you're going to bring back Khan again, do better this time, guys.
The Mystery Limited Series
The unknown limited event miniseries is the one I'm most excited about, simply because it is probably the project that Sir Patrick Stewart is attached to. I say this because Stewart is a big enough star to not want to be tied down to a continuing series, but could probably be lured back to play an older Jean-Luc Picard for a limited series event...especially if it reunited him with his close friends from the TNG cast.
A limited series at this point in time starring Picard as the lead could be very intriguing for several reasons. The last time we left the 24th century's Next Generation/Deep Space Nine/Voyager timeline, the Federation has just survived a brutal war with the Dominion—a war that brought together old enemies like the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Cardassians with Starfleet. Did this alliance hold after the war? What is the Alpha Quadrant even like two decades later? Trekkers having been dying to know, but the powers that be keep giving up prequels like Enterprise and Discovery instead.
Another reason why an event series set 25 years after the TNG finale could be extra intriguing is because the series finale of TNG, "All Good Things," gave us a flash forward 25 years into the future. At the end, it was explained that it was just a possible future, but it would be interesting to see what events actually transpired for the Enterprise-D crew, and which didn't, as we hit that "25 years later" date. The final chapter for the TNG crew was the universally panned Star Trek: Nemesis. The 24th century deserves a better send off than that.
The Animated Series
There hasn't been a Star Trek Animated series since the mid '70s, but now is the right time to do it. Animation affords Trek something that live-action doesn't: freedom from the limits of a special effects budget, and thusly the ability to get really imaginative with alien and ship designs, and much more. Hopefully, a Trek animated series takes us even further into the future than we've ever seen before. If a limited series features Picard and other characters some 20 years since we last saw them, then let a new Star Trek: The Animated Series take the concept hundreds of years past where we left the galaxy, and maybe take us to an all new galaxy all together.
What would you like to see in these potential new Trek series? Be sure to let us know down below in the comments.
Images: CBS / Paramount