It’s a text-based-Scoobs-Flash-Not-Thrones-adventure!
Did you hear Monday’s news?
Star Trek is finally coming back to TV! Kinda.
And just in time for the 50th anniversary! Almost.
This is the news Trekkies and Trekkers have been wanting for more than a decade! [And they’re bitching about it.]
If you’ve listened to any episodes of the podcast, you know that Alexandra and I are HUGE Star Trek fans. Like, gigantic geeks. Like, we’re bigger Trek fans than GoT fans. It’s what we’ve bonded over since grade school, back before nerds ruled pop culture. Needless to say, when I saw Star Trek was coming back to TV, I pretty much shat myself. The Internet was, shall we say, slightly more skeptical.
Here’s what we know so far:
- CBS is producing a new Star Trek series, set to premiere January, 2017, fifty years [and four months] after the original series premiered.
- Star Trek: The New Thing is being executive produced by Alex Kurtzman, co-writer and producer of Star Trek , Star Trek Into Darkness , and next year’s Star Trek Beyond.
- Star Trek: The New Class is “not related” to Star Trek Beyond. Their words, not mine.
- The premiere of Star Trek: The Legend Continues will air on CBS, but future episodes will first run on CBS All Access, their $6 a month streaming service.
Now, unlike many fans, I really liked the two newest J.J. Abrams Trek flicks. Yes, they were blockbusters, and yes, they felt more like action movies than like thoughtful episodes of TNG. Here’s the thing, though: all of the best Star Trek movies try to be tentpole films. When a Star Trek film is made only for Star Trek fans, you get
- the navel-gazing of Star Trek: Generations [Picard and Kirk meet in heaven and decide to beat up the bad guy from Tank Girl]
- the fan service of Star Trek: Nemesis [Data and Picard are popular, so let’s clone them both!]
- whatever Star Trek V was [Kirk, Spock and McCoy go camping and find God!]
A good Star Trek film needs broad appeal, and Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman did a good job with that, and still included some fan-wank material. Plus, Kurtzman produced Fringe, and Fringe was awesome. Long story short, I’m happy he’s on board for Star Trek: Warrior Princess.
I’m more apprehensive about CBS’s distribution plan. It’s unclear right now whether episodes of Star Trek: Miami are ONLY going to air on CBS All Access in the US, or if they’ll simply air there first, and then hit CBS’s regular broadcast or syndication. If it’s the former, I’m concerned. I pay for a few streaming services, like Hulu, Netflix, and Spotify, and I’d probably opt in for at least the first season (if only to review the series for you folks) but I don’t know if many of my generation would pay another six bucks a month just for access to Star Trek: Friendship is Magic, Jeopardy, and five different CSI spin-offs.
Star Trek: The Teenage Witch is going to be the flagship program of CBS All Access, and that’s exciting but worrying. Voyager was the biggest thing on UPN’s lineup, and as soon as ratings started to dip, the network started to meddle, hoping to save their skin. This led to the addition of a sexy Borg in a catsuit in season four. Before September 3rd, 1997, the words “sexy Borg in a catsuit” had never appeared in the same sentence. In 1996, these words made as much sense as “sexy Ford Escort in fishnets.” Seven of Nine ended up being one of Trek‘s strongest characters, but that’s due to the talent of the writers, I think, and not to the brilliance of the concept.
Star Trek: Enterprise, of course, jumped this shark by including a sexy Vulcan in a catsuit in the very first episode, and by having her remove that catsuit and shower with the chief engineer in the SAME EFFING EPISODE. I’m not sure the CBS All Access gambit will be as successful as the network hopes , and if not, I’m pretty sure that the blame will be placed at least partially on Star Trek: Special Victim’s Unit.
We don’t know what the setting of Star Trek: Baywatch Nights will be. It might be related to the original run of television shows and films, it might be connected to the new movies, or it might be something else entirely. It’s too early to tell. It might even be the “Captain Worf” series Michael Dorn has been pitching. Who knows?
There’s going to be all sorts of rumors over the next 14 months as to what this new series will be. We won’t know until 2017. Try, though, to remain optimistic. After all, if Star Trek, in all its iterations, has one common message, it’s that the future is something to look forward to.
Okay. Maybe not Deep Space Nine. That shit gets DARK.