Sunday, February 28, 2016

News: New Trek Coming to TV

OK, no longer news, but I'll be keeping track of the new series as it develops, so let's get everyone up to speed.

November 2015 - CBS announces a new Star Trek television series to go with their new on demand service, "CBS All Access". Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote the last two Trek films, and Heather Kadin, who helped produce series such as "Scorpion", "Sleepy Hollow" and "Limitless", are on as executive producers

My thoughts: Alex Kurtzman likes Trek. He likes to pay respect to the series that came before while bringing us his ideas. I'm cool with his involvement. Heather Kadin has an impressive list of hit shows already. While I have only caught a couple episodes of Scorpion, I have heard great things about all three series I mentioned above. I hope she breathes a new life into the franchise. As for this being on a Netflix-type platform and not network or syndicated television, well, there are some ups and downs for me on this. I will say that some on demand only shows, more envelopes can be pushed. While many will argue that this is a good thing, I sometimes wonder about that. I love watching Trek with my children, so I hope this platform will give us a family friendly version, and not a "let's have more sex, nudity, gore, and cussing then we were ever able to have before". I also am unsure as to how this show will be shown in Canada, so let's hope it's something easily available for us.

January 2016 - CBS will broadcast the pilot, but the show will be exclusive to CBS All Access. CBS network execs will have little, if any, creative control. The show will not be related to the current movies, but will be in the Trek universe television has come to know and love.

My thoughts: Not sure if this means we'll see characters like Janeway, Q, Picard, Worf, or others, but this works for me. I love the reboot movies, but I want to continue the story after Voyager.

February 2016 - Two major announcements on the creative side. First, Bryan Fuller is announced as a co-creator and showrunner. Second, Nicholas Meyer is brought aboard as a writer and consulting producer.

My thoughts: YES! Fuller was a writer for DS9 and Voyager. In DS9 he worked on "Darkness and the Light" and 'Empok Nor", two great episodes. His Voyager credits include Workforce, Flesh and Blood, Juggernaut, Barge of the Dead, and Bride of Chaotica. In addition to that, he has worked on such great genre shows such as Hannibal, Heroes, and Pushing Daisies. He not only knows how to produce good TV but he knows and loves Trek. Nicholas Meyer was one of the big creative forces behind Star Trek II: the Wrath of Kahn, Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country. He also knows Trek and has proven his mettle in this franchise. In both of these hires, we have a real promise for the new series. Both understand Star Trek. Both have experience with Star Trek. Both also have a solid background in creating film and/or television, so they have the street cred. 

Overall, I am cautiously optimistic with the new series. I have two concerns to wrestle with as 2017 approaches. The first is the platform. I hope that the new series will be a bit more readily available. I am concerned with the current trend to the on demand platform from a personal financial viewpoint. As traditional cable and satellite becomes more outdated, we will see more of this on the rise. I like the local coverage of my cable channels, and do not like the idea of paying for cable plus two-to-four on demand services, so I likely will have to give up something I like. That concern is very minor. The second concern is more serious. In many franchises and sci-fi/fantasy shows, the trend is towards more dystopian and darker themes. I'm not sure Trek should follow suit. Gene Roddenberry had a hopeful and optimistic idea of our future, and I want the new series to keep that. Even DS9, which was a darker and edgier series than the others, kept that spirit alive. I hope that to be new and relevant the new series does not try too hard to be like all the rest. I think if it does it will fail. Regardless, I am excited about having Trek on the small screen again.

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