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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Big news came out yesterday that a new Star Trek television is in production for a January 2017 launch date. While that seems like it is a long time from now, considering the series is just now entering into development (no writer or showrunners are currently attached), about a year is a standard from announcement to start. It is being produced by Alex Kurtzman, and the press release claims that the upcoming show will “[explore] the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception”.
This can be very exciting as it has been over ten years since Enterprise was canceled. There have been rumors for a long time that a new series was in development since the current rebooted movie franchise has been a critical and financial success. The previous thought was that CBS (who holds the Trek TV rights) and Paramount (who hold the movie rights) had a gentleman’s agreement that CBS wouldn’t move on a new Trek series until the movies finished its run. Whether or not that is true, apparently the two companies were able to work something out since CBS is moving on a new series.
I am sure helping matters is that Kurtzman has a foot in both worlds. Having produced and written the previous two films for Paramount and produced several TV series for CBS, Kurtzman was in the perfect place to be the guy to make this happen. Oddly, Roberto Orci isn’t anywhere to be seen on this since he is pretty much in the same position that Kurtzman is. Then again, Orci and Kurtzman have ended their creative partnerships and there seemed to be some falling out with Orci and Paramount. That may have been a factor.
The real downside to this prospective series is that it will be released exclusively in the US on CBS All Access, CBS’s online streaming service. This is a bit of a bummer for me as I don’t subscribe to this and have zero desire to. I’m already have Hulu and Netflix, and I barely scratch the surface of what they offer. Plunking down $6 a month for another service for one show is not likely something I am keen on doing Maybe if the season drops all at once (like Netflix does for their original programming), I’ll get a subscription for a month before cancelling. But this is all academic. The show is over a year away. Who knows what will happen between now and then?
That said, I do think it was wise of CBS to do something like this. The likelihood of a Star Trek series to be successful on a mainstream network in today’s market is very low. A streaming service is a smart move. I can’t blame CBS for positioning a Star Trek show to launch their original content on their service.
But, who cares about any of that. A new series is coming, and a true Star Trek fan needs to be doing one thing right now: wild speculation. I remember when Enterprise was in the early developmental stage and rumors were running rampant on what it could be. I look forward to that experience again, so let me throw my two cents in!
Warning: Pure Nerd Speculation!!
If I were to guess, the show will likely take place in the new continuity started in 2009’s Star Trek. With Kurtzman involved, why wouldn’t it not be? I suppose it could be its own thing, but the only real reason to do that would to have Kirk and Spock. That would be redundant (especially since a 4th film in the series is already being planned). Would it have a new cast of characters? I guess that could happen, but Hollywood, more so today than ever before, wants name recognition. Probably even more so since the series is supposed to make CBS All Access competitive. Having a show just be Star Trek may not be enough of a hook to make people take notice.
As I was thinking about this last night, a thought suddenly occurred to me. The show is launching in 2017. Star Trek: The Next Generation began in 1987 – 30 years earlier. Could the new series be a reboot of TNG in the universe established in the JJ Abrams films as a way to celebrate its anniversary?
I’d argue that the show is entrenched in pop-culture enough to bring that name recognition, and it would be able to be separate enough from the film series as to not step on its toes. I don’t know. I am just speculating. But that would be wild.
I’m interested to see where this will go. I’m sure I’ll be talking more and more about it as more information is released. What an exciting time to be a Star Trek fan.