Star Trek - Its future on televison

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Nelson Au, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    12,949
    Likes Received:
    1,608
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I thought this topic might deserve a separate thread from the Star Trek Enterprise Appreciation thread. I'll focus on future Star Trek television projects.

    My feeling from what I've read of comments from Paramount and current Enterprise producers, that the franchise needs a short time off to rest, is sinking in. The Franchise in my opinion is being taken for granted by the audience. That is in part, part of the reason Enterprise didn't recover this 4th year in spite of the changes in production personnel and improved stories. The Franchise has been on a very long time, so there's bound to be audience members who are not Trek fans who will tune out to new stuff. The success of Stargate, Smallville and now Battlestar Galactica is a good example. Gunsmoke and Hawaii Five-O were on TV a very long time too and I remember tuning out of those shows towards the later years. I don't want to see the discussion that Berman and Braga are at fault, and new blood is needed, that's been discussed to death already!

    Current Star Trek Enterprise producer Manny Coto has made some recent comments about a future series already. He wants to pitch to Paramount on a new series that could be set in the future beyond The Next Generation. For now, he's off on a new project as a producer on "24". He knows timing will be key when the audience will "want" to see more new Star Trek. He'll wait till the time is right. Also Paramount has changed, and the executives who used to champion the franchise are longer there. As are the new political forces involved at CBS and UPN that couldn’t see a future for Star Trek. My guess is it will be off for 2 to 3 years, but it could go to 5 years. By that time, Galactica, Stargate, Smallville could all be off the air. Maybe the Enterprise cancellation starts a trend.

    So what will be the next incarnation of Star Trek on TV? Star Trek 11, the next Star Trek feature film, sounds like it will take place some time after Enterprise, and will deal with the Romulan Wars. (Hmm, Attack of the Clones?) If that movie does well, if and when it gets made, and if it does concern the Romulan Wars, one path for a TV show could be to spin it off the film, and that crew and ship. Maybe even concern Enterprise, a Captain Stiles or the TOS era. Consider the groundswell of the popularity of the heartfelt efforts of fan made films like Exeter and New Voyages. These go back to the Kirk era. Evidence that the fans are hungry for something new and perhaps that new is “old”. But Retro-Star Trek has been done with Enterprise. And it’s full of problems, like dealing with a modern show that tries to look like a show done before a TV show that was done in the 1960’s, not to mention the continuity issues. The show has to look new.

    Seems of all the Star Trek TV series after TOS, The Next Generation was most successful, for many reasons. Little to no competition from other genre shows on any network, it was the first new Star Trek on TV after TOS, and it developed into a good show that captured the following of a new generation of fans, old and new. So perhaps the new series should concern another incarnation of a starship named Enterprise. The name Enterprise is a very important component to the Star Trek formula.

    But would a future audience be better served with Star Trek that is edgy, MTV style and sexy and youthful? Perhaps a show that is nothing like Star Trek of old? Given the Star Trek format, will a new show feel like “been there and done that”? A TV show with Starships in space exploring new worlds as allegory for making commentary on contemporary issues has been done very successfully once. And then there’s also J. Michael Straczynski who had tried to pitch to Paramount to do a future Star Trek. There’s another point of view there.

    Finally, whoever the Producer is involved, I would think whatever the next feature film is about, it should be tied or relate to a new series. The same way Star Trek 6-The Undiscovered Country was linked to the TNG episode, Reunification, they go hand in hand.

    As a very longtime fan of Star Trek, going through TOS as a kid, waiting for the rebirth during the 70’s, then 6 TOS features films and then doubting, but then accepting TNG, then onto DS9, Voyager and Enterprise, I have to ask myself, do we need more? It’s been a great ride so far with some bumps along the way, but a class act the whole time. I hope there is a new exciting Star Trek in the near future, and I really hope it’s good enough to earn the respect of the fans and non-fans and also honor Gene Roddenberry and those from the TOS cast and creative team that created the original.

    Enterprise is dead, long live Star Trek.
     
  2. Daniel Kikin

    Daniel Kikin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2001
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    TrekWeb has a news item saying that Manny Coto will be pitching a Star Trek series to Paramount at some point in the future.
     
  3. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 1999
    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    249
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Ya' know, I'm not totally convinced that the entire TNG portion of the franchise has totally run its course.

    I realize that Nemesis tanked badly at the box office. But I believe that it was a combination of factors not totally related to Star Trek. The movie should have been released in August 2002 or May 2003. Released as it was in December 2002 it was sandwiched between the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises. (In fact, opening as it did just five days before the second installment of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it's quite possible that many members of the potential audience for Nemesis had already purchased their LOTR tickets!) I know that that was the case with me. I was stoked to see LOTR, and I just decided that I would wait and view Nemesis on DVD.

    Nemesis did quite well in its DVD release. And, in my opinion, that's where Paramount should now be directing their future Star Trek product: In annual straight-to-DVD movie releases.

    This would allow them to continue their Star Trek merchandising arm while limiting their ongoing inventory (which was terribly diluted by Voyager and Enterprise.)

    A straight-to-DVD trilogy of movies focusing on Riker and his crew on the Titan would be the best way to "test the waters" in a venture of this nature. The Star Trek fan base would have a recognizable "anchor" (with some members of the TNG crew); and new characters and directions could easily be tested for fan reaction under this umbrella.

    IMO, this would be a much better direction to be going in than a very expensive, and risky, prequel feature movie.
     
  4. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Whatever the next Star Trek series, it's got to really re-energize the franchise like crazy and get people excited about Star Trek once again. It can't be a rehash of previous episodes with a different crew on a different ship; that "been there, done that" mentality just doesn't work anymore unless it's done really convincingly. The "Flashback" episode of VOY is one example that looked really great on screen, despite a weak introductory hookup. Likewise for "Trials and Tribble-ations" on DS9, with its "Forrest Gump"-inspired integration of the DS9 cast into the background of TOS' "The Trouble With Tribbles". And some of the more cutting-edge episodes of DS9, the one that was set aboard the Klingon vessel, what Ron Moore called a "Star Trek: Klingon"-style episode - things like that are quite intriguing indeed. I'm thinking the upcoming 2-part "In a Mirror, Darkly" story for ENT will do the same.

    Having the Reeves-Stevenses as story editors/co-producers on ENT has been a good idea, and their scripts have had some strong premises. Novelists such as Peter David ("New Frontier"), Keith R.A. DeCandido ("I.K.S. Gorkon"), Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore ("Foundations"), Jeffrey Lang ("The Left Hand of Destiny" and "Immortal Coil"), and David Mack ("A Time to Kill" and "A Time to Heal") can not only bring their creative energies to a future Trek series, they can also continue what Gene Roddenberry began in the 1960's. That's what made TOS so strong in its first and second seasons, the caliber of science fiction writers and novelists. That's what the next Trek series needs.

    In addition, whoever takes charge of the next Trek series, it doesn't need to be on the level of a Rick Berman who simply milks it continually for the money. It's got to be a visionary who can take charge and guide the series forward with strong stories and characters. Manny Coto has done a good job in his fourth year on ENT, and someone like him could do a good job creating and developing the next series. Or someone like Ira Steven Behr, who brought some of the best Trek on TV in his tenure on DS9.

    Those are some of my thoughts; more to come later.
     
  5. RickGr

    RickGr Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0



    But I do think Star Trek Enterprise got better ratings than at least two of these shows and if Enterpise was on SciFi drawing the ratings it did on UPN it would be by far their (SciFi) best rated program. It may have more to do with what outlet do you put a new Trek series on?
     
  6. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 1999
    Messages:
    5,358
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    David Scarpa
    Well Enterprise Prequel Idea isn't Plagued with problems it just needed People at the Helm with a vision and that sure was'nt Berman and Braga, Manny Coto this year sure came closer but he was Hamfisted somewhat by what B&B already established. My Take and a Prequel would've been alot more rough and tumble If anyone has read the Great series of Stories or the collected Book of Starfleet:Year One by Micheal Jan Friedman it would be alot more like that, if not go grab it and give it a read and see what a Prequel could've been.

    As far as a series set in the future it would need a vision if it did'nt want to fall into the same what that Voyager and the 1st 3 years of Enterprise did. I think without True scifi Writers , television writers would just end up rehashing the same old stories weeve seen over the last 18 years. I don't think the Trek Universe is tapped out, there's always stories to tell its just that TV Writers can't think of of them . Still I'll Miss Enterprise and Especially John Billingsley as Dr. Phlox. As I watched Bound tonight I realized just what an outstanding Actor he is and what a great character he was.
     
  7. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 1998
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Jason Hughes
    KILL RICK BERMAN!
     
  8. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 1997
    Messages:
    6,788
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The reality is, DS9 showed a big part of the way with a story focused less on the federation and more on other worlds.

    I would be interested in a story told from a different perspective.. I had once thought a Klingon Trek series would be interesting, but I think there would be too much incentive to change the characters into "lovable" ones.

    But I think a good series concept could be something very different.. say, a federation or trill or bajoran or whatever settlement on another planet who deals with the issues of being a settler, etc. Could be some excellent sci-fi opportunities there, character building, some pretty interesting arcs regarding discovering who lived there before them, etc. etc. etc.
     
  9. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1998
    Messages:
    5,884
    Likes Received:
    373
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Lou Sytsma
    I think the TOS era is prime for revisiting. At this point, a continuation of the original 5 year mission or the next 5 year mission would probably draw quite well. I believe audiences would buy a new cast playing the old roles.
     
  10. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 1999
    Messages:
    5,358
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    David Scarpa
    Nah, the Kilngon's been done to death and frankly I think is Played out. I still think an Anthology series spanning the various time periods would work. I look what the Fans are doing with the Trek Stuff using CGI and what a show like Dr. Who is doing with High Def video and I think a Trek Anothology could be done on the cheap and still be very good if written well. I also think a Higher Budget animated series would work and I'm frankly surprised no one has tackled it. Because it would be too expensive to get the original actors to reprise the voicework ala TAS I would set the series on a new Ship. Hell Use Peter David's New Frontier as inspiration.
     
  11. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As the differences of opinion from just nine responses show, there are lots of conflicting ideas about what the ideal come-back should be. I think this shows only too clearly the problems faced by such a venture. Inevitably the keen-but-still-got-a-life fans will find something to grumble about, the diehard trekkies will hate it (but face it, they hate everything - God alone knows what would suit them), and the casual viewer wouldn't give a rat's ass, but wouldn't watch because there's already enough of Star Trek in syndication.

    In any case, before there's any more clamouring for ST to return, just think of the possible sequels we wouldn't want to see:

    (1) We follow the thrilling adventures of Wesley, as, armed with his new powers, he goes about righting wrongs (personally, I think I'd sooner have Terrellian flu than see that little creep again)

    (2) A series in which Neelix, Janeway and Chakotay embark on a series of adventures - and then discuss what they mean in deep philosophical ways.

    (3) Sisko returns - and then each week goes off the rails for no particualrly well-explored reason.

    (4) The original ST is revived - only with yet more emphasis on fist-fights, lame humour between the medical and scientific officers and plenty of opportunities for the captain to kiss some compliant alien bimbo in a mini skirt.
     
  12. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Messages:
    7,133
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Nelson, you bring up some great points. But, if Berman is still involved..the show is doomed to fail. He has such animosity against him from most of the core fans. That it will only hurt the show more.

    Joseph B, I like the idea of a show centered around the Titan. Both Frakes and Sirtis have said they would have loved to keep doing Trek.

    I hope if the show comes back it is a year or so. Coto in-charge and Berman & Braga out.
     
  13. Jonny_L

    Jonny_L Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    I think Star Trek won't return to TV unless the management at Paramount changes. It's obvious in interviews and from their incredibly AWFUL ideas, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga don't know what they're doing. Their personal connection or friendships with upper management likely kept their jobs for so long. I think the final episode of Enterprise will like enforce that. Jonathan Frakes as a guest star as Riker? C'mon, that's just stupid. They've driven the whole franchise into the ground and don't show any signs they know why, even though any Trek fan could write them an essay on the subject. Idiots! Sherri Lansing likely helped kill it too, with continually dwindling production costs and not properly analyzing the falling ratings. Paramount has gone deeper and deeper into the abyss since she took over, with flop after flop. Now their #1 franchise is dead, and with the loss of Enterprise and the WWE (smackdown is going to USA), their UPN Network seems to be headed that way too.

    It's not that people are necessarily sick of Star Trek, but BAD Star Trek. The first 3 seasons of Enterprise were barely even Star Trek related. The episodes that were somehow related usually screwed with already established Trek-lore. The 4th season finally started to go the direction that was originally promised before the show started, and the series ends. It's all been like a bad joke.

    As for a Star Trek 11, I dunno if that would happen anytime soon. The current rumor is the Romulan Wars. I'd like to see that so long as it's the same vibe as the Balance of Terror episode of TOS. The hero would probably be Captain Styles and the movie would probably be presented the same way as the Enterprise episode not too far back with the remote controlled Romulan ship. But, the last movie was Romulan related and it sucked - HARD! I don't know if they would take that route again.

    Either way, with no real prospects for any Trek in the near future, with their DVD season sets so expensive and management at the studio staying as is for now, there won't be much for Trekkies to look forward to, or to get their fix. [​IMG]

    Hopefully the shows stay plentiful in syndication for a while.
     
  14. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    2,143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Francois Caron
  15. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2001
    Messages:
    4,183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Mikey

    I dont know of anyone that is interested in a Romular War movie. I think people want to see people that they are invested in. Starting with a whole new cast is not going to help the movie either.
    I think the best bet for the future of Trek and this is after a couple of years, are TV miniseries that last about 4 episodes and have them twice a year. Have them based on people that we already know from the Trek universe and have them written and directed by people who care about the franchise and fans not themselves. That means no Berman and Braga or Spiner and Stewart writing these things.
    Have them concentrate on Riker's ship one time, Sulu's another. Maybe the Voyager crew after they arrived on Earth and going out on another mission. A DS9 followup or maybe a mixture of the casts for one story. Anything is possible if you get the right people involved.
    Face it, it all comes down to the franchise being run by people that dont know how to run it. Put Nimoy in charge or something. Anything is better than who they have overseeing the franchise now.
     
  16. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    12,949
    Likes Received:
    1,608
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Great comments so far!

    One more aspect to consider, this potentially lengthy sobatical from new Star Trek could be a way to wait out Rick Berman's contract. No question the studio feels that the time off will let the audience grow fond of the series. The next incarnation will likely see a new show runner.

    The thoughts that a series of miniseries could be very cool. Makes sense as an option. Also, the internet could play a part too. With the fan made internet films of New Voyages having support of DC Fontana and Walter Keonig and Gene Roddenberry's son, that venue could rise to some prominence.
     
  17. Andy_Bu

    Andy_Bu Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Yes it got better ratings.

    Of course its a bit apples and oranges comparing UPN to SCI FI in terms of viewership reach.

    Andy
     
  18. Andy_Bu

    Andy_Bu Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    To be fair, many people forget just how dreadful TNG was in the first two seasons. I would argue it was as bad an anything Enterprise put on the air.

    The difference was though back in the 80's a show was allowed to find its audiance and the shows had more time to develop and grow. Today, if you want to be on one of the big 5 networks, you pretty much have to be a hit coming out of the gate or you are going to be facing constant changes at best or cancelation at worst.

    As for a time frame for the next Star Trek, I would love to go into the future during a time when the Federation of Planets has been broken due to a massive war and a story line following a federation ship as it tries to put the pieces back together again.

    Andy
     
  19. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    9,306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Robert H. Wolfe wants his idea back. [​IMG]
     
  20. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 1999
    Messages:
    5,358
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    David Scarpa
    Yeah I always thought that would make a good trek series, unfortunately Andromeda's already done it.
     

Share This Page