At long last, there will be a new Star Trek TV series. The as yet unnamed show is expected to debut on the All Access VOD streaming service of US TV giant CBS in 2017, making it the first Star Trek for TV since Enterprise crashed and burned twelve years earlier.
Here’s what we know:
- The series won’t be tied into the forthcoming film, 2016’s Star Trek Beyond but will “introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and civilisations.”
- Alex Kurtzman, a writer/producer on the recent JJ Abrams directed Star Trek films - but who isn’t involved with Beyond - is developing the new series.
And here’s what we don’t know:
Well, the first two words will probably be Star Trek.
Will the show be a prequel like Enterprise? Or will we zoom further into the future than anyone has gone before, which is surely the more challenging and captivating option.
Voyager made a decent seven years out of trying to get home from the delta quadrant, which allowed intriguing new species to be developed. Plenty of letters left in the Greek alphabet.
Will we be stuck on a small ship or a very big ship? Will we be planet bound at, say, a space academy, or on a space station such as Deep Space Nine? Again, this is something we do not know.
The cast and characters
Sure, CBS says there will be new characters but that hardly rules the old ones out. Whether there will be resurrections of Kirk and Spock and other iconic original series characters will depend very much on the choice of period.
But surely it would be great to see some of the child actors from Voyager and DS9 turn up as grown up versions of their former selves. I seem to recall one of those temporal paradoxes so beloved of Voyager in which the very young Naomi Wildman - pint sized sidekick to Seven of Nine - was revealed as a fox in a flash forward. The actor, Scarlett Pomers, is now 26 and working in LA as as a singer-songwriter. (Aren't we all?)
Will there be gays?
Almost every human minority on Earth has been represented in one series of Star Trek or another - except gays. Come on, Kurtzman, how about Matt Lucas from Little Britain as the galaxy’s first flamboyant lieutenant?
Will things be terrifying, flippant, comic? All of the above? I’d like to think Kurtzman was responsible for that epic line from Bones to Spock in the first Abrams film: “are you out of your Vulcan mind?”
The special effects, makeup, theme tune
There have been some awesomely talented makeup artists and visionary special effects people in Star Trek since the 1960s. Will they be brought back to the fold or will we forge on, now that CGI makes a world of difference to special effects?
Unfortunately Jerry Goldsmith (themes for Next Gen, Voyager and five of the early films) is no longer with us but Dennis McCarthy (Generations, Deep Space Nine) lives. It seems unlikely that Diane Warren, who wrote Star Trek’s first and very likely last theme song (for Enterprise) will be asked to return.
As we zoom towards debut in 2017, I imagine there will be more leaks and rumours than from a Labor party cabinet in a leadership spill. But let the momentum build. A sci-fi dream held close to the hearts of millions around the world is about to come true.
While you're waiting for the new series, watch all the classic films during Star Trek Movie Week on SBS2 until Saturday 5 December.