Friday, January 13, 2006


The Once And Future Star Trek

Watching the new "re-imagined" Battlestar Galactica got me thinking: what about a re-imagined Star Trek: the Original Series? Think about how good the Defiant sets looked during the two-part Star Trek: Enterprise episode set in the Mirror Universe. We'd have the same characters, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, but played by new actors. The Enterprise should stay the same, at least on the exterior, but we could revamp the interiors from the old "Des Moines Holiday Inn" look and lose the mini-skirts, go-go boots and beehive hairdos. In fact, they should just use the uniforms from Wrath of Khan, since those remain fan favorites. So let's say we start the series in 2265; Commodore Christopher Pike is just about to turn over Enterprise to Starfleet's new golden boy, James T. Kirk. Number One (who will need an actual name) is resentful because she was passed over for command. Spock plans to leave to become XO on the all-Vulcan Intrepid but realizes he isn't welcome there. We could have a change of command ceremony on the Starfleet Headquarters space station from the old Franz Joseph Technical Manual, with Admiral Robert April in attendance, along with Admiral Nogura and Fleet Captain Garth of Izar (just for foreshadowing). Sulu comes aboard as a physicist, not yet helmsman. Hell, why not have Lt. Arex from The Animated Series? CGI would make it possible. Chekov is yet to be seen. The Chief Medical Officer is Dr. Phil Boyce. And Kirk's choice for First Officer is his old friend Gary Mitchell. The first season story-arc could feature ominous hints of Mitchell's instability, maybe an episode where he demonstrates some psychic ability, and end with a remake/update of Where No Man Has Gone Before. In fact, I think part of the appeal would be remaking some of the classic episodes from the original series; fans would think they know what's going to happen, and sometimes they'd be right, but other times...not so much. At the beginning of the second season, Sulu takes the helm (after Jose Tyler is killed by Mitchell) and McCoy becomes CMO (maybe Mitchell kills Boyce, too. That could be a creepy scene in Sickbay).
I wouldn't recommend changes quite as drastic as Battlestar Galactica, like randomly reversing the gender of major characters, but TOS always was a little male dominated. What if you added a strong female character, a reporter assigned by Nogura over Kirk's loud objections because Nogura wants to use the boy hero as a "modern day Ulysses" to increase public support for Starfleet? This could be the woman who is constantly immune to Kirk's charms and a reliable foil for him.
So, we have all the fun and high adventure of TOS, along with better production, better special effects, better science in the science fiction and the ability to tackle modern social issues (think Starfleet occupying a space empire in the middle of a brutal civil war and having to deal with terror attacks, suicide bombers and so forth). What do you think?

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