Welcome to the sixth part of The Search For Story, a series of articles where we’ll take a character, group, species, timeline, or event and look at what that might look like as a standalone series, miniseries or movie.
We’ve previous looked at a variety of possible Star Trek series with widely different stories and genres but all with one thing in common, they have been stories that wouldn’t fit in a single episode or short arc of one of the main Star Trek franchises, this time we’re going to remedy that with a look at a movie that could have just as soon been a two part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, but perhaps on a slightly bigger scale.
For this story we’ll be borrowing some inspiration from Doctor Who, as well as several time travel related episodes of various Star Trek series, but we’ll putting a unique spin on it.
Title: Star Trek: The Prime Directive
Inspiration: Time’s Arrow, Visionary, Past Tense, Doctor Who.
Setting: Various centuries.
We begin in the 28th century aboard a starfleet science vessel, it’s captain, our protagonist, has been ordered to return to Earth to assist in testing a new technology, the chrono-deflector, which it’s inventor believes will finally solve the puzzle that is time travel.
With the tech installed the mission is simple, they will open a temporal rift and transport a class one probe several hours into the past. The experiment is a huge success and the team begins calculating a transit further into the past, unfortunately a malfunction in the system redirects the transporter and our protagonist is pulled into the rift and ejected on earth hundreds of years in the past in a time when the technology to allow him to return to his time doesn’t exist.
During his first weeks he has a very difficult time adjusting, however he keeps his head down, tries to gather information for his log and stay out of history’s way. He discovers that he is in the mid 1800’s and begins to build a system for survival. As the weeks become months he begins to compile resources and even a few friends.
The first rescue attempt
It’s at this point that our nearly forgotten science team in the 28th Century finally gets a lock on him and attempts to return him to the present, however unfortunately the rescue goes awry and while he is pulled into the future, it’s just a few years in the future for him, the late 1800’s.
He explains his long absence and unaltered appearance to those he knew years earlier by claiming to be his own son and resumes his life. As a man of science and a student of history he knows what’s coming in the next century, both it’s wonderious inventions, and the horrors of its wars.
A heavy burden
As the years go by he struggles with the guilt of building a new life in this time, in not being able to help prevent tragic events he knows will cause mass death, and eventually with the prospect of starting a family.
With a wife, and two children in the early 1900’s, our hero is now dreading the coming Great War, will he lose his family, should he fight? As the war begins he decides to fight, however, the second rescue attempt quickly pulls him half a decade into the future.
Now seen as a war deserter who left his family to avoid the fight how can he return to them?
The Prime Directive is a heavy burden to bear.
A painful life…
As time goes on he’ll be pulled through time and see his family, from a distance, grow old without him. Will he make it back to his time? Will he want to anymore? Can he survive the pain of this life?