What started off as an experiment to fill the gap between Season 1 and 2 of Star Trek: Discovery, could actually lead to one of the most exciting developments in Star Trek history.
I am going to start this article with somewhat of a disclaimer. The words that are about to follow are just my opinions; what I would love to see come from the minds behind the Star Trek Universe.Some of you might agree with me, some of you will probably think I am losing it. But that’s the joy behind this franchise; it offers different possibilities and ignites strong debate from one of the best fan groups on the planet.
Now, to business…
A month after being given a five-year deal to expand the Star Trek brand Alex Kurtzman announced that a new series called Star Trek: Short Treks would fill the void between Seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek: Discovery. That each episode would be between 10 and 15 minutes in duration and
“deliver closed-ended stories while revealing clues about what’s to come in future Star Trek: Discovery episodes. They’ll also introduce audiences to new characters who may inhabit the larger world of Star Trek.”
As we all know, something like this has not happened in the franchise before, I am struggling to think of any other franchise doing anything similar (if you know of any leave a comment), and was seen as something experimental but allowing the team to expand the Trek universe and build up to the next season of Discovery.
They proved very popular indeed. Some may say it was a successful experiment.
Fast forward to San Diego Comic Con 2019 and during the Star Trek Universe panel in Hall H, Kurtzman and his team revealed that they where going back into the work of Short Treks and they had six more episodes lined up.
However this time the Short Treks would be a little different in the sense that they seem to have nothing to do with the impending third season of Discovery instead they focused on two animated episodes (one would think linking with the announced Lower Decks and the mysterious Nickelodeon series) and a prelude to the soon-to-be-screened-so-much-excitement-cannot-wait-litterally-cannot-wait Star Trek: Picard which will be hitting our screens at some point next year. Seriously cannot wait.
In fact lets see the trailer again
Anyway I digress. What has intrigued me the most about the new six Short Treks is the fact that they are bringing Captain Pike, Spock and Number One, played so well by Anson Mount, Ethen Peck and Rebecca Romijn, back following their appearances in Season 2 of Discovery. This seemed to follow a call and even a petition from Trek fans for the people behind the Star Trek Universe to create a spin off series featuring Pike and co, exploring the universe in the USS Enterprise leading Kurtzman to say that they where thinking about it. After which we get the characters returning again but within the confounds of the 10 to 15 minute run time of Short Treks.
Although this is great news, fans will no doubt still want to see more of these characters, now I don’t know if there are any further plans in place to create a Captain Pike series or not, but is there a way to allow us to see more of not only Anson and Ethen suiting up again but other characters we know and love, other characters like say, Riker and Troi, Seven of Nine? Characters that have been announced as returning to our screens in the aforementioned Picard.
Isn’t it lucky for you that I am writing this article because, YES, I do believe there is a way. This brings me to the point of the headline above. What if Short Treks could evolve into something bigger. Instead of a 15 minute limitation, a full hour episode could be enjoyed. Stand alone episodes that each week feature different areas of the Star Trek Universe, some brand new elements, some that revisit previous characters or locations or even historical events.
Let think about the possibilities this offers.
Yes, William Shatner has stated that he would return as Captain James T Kirk on a number of occasions, more recently in relation to Tarrentino’s proposed Star Trek film. I know I know they killed Kirk in Star Trek: Generations but he has been brought back to life before in the expanded universe of the books and although this would most likely not happen in the Prime universe of Star Trek its fun to think that within a one off episode they could reset that whole ‘killed by a falling bridge’ mess and bring back the best captain (in my opinion) to Trek.
Plus I have this image in my head of an old Kirk talking about his life to a young Starfleet cadet who doesn’t actually believe its Kirk until the end of the episode, full of flash backs and maybe a recast younger Kirk (Pine anyone? now CBS and Viacom are back together??) something similar to Young Guns II.
Riker and Troi
We know they are coming back for Picard so why not have a single episode focusing on the married couple and what happened after they left the USS Enterprise. This could incorporate other cast members from Star Trek: The Next Generation such as La Forge or Doctor Crusher. As a narrative it could focus on Rikers last day as Captain on the USS Titan or his inner battle of accepting promotion to Admiral mirroring something we have seen before in the franchise.
Michael Dorn has not kept it secret his desire to play Worf again and has been a constant advocate for a Captain Worf TV series. Something that has recently resurfaced when it was announced that Sir Patrick Stewart was returning to our screens to play Captain Picard. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see Michael Dorn back in some capacity as Worf. An hour long special would give us the possibility of seeing that happen.
These are just a couple of personal choices that I would like to see but there could be many more; The return of Admiral Janeway, an adventure with Quark and Odo, Whats Q been up too? Commander Wesley Crusher and more.
I hear the question you are all asking, would this work? Well my answer to that is that it already has worked to some extend only in a different medium.
That’s right, IDW has already had a stab at this concept only in comic book form in their very popular mini series Star Trek: Waypoint. In this series IDW created stories set in all timelines of the Star Trek franchise and even gave us our first Enterprise comic based story.
I get that given the fact that most of the actors have aged somewhat so the inclusion of any existing characters from the past incarnations might be troublesome. But going back to the point made earlier that fans asked for a return of Pike and Spock, both re-casted parts so they could be played as younger versions, could this be something that fans would accept again? A newly cast Kirk/ McCoy to play alongside Ethen Peck? A recast Sisko set before the battle of Wolf 365, happily married about to be assigned as commander on a space station?
It seems to me that the only thing stopping this from becoming a reality would be the fans acceptance of different actors playing roles that have become almost sacrilege if changed. Its one thing bringing back actors to play the roles again, but recasting? It just about worked with the Kelvin timeline of films and seems to have been pulled of in Discovery but could it be a step too far to see newer versions of our beloved characters. Guess we will have to see.
If you would like to share any thoughts on a possible Waypoint live action series then sound off in the comments below or give me a yell on twitter @demilburn