Turn this ship around (How to rescue Star Trek).

 

I am a massive Star Trek fan (please, no shrieks of astonishment) so fair warning right now, we are going DEEP down the nerd hole for this post.

In 2005 Star Trek was dead. The last film, Nemesis, was a big dumb turd (although not the worst Star Trek film by a space-mile in my humble opinion) and Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled, marking the first time since 1987 that there had been no new Trek on TV. Then, in 2009, JJ Abrams massively successful Star Trek brought the franchise roaring back to life. That movie pissed off a lot of hardcore Star Trek fans. I was not one of them. I loved that movie. Was it dumb? Oh hell yes, but then the Star Trek movies have always been less cerebral affairs than the TV series (and in fact the movies that did try to go all deep and philosophical often were even dumber and a hell of a lot less fun than the ones that were content to be straight up action flicks). There was plenty of sloppy plotting and ridiculous coincidence but the cast had good chemistry, the action looked great and it took some really brave chances. Blowing up Vulcan genuinely shocked me and showed that these guys weren’t afraid to seriously shake things up. So I was well and truly pumped for Star Trek Into Darkness when it came out in 2013.

Star Trek Into Darkness was the shittiest piece of shit that ever shat. God-DAMN but I hate that movie. Hands down my least favourite Star Trek film. Yes, even more than the one where Kirk meets God and then he’s not God. Even more than the one that’s almost entirely slow motion shots of the Enterprise. I hate that movie even more than the never released Star Trek: Scotty Presents the Wonderful World of Nude Mime and I just made up that film. I literally flipped off the screen in the cinema as the credits rolled.    

And now the news has broken that JJ Abrams (who, whatever you think of his work, at least we can all agree is a director) is not returning for the sequel and will instead be replaced by script writer Roberto Orci, the man responsible for most of what I hated about the last film and who has never directed a movie before in his life.

(NOTE: If, a few years from now Orci turns out to have done a fantastic job and it’s the best Star Trek movie ever I will happily come back here and admit that I was wrong and also that squids hold a deep, sexual fascination for me.)

But yeah, that’s it. I’m out. This movie series is now no longer something I’m willing to spend money and energy on. I’m checking out of the Star Trek movies. But not, I hasten to say, out of Star Trek. And, like all Star Trek fans, I’m starting to wonder “When are we getting a new Star Trek TV series?” And that raises some interesting questions (well, interesting if you fall on a certain side of the nerd spectrum.) You see the 2009 movie (which, let me remind you, I really did like)  made continuing the story on TV a very thorny proposition.

Let me explain.

The Star Trek franchise basically breaks down like this. First, between 1966 to 1969 you had Star Trek, now known to fans as The Original Series (TOS). This was set in the 2260s, and featured Kirk, Spock, McCoy and of course fan-favorite Fonzie.

Just making sure you’re paying attention.

All the various movies and TV shows were continuations of that original series, all taking place within the same continuity. That was until the 2009 movie came along which had Spock travel back in time and create a new, alternate universe which is the setting for the movie and its feculent sequel. So the question that must be addressed with any new Star Trek series is this: does it take place in the old continuity, or the brand spanking new one created by the 2009 movie? Well, as a Star Trek fan obviously I want to go back to the old universe where I spent so much of my wasted youth. But that probably won’t happen. Considering how successful the new movies were in bringing new people into Star Trek fandom, they’re probably going to want to set it in that continuity. Well, I have an idea.

I present to you, the Unshaved Mouse’s plan to return Star Trek to TV.

Ahem.

We reboot Voyager.

Yes, I’m serious. Hear me out. Put down the gun.

If you’re not a Star Trek fan and are wondering why I’m randomly posting pictures of dildos on my blog I’ll explain. Voyager was the fourth live-action Star Trek series and is generally seen as the point at which the wheels fell off the franchise. And yes, it had problems. Big problems. Huge, crippling problems. One of the most uneven casts in the franchise, bad writing, bad showrunning. But…it had so much potential. It really did. I honestly believe this could have been the greatest Star Trek series in the right hands. And hell, it’s not as if it was a complete disaster, there are some episodes in its seven-year run that rank up there with the greatest episodes the series has ever done (off the top of my head “Scorpion” “Year of Hell”  and “Living Witness”). In short, Voyager is the perfect candidate for a reboot , a brilliant concept that just fluffed it in execution.

The story is basically this: Captain Kathryn Janeway commander of the Federation starship USS Voyager, is assigned to capture Chakotay, the Native-American commander of a group of Maquis. The Maquis are a violent resistance group fighting the Cardassians, an alien empire that the Federation has just concluded a long-running war against. The Maquis are former Federation citizens who were basically sold out to the Cardassians as part of the treaty negotiations and aren’t happy living under Cardassian rule. So…terrorists, freedom fighters take your pick. Janeway enlists the help of Tom Paris, a hotshot pilot who was kicked out of Starfleet Academy and was arrested after he joined the Maquis. Voyager travels to the last part of space Chakotay’s ship was seen and gets transported seventy thousand light years across the galaxy to the Delta quadrant. Now Voyager is trapped in the most hostile part of the galaxy with enemies on all sides and facing a seventy year long journey home. Janeway loses several of her crew on the journey over, including her first officer, doctor and chief engineer and finds that Chakotay and his ship have been stranded in the Delta quadrant as well. The Starfleet crew and the Maquis have to put their differences aside and join forces. Janeway makes Chakotay her first officer, and the two crews begin their long and perilous journey home. See what I mean by a great concept? So much potential for conflict, drama and big sci-fi action. It should have been awesome. It was frequently not that. Like, a lot.

So, I’m going to take a look at each of the main characters and offer an opinion as to what was wrong and what I’d fix if I was running a reboot.

Captain Kathryn Janeway

janeway

Who is she?

She’s the ship’s dance instructor. Nah, I’m kidding, she’s the captain.

What went wrong?

It’s really a testament to Kate Mulgrew’s performance that when I used to watch this show I never realised just how inconsistently written Janeway was. In some episodes she was a by the book hardass. In others she was more than willing to break the rules. In one story she rejected even a limited non-military alliance with a hostile alien species, a few years later she helped the friggin’ Borg develop a bio-weapon against a mutual foe. Mulgrew has even said that it was her opinion that Janeway was bi-polar.

How to fix it.

One of the things that they DID get right about the character was the whole gender minefield. Mulgrew walked a tight line between making the character strong while still allowing her to be feminine. And the show never beat you over the head with it, it was always pretty much: “She’s a chick, she’s the captain. Deal.” Really all that needs to be done with the character is to make sure we know from the get go who she is and to stick with it. Janeway just needed consistency to make her work. The whole concept of Voyager should be looking at what happens when citizens of a post-capitalist utopia get dumped into the nastiest, most savage neighbourhood in the galaxy. Janeway should be at the heart of that. Her conscience, and the state of her soul with every concession she has to make, every dirty deal she has to cut, and every time she makes a stand and refuses…that’s your show.

Commander Chakotay

1-chakotay

Who is he?

Janeway’s first officer and former leader of the Maquis.

What went wrong?

Oooh boy.  The makers wanted to have a Native American character on the show and, in an attempt to ensure authenticity they turned to “Jamake Highwater” alias Jay Marks, a notorious con man who made his living pretending to be an expert on Native American culture. As a result, Chakotay’s spirituality on the show was depicted in a an inaccurate and often extremely patronising and racist way. This, coupled with actor Robert Beltran’s obvious distaste for the character, and the fact that the writers were writing down his character traits, got as far as “Indian” and said “Fuck it! It’s Friday” and you had a recipe for disaster.

How to fix it

Firstly, tone the Native American spirituality way the fuck down. It’s hard enough to do respectfully and subtly at the best of times. Keep him as a Native American by all means but don’t make that the point where you begin and end with his character. For starters, it shouldn’t be that difficult to make “Space Terrorist” an interesting character type. Secondly, make him crazy. I mean it. In the original series (of Voyager I mean) there’s an episode where it’s revealed that Chakotay has a genetic disorder that makes him prone to hallucinations. In true Voyager fashion this was never referenced again but say we ran with that. Say Chakotay is trying to keep it a secret from his crew that he is slowly going nuts and Janeway has to deal with the realisation that the guy she put one heartbeat away from the captain’s chair is likely to order red alert because there ARE TOO MANY FUCKING BUNNIES ON THIS BRIDGE!!

Lieutenant Tuvok

Tuvok

Who is he?

Vulcan chief of security. He starts the series as an undercover operative on Chakotay’s ship before revealing himself as working for Janeway.

What went wrong?

Not much really, they just didn’t do anything with him. He was practically a speaking extra for a lot of the show.

How to fix it?

Well, you could start with making him more interesting. For instance, in the 2009 movie the  Vulcan homeworld is destroyed. Lets see how that affected him. Also, nothing was ever really done with the fact that he betrayed Chakotay’s trust. Anything really. Just, you know, SOMETHING.

Lieutenant Tom Paris

tparis001

 

Who is he?

Ex-convict hotshot pilot.

What went wrong?

Actually? No that much. Tom was a fun character, but more needed to be done with his backstory. He was a former Starfleet officer who joined the Maquis and then betrayed them to Starfleet, so basically everyone on this ship now hates his guts. More could have been done with that.

Lieutenant B’Elanna Torres

B-Elanna-Torres-star-trek-women-10919538-1914-2362

Who is she?

Half Klingon/Half Human ex-Maquis Engineer.

What went wrong?

Torres hated her Klingon heritage and actively rebelled against it because as a child she thought that her father left her Klingon mother because of her race. Despite this, pretty much all of B’Elanna’s stories revolved in some way around the fact that she was half-Klingon and it got real old, real fast. Even Worf on TNG, a full-blooded Klingon who completely embraced his heritage, sometimes had stories that had nothing to do with his being a Klingon.  Torres needed to be more than just “the Klingon chick who doesn’t want to be a Klingon.”

How do we fix it?

Of all the Maquis crewmembers, it was Torres who most resented Janeway for stranding them all in the Delta Quadrant. Of course, this was pretty soon smoothed away and Torres became just another loyal crewmember. What if we go the other direction? Instead of becoming a Janeway loyalist, Torres becomes more and more embittered. As the series goes on Torres becomes the nexus of resistance against Janeway’ authority on the ship. Janeway can see what’s happening, but needs Torres as the only qualified warp engineer left on the ship. Things come to a head when Janeway has to remove Chakotay from duty because of his mental illness. Rumours spread among the Maquis crewmembers that Chakotay has been killed by Janeway as part of a plot to bring the Maquis crewmembers more fully under her control. And Torres decides that there’s only one possible response: Mutiny.

The Doctor

doctor

Who is he?

The last Time Lord of Gallifrey, the Doctor travels the universe…

Sorry, wrong franchise.

The Doctor is the ship’s Emergency Medical Hologram.

What Went Wrong?

Absolutely nothing. Even people who hate this show admit that Robert Picardo’s portrayal of the Doctor was the best thing in it. Hell, if you could get Picardo back to reprise the role that’d be great.

How do we fix it?

You have more of him.

Ensign Harry Kim

harrykim001

Who is he?

Ship’s bitch.

What went wrong?

Garret Wong was not the strongest actor but he could do fine when given good material to work with (this happened….once. An episode called Timeless). The writer’s just didn’t know what to do with this character. He started out as an audience surrogate, the inexperienced newbie who acts as the viewer’s entry point. After that though they just couldn’t find anything meaningful for him to do. His backstory was bland, any episodes centered on him were usually terrible. Just a mess.

How do we fix it?

A major omission in the original series was that Voyager, ostensibly a scientific research vessel, has no dedicated science officer. Have Kim fill that role, and have him be really, really, good at it. Kim then acts as a kind of human representation of Voyager itself. He’s got all this scientific knowledge, but he’s hopelessly naive as to how this brutal and lawless part of the galaxy works. Again and again we’ll find Kim in situations where his book learnin’ just ain’t gonna cut it. The growth of Harry Kim as a character should be the arc of the series as a whole, we should be able to see the toll and the scars that this journey has taken on the Voyager crew by looking at Harry’s face. Because he was the youngest and most innocent of all of them, and he got hit the hardest everytime.

Neelix

neelix_s7

Who is he?

Snarf! In! SPAAAAAAACE!

What went wrong?

Well, four billion years ago the earth formed which led indirectly to the creation of Neelix. Neelix is probably the most loathed regular character in all of Trek. He was a comic relief character in a franchise that can do comedy well, but only with the intercession of Catholic saints. Long story short, he was unfunny, obnoxious, unpleasant to look at and pretty much unbearable.

How do we fix him?

If Harry Kim represents the Federation’s idealism as it comes into contact with the brutal realities of life in the Delta Quadrant, Neelix should be the mirror image of that. Neelix should represent the Delta Quadrant and how it changes after coming into contact with the mores and philosophy of the Federation. At the start, Neelix should be a complete opportunist, someone who offers his services as a guide to Voyager for purely selfish reasons. Outwardly charming, he nonetheless makes it clear that he’d stab a baby in the back if his own survival was at stake. By the end of the series though, he has been ennobled by his time with the Voyager crew. I’d have Neelix die before the ship reaches Earth, selflessly sacrificing himself to save his crewmates and showing a courage and loyalty that, when we first met him, would have been unthinkable.

Kes

kes1nWho is she?

Manic Alien Dream Girl.

What went wrong?

Not much really. The character had a few good stories and Jennifer Lien gave a really nice understated performance. Kes is from a race called the Ocompa who only live for a few shorts years and she was introduced as Neelix’s boyfriend (he must be a demon in the sack). I wouldn’t actually change too much with this character.

How do we fix it?

Maybe just explore the concept more fully. How do you live your life when you’re going to die before your ninth birthday? What are the ethics of sleeping with some who’s three years old but biologically and psychologically an adult?

Seven of Nine

1-seven

 Who is she?

Ex-Borg drone.

What went wrong?

For Voyager, Seven was what went right. Seven was added to the crew at the start of season four which is generally considered to be when the show had a massive uptick in quality. Seven was severed from the Borg collective and forced to adapt to life amongst a crew that feared and distrusted her. She quickly became a fan favorite character, and there were probably more episodes centered on Seven than any other character despite that fact that she wasn’t even in the first three years of the show. Seven was a prickly, unnerving  presence on a show that had otherwise become very complacent and dull. It also helped that she had two incredible assets.

Her personality. And her intellect. You pigs.

Her personality. And her intellect.      You pigs.

And yes. They put her in such ridiculously skin-tight outfits that Jeri Ryan had trouble breathing. That might have had something to do with it.

How do we fix it?

You don’t milk her to death. The problem with Seven wasn’t with the character but with those around her. Two many of the other characters were bland, one note cyphers that Seven, the Doctor and to a lesser extent Janeway had to shoulder a massive number of episodes. Fix the rest of the show, and Seven will be just fine.

So, that’s it. What do you guys think? Do you have any suggestions? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Let me know in comments.

Mouse out.

67 comments

  1. Nerd Alert! Raise shields, take us in slow, Helm.

    First, let me say, that I too am a “HUGE” Star Trek fan, and I too would love to see it brought back to its former glory. That said, I think the worst things in Trek were when Gene Roddenberry was taken out, and they started to go against his original idea for the Trek universe. For the non-fans, that would be Star Trek: DS9.

    Voyager was an interesting prospect, a Federation crew, stranded far from home, with no help save what they can do for themselves by either barter or stealing. It was an interesting idea, and throwing the Maquis angle in was inspired. I liked the idea of Kes, with her 9 year lifespan had many opportunities that were missed. If you do reboot the show, how about dealing with offspring? 9 year lifespan probably means a few months gestation, so it wouldn’t be hard in a few seasons to RAISE a child on the show. Not that Naomi Wildman didn’t try to fill this void, but it wasn’t shown enough.

    Also, Seven of Nine’s skintight costumes? Do you know that she collapsed on the set because the original costume cut off her carotid artery? Now that’s tight!

    I think personally, if you want to continue the show, you need to step away from the Federation viewpoint more, and try something like a ship full of freight haulers who keep getting in over their heads. I call it Star Trek: Outcasts. The basic premise of the show is that the captain, the lone survivor of an attack on her ship, scrambles to assemble a crew to continue making a profit for her own private end, to make a warship so she can hunt down the man who killed her family. Since she doesn’t have many credits, or even a good ship, she’s constantly forced to use crew who have little actual experience, with a ship that’s about one power failure away from falling apart. I figured that would be a show, it would always give you something, whether it was the ship in need of repair, or the crew’s personal problems, or that they needed a miracle to keep from being pursued by one of the quadrants major powers.

    1. Outcasts sounds a lot like Firefly (not that that’s a bad thing). Gene Rodenberry, in my honest opinion, needed to be kept as far away from Star Trek as possible. The finest moments in the franchise (movies 2-4, 6, the last four seasons of TNG and DS9) were all possible because Gene had nothing to do with them.

      1. Would you believe I’ve never seen Firefly? But you are right, it’s the same basic premise, ragtag group of misfits trying to find work across the galaxy. Now I’m depressed, I thought I had an original idea for once. Bummer.

        I also wanted it to be grittier than the TV shows we’ve had to date, but I guess that’s a pipe dream as I’ll probably never see it made into a show.

      2. Never said I didn’t, but going from TOS and TNG to DS9 is kind of shocking. The first two make it clear that the Federation is all about self improvement, but in DS9, it’s less self improvement and more self indulgence.

      3. Oh I wouldn’t say that. DS9 is in many ways a rebuke to the easy utopianism and moralising of TNG. Because they could’t just sail away there were consequences to their actions. And with the dominion war arc it asked the question of what a supposedly enlightened civilization can or should do to protect its way of life.

  2. I had my doubts when you first said reboot Voyager but you make compelling arguments. I say, Make It So!

  3. From the perspective of someone who is more on the edge of the fandom (meaning, I have seen at least part of the shows you are talking about and have an idea what the movies are about…btw, the first one of the reboot was the first Star Trek movie ever which managed to grab my attention instead of being a “oh, well, nothing better on, let’s take a look” case): What they really should do is exploring a new series concept. For example telling the story of another, totally made-up race, which has managed to reach space and then encounters the federation. Especially if they use the opportunity to provide an outside look on “our heroes”.

    Rebooting Voyager – only if they do it with a completely new cast. As problematic as the original was, there is no sense in doing it again with basically the same characters.

  4. Hmmm, interesting ideas and I pretty much agree with your breakdown of the Voyager crew and what went wrong with them. I’ve actually seen the fan… theory… I guess, that the best way to watch Voyager is just to assume that the trauma of what happened to her crew and the decision she made, drove Janeway batshit insane and this accounts for the odd bits of contradictory behavior from her.
    But that’s neither here nor there.
    I’m not sure if a reboot is fully in order, especially of Voyager, but perhaps taking some pages from it might be due.
    I’ve thought it would be interesting if they did another time jump between series, say another hundred years or so after the Next Generation era. Instead of showing the Federation in full flower, however, show it in decline, even its demise. The Romulans, the Klingon Empire, the Borg, a resurgent Dominion are all carving out pieces of space that used to belong to the Federation but can no longer defend.
    Instead of a more or less Galactic balance of power, where each space-government has its known borders and more or less get along save for the spare nefarious plots, you have a Galactic free for all where each power is vying for new borders and reigniting old rivalries.
    In this you throw our intrepid crew, a Federation starship crewed by men, women, and in betweens that are struggling to uphold the ideals of a civilization that has been pushed to the fringe of the Galaxy. Give them a mission to try and make peace with the different factions, or find some macguffin to end the war, or something like that and then just set them loose.
    And this is where we can take pages from Voyager, you can still have sort of the idea of the single crew of relative idealists struggling to find their way in place much more violent and ruthless than they are, but you don’t have to tear them away from many of the beloved features of Star Trek. You can use Klingons instead of the crappy Kazon, you can see what has become of certain races now that they’re not affiliated with the Federation anymore, like the Andorians or even the betazoids.
    And of course in the crew you can have a mix of characters similar to the reworking of the Voyager crew above, some very idealistic and true to the principals of the Federation, others less so.
    So that became much longer than I had intended and whatnot… either way, I agree with the Mouse that it would be nice to see an updated version of Star Trek on tv again. Just… just please can we not have a repeat of Neelix?

      1. Huh, and here I thought I was being so clever. I just looked up what you mentioned, turns out Brian Singer beat me to it, it’s like the time he beat me to the X-men franchise all over again!
        The only thing that I really disagree with the pitch that they made, was the choice of having the Captain be a “Kirk”. That’s completely unnecessary, but then again, so was Superman Returns.

    1. Since I seem to be one of the few into the fandom of Star Trek, let me fill you in on the next 5 years in Star Trek after Nemesis.

      Picard continues to captain the Enterprise E, and he gets married to Beverly.

      Riker takes over the Titan, goes and explores the Beta quadrant.

      Janeway buys the farm after being assimilated by the Borg.

      Chakotay becomes Captain of Voyager, but after an episode of mental problems, retires.

      Worf is now first officer on the Enterprise E.

      Data’s downloand into B4 fails, the android never fully devoloping, and only capable of brief glimpses of the former Data.

      Diana Troy Riker finds she can’t have children initially, but after interference by an extremely advanced race, she succeeds in childbirth.

      Dax takes command of the Aventine, and goes to explore the Delta Quadrant, taking the Voyager and most of the old crews with her.

      Paris gets promoted and stays in Starfleet, becoming First officer of the Voyager.

      B’Elanna goes on the run with her and Paris’s daughter, who is being hunted by fanatical Klingons.

      Seven of Nine becomes a professor of the Borg at Starfleet Academy, going on to take care of her aunt, until she dies, then returns to space.

      Harry Kim becomes Chief Tactical/Security officer of Voyager.

      The Doctor still hasn’t chosen a name for himself, but still serves on Voyager.

      Tuvok becomes Chief of Security on Titan, losing his son in a Borg attack.

      The Borg continue to attack the Federation, finally launching 8,000 ships to eradicate the entire Federation. They fail, thanks to interference by the Borg’s founding race, The Caeliar. The entire Borg collective is in turn assimilated back into Caeliar society, and they turn benign, all drones given their minds back, all ships disappear, and all former drones find that their implants are gone. Seven of Nine no longer has implants, looks normal, but still prefers to be called Seven. not Annika Hansen

      Geordi continues to serve Picard as Chief Engineer on the Enterprise E.

      and in the Shatnerverse.

      Kirk is resurrected a Borg/Romulan alliance, leads on armada attack on the Borg, sacrifices himself to try to stop them, comes back again, marries Talani, a Klingon/Romulan on Chal, has a child with her, then gets tied up in a battle with Mirror Universe counterparts trying to use Federation Technology to influence the Mirror Universe, leading to the most epic battle of all time, Kirk vs Tiberius, with Kirk in a busted version of Voyager, and Tiberius in the Enterprise E.

      Spock continues to support a Romulan/Vulcan unification, which after Nemesis leads to the split in the Romulan Star Empire, with half becoming friendly to the Federation, the other half continuing the hostility the Romulans were known for.

      The Klingons are still battle ready, pausing only briefly to rebuild Qo’nos after a Borg attack.

      Bones continues to be 3 years older than Spock, vowing to outlive the vulcan, very little of him is original, but his mind is still going strong, and still retains the rank of Admiral. He is also the oldest living human in the galaxy.

      Scotty still serves the galaxy, pausing briefly to steal a Constitution class starship, again. He also maintains Kirk’s ship as chief engineer.

      1. Thanks, and that’s just the main characters everyone knows. Not sure, but I believe that the TOS cast past Kirk, Spock, Bones and Scotty all died, but I can’t verify that because no one talks about them. There’s also a host of secondary cast that is used and talked about, but if I tried to summarize every character in the Star Trek Universe, I’d need a full post for that.

        The Shatnerverse for the most part isn’t considered canon, but then again, it was mostly written by Shatner himself, probably so his character wouldn’t remain dead in the Star Trek Universe, but I thought the Kirk vs Tiberius fight was a nice touch.

        Past that, not sorry to see some of the changes that had been made, but for the most part glad some like to keep the story going, but like with Star Wars, any new movie made now will almost certainly change 40 years of continuing story that various writers have written since the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi.

        Now there’s a concept, want the summation of what happens in the Star Wars Universe?

      2. Had to look it up, but you’re right. Uhura was in charge of Starfleet Intelligence during the Dominion War, and Chekov was a ranking admiral. Sulu apparently retired from Starfleet, and was elected President of the United Federation of Planets.

        Ok, so I missed a few books. You realize how many there are?

  5. Man, I feel ashamed to say the only Star Trek-related thing I’ve seen is Star Trek: The Future Begins (was excited for Into Darkness, but theeeen yeah everyone ever turned me off. It’s the same case with Iron Man 3, except I’m not watching that one simply because it adds ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the MCU. But I digress…). Ahem, kind of weird, really, I’ve actually never…seen anything else Star Trek-related on my TV. On any channel. Ever.
    Huh.

    Despite the fact that I have no interest in watching any of the old shows simply because I’m already having trouble catching up with MODERN shows (damn you and your one-hour-and-a-half episodes, Sherlock!), I would watch the heck out of a new Star Trek TV show.
    Seriously though…with such an interesting premise, how could this Voyager show go wrong? Any particular reasons, other than, uh, bad writers?

    1. Well, at the time, you also had DS9 and the year before TNG had just finished, so Voyager had a lot to live up too, and at the the first seasons were lackluster. It wasn’t really until season 4 that it picked up more.

      1. Hmm, wasn’t that the case with The Next Generation? From what I’ve heard, the first/two/three/itchangeswiththeperson season/s were pretty bad, then it got really good after that.

        Did that happen with DS9, too or was it good from the very beginning?

      2. DS9 was actually a lot better at the start than people give it credit it for. TNG was painfully bad at the start and then became magnificent. DS9 started out solid and then became the best series in the franchise.

    2. DS9 is pretty shaky for the first two seasons when it’s trying to be just like every other Trek, but in a space station instead of a ship. It isn’t until season three…ish when they decided to take it a different route that it started to gel and eventually, in my opinion, became the best Trek of them all.

    3. Combination of things. It was a premise that really needed the heavily serialized approach that’s so common today but it was episodic with very little continuity between episodes. Plus, after seven series of TNG and three of DS9 the writers were just out of ideas and a lot of the plots were recycled TNG scripts. Add in some good old fashioned lazy writing and general “not giving a shit” and you had Voyager.

      1. “but it was episodic with very little continuity between episodes”

        Ooooh, just by reading that I can figure out what was wrong with it. Such a shame, a very interesting premise wasted on an episodic approach…I guess it was never meant to be.

        While I certainly love your ideas, I hate the fact that I’ll probably never be able to see a Star Trek tv show (or movie) just like that one. Why must you do this?

      2. Well you could always check out the rebooted Battlestar Galactica. It was created by one of the guys who worked on Voyager, using a lot of the ideas he wanted to use but couldn’t.

  6. Well, I’ve watched Next Generation, but aside from that I’m not that into the fandom-Doctor Who, Pokemon and animation take too much time in my hands, LOL.
    Benedict Cumberbatch seemed like the only good thing about that movie though /:.

  7. Well, you made some good suggestions here! I don’t really watch Star Trek, but where would you say is a good place to start watching the franchise?

      1. An entire review I suppose would be in order. I’m also guessing you hated “Man of Steel,” too, for some reason.

      2. Is it wrong that I haven’t seen any recent superhero movies? Not “The Avengers,” not the “Amazing Spider Man” movies, not the “Dark Knight” movies (actually just the last two I haven’t watched)…I guess I’m not much of a superhero fan.

  8. Ah mouse, I like you more & more every time I read your blog :D. I actually could tell u were a Trek fan from reading some of ur reviews of various Disney films. Only a Star Trek fan would know who the hell Patrick Stewart was famous for and would willingly use him in their blog. (You also seem to be familiar w/ other sci-fi franchises as well, for which makes you even cooler).

    I was raised on “Star Trek” myself. Around the time I was born, “Next Generation” was being broadcast on tv. DS9 & Voyager were being broadcast during my childhood. I didn’t watch “Enterprise” much, though my brother got a chance to see it completely on Netflix last year and saw it wasn’t such a bad show like we thought. Some of my fave Star Trek movies include “The Voyage Home,” “The Undiscovered Country,” “Generations,” “First Contact,” and “Insurrection.” You’re right, “Nemesis” sucked so bad, I don’t think a black hole could have done better.

    I was actually very delighted when we saw the 2009 movie, (though I think we could have lived without the screaming rock music when Kirk was in Iowa). The second movie didn’t seem so bad to me, though I could tell they just recycled the storyline from the first one and re-told it with a white, British Khan in it. (They also did the whole re-told, re-used storyline with “X-men X2” but I liked that film). It’s a formula many good movie-makers follow if they want their sequels not to suffer the usual “shitty sequel” plague so many movie sequels fall to (sound familiar?) It’s often what audiences want to see really.

    I actually have a remedy for you mouse, in regards to seeing what happened to the galaxy after “Voyager.” Problem is, I don’t know how you feel about online games. Not everyone I know likes them or plays them.

    See, in 2010, Cryptic Studios came out with “Star Trek Online.” It’s an online role-playing game that takes place in the Star Trek universe we’re all familiar with. When it first came out, the biggest question was, was it at all related to the 2009 movie? In fact, the website explained by showing the timeline we’re familiar with, and the alternate universe that Spock went to. This game takes place in the canon universe, with ALL of Star Trek’s in-story history interlaced together. However, there are several references to the 2009 film, including Spock himself narrating the introduction to the game, your character investigating the Hobus Supernova, & finding a gigantic space station that Nero built his badass starship in. Other than that, it stays true to the tv shows & movies we know :).

    The game starts out in the year 2409, 30 years after Voyager came back to earth, & 40 yrs after the events of DS9. The Federation has to deal with several problems involving a war with the Klingons, the Borg getting worse, Species 8472 infiltrating the various governments through shape-shifting (we call them the Undine now), the last of the Romulan Star Empire causing trouble, the Breen coming back to wreak havoc, and the last remnants of the former Cardassian militant government (they call themselves The True Way) attacking in Bajoran space. Also, the worst of the lot are an ancient and powerful alien race called the Iconians, who have been orchestrating all this chaos from behind the scenes.

    It’s a very exciting and fun game :). I’ve been playing for 4 years now and don’t intend to stop anytime soon. It’s only gotten more fun in the past 3 years, due to updates and changes, called Seasons. You get the chance to see what happened in the years after Voyager’s return. You also get to see references EVERYWHERE, relating to ALL the tv shows, ALL the movies, and many iconic character references. In fact, some of the characters we know & love are still alive in this time period. Others you can meet through time-travel, or are introduced to their descendants. Originally you could only play two factions: the Federation, or the Klingon Defense Force. Now they have a third for the Romulans, but it’s not what you think.

    Over a billion Romulans & Remans were living off-planet at the time the Hobus Supernova exploded, so only Romulus & Remus were lost. Empress Sela had 2 new sister planets settled as the new seat of the empire, but she had gotten bolder and was allowing the Tal Shiar (the Romulan Secret Police) go wild and ruled with an iron fist. Several civilian Romulans broke off and tried founding peaceful colonies on unsettled worlds, but the Empress got mad and teamed up with a lethal alien race called the Elachi and was abducting Romulan civilians for illegal experimentation. Your character (they can be Romulan, Reman, or a generic alien) has to team up with friends to fight back, and eventually you become part of a larger movement to found the new Romulan Republic, which wants to co-exist with the Federation and the Klingon Empire. (Not surprisingly, the original Star Empire calls them terrorists). They find a nice planet in the Neutral Zone and call it Mol’rian, or New Romulus, and I must say, it’s a beautiful planet to visit.

    I’ve played all 3 factions and all have been a blast :). I highly recommend the game to you mouse, if you have the chance. It’s free-to-play too. Might even give you some more ideas on re-booting the franchise ideas ;). If you want some advice, play as a Starfleet captain first, then the KDF or Romulan Republic. The graphics are beautiful, character customization is very articulate, and they’ve even made little cutscenes you can watch now (though the game has a ways to go when it comes to little story scenes. They aren’t exactly BioWare).

  9. Am I the only one who thought Abbrams’ Trek had far more in common with Star Trek Nemesis than it did with the older films? That’s why it surprised me when everyone praised it to so much, that and the fact it shares two writers with Transformers and it shows.
    I think the reason DS9 was never anywhere near as popular as TNG was that the latter was a new adventure each week, whereas the former was about long story arcs, which would alienate (no pun intended) newcomers. Voyager was the same but also suffered from having a completely unlikable cast (surprised you gave Kate Mulgrew a pass, her voice goes right through me).
    Of course these days it’s all about DVD box sets and Netflix, so perhaps there would be room for a Trek series that required a greater investment of time to get into, provided it’s nothing to do with JJ Abbrams of course.

    1. DS9 was way ahead of its time. The stuff it was doing with story arcs, the large cast, the moral ambiguity, it’s all the bread and butter of tv today. Mulgrew’s voice took some getting used to but I really liked her performance.

  10. I think I might be the only person who actually likes Neelix. He consistently makes me laugh. And I am totally behind this proposal. LET’S DO IT

  11. I’m a Star Wars fan, die hard fan of it. I never really watched a lot if Star Trek, hated it actually. But you got a good point. This is a pretty good plan, keep it going. Maybe you should do one of these for the Sar Wars prequels. I loved them but only to shut the losers up.

    1. Oh God, I just watched Episode 3 recently (which I actually really enjoyed when it first came out) and God it was unwatchable. The CGI just looks worse with each passing year.

  12. Oh, I hadn’t heard that Orci had been tapped to direct Trek 3. You’re not wrong to want to bail on this series because of that, since he was part of the esteemed writing teams that brought us “The Island”, the first two new Transformers movies, and the infuriatingly middling “Cowboys and Aliens”. So clearly he’s qualified to direct the next installment of one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises of all time.
    I really hate Hollywood sometimes.

  13. Also, at your recommendation, I rewatched all of DS9. At first, I was skeptical. After all, I’d attempted to watch it years ago and declared it ‘boring’ before even finishing it. However, I decided to give it another chance, and my God I’m glad I did. I’ve come to the conclusion that DS9 isn’t just the best ‘Star Trek’ series ever conceived, it’s one of the best television series, period. Once again, Mouse, you’ve enlightened me. So thanks for that. 😊

    1. My pleasure. I may have said this already but DS9 was just too ahead if its time. The large cast, the serialisation, the moral ambiguity. It was a post-millenium prestige drama before there was such a thing.

      1. I couldn’t agree more. If it came out today it’d probably be up there with Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead competing for the title of most popular tv show.

  14. Wait, people don’t like Voyager? I kind of liked Voyager. At least that’s my memory of being kind of present while my parents watched it when I was a little kid. I really like Janeway, and I thought the Doctor was cool. Also, I remember my sister really liking Kes and Seven of Nine and I actually found Neelix pretty funny because I’ve apparently got no class at all. Maybe it would pale in comparison to The Next Generation if I watched more of the two of them now, but I didn’t have a bad impression on it when I caught a bit of it more recently at all. Though the fact that TNG and Voyager were a bit of an undistinguished blur in my memory might make my opinion different from long-time fans.

  15. Whoa, just discovered this particular post. I really enjoyed 2009 Trek (I want to even admit, its close to love), and it was what got me finally interested in the Trek verse, so I ended up exploring older Trek media, and bam, now I’m really into the franchise. And funnily enough, I am now watching Voyager in parts, though only the well-regarded episodes. And at least based on them, its quite enjoyable.

    But…can I admit, I still enjoyed Into Darkness, warts and all? It’s sloppier-written, more lazy in its fan-service, and annoyingly obsessed with Truther-ism, but is still an entertaining, well-acted and even slightly thought-provoking (isn’t that what fans scream for Trek to do?) little space adventure? It’s really not any worse than your random meh-worthy Trek episode from any series. But nope, its treated as the Ebola of the franchise now. Don’t even touch it, or you’re doomed.

    I’m just really baffled at how incredibly vicious the hate for it is. In a world of Transformers movies, Batman and Robin, the Star Wars prequels, etc….THAT is what everyone’s calling an unforgivable, irredeemably horrible waste of celluloid?

  16. As somebody who’s only experience with star trek currently consists of the second and fourth movies, Star Trek 2009, and part of a marathon of Voyager (My brother was watching through the whole Star Trek canon and happened to be visiting our house while he was watching Voyager), I like the cut of your jib here.

  17. It will be interesting to see how this concept compares with Star Trek Discovery. While the premise probably has little in common, there may be similar themes explored from a different angle.

    If we take the Discovery’s registry number NCC-1031 as a date, that puts it between Enterprise and TOS. Instead of a ship from an established Federation trying to preserve while traveling through hostile and unknown space, we may be seeing the reverse. A ship going out into the unknown and hostile space to represent a Federation that’s still not sure what it is or what it represents. Of course if we’re only going by the registry number, it’s closer to the original series time, and a lot of that may not be true.

    And for that matter, it may be some time jumping, reality hopping extravaganza. No way to know yet.

    Even though it’s not really your focus, I’d be fascinated to hear your thoughts about Discovery, now or as more information is revealed. Or about Star Trek Beyond, for that matter.

    1. Haven’t seen beyond yet but the reviews have me cautiously optimistic. I’m really excited for Discovery but man that trailer was ugly. Also, the ship looks like Starfleet and the Klingon Navy had a drunken one night stand.

  18. Star Trek Beyond was really good.
    It felt more like the Original Series than the last two, while still having the fresh, new feeling of the Kelvin Timeline. (I personally liked Into Darkness, but I can understand why people don’t. It’s a divisive film.)

    Beyond is really good. I very much recommend you check it out. No spoilers, but it calls back to both the Original Series and the last two seasons of [SPOILER ALERT], the acting is a lot better, and the way they resolved one of the conflicts, while being absolute cheesy as heck, is still a very Star Trek TOS thing to do.

    Just… Check it out. It’s easily the best of the three.

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