Today CBS Television Studios officially announced that a new Trek series is coming to TV in 2017. This is HUGE news. There has not been a Star Trek series on television since 2005 (When Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled after 4 seasons). There are no details about plot, characters or setting yet, but we do know that Alex Kurtzman is executive producing the series. For a lot of fans, this is where the tears of apprehension and fear come in. Kurtzman is the co-writer and producer of the last two "new Trek" films: Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013).
If you are not in the Trek fandom, you may not know this, but the new films are very (I mean VERY) polarizing. Sides have been picked. Phasers have been drawn (they are not set to stun). Most fans either love them or hate them. Personally, I find the new movies problematic in specific ways (like the sexualization of the female characters), but I also really like them. It does not look like Kurtzman is looking to write for the new series though. I am desperately hoping that Kurtzman has the wisdom to tap the veteran Trek writers who worked on multiple series and who not only know the franchise inside and out, but who also love it like fans love it. Like I love it.
The 50th anniversary of Star Trek is next year. There is no better time for a new series and I do not just mean because of the anniverary. There is no better time for a Star Trek series because we desperately need to be reminded of what Star Trek has been telling us about ourselves for half a century: that we are innovative, brave, intelligent, creative, curious, compassionate and that we are capable of greatness. Star Trek is about a bright future for humanity where we have truly leveled up and overcome many of our current problems and flaws. So in that spirit, my hopes for this new series are:
- Good storytelling. Just like we have come to expect from Star Trek
- Well-developed characters. Just like we have come to expect from Star Trek
- Strong female characters that are not Strong Female Character tropes
- Openly queer characters that we have been waiting DECADES for
- A really cool setting that allows for really interesting stories (I have been wanting a series set in the Academy for so long)
- A lot of diversity. Again, just like we have come to expect from Star Trek
- That the legitmate problems with the new films are transported into the new series
- The fact that CBS is only going to air the pilot on TV and then the rest of the series is going to be available exclusively through their paid streaming service is going to severely limit the access to the show
- I am going to become emotionally invested and then CBS is going to cancel the series prematurely--just like what happened with Star Trek: Enterprise. And before you open your mouth to say something like "Enterprise sucked!"--which will definitely result me in asking you to step outside and meet me by the old oak tree at 3 pm--let me say this: I know ENT was not perfect and it took a little while to find its feet--just like ALL Trek series--but it had so much potential and I loved the setting and characters. It was cancelled, in my opinion, right when it was hitting its stride.
- That the show will not be good and people will say that Star Trek is not relevant or important anymore
But how am I feeling overall though?