As I’ve said before, every now and then, an idea gets stuck in my head and starts rattling around. That’s part and parcel of being a writer, I know, but sometimes, those ideas are…well, kind of worthless, simply because I can’t do anything with them. They’re ideas that can best be described as fanfiction, like my idea for a “Weird Al” inspired musical, or rebooting the old TV show Quantum Leap. I’ve found that the only way to get those ideas out of my head is by sharing them.
Well, I’ve got another one that’s been gaining momentum lately, so brace yourselves. The upshot is this: I think it’s time for Star Trek to return to television. More specifically, I want to breathe some life into an idea that, when I first heard it, I thought was a horrible idea.
A few years ago, the Internet was awash in rumors that a new Star Trek show was going to be produced. The premise was that it would be a “sexy Starfleet Academy.” When I heard the premise, especially with that particular adjective, I balked. But recently, the idea has been crawling around inside my mind (minus the “sexy” part).
I think a show set at Starfleet Academy could be a lot of fun. It might seem like an odd choice. After all, Star Trek has always been about boldly going where no one has gone before. A series set on Earth, in futuristic San Francisco, seems like a jarring choice.
But I think it could work if done correctly. Think of Deep Space Nine. When my sister, who mostly watched Star Trek: The Next Generation due to a crush on a certain acting ensign, heard about a Star Trek show set on a space station, her response was, “What are they going to do, boldly sit around and wait for it all to come to them?” And yeah, that is what happened at first, but then that particular show hit us with the Dominion War, which is some of the finest Star Trek storytelling ever produced in my not-so-humble opinion. I think the same thing could be true for a show set at Starfleet Academy. Tell the stories right, and it could be a lot of fun.
The next question to consider is this: which universe would it be set in, the “original” Star Trek continuity or the one established by the J.J. Abrams reboot?
It might seem tempting to go with the Abramsverse. It would tie the show in with the movies, and it seems like that’s the direction studios are going these days (what with the MCU and the DCCU and all that). And they probably have the sets and everything from the movies.
But personally, I would go in the opposite direction and return to the old continuity. It’s got a much deeper history and backstory to it and opens up a lot of possibilities. Plus returning to that continuity would allow for dozens of potential cameos from former characters.
So this show, which we’ll call “Star Trek: Starfleet Academy,” would be set approximately 20 years after Voyager returned from the Delta Quadrant. Come back next week to hear some of the ideas I have on how the galaxy has changed in the intervening years.
In the meantime, let me know what you think. Can Star Trek be done on Earth? Or is that too much of a stretch?