I'd probably would have set it a few years after the end of the Romulan Wars and the formation of the Federation--about 2162--with Starfleet in its infancy and the founding members of the Federation not exactly getting along as well as history believed them to have been (Vulcans and Tellarites on the verge of war with neither side trusting the Andorians at all).
The Klingons would be mentioned in a passing as a violent, pre-warp race the Vulcans have encountered before, but they would not be seen in the series. Ditto for the Romulans. Instead, the big bad guys would be a race unique to the 22nd-Century, with the Orions depicted as unsavory types that could
be dangerous if you get too mixed up in their business.
Rather than have stories in which the outcomes are already fairly known (such as any involving putting Earth in danger of being destroyed), I'd focus more on the characters and how much harder life was in the 22nd-Century. Earth and the Human race still bears the scars from World War III and not everyone is really thrilled with the idea of being in an alliance with aliens, nor with the idea of getting rid of money.
The ship would probably be similar in overall configuration to the NX-class--a saucer with twin warp nacelles--but it would be more rugged in appearance like the Millennium Falcon
in Star Wars (she ain't pretty, but she's got it where it counts). It would be the first production ship of the Enterprising-class, the U.S.S. Frontier
, NCC-101. Top speed, Warp 6. Armed with "heavy laser" cannons and plasma torpedoes. Rather than built around a submarine motiff, her interior would be more akin to that of the TOS Enterprise
, but in more subdued colors. The bridge is similar to that of the TOS Enterprise
as well, but smaller and slightly more cluttered in appearance.
The uniforms would be similar to ones we saw in ENT, but with the jumpsuits themselves being branch-colored--olive-green for command, burgundy for operations, and navy blue for sciences. Rank insignia would be similar to that used by today's navies with rank stripes on the lower sleeves.
Human male, 40-something, Romulan Wars veteran. Thinks Starfleet made a mistake putting him in command of an exploration ship. Considers himself more of a field soldier than an space explorer or diplomat.
First Officer & Navigator:
Human male, 60-something, Romulan Wars veteran. More experienced than the captain with alien races, rumored dirty old man with the young ladies, tends to be politically incorrect but annoyingly right most of the time.
: Andorian female, 40-something. Sexy and damn proud of it. Genius-level smarts, but balanced with an irreverent sense of humor. Spends her off-duty time trying to keep the first officer's hands off her.
Human female, 40-something. The Captain's wife. Knows him better than he knows himself. Good friends with the science officer. Has a fiery temper at times when people show up in her sickbay for things that can be avoided.
Human male, 30-something. Trip. 'Nuff said.
Vulcan female, 20-something. T'Pol. 'Nuff said.
Human male, 30-something. Well-built, Marine-type guy. Romulan War veteran. Has a great sense of humor but can also kick your ass too. Good friends with both Trip and T'Pol...which could be a problem later on.
Human male, 20-something. Fresh out of Starfleet Officer Candidate School. Young Kirk-like character.