I never come into this forum, but I admit curiousity in seeing the thread title while scrolling done the main list of forums.
I see a lot
of good ideas mentioned. And while I don't agree with all of them most have the appeal of shaking things up and not just remaking TNG/VOY only with supposedly more less advanced looking tech. A key to that would be the writing. The new show should have had a genuinely fresh writing core with a fresher perspective then how Trek had been written for near twenty years. To that end it would have been nice to have gotten a fresh producer as well to get a new overall vision.
Indeed there are any number periods you could have set a prequel and all of them are equally valid---it comes down to taste and preferences. But taking the OP's initial suggestion of working strictly from TOS primarily here are some thoughts:
- If you really want something totally fresh with a chance to stand on its own then don't do an April or Pike series set on the Enterprise
- Upthread it was mentioned about the end of the 21st or early 22nd century setting---I like this because you could really make it feel raw and unfamiliar. Same if you set it just after the Romulan War or very early 23rd century.
- No UFP and no Starfleet unless you're set in the early 23rd century. If set before that than you have the United Earth Space Probe Agency and the United Space Service, both Earth centric organizations.
- No phasers, no transporters, no photon torpedoes. Very basic replication/processing to acknowledge the utilization of nanotech (which you essentially need for extended spaceflight. Rudimentary language translation tech, the predecessors to TOS' universal translator (we're working on this now so in SF you're just extending the concept).
- If set before the late 22nd or early 23rd century then no Klingons, please! They've been done to death! If in the early Starfleet days then we could see glimpses of John M. Ford's type of Klingons rather than the more familiar overdone ones. Forget about the Romulans too. I'd also use the Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites sparingly.
- Friction with pirates and lost or failed human colonies is a good idea. Orion pirates is another good one, but keep them mysterious.
- I wouldn't have had a Vulcan crew member right off. Indeed it could easily have been an Andorian. I'd introduce them perhaps a season in to add a new dynamic after getting established.
- If setting the series post Romulan War then I'd go back to Matt Jeffries' early sketches to see if there is something in there to work from. If not then I'd try for something definately pre TOS looking in concept. maybe Masao
has something on his Starfleet Museum
website to start from.
- Avoid technobabble and most familiar tech references.
For myself I like an idea based on some fanfic I read awhile ago from the trek Lit forum. Use the ringship Enterprise
design (suitably jazzed up because we actually have little detail about it) only set it in the early 22nd century, maybe 2105-2140. The ship is originally a United Space Service vessel, but loaned out to UESPA as a joint venture. Now you have a suitably armed ship embarking on exploration and frontier duty. Jackson Archer is a man in his forties or early fifties, essentially a soldier now in a new role. The new ship isn't his first command and he's seen people die before (although I'm using the ringship this setup could work in any era). make the ship more cramped than what we're familiar with, but there have to be some luxuries that a ship on extended deep space patrol would need for sake of the crew's psychological health.
Lean more towards the rare Earth concept so there isn't humanoid
life around every corner. Make space wild and dark and dangerous again. That said you could be butting heads with unscrupulous humans, pirates, lost and failed colonies.
Am I the only one that was suffering from Klingon burn-out at the time Enterprise premiered? It was the very first (and very obvious) clue that we were in for more of the same show we had been watching for the past thirteen years.
Very much agree.