Your central character needs to be someone the audience can immediately connect with. One as part of the main crew? Sure. One as the central character? I think the audience wouldn't be interested. All in my opinion.
If the series in question were following TOS (and there were no spin-offs), I would probably agree with you. But I think Trek
fans have evolved to the point that at least a sizeable portion of us (if not the majority) would accept a non-human lead character or characters, based on the success of characters who weren't (entirely) human in previous series. Spock and Data are among the most popular characters of all time. In Spock's case, there was significant concern that TV audiences wouldn't accept his character, but that fear proved to much ado about nothing.
It may be worthwhile to include something in the character's backstory that makes him seem more human in spite of his appearance or physiology. An Andorian thaan
who was raised on Earth by human parents (shades of Worf) after his parents died in shuttle accident would be someone audiences could empathize with.
USS Triumphant wrote:
If it was a niche market show distributed through Netflix or something and aimed almost entirely at dedicated fandom, then it might work. But as a general audiences sort of thing, an alien captain, and especially one from a species with four genders, isn't going to work. At least not, as I have mentioned before, as the main character. Shift the series focus away from the captain, almost like a "Lower Decks: The Series" or similar with a human Ensign or two as primary protagonists there (or some similar means of shifting the focus) and then *maybe*.
I've been advocating for a miniseries that's aired online, and I think something like that could do well if marketed properly. What I don't know is whether the series would endure long enough to have a run of several seasons as its predecessors did. I do
like the idea of a Starfleet Academy type of series that places cadets and junior officers in more central positions. A recurring role could be given to an established character whom audiences are already familiar with, someone who could serve as a mentor for the new characters and provide them with more credibility with audiences than they might otherwise have. In other words, people might be more willing to accept characters who also happen to be Admiral Janeway's cadets than they would someone else's.
But I think perhaps the next show should scale back from having 7 or so leads to 5, CO, XO, CMO, CEO and Tactical/Security. That covers your base story telling.
I agree. One or two senior officer positions could be filled by recurring characters. A character could always be added to the regular cast if he or she is more popular than anticipated or functions better within series storylines. I'd rather that than characters for whom episodes are forced in order to give them something to do.