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Old November 1 2010, 12:53 AM   #1
ghoyle1
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If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

I'm not so much interested in hearing how "Enterprise" screwed it up. What I'm interested is how you would create a show about the early days of Earth's contact with new life and new civilizations.

Think about it from the point of view of someone trying to design a TV series. Remember, if you use fan-based designs (such as the Starfleet Museum, the Franz Joseph tech manuuals, etc.), you will using someone else's intellectual property.

All you have to start from is TOS, and any elements from the later series which could logically have existed in a prequel to those series. What known aliens could be included? Would you have any alien crew members?

How would you make the technology look more "primitive" than the NCC-1701? Would transporters and deflectors exist? What kind of weaponry would you include?

What themes would you like to explore in such a series? What are some of the stories would you be able to tell (how the Prime Directive came about? Who did humans first come in contact with?)

These are just some questions and ideas to get the job rolling.
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Old November 1 2010, 01:22 AM   #2
Anwar
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

Well, I'd probably have set the series at the start of the 22nd Century, not the middle. Maybe 2110 or something. Earth would've colonized the entire Solar System and now was dealing with the extrasolar colonies it sent out earlier. There would've been earlier colonies created via usage of the Sleeper Ships of the 20th Century that were independent of Earth entirely that they would deal with (perhaps their first antagonists?) and try to work out governing details with, a potential source of space pirates.

Meanwhile, the Solar System colonies would've been better treated than the extrasolar ones due to their proximity to Earth and begin demanding somewhat better governing conditions due to being spoiled by Earth's better treatment.

The Vulcans would actually be at war with the Andorians, which would explain the strained relations with Earth and their desire to keep them from further exploration since they either don't want the Andorians to gain a new ally or to further divert resources to guarding Earth from attack.

The weaponry would all be fusion powered, with a continuity nod being that future folks would call it "atomic" as an outdated misnomer. They'd use fusion-powered lasers and plutonium torpedoes. No shields, but point defense weapons to shoot down missiles and extra thick hulls to try and survive laser beams (missiles being the stronger weapon). No transporters, but shuttles.

I'll think of more later.
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Old November 1 2010, 01:38 AM   #3
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

Thanks for sharing, Anwar! I look forward to seeing more of this later.

Anwar wrote: View Post
The Vulcans would actually be at war with the Andorians, which would explain the strained relations with Earth and their desire to keep them from further exploration since they either don't want the Andorians to gain a new ally or to further divert resources to guarding Earth from attack.
Don't forget, we don't have to keep the tensions between Earth/Vulcan and Vulcan/Andor (though we can if it serves to make a better story). No reason we can't heep it, though, if we want it.

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Old November 1 2010, 01:39 AM   #4
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

You don't.

Sensibilities and technology have changed too much since the late sixties to create a prequel that could fit in with it. And I say this as a die hard Star Trek: The Original Series fan.

It has been very clear that a hard reboot was needed as early as 2001.
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Old November 1 2010, 02:05 AM   #5
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

Anwar wrote: View Post

The Vulcans would actually be at war with the Andorians, which would explain the strained relations with Earth and their desire to keep them from further exploration since they either don't want the Andorians to gain a new ally or to further divert resources to guarding Earth from attack.
I rather like this idea.
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Old November 1 2010, 02:33 AM   #6
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

I hope this isn't considered spamming:
This my reply in another thread called "Remake a Series." Since I was revising Enterprise, this is how I would have created a TOS prequel.

Aside from loving the show, I really liked the idea of a prequel... Trouble is, I expected something more along the lines of Star Trek: The Right Stuff.

I would have set it in the last decade of the 21st century. Earth is still a post-war mess but humanity is making progress toward unity and global peace.

The NX-01 crew represents several nations, a group of brash, cocky astronauts. The ship has technical glitches, there are injuries and death, and lots of misunderstandings and mistakes based on human-centric thinking. Occasional cases of xenophobia when they come across a particularly alien alien. There would be subtle evidence that the crew is engaging in fraternization.

While I'm OK with the idea of a Vulcan "babysitter" being shoved down the crew's collective throat (as long as the crew is resentful and suspicious for more than a few episodes in season 1 ), I would have had a human doctor with some background in interspecies medical training, but not an alien superdoctor who can cure and fix anything. As a result, crew members and guest aliens will lose body parts, get seriously ill or injured and on occasion die! It's supposed to be DANGEROUS out there!

Enterprise would have to return to Earth once in a while to replace maimed and dead crew members, make repairs and pick up supplies and equipment, so some episodes would be set on Earth where we'd get the chance to explore familial relationships and Earth-based friendships along with Star Fleet and civilian life on Earth in the late 21st C.

There would be no instantaneous communication with SF (I don't care how many relay satellites they drop). Laser-based hand weapons; no stun setting, tho' the shooter would have the option of causing injury as opposed to "shoot to kill." No transporter. 100 percent reliance on shuttlepods.

The ship would be a larger version of Cochrane's ship. Crew quarters would be even smaller than we saw on the show. The captain would not have a ready room. If you wanted to privacy, you'd go to your quarters (and hang a towel on the door to keep your roommates out ).

T'Pol would very gradually become friends with two or three members of the crew, but most would remain wary and suspicious.

Main cast:
Capt. Jonathan Archer: Doesn't like Vulcans. He resents their interference in Earth's affairs (not to mention they tried to block his appointment as captain of Enterprise).
T'Pol: Vulcan "adviser." Actually, she's reporting back to her superiors to make a case to remove Archer, who they consider to be reckless.
Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III: Chief engineer. Archer's best friend. The only member of the crew who gets away with challenging the captain's preconceptions. He's the first to try to befriend T'Pol. It doesn't go well.
Lt. Malcolm Reed: Tactical officer. He also has a covert assignment, unknown to Archer. Section 31, his first job with SF, has evidence of incursions into the region that could be a precursor to invasion. Reed's instructions are to get every scrap of information on every species Enterprise comes across. In some instances, that will create friction during some of the ship's first contacts.
Ensign Hoshi Reed: Malcolm's wife. As a civilian, she was an interpreter for the new United Nations. She joined SF after learning Reed was in line for assignment to the NX-01. She has a gift for learning languages and is assigned as linquist and protocol officer. Her background leaves her ill-prepared for encounters with aliens and the dangers that lie ahead.
Travis "Boomer" Mayweather: Security chief. Ship's practical joker (only in my version, where we show, rather than tell, we'll actually see the pranks. Malcolm will be his favorite target, much to Hoshi's bemusement).
Dr. John Phlox: Has two years' experience in the Interspecies Medical Exchange. As a result, unlike much of the crew, he's very comfortable with non-terrestrials.
Lt. Elizabeth Cutler: Physician's assistant. She will often accompany landing parties during missions away from the ship to provide medical care as needed.
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Anwar wrote: View Post

The Vulcans would actually be at war with the Andorians, which would explain the strained relations with Earth and their desire to keep them from further exploration since they either don't want the Andorians to gain a new ally or to further divert resources to guarding Earth from attack.
I rather like this idea.
^ ETA: So do I!
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Old November 1 2010, 02:47 AM   #7
ghoyle1
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

Interesting ideas! Keep 'em coming!
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Old November 1 2010, 03:57 AM   #8
Anwar
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

In fact, having humans vs other humans as the main antagonists for the first season would be a logical way to progress. First it's the humans on the first high-level warp ship (though others are launched in the first season alone and there's already a growing fleet of low level warp ships) being sent around to investigate pirate raids and the independent Human colonies, then the second season can deal more with exploring unknown (but inhabited) space using minor information they got out of a space wreck they found (a destroyed Andorian ship).

So season one: Humans vs Humans

Season Two-Onwards: Humans dealing with other humans in the background while the NX Ships explore beyond their space and encounter the Andorians, etc.
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Old November 1 2010, 05:02 AM   #9
ghoyle1
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

Human-only pirates? Why don't other races get in on the action?

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Old November 1 2010, 05:25 AM   #10
Anwar
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

Well, season one's space pirates would mostly be human since it's all in human-only space. Season 2 would move into uncharted-by-humans space (but inhabited by aliens) so alien pirates would be more likely out there.
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Old November 1 2010, 10:25 AM   #11
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

Though I'm intrigued with the 22nd century, the Romulan War, and the birth of the Federation, if I had my druthers, I would've set the prequel show on Robert April's Enterprise.

Regarding the look of the show, I might have 'cheated' and jazzed up the Enterprise and some of the tech to keep in line with modern sensibilities.
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Old November 1 2010, 02:02 PM   #12
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

I would have focused almost exclusively on the founding of the Federation - no exploration into the unknown.

I should make it clear up front that I'm heavily borrowing from TheGodBen's ideas he listed in his review thread some time back and altering them slightly - I have little orginiality, sue me.

First, I would start with Humans as an established player on the interstellar scene, but a very, very minor (almost third rate) power - much like they were at the start of ENT Season Four.

They would be on friendly terms with several neighboring races, mostly Vulcans and Andorians. I would hint at the fact that the Vulcans and Andorians were once bitter enemies, but wouldn't spend that much time developing the antagonism, because by this time they've overcome those past problems. I'd also hint that it was Humans who helped bring an end to hostilities, but again wouldn't focus on it - that's just background.

I'd start the series with an episode very similiar to Babel One. The NX-01 is escorting high ranking Andorian government ministers to yet another peace conference with Vulcan. The NX-02 is travelling along with them, escorting high ranking Vulcan government ministers to the same conference, which is being held in neutral Tellarite terrority. Humans have never had contact with Tellarites, so this will be their First Contact. The Romulans, anxious to splinter any harmony in the local instellar area, even this little amount, send a small fleet to destroy the the Vulcan and Andorian conference. This results in a very tense engagement above Tellar Prime, as the Romulans thought the Earth ships were simply carrying the ministers, not escorting a mini-fleet of Vulcan and Andorian ships. On one side sits the Romulan fleet and on the other sits a fleet of Vulcan, Andorian and Tellarite vessels, along with Earth's two top ships. As TheGodBen said.... "It's a hugely tense moment, this could be the outbreak of the Romulan War, all it would take is one captain on either side to have an itchy trigger-finger. In the end the Romulans back down because it's not in their interests to go to" full scale "war" against a coalition like this yet, "but the humiliation they suffered that day strengthens their resolve to break this alliance and take revenge upon Earth" and her newfound allies.

As for the Romulan War itself, I don't know how I'd handle it - other than it would have to be fought through drone-ships and intermediaries fighting for the Romulans. It would end however, in a massive, decisive battle on the outskirts of Earth's solar system about two or three years later. Dozens of drone ships and dozens of intermediary ships (Nausicaans and other mercenaries) head toward Earth in a last ditch attempt to destroy the alliance, which the Romulans believe is being held together by Humans. The Romulan forces are defeated in orbit of Pluto its moon Charon by a combined force of Human, Vulcan, Andorian and Tellarite vessels under the command of Jonathan Archer. I'd also have the NX-03, NX-04, and NX-05 take part in this battle. I'd would retcon this to be the Battle of Cheron, mentioned in TNG: The Defector, with military and government officials on Romulus mispronouncing the name of the moon over which they were defeated.

I would also expand on Section 31, showing their origin. As TheGodBen said.... "The colony in the Alpha Centuri system is humanity's largest outside the Sol system with a population of 50 -100m people, and it is also vital to Earth and Starfleet" as well as the war effort against the Romulans "because dilithium has been discovered there, which will be vital for the construction of the warp 7 ships currently on the drawing-board. For some reason the colony wishes to secede from Earth's control, but Earth, and Starfleet in particular, cannot allow this because they need the dilithium which" is found in only miniscule quantities inside "the Sol system. Some Admirals in Starfleet meet in a dark office and hatch some sort of plan to prevent Centauran secession, and they bring it to the" United Earth Prime Minister "in a secret meeting, pointing out that Article 14, Section 31 of the Starfleet charter allows such an action to take place. The" Prime Minister "sanctions the action, which I feel is important because it gives Section 31 a certain legitimacy that they don't have if they're only a group of Starfleet Intelligence operatives gone rogue."

"I'd even go further than all that and make sure that future story arcs" after the war "show that this small but growing group in Starfleet (Reed gets recruited at some point in the show) is instrumental in the formation of the Federation. Without Section 31 there wouldn't even be a Federation" (possibly bringing about regime change on Vulcan and putting T'Pau into power over a government that wants to end the alliance now that the immediate threat has been dealt with - a regime similar to the dissidents in TNG: Gambit) "and the galaxy would be in turmoil, which means that the Federation was founded on a lie. But is it better to live in a galaxy which is fractured or a galaxy which is united by such shady dealings? There's potential here for morality questions which go above and beyond what the Dominion War or Xindi arc was capable of because it is redefining our understanding of the entire Star Trek universe."

As for how I would make it look more primitive while still pleasing modern sensiblities.... I think ENT did a very job of that as it was.
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Old November 1 2010, 02:04 PM   #13
JarodRussell
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

I wouldn't do it. I heavily dislike prequels.
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Old November 2 2010, 06:34 AM   #14
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

Set anywhere between the end of the Romulan War and WNMHGB, show the Federation and Starfleet in their younger days, hopefully with a lot less upper level politics (one of the things that killed Enterprise).

Need someone fresh in command, neither Kirk nor Archer, A more Steven Decatur like character, young - brash - headstrong - driven, exploring the space surrounding the infant Federation. He a veteran of the romulan war, this is his first command, given his youth he's likely only a Lt.Commander or Commander. His lack of "seasoning" result in his making the rare mistake.

The ship will not look like a corridor from a Hilton hotel. Make it tight inside, world war two submarine tight, people squeeze past each other. (Might make it difficult to get cameras into). The crew has families, just not aboard with them. There are married couples. Dump the technobabble, the show isn't about tech, but what tech there is is consistant and make sense. No ubiquitous replicators.

Story Ideas. Except for the walled off Romulans and the rarely seen Klingons, the new crew explores space with NO gigantic powers. Makes first contacts (without the benefit of the prime directive), fights against minor but strong enemies, encounters pirates and slavers, faces ethical dilemmas, we get to know his crew, this is a time of expansion for the Federation and also Earth.

Story Ideas. No one uses the phrase "empire building' but that basically what it is. It's very 15th through 18th century Earth-like.

Story Ideas. The Federation doesn't coalesce right away into a more perfect union, there are settling in problems.. This will be less politics and more civilian competition. Trade routes, resources, new colonies -- think of the new Federation as a on-going Journey to Babel.

Story Ideas. Humanity wasn't held back for a century by the Vulcans (who are still arrogant assholes), Humans exploded out into the galaxy immediately after Cochrane's first flight. Earth has dozens of colonies, some of which are successful others not.

Story Ideas. Throw a little zinger in sometimes, show that 22nd century Humans don't think exactly like us. Two centuries had to have changed us in some ways.

Story Ideas. Our heroes lose sometime, sometimes badly.

Story Ideas. There is a female Vulcan character, a young minor officer similar to T'Pol, no catsuit. The Vulcans are usually shown in robes of some kind, put Vulcan-girl in something like that. Think about Japanese Samurai/ Jedi Knight form of dress. But still give her freedom of movement. With the right material you'd still be able to see her boobs. Increase the strangeness factor on the Vulcans, Amok Time did a fair job of this. They live 250 years and the average family has 20 odd children, the reason they send them into the desert on the kas-wan is because they want most of them to die.

Story Ideas Junk Star Trek's "modern secular liberalism." Sure a few of our characters will embrace this, but most of the characters are a diverse group in terms of their beliefs. economics, religion, politics, capitalism, socialism. The characters are very different from each other.

Story Ideas
There would be two secondary characters, one a person of profound faith, the other a adamant atheist. Make them best friends, while it would never be the main point in any episode, there would be a on going C story arc of the two of them arguing, joking, pushing their individual interpretation of the events in various episodes. Think of the friendly arguments between McCoy and Spock. Just something in the background.

Not sure just how "military" the show would be. I think today's audience might accept a more traditional military organizational structure. Or just stay with the para-military Starfleet we've seen. There will be aliens of course, they will be alien through the actors portrayals, not elaborate make-up.

During this particular show Earth/Federation/Starfleet will use filthy money.

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Old November 2 2010, 09:36 PM   #15
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Re: If you were creating a TOS Prequel, how would you do it?

Also, I'd have the Romulans already be known to the major Galactic Players (The Vulcans, Andorians, Orions, etc). They wouldn't be the "Out-of-nowhere" enemy that fanon made them out to be.

Basically, they'd be these shady arrogant Empire that have built up their Empire on Slave Race Soldiers (Remans, Suliban) and demand tribute from smaller weaker worlds as Protection Money (but they do actually bother to protect them from space piracy, so while they are jerks and bullies they'll honor their agreement. Don't want to give away the goose that lays the golden eggs, right?) while using agents to perpetuate discord and negativity among those who would rival them.

Humans, having been sheltered for as long as they have, were under their radar and as such might one day become the rival the Romulans feared (they're building up their numbers for war one day, but need to keep everyone else occupied until then).

Also, the Romulans have extra-special "Vulcan" Emissaries they use only in rare cases. Like when they send some to Earth or wherever the Galactic Embassy is to inform them of where they can and can't go.
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