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Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

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Old April 1 2013, 08:00 PM   #31
Temis the Vorta
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

bullethead wrote: View Post
I think an Abramsverse show could easily work around the events of the movies by featuring a crew that was way off in deep space while those events happened. What's really important is maintaining visual continuity, because I doubt Paramount/CBS want to muddy the Trek waters anymore than they are already by going with a Mobile Suit Gundam like "we're gonna pump out different AUs and looks for most new productions" deal. The Abrams look/universe is Trek from here on out, but it's a big enough playpen that you could do any number of stories without actually involving the rebooted TOS crew.

The only time continuity would really be an issue is if the Abramsprise and crew were the focus of the new show. Then you have to accommodate the movies and possibly the game(s).
Bingo. The average viewer is unlikely to be aware that there are multiple realities in play, or care very much. As long as the series looks like the movies, the audience will not be confused. Fans will squawk, but they like doing that.

The movie characters can't be the focus of a new series because some have movie careers that rule out TV. I'd thought maybe Quinto, Urban or Cho could headline a spinoff series, but now Urban has the lead in a different JJ Abrams series (not picked up yet, but it seems like a strong contender). Anyway, it would only be one or two at the most, might as well just have a whole new crew.

PS, the one thing the article left out is that Star Trek must answer CBS's key question: why should we spend $$$ on this instead of another cop show we could be doing instead? And the answer to that is complex since it involves predicting where the TV business is going rather than looking at where it is now - broadcast starting its death spiral (with CBS being the most stable for now), cable still smug about the dangers of cord-cutting (which hasn't really taken off - yet), and streaming services being the hot new thing (but will it continue).

Star Trek's biggest negative is the lack of anything you could point to as a close model for success. The closest examples are maybe Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead - still sf/f genre, very successful for cable, but could you replicate that success in a space opera format, and why even try when you could do something more closely aligned with high fantasy or sci fi horror?

In all this industry turmoil, CBS could be looking for interesting new ideas that they could use to point out the future for them. Their experiment this summer with a CBS-Amazon co-production of a sci fi series (Under the Dome) is that kind of experiment. Since they're airing it in the summer, CBS isn't devoting a precious prime timeslot to a show that probably wouldn't get CBS-level survival ratings on its own (which is why they need the Amazon revenue stream as well). That might be a model Star Trek could follow.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; April 1 2013 at 08:15 PM.
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Old April 1 2013, 08:38 PM   #32
Temis the Vorta
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

Another model to follow, maybe the best so far: Netflix picks up Sense8 from JMS and the Wachowskis.

The Wachowskis’ new sci-fi drama project Sense8 has landed at Netflix with a 10-episode order for a debut on Netflix Instant in late 2014. The series is produced by Georgeville TV, Reliance Entertainment/Motion Picture Capital’s TV studio, in association with J. Michael Straczynski‘s Studio JMS. This marks the first foray into TV series for the Wachowski siblings, the masterminds of The Matrix franchise, who are teamed with sci-fi veteran Straczynski (Babylon 5). Sense8 is described as “a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted” that incorporates the Wachowskis’ storytelling style.

...

Added the Wachowskis, “We’re excited to work with Netflix and Georgeville Television on this project, and we’ve wanted to work with Joe Straczynski for years, chiefly due to the fact his name is harder to pronounce than ours, but also because we share a love of genre and all things nerdy.”
Not a space opera, but the key features are: it's for a sci fi friendly audience (streaming customers = tech early adopters = nerds, or at least enough to justify a series for them ), and it's got two big names attached, which can tap into - and be marketed to - the fanbases of both the Wachowskis and JMS, or just people who are interested in shows that have a strong vision behind them, even if you weren't wowed by Cloud Atlas, and is unafraid to be nerdy.

And if all you need is $2M per ep to make a decent space opera series, Netflix can cover that handily. Their episodes run more like $4M on average (and a lot more if you're David Fincher and can blow the budget with impunity.)
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Old April 2 2013, 03:20 PM   #33
Shaka Zulu
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

I'm sorry, but I love the idea of having a young, hot band's music be a part of the show every week; it's the kind of thing that should have been part of Star Trek for a while, just to show that rock, pop & dance did survive to the 23rd and 24th centuries and is just as valid a type of music as classical music is.

In fact, I bet that during the 90's when electronica was taking off, I'll bet that the producers of DS9 could have had an electronica group/artists like Moby, The Chemical Brothers, The Propellorheads, and my favorite, Daft Punk (who would have fit into Quark's Bar and the 24th century like a glove-check out what they were doing in this scene from Tron Legacy.) If JJ can have somebody like The Beastie Boys in the 2009 film, why can't there be a popular song in a Star Trek TV show?
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Old April 2 2013, 03:31 PM   #34
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

Something like a band in Quark's would've been way less tacked-on than what they seemed to have in mind for Enterprise (I assume that's what you're referring to). Better still as a holographic broadcast of some kind.

That said, I kind of feel like the holodeck would have rendered a lot of that obsolete. Not seeing what part of the 'live experience' isn't replicable in a holosuite, vide Vic Fontaine.
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Old April 5 2013, 12:37 PM   #35
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

I think the guardians of NuTrek should (at the very least) consider moving away from the 22 episode/starship/alien of the week formula.

I'd like to see something a bit different:

1. Why not reduce the number of episodes per series? If a Trek spin-off consisted of, say, six ninety-minute episodes, the visual/conceptual scope of the series could be greatly enhanced. In the UK, the BBC's flagship programmes usually follow this format (i.e. Sherlock).

2. What about jettisoning the starship? Follow the exploits of a group of cadets at the Academy, a team of undercover anthropologists on a strange new world, or a federation diplomat caught in a morally ambiguous bind.
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Old April 5 2013, 02:02 PM   #36
AviTrek
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

CrazyHorse89 wrote: View Post
I think the guardians of NuTrek should (at the very least) consider moving away from the 22 episode/starship/alien of the week formula.

I'd like to see something a bit different:

1. Why not reduce the number of episodes per series? If a Trek spin-off consisted of, say, six ninety-minute episodes, the visual/conceptual scope of the series could be greatly enhanced. In the UK, the BBC's flagship programmes usually follow this format (i.e. Sherlock).

2. What about jettisoning the starship? Follow the exploits of a group of cadets at the Academy, a team of undercover anthropologists on a strange new world, or a federation diplomat caught in a morally ambiguous bind.
Nope, not gonna happen. First of all, not all BBC shows follow that format. Look at Doctor Who. ~13 45 minute episodes. Also, no show in the US has 90 minute episodes, and that's what CBS cares about, not what a tiny island off Europe does.
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Old April 5 2013, 02:30 PM   #37
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

CrazyHorse89 wrote: View Post

2. What about jettisoning the starship? Follow the exploits of a group of cadets at the Academy, a team of undercover anthropologists on a strange new world, or a federation diplomat caught in a morally ambiguous bind.
I think the whole Star Trek title explains why none of those are good ideas. People tune into the series to watch action-adventure in space with cool ships and technology.
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Old April 5 2013, 02:33 PM   #38
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

CrazyHorse89 wrote: View Post
I think the guardians of NuTrek should (at the very least) consider moving away from the 22 episode/starship/alien of the week formula.

I'd like to see something a bit different:

1. Why not reduce the number of episodes per series? If a Trek spin-off consisted of, say, six ninety-minute episodes, the visual/conceptual scope of the series could be greatly enhanced. In the UK, the BBC's flagship programmes usually follow this format (i.e. Sherlock).
The miniseries format is dead here in the US. It's just too much of a pain to work into existing schedules and you'd probably need way higher ratings than an hour long show to make it worth the cost.

Trek could easily work on a 20 episode per season schedule though.
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Old April 5 2013, 05:45 PM   #39
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

bullethead wrote: View Post
CrazyHorse89 wrote: View Post
I think the guardians of NuTrek should (at the very least) consider moving away from the 22 episode/starship/alien of the week formula.

I'd like to see something a bit different:

1. Why not reduce the number of episodes per series? If a Trek spin-off consisted of, say, six ninety-minute episodes, the visual/conceptual scope of the series could be greatly enhanced. In the UK, the BBC's flagship programmes usually follow this format (i.e. Sherlock).
The miniseries format is dead here in the US. It's just too much of a pain to work into existing schedules and you'd probably need way higher ratings than an hour long show to make it worth the cost.

Trek could easily work on a 20 episode per season schedule though.
Ah right; I wasn't aware that miniseries had died a premature death in the US. I guess there would still be scope to tinker with the format if the notional new series was picked up by Netflix or Hulu. My main concern is that another "wagon-train-to-the-stars" venture would be derivative, if not boring.
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Old April 5 2013, 07:11 PM   #40
AviTrek
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

As Temis has said multiple times. The channel determines everything else. If CBS airs the show then 22 episodes at 42 minutes each. If TNT airs the show then 10-13 episodes at 42 each. If Showtime airs it then 10-13 at 42-60 minutes. If Netflix/Hulu/Amazon get the first run rights, then there is potential to experiment with the format. Although Netflix's first show followed the standard TV model.
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Old April 5 2013, 07:38 PM   #41
Temis the Vorta
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

Nobody needs to worry about the next series following any old formats that were tethered to the broadcast formula, because space opera can't survive on broadcast (and the survival of broadcast itself is in doubt - unless it evolves into some kind of live-events forum, of ad-zapping-proof sports, news and reality game shows).

Think of Star Trek as a species whose ecosystem has been destroyed by climate change or a comet. The species is doomed, unless it evolves to thrive in one of the new ecosystems that have emerged. 22 episodes a year is an old-ecosystem quality. Episodic structure is another. Fortunately we're talking about an unusually adaptable species.

The next series will be a big departure from what we've known before, more different from the previous series than they are from each other. You can make educated guesses about what form it will take simply by looking around at the ecosystems where it might thrive and seeing what already thrives there, such as the complex political machinations of Game of Thrones or House of Cards, or the gruesome violence of The Walking Dead.

And then there's the issue of not expecting the species to evolve from a bird into a tree. Star Trek does have certain core values it needs to hang onto. Not going hard-R is one of them. Having some sort of spaceship travel element is another. Starfleet as the central principle is a given.

These are not particularly limiting stipulations. We still have at least two centuries and a whole galaxy to play in and I guess technically two different realities as well.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; April 5 2013 at 07:50 PM. Reason: too long
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Old April 5 2013, 09:57 PM   #42
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Nobody needs to worry about the next series following any old formats that were tethered to the broadcast formula...
This simply isn't true. CBS will want to sell the show in syndication markets the world over whenever the exclusive period ends for whoever shows it in first run.
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Old April 6 2013, 04:35 AM   #43
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

For it to survive it has to survive despite the name Star Trek which means a totally new take on the premise that can stand on it's own and something more localized like a central mystery that is attracting all other races to it, whatever it is. It could be V'ger reappearing or whatever but it should be stationary in space whether near Earth and threatening or not. It would help if it was threatening but it's necessary to know exactly what it is and may be better to keep vague and complex and lead to bigger questions. Not a puzzle but something unsolvable and incomprehensible.
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Old April 6 2013, 08:52 AM   #44
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

^Nonsense. All a new Trek show needs to survive is to be popular with CBS's target audience. None of what you wrote has any bearing on that.
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Old April 6 2013, 12:24 PM   #45
Shaka Zulu
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

yousirname wrote: View Post
Something like a band in Quark's would've been way less tacked-on than what they seemed to have in mind for Enterprise (I assume that's what you're referring to). Better still as a holographic broadcast of some kind.
No, no holographic broadcasts, but an appearance on the show in the background, much like what happened on an episode of Mannix (Neil Diamond guest-starred as a musician playing in a club that Joe Mannix is in) on on Buffy The Vampire Slayer (the band that plays every time the main characters are at the Bronze) or on Hawaii Five-O and Miami Vice (a particular song is played that sets the mood for the episode [this would have worked for DS9, especially at the end of the episode where Worf loses Kurn for good.])


That said, I kind of feel like the holodeck would have rendered a lot of that obsolete. Not seeing what part of the 'live experience' isn't replicable in a holosuite, vide Vic Fontaine.
Not everybody wants to see a band on a holodeck-many would like to hear and see the band/singer in person. Featuring music in an episode isn't as hard as the article makes it, especially considering how Miami Vice, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Hawaii Five-O and the 2009 movie were able to do it.
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