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Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

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Old October 6 2013, 08:45 AM   #1
David.Blue
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Star Trek: To Boldly Go

Just a collection of ideas from various threads...

First, the timeline. I suggest the story take place circa 2450 CE, roughly 75 years after TNG. However, we deliberately refrain from any explicit statement about which timeline counts as "history." This in effect translates as zero references to the planets Vulcan, New Vulcan or Romulus and we resist the temptation to show a lot of Vulcans.

Second, setting. The starship Enterprise-G, a huge new vessel with a crew of around 3000. An impressive vessel with primary, secondary and emergency shields. Among its shuttles is the Reliant, in effect a super-runabout but built to include a "phase-cloak" such as the one attempted with USS Pegasus. This one works fine, but requires enormous power as well as minimal shields. More, another phased ship's weapons can hurt it.

Enterprise heads out to a new region of space, in the outer sectors of the Alpha or Beta quadrants, generically known as the Antilles Cluster. Legend among some space-faring civilization say it is the abode of Gods. Or Demons. Or both.

Third, characters. Focus on a group of four or five very promising Ensigns. Some are friends, others rivals. Maybe a young lady by the name of Kirk, trying to live up to her family's long shadow. And an alien we haven't seen before, one hopefully with as rich a background as the Cardassians. All of these young officers tend to end up on Away Teams, and one is a particularly excellent pilot. Another a gifted medic. They see the Captain now and then, but more usually interact with the First Officer, Science Officer, Chief Engineer and Chief Medical Officer.

Fourth, story arc. The Antilles Cluster is home base to a League of different alien races, many disturbing if not disgusting to most humanoids. The League was founded by a race of Patrons, roughly on the same evolutionary level as the Metrons or Excalbians. But the Patrons, while revered, in fact rarely intervene and when they do their actions are often baffling (the Starfleet folk know none of this initially).

Any reactions?
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Old October 6 2013, 12:37 PM   #2
BillJ
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

Meh. I've never been interested in the "lower decks" concept.
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Old October 6 2013, 12:45 PM   #3
JarodRussell
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

David.Blue wrote: View Post
An impressive vessel with primary, secondary and emergency shields.
Among its shuttles is the Reliant, in effect a super-runabout but built to include a "phase-cloak" such as the one attempted with USS Pegasus.
This one works fine, but requires enormous power as well as minimal shields. More, another phased ship's weapons can hurt it.
Why is that of any importance?
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Old October 6 2013, 05:29 PM   #4
David.Blue
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
David.Blue wrote: View Post
An impressive vessel with primary, secondary and emergency shields.
Among its shuttles is the Reliant, in effect a super-runabout but built to include a "phase-cloak" such as the one attempted with USS Pegasus.
This one works fine, but requires enormous power as well as minimal shields. More, another phased ship's weapons can hurt it.
Why is that of any importance?
People complain that Trek's technology seems to remain at the same level. This is a specific item both the Federation and Romulans were trying to develop in the TNG-era. But in and of itself it would seem to make Enterprise-G almost invulnerable. So--include it. But make it specialized, at a cost. And presumably others have developed this tech as well, which makes Reliant both vulnerable and an important line of defense should the occasion arise.

In short, it provides an opportunity for conflict.
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Old October 6 2013, 09:18 PM   #5
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

1) The 2450 setting I have no problem with. It's far enough into the future not to be excessively bogged down by the 90's shows and their arcs. Though not specifying if the ship is in the prime/nu universe is a bit over the top. Maybe keep it vague to keep people guessing, but have a definite answer and have it revealed at some point.

2) Meh, am I the only one that thinks that as tech gets better, the ships of the line are going to get smaller and not larger? As campy as the Enterprise-G sounds, it could grow on me, but having it be some super space dreadnaught just seems excessive at best. The technobabble shuttle... why is this specifically mentioned? There's always technobabble solutions to problems, did you plan on doing something with this specific one?

3) I have no problem with the lower decks concept, but that's going to make or break the show by itself. These would have to be compelling and interesting characters with enough drive, zest and so forth to carry the show by themselves. It would be nice if the crew wasn't mostly human either. The Kirk thing is more than a little campy too. I could see an illegitimate child with his mother's name maybe and this being an interesting reveal later on.

4) You mentioned a setting, but not a story arc really. So what are those repulsive aliens supposed to do? Are they out to conquer the universe and the good guys have to stop them? Do they not give two hoots about the Federation and want them to leave? You'd need more than that to write a story.
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Old October 6 2013, 11:18 PM   #6
C.E. Evans
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

GoRe Star wrote: View Post
2) Meh, am I the only one that thinks that as tech gets better, the ships of the line are going to get smaller and not larger?
No, you're not the only one. I think the ships will get smaller too and their crews as well. Rather than build bigger multipurpose ships, Starfleet will build more smaller specialized ones. New tech may allow these ships to operate with fewer engineering and maintenance personnel and more mission specialists, IMO.

That's an interesting thought--technology may make things simpler to operate in the future.
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Old October 7 2013, 02:07 AM   #7
David.Blue
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

A couple of points.

One is that James T. Kirk has a nephew, who survived the Deneva Disaster. I presuming this Ensign to be his descendant.

"Campy" presumes a specific style and approach. If I created the impression of campiness, I'm honestly baffled by that fact. But such was never my intention.

Enterprise-G could be a smaller vessel, but to be honest given the fictional nature of the universe involved, the decision could go either way. Certainly I'm not wedded to either notion.

The "techno-babble shuttle" is a fun name! But I think frankly I've already justified the idea above.

As far as the League, this was discussed in the What Kind of Character thread. The idea is for an entity quite like the Federation, in no way "evil" or "oppressive" but a clear potential rival--more, one with various member races lots of Federation peoples find disturbing. Examples: A species of carrion eaters, a genuine hive mind, a warrior race that makes the Jem'Hadar look like camp fire girls, another species on par with the Metrons or Excalbians whom some folks virtually (or genuinely) worship, a hyper-individualistic civilization that seems to operate via pure anarchy, another species that are simply physically repulsive to most humanoids, etc.
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Old October 7 2013, 03:29 AM   #8
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

I recognized the League idea. Winning!

Though I think it has a better home in the Starship: [Winged Creature] setting. But then I would.

I think the tech-leading-to-smaller-starships thing could go either way. I could see smaller, more specialized ships in the Federation's home territories, and fracking huge expeditions launched to more remote areas. The analogy no longer beinger a navy cruiser, but a capital ship that launches smaller ships to explore the remoter regions of a system.

I think the "lower decks" idea is interesting as a way of providing focus in a setting that huge: a squad-level planet-reconnaissance party that (frankly more believable than having the bridge officers going downplanet) takes the big risks and makes the immediate decisions.

It might also be more interesting to lift the "we only land on class-M planets" rule, which originally was budget dictated. Have our players exploring nebulae made of pure booze, the outer atmospheres of gas giants, the coronae of stars: why not? (Given the right CGI.)

One thing I'll give Voyager props for is that it lifted the "ship must always be named Enterprise" fetishism, which always seemed to shrink and impoverish the setting. I don't think the ship should be named Enterprise-[random letter of the alphabet], and I'd can the idea of tying in the Kirk family for the same reason. (And has any other member of Kirk's family actually cast a long shadow? Wouldn't we have heard some hint in TNG Trek if they had?)
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Old October 7 2013, 04:22 AM   #9
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

Another ship's name would be fine with me! As far as smaller designs, don't know if anyone has seen the USS Helena from the Hidden Frontier fanfilm series but I find it quite gorgeous. Round saucer section with a very small lower deck, nacelles held by two 'bent' supports rather like Andorian ships, with a Nebula-style sensor array. It looked very sleek. A variation of the USS Charleston I understand. That design, but updated. Parliament-class perhaps?

As far as hearing about the Kirk family, I'll point out we keep hearing about supposedly 'famous' or distinguished Starfleet officers all the time! Never to hear of them again! Like Ben Maxwell, Garth of Izar, Admiral Nogura, etc. Consider--for the first two seasons of TNG the Federation was at war with the Cardassians! Did we have the slightest clue of that? For that matter, this particular Ensign Kirk might be the first in her family to join Starfleet in generations, for precisely because of the Great Man's shadow. The reason I like it is the audience would then feel all kinds of expectations. How could they not? Wouldn't they constantly judge her against James T. Kirk, even if she possessed all kinds of virtues he never ever demonstrated? Be a wonderful storyline, there.

Methinks the League should press every DANGER button in many Starfleet officers' heads. And it would be great to do the same to the audience!
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Old October 7 2013, 02:55 PM   #10
NightJim
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

I like a lot of the ideas, and you address most of the points I feel need to be in a new series.

Like others, I think a smaller ship is the way to go. Another thing that Voyager did was reduce the ship size, to the point it's crew is smaller than Kirk's Enterprise. TNG felt too big, and I've always hated the idea of civilians aboard.

While I agree with the reasoning behind BigJake's notion of not naming it Enterprise, I think it should be. Mainstream audiences expect Star Trek to be about the Enterprise. Announce a new show with a new cast in a new setting, and it's not the Enterprise, a lot of the mainstream won't bother. Market it as another Kirk aboard an Enterprise then you've got interest, especially if you're making that Kirk a female Ensign looking to establish herself.

Someone in marketing will probably name it a reboot, even though it's not.
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Old October 7 2013, 07:27 PM   #11
Galileo7
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

GoRe Star wrote: View Post
1) The 2450 setting I have no problem with. It's far enough into the future not to be excessively bogged down by the 90's shows and their arcs. Though not specifying if the ship is in the prime/nu universe is a bit over the top. Maybe keep it vague to keep people guessing, but have a definite answer and have it revealed at some point.
Agree.
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Old October 7 2013, 08:20 PM   #12
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

Great idea for a fan-fic. in the words of a great starfleet captain, Make it so!.
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Old October 7 2013, 11:16 PM   #13
David.Blue
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

Thought of an idea to show what I mean about the League.

Suppose our starship comes across a Class M planet, with no signs of civilization but surrounded by a very sophisticated defense array, totally automated. It simply doesn't react as the Enterprise (or whatever) nears. But sensors show the planet's ecosystem is breaking down very quickly, due to millions and millions of eggs hatching on the planet's surface. The creatures hatching are devouring everything in site, as well as fighting each other for scarce resources. An away team sent down gets into danger, while the array activates instantly when the Enterprise tries to stun an area so as to examine the newly-hatched creatures. The array drives the ship off, stranding the away team.

So the Reliant goes to rescue the crewman, now threatened as the creatures wake up. Landing, they have to de-cloak to pick up the survivors. The array tracks their position and damages the ship as it flees in cloak.

Later, members of the Away Team report on their findings. The creatures in the equivalent of a shark's feeding frenzy show signs of sentience, but are clearly very immature. The planet itself is terraformed.

In a later episode, they come across a damaged ship of strange design. Only a few survivors, clearly adults of the ravaging species on the planet. The whole ship gets superparanoid, especially since a distress call is attracting another such ship, what looks like a dreadnought. The survivors, badly wounded, die. So Enterprise hides from the dreadnought, giving their scientists time to analyze these aliens--who seem made for battle.

Still later, Enterprise makes contact with a civilization barely space-capable but who have legends of such creature--Sky Demons who eat children.

But when Enterprise encounters these Sky Demons for themselves, they find a very civilized race who seem to worship the idea of evolution. They terraform planets to allow their young to fight for survival, and afterwards "fix" the planets' ecosystems, to use it again in a century or so. But these aliens consider themselves in competition with themselves and with the universe, no one else. And hold up a mysterious people called "The Patrons" as the ideal towards which they strive. Indeed, contact with The Patrons led them to forgo rampant militarism in favor of self-improvement.

So--a member race of the League that seem incredibly dangerous, but civilized, but just maybe fanatics. And what if these Patrons told them to conquer the Federation?

That's an example of what I mean in terms of how contact with the League might play out.
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Old October 7 2013, 11:40 PM   #14
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

NightJim wrote: View Post
Mainstream audiences expect Star Trek to be about the Enterprise.
I know that it's long been assumed this was the case, but I don't really know that it's so. I would submit that the decline of the two series following TNG had more to do with oversaturation than with not having the Enterprise on the show... as witness that slapping the name Enterprise (to put it a bit uncharitably) on Star Trek: Enterprise didn't rescue it from tanking in the mainstream. What seems to me to matter is that the show is fulfilling some kind of real audience demand, not what name is on the ship.

[EDIT: In fact, come to think of it? I think the importance of the name Enterprise probably applies more to fans than it does to the mainstream...]
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Old October 8 2013, 12:18 AM   #15
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Re: Star Trek: To Boldly Go

Don't you believe it. The name Enterprise is synonymous with Star Trek to mainstream audiences (so much so that "U.S.S. Enterprise" became a trademark of CBS*). A new Trek series set in a new era will definitely have a brand-new Enterprise--don't think that it won't--but any spinoffs from that show can go in almost any direction from that.



*Mainly to prevent other sci-fi franchises from having a Starship Enterprise, IMO.
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