10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by bullethead, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I think Mad Men is a great example of how to serialize a program like Star Trek. Characters grow and change each week, but the series is more like a collection of short stories (in the form of episodes) than one single, driving narrative (like Breaking Bad). Another example that might be useful would be The Wire, which was more heavily serialized, but produced seasons that were more or less complete narratives. Seasons three, four, or five could have each been the last season of the series and been quite satisfying.
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    That really goes for any previously produced material, including the Abramsverse. A new creative team would give themselves an advantage by starting over from scratch and redo things their way.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I tend to agree. But it would be way easier to stay consistent with the six hours of material Abrams produces than seven hundred hours made by dozens of different creators over four decades.

    Continuing on in the Abramsverse would be less creatively restrictive than returning to the Prime Timeline.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    It would also be easier to reuse props, sets, and costumes from the Abrams-directed films than the Berman-produced shows and films. Much of the latter seems to have been destroyed or sold, and the Abrams stuff, having been made with the big screen in mind, is probably a bit better made.
     
  5. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Not necessarily, because continuity is continuity. A new Trek series will have to deal with it regardless of it being six hours or six hundred hours long. Like technobabble, continuity is best done sparingly. A new Trek series would be better served dealing with new characters and situations unique to itself rather than referring to past ones from an earlier production.
     
  6. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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).
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The only thing is that reboots are coming quicker and quicker these days and audiences are accepting such a practice. Ten years (or less) from now, it really wouldn't be a problem for a new series to disregard both the Prime and Abrams continuities and start over with a proper reboot. It might upset a minority of Trekkies, but a minority of Trekkies are always upset about something.
     
  8. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    They could always TNGize it. Create a show set in the future of Abramsverse with a new Starfleet crew, not necessarily with new versions of TNG character. Keep TOS characters as movies only.
     
  9. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It sure doesn't.

    The "Prime" continuity is done.
     
  10. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Prefer the MAD MEN approach myself, where the characters grow and each season explores an overarching theme throughout the individual episodes, which are self-contained short stories of their own.
     
  11. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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: Apr 1, 2013
  12. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    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.)
     
  13. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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?
     
  14. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  15. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  16. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  18. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  19. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  20. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.