Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by Joyful and Triumphant, Dec 28, 2013.
Hispanic male, from a colony world.
Surely the Whale Probe would have been counted.
Dr Who did a couple of animated serials recently, including 2 with Tennant. How did they do?
I think it all well and good to go after a different demographic as the next Captain--an alien certainly comes to mind and why not a female while we're at it?
Having done that, you need a genuinely interesting and compelling character with a fine actor who'll give it their all in the part. Look at BSG that had several extremely interesting women characters, some of whom at least in theory match a stereotype or two (at first glance). Likewise Doctor Who and Babylon Five as well as Fringe and Game of Thrones as well Dexter. Plenty of fine actresses out there who could carry it off--many of them undiscovered!
One way to approach it (whatever the species or gender) might be to look at an archetype, much as Kirk was vaguely based on Horatio Hornblower while the character Honor Harrington is quite obviously Nelson. Some possibilities:
Aragorn (LOTR) - a lonely, grim natural leader who only reluctantly leads at all.
Cyrano de Bergerac - the utterly brilliant maverick, hiding his melancholy with busy wit, with a dramatic tendency to take all responsibility onto himself.
Pug Henry (Winds of War) - a professional officer with surprisingly lack of self awareness yet a formidable brain, iron will, strict sense of honor and who sees service as the highest value possible.
^Your post has got me thinking about archetypes that haven't yet been filled by Trek captains. I'd be interested in meeting a captain who's fallen somewhat out of favor with Starfleet, perhaps someone who broke too many rules or was involved in a serious incident at his previous posting that led to his being reassigned and promoted not because of merit but because no other commanding officer would have him as an XO.
Perhaps this captain's own first officer is a rising star who was passed over for command due to a lack of experience and resents working under an officer with several black marks on his record. What might their relationship be like?
I stand by my wish to see an Andorian character play a pivotal role in the next TV series. Shran was a great character for Enterprise, but it would see the time is right to feature on of the Federation's founding members on a regular basis.
Generally speaking, you don't get promoted to Captain because no one thinks you'd be a competent XO - that Captain slot would get filled by a proven *good* XO, and you would probably get drummed out of the fleet or requested not to reenlist at your next re-up.
Unless.... it was right after a war or another event that managed to thin the ranks, and the ship you're given captaincy of is some minor, non-critical vessel. A tug or a courier or something. And then somehow events propel this ship into being a hero ship, somehow.
This is what I was thinking. Being given command of an obscure vessel that's assigned to a remote area of Federation space makes sense. Or perhaps being given an assignment that's appropriate for captain's rank but doesn't entail significant responsibility (a paper-pusher on Farius Prime, for instance).
I'd like either an Andorian zhen or a gay human male as the next Captain.
Just thinking, if you start out by demanding that characters be defined by gender or orientation, or some other narrow definition, the character and the show will fail. People are not defined by what they are, but who they are.
Things like whether a character has an innie or outie, or likes girls or boys or both, or has antennae or tentacles, are inconsequential. What is it about the character that an audience can relate to? Humor, valor, resilience, grace under fire, etc. These are character traits that attract me. Establish that, and then if there's time maybe explore what made the character who he is today.
Nothing like making sure the show is cancelled before it ever airs.
^Why couldn't a show with an Andorian protagonist work?
My first thought was that the "new" makeup, with animatronic antennae, might be a bit too work-intensive for more than a one-off appearance. But then I remembered Farscape, which had not one, but two regular full-on animatronic characters -- so a couple of wiggly headpieces would be easy by comparison.
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.
Sran and I definitely seem interested
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*.
Part of me says to go with an Alien CO for the next show, we've had five human CO's. So perhaps it's time for something different.
Perhaps I'm in the minority but I'm less concerened with thinngs like the gender of a character and more concerned that they are well written. We as an audiance/reader can identify with a particular character(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.
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.
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.
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.
Well a show with an alien as it's lead can work. After all the lead character in Doctor Who, The Doctor is an alien, true he happens to look human, but you could have a human looking alien Captain in Star Trek.
True, but, two things about that.
1. The Doctor isn't really alien at all, is he? I mean, sure, he's a "Timelord", but he always looks human and he makes more Earth (mostly British) references than his companions do. His alien-ness is mainly his second heart - which seems to just allow him to feel MORE human feelings more strongly.
2. There is almost always a human companion for us to see the goings on through the eyes of. The focus character for those rare occasions when the Doctor really IS acting strangely.
I do, however, think that Sran's idea about using an alien that has some reason to also explore his or her "humanity" - Worf raised by humans, Data wanting to be human, so on - has merit and might work. Might. A lot would depend on the writing. But then, it always does.
It all depends on what they did with it, but haven't as you already point out had characters exploring what it means to be human to various degrees. Would we not be retreating old ground.
You could for example set it on a ship operating a few years beyond the Federation border, who's Captain is killed and the XO has to step up. Some people can make excellent number twos but struggle when it comes to the next step up.
I really feel like there was a lot more that could have been told with Data's story that ended up just kinda getting compressed or ignored altogether once they went to movies. And Worf really never tried to be human. He chose his Klingon heritage, mostly. What about that story of the Andorian zhen who has chosen a human path because of being raised by them, trying to live as human, but having the Andorian four gendered physiology and the responsibilities to the Andorian people that come with that? I might, just might, could see that working.
Another exception to my human only rule might be if they could bring back an alien character that they already made a general audience care about in a previous series as the lead. But I think that pretty much limits us to Captain Dax or maybe Captain Tuvok?
Separate names with a comma.