Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by Dusty Ayres, Dec 27, 2008.
The experienced officer can't be too peripheral. Maybe something more like a mentor - apprentice relationship. Something like what you see in a lot of cop shows, firefighter shows, series where a percentage of the time the "youngling" is the hero of the day. The character of Tim McGee on NCIS would be an example (the only one who comes to mind).
There no way around the midshipmen's being a rookie, greenhorn, neophyte, to a certain degree. But if written correctly the individuals inexperience would be engaging to watch. Again the rookie cop example.
The characters would not be completely ignorant. There would be academy training behind them, the (rare) occasional flash-back could come into play.
I honestly cannot see this as the basis for a series with say 6-10 characters that would stay for say 5 years. At some point it will become boring for the audience to see the very formulaic experienced one teaching the rookie ala CSI investigators teaching the junior CSI fresh out of the laboratory.
Maybe 1 season then I'd be bored of it and the characters may grow but in 2-3 seasons the entire premise of the show with the same characters just won't work.
But Tim McGee is not the star of NCIS. Jethro Gibbs, the grizzled, gray-haired former marine and agent-since-forever is the star of NCIS. Under the academy scenario, Tim McGee would be the focus of the series. Would you want to watch that?
And there's one fact that really ought to kill this deal once and for all: IT. HAS. BEEN. DONE. BEFORE. By Filmation. Starring Doctor Smith. All you'd be doing is putting those characters in Starfleet uniforms.
After a few minutes of searching and deducing you are talking about
Jonathan Harris, [Dr. Smith on “Lost in Space”] as Commander Isaac Gampu appears as the headmaster in Space Academy
Space Academy opening video
Space Academy: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 on January 16, 2007. The 4 disc set includes many special features.
As of 2009, this release has been discontinued and is out of print
Since you didn't include any Caucasian male/females, I'll assume you're saving them for the evil admiral parts, eh?
One of the places it been done before is a mid-70's cop show called "The Rookies." Show ran for four or five years, there was a superior officer and "grizzled" sergeant too, both of whom were featured, but the focus of the show was the younger police patrolmen coming out of the acadaemy, which is what we're talking about here.
Given that you would have to sell the idea to CBS in order to do a Star Trek show at all, you think tying the concept to NCIS would be such a bad idea? The top executives at CBS love NCIS. The show is an good example of how a Star Trek: Midshipman cast might be made to work. Originally the director of NCIS, the "Captain" was rarely seen during the show, and even today is a secondary character. While Mark Harmon is the top star, the character of Gibbs is is only a middle level detective team leader, with a collection of people on his team with varying ages, level of experience and talents.
The new Star Trek show might be focused on the midshipmen, but it would be unrealistic to show them as operating completely on their own, there will be a older Ensign or a Lieutenant supervising them, on the ship and on landing parties. Every few episodes even the Captain might make a brief appearance.
Originally on the West Wing, the president was going to be a secondary character. The show was going to be about the actions of the staff.
And yes, I think one of the midshipmen would be very much like Tim McGee.
A science fiction version of rookies? Yes. Space Academy. It also premiered in the seventies. It, however, only lasted one year. Work it out.
Given the example you just used? Yes.
No it's not, since, once again, the rookie is not the focus of the show.
And is only prominent now because he replaced Lauren Holly, who's director character became prominent because of her connection to the old guy who is the focus of the show.
But the investigators on the team are all younger, less experienced and less talented, which is why he's the team leader and again, the focus of the show!
Yep. Doctor Smith, delivering the moral of the week. Produced by Lou Scheimer and Norm Prescott. One year, dude.
Be specific. The West Wing was supposed to be about Sam Seaborn, the youngest, most idealistic member of the staff (which is why Rob Lowe's name appeared first in mostly alphabetical opening credits.) It wasn't that Martin Sheen's President Bartlett overshadowed lesser staff, it was that everybody else overshadowed the noob who was supposed to be the focus of the show, which can't happen to your Starfleet Academy series if you expect it to survive on a network whose viewing audience skews toward old timers like yours truly!
Do that, and the show will only work if Commander Jethro Gibbs is the focus of the show (Like T.J. Hooker, the proper example of an old show in the context of this debate.)
Not if written as a secondary character, the show would (again) almost have to have a slightly older, authority figure cast member, however someone in their late twenties would do nicely, but in this show not be a main focus. If the decision is to make the young members of the cast the focus of the show, then that the way it would formatted. But at the same time there wouldn't have to be a pretense that the group of midshipmen were completely on their own somehow.
Except in this case they would be, targeted on the 18 to 34 demographic.
The show I was referring to, The Rookies, lasted four seasons actual.
And in term of dramas featuring youths, Glee on Fox is highly rated, the scifi/fantasy drama Smallville is in what, season ten? Everything that CW puts out is aimed at people in their teen, twenties and thirties, five of their current shows are scifi/fantasy.
A CBS property wouldn't automatically have to be shown on the CBS network.
What we are all afraid of is Starfleet Smallville, with Kirk spending years dreaming of Carol Marcus. People have argued you can make a show with kids not like Smallville. So you can't then turn around and use Smallville as proof that it can work. And Glee is similar enough that it doesn't work either.
Oh, and yes, a CBS property would almost certainly have to end up on a CBS owned network. That's just the way the business works these days.
Starfleet Academy article from 1990
October 25, 2010
The only other likely outlets are CW and Showtime. So whatever this theoretical Star Trek series is, it'll have to be crafted for the network that it's intended to air on. A CW-style Star Trek show would be very different from a Showtime-style Star Trek show, and both would be very different from a CBS-style Star Trek show, which I think is a non-starter: it's fun to talk about CSI Star Trek but we'll be lucky if we never see such a monstrosity in real life.
I'll root for a Showtime-style Star Trek show with a CW-style Star Trek show as a very distant second place and pray hard that CSI Star Trek never sees the light of day. I may be desperate enough for Star Trek back on TV to risk what CW might do to it, but even I have my limits.
I am going to be honest, I am somewhat surprised (OK, extremely surprised) how popular an idea this is (and how often I hear of this), because I am not a fan of it. I honestly don't think a Star Trek series should be set within, or about or focused on Starfleet Academy. I wont bother going into the specific details on why as many others have been covering it. However, I had a couple thoughts on the idea of a cadet character (or two).
The way one could possibly do this, is if some of the characters (two or three, if that many) are cadets and are one of the few Starfleet-ish people around (with two or three commissioned officers), perhaps on some sort of colony or installation, or a small ship, something wherein they are not in, or near and cannot get to, Federation space. Perhaps something along the lines of Stargate Universe (with massive reworking of course) with even a few civilian characters thrown into the mix as recurring. This gives you primary cast of about five to seven people (ideally more around five) with some recurring (around seven or so maybe?).
This thought also gives a plausible reason why cadets (or perhaps civilians) are saving the day, the two or three commissioned officers (ideally, a Commander and a Lieutenant) cannot be everywhere and do everything. The drama can be from the cadets having to grow up and serve much sooner then they would (I don't know how military academy works) and the stress onto the commissioned officers of teaching, leading and protecting all at once
*shrug* just a thought, I know it's probably not the best (I freely admit I am not the worlds most creative person), but at least there's plausible reasons for cadets to save the day and be the heroes.
The cadets can be "saving the day" because away missions are part of their training. Also, who says they always succeed?
No offense, but all I can envision is an animated, futuristic version of Glee. Not something I think I would care to tune in to.
USA network would be another good choice, three of my current favs are there.
USA is owned by NBC Universal, not CBS.
I can't really feel particulary inspired by this idea. Star Trek is about space exploration, so being stuck in an Academy on Earth does not sound like much fun
You could maybe do a 7 season run following the progressive career of a cadet who in the last season gets promoted to Commander or something...?
Every season/year is another step in this cadet's (or group of cadets') career ladder.
Yes that's one way of going about it but not just a cadet but a group of say 8 cadets (along with a few older higher ranking officers) in their final year of the Academy would be great and then season 2 would be outside of the Academy fully but then they would have to change the title of the show...
I agree that a show completely based on Earth would be no fun, but I think the idea of having them do periodic tours on ships as part of their training would work. They could also do field work on stations, moons, and alien planets?
Also I think a security/Marine Officer cadet would be interesting. As far as the Half Vulcan character. I had alway thought of having a half Vulcan female with blond hair, who was tough and embracing her human side. Her back story was that her dad loved her very much but he was killed on an away mission, her mother, who is Vulcan was emotionally unavailable to her, obviously due to her Vulcan heritage, causing resentment to emerge to the point that she more or less rejects her Vulcan half. This could be a on going issue throughout the show, where in at some point her mother finally has a heart to heart with her explaining how much her dad's loss did mean a lot to her as well.
I also agree with the view that we would need a strong professor role.
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