Because of the popularity of the new Star Trek movies, there has been much speculation about whether or not a new Star Trek series is in the works. There are whispers of Ronald D. Moore taking another crack at it (which is fine with me, as we are all well aware of my deep and abiding love for Deep Space Nine and Battlestar Galactica), and even some talk about Bryan Fuller (a little less okay with me because, despite his propensity for making great shows like Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me, they all get cancelled in quick order).
So, I figure since something hasn’t been done yet, and there a lot of interest, I’m going to toss my pitch into the ring and hope some exec stumbles on it. It may not be the most effective pitching strategy, but here it is:
I want them to take the Star Trek: The New Frontier book series, by Peter David, and turn that into a television show.
Now, I know I’m in the minority of people who like Star Trek enough to read the books, so hear me out.
(Warning: Very minor spoilers ahead.)
What’s cool about the New Frontier series is that it has all the space adventuring of The Next Generation and The Original Series, mixed with all the political intrigue of Deep Space Nine, making it the best of all possible Star Trek worlds. How is the possible? Well, they set it in a corner of space that is relatively untouched by the Federation and was once controlled by the very recently fallen Thollanian Empire. This means that they are moving around from unknown planet to unknown planet while dealing with increasingly complicated and entangled alliances. There, the Starfleet ship Excalibur is sent on what is supposedly a humanitarian mission, but really ends up being an ass-kicking mission.
As cool as this universe is, what with all the political intrigue, back-stabbing and journeying into the unknown depths of the stars is, it would be nothing without its characters.
- Captain Mackenzie Calhoun –It took a lot of effort to not put “freakin’”, or an analogous curse word as his middle name, because seriously, this dude is awesome. If he were to enter the captain debate, there is little doubt in my mind that Kirk would find himself crying in the darkest corner of the Enterprise wondering why he couldn’t be that debonair/rash/AMAZING. Mackenzie’s backstory revolves around being a warlord who single-handedly saved his planet from eons of bondage. Then, because he realized that he had achieved all he could on his podunk planet, he went to Starfleet where he became the only man to schtoop Commander Shelby. Also, the only man since Kirk to consistently change the rules of the Prime Directive and somehow get away with it.
- Commander Elizabeth Shelby – She wasn’t exactly the most popular character on The Next Generation, and I think that was largely because everyone was scared that Picard was going to kick it forever as the Borg, and Riker was going to be Captain with Shelby in tow, and as we all know, Star Trek fans hate change. In any case, she loses a bit of her fast and loose style in the wake of a Captain who takes fast and loose to hyper-speed and epically wide, and she has to become a sort of by the book foil.
- Lieutenant Zak Kebron – Kebron, a Brikar, is basically brick-built Worf, which is good, because if Deep Space Nine taught us anything, a show only gets better with more Worf. Also, apparently the two were roommates back at the academy. But really, he’s better than Worf. Think of The Thing from the fantastic four with actually witty one-liners, and a complete calm in all situations, including taking down thirty-armed hostiles, or talking to a bratty prince who hasn’t quite accepted he’s not a prince anymore. He’s no nonsense in all the ways he needs to be, and deadpan in all the ways I wish Worf was.
- Lieutenant Commander Burgoyne172 – Burgoyne, a Hermat, is a hemaphroditic sex god who is particularly good at convincing Vulcans to sleep with him/her outside, and is a decent engineer to boot. S/he also has the distinction of Scotty drinking him/her under a table though s/he never really knew who it was. S/he did have a bit of a crush on him, though. Burgoyne would be an awesome character because s/he would finally introduce different sexualities into the Star Trek universe. For Burgoyne’s character alone, I want Star Trek The New Frontier to be made into a TV show. I need him/her to be canon.
- Si Cwan – Si Cwan is the former prince of the Thallonion empire. He is good at heart, but hilariously bad at showing it seeing as his father used to rule a vast galactic empire. Despite being adorably out of touch with anything the Federation would consider as basic human decency, he becomes a vital part of the crew due to his intelligence and fighting prowess. Also, his bizarre bromance/hateship with Kebron makes for one of the more interesting dynamics in the series.
- Lieutenant Soleta – Every ship needs a Spock, as evidenced by Tuvok and T’pal, so in comes Soleta, who takes Vulcan adherence to protocol to some pretty awkward heights, all to compensate for the fact that she just recently found out she is half Romulan.
- Doctor Selar– I really want to boil her down to this: Vulcan doctors have horrible bedside manners. Hilarity ensues. But I can do a little bit better than that. Essentially, her past revolves around a Pon Farr gone wrong (not as sexy as it sounds), which forces her to confront some unpleasant emotions she isn’t exactly prepared to handle.
These are not all the characters, but a sampling. Still, this should give you an idea of how diverse the crew would be, and how interesting of a television show it would make. I do understand, though, that having a good plot and good characters isn’t always enough for a show to get made, so here’s my other argument.
Basing it off the books means there is a built in audience of people who liked the books. Having it be by Peter David will naturally attract the comic crowd, as he wrote some of the best Hulk in decades, and certainly my favorite run of X-Factor. Add that in with the very large Star Trek fanbase, and I think it’s at least safe for a season. One season, I believe, would be all it needed to convince everyone else to watch it.
What are you waiting for, networks? Make The New Frontier a reality!
I’m going to end this article, however, with a bit of a nonsequitur. In light of Peter David’s recent stroke, I’d like to take the opportunity to remind people that they can help him pay his exorbitant medical bills by clicking here and reading about what they can do.