The age of nerd-dom has arrived, with no clearer evidence than Paramount and CBS asking a superfan of the series ‘Star Trek,’ a man who has spent around 20 years developing his idea for a new ‘Star Trek’ TV show, to pitch them his idea. In the words of the man himself:
“I can now officially announce that I do, indeed, have an invitation to come pitch Star Trek Uncharted at Paramount this summer! As far as I know, this is the first time a fan (not an established industry insider) has been invited to pitch a Star Trek TV series. This is, obviously, extremely exciting and I’m doing my best to get support for it from industry professionals. One of my concept cast members has read the script and expressed interest in supporting it, which is fantastic!…Paramount saw my website and the passion I had for Star Trek and the idea of it returning to TV, and for my specific concept. I think they felt I would gladly jump at an opportunity to come in and pitch it… which, of course, I did! I’m not under any illusions about my chances (and I realize CBS has the rights to produce any new Star Trek TV series), but it’s a chance of a lifetime and I have nothing to lose. I have a great job and a great life, so why not take the chance? I was a film school student before getting my job at Raven Software. I literally just emptied my dorm room into my car and just left my classes (and my TA job) to go to Raven. Getting to write Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force was a fantastic opportunity I never expected to get. And now, having been an aspiring filmmaker and lifelong Trek and sci-fi fan, this pitch opportunity is a dream come true. So I plan on making the most of this opportunity!”
The series is known as ‘Star Trek Uncharted,’ and would take place after the adventures of Captain Kirk and crew, with a new warp drive on the ‘Enterprise’ known as a “Spacefold Gate.” The man in question, Michael Gummelt, wants to separate his show from being depicted as part of either the original timeline or the new JJ Abrams created timeline, claiming he wants the show to stand on its own before being tied back into the main mythology of the franchise. In his words:
“This concept has gone through a lot of different incarnations over the past 20 years since I first started working on it. But the way I look at it now is: it should, first and foremost, be a show that can stand on its own. It shouldn’t rely too heavily on any deep, intimate knowledge of every past Trek show and movie. It would be very tempting to put in all sorts of references and trivia that only fans like me would get. But for Trek to return to TV after so long, it needs to be reinvented for a new generation. Not a reboot, that’s already being done in the movies. What I want for this series is for it to be the future – a Star Trek TV series that feels modern and feels futuristic relative to our current times. So, as I see it, “Star Trek Uncharted” is set sometime in the future, distant enough that it doesn’t really matter which universe it takes place in. It’s universe-agnostic. In my fantasy world where the series actually gets made, it would need to establish itself as its own show, with its own identity. Only once it’s accomplished that would it need to establish its place in the lore. In any case, I imagine it would be up to Paramount, CBS and Bad Robot to decide if they wanted to use it as a “shared universe” show along the lines of Agents of SHIELD.”
Whether or not Gummelt is given the green light on his show is entirely up to CBS and Paramount, but the idea that they are allowing them to pitch the show at all shows a level of understanding from studio execs rarely glimpsed before. The fans, the nerds, the up and comers, they seem to have a lot of ideas, and while they are not all gold, with a little studio polish and help from talented directors and writers, these ideas could be the future of many franchises, especially the ones where all the studios ever want to do is reboot and start from scratch again. Here’s hoping that Gummelt’s idea finds some traction from the studios, and that we might get to see ‘Star Trek’ return to its home on television sometime in the near future.
For more information about Gummelt’s vision and to read his script for the pilot episode, head over to the ‘Star Trek Uncharted‘ website.