The news dropped today that Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Hannibal) will be the showrunner for the new Star Trek series set to premiere on CBS next year, before moving to the CBS All Access paid subscription. My enthusiasm for the new show had been stifled by the mostly mediocre movies and the fact that I’d need yet another subscription to see it, but they just got my full attention. My wife and I both enjoyed Pushing Daisies a ton, and Fuller has a previous Trek pedigree, credited for story or writing on two dozen Deep Space Nine and Voyager episodes. I’m not sure where he’s going to find the time (he’s also running the adaptation of Gaiman’s American Gods and is attached to the Amazing Stories reboot) but they’ve got my eyeballs for the pilot at least.
Fuller’s been talking about Trek for years – the EW article here has some details – and I like what I’m hearing. Here’s my wish list for what I want from the new series:
- Get back to exploring – One disappointing thing about the most recent movies is they rarely deal with exploration. I don’t totally fault them for that, as you can’t really do an ‘alien culture of the week’ as a blockbuster movie, but shifting back to TV should allow them the creativity and flexibility to go deeper than fist fights and phaser blasts.
- No wars – Anyone who has read my stuff before knows I LOVE Deep Space Nine. It’s up there with my favorite shows of all time. Having said that, it may be tempting to replicate the very excellent Dominion War arc that show had…but it would be a mistake. Let’s base this one on a science vessel, do diplomatic missions, rescues. Some of my favorite Trek episodes dealt with content that was not your usual weekly sci-fi show fare (The Measure of a Man, Far Beyond the Stars, The Visitor, The Inner Light), and many went straight into goofball humor (Doctor Bashir, I Presume?). We need that introduced back into Trek.
- Cast some new people – Star Trek has always connected back to previous shows, and one of the ways that’s been done is by bringing on actors from the past to cameo. While I love the actors of Trek past, I’d like them to not try this, at least at first. Let the new show grow into it’s own and develop the new characters. Since the show isn’t going to link directly to the movies or the older shows (at least based on what we know now), that will work the best. We don’t need Brent Spiner popping up as another Soong to bring us in.
- Be positive – One of the things that’s shifted over the years is the idea that the Federation was this vision of what the future should be. I thought DS9 masterfully deconstructed that with the Bajorans and Sisko as the Emissary. The Federation wasn’t always right, and the conflict of interest there made for some good TV. But it got taken too far at times, with Section 31 and Insurrection and the like. Let’s have Starfleet/the Federation trying to be a force for good and running into the moral dilemmas and struggles they’ve encountered since the Original Series.
- Be diverse – Others can speak more eloquently than me on this, but whether it’s another female captain, an alien captain, LGBTQ captain (or some or all of the above) you can do better than the JJ Abrams movies have. These shows are ensembles, and can represent ALL of Earth and hey, remember that it’s a Federation of Planets, plural. Cast your net wide, jack up the alien makeup budget and represent some folks that aren’t often portrayed in a genre show.
So that’s what I want. What else do YOU want?