With the rebooting of the Star Trek universe via J.J. Abrams, a possible return of the franchise to television is a hot topic right now. Even big names like Bryan Fuller and Bryan Singer are looking eagerly toward getting this done. Now, a pro from the Star Trek world has his two cents to put in.
Ron Moore is a true Star Trek veteran. He wrote and produced on several of the franchise’s projects, both television and film, before moving on to the almighty BSG reboot. In a recent interview with Wired, Moore had a few things to say regarding what he thinks it would take for Star Trek to return to television in all its glory.
People have to understand that the Star Trek films are a different animal. And that goes for the original series’ movies, as well as those from The Next Generation, and from J.J. By their nature, the Star Trek films are much more action-oriented, with space battles, big villains, lots of running and jumping. The stakes for Earth and the universe are always enormous.
But the lifeblood of Star Trek’s television shows is its morality plays and social commentary. It’s sci-fi that provides a prism on human society and culture. The movies are never really going to do what the episodes do, like split Picard into two in a transporter beam and then talk philosophically about the nature of humanity, which parts of our strength come from good and which from evil. The movies are never going to do that. Star Trek: The Next Generation was about those moral issues, about how societies grow and are differently affected. None of these are topics that the movies are going to tackle.
To create Star Trek in the form that people are familiar with requires another television series, and I think it will be successful again in that medium. You have to spend some time talking about its form and structure, and how to update it again for a new audience. You still want the “boldly go where no one has gone before” part with a ship, crew and ongoing mission. That’s part and parcel of the franchise.
But you have to be able to tackle big ideas, which are larger than chasing the villain of the week. That’s really not what the series was very good at. I mean, you could look back at the original Star Trek series or The Next Generation and find some cool action-adventure episodes with space battles, but the show is about so much more than that. If you were trying to do that flavor of Star Trek on television every week, it would just fail.
Well, at least he doesn’t appear to be against a new series. In fact, he seems full of insightful bits of wisdom for those who might try this noble endeavor. With any luck, we may see yet another run of Star Trek on TV and with Abrams’s reboot, they can pretty much go anywhere they want with it.
What do the folks sitting at home in their bathrobes have to say? More Star Trek television? Stick to the first universe or the reboot? Bring back the old folks or add some fresh new faces and a new adventure to the franchise?
Thanks to blastr for the heads-up.