How Star Trek Beyond sets up a unique new Star Trek series

"following a conflicted and sometimes repellent main character on a dark journey"

The following article contains spoilers for Star Trek Beyond:

Star Trek celebrated its fiftieth birthday last year with the release of Star Trek Beyond which homages ‘classic Trek’ while simultaneously following its own path as well as the announcement that Star Trek will finally be returning to television with Star Trek Discovery. For me Star Trek excels in the television format, not that I’m saying there haven’t been several good films, and I’m glad to see it coming back soon with a more serialised show than we Star Trek fans are used to with Discovery building on what Deep Space Nine accomplished and becoming much more of a binge-worthy continuous narrative. However, despite my excitement for the still mysterious Discovery, I came up with an idea for a new Star Trek show while re-watching Beyond recently that I would rather see; a show which conforms to the style of modern TV hits by following a conflicted and sometimes repellent main character on a dark journey.

My idea is that the show would follow Balthazar Edison and his crew from Star Trek Beyond. That’s right; the man that will become the villainous Krall will be the lead character of the show. The show would obviously be set before Star Trek Beyond beginning at the founding of the Federation and Starfleet when MACO, a military organisation, is disbanded and former colonel Balthazar Edison is given the command of the USS Franklin. The great thing about the show is that it would be set well before the destruction of the USS Kelvin, the event that allowed the timelines to diverge in the 2009 reboot so the series would be canon in both continuities. Idris Elba would reprise his role, this time sitting in a Starfleet captain’s chair, with him being used to having roles in major television shows like Luther and The Wire.

The show could follow the ‘Breaking Bad’ formula of a good guy turning bad. Edison begins the show as a war hero looked upon with respect by his entire crew and Starfleet as a whole who give him control of a ship for peacekeeping missions. As the series progresses he realises that the Xindi and Romulan wars have shaped him and he will forever be a soldier at heart slowly becoming a villain over the course of the show with him finally attempting to begin wars instead of encouraging peace. Star Trek has always dealt with political and social commentary since The Original Series and this new show could continue this by exploring post-traumatic stress disorder and the human cost of war. His relationship with his crew, effectively his new family, will change drastically over the course of the series with only officers Anderson Le and Jessica Wolff staying by his side. In Star Trek Beyond these two characters appear alongside Edison’s new persona Krall as Manas and Kalara who are also changed due to the energy transference.

Beyond only theorises how Edison got to Altamid with Scotty guessing it was the work of a wormhole but what if Edison was actively searching for the biological weapon near the show’s conclusion. He could be trying to create galactic war back then and after discovering clues purposefully searches for Altamid and the weapon ultimately using a wormhole to get there. After surviving a mutiny Edison could arrive at Altamid with the remainder of his loyal crew and sets about exploring the planet for the weapon only to discover he needs the key and finally becomes Krall in order to live long enough to see through his plan setting up the events of Star Trek Beyond.

Kirk calls Edison a hero in Star Trek Beyond and we could find out why in the show. There would be flashbacks to the Xindi war and also we would finally get to see parts of the much discussed Earth-Romulan war (also in flashback) which was originally going to play a part in the cancelled fourth season of Star Trek Enterprise. Speaking of Enterprise this new show would take place shortly after the events of that series meaning that Enterprise characters could cameo or maybe even appear as series regulars. This show could finally give closure to characters from Enterprise after that abysmal series finale which left fans more than a little disappointed and, well, outraged.

I don’t want to give you the idea that Edison starts off the show as a wholly good person though. As a soldier at heart he’s opposed to the Federation from the start but hopes that it will change its policies; his extremist views develop over the course of the show. Edison is a strong and respected leader but not necessarily a good captain.  While the series would be heavily serialised there would be the occasional anthology episode where Edison would have to deal with a dispute on some small backwater world. While Picard would be able to persuade people into peace through politics and awesome speeches, Edison acquires no such ability. His actions would lead to escalation and his past as a warrior and eventual growth into antagonist would shine through in these small episodic adventures.

Do you have any cool ideas for new Star Trek shows and what do you make of mine? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about Star Trek on Twitter @kylebrrtt.

 

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