2016 marks the 50th anniversary of one of science fiction’s biggest franchises: Star Trek. To celebrate the anniversary the third film in the new timeline, Star Trek Beyond, will be released and looks just as much as an action film as Into Darkness was. Paramount wants to aim the film at the same big market who flock to watch the latest superhero movie and removing the intelligent sci-fi themes is how they do that and at a base level I enjoy those films. But what I’m really looking forward to is the new CBS Star Trek TV series premiering in early 2017. It could be the antidote to the big budget explosions of the latest films by focusing on character and exploration. As of now we know very little of the new show including time period, characters or who the writers will be. Alex Kurtzman will be producing the show but who will make up that prestigious team of writers of Star Trek? Here are my picks for my dream writing team for the new show.
Ronald D Moore
To lead the team I’ve gone for Ronald D Moore, a veteran of Trek. He was a writer for The Next Generation back in the day, brought on for the third season and in the following years he became the go to guy for rich character and action filled episodes like Redemption. He became “the Klingon guy” and wrote most of the episodes focusing on the species and created a lot of the Klingon mythology we know today. He wrote 14 episodes of Deep Space Nine and the first two Next Gen movies before moving on to projects like Battlestar Galactica, the unmade (although maybe not for long) Star Wars Underworld TV series and Outlander. He has shown he can take old franchises and reinvigorate them by taking them in new and interesting directions while still keeping the essence of the original very much alive making him the perfect guy to lead the new Star Trek writers team.
UK readers will probably know Brooker as a very funny comedian who picks apart the news and world events in the most sardonic ways possible. His other claim to fame is creating and writing the hit anthology show Black Mirror which takes a look at modern society and gives back, as the name suggests, a dark reflection of it. Star Trek has always dealt with social commentary and the new show should be no exception with Brooker’s wit and experience making him the right person to tackle that aspect of the show.
That’s right I’m picking one of the people responsible for Into Darkness. No matter what his critics say he is an amazing writer, capable of writing shows which can manage a large cast of characters with all of them getting moments to shine like the televisual landmark Lost. The second season of The Leftovers was a masterpiece and Lindelof was a large reason why; he explored sci-fi and fantasy ideas in a grounded, contemporary and unique way and I would love to see him have another crack at Star Trek, this time on television.
Alex Garland was known first as a successful author, writing the books The Beach, The Tesseract and The Coma before becoming a screenwriter and finally a director. Ex Machina, which he wrote and directed, was one of the best films of last year and featuring the well trodden idea of artificial intelligence in a new light. Character motivations were murky and the themes felt both real and classic science-fiction at the same time; just imagine if he could do the same within the confines of 43 minute episodes of Star Trek. His screenwriting resume also features cult classics like Danny Boyle’s incredibly under-rated Sunshine (which features an interesting and diverse crew on a spaceship) and the currently sequel-less Dredd.
As well as being a big Star Trek fan I’m also a massive Star Wars fan. I try to keep up to date with all the latest books in the new Star Wars canon and so I picked up the YA book Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray. I had not heard of Gray or any of her previous books but after reading Lost Stars I’m incredibly interested in what she does next (which happens to be another Star Wars book). Reading Lost Stars felt like I was watching a new Star Wars movie for the first time with a fresh twist on charcters and events I thought I knew. It’s pure Star Wars and if she could bring the same amount of passion and understanding of the Star Trek universe to the new show then it would be amazing. Of course I don’t know if she does know Star Trek or can write for television but this is a dream writers list and after reading Lost Stars I can’t not put her on it. Gray also manages to make the bad guys relatable in Lost Stars and she could bring that over to Star Trek which has had problems in the past with unsympathetic villains.
Dave Finoli is currently the executive producer of Star Wars Rebels, a show which is intrinsically linked to other Star Wars properties but manages to have its own unique flavour and above all else a sense of fun. You can throw in as much social commentary and as many sci-fi ideas into Star Trek as you want but it still needs to be fun. Finoli is a person who understands that with Rebels and can bring it to Star Trek. Part of what makes Rebels, and Clone Wars before it, so good is the interactions between the characters which is also one of the strengths of past Trek (the Kirk/Spock/McCoy Trinity) and should be one of its defining factors in the new show.
Who do you want to see write an episode for the new Star Trek show? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about Star Trek on Twitter @kylebrrtt. Like, Subscribe and why not have a look at all the awesome stuff on the site like the many podcasts and blogs. I’m on holiday next week so come back in a fortnight for some more First Time Writing.