With this summer’s Star Trek Into Darkness now available on home video, and director J.J. Abrams hopping the asteroid fields to take on Star Wars: Episode VII, there remains a bit of uncertainty for the future viewing pleasure of Trekkies. The 50th anniversary of the iconic Star Trek franchise approaches in 2016 and what better way to celebrate boldly going where no one has gone before than a three-quel to the film trilogy about young Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and crew beginning their adventures on the U.S.S. Enterprise?
A new television series, of course! And that’s exactly what could happen.
In a potentially wondrously joyous tweet for Star Trek fans, Sky News reporter Joe Michalczuk shared word that Bob Orci told him he’s met with CBS to talk about bringing Star Trek back to the small screen.
Bob Orci just told me they've had a meeting with CBS to revive @StarTrek on TV...This made me v excited— Joe Michalczuk (@joemichalczuk) October 8, 2013
With Orci taking meetings – or as we’re told, inquiring about the rights - that would suggest that a new Star Trek TV series – if greenlit – would be in the same timeline as the film franchise, when the Enterprise begins its 5-year mission. A series in the quasi-rebooted Trek universe (thank you, time travel paradox) would allow CBS to pull a Disney and have a television show based in the same cinematic universe as the films, a la Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD on ABC.
Then again, Orci is loyal to his brands, evidenced by his work on the Transformers Prime animated series which is not in the same universe as Michael Bay’s movies – which he and writing partner Alex Kurtzman left after two installments. Orci and Kurtzman are busy producers/writers, with Sleepy Hollow starting strong on Fox, Ender’s Game preparing for its theatrical release, and development beginning on a new Van Helsing and a Mummy reboot, not to mention work on the Amazing Spider-Man sequels.
Talk of a Star Trek TV series hasn’t settled since Enterprise concluded its final season in 2005, marking the first time in two decades where there wasn’t a Trek series on the air. The movies thankfully reinvigorated the brand in 2009, making it “cool” again, but talk of a TV show hasn’t far gone beyond The Next Generation/Deep Space 9 star Michael Dorn expressing desire to making a series centered around his character of Worf, a show that would take place in the “old” universe.
There were also attempts to create a new Star Trek show by Bryan Singer (X-Men) and Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) but as of late, word on the street is that any such project would need to get the J.J. Abrams go-ahead. Then came a report that claimed rights issues between Paramount (on the film side) and CBS (on the TV side) prevented such a show from developing and in turn, helped in Abrams’ decision to take on the Star Wars franchise, effectively ending his directorial responsibilities in the Trek series.
Update: To be clear, Star Trek is not currently in development for TV and this is a case where the potential is there and inquiries are being made about the rights.
Would the series follow the traditional formula of following a crew of new characters? Would it need to tie-in with the film franchise? Is the timing right for Star Trek on TV?
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Enterprise-D art by The Light Works.