The new Star Trek animated series that will air on Nickelodeon has been confirmed to be moving forward and will center around a group of lawless teenagers. The landscape of the Star Trek franchise is bustling at present. On the big screen, Star Trek 4's status is very much up in the air, and there is supposedly a Quentin Tarantino-directed film also in the works. On television, Star Trek: Discovery is CBS' flagship show, propping up their All Access streaming service, and is currently in the early stages of developing its third season after a stunning season 2 finale. Two solo series are also planned to air on the same service, one catching up with Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard and another featuring Discovery's Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and her adventures in the clandestine Section 31.
Aside from live-action fare, the Star Trek franchise is also venturing once again into the world of animation. A Star Trek animated series starring the original series' characters was aired back in the 1970s and has since attained a certain level of cult status. In the present day, CBS are currently working on Star Trek: Lower Decks, an animated series aimed at an older audience from Rick and Morty's Mike McMahan. Back in February, it was also reported that another animated project was being developed for Nickelodeon.
Nickelodeon have now confirmed the series is moving ahead and revealed some initial story details. As one might expect, this project will be aimed at a younger audience and will tell the story of a group of lawless teenagers who discover an abandoned Starfleet vessel and claim it as their own, venturing out into all manner of intergalactic escapades. As previously suggested, the CG-animated series will be produced by sibling duo Kevin and Dan Hageman, as well as Discovery's Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Katie Krentz, Trevor Roth and Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator, Gene. The official synopsis reads:
"The new original CG-animated series follows a group of lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning and salvation."
Regarding the announcement, Kurtzman said:
"Star Trek‘s mission is to inspire generations of dreamers to build a brighter future. Dan and Kevin have crafted a story that honors its exploratory spirit in a way that’s never been done before, while the Nickelodeon team blew us away with their excitement at bringing Trek to a younger generation around the world."
No doubt this news will come as a bit of a head-scratcher to many Star Trek fans. While the franchise certainly has a generation-spanning appeal, it doesn't necessarily translate to a younger audience in the same way that Star Wars does and this could mean that the Nickelodeon series is forced to deviate considerably from the standard Trek hymn sheet. With that said, the names attached to the project do promise a certain amount of quality and consistency with the other current Star Trek material.
Another potential pitfall for this new series, and indeed the Star Trek franchise as a whole, is running the risk of overloading fans with too much content. With five separate TV shows currently in production (and potentially two big screen projects) there may come a point where viewers either feel like they're getting too much of a good thing or that keeping up with so many different stories is more effort than it's worth. However, this is arguably a by-product of CBS having their own streaming service and so Nickelodeon's animated Star Trek venture could have a healthier chance of success.
Nickelodeon's animated Star Trek series is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.