CBS has found unexpected success in the past couple of years by releasing Star Trek spin-offs on their All Access streaming service. Discovery was their first big success, while the more niche Short Treks has offered a kind of Love, Death & Robots format for Star Trek fans. So far, they’re developing a Picard series with Patrick Stewart, a Philippa Georgiou series with Michelle Yeoh, an adult animated series about the forgotten low-level crew members from a Rick and Morty writer, and a children’s animated series for Nickelodeon.
10 The adventures of two alternative Kirks
As J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot showed us, it can be a lot of fun to include two alternative versions of the same character in the same narrative. We already know that Captain Kirk is the perfect lead protagonist, because he’s suave, charismatic, a commanding starship captain, and despite his arrogance, a hero at heart. So, to have two of him in the same show – not necessarily the versions played by William Shatner and Chris Pine – would be a delight. Their respective cockiness would lead to the butting of heads, with the older one being more cynical, yet wiser, and the younger one being brasher, yet stronger.
9 Starfleet Academy
A TV series set in the Starfleet Academy following a group of young cadets learning the skills that will equip them to boldly go where no one has gone before could succeed where Ender’s Game failed. A sci-fi version of the Harry Potter story – with students learning to beam people in and out of starships instead of casting spells while they make friends and fall in love – is a lucrative storytelling opportunity. The show could say as much about the adolescent experience, or the college experience, as something like Euphoria or Community, except it would be set in the Star Trek universe.
8 Sentient starships
There was an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that insinuated that starships were sentient, and ever since then, fans have been wondering if this is true or not. It would be great to see a spin-off series in which some engineers repairing or building a starship begin to notice signs of independent thought and communication with other starships.
Starfleet would surely launch a full investigation into this and cover up certain details, leading to a conspiracy thriller that could rival Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The character dynamic would be incredible, mixing low-level engineers and scientists who just want answers with top-level bureaucrats who can’t be trusted.
7 Deanna Troi
Star Trek boss Alex Kurtzman has compared his plans with the franchise to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: “Every time you go to a Marvel movie, you kind of know what you’re going to get. But one could be Ragnarok, and one could be Black Panther, and one could be Iron Man. And all of those have a very, very different feel, but the premium is always on the storytelling.” In the MCU, characters from larger ensembles are given their own solo movies or TV shows if their story is good enough. The story of Deanna Troi, the half-human, half-Betazoid daughter of an Ambassador, certainly is good enough. Her connection to people’s feelings could give us the most emotional Star Trek series yet.
6 The galactic barrier
The galactic barrier, the field of negative energy that surrounds the Milky Way Galaxy and can’t be seen by recording devices or the human eye, hasn’t really been explored in the Star Trek universe since The Original Series. This is partly because it’s such a ridiculous idea. But a spin-off series exploring the origins of the galactic barrier and attempts by Starfleet to eradicate it could go some way towards making it less ridiculed in the Star Trek fan base and more of an integral part of the franchise’s mythology. The series could begin with Earth’s first encounter with the barrier in 2065.
5 What ever happened to God
The great thing about Star Trek is that it begs grand philosophical questions. Science fiction tends to avoid religion, since the two conflict with one another. It is thought that if there are aliens, then religion must be wrong. But Star Trek’s creative team could see that it’s not as clear-cut as this, and decidedly to boldly combine sci-fi and religion in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
In that movie, the Enterprise crew comes face-to-face with “God.” However, God’s fate was left ambiguous, so it would be interesting to see a Prometheus-style spin-off in which a space-faring crew actually sets out to find God, rather than conveniently bumping into him, to both tie up that narrative’s loose end and further explore the dichotomy of science and religion.
4 The origin of the Borg
Apart from the fact that they’ve been around for hundreds of thousands of years, the origins and backstory of the Borg have never been canonically explained. Star Trek universe head honcho Alex Kurtzman has said of his intentions with the current and future spin-offs: “What we’re planning on is, I want to make sure that each show is a different and unique proposition. I think that Deep Space Nine and Voyager got into a tricky spot where people were starting to feel like, ‘I can’t tell the difference between the shows,’ even though they were very different.” The origin story of the Borg would certainly fit in with this mission statement.
3 Wesley Crusher
Ever since Star Trek: The Next Generation suggested that Wesley Crusher had become some kind of new Q, fans have been dying to see where that character went following the series. When Wil Wheaton was asked about a potential spin-off, he said, “I’m so grateful for why you’re asking this question and that Wesley was so important to you...But I think the time for exploring that character has come and gone.” But fans want it, so thankfully, Wheaton didn’t rule it out entirely: “I still love Star Trek so much, though, that if they were to reach out to me for anything else, I’d absolutely be interested in exploring that.”
2 The story of the Klingon Empire
Michael Dorn, the actor who played Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation, believes that a TV series about the tale of the Klingon Empire could be an interesting serialized saga to reflect today’s geopolitical climate: “This is, I think, perfectly timed and placed. You’re not stepping on anybody’s toes, and I always thought the Klingon Empire was a great empire to write about, because it’s Shakespearean. The Klingon Empire has had to evolve and change and they don’t like that and they’re fighting it every step of the way. They’ve had to introduce aliens into their society. Just like our world now is becoming a global world.”
1 Captain Pike and Spock
In season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery, a young Christopher Pike – now played by Anson Mount – was brought in to captain the titular starship, and now, fans are dying for him to get his own spin-off. There’s even a Change.org petition with over 28,000 signatures hoping to get CBS to make such a spin-off, pairing up Mount’s Pike with Ethan Peck’s Spock. In the year 2267, Pike is exposed to a delta ray radiation leak that leaves him paralyzed and unable to speak. His storylines in Discovery took place in 2257, so there are ten years’ worth of stories from this character’s life to tell.