As long as I am obsessing on Star Trek (“When are you ever not obsessing on Star Trek, Mark?”), I might as well bring up the new series, which is scheduled to premiere in just six months. As I write this, little is known about the new series, not even the era in which it is set. (For the non-Trekkers, Star Trek comes with three different eras: the 22nd century, 23rd century, and 24th century.) Now seems like a good time, before CBS gives out any information about the nature of the new series, to lay out my idea for what the new series should be.
I hasten to point out that I am not making a prediction. I have no idea what the actual new series is going to be. I just want to lay out my own idea—what I would do if, for some crazy reason, CBS handed the project over to me and told me I could do whatever I wanted. Here it is:
The 2009 Star Trek film established that a supernova in the 24th century destroyed the Romulan home world. My series would use that as its point of departure. Set in a post-Voyager 24th century, it would examine the consequences of the destruction of Romulus. I envision the Romulan Empire collapsing into chaos, creating both a military and humanitarian crisis. The rump Imperial government, now all but ineffective, requests assistance from the Federation. The series would be about Starfleet moving into the Empire to deal with the aftermath of the collapse.
The Romulans have always been depicted as xenophobic and unwilling to permit alien ships anywhere near their space. So I imagine Romulan space is not well mapped by Starfleet. There would be strange surprises. I imagine there would be Romulan fleet admirals who still command their own fleets. These admirals might set themselves up as warlord-rulers of sectors of Romulan space. Some would be loyal to the central government and welcome Starfleet assistance, others not so much. There would be political intrigue among these warlords. There would be planets inhabited by races not known to the Federation who were involuntary subjects of the Empire. Some of them may want to join the Federation. Some might be hostile both to the central government and to the Federation. Some might just want to be left alone. Some might be out for revenge.
And there could be the usual Star Trek-style strange phenomena, spatial anomalies, wormholes, life forms that live in deep space—again, perhaps already known to the Romulans, perhaps not, but certainly not known to Starfleet. And there could be my favorite idea: mad Romulan scientists working on isolated research stations who have discovered amazing new technologies but now no longer are supported (or controlled by) the Romulan government. Perhaps the warlords would fight over them. Perhaps one of these scientists might become the most powerful warlord….
The series would trace the adventures of one or more Starfleet crews as they do disaster relief in the Romulan Empire and deal with challenges like these. A series based on this premise could go on for years, and could include the “strange new worlds” aspect of Star Trek, along with a liberal dose of the Deep Space Nine-style political and diplomatic intrigue.
That’s a Star Trek series I could get excited about. Whether I can get excited about the forthcoming series…well, time will tell.