Now that Star Trek: Voyager is wrapping up its sixth season, speculations are at a fever pitch over what direction the Trek franchise will take. If Paramount sticks to tradition, Voyager will end with Season Seven, and for the first time in many years television will be without a Federation presence.
Hard-core fans are lobbying for a series starring George Takei (who played Mr. Sulu in the original series, and who we last saw as the captain of the U.S.S. Excelsior in one of the Trek movies). For good or bad, only a few people showed up for a planned demonstration at Paramount in support of the Excelsior concept. Rumor has it that the top brass is leaning toward a series set even earlier than the days of classic Trek, when the infant Federation was first taking shape.
But who really knows which direction Star Trek will go? Probably even Paramount has no idea at this point. In my opinion, they’ve mishandled the last two Star Trek TV series. Deep Space Nine had a disappointing ending, and Voyager has been plagued with weak story-telling and little focus as a series.
Here’s my two cents’ worth: If we’re going to visit the early days of the Federation, why not go back to the Real Beginning? Pick some strapping young actor to play the newly-graduated Ensign James T. Kirk!
We’d see everything from a fresh perspective: the Klingons, the Vulcans, the Romulans. Over seven seasons we’d see just how young Kirk first met the young Spock, Bones and Scotty. We’d see the ill-fated love affair which ended with a son Kirk never knew he had (until years later). There’s so much background that’s been hinted-at over the years there’d be no end of storylines. By the time the Season Seven finale rolled around, we’d see the newly-promoted Captain Kirk step aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise to take command!
Sure, it’s a bold idea, and one that might stir up some controversy, but haven’t we had enough of the timid, same-old-same-old we’ve been getting from Star Trek lately?