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Saturday, July 23, 2011


Steve Cole writes:

You already know of my plans for a new series called Star Trek: Prime Directive, to be followed at three-year intervals by Star Trek: Klingons, and then Star Trek: Evil Empire. Each show will run for six or seven years, so there will always be two on the air, and sometimes three. Here are some further ideas that we've been kicking around.

1. After the second year, we'll replace one character on each series, and then replace another one every year. (This worked for Law & Order, and it keeps the show fresh.)

2. There will be no more holodecks. They won't even be mentioned.

3. Just for fun, we might do a few two-hour movie-of-the-week shows also based on Star Trek, but different from the current series. These might be a good way to preview and test drive each new series, or idea for a new series. When we sell the series into syndication, we can go back and turn the movies into two-part episodes and bundle them into the package. Hey, while we're going to the trouble to build sets and hire actors for the two-hour movies, we might use them in a couple of episodes of the current series.

4. Whenever we have two series on the air, I want to do a crossover show at least once a year, and perhaps even extend the crossover into a two-hour movie-of-the-week.

5. One of the series will have an annoying ensign. Every episode, he'll die horribly (transporter accident, Klingon sword, blown out the airlock, whatever) and then on the next episode he will just show up with no explanation.

6. I want to have some recurring characters, like a Klingon warlord (or a Romulan senator) who shows up several times a year, and maybe somebody named Flagg from the GIA.

7. I definitely want to have Detective Munch show up at least once in each series. (This is a character played by Richard Belzer. He's always depressed, and always thinks there is a big conspiracy at work somewhere. He's played the same character in eight different series, including: Homocide, X-Files, Law & Order, Trial by Jury, Arrested Development, The Beat, The Wire, and Special Victims.)

8. I'd like to have real world politicians, news reporters, and others play themselves as guest stars. Of course, there would be no explanation of why they're now in the 24th century (or whatever century trekkers think they're in).

9. I'd like to have characters from the other Trek series show up (as their original character, or a descendant or ancestor) as guest stars or recurring characters. I definitely want Jeri Ryan to stop by, and often.

10. We might have the guys from Sliders show up one episode, as they slide through.

11. One episode we could visit a pawn shop run by Rick, Chumlee, Big Hoss, and the Old Man. Then we could visit a gun store run by those guys from Baton Rouge.

12. We'll design the ship before the series begins and not allow writers to invent new decks as one-time plot devices. For that matter, every episode will have to have consistency with a knowledgebase document I create before we start filming the first episode of the first series. No more inventing a new weapon or technology that solves a plot problem and then ignoring it in future episodes.

13. I'm going to go to Star Trek conventions, pick 50 random fans, bring them into a secret room, and tell them the plot of upcoming arcs. If they hate the ideas, we're going to drop the ideas like a hot potato. No more launching a dumb story arc and being stuck with it for weeks.

14. No more "captain and entire bridge crew goes to the planet, leaving the second string officers to run the ship in a desperate battle for survival."

15. We could have a fan appear as a Red Shirt in every episode (and not kill them).

16. No more boring philosophical soliloquies by the captain.

17. I'd love to bring in actors and characters from other good series. I want to visit a base hospital run by Richard from Gray's Anatomy. I want to encounter a tramp freighter run by the crew of Firefly. We can have a court-martial with a lawyer from (oh, pick a lawyer show, I don't care which one). I want Annie Frost and Mary Sheppard to drop by as Federation marshals. I want Sig Hansen (from Deadliest Catch) to be the captain of a freighter. (I want the entire crew of the Time Bandit to show up as pirates.) I want Horatio Caine to show up as the captain of a police cutter.

18. We absolutely, definitely, positively, MUST have an episode about zombies, or even better a three-episode story arc and a movie-of-the-week.

19. I want the military characters to act like military people, not like Hollywood stereotypes of military people. Hollywood has no clue how military people act and think.

20. There will never, ever be an episode that opens with a desperate battle and then says "Three days earlier."