Saturday, February 25, 2017

Thoughts for the New Star Trek

There is a new Star Trek series debuting this year. The other day, I was thinking about what I would do, if I was in charge of this series. I like having plans and outlines, so I think I would do something like this. Pretend there are only 12 episodes this season.

4-6 episodes of character development. The series is just starting out; we need to introduce the new characters to the audience.
3-4 "idea" episodes. Star Trek sometimes does episodes, based on a really neat idea. The focus is more on the idea than on characters or plot or whatnot. Those episodes are good, but you don't want an overload of them.
3-4 social commentary episodes. It's pretty standard for Trek to take a hot button current issue and work it into an episode. Sometimes it works well, and other times, it comes across as horribly dated political commentary. It is expected that the new series will continue this trend.
4-6 world building episodes. It's a new series, and presumably, we'll need to be introduced to the new world and its rules. Obviously, this depends on how much the series is going to rely on continuity and overarching storylines. The counterpoint to this would be...
4-6 one-off episodes. The original series was 90% one-off episodes, where our heroes meet the alien of the week or the hot babe of the week. I would play it safe, by having the same amount of one-off episodes and storyline episodes, but it obviously depends on what direction they want to take the series.
2-3 comedy episodes. I like comedy episodes.
1-2 continuity episodes. It's expected that they'll do something, which directly ties to a different Star Trek series. Like, an episode about Klingons or whatever. I'd like this to be limited, because it's too easy to just copy things from other series and call it a day.

Those are just general numbers of how I'd divvy up episodes. I'm presuming each episode will have a main plot and a subplot. You could easily do an episode that touches multiple categories, like a social commentary episode which develops the captain's character a good deal.

From a practical standpoint, I'd probably take half the scripts and say, "Pretend our budget for this episode got cut in half. Rewrite it accordingly." I'm told that's the main problem with Star Trek TV shows; they're super expensive. CGI special effects are probably a lot cheaper today than they were in the 80's and 90's, though.

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