A new Star Trek TV series will hit CBS in January of 2017! And you know Siskoid's Blog of Geekery will be along for the ride. After all, reviewing Star Trek is how this l'il blog began!
Now granted, the press release doesn't have a lot of details. You could even say it's more about selling CBS All Access than it is about Trek. But here's what we do know:
1) Alex Kurtzman will be executive producer. He was the Trek nerd in the team that brought us the new movies, which likely means the program will take place in that timeline.
2) The brand-new "Star Trek" will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966. And further:
3) The new television series is not related to the upcoming feature film "Star Trek Beyond", which is scheduled to be distributed by Paramount Pictures in summer 2016.
#2 allows me to think it takes place in the movieverse, and that would be why new characters are necessary, leaving the movie franchise intact. #3 could contradict that, however, depending on what they mean by "not related". Because the Marvel movies have totally created a template for this. Shows like Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter take place in the margins of the big budget superhero movies, referencing the movies from time to time and even allowing for guest-stars to cross over. Star Trek could do this too, just as DS9 and (bleh) Voyager were in TV Land while TNG was having its movies, with plenty of back and forth between ships and stations.
After all the effort to make the movie franchise evolve from the original timeline as opposed to a straight reboot (a mistake, in my opinion, but that ship has sailed), I don't think Kurtzman - surely the force behind the continuity consciousness - would now reboot the Trek universe for television. The movies come out only once every few years and just can't show us the breadth of the universe. And besides, we're in the age of synergy, and I expect the show to follow that trend.
In fact, that's what I'm most interested in seeing: Just how the way TV has evolved will change Star Trek. Long arcs as opposed to one-offs? Stylish and immediate camera work? Deeper character work? I felt that Enterprise was getting to that in its latter two seasons, just not fast enough. One of Voyager's great weaknesses was that it essentially copied TNG's antiquated style right to the end. It looked like a dinosaur by the time it reached the 2000s.
And that's all quite beyond what the show's status quo will be. From the slim information we have, it'll take place on an explorer-class ship. Clearly, that's what it must be, but it must also have a wrinkle the movie Enterprise's adventures don't have. (Insert your snark about the movies not respecting Roddenberry's vision here.) It won't be a NextGen thing, or a station, and it's too early to do a "lost in space" scenario, nor can we prequel this thing, so we can at least strike through the series of the past. My mind goes go some of the novelized spin-offs instead. They could go New Frontier and explore a sector really, really well. A "Stargazer" series would mean following a known hero/ship from TOS, updated to the new franchise; they could even use the Kelvin from the first film. Starfleet Corps of Engineers was a fun e-book series that showed a specialist crew; maybe some kind of explorer-scouts with a small crew. I don't know, I just want it to have a good hook.
But what I don't want is what the new franchise Star Trek comic book series has done, which is retell and remix elements of TOS. I was pretty disappointed in Into Darkness for that reason as well. I don't need to see this new crew face Trelaine or a giant space amoeba. Find your own stories!
But it's still a year out. Just talkin' out of my airlock here...