29 January 2014

How Star Trek: Titan Could Be Made Today

So, never mind that Paramount has already rebooted Star Trek with two hit films by J.J. Abrams and a writing/producing team that might get tapped to bring Trek back to TV someday, presumably in the rebooted timeline.

Hard core Trek fans would much rather see more done with the previous casts and characters, such as DS9, TNG, and Enterprise. But the challenge is so many years have elapsed that the actors have aged significantly and the residual audiences are likely too small to sustain a new TV series based on the past series.

I have an idea that could conceivably address all these concerns.

First, I would choose to pick up the TNG storyline from the end of Star Trek Nemesis of Will Riker, leaving the Enteprise-E, now promoted to Captain of the starship Titan, with his wife Deanna Troi on his crew. Thus, the series title would be Star Trek Titan.  There already are Star Trek novels which pursued this storyline, which I must admit I have yet to read. So, there is already a basis for new characters and plotlines readily available for revision into episodic television.

Here's where my idea gets potentially interesting.

To win back all the hard core trek fans, Star Trek Titan would star the original TNG actors Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis. Both are still active in their respective careers. Of course, they have each physically aged beyond what their characters would have looked like during the Titan years. To account for this, I suggest the new show takes on two special formats:

1. Each episode opens and closes with The Rikers already in early retirement, perhaps on the planet Betazed or back on Earth on a ranch in Alaska, depicting them many years after the starship Titan adventures. They have young children (or perhaps just the neighbors kids regularly visiting), who pester The Rikers to tell stories of their adventures in outerspace. Reluctantly, The Rikers begin telling the kids about the time when...

2. Then the show transitions to a highly stylized, computer animated format, with the voices of Frakes and Sirtis giving life to age appropriate Will Riker and Deanna Troi characters on the Titan, with their mutli-species crew, encountering fantastic, and perhaps embellished stories of discovery, adventure, conflict, survival, and the like. Animation not only allows Riker and Troi to be depicted, but any of the TNG and DS9 (and oh alright VOY too) characters to make cameos, voiced by their original actors, without concern of their current day appearance.  As each episode's story wraps up, the animation transitions back to the live action depiction of The Rikers, finishing their story telling to the children.

Perhaps some of the original actors and their aged characters could even visit The Rikers.

Imagine the unusual and even psychedelic worlds the Titan would visit. And finally, a Star Trek series that was not dependent on the weekly parade of humanoid aliens.

The animation would also be how the series could garner a large youth audience who may not know about TNG, but would enjoy the Star Trek universe essentially as a cartoon, albeit a well produced, computer animated series.

And no time travel.  Please.

I think it could work.

Maybe on Netflix.

Or a web/YouTube thing.