Star Trek - The United Federation of Planets
Necessary Updates for a New Star Trek TV Series
Star Trek needs a serious face-lift in order to be unique and daring from everything that has come before. I have a few suggestions for anyone in a position to consider taking another stab at this old franchise. In no particular order, I recommend:
- Have a small, rotating cast of regulars, but let most of the stories focus on unknown Federation members (most of whom would only be depicted for a single show). Because we (the audience) would know nothing about these individuals, it opens up all kinds of possibilities. With very few exceptions, none of the main cast members in the previous series (take your pick) were ever killed, and this ruined any sense of suspense. In this more flexible venue, characters could live or die, as the plot required. Making a limited group of "A" players practically invincible was always a weak and off-putting device --especially since the highest ranking officers were always the first to be put in harm's way.
- Another positive of this more fluid approach would be the elimination of the really boring soap opera framework that plagued all the previous Star Trek TV shows.
- Another change I'd like to see is close-to-zero stupid-looking aliens (preferably no stupid-looking ETs at all) -- and definitely no aliens that could morph into the human form -- that is such an over-used ploy in bad sci fi.
- While this is all a drastically different approach, the scripts would be more difficult to write (and more original), while forcing the screenwriters to actually use their brains for a change.
- Higher some of the top-notch sci fi scribes in the field to write a few scripts. Toss out all the cute (but false) interplay among a static cast of regulars, and the story possibilities widen tremendously.
- Star Trek always needed a more unnerving (scary) atmosphere, less predictability.
- Get rid of the warm/fuzzy approach. Allowing each episode to rise or fall on its merits would be more entertaining -- rather like "The Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits," but with a sprinkling of "stars" to keep things glued together and retain a sense of continuity and cohesion.
- Another request would be for the writers to dump the idea of having a starship be some kind of space faring luxury cruise, complete with red carpeting, families/children, restaurants, etc. A real starship should look more like the interior of a submarine. No holo-deck, and put some damn seat belts on everyone's chair. How many times have we seen the people on the bridge falling to the floor and rolling around like mannequins?
- And what gives with all the pyrotechnics -- sparks, smoke, steam (or gas) whenever a starship is hit by anything? How can a civilization that created transporter beams, tractor beams, and force fields not get their basic electronics shielded? Realism folks ... try it out.
- Lastly, no "whooshing sounds in space," no doppler effect, and the use of environmental suits IN EVERY CASE -- even if the atmosphere of a foreign planet has sufficient oxygen for the landing crew.
I'd enjoy watching a new Star Trek series but only if most of the above suggestions were incorporated; otherwise, we'd all be subject to science as it was known in the 1950's. This terrible time lag made so much of the science in each Star Trek series groan-worthy. Bringing the science up to date shouldn't bust their budget. But, more importantly the franchise has to break out of its formula of making one show nearly indistinguishable from the next. In short, it desperately needs to take some risks and chances to capture today's audience.