By now, some of you may have heard that a new Star Trek series is set to premiere on CBS in January 2017. Admittedly, this news didn’t make me quite as nervous as the announcement of the 2009 film since the Star Trek franchise has seen a number of good follow up series since the cancellation of the classic 1960s show. To be fair, I was too young to realize whether there was any backlash after the announcement of the first subsequent series, The Next Generation, but that show was very popular in its time and has gone on to become one of the best things about Star Trek. With that in mind, we should still take this news with a grain of salt, but the show could potentially be a lot of fun. Let’s go over what we know so far.
Alex Kurtzman. Yes, Kurtzman will be the executive producer of the new Star Trek series. As a fan of some of the franchises Kurtzman has worked on, I can say that I have very mixed feelings about this. One need only look at Michael Bay‘s Transformers series of films. Kurtzman was behind the stories of the first and second installments; the latter of which is widely considered to be a pretty bad film. However, to his credit he did pen the screenplay for the first Transformers, which in my opinion has the best screenplay of the bunch. That’s still not saying much though. Aside from Kurtzman’s more “high profile” work, he has written for television shows such as Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess, which are both fairly good. Then there’s his work with Star Trek. Despite my initial reactions to the new series of films, I think they turned out pretty well. Star Trek (2009) was a good flick, if somewhat removed from the original 1960s series, while its sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness was a little overblown and derivative, with a stand out performance by Benedict Cumberbatch. Not a bad film at all, I just felt like I had seen it before (hmm…I wonder where?). The point is Kurtzman’s work is inconsistent and only time will tell how this new Star Trek series will play out; that is, if you are able to watch it.
From what we know so far, Star Trek will premiere on CBS in The States with a special episode before it is placed exclusively behind the $5.99 USD-a-month gate that is CBS All Access. Okay…why? I’ll tell you why. Money. CBS knows that it simply cannot compete with services such as Netflix, which is really coming into its own with superb original programming and a ton more films and television shows than CBS All Access can offer. In order to get more subscriptions, CBS is taking one of the most beloved franchises of all time and almost quite literally prostituting it. Again, time will tell if this is a mistake or not, but I am willing to bet that it will be (and I am a betting man). How many people can honestly say that they would pay an extra six bucks a month just to watch one show, when monthly cable bills are already ludicrously high? I don’t think I am in the minority when I say not many.
Now, CBS All Access does not require viewers to have cable per se, but in order to stream the service, you would still need an internet connection. And how do we get that exactly? You guessed it, the cable company. Not to mention, if one were to cancel their cable entirely in exchange for CBS All Access, one would be forced to watch CBS-only programming. I always say that if it walks like a trap and quacks like a trap, then it’s probably a trap… actually, that’s the first time I have said that.
There is yet a glimmer of hope for this series, however. An official press release reads: “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.” It goes on to explain that the new series is in no way connected to the new Star Trek series of films. Hmm. It will be interesting to see what sorts of themes the show deals with, and the way in which it might (might) reflect the changes in society since the 1960s. It’s always fun to watch a new captain anyway, even if it isn’t Kirk or Picard (my personal favorites). I am also anxiously awaiting the reveal of the ship. Will it be an Enterprise? How different will this show be from previous installments in the series and when will it take place in relation to them? We can only speculate at the moment, so let’s get to that shall we?
As of the present, we haven’t yet learned of the methods in which our friends outside of the States might watch Star Trek, but I find it hard to believe that it will be a U.S.-exclusive show. That just seems like CBS shooting themselves in the foot, and they wouldn’t do that, right?
How do you feel about another Star Trek series? Are you willing to pay the price to boldly go? Let us know what you think in the comments section and on our Twitter page!