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While J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek films are divisive hot-button issues for many fans, they have still been pretty successful at the box office (Into Darkness pulled in half a billion dollars worldwide). But even the Trek fans who like Abrams’ take on the franchise can’t help but wish the series would find its way back to the TV landscape. After all, that’s where it was born, and where most of its finest hours unfolded. Bryan Fuller (pictured above with a fox, for some reason) may be boldly going where no gore has gone before with NBC’s Hannibal, but the former Trek writer also has an idea for a new series set in Roddenberry’s universe…if they’d only let him make it.
It wouldn’t be the first foray into Trek for Fuller. The creator of such beloved but short-lived shows as Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, and Dead Like Me began his career writing for Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Speaking to Crave Online, Fuller says:
So having spent four years on staff and another year of freelancing before that on Star Trek, it’s a very near and dear property to my heart, and also a philosophy. I would love to create a Star Trek show, so that’s on my dream docket.
Of course, the big question is, whenever Paramount decides to launch a new Trek series — and it’s inevitable that it will return to the small screen at some point — will it be playing in Roddenberry’s original sandbox, or in J.J. Abrams’ version of the universe? At this point it would almost certainly be the latter, given that Abrams’ Trek is the public face of the franchise at this point, especially for those who only came to Star Trek via the recent films. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As I’ve said before, I think there’s plenty of potential in the Trek tangent universe, potential which the movies haven’t really taken advantage of yet. A new Trek show could explore this fresh version of the beloved mythology while also telling the sort of smart, character-based, less action-oriented stories that the TV format excels at.
Fuller seems to agree. He continues:
I think there’s something very exciting about the new J.J. Abrams-verse, and there’s also kind of an interesting reinvention. How would The Next Generation evolve from that? Where would that be? Where would that go? But there’s also… Star Trek is such a big universe, and there are so many places to go with it. I have a very specific idea that I would love to do. We’ll see if I ever get the opportunity.
If Paramount is smart, they will hire somebody like Fuller — or even Fuller himself — when it comes time for Trek to return to the small screen. Somebody talented and passionate about the material, with a distinct vision of how to explore Roddenberry’s universe, and Trek will have the perfect foundation for success. Even better, if this new hypothetical Trek series were closer in tone and function to the classic Trek outings, you could have a win-win scenario. The longtime fans could enjoy something that’s closer to the Trek they grew up loving, while fans of the recent movies might check out a Trek series for the very first time.
At this point, Star Trek is in a transitional phase. J.J. Abrams has stepped away from the movies to go take over that other enormous space franchise, and we’re still waiting to hear who will take over as director for Star Trek 3. Whoever wins that job, Trek 3 has the potential to take the rebooted universe in a new direction, perhaps one that better balances the whiz-bang action against the more cerebral and philosophical stories the various series have often focused on. Fingers crossed, people.