Saturday, May 21, 2005

NEXT "TREK": AN EXPANDED PROPOSAL

"Words Say Nothing" (I love that screen name!) made some excellent comments and I wanted to make sure they got the widest possible exposure. That's why I'm responding with a sequel rather than a follow-up buried in the comments section.....

I do have to wonder about the wisdom of describing the premise for a new show as "[already existing TV show] to the Stars". I think I just desire the future of Star Trek to not be so simplistic. Then again, the morons working as network execs probably won't sign off on a show that can't be summed up in one sentence or phrase, so perhaps my standards are too high here.

Which is exactly why I did it; it's probably the same reason Roddenberry used the 'Wagon Train' analogy. You only get so much time for the pitch when dealing with the suits, so you have to make the high concept work in as encapsulated a form as possible.

My idea for the duo is for a human male and a full Betazoid female.

I... LOVE it! An Orion, with that emerald epidermal layer, would stand out too much for espionage work. A Betazoid could work under any number of aliases without raising suspicions or notice of any kind due to her physical appearance. And her psionic abilities would gain her the same access as that of the Orion's pheromones - and with less lingering notice.....

I still like the idea of expanding the role and information of the Orion women in this series, as the original series did for Vulcans, 'The Next Generation' did for Klingons, 'Enterprise' with Andorians, and 'Deep Space Nine' for Bajorans, Ferengis, the Founders, Cardassians etc.

Okay.... and 'Voyager' for the Talaxians. ::sigh::

So, in order to give an occasional spotlight to the Orion women, I'd suggest a recurring character. Someone who is a bit of a rogue, in keeping with their piratical culture, but who's not altogether a bad guy. She'd be someone who has a past history, perhaps a romantic one, with the male half of the team, but who's not above betraying him to get what she wants. (And he's not hesitant about handing her over to the authorities whenever it's called for.)

Two characters in Toobworld who could serve as prototypes: Jade from 'Jonny Quest', and Honey Potts from 'Spy Game'.

I wouldn't want to overdue her exposure; just a handful or less of episodes every season.

I've also given some thought to that human male partner. He should be a master of disguise, but the laying on of the old latex is a bit of old hat. Too much of Artemus Gordon or Rollin Hand. There ought to be a more S-F twist behind his disguises.

And this being a Toobworld blog dedicated to the interconnections of all things TV, I have an idea.

He should be descended from Eddie Van Blundht of "Small Potatoes", an episode of 'The X-Files'. (And boy howdy! We know he did have descendants!) Through the manipulation of his musculature, Van Blundht (The "H" was silent!) was able to change his appearance to resemble anybody else - even Luke Skywalker! - in a pathetic attempt to have sex with women.

We met another member of his family in "The Four Of Us Are Dying", an episode of 'The Twilight Zone", but he came to a bad end, worse than that of Eddie Van Blundht.

And it wouldn't have to be a skill that was overused. In fact, he might have only limited control over the mutated "talent" after all of the dilution through the many generations since Eddie's time. Obviously he wouldn't be a shape-shifter like Odo or the other Founders. But he could handle the simple facial transfigurations so that he could pass for an inhabitant from another member world in the Federation.

A slight crinkle to the nose to pass for Bajoran; pointed ears, peaked eyebrows, and a green tint to the skin for Vulcan, as well as a bit of supraorbital ridge to suggest Romulan when needed; and maybe even the recessed basin in the forehead to make him appear like a Cardassian spoon-head. Whatever a particular moment in his spy work.

And we wouldn't have to see it; just know that it's there: He should also have inherited the legendary Van Blundht family tail, hidden away under the seat of his pants!

My big problem with your premise is the possible involvement of the Temporal Cold War. (Although the Master as Future Guy is hilarious.) I thought most Trek/Enterprise fans were in agreement that the worst part of the show was the involvement of the TCW story arc.

Well, I'd just like to see the whole thing wrapped up with some finality and get it out of the way. A season-ending episode perhaps and then finish it off for good with the first episode of the following Fall.

And as you can guess, I just can't take my mind off the idea that "Future Guy" was a Gallifreyan Time Lord!

So our duo can't really take their marching orders from DTI.

Again, we agree. I want them to work for Section 31. But occasionally they'd have to work with other departments in the Federation bureaucracy. Once in a while (not often, I agree again) with the DTI (Isn't that a computer training school?) if only to hinder that department's investigation into something they would rather have covered up.

I've been thinking about other recurring characters, people back at their base of operations for Section 31 who could give them tech support or other means of assistance. Not that I'd want to see this show devolve into either just being 'Alias' or 'The X-Files' in outer space, but they should have an alien version of both Marshall and/or the Lone Gunmen.

And this way we could see certain aliens again on a regular basis - a Vulcan, perhaps, for analysis; a Denulobian paper-pusher (an alien Miss Moneypenny?); a Ferengi snitch; and a Bolian for a touch of color (LOL!). Perhaps even that one-shot character from 'Drumhead', a 'TNG' episode - Simon Tarses, whose grandfather was a Romulan.

And I just flashed on this idea for their boss, the intergalactic version of Alexander Waverly - a Medusan! That way, he can never leave his box, let alone the inner sanctum of his office!

But you'd need humans as well, of course, as I think Section 31 was dedicated to Earth first, the Federation second. And there should be some higher-up always on their case much like Eric Pierpoint's character was with Malcolm; or even a real pain in the ass like Luther Sloane, as played by William Sadler in 'DS9'.

There are plenty of stories already established, not just the Temporal Cold War, which they could investigate. Those nasty little worms that get into your skull; tampering with the Guardian at the Gate of Forever; Romulan encroachment into Federation territories (with Denise Crosby returning now and again as Sela).

Anyway...... there's my expansion on the idea.

You must really be getting to love my comments by now...;)

Oh, but I am! If it weren't for you and Hugh, a few of the Iddiots from the Idiot's Delight Digest, and an occasional stray from Lee Goldberg's site, I'd think I was shouting into the wilderness here!

I hope to hear from not only you, but a lot more folks about my television ramblings here.

BCnU!
Tele-Toby

2 comments:

WordsSayNothing said...

The Orion woman should definitely be a nemesis for the team, and of course create a love triangle. I wonder, though, who would she work for? The Orion Syndicate would be an obvious choice, but I suppose she could also be hired by the Tal Shiar.

The male lead as a Van Blundht descendant is a funny idea. I personally like it, though I wonder if that might turn off viewers. Also I wonder if he might be criticized as an Odo ripoff. Additionally, while I think he should inherit the tail, I think the tail should have been removed when he was young (perhaps with a scar, though I imagine in the 24th century, scars can be reduced or eliminated completely), but still be a 'sore spot' (both figuratively and literally) for him. Having the tail still be present would probably take away from the sex appeal and dramatic seriousness of the character; I'd rather not have him become the comic relief.

You say you want the TCW resolved once and for all. I agree with doing that. The problem is, I don't think something like a time war can reasonably be resolved in a manner that will satisfy most and still not confuse everyone. (This is why I'm not looking forward to seeing more details about the war that wiped out most of the Time Lords and the Daleks, even if the new Doctor Who is damned cool.) So I think the better route is just to leave behind the TCW forever.

I agree that our duo needs a support staff. I adored the Lone Gunmen, and relished the 13 episodes of their short-lived series. I also loved the character of Q (Bond, not Star Trek). Tech guys just seem really cool. So yeah, the duo needs tech support. Perhaps an Andorian, or maybe an eccentric Bolian (hey, I love the blue skin too). A Medusan boss would be funny, but I don't know if the humor would last. I imagine it turning out like Drew Carey's boss from the first season of his show, before Mr. Wick showed up. So perhaps another boss is in order, someone old and bald (because all the best bosses are old and bald).

As for using already-existing cases, that could work some of the time, but they shouldn't be used as a crutch for writing good original stories. But I'm sure you already know that.

Keep working on ideas. When I can, I'll respond, and make your ideas better. :-P

Toby said...

"make your ideas better. :-P "

LOL! Sounds like an ad slogan for some kind of Philip K. Dick memory corporation!

As always, thanks for writing. And your ideas were really good. We get a roomful of like-minded folks such as us and we just might be able to crank out a great new show!

Yeah... like that would ever happen!

But they can't stop us from dreaming!