Wednesday, September 27, 2017


I posted my first impressions of the new 'Star Trek' series, 'Star Trek: Discovery', to Facebook right after the debut episode ended:

1) I saw no reason to follow to the CBS platform. 
2) Klingons looked more like the Black Lectroids. 
3) The series occupies an alternate TV dimension.

The next morning, I added a few more comments:

 As per the examples I posted, it all came down to the recastaway problem. James Frain as Sarek and Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd look nothing like Mark Lenard (a TVXOHOF member) and Roger C. Carmel respectively. And the Klingons magnified that situation. 

Why did the PTB feel the need to tie the new series in that closely to its own history? I'm sure the fan base would have accepted its legitimacy with all new characters. And setting it that far back into its own history seriously constricts story possibilities. There will be Zonks aplenty. There lready are discrepancies because of the Klingon physical appearance and because of the Klepian science officer Saru. Why did we never see his species in the future? (The same question I had about Dr. Phlox in 'Enterprise'.)

'Star Trek' was one of the first TV series to use the alternate dimension concept, so I don't see this as a loss for the main Toobworld. I imagine most of these characters did exist in Earth Prime-Time, but conforming to what was previously established by the original series and the other spin-offs. (Especially the Klingons!) I also don't see it as being part of the Nu-Trek Universe of JJ Abrams. (Again, the recasting of Sarek.)

Had they set this farther in the Future, beyond 'TNG' and 'DS9', with the proper alterations to the script, I think I would have accepted it into the mosaic of Toobworld.  And that would include the alterations to the look of the Klingons.  There were already too many splainins as to why their appearances changed three times in the original timeline.  Going back to add one more seems like one too many; when it was a topic of discussion, somebody should have brought it up.  But going forward, it might be more believable to have it happen yet again, as a result of some genetic anomaly perhaps.

I think my main problem with the new series is the format and I've felt the same way since 'Voyager'.  It's old; it's tired.  Despite all of the new bells and whistles, they will still focus on the main bridge crew of about nine characters, mostly button-holed into the same staffing positions. At least there were some variations in 'Deep Space Nine'.

What they need to do is explore other facets of the 'Star Trek' universe.  And I had an idea along those lines for years; I offered it up freely in the past and do so again.

I would create a 'Star Trek' series which focused on a different aspect of Starfleet - Section 31.

Section 31 was the name of an officially-nonexistent and autonomous clandestine organization which claimed to protect the security interests of United Earth and, later, the United Federation of Planets. Loosely speaking, it was Starfleet's black-ops division, operating separately from and usually without the knowledge of Starfleet Intelligence (though it often recruited members of Starfleet Intelligence). Section 31 was also somewhat comparable to the Romulan Tal Shiar or Cardassian Obsidian Order – unlike these other organizations, however, Section 31's very existence was a deeply buried secret, known only to a handful of people beyond its own membership. (DS9: "Inquisition")

Perhaps Section 31's darkest aspect was that, while it had existed since the beginning of Starfleet, it was practically autonomous, having operated for over two centuries with no oversight or accountability whatsoever, even free to kill those it deemed a threat to Federation interests at its own discretion. (DS9: "When It Rains...") Some high-ranking Starfleet admirals and intelligence personnel at times seemed to be vaguely aware that Section 31 existed, though giving them only very broad objectives. (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges") At other times, Section 31 appeared to be an outright puppet master to Starfleet, directing the actions and even overall political policies of the Federation itself. (DS9: "Extreme Measures")

The series could have wide-ranging plot-lines, going anywhere and everywhere in the galaxy.  The cast could have comprised of two Section 31 agents - a true Mulder/Scully dynamic of a male and a female.  He would be a Bajoran, plagued by the tell-tale nose deviation when it came to undercover assignments but a bit of a hot-shot show-off, and she would be a shape-shifter - either a Founder from the Dominion or a human who had that type of ability in her genetic history.  (We've seen them before in "Small Potatoes" ['The X-Files'] and "The Four Of Us Are Dying" ['The Twilight Zone'].)  Their boss should be a 'Nero Wolfe' type who can't leave its office.  And from 'Star Trek' lore, I think we can find the species it's from - a Medusan, who has to live in a box unseen by others because it was so ugly to humans.

A few other agents or just office personnel to round out the cast.  A recurring master villain any species.  A malfunctioning space vehicle.  It'll write itself.

Sure it's full of cliches, but it's still not the same ol' 'Star Trek'.  More of a combination of 'Doctor Who' and 'The Office' with a touch of 'Moonlighting'.

And it would have been more fun than 'Discovery'.....


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