But If It's True...

By Fred Shedian
Posted at March 4, 2001 - 11:02 PM GMT

As many of you are aware, on March 4th, TrekToday reported a rumor which claims to be a casting call sheet for the next Star Trek incarnation. Assuming for the moment that this report is legitimate, I will take some time today to discuss the general premise and three primary character outlines. In addition, I will be taking some time to discuss Voyager and Andromeda's recent developments.

First, allow me to apologize for my extended absence. Due to site upgrades here at the TrekNation and some offline issues, the column has been delayed until now. Hopefully I will be able to resume regular writing from now on.

Looking to Series V, allow me to first talk about the rumor itself. Given my experience in theatre and production, it is indeed possible this report is true. If the show was going to enter it's filming stages in May, a casting call would take place in mid/late March or early April. Given these reports, the timing does seem to match. This is indeed common knowledge amongst many who work in the field, so let us just assume that it is legitimate for the purposes of this editorial.

Reviewing the information itself, I must say I was simply blown away. I am sure many of you who have read my column for a long time could imagine that I was saying when reading this news report. The series itself would probably be set in the late 22nd Century. This would be after the Earth/Romulan War of 2160...which lead to the formation of the United Federation of Planets. In addition, it would probably take place before first contact with the Klingon Empire, which does not take place until around 2209. Mind you, this is going off of current information about the Trek Universe, but I do see some interesting possibilities here.

If this report is true, I believe it shows that Rich Berman and company have finally discovered a larger percentage of the Star Trek franchise fan-base has left. This would indeed be the people who no longer find a "hopeful future" in the constant war presented in DS9 or the Borgification of Voyager. Mind you, this is the fan-base that pressed NBC for a third season of Star Trek and helped show interest in getting the Star Trek movie franchise up.

Looking at the character descriptions, I found myself looking at a well thought out plan. To begin, Captain Archer seems like a mixture of the good qualities of Kirk and Picard...although the scale appears to be leaning towards Kirk. This character's setup shows a turn around in recent thinking, with Berman and company apparently believing viewers once again want to see a strong-willed CO in the center seat.

The First Officer mentioned in this report is also an interesting character. I find myself looking at the description and thinking about what I always wondered about Spock...what if he didn't have any human in him at all? T'Pau offers this trait, showing pure logic. This also leads me to a question...anyone recall seeing this name before?

Finally, the Chief Medical Officer description shows that comedy will still heavily exist in Sickbay. I can only imagine the interaction between T'Pau and Phlox...either that or I can turn on the TV to watch Spock vs McCoy. The establishment of these three characters really makes me wonder if this show is not trying to get back to the basics of Star Trek...exploration. Perhaps we won't have the wars anymore and the heavy reliance on special effects, but good story telling. I personally believe this is all people have wanted in the beginning, and if this show produces, it may indeed bridge the gap between the TOS/TNG generation and the DS9/VOY generation.

Changing gears, I must say I am very surprised at Voyager. The quality of writing has remained high during the last month, something I cannot recall happening before Season 7. "Workforce" was a story well written and thought out. The resolution for this adventure was not the fault of a single person, rather a group. This "lack of a hero" gave every character adequate screen time, something we very rarely see. Although some have complained, I found the arguments between Ensign Kim and the ECH hysterical. Due to the script, these heated discussions seemed quite plausible.

I must say, however, I am very disappointed at the sexist way Paramount is advertising "Human Error." Although I can understand the reasons behind it, one would think there would be another way to advertising a supposedly "quality" program beyond resorting to such low levels. Looking ahead, I see some promise for Voyager...including the item I have been waiting for since the show started, the full blown return of the character known as "Starfleet."

Finally, taking a look at Andromeda, I see nothing but a show which continues to get better. The story telling continues to be developing in a positive light. Although I still do think the Commonwealth should be established more as a viable entity in Hunt's modern time, the character development has been astounding. Recent episodes have not only shown us what can happen to those spare parts we toss in the trash, but even the relationship between Dylan's wife and his superior officer.

Andromeda's special effects continue to also improve...and we even saw an explosion this past week. Although I believe the musical score can sometimes get annoying, due to the excellent writing and acting, I can handle it. At this stage, I see nothing holding this show back if it remains on this course. Given another six/eight months, this show has serious potential to become more popular than Sorbo's previous show.

As with anything, I do love to hear from those reading. Please feel free to e-mail me at shedian@treknation.com with comments or suggestions for a future column. I do apologize to those who sent me correspondence before March 1st. If I did not respond to you, it was due to a fatal computer error which resulted in yet another crash. Which does prompt me to remind everyone...make sure you have a high quality surge protector for both your power line and phone line. Regretfully, the $2.99 items don't do the trick.

Until next time...

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Fred Shedian Produces the long running TrekNation column "A Take On Trek."