Why Star Trek 11 should be a TV show and not a movie

Normally I don’t post things like this on my site, but I feel I must sound off about this. For about the past year Paramount Pictures has been trying to get an eleventh Star Trek movie off the ground. Heading things this time will be JJ Abrahms, who brought us Felicity, Lost, and directed Mission Impossible 3.

The gimmick is it’s a “Star Trek Academy” sort of idea, a “Kirk Begins” if you will. Now that’s all fine and dandy, but I can see several problems with this idea. Sure, I’m not limo-crusing executive, but it doesn’t take a brain scientist to see…

1) All of the rumored actors are as old as the original cast, yet they are supposed to be younger.

Call me a geek but I have a resonable idea of how old Shatner was in 1966. More than reasonable, exact, he was 36. Assuming “Star Trek 11” shoots this year, Matt Damon is this same age. Sure we consider him younger since he’s a newer actor, but didn’t anyone pass first grade math? I can buy 30 year old high schoolers a la “Grease” but this is stretching it.

I saw Gart Sinise rumored as “Bones” McCoy, that could work except for, of course, he’s actually OLDER than DeForest Kelly was in 66. Again, are they making Star Trek Academy or Star Trek The Midlife Crisis Years?

2) It’s an odd-numbered Star Trek movie.

However maybe this isn’t a problem because “Nemesis” was even and I thought that was probably the worst Trek of all. Yes, even worse than 5. So maybe the curse has been lifted, and now they’ll just all suck.

3) A 2-hour movie is not long enough to care about new characters and actors.

Well it can be, but not with an ensemble cast. One of the main reasons a movie uses an actor is so the audience can use pre-built emotions about them. IE, don’t bother writing a wisened old man, just throw in Morgan Freeman. Want a young buck renegade, throw in 1992-era Tom Cruise.

Now on a show like “Lost”, we care about the characters even though it’s filled with nobodies. (OK, it has a Hobbit and the mayor of Tombstone) This is because the show is long enough that we establish a connection with them and have the time to see ourselves in the same position. The writing props up the story and characters, not a big name actor like Matt Damon. (Surely the next Tom Hanks)

4) There aren’t any name actors in their early 20’s you could cast anyway.

Or very few. When we typically think of good young actors it’s always Leonardo DiCaprio or Angelina Jolie. Problem is they’re all at least 30. Who do we have in the early 20’s? Lindsay Lohan?

5) With a dearth of good young “name” actors, again, it should be a TV show.

As a TV show you can use as many nobodies as you want and it can still work as long as the acting is good. A great example is “Battlestar Galatica”, season 1 & 2 before it turned into Dawson’s Creek in Space. It starred a bunch of no-names (sorry, um, whatever your name is from Dances with Wolves), but that didn’t matter because the story propped it up.

Now some of you will say “But what about Serenity?” While I agree the short-lived series and movie were very good, it unforunately was on a network and therefore wasn’t giving the breathing room found on cable.

Having said that, here are some free suggestions for Paramount Pictures:

1) If you HAVE to make this damn movie, spend the money to get Beyonce Knowles as Uhura. At least she’s the right age.

2) Better yet, come up with a new franchise instead of beating Star Trek into the ground.

3) Mission Impossible 3 underperformed because Part 2 was a giant pile of crap. Just so you know.

4) Go back in time and get a 1994-era Matthew Maconaughey to be Kirk. Or cast him right now since you don’t care about age anyway.

5) Just make Star Trek 6.5 with the original cast and call it a day.

22 thoughts on “Why Star Trek 11 should be a TV show and not a movie”

  1. Seriously… Does anyone even care about Star Trek anymore? Anbody other than Ben I mean.

    It seems like it has been languishing in the realm of irrelevance for a long time now. All they do anymore is bring out a new series that hangs around for a couple of years with limited buzz and then disappears into obscurity.

    Sadly, the only thing interesting to me about this new movie is that Matt Damon could be involved. He has turned out to be a pretty damn good and reliable actor over the last 5 years and would bring a sense of validity to the production along with (Gasp!) actually having a good actor (not named Patrick Stewart) involved with the franchise.

    It could be a good thing, but I’m sure they’ll screw it up. They are Hollywood after all.

  2. I will wach it just as I have every othe startrek movie made, 3 years after it comes out on video and is sitting in the 2 for 1 rental section.

    they finaly came up with a decent star trek franchise a couple years ago with enterprise, but dropped the ball in the end.
    as for Serenity, absolutly the best Sci- Fi series of all time and they pulled the plug. I wonder what a series similar to serenity, based in the star trek universe would be like, actually see the dirty real day to day world, not the usual polished starfleet, soap-opera in space all the trek series to this point turned into. Or even better, forget trek, let it die and revive Serenity again.

  3. I just recently (last year) got into Trek on Spike, and I gotta say, I love it. I want a new show, too. In the future or something. I dunno…

  4. Usually I try to keep an open mind. But in this case, I’m not. If a movie is made, it will suck.

    You know what might not suck? A Battlestar movie. So long as it’s not based on the second half of season three.

    /cue music
    “I don’t want to wait…..for our lives to be over”
    Apollo: “You know, Starbuck, I don’t know what we’re going to do after highschool the cylons leave.”

  5. I feel the same way about Trek as I feel about Indiana Jones 4 – love the series, so wish it could die a peaceful death and not be flogged back into life like a zombie.

  6. What is the deal with all of these big studios taking something that was great and making horrible sequels/prequels? A little originality would go a long way. Even if it is an original title, 95% of them are still predictable cookie-cutter films. The only things that have even stood out to me lately is Wild Hogs and 300.

    Just my two cents, for what it’s worth.


  7. Eh, I liked Nemesis enough to buy it for $10 at Best Buy a few months back…

    Anyways, I seldom get a chance to see TOS anymore (due to no local stations showing it, satellite being stripped to the basic package, & me not having the disk space at the time to torrent it), so I hope I can watch this (w/ the knowledge of the few TOS episodes & I’ve seen & also Star Trek I) w/o being TOO confused.

  8. I enjoyed the show Babylon 5. That was another good show, but due to Warner Bros. indifference, the show suffered in the last two seasons. They wouldn’t commit to renewing the show till the last minute, so the producers tried to wrap up season 5 in Season 4, making it confusing and leaving Season 5 to be DULL !!!

  9. Unfortunately, the big studios will continue to do stupid things because they want to make as much money as possible (shock!) even if it screws over a perfectly good idea.

    I agree with Ben about the difference between introducing new characters in a film and in a series; it’s just Not A Good Idea. That and who on Earth would they cast that is young enough? [shrugs]

    I’m wasn’t convinced about the last couple of ST movies (Insurrection and Nemesis) namely because Nemesis was a rehash of VI. I was also hoping that the new Indiana Jones movie was nothing more than a vicious rumor, ah well.

  10. I don’t think that they should make one off of TOS, because there wasn’t much of a base to begin with. There were only 3 seasons and if someone was dedicated enough that’s only enough content for a weekend (I know, that’s how I watched the series for the first time…and I didn’t have a life then). I think that there would be a lot more opportunity to find a story or two from TNG that wasn’t fully told. There may be even a better generation of Star Trek to base a movie off of, but I honestly have only really seen TOS and TNG, although I did watch DS9 when it was first released and I was too young to understand any of it.

    Well, that’s just my opinion…

  11. Big studios don’t do original stuff because its difficult for them to predict how much money the movie will make. Even 300 and wild hogs aren’t original, while you may have enjoyed them, they aren’t original. Even if a movie is sort of expected to do badly, a studio will still produce it because they can weigh how much they expect to earn vs. how much they will have to spend, so as long as it makes more than they spent on production, it’s still a gain in profits.

    As for why this is a movie rather than a TV show. First off, the people that own the rights to star trek said they weren’t going to make another show for several years when enterprise went off the air. To make a new show 2 years later would make them look stupid. Secondly, making a TV show requires a commitment to purchase several shows, even if they only buy 6 shows and it tanks with the first one, they’re stuck with 5 shows that they aren’t going to air and isn’t going to recoup the costs of production. If they make a shitty movie, if it costs them $10M and it makes $11M, then it’s at least made back the production money plus a little bit more. You might now be thinking “hey, who says a new star trek show is going to fail after one episode?” To you I say, since TNG, each series has been less popular than the previous one. While a few nerd like us would watch any new star trek series in the hope that it would be good, I don’t think the general public would act the same way.

  12. sadly this star trek 11 will be the death blow to the franchise….

    i for one will not see it until it goes to cable….

    as for as kirk, what about john legiminzo….he was great as cholo in land of the dead….

  13. Insurrection was basically a long, bad TNG episode (manual steering column? PLEASE!) and Nemisis just sucked royally
    I doubt this one will fare any better.

  14. The thing is with a new show its a one off, fairly large budgeted, but relatively short term. By going back to the academy and a young Kirk etc they are cashing/trading in on established characters, they think it will generate enough interest to make some $ even though its new actors.

    The last great star trek film in my mind was First Contact, non trek interested friends watched it and saw it was a decent sci fi movie. The borg totally made the film as the ultimate enemy. TV show wise DS9 really interested me with the war, it was a darkside to star trek which is quite suitable. I want them to develop another tv series along a war context, then really develop some good characters within it.

    I doubt they will though. its a shame, set it say 50 years after DS9/Voyager/the latest films, bring in new techology, new species. Battles, make it look appealing for teenagers today


  15. I personally think that a new star trek series would be doomed- mostly because of the whole studio funding situation- the series would be at studio mercy- that is why the star wars series’ are even being made- lucasfilm is basically the largest independent film studio around- as much as I am a self-admitted star wars geek if trek really wants to survive with integrity it needs to team up with a major indie studio with clout (eg:lucas) to be able to do something original – else we will be stuck with voyagers and nemisis’- in my opinion the only trek worth watching is DS9, most of the rest of it was fluff (don’t tell my GF- she is a trekkie- even made me go to a few conventions so I am dragging her to celebration IV this year)

  16. I’ve been a trekker for all my life and the latest movies (insurrection, nemesis) were really disappointing. Can’t they just make shows and movies that DON’T suck anymore? Hollywood has really been butchering movie franchises lately, Indiana Jones, Star trek, Jurassic Park, when will they stop?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.