There’s a new Star Trek TV series in the works that includes two gay characters: a male main character and a secondary female character. But it is all just a pipe dream?
The proposed project, the work of a company called 1947 Entertainment, would continue the ongoing story of Star Trek from the original movies and TV series, not jumping forward or backward in time.
That said, according to a source closely involved in the project, it aims for a tone different from that of previous Star Trek TV series – more in keeping with that of director J.J. Abrams’ recent film franchise reboot: grittier and with more complicated characters and faster pacing.
But the project, which has been in the works since 2006, has not yet been pitched to CBS, who holds the TV rights to the venerable franchise. And, of course, since this is still in the proposal stage, all details are subject to revision.
The new series is the same one that Jonathan Frakes, who played Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, mentioned in a recent interview with Ugo.com.
“I had a Star Trek that I developed for TV,” he was quoted as saying, “and we were told in no uncertain terms that they said no to a Bryan Singer television Star Trek, they said no to a William Shatner television Star Trek. They feel at CBS Paramount that they don’t want to make the same mistake that’s been made before, which was watering down the brand by having a TV show and a movie.”
From this, it was widely reported by many media outlets that Frakes himself had pitched the proposed TV series. A representative of Frakes tells AfterElton.com that he was misquoted in that interview. Other media outlets repeated the story without verification, adding other errors along the way.
In fact, Frakes was never officially involved with the project at all, although he did seriously consider it.
AfterElton’s sources tell us that 1947 Entertainment is currently looking for an executive producer of sufficient “Trek” stature to be associated with the project and that talks are underway with several individuals. Once an executive producer is secured, the pitch will be made to CBS.
The project also has the unofficial support of the estate of original Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and the official support of several Star Trek alumni, including The Next Generation writer Harris Dvores, who co-wrote the proposed pilot.
Despite spanning more than a dozen movies and 726 episodes over the course of six series, the Star Trek universe has never included an out gay character – something that writer-producer Brannon Braga, who worked on three of the Star Trek series and two of the movies (and is the single most credited writer in the entire franchise), expressed regret for in an interview with AfterElton.com last January.
“There were people who felt very strongly that we should be showing casually, you know, just two guys together in the background in Ten Forward,” Braga told us. “At the time the decision was made not to do that, and I think those same people would make a different decision now because I think, you know, that was 1989, well yeah about 89, 90, 91. I have no doubt that those same creative players wouldn’t feel so hesitant to have, you know, have been squeamish about a decision like that.”
So what are the odds that this series might actually get produced?
1947 Entertainment is owned by David Foster, who created the proposal for this Star Trek series with Kevin Severson,
who died in September 2010. Foster and his current associates have a
smattering of minor Hollywood credits, but the company hasn’t produced
anything to date; their projects are all in development.
In short, with a franchise as important as Star Trek, this project definitely needs an experienced, high-profile executive producer willing to sign on.
Next Page! What about J.J. Abrams?