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What if Strazcynski and Zabel did Star Trek?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 17th 2006 3:11PM
Star TrekBack in 2004, writers and producers J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, The Twilight Zone) and Bryce Zabel (Dark Skies, M.A.N.T.I.S) actually wrote a Star Trek script that would have "rebooted" the franchise. Like the new J.J. Abrams-produced movie will do (supposedly), having the original characters of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, this script did as well, only as Zabel puts it, "...not as young officers in Starfleet Academy. We wanted to do what they do in the world of comics, create a separate universe so we could embrace the good stuff, banish the bad, and try some new things."

Take a look and let us know what you think of it (click the above link and scroll down to the PDF file).

[via Lee Goldberg]

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Actually, Straczynski has written a proposal for a Star trek spinoff before. It was about a space station and how the fate of the galaxy revolved around it (for a time). The boys in charge of the ST franchise rejected his proposal, and then turned around and stole the whole concept, creating Deep Space Nine. He rewrote it as a stand-alone show, Babylon 5.

If you outline the two shows, you will see how similar they are, with all the parallel themes. I'll assume Straczynski is only condiering working on this because the guys who ripped off his idea are no longer involved with the franchise.

June 19 2006 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Julia C. Pruitt

I love Trek. I love time-travel. I love the "idea" of rebooting the series! I believe when you wrote the proposal (not script), you wanted to reignite an excitement with the fans. It worked for me. I want to see how JTK, Spock and McCoy got so close. Those who experience combat situations, or shared events (911)become closer than brothers. What happened for this bond to form so tightly at such an early stage of their careers? What common bond leads them to journey into space together? Were the friendships immediate? Once their mission began on the Enterprise, what made Scotty so special? He loved the Enterprise like a woman and talked to her in that way. I loved his sense of humor. I want to see this guys form their bond of lifelong friendship. Oh yeah, the Vietnam analogy....yeah...I've read about that, too. Howabout the Prime Directive was about not sharing our technology/knowledge to change a species history...not our might? The planet Earth certainly wasn't presented as the mightiest in the universe...quite the contrary. Lots of planets were far advanced of us. Far more powerful. But we are curious. We are brave. We are adventurers. We are always passionate. I miss Star Trek. Thank God there are some of you out there willing to keep the concept alive. Get back to Star Trek TOS and be positive again. Look for this ancient race, follow them...find out what they've been doing. Explore!

June 18 2006 at 2:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the seeing the kirk/spock/mccoy story as epic an dtimel;ess that can be told again and again is an interetsing approach. I for one would have watached that series (justas I have seen many robin hood movies, and read many versions of the Arthur of Britain storyline).

Readingthe PDF, one things seemed wrong to me: the types they represented.

Mccoy is emotion.

Spock is logic and reason.

Kirk has three properties: the synthesis of logic and reason; the burden of command and leadership; and the human spirit of adventure.

June 18 2006 at 1:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom Hadley

You know, I think this would have been really, really good. JMS did some amazing things in B5 that hadn't really been done in sci-fi TV before (correct me if I'm wrong here, I just don't know of any sci-fi shows, outside of perhaps the X-Files, that built the same massive mythology and had the same long term plan). They make a lot of great points in this proposal-everyone's too scared to muss up Trek, or they don't even know how when they try. They tried the big arc thing with the Xindi in S3 of Enterprise and failed, and then they tried smaller arcs in S4, but it just became longer shows that were just as episodic. The thing is that what they're proposing was already hinted at in Trek - the race in TNG's "The Chase" is basically the race they're talking about here, or at least very similar. And I would kill to see this because Trek is an amazing story, does have some very powerful themes, messages and built-in mythology, and I would love to see someone actually scratch it up a bit. Have more subtly flawed characters (T'Pol's a drug addict! See? SEE?!), have them be more HUMAN instead of these paragons of virtue.

Or maybe just get Ronald D. Moore to do it...no offence Bryce, JMS, but if that man can change Egyptian Pharoah helmets and little children into the BSG we see now...I guess BSG is what gives me faith that this could work, and work very, VERY well.

And the creative implications be damned. I want to be ENTERTAINED, and I like Trek, and I'd like to see it done right. And whoever wants to take credit for it can. I really don't care.

June 17 2006 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

Bryce: thanks for the correction. Proposal, not script.

June 17 2006 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is really more of an advertising pitch than a proposal -- it tells us that we should think this is a great idea, without actually giving us any reasons to come to that conclusion ourselves.

And I have to say the whole idea rubs up against a couple of my personal biases. One is a longstanding feeling that the "remake" or "reboot" is almost always -- not every time, but very nearly -- a misguided attempt to borrow the creative spark of someone in the belief that someone else can magically become the creator. Like eating the heart of your opponent to gain his courage. Rewriting the origin of Spider-Man "but this time doing it right" with lots of changes doesn't make the poor shmuck who does this into Stan Lee or Steve Ditko. Now, if a Bryan Singer looks at a Logan's Run and says, "Great premise, but the execution left a lot to be desired" that could be interesting. But that's not the case with Star Trek.

If a couple of really talented people wanted to create something to give other people the same feeling they themselves got from the original Trek...they should create their own show about space travel. It won't have the built-in name appeal of being called "Star Trek" you say? Good. Gene Roddenberry didn't have that either. Why is anyone else entitled to piggyback on him? That kind of misuse of the "name brand" is what gave us a succession of crappy shows and movies and "broke the franchise" in the first place.

The second bias this pitch raises in me is explicitly getting rid of the Prime Directive -- now hear me out, this isn't a geeky fanboy complaint! The Prime Directive was an overt political statement against Vietnam and American cultural imperialism in the Sixties. This was at the *heart* of the show. The show was saying that a truly civilized society will not impose itself on others simply because it can through superior might. And if you lose that, you're removing something as important today as it was back then.

June 17 2006 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bryce Zabel

Actually, we wrote a proposal about starting a new series using the Kirk, Spock and McCoy characters in a "re-boot." No script.

June 17 2006 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eric J.

I do like the basic idea, and would really like to see it happen, but this specific outline has too many of JMS's fingerprints on it - it sounds suspiciously like Babylon 5 starring Kirk, Spock and McCoy.

June 17 2006 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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