How Star Trek Has Learned From Deep Space Nine And Voyager’s Mistakes


While the movie franchise seems to have unfortunately ground to a halt, Star Trek on TV has hit a new golden age. We’ve already got Star Trek: Discovery and soon that’ll be joined by a new show starring Patrick Stewart as Picard, animated comedy series Lower Decks, a kid-friendly cartoon and other projects yet to be revealed. After the world of Trek was off the small screen for far too long, it’s great to have so much of it set to come our way.

This isn’t the first time in the franchise’s history that multiple TV series have aired at the same time, however. Deep Space Nine and Voyager were both on for much of the 1990s. That was a good time to be a Star Trek fan, to be sure, but the close relationship between the two shows probably didn’t make them the most accessible to new viewers. This problem’s something that Alex Kurtzman, the current architect behind Trek on television, is hoping to curb this time around.

For the new glut of series, Kurtzman wants each one to feel unique and different, which is an approach he compares to the business practices of Marvel or Pixar.

“I want to make sure that each show is a different and unique proposition. I think Deep Space Nine and Voyager got into a tricky spot where people were starting to feel they can’t tell the difference between the shows, even though they were very different, but “I can’t tell the difference so why would I pick one over the other?” Our job is to make sure that it feels like a very different prospect from any other Trek show that exists. In the same way in the world of Marvel or in the world of Pixar, you have multiple stories coexisting although each one feels different while there is an assumption and an understanding of what the brand identity of what that thing is.”

Kurtzman then went on to explain his point further, saying that Marvel and Pixar movies are always unique but that the same level of quality is guaranteed, and that’s something he wants for the Star Trek universe, too.

“Every time you got to a Marvel movie you kind of know what you are going to get, but one could be Ragnarok, one could be Black Panther and one could be Iron Man and all of those have a very different feel, but there is always a premium on the storytelling…And even though all their films are different, the one thing you can always expect when you go to a Pixar movie is that the story is going to be great. I want us all to elevate Trek to that place. So, when you go to watch a show, the expectation is we are going to have great storytelling. The kinds of stories are going to be different and the way they are told is going to be different, but I want to build Trek to where people assume that about it.”

From what we know about the shows so far, it sounds like Kurtzman is on course to achieve his aim of making each one stand out. Whereas Discovery is more of an action/adventure series set prior to The Original Series, the Picard project is set post-2009’s Star Trek in the Prime universe and is described as much more contemplative. Meanwhile, Lower Decks comes from one of the writers behind Rick & Morty, which tells you all you need to know.

Be sure to catch Star Trek: Discovery season 2 on CBS All Access from January 17th.

Source: TrekMovie