Beam Me Up: The Case For a Revamped ‘Star Trek’ (On Cable!)

When I was a kid, Star Trek: The Next Generation was everything.

Yeah, okay, I am a trekkie. But, notice how I didn’t put a capital on the word. I don’t go to conventions or know every character or every bit of trivia, but if given the choice, I would choose Star Trek over Star Wars any day. That might seem an odd way to categorize my preference of the show, but that does seem to be one of the main ways that people measure these things, so I will go with it. I like Star Wars well enough, but I like the science of Star Trek. The idea of exploration and the notion of alien races and cultures coming and clashing together was and is still, super intriguing. Despite the cool powers of the Jedi Knights, there’s just too much dramz and bad acting in Star Wars, for me to really get behind.

That being said, JJ Abrams could turn it all around. Have you seen his Star Trek movies? Chris Pine aside, Benedict Cumberbatch as Kahn was a stroke of genius. I love Abrams’ take on the franchise. I am really curious to see what he comes up with for Star Wars. However, movies are one thing, TV is quite another. What we need is a weekly dose of Star Trek again. And we need it on cable. Preferably on HBO or Showtime where people can swear and be naked for reals.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of binge watching of The Next Generation on Hulu. I could never get behind Deep Space Nine. I’m too young to have ever loved the original and while I know there was a Star Trek Enterprise featuring the guy from Quantum Leap as the Captain, I can’t remember ever seeing it, even though it ran for four seasons! I also liked Voyager quite a bit, but it seemed fettered by the confines of Network TV in a way that TNG did not. One of things that strikes me as interesting while rewatching TNG is how much sex there was, especially that first season. A LOT. Clearly as a young teen I missed the nuances. They are glaring now. Another glaring thing? I am no longer hot for Wesley Crusher. Jean Luc Picard is everything. He is sex on a photon torpedo kind of hot.

The Star Trek movies new and old have all done well. People love Star Trek. People love watching Star Trek on TV. It seems obvious. Bring it back. While I personally have a nostalgic affinity for the pastel shades of TNG bridge, the shoulder pads and technology which at its best is like flat screen TVs (in the ’80s!) and at its worst looks like one step above a commodore 64 in the sick bay- imagine what they could do now?

Yes, yes, I realize the whole idea of the Federation works because as humans we are supposed to have advanced beyond our most base needs and our more unattractive qualities. Still, on board the Enterprise and other collective starships, they are all pretty much sailors – genius sailors, of course, but sailors none the less. So while I can get behind the idea that humanity is no longer magpie-ish in their need to collect “things” or bloodthirsty over religious zealotry, there are some traits that we as a species can never overcome. Imagine Game of Thrones in space, or True Blood in space, or even Downton Abbey (which considering the pageantry and manners might be the closest proximity) in space! Imagine a Star Trek where we can apply the newest theories of Quantum Mechanics and Particle Theory. Imagine a Star Trek where 21st century technology (instead of 20th) subs for the 24th. Imagine a Star Trek where people can swear and get nasty and be truly human – or obviously not human if they are Betazoid or Klingon or Androids or Cardassians (yes! that was a race of aliens on TNG.) It would probably end up being Band Of Brothers meets Homeland meets Battlestar Galactica meets Harry Potter meets 50 Shades of Grey (but not stupid) meets Doctor Who. I mean, come on.

Alright. I think I’ve met my quotient for geek-osity this week (possibly this year.) But hey, if you ever find yourself in a room with an HBO exec or JJ Abrams, THIS is the idea I would pitch.

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