“Star Trek” on the big screen may be comatose, but its streaming future is very bright indeed.
Between the already aired two seasons of “Star Trek: Discovery,” the upcoming “Star Trek: Picard,” at least one ‘Discovery’ spin-off involving Section 31, numerous short films, a comedy series and two animated series – the franchise could potentially collapse from fatigue again if it’s not careful.
So how does one keep it fresh? Franchise steerer Alex Kurtzman tells Deadline that the key is diversity – make each of the shows wildly different in order to differentiate them and cater to a variety of taste with the ‘Short Treks’ short films likely to test the waters for future series in terms of tone:
“The plan is multiple shows. It takes really a year from writing to finished product, sort of like animation. I have to plan [new shows] two or three years out from now. It’s not just the shows, we have the Short Treks too. We’re doing six more of them, two of them are animated, unlike the two animated shows. What I love about the Short Treks is that they are an experimental training ground, a place to experiment with different things – directors who we’ve never worked with before, tones we’ve never tried before. Michael Giacchino is doing one of the animated shorts and Olatunde Osunsanmi is doing another one…again, different animation styles, totally different tones – aimed at kids I would say, more than adults.”
So how do you get both the old fans to accept these new shows whilst also drawing in new fans? He admits it’s a tricky balance:
“Render onto Caesar what is Caesar’s, everybody from the older generation should be incorporated into the new generation, there should always be respect for both and yet it always has to forge new ground.”
Also asked if he can offer anything about the “Picard” series, currently shooting in Los Angeles, he says having Patrick Stewart in the writers room has been invaluable as he knows Jean-Luc Picard more than anybody. He also says of where Picard is at when we meet him again in the story:
“A lot has happened to Jean-Luc Picard in the intervening years. He had to deal with some new things, and some old things. Both things collide together and he’s made choices that he’s not necessarily feeling great about… something has caused him to leave Starfleet and we will find out a lot more about what happened.”
The aim is to reportedly have a “Star Trek” series on CBS All Access at any given point in time in the future.