Friday, January 27, 2017

What you can't do in the new Star Trek

Things we cannot have in the new Star Trek Discovery

If Discovery is set 10 years before Kirk is Captain of the Enterprise, there are many things the producers need to keep in mind, if they want to be accurate to canon. At this point, Kirk is a Lieutenant on the Farragut, if not still on the Republic…. And probably some of these missions can be referenced ‘by the way’ but not directly seen. This is also the year the Sheliak finish their treaty negotiations, but there are a lot of aliens we cannot see.

                First off, no Ferengi. Enterprise had them as unknown aliens once, and once would be too much on another show. The old ‘we know nothing of this other race with similar ships and technology to us’ saw needs to be retired. The Romulans are isolationist and actively keep others out of their space so it can be understood, but if you run into a Ferengi in a bar, someone would say ‘hey that’s a Ferengi’ at some point or scan them. Ferengi are ‘known of’ but unseen until TNG. Same with a lot of species.

                And no Vulcans IN Starfleet. Mr. Spock at this time was known as the only Vulcan in Starfleet, although Vulcans seemed to be crewing other allied vessels such as the Intrepid. Perhaps, they preferred to be on purely scientific or displomatic missions and actively discouraged Vulcans from ‘actually joining’ Starfleet and serving on multi-race starships. This could be funny to see with Vulcans repulsed by a diverse crew on the Discovery.

                No Romulans – except if they are infiltrating the Federation, perhaps posing as Vulcans or other races so that the Romulans are thought by Kirk to have “never seen a human” are actually knowledgebale about us. No Borg. No Dominion.  No awesome androids. No ‘known’ joined Trills. Having said that, you could have a lost changeling who hides his nature, Torias Dax, and a Cardassian could all meet up sometime and it would be canonically correct.

                You can have more Tellarites and Andorians and other founding Federation races.  I don’t want to go deeply into the culture of every race – because this just killed any love of the Bajorans in me by the end of DS9 – but this can give a lot of the tension needed on a series of people-who-don’t-have-conflicts-with-each-other.

                Klingons are human-looking, due to that virus in Enterprise that de-ridges them… and they are probably isolationist and not ‘ready to mingle’ with the humans.  Perhaps the Federation is advancing quickly because of the human ability to adapt and we take the best of various worlds – tractor beams, shields, weapons, propulsion, etc – that each member world is known for and make some relatively awesome starships and we quickly become the up-start power in the galaxy.

                Please no temporal war… and only one time travel per season AT MOST if it is a really good story. No more ‘oops, we went back in time and erased ourselves’ stuff – we have had too much of that. I don’t mind the old 60s story conventions, but if we go to a world with a malfunctioning advanced computer and awesome technology we have to out-speak, I’ll look away. And I’m sure all the omnipotent energy beings are just waiting to talk to Kirk, not Discovery. And we need some consistent displomacy and economy concepts – Kirk still had ‘credits and pay’ – perhaps as a way of allowing people to distribute resources themselves – but with enough basic energy to supply all food and shelter needs, the average human would not need very much. I could spend my 100 credits a week on something extra special – like real Scotch, a nice outfit, an antique handgun or a vintage helicopter if I save up. Currency would not be the goal but a medium of exchange.

                Perhaps the replicators are not as fine-tuned as on TNG so there is more exchange economy going on still. And people are colonizing still – so maybe we need to ask the questions of indigenous rights on those systems. Maybe the tension between ‘here’s your Starfleet duty – sorry if your culture doesn’t let you use numbers’ races will be a factor.
                I am looking forward to the new series... but my nitpicker is already on full.