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Merrick Explores STAR TREK: THE ACADEMY YEARS!!

Published at: Aug. 25, 2010, 10:56 a.m. CST by merrick

You are now receiving a communique from Merrick, sent during his eternal quest for the perfect tag line…

Before we go any further, you should be warned that…unless you’re a pretty serious STAR TREK fan…or you’re seriously into the “what could have beens” of big Hollywood projects that were once on the drawing board but never got made…this article is almost certainly not for you. CLICKING HERE will return you to AICN’s main page.

Also, this article is really, really long. "My fingers are numb with pain" kind of long. You can still be returned to AICN's main page by CLICKING HERE.

With that out of the way, here’s a look at a frequently referenced STAR TREK theatrical project whose very premise inspires ridicule and hatred whenever it’s mentioned. By now, this production is almost certainly defunct. Note I said “ALMOST” certainly. As recently as a few years ago, it was still being bandied about. This script has been repeatedly proposed and, for a variety of logistical or political reasons, repeatedly rejected. But this is Hollywood, and stranger rebirths have happened, so never say never.

With this vague possibility in mind…


KNOW YE THAT THERE BE EXTREME SPOILERS AHEAD!!! TURN BACK NOW, OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE!!!


OK. Here we go…


WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, MERRICK?

Firstly, this is not the recently commissioned (and rejected) screenplay by BAND OF BROTHERS’ Erik Jendersen. I’ve been trying to get my hands on that one for some time, and all roads lead to nowhere. The script we’re talking about here has been around for quite a while.

Its concept is broadly referred to by fans as “STARFLEET ACADEMY”, but this moniker is not accurate. The script is called STAR TREK: THE ACADEMY YEARS.

Back in the late 1980s, THE ACADEMY YEARS was written by David Loughery (STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER) for then TREK overlord Harve Bennett.

Bennett produced TREK movies II, III, IV, and V – and is credited (as a writer) on TREKs III and IV (although he did some uncredited work on THE WRATH OF KAHN as well, if memory serves).

STAR TREK V is a film whose ambitions were undercut by Paramount’s increasing lack for support for the “Classic” TREK franchise (with greater attention being afforded the then white-hot NEXT GENERATION.) Budget cuts and conceptual dampening burdened the movie with a decidedly clunky quality. Ironically, TREK V also represents what many fans believe to be the truest expression of the Classic Era characters. It was very much a mixed bag; TREK at both its weakest and strongest.

Recognizing a need for “reinvention”, Bennett approached Paramount with a proposal: Prequelize the original STAR TREK series via THE ACADEMY YEARS concept. Dramatize how the “Classic” characters, and the universe they occupy, became what we saw in THE ORIGINAL SERIES. This concept was green lighted, but scuttled during a regime change at Paramount.

Bennett stepped away. A different sequel, STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (the final film to feature the entire original cast), was mastered by other producers. The theatrical franchise was subsequently inherited by the controversial Rick Berman.


ISN’T THIS THE BEAUTIFUL TEENS, “TOP GUN”’ STAR TREK EVERYONE IS SO AFRAID OF?

Yes, it is. But THE ACADEMY YEARS isn’t about posing hunks, teens cavorting, or rock music blaring. It has certain TOP GUN elements, but no more so than any of the numerous military training/coming of age movies that have been made.

It most closely resembles TOP GUN in structure: Brash young loose cannon (Kirk) goes to the academy, meets a girl, gets into trouble, whips up a few shenanigans, is pressed into unexpected action, and proves his value to the system via a trial by fire.

Despite such conceits, this is VERY much a “true” STAR TREK script – throwing the hard core series philosophy into settings we’ve never seen fully realized before. Indeed, THE ACADEMY YEARS is about STAR TREK becoming STAR TREK, and heroes becoming the heroes they don’t consider themselves to be.


WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

STAR TREK: THE ACADEMY YEARS begins as TOS (movie) era McCoy addresses a Starfleet commencement. After his speech, several cadets corner the good doctor, who is standing alone, gazing into a reflecting pool. They nervously ask him about Kirk and Spock.

SECOND CADET: What were they like?

FIRST CADET: Were they friends?

McCOY: FRIENDS? I never met two less likely candidates for friendship in my entire life. That surprises you, doesn’t it? Well, it’s the gospel truth. They were as different as night and day. As Vulcan…and Iowa.

WOSH! We flashback to IOWA, which feels a lot like Smallville, where Sam Kirk is mortified by his brother Jim’s reckless shenanigans in a futuristic crop duster.

JIM: You worry too much!

SAM: That’s because you don’t worry at all!

Young Jim Kirk is the reckless son of a reckless father. Jim has little interested in an Earthbound existence, and yearns to attend Starfleet Academy. This doesn’t seem likely though – he’s scheduled to attend Agricultural school soon.

But he gets a message from Starfleet…he’s been accepted! One of 100 recruits. He leaves for the Academy without the blessings of his mother or brother, who are afraid Jim will get swept up in a brewing galactic conflict (more on this below), or meet with the same fate as his father (more on this below, too.) Kirk leaves Iowa, walking alone into a bigger world.

ON VULCAN: Young Spock is being confronted by an associate named Shardik, who is trying to convince him to decline his acceptance to Starfleet Academy on Earth. No Vulcan has ever gone through Starfleet. He’ll be alone. But he’s already alone…

SHARDIK: Your decision in this matter is not logical.

SPOCK: On the contrary. It is logic that tells me I do not belong here.

Kirk arrives in San Francisco (home of Starfleet Academy), and immediately gets lost. A country boy with a ruck sack on his shoulder, the big city folk dismiss him out of hand. He can’t even get directions to the Academy. He finally manages to get there, via a speeder bike ride from a fiery chick named CASSANDRA HIGHTOWER, who becomes a love interest later in the film.

Kirk makes it to the Academy, instantly gets into a dust-up with a dude named KALIBAR.

KALIBAR: We wouldn’t want to get into a fight on our first day.

KIRK: What would we have to look forward to?

This is a prophetic exchange; Kirk and Kalibar will eventually clash. Bigtime.

Kirk’s room mate in the academy is an older inductee named Leonard McCoy. Kirk hates the name Leonard, sticks him with the name “Bones”.

Also hanging around the Academy: An Engineering Officer who has been consigned to teaching, over his rather loud objections. The guy’s name is Montgomery Scott. “Scotty”. He’s been part of a Starfleet propulsion program for years – aimed at utilizing Dilithium crystals in Warp engines. Seems contemporary Warp speed takes hours to attain. Dilithium makes Warp speed instantaneous.

Scotty knew Kirk’s father.

SCOTTY: Are you any relation to George Kirk?

JIM: George Kirk was my father.

SCOTTY: I dinna know George had a family.

JIM: Neither did George.

Turns out, George Kirk was also working on the Dilithium project with Scotty – he piloted a test ship, called Bonaventure, which disappeared without a trace during its first Dilithium-fueled Warp jump. Scotty shows Kirk his stash of Dilithuim, which is sitting around unused, and useless. All of this will be important in the script’s finale.

Academy “settling in” antics ensue. Pushy drill instructors, Kirk gets busted and cleans toilets, etc. But there’s a problem at the Academy – the same problem which threatens to catapult the galaxy into civil war. Seems the “enlightenment” exalted by characters in THE ORIGINAL SERIES hasn’t come about just yet (evidence of this exists in several TOS episodes, including “Balance of Terror”, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”, and “Bread and Circuses”)

Racism, bigotry, and slavery are still powerful forces across the galaxy in this time. “Red bloods”, “Green bloods”, etc. are delineations that are not only still noted, but acted upon by many. They are differences that are still feared.

Some believe it’s up to the Federation to impose more sophisticated values (opposing slavery, etc.) on worlds that haven’t “caught up”. Others believe that it’s no one’s place to push morality on anyone, and that upsetting such social constructs will cause shockwaves of socio-economic repercussions that will destabilize the galaxy. Treaties are in the works…the Federation is involved…ambassadors are in town for meetings…military intervention is in the air. What will happen is anyone’s guess.

As such, Spock arrives at the Academy with no particular amount of acceptance. He came to find a place he belongs. Instead, he is no more at home here than he was back on Vulcan. Spock even finds himself abducted and brutally mutilated by HOODED CADETS. He is rescued by Kirk, who never really thought about issues like equality, bigotry, and freedom – but is now being forced to confront them head on. He’s being forced to grow. They all are.

Turns out, Kalibar (the guy who Kirk bumped into when he got to Starfleet) is a prince from an alien world whose economy is driven by slavery. He’s one of the guys who kidnapped and messed up Spock. As punishment, he’s expelled from the Academy, leaving in a flourish. At roughly the same time, Kalibar learns that his father, the King, was killed in an uprising back home. Everything in Kalibar’s universe is falling apart. Or, perhaps it’s going just the way he wants it to…

ELSEWHERE: KODARIS, an alien ambassador from Kalibar’s world, signs an anti-slavery proclamation! No one at Starfleet is sure how to react. But Kalibar is pissed.

STARFLEET. Kirk and Cassandra make love, silhouetted against the stars in a zero-gravity space simulator. A weightless dance. We learn that Cassandra is also a cadet, gunning for captaincy like Kirk.

“Cuts” are coming up soon. Grade and character based evaluations are being made, only 20 of the initial 100 inductees will continue to be midshipmen. And Kirk’s in trouble: His Quantum Mechanics suck and he’s close to washing out.

Quantum Mechanics being one of his better subjects, Spock mind melds with Kirk -- teaching him all he needs to know to pass the test. Kirk scores 100. So does Spock. They make the cut! Two of the 20. Cassandra get through as well.

Starfleet realizes Kirk and Spock’s essays are word-for-word identical. They confess to cheating and are confined to quarters, while Cassandra and the other new midshipmen are sent to their first training assignment.

EARTH ORBIT: Cassandra, the midshipmen, and McCoy rendezvous with their ship: “An old ship of the line, a war horse, battered and patched. Its design may not be familiar, but its name is. U.S.S. Enterprise.”

They break orbit, heading off to their training mission. But it’s not a training mission at all. In order to attract as little attention as possible, Ambassador Kodaris…the guy who signed the treaty abolishing slavery on Kalibar’s world…has been spirited aboard the currently low-profile Enterprise, commanded by CAPTAIN GEOFFREY THORPE. Their “training” is to take him home. The crew is apprehensive as hell. So many things could go wrong. And everything does.

KALIBAR ATTACKS, immediately disabling Enterprise. Cutting her off from communications with Earth. Kalibar wants to kill the Ambassador – he blames him for screwing up the way of life back home. If Enterprise gives up the Ambassador, Kalibar will let the ship go free. Thorpe tells him no way.

EARTH: Kirk is sick of being confined to quarters and is packing to leave Starfleet altogether. He’s going to join the “merchant fleet”. As he leaves, Spock is standing in the doorway.

SPOCK: This merchant fleet – does it accept Vulcans?

They’re on the way to hand in their resignations when they hear that Enterprise has dropped communications and may be under attack. She’s a sitting duck; no way to talk to her and no way to physically reach her in time.

But Kirk has an idea…

Kirk, Scotty, and Spock steal a prototype Warp ship from the Starfleet Museum. The Bonaventure II, the sequel ship to the ship Kirk’s dad disappeared in. They load it up with Scotty’s Dilithium and fly it out of the museum. They’re off to warn Enterprise she may be attacked. But to do it in time, they’ll have to make the first successful Dilithium- Warp jump. They all doubt the sanity of this undertaking , but they do it anyway.

They arrive at Enterprise! But it’s too late. Thorpe is dead, the ship is smashed, and Cassandra is in command. Things aren’t going well. Enterprise, and her crew, are dying.

Kirk, Scotty, and Spock jump into action. If Scotty can get those damn Dilithium crystals into Enterprise’s engines…they can change the ship into a fast, maneuverable vessel Kalibar won’t, and couldn’t, expect. They might have a fighting chance.

A mammoth battle ensues, as Enterprise and Kalibar clash in a high-speed fight amongst the rings of a giant world. Dodging some ice chunks, smashing into others. Kirk chances into command of Enterprise…with Scotty in engineering, Spock feeding him information, and Bones tending to the wounded in sickbay (Nurse Chapel at his side). A new era has begun!

But not for long…

The script goes through a great deal of effort to bring the “classic” characters together, but it doesn’t take the easy way out. As the flashback concludes, the “classic” guys go their separate ways…to other ships and other adventures…fated to meet again. “Jim and Spock walk way in opposite directions, headed for a common destiny.”

BACK WITH TOS (MOVIE) ERA McCoy. His communicator beeps. It’s Scotty, asking if he’s ready to beam up now. Seems the captain’s eager to move out. McCoy excuses himself, takes one last look around.

McCOY: Beam me up, Scotty.

SPACE: The TOS (movie) era Enterprise warps away to distant stars.


SO, HOW IS IT?

The script is surprisingly solid. Frequently, it’s extremely involving. Unlike many recent permutations of STAR TREK, it has a tremendously vibrant heart and soul. It’s even genuinely moving on a few occasions.

The characters, and “vibe”, of THE ORIGINAL SERIES are unequivocally nailed here. That energy is just…there. It’s in the way the characters speak, in the cadence of their dialogue, and the flow of the story.

There’s a great deal of passion here, and a great deal of sweetness. We’ve previously been told a bit about what these characters were like in their early years, and the script nicely upholds these perceptions.

But there’s also a surprising amount of pathos. THE ACADEMY YEARS isn’t about learning the ins & outs of space adventuring as much as it’s a journey of self-discovery. It’s about growing beyond the boxes we put ourselves in, or the boxes that other people put us in. It also pile drives one of the most sublime human truths: Sometimes, the best friends we can have are the people we’d least hope to, or expect to, be our friends.

To paraphrase THE ABYSS, THE ACADEMY YEARS is about looking “with better eyes than that.”


WHAT IMPRESSES YOU MOST ABOUT THE SCRIPT?

Besides hitting the mark by creating the feel of THE ORIGINAL SERIES (and movies), what strikes me the most is the amount of time Bennett and Loughery spend exploring what makes these icons tick.

We see that ‘brash and confident’ Kirk also carries with him a certain amount of self doubt, instilled by a family who was afraid he’d meet the unfortunate fate of his father. Also, early on, he turns away from the people he loved (thus the people who love him) in order to follow his dreams. His cockiness, to some extent, seems to be his forcing past his own internal discomforts and apprehensions.

The super-logical Spock is equally flawed: Throughout THE ORIGINAL SERIES, we saw his struggle to fit in. This is poignantly illustrated in THE ACADEMY YEARS, most notably through shots of Spock sitting alone in the Starfleet cafeteria, and by a scene in which he struggles to dictate…and re-dictate…a message to his mother. After starting, stopping, over-stating his popularity, and downright lying, he deletes all versions of the message and simply sends: “I am fine” (an allusion to his “Tell her I feel fine” line in STAR TREK IV).


IF THE GUY WHO WROTE STAR TREK V WROTE THIS, WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS DOES IT HAVE?

In general, THE ACADEMY YEARS is a much more fully realized script than THE FINAL FRONTIER. TREK V feels only partially realized…a smattering of fantastic moments that never expand to an entirety of greatness. By comparison, THE ACADEMY YEARS is more “hit” than “miss”.

Most of the “misses” rise from unfortunate doses of broad humor; the same kind of buffoonery that felt so jarring in STAR TREK V. Most of this isn’t worth nitpicking herein, but it hurts. Sometimes it hurts badly.

Fortunately, there are also a few moments of genuine comedic inspiration, as in cutaway to a slightly tipsy Spock trying to pick up a girl in a bar. ”It’s called Pon Far” he tells her. The same girl is later seen doing the Pon Far finger caress with Spock, but she’s wearing a latex glove on the hand she’s using. Awesome.

Loughery’s treatment of personality and characters is staggering, often stirring. If any subsequent drafts of this script are ever generated, all of his character material should be maintained…but someone with a little less broadness should re-approach the sillier slapstick asides. ‘Twould make a solid script truly GREAT.


SOME OF THIS PLOTLINE SOUNDS FAMILIAR! WHAT GIVES?

Many elements of THE ACADEMY YEARS seem to have been pillaged by later TREK iterations. I have no direct knowledge of this, but it’s hard to escape certain parallels between the content of this script and critical elements that popped up in later installments.

Kirk in the shadow of his father is, more or less, the same dynamic played out in ENTERPRISE (Captain Archer assuming the legacy of his daddy). Kalibar’s suicidal preoccupation with preventing change from coming to his world equals General Chang’s Machiavellian resistance in STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. The fate of the future hinging on a successful Warp jump is, of course, a notion utilized in FIRST CONTACT.

Sure, these could all be cases of legitimate parallel development. But…

If THE ACADEMY YEARS concept is ever re-approached, some changes will have to be made so that this project doesn’t appear to be boosting other TREK endeavors (which, in actuality, may have been influenced by it!). Sigh.


WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THIS PROJECT?

As recently as a few years ago, Bennett approached Paramount about THE ACADEMY YEARS. Sherri Lancing (head of Paramount) was ready to do the project, but was asked not to by Paramount Television…who figured ENTERPRISE should be the only TREK prequel in the game.

You can read more about the history of this project (both ancient and recent) HERE.

The decision not to move forward with THE ACADEMY YEARS is terribly unfortunate. For my money, the obstacles facing the currently in-stasis franchise have nothing to do with the presence of “too much STAR TREK”, as some believe.

TREK’s diminishing audience happened because fans and laymen alike were sick of lifeless, bland, and safe storytelling that took no chances, and never came to life. Series and movies became visually flat, kinetically dull, and aurally muted (compare the way music is used in THE WRATH OF KAHN to any “sonic wallpaper” score in VOYAGER or ENTERPRISE). The camera became increasingly locked down...colors became more and more drab.

Above all, TREK derailed when it ceased to be about “all of us”, and became insular in its scope and ambition. It looked in on itself for inspiration, instead of reaching out to our world. And, most importantly, reaching out to our spirits.

People are not perfect, yet characters stopped making mistakes. Life is vibrant, yet shows were edited like news casts. Adventure is waiting, and limitless, yet how long has it been since STAR TREK took us “Where no one has gone before”?

Some people say there are no more good TREK stories to tell. I submit that it hasn’t even touched the tip of the iceberg. It’s just a matter of approaching the concept from the right angle, and telling stories that challenge viewers. Take a look at BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, or the re-launched DOCTOR WHO. Both of them took chances, both dared to soar beyond the expected in narrative and style. Both are commercially and critically successful.

Despite its occasionally uneven (but adjustable) nature, THE ACADEMY YEARS drives itself hard, and reaches for maximum impact – narrative in the script states it was gunning for a PG-13 rating. It takes chances, but stays true to where it came from.

Perhaps more than any other TREK producer so far, Bennett seems to understand what makes STAR TREK work, and…above all…he understands why it works. In THE ACADEMY YEARS, he and Loughery deftly walk that nearly impossible tightrope between familiar-yet-fresh. And that’s the exact tightrope someone needs to walk for this critically damaged franchise to live again.

Merrick's transmission ends NOW!


Readers Talkback

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  • March 20, 2006, 1:31 p.m. CST

    PLANT!

    by omgwtfbbqsauce

    yeah, I said it.

  • March 20, 2006, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Oh man....

    by JohnLocke

    Now I want this to be made. Shoot me now.

  • March 20, 2006, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Hmmm...

    by Azlam Orlandu

    ...the most interesting read on this site in a long time. Thanks Merrick.

  • March 20, 2006, 1:42 p.m. CST

    The not-so-wonderful years

    by BrandLoyalist

    My only friend was the biggest geek in the school. He drooled constantly.

  • March 20, 2006, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Wish is had come true

    by Brock Samson

    It sounds like a terrific idea, and I wish Paramount had had the balls to do it. Bennett was great for the franchise. Too bad Bermaga seem determined to destroy what made Trek great.

  • March 20, 2006, 1:43 p.m. CST

    by redtom

    ??? "What could of beens"? Jesus H. Christ on a chariot... What Could HAVE Beens... What Could HAVE beens...

  • March 20, 2006, 1:46 p.m. CST

    REDTOM

    by Joseph Merrick

    Corrected. Wrote that part last...eyes blurring. THANK YOU.

  • March 20, 2006, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Trek V had good points?

    by Nodwick

    "Ironically, TREK V also represents what many fans believe to be the truest expression of the Classic Era characters." Funny. I always saw it as a horridly scripted ham-fisted attempt to capitalize on the previous film's popularity as a "funny" and "whimsical" movie. The characterization was god-awful (Sulu and Chekov "lost" in the forest, the rogue Klingon captain, etc.), the TOS concept of "the great barrier" was relocated from the edge of the galaxy to the center, and the whole "god" thing was an unexplained concept that was inevitably an anticlimax.

  • March 20, 2006, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Ahh, my young padawan leaner...

    by redtom

    ... you have far to go, but there may be hope for you yet...

  • March 20, 2006, 1:51 p.m. CST

    ...that should have been "Learner"...

    by redtom

    ...goddammit, does this thing not have an edit post function...

  • March 20, 2006, 1:58 p.m. CST

    What Star Trek needs

    by Mgmax

    What Star Trek needs, besides euthanasia, is an entire movie or series set in the Bearded Spock universe. Actually, what it needs is Quentin Tarantino or somebody else with a sufficient badass temperament to make a movie or series set in the Bearded Spock universe, one in which characters who can't hack it in the Empire are killed off (I figure Riker and Troi will last about 2 seconds; Data, on the other hand, could become the Caligula of it all) and those who survive are tough enough to actually survive, believably. A gritty, mean, violent Star Trek to wipe away all those years in which people sensed each other's pain on board a floating Embassy Suites. Next to that, this merely sounds like Harry Potter and the Crystal of Dilithium.

  • March 20, 2006, 1:58 p.m. CST

    I'll buy it.

    by vee8

    Sounds like a story that needs to be told. One tiny problem though. The opening shot with the old Bones. Isn't he dead now? Would it work with any other actor taking his place? I don't think so, but it could be got around. Maybe an old Sulu or Chekov perhaps?

  • March 20, 2006, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Ah, a young brash Kirk...

    by Tony Mike Hall

    ... and an unknown female character, undoubtedly of the extremely hot tom-boy, gives-as-good-as-she-gets (ahem) variety, being thrown into the oldest story plot known to human kind: Boy meets girl, girl gets boy into pickle, boy gets pickle into girl. This could be good. And this could also be unbelievably awful.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Incidentally...

    by Tony Mike Hall

    It's a refreshing change to have a guest writer on this site who obviously isn't pre-pubescent. I guess Harry and Mori stopped cruising the local junior highs for web site help. Welcome, Merrick - most welcome.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Star Trek is Over

    by Flickerhead

    There's no good reason to continue humping this dead carcass. "Star Trek" has no more relevance because the thematic elements which made it memorable have been beaten into so many weekly television series cliches. Rather than trying to find new angles from which to approach this rickety old concept, why not pour that money and energy into creating a new and relevant franchise? (Must ... refrain ... from ... "Firefly" ... pimpin' ... ) The show was good for it's time, and TNG nicely picked up where the TOS left off, but even that superior series was leaking by the time it ended. Let it go, my friends, and let's see if anyone can create a trek for the next generation.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Trek IV and that floating God Head

    by Big Bad Clone

    Was there a line or two in there somewhere after it kills that Vulcan dude that brushes off the head as some asshole alien? Or were we just left to assume that God was killed by photon torpedeos?

  • March 20, 2006, 2:07 p.m. CST

    "Girl gets boy into pickle ... "

    by Flickerhead

  • March 20, 2006, 2:08 p.m. CST

    "Girl gets boys into pickle ... "

    by Flickerhead

    " ... boy gets pickle into girl." LOL. Nice, TMH. :^)

  • March 20, 2006, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Damn, Merrick.

    by Aragorn II

    The last few paragraphs were the best summation of what's wrong with Trek that I've read. Obviously, I'd have to see the script to know for sure, but from your summary, I honestly believe this movie has to be made. IF it can avoid the bad comedy and self-referential crap. If it was just approached as a stand-alone film without the weight of six movies and three seasons of TV on its back, with the right director this could be something great. My unexpected surge of emotion for the original crew is...illogical.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:09 p.m. CST

    I would love to see a young Kirk...

    by Big Bad Clone

    just to see some kid do all the Shatner ticks a la that kid who played Jim Carrey's character in that Dumb & Dumberer movie.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Flicka! You can always hump a carcass one last time...

    by Tony Mike Hall

    And if that doesn't work, yank out the teeth get some dead head. This might be the one last Trek story worth telling. Yes, it's the shameless rape of a franchise way past it's prime. But if they were to throw Shatner in, doing voiceover while we watch young Kirk kicking schoolboy ass and pinching schoolgirl ass... Shit, that's all you had to say.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Trek died at #9 when they passed up the Dominion War

    by I Dunno

    The movie after the one with the Borg. Whatever the hell that movie was about, it should have been about the Dominion War and should have introduced the DS9 crew so they could take over in future movies. You would have had a kick ass Star Wars type war movie (we're talking about 1998 here, people would have loved it) and ensured at least another few movies with a new crew. Relying just on the TNG crew led to a dead end. In conclusion, Berman sucks ass.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Yes Norwick,

    by Shaner Jedi

    Trek V did have strong points. The film has some of the best chemistry between the 3 main characters in the entire series. And did you really think they'd find "God"? I really like Trek 5. Oh, it's hoakey and chep-looking at times, but it has charm. I'll take that over Shakespearian-quoting Klingons anytime.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Obviously, is this were made now...

    by Lujho

    ... you'd probably use Kirk or Spock in the "present day" role, depending when it was set. Probably Spock, I guess, it would be set after Kirk went missing in the Nexus. Anyway, this sounds pretty cool, it would be nice to see something like it. Really all I want is good Trek again. I actually think it needs to jump another century ahead, like TNG did.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:34 p.m. CST

    consider myself a hardcore trek fan but ..

    by Mr Cairo

    i read this .... "He finally manages to get there, via a speeder bike ride from a fiery chick named CASSANDRA HIGHTOWER, who becomes a love interest later in the film" .... and gave up god this sounds shite

  • March 20, 2006, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Shaner Jedi....

    by Nodwick

    I disagree. For some of the BEST chemistry, see "Wrath of Khan." Or hell, see even the first film. I mean, "Hold your horse, Captain," or "I don't think you appreciate the gravity of your situation." Blargh. And those god-damn jet boots! Hell, they couldn't even get the deck numbers in the right order when he shoots up the turbolift (which mysteriously goes straight up the entire ship).

  • March 20, 2006, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Star Trek "How to Beat a Dead Horse"

    by Yoda's Ball Sack

    Classic Trek is dead. The above mentioned project will never see the light of day. It pains this fan to say it. Nemesis was not a great way to end the Next Generation cast either. Someone, somewhere, grow some balls and give Trek a damn fine send-off.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Mr Cairo

    by Aragorn II

    What is specifically bad about that line? Especially considering that it's a paraphrase by Merrick? I've seen lots of movies where people catch rides on bikes. Not saying you're wrong. Just curious why it's bad.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Um.....Merrick, there was no need...

    by Shermdawg

    to do the link's for the main page when all ya gotta do is hit "back", or click on Harry's mug. Seriousley dude. Damn. and... DAMN YOU ROTHMAN!!!

  • March 20, 2006, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Sounds about 1000 times better than Enterprise.

    by cookylamoo

  • March 20, 2006, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Some Interesting Continuity-Bits in that Article...

    by Leto III

    First off, the "Bonaventure" and "Bonaventure II" were both ships designed and built by Zefram Cochrane (per the Animated Series, the novel FEDERATION, and the original series's backstory)........the USS Enterprise being "An old ship of the line, a war horse, battered and patched"? In the TV series continuity, it's a very new cruiser, with its latest refit-cycle only 20 years young, as of ST III. Even when Christopher Pike commanded it, it was a shiny, recently-constructed thing (with Robert April the *first* Enterprise captin). It was never an Academy trainer-ship, it was a top-of-the-line exploratory vessel right from day one! By the time of WRATH OF KHAN, sure, but never prior to the 5-year mission. Dunno about "Geoffrey Thorpe," either..........The "dilithium"-thing is reasonably plausible, since it's implied that Stafleet vessels are more reliant upon "lithium" (per the Delta Vega station in WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE), but even novels like THE FINAL REFLECTION posited that dilithium was in use -- if uncommonly -- even half-a-century before TOS.........Otherwise, I too have been hearing for years that Harve Bennett and Loughery's STARFLEET ACADEMY script was a cut above average, and as far back as early 2004, Bennett was in discussions with Paramount over reviving the project (concurrent with J. Michael Straczynski and Bryce Zabel's "reboot" proposal commissioned by certain elements at the studio). More's the pity.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:47 p.m. CST

    The Haters can't stand to have Trek back

    by cookylamoo

    because then they'd have to watch it and they might even like it and that's not half as much fun as being a snob.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:47 p.m. CST

    This should be a TV show.

    by Kage

    Would be a great way to resurrect the franchise... when the time is right. And a perfect fit for the new CW network. A Star Trek 90210 of sorts. They could even do 4 or so years of Academy TV stories and then they could graduate to theatrical adventures. You know you'd watch.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Who wrote this?? G. Lucas

    by Drewchem08

    "You worry too much" "Because you don't worry enough" More craptastic Sci Fi dialogue.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:55 p.m. CST

    by Spaz_Monkey

    "the USS Enterprise being "An old ship of the line, a war horse, battered and patched"? In the TV series continuity, it's a very new cruiser, with its latest refit-cycle only 20 years young, as of ST III. Even when Christopher Pike commanded it, it was a shiny, recently-constructed thing (with Robert April the *first* Enterprise captin). It was never an Academy trainer-ship, it was a top-of-the-line exploratory vessel right from day one! By the time of WRATH OF KHAN, sure, but never prior to the 5-year mission. Dunno about "Geoffrey Thorpe," either"....... Unless, of course, it was Archer's Enterprise. That would make much more sense, would it not?

  • March 20, 2006, 2:59 p.m. CST

    re: Some Interesting Continuity-Bits in that Article...

    by Spaz_Monkey

    That's what I forgot in my last post. a subject! I suck...

  • March 20, 2006, 3 p.m. CST

    True....

    by Leto III

    ...despite the Enterprise from Harve Bennett&#39;s script clearly being the NCC-1701 (at the time it was written), a retcon to the NX-01 *would* be plausible for a rewrite. However, it was destroyed in the <<yorf>> Berman/Braga-penned ENTERPRISE "finale," THESE ARE THE VOYAGES... Although I myself would be all for shoving all the negatives from that episode off a pier somewhere, and having Paramount declare that it never even happened.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Quick Addendum to the Above:

    by Leto III

    ENTERPRISE&#39;s final year was, for my money, one of the best pure STAR TREK seasons I&#39;ve ever had the pleasure to witness (owing in no small part to the presence of Manny Coto and Judy & Gar Reeves-Stevens, TREK gods and goddess extraordinare), and wouldn&#39;t object at all to Archer&#39;s Enterprise surviving past the Romulan Wars. (Oh, and I forget subject-headings all the time, too.)

  • March 20, 2006, 3:06 p.m. CST

    In Trek&#39;s case, prequels are indicative of lazy writing

    by I Dunno

    Star Trek is about exploration, discovery, the evolution of mankind, all that gay stuff. It&#39;s not about an excrusiatingly detailed history of the Federation and biographies of the characters. The story has to move forward, not back. Destroy the Federation. Have humans evolve to a higher life form. Explore the meaning of existance. Shake things up. Don&#39;t keep going backwards in time. That does nothing to advance the story of mankind and only serves to give the Trekkies continuity errors to obsess over. Star Trek doesn&#39;t have to be dead but it needs a visionary to bring it to the next level. At the very least, a high concept idea like that in DS9 would do. The Trek universe is limitless. Unfortunatly, the talent involved is not.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Cassandra Hightower - You can&#39;t have a character

    by jim

    in an Academy movie called Hightower and expect people to take it seriously. You say Hightower, people think Police Academy. There is also that Police Academy moment when Kirk, on his way out, hears there is trouble and decides to stay to save the day. Just like Guttenberg did. I like the idea. It&#39;s hard to tell from a summary of the script but I think I would prefer not having the "cadets save the day".

  • March 20, 2006, 3:08 p.m. CST

    I actually hold...

    by purplewarrior

    That fuckwit Brannon Braga accountable for star trek&#39;s demise

  • March 20, 2006, 3:09 p.m. CST

    The Elephant Man&#39;s name was JOHN Merrick

    by slone13

    For the record

  • March 20, 2006, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Give Trek the BSG treatment.

    by FluffyUnbound

    I will write the bible for it if Moore is no longer available. [That&#39;s a joke, folks, before you start in.]

  • March 20, 2006, 3:13 p.m. CST

    This was done twice in the 70s, when it was called...

    by EriamJH

    ...Space Academy and Jason at Star Command. (Terrible live action, Saturday morning fair from Filmation... believe James Doohan was in one or the other.) MERRICK, AND FOR YOUR TAGLINE: "I am not an animal! I am a human being! I...am...a man!" --John Merrick, "The Elephant Man" (1980 David Lynch directed, Mel Brooks produced, Academy Award nominated movie starring John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins) My god, man, the quotable line was fodder for a decade.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:14 p.m. CST

    ST:TAY rejection turned Harve Bennet into an alcoholic

    by Tall_Boy

    Tis true. Course, I&#39;d think one would have to be a little sauced to have a mind meld involved in passing an exam.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:14 p.m. CST

    it&#39;s funny

    by quadrupletree

    I had a similar idea to this script for Trek years ago. Not as a movie but as a TV series, and not as a prequal but as a sequal to post-Voyager era. An Academy series where we follow cadets during their years of training and we get some Trek history in the different episodes, see clips from the different series dealing with whatever topic they&#39;re learning about that week. Next Generation era and on cast members could have special guest roles as guest speakers at their lectures, etc. There&#39;s a lot of possibility there, honestly there&#39;s a lot of possibility in Trek in general if Paramount could get their shit together!!

  • March 20, 2006, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Woody Allen&#39;s Sin City parody trailer...

    by Sardy

    I&#39;m one of the biggest Trek fans going (except for Voyager and Enterprise, which don&#39;y count). Alas, Academy Years is doomed to failure... Check out the Woody Allen Sin City parody trailer... "Sinhattan" at: http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2711127

  • March 20, 2006, 3:20 p.m. CST

    re: TWOK chemistry

    by Fat Chooch

    I&#39;m a Trek fan from way back. And every time I hear someone mention TWOK as the best of the film series and having the best chemisrty, I shake my head in wonderment. Put into proper context, yes, TWOK was head-and-shoulders above TMP in character chemistry. But really watch TWOK and - except for Montalban&#39;s shamlessly over-the-top performance - the chemistry is horrible. The scene in Kirk&#39;s apartment with Bones is utterly wince-inducing. So is Kirk&#39;s interaction with Carol Marcus and David. And the less said about Kirsty Alley&#39;s Saavik, the better. Some of this can be blamed on Nick Meyer since it was his first directing effort. Sure, at the time, the movie was cool because of Khan and the battle/action sequences. But strip that away and you have one of the worst acted, worst directed and worst character interaction films of the whole series. As as much as everyone flames TFF, I think it had the best design on the series. The Enterprise interiors never looked better (with the added wood trim and the wheel in the observation lounge), the lighting was never more dramatic and, for some strange reason, I preferred the rear-projected star field through the windows as opposed to the more common matte effects. It just seemed a little more, I dunno, "organic" maybe?

  • March 20, 2006, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Merrick, that was too well written...

    by StudioPlant69

    Please remember this is Aint it cool and your writing needs to be filled with silly stuff like...owns your asses, dead raped deer, bomb in ribcage, Hulk Hogan cheats on Kirk and has a beer, etc. Also you need to mention you have a girlfriend and you&#39;re in love. Oh and always state you are not a plant and you need some Amazon.com links in there as well. Harry&#39;s not bad, he just writes that way... GFY

  • March 20, 2006, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Sex scene in the script...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Absolutely loved the scene where Spock sucked Kirk off and then they gangbanged Uhura, Ensign Rand, and a green chick with the help of Scotty, Bones, Chekov, and a couple of guys from sick bay. That was an awesome scene. Loved that dialogue, "I need to have an orgasm... Make it so." That was pure awesomeness. Couldn&#39;t believe that Spock actually swallowed all of Kirk&#39;s manseed, though. Dunno why, but I always figured him for more of a swallower, I guess. Then Sulu came in and started eyeing Kirk&#39;s bulbous cock, foreshadowing that he was queer. For those who don&#39;t know, this scenario played heavily upon an unfilmed episode from the original series written by Gene Roddenberry entitled, "Cum In My Ass, Mister Spock." Fabulous, fabulous stuff. Greenlight this one today.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Joseph Merrick was not the name of the elephant man...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    It was John Merrick.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Make this!

    by Lou Stools

    Let Bennett save Star Trek one last time...hopefully this will finally put an end to 15 years of lame-ass "Star Trek 90210" knee-jerk arguments. Oh, and Fat Chooch...you&#39;re obviously high.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:33 p.m. CST

    MORE DETAILS (forgot to mention)

    by Joseph Merrick

    That the instructor of Command Psych at the Academy is a prematurely gray haired chap named John Gill (later seen as the template for the parallel Nazi world in TOS episode PATTERNS OF FORCE). Tricorders exist, but it&#39;s implied they

  • March 20, 2006, 3:34 p.m. CST

    TV or Cable Movie

    by nexxus7

    Why are they always trying to milk Trek for a Series or Theatrical release. This thing would be DOA at theaters no matter how good it was. As well, folks have wised up to B&B trying to milk this franchise with a new franchise (I&#39;m sure one&#39;ll be announced any day now). But really, what more ground could a new series cover? > Try to cover the timeline between Archer&#39;s and Kirk&#39;s era -- i.e. founding of the Federation? Yawn, plus that&#39;s pretty much where they left off, and wasn&#39;t that show killed. > Try to resurrect TOS crew using performance capture technology? Interesting, but these guys are 70 years old. > Follow a different TNG-era ship, basically along the same timeline? Yawn. > Visit the Federation 500 or 1,000 years into the future? Yeah you&#39;d get some new tech and visit some new races, and explore a bigger chunk of the universe (assuming intergalactic travel by then -- not to be confused with "intra"galactic as is currently the case). Most interesting concept IMO, but ultimately it would probably boil down to the same ole same ole forumla. What I&#39;d realy prefer to see over the next few years are a series of movies that visit the Trek universe and expand on the mythos. This would be a great candidate for a Sci-Fi or HBO Original movie -- especially if given a decent budget, a competent cast, and a great writer. You don&#39;t need much more than that. Then every year or so come out with a new film or two set in a different corner of the Star Trek Universe --A totally different crew and ship; A Star Trek in the 35th Century; a hip young Star Fleet Academy movie; A Klingon movie; Star Fleet under attack by some new alien race and making their last stand at Earth.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Voyager killed it

    by Bono Luthor

    People talk about Trek being away for a few years before a re-invention, but it already feels that way to me. It seems like a long time since I saw new Trek that really nailed it. Voyager killed Trek. It was, without fail, utter shite. As a result I passed on Enterprise. Even Nemesis was a missed opportunity somewhat. Under Berman it ALL JUST GOT SO BLAND. Compare Voyager to other shows that were around at the same time that had 10 times the energy, pace and plot, and it looked/looks like an embarassing old relative. Grrrrr. Makes me angry to see a verse wasted like that.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:42 p.m. CST

    PS.

    by Bono Luthor

    Great article.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:43 p.m. CST

    "proves his value to the system via a trial by fire"

    by newc0253

    "i&#39;ll wager three quatloons on the newcomer". da da daah daah daah daah da da da...

  • March 20, 2006, 3:45 p.m. CST

    What About Finnegan, and that Ruth chick

    by Darkfyre

    Who were both mentioned and shown in the episode &#39;Shore Leave&#39; where Kirk was thnking back about his days in Starfleet Academy. Surely, the script has some mention of Finnegan playing practical jokes on Kirk. Doesn&#39;t it?

  • March 20, 2006, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Lou Stools re: being high

    by Fat Chooch

    In fact, I was stoned out of my ass the first time I saw TWOK when it was originally released. Thought it was great. Then I went to see it again sober. Wasn&#39;t as good that time. And upon further viewings without the lenses of cannabis, alcohol or hallucinagens, the glaringly bad dialogue and character interactions just continued to jump out. Was it good: sure. But, it was the movie than needed to be made to insure that the movie franchise continued.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:54 p.m. CST

    How about if we just call "Redo!"

    by KingKirby

    Why doesn&#39;t Paramount give up on prequels and sequels to "Trek" and just remake the whole shebang? We just start off with the launch of the five-year mission in the yellow, blue, and red tunics, introducing us to Kirk (George Clooney), Spock (Jude Law) and McCoy (Gary Sinise). You can throw in the other characters for what they originally were: extras with names. But it would be primarily about how the triad not only became shipmates, but how they became friends. Have some fun with it and make it exciting and inspiring again. I mean, geez, "Galaxy Quest" was better than the last couple of "Next Generation" films. Anyway, just my two cents.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Trek V may be poorly made, but...

    by Some Dude

    ...it&#39;s message on religion and gods is great. Just why would a god need a starship? Or money? Or a church full of devoted worshippers? Or prosyletizers? Why would the most powerful being in the universe have need for anything? For the idiots, Kirk doesn&#39;t actually meet a god. Just ike in real life, no one ever meets a god, because there are no gods. They only meet people pretending to be gods or working for gods.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:04 p.m. CST

    I was wondering about Finnegan too

    by rev_skarekroe

    He was a jerk.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:06 p.m. CST

    apologies for the typos

    by Some Dude

    "It&#39;s" should read "its." "Ike" should read "like."

  • March 20, 2006, 4:06 p.m. CST

    As a casual fan...

    by blackwood

    (meaning, I watched the movies and liked about half of them, saw a lot of TNG in reruns), I&#39;d watch this. The thing I like about Trek is the optimism - it supposes at some point in human social evolution we grew up. We stopped throwing tantrums over our petty differences and worked together to bring about a new age. Science Fiction indeed. And McCoy would HAVE to be the storyteller; Kirk is the hero, Spock is the brains, and McCoy is the heart.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:07 p.m. CST

    I&#39;d watch this movie, if made.

    by Childe Roland

    But, unfortunately, I don&#39;t think it would get a very warm reception in theaters. I just think the time has passed where a Star Trek movie will plant a certain number of asses in $8-$10 seats, guaranteed. Those of us who do remember the characters and stories in their heyday also remember the complete shit offered under the banner in recent years. And those too young to remember couldn&#39;t be bothered to care about something their dads dug for one reason or another. A made-for-Sci-Fi mini like Galactica, on the other hand, could give rise to renewed interest in the characters and perhaps capture new viewers. Then you could take the new actors in the classic roles and do a "new" Trek series along the same lines. But, as cool as I think that has potential to be, I can only imagine the backlash from die-hard Trekkers when they realize their Trek has been reinvented. Never mind that a new old Trek could be every bit as cool as the new old Galactica if done smartly. I&#39;m betting folks just wouldn&#39;t go for it.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:07 p.m. CST

    This actually sounds good.

    by bluebottle

    and i&#39;m not even that big of a Star Trek fan... I liked a couple of the movies and a handful of TNG episodes.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Re: Woody Allen Sin City

    by Alen Smithee

    Nice concept, poorly executed. But the Star Trek stuff sounds pretty good.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:22 p.m. CST

    It&#39;s True, I Tell You!!!

    by Duke of Hurl

    I ride the Metro in LA, and one of the writers was talking about it on his phone. He figured noone on the Metro would give a shit, but I heard it - and it&#39;s happening. I don&#39;t know anything but the obvious, but rest assured - they are working on it.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:37 p.m. CST

    I Wonder If Fans Would Buy a Reimagined TOS

    by nexxus7

    What if TOS were remade with different actors cast in the roles? Now that&#39;s an interesting thought. I&#39;m not talking about BSG reimagining. But basically a remake with different actors in the same roles, but not "channeling" Shatner&#39;s pause acting. As well, there would be updated CGI, an updated ship and bridge design, redesigned uniforms (same basic concept, but c&#39;mon the tunics and highwaters would never fly). CGI planets and cities as opposed to matte paintings and models. Prostetic makeup as opposed to grease paint. General art direction would be tricky. Do you go for the retro-futuristic, the gritty realism, or play it safe with TNG approach? Then there&#39;s the whole question of retelling classic trek tales -- Triskillions, Vol, Gorn, etc. Or would the better idea be to just take TOS, update the SFX, do some new voice dubbing where necessary, and re-release a new set of DVDs. I could think of 10 episodes or so where this could be kinda cool. Either of these could be interesting exercises for a budding filmmaker as well.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Anthology series. Anthology series!

    by BrandLoyalist

    All different periods, all different characters. Call it "Star Trek: Federation". Sulu and the Excelsior. 29th century stuff. Tales from Zephram Cochran&#39;s moonshine still. Kirk at the academy could be an episode too. Seems a little glib to sacrifice what&#39;s left of TOS&#39; continuity for a whole Young Kirk & Spock series. You just know it&#39;ll turn out that Spock built C-3PO, etc.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Trek fail because it became too preachy.

    by EyeofPolyphemus

    it promoted an arrogant humanism (Starfleet is full of humans lcturing other cultures on adapting human principles. Worf is celebrated only when he abandons Klingon tradition.), a socialist economic system that doesn&#39;t work, and a semi-pacifist ideal that writers had a nearly impossible time working with.

  • March 20, 2006, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Hell, I like it!

    by acebandage

    I like the idea and the script as it was summed up sounded pretty good. They could do a series off of that in the vein of Smallville and I would watch it. OR, they could do it as a Starfleet Academy set in the Next Generation/ DS9 era and use new characters so that we wouldn&#39;t know who would make it and who wouldn&#39;t because unlike Kirk and Spock, we don&#39;t know about all the adventures they have later. Sounds better than Enterprise anyway.

  • March 20, 2006, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Cast Bubba Smith as Hightower in Starfleet Academy NOW!

    by Zartan

    Cadets on Patrol! Steve Guttenberg as George Kirk, it&#39;ll work!

  • March 20, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Let this crap die

    by Knugen

    All hail BSG2K4!!

  • March 20, 2006, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Uhurah, Sulu and Chekov ma not appear in the script...

    by Tony Mike Hall

    but they&#39;d make one hell of a menage sex scene. Fearsome! Who&#39;s with me...? Hello?

  • March 20, 2006, 5:36 p.m. CST

    by Alan_Moore

    First of all, Merrick, I don&#39;t know how you did it, but in 15+ years of hearing tidbits about this project (some concept drawings, including one of a young, cowboy hat-wearing Kirk even surfaced on one of the 2-disc Trek DVDs not long ago), this is the first time I have ever heard that a completed script was written! Good find, and a well-written review. Second, it has for some time been my opinion that a recasting of the original series WOULD work if done right. Shatner&#39;s involvement would work wonders. Have him legitimize the project by doing the aforementioned De Kelley wrap-around sequences as an older Kirk. Grab headlines by advertising Bill&#39;s return to Star Trek, then keep interest with a well-written and directed story featuring younger versions of everyone&#39;s favorite characters: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty. Third, Leto III is absolutely right - Manny Coto and Judy & Garfield Reeves-Stevens were breathing wonderful life back into Trek right before the plug was pulled. Early seasons of Enterprise did suck, but season 4 was kicking all manner of ass. Which only goes to prove Merrick&#39;s point - it wasn&#39;t oversaturation that caused the franchise&#39;s terminal illness, it was lousy writing and Rick Berman. Bennett DID understand what Trek was all about. A team consisting of any combination of the following: Coto, the Reeves-Stevens, Bennett, Nick Meyer, Bryan Singer, Leonard Nimoy - could knock this one out of the park. If it did well enough to garner a sequel, the new, re-cast Kirk, Spock and McCoy could appear again in a story set before the conclusion of the five year mission or between TMP and TWOK (big time gap between those in the official chronology).

  • March 20, 2006, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Just out of curiosity...

    by Aragorn II

    ...what do you think would have to happen to get Paramount to actually take another serious look at this?

  • March 20, 2006, 5:48 p.m. CST

    "i am not a nerd!"

    by jasjadapascha

    "i am a human filmgeek!" nice article, this sound like it could actually have been a decent star trek picture. alas. dapascha

  • March 20, 2006, 5:52 p.m. CST

    As soon as I read "prequel" and "academy years"

    by scrumdiddly

    I thought...now that&#39;s an artistically logical idea. Juxtapose a Trek prequel with the ACTUAL "prequel" lives of real characters. Have their stories parallel and refer to the trials and challenges of the era... Hold on, they already did a prequel and ignored all of that, didn&#39;t they? Darn. Also, I won&#39;t vomit over those screenplay snippets, since most screenplays are profoundly awful. Anchorite, above, is right, as we probably all know. Oh, and given how they&#39;ve portrayed cadets in the past, in TNG and DS9(especially DS9), I have to pray this never gets made. We had more than enough "Trek teenager" in Wesley Crusher. Little poof.

  • March 20, 2006, 5:57 p.m. CST

    I&#39;d also like to suggest people stop

    by scrumdiddly

    referring to Star Trek and just about everything else like they&#39;re sentient entities of some kind. Star trek doesn&#39;t have feelings, it doesn&#39;t move on its own. We long since passed the point of no return with it - the point where the dead wood in charge could have been jettisoned and the series been allowed to grow again. Eh, what&#39;s the point...it&#39;s dead.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:07 p.m. CST

    What *I* Would Do...

    by Joseph Merrick

    Don&#39;t "reinvent" STAR TREK mythology, perse. At least not as much as GALACTICA reinvented itself. I would just erase the history/knowledge of everything that has happened before...in any incarnation...and start over. USE THE SAME CHARACTERS& the same template -- THE ACADEMY YEARS might make a wonderful launch point for this. But don&#39;t think in terms of a TREK sequel, or in terms of a TREK prequel. Just take the raw concept, amp it up, "harden" it in the right places, "hearten" in in others, and REBOOT it. Familiar but fresh. Make it the story of a punky kid from Iowa and a bookworm from Vulcan who can barely take care of themselves, but end up living the most remarkable lives imaginable. In this sense, I suppose I&#39;m saying approach it like SMALLVILLE (a comparison someone else drew here). TREK, with all its ideals in tact, but told as a *journey* of a few special people. From the corn fields to the UNIVERSE -- how can someone not find magic in that? And, like young Clark Kent, before these peopel can be great...they have to understand the challenges that will make them great. And its tough going along the way. Mistakes are made. People get hurt. But they&#39;re always moving forward. Always towards something greater. Don&#39;t try to connect it to any existing TREK iteration. Make it look and feel *just* enough like TREK so there&#39;s no particular shock of adjustment. But don&#39;t bog it down in the ungodly quagmire of dubious continuity in which TREK now wallows. Then wind it up & watch it go. Just my humble opinion.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:19 p.m. CST

    pon farr, latex gloves and...CASSANDRA HIGHTOWER

    by Sir Loin

    This sounds like a terrific script and as a first-generation TOS fan I&#39;d have been there on opening day...BUT! The name of Kirk&#39;s lust interest sounds like a wrestling chick&#39;s. Everything else was great, Harve!

  • March 20, 2006, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Wow, that would&#39;ve been bad

    by SifoDyasJr.

    Not quite Tim Burton&#39;s Superman bad, but pretty close. The only thing that script is missing is having Khan as Kirk and McCoy&#39;s asshole gym teacher at the academy.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:21 p.m. CST

    nexxus7

    by Avenger534

    Go check out http://www.newvoyages.com/. They produce episodes slowly, but they&#39;ve got some Roddenberrys, Walter Koenig, George Takei, John Carrigan, and a ton of redshirts.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:22 p.m. CST

    My problems with this script...

    by Voice O. Reason

    (1) I refuse to believe that there&#39;s any way that Kirk, Spock, and McCoy were all cadets together at Starfleet Academy. (2) Yeah, there&#39;s far too many plot cliches in there. Basically it&#39;d be the Trek version of movies we&#39;ve already seen.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:23 p.m. CST

    One of my earliest memories is watching TWOK

    by Avenger534

    I yearn for some good Trek. ST VI was a good film, yes, but there&#39;s been many administrative mistakes made in the franchise. This looks like it could have been a helluva film if properly treated fifteen years ago. Alas, it was not to be...

  • March 20, 2006, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Trekkies will never go for a reboot.

    by EyeofPolyphemus

    Place the new show or movie in the 25th century and don&#39;t elaborate on past continuity. Keep Berman 7 Braga away from it. Give us more exploration and discovery episodes, prsonal and otherwise, and leave the political rumblings of the Romulans, Klingons, Cassadians, et al, out of it.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Jack Black.......

    by chavee

    .....as Scotty. That would be the shite.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:42 p.m. CST

    I read this expecting to hate it....

    by Coldhand

    ...And thought it sounded alright, The story sounded pretty tight in comparison to recent trek shite but trouble would come into paradise when it came to re-casting those iconic characters.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:44 p.m. CST

    2 Cents...

    by Ronin_67

    I too, thought the Academy idea was bad, but the script sounds like "classic trek." I agree with the Smallville references. The hints-of-things-to-come really make Smallville great (face it - you want Luther to be good but no he will end up a baddie). This would be great for a "reboot" of trek. I think the New Voyages and Exeter fan productions have caught a boit of the "old" Trek and (for Fan productions) quite enjoy them. the fact so many "classic" Trek folks (writers, actors, etc.) have lent their help, should mean something. I always thought a Trek Universe show might be good (TV, movie or internet). One where they could tell stories and not be married to one crew. Trek, for me, has always been about the larger ideals and values. Berman and Crew brought it to it&#39;s knees. God Bless you Gene and shame on you Rick.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Can Merrick please please write everything on this site

    by chiahead

    from now on? Or at least can he have his own column? Seriously. They weren&#39;t kidding when they said that he needs to dumb it up and put in references to amazon, his girlfriend and being in love in order to fit on this site. what a great read. I found myself actually caring about Trek again- something I haven&#39;t done since First Contact. And I NEVER cared much for TOS- but THESE characters? I could get in to them. also... Shatner&#39;s Has Been really does rock.

  • March 20, 2006, 7:32 p.m. CST

    i was a massive trekker

    by haywire666

    but now im not... constant bland storylines and paramount ripping off the fans forced me to rethink my postion. enterprise really was the final nail in the coffin. why watch an epsiode when you knew it was composed out of far superior episodes out of other series. the franchise just ate itself whole. star trek academy yes, but take note of continuity and put it back in the 24th century picards era. its the only thing that will work.. why look at a communicator, when all you think of is that your own mobile phone works better then that. never let berman or braga touch this again. ever.

  • March 20, 2006, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Young Jim Kirk.... NOT!!!!

    by Maniaq

    I guess the average ST fan also likes Smallville? I think that show IS CRAP!! Let me say AGAIN what I said years ago - on this very talkback even - an anthology series is the ONLY way to save this franchise. Forget trying to make ST into SMallville or BSG or any other crap that came along LONG LONG after ST first captured people&#39;s imaginations... You don&#39;t need some charismatic lead doing his best to avoid channeling Shatner to make a Starfleet TV series work... in the Twilight Zone...

  • March 20, 2006, 7:37 p.m. CST

    well done Merrick.

    by Mr Brownstone

    well done. *the preceeding is to be read aloud in a James Mason voice*

  • March 20, 2006, 7:44 p.m. CST

    one more time- who in the world is Merrick?

    by Cotton McKnight

    I have never heard of this guy, but he is coming on this site like gangbusters. Nice to see someone interacting on the talkback for a change.

  • March 20, 2006, 7:50 p.m. CST

    I can&#39;t believe people are still defending Nemesis.

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    The biggest piece of garbage ever to touch a Star Trek franchise this side of Enterprise. TNG was genius of course, as were parts of Generations, and all of First Contact. DS9 came closest to replicating what made those series good, and also had what BSG has now: deep and flawed heroes and great war story lines. What First Contact and DS9 had were fear, fear of death, fear of failure, fear that they were so close to losing everything that had ever been faught for before. That&#39;s what was lost in Insurrection, and even more in Nemesis. Nothing ever seemed galaxy threatening. When you make a movie on Star Trek, it has to be epic, or it at least has to be somewhat meaningful (like IV, concerning species extinction through pollution). Enterprise&#39;s problem is in the same vein, not only was it sterilized, not only were the graphics lame, not only was the dialogue Lucas trite, not only did the history go against everything we had come to know about Star Trek before it, but it never had an over-bearing sense of dread, that things might not work out. Why? Because we knew everything had to work out in the end. And that aspect had no chance of being overcome because of all the previous faults. Enterprise came close though, when they did the Alternate Universe stuff, that was actually pretty damn good. So that&#39;s what Star Trek needs, flawed heroes, but heroes none-the-less. And fuck, don&#39;t even let me get started on Voyager&#39;s castration of The Borg, one of the freakiest villains this side of the Xenomorph from Alien.

  • March 20, 2006, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Excuse me I am looking for the nuclear wessels?

    by George Newman

  • March 20, 2006, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Re: "What *I* Would Do"

    by scrumdiddly

    Merrick, that&#39;s a perfectly servicable idea, but really, 9 times out of 10 that story would just be a regurgitation of so many other sappy "teen dramas". If ANY new Trek ever gets made, it should be a story so great they can&#39;t not make it. Everything right now just smacks of desperation.

  • March 20, 2006, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Why reboot?

    by MrD

    I loved Trek, moreso in my college days than today, but love it I do still. However, I felt nothing but antipathy towards Voyager, and indifference towards Enterprise. However, I don&#39;t see that either one destroyed the UNIVERSE that we know. The problem, as I see it, is Roddenberry&#39;s "no conflict - Federation Paradise" mandate, and that is what would have to be jettisoned, or they&#39;ll have to keep coming up with mixed crews like DS9 and VOY, or set it outside Starfleet like Enterprise. My thoughts for a series: 1) Trek meets James Bond - a series set around Section 31. 2) A series in the mirror universe, in which Starfleet attempts to fix the problems Kirk created. Send in an undercover crew to work with the underground. I think such a story has more relevence now than when I thought of it a decade ago. 3) Push the series foward another century. We&#39;ve been pissing around in the 24th century for too long. We know it too well. Shake up the status quo, and see what the Federation, it&#39;s allies and it&#39;s enemies have become. Like TNG, it will allow us to discover the familiar all over again.

  • March 20, 2006, 7:58 p.m. CST

    I agree with I Dunno

    by Z0D

    The idiots Berman & Braga should have handed over the franchise to the DS9 crew. Quite simply, DS9 was somewhat better than TNG. To support this, the fact that they were on a space station next to a wormhole to another quadrant of the galaxy made it spectacular. Aliens coming through to Alpha quad, we go through to Gamma quad, wormhole is basically the home realm of extra-dimensional aliens who are worshiped by Bajorans, the Dominion as the super bad guy until the end, badass Sisko being the chosen one to bring peace, Kai Winn being the back stabbing bitch, Kira being the auburn-headed hottie in season7 (oh I dreamed of her), and the kick-ass war machine Defiant. Oh, don&#39;t forget Quark&#39;s dabo girls who barely wore anything and the many other supporting characters/actors who added deapth to the storytelling. Picture this, Star Trek 9 would: have brought Sisko back from the celestial temple at the prophet&#39;s insistance to stop a new threat to the stability of the galaxy. He would reappear at Starfleet HQ bringing a new message of great urgency: another planet killer is on it&#39;s way. This time, there&#39;s no stopping it. The Bajorans know about it based on their encounter with one in their ancient past. The only way to fight the threat is for the emissary to come full circle and make the ultimate sacrifice. In my mind, DS9 ws the best Trek ever. ___KNEEL___

  • March 20, 2006, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Reboot idea sucks! Do starfleet academy in Picard&#39;s era

    by Neo Zeed

    NO reboot..NO more going back in Star Trek&#39;s past..How about new characters and have the friggin&#39; TNG and DS9 characters show up to the Acadamy to teach the young folk. It doesn&#39;t have to be Dawson&#39;s Creek in Space...it can be very serious and have adventures and subplots that can impact the Star Trek universe and finally move it foward with continuity. DS9 was still in the universe..That&#39;s why people liked it better than Gilligans Island in Space AKA: Voyager and Enterprise (where they had to shoehorn TNG cast in stupid convoluted ways anyway so....)

  • March 20, 2006, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Stop trying to explain stuff.....

    by Lain Of The Net

    No one who has any power to start new Trek is going to do anything until Berman&#39;s contract runs out. I believe that this is supposed to happen at the end of this year. Enterprise was just about the most painful television I have ever watched. Thing is I like Bakula - I adore him in fact - but until Trek can be done without the presence of Berman it will always feel wrong. The man does not get it. There are still people who do understand Trek - Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens for example. One of the things that made original Trek work was the assembling of a diverse group of people and watching them work. Original Trek said "you may be an enemy now but there is always the possibility we may become friends." Enterprise was basically a "you don&#39;t look like us...therefore you are an enemy." Some of the plot devices in the original series that have been mis-used in recent series have originated from "growing pains" in the original series. Vulcan prejudice for example in "Balance of Terror". Enterprise used that misunderstood aspect of an otherwise good episode to back story all Vulcans on Enterpise. The issue was not that a Human had good reasons to hate Vulcans. His hate had NO reason and that was the point of the episode. Some of the early poorly written stuff for Spock - remember the smiling Spock in "Mudd&#39;s Women" - has become the basis for the truly horrid examples of Vulcans in their later series. So instead of an example of a long lived race that had learned it&#39;s lessons well we got Tuvok the stuck up and uptight alien and T&#39;Pol the pouty. It is like they looked at these episodes and decided that these early series mistakes were intentional and not growing pains of a new series. It is what happens when anyone takes something as literal and fully intentional without the input from the original writer. I think in the case of the Vulcans it is the reason we have never had a better Vulcan than that of Leonard Nimoy or Mark Lenard. There is a reason why these characters resonated with young viewers of the time. McCoy the kindly Father figure, Kirk the emotional impulsive older brother, and Spock the struggling emotionally self aware autistic. The characters were put together as very different people with no real back story who came to love each other as a family would. When they said they would die for each other they meant it although this was never really put to the test like it was in the third movie. In First Contact, at the end of the film, the audience I was with cheered at the arrival of the Vulcans because they were Gene&#39;s Vulcans and not Rick&#39;s conniving, lying, petty underhanded sneaks. We were still under the impression that Trek was understood at that point by the people making it and not being churned out by some Hollywood Idea Man. The real understanding, from the fan point of view, set in with the pre-history series Enterprise. This is when the glaring misconceptions of any series would come to light when one tries to write what has come before. It is a far harder thing to write a back story than to continue one because a person must understand what you have first thoroughly. If you don&#39;t then the entire thing - Enterprise - begins to fall apart as people sense the wrongness of it and start tuning out. Elaborate back stories are not nearly as magical as the stories of people who do not know each other come together and begin to love and care for each other with NO prior reasons to do so. Stop feeling the need to explain things! Let the magic work! New Lost this Week!

  • March 20, 2006, 8:08 p.m. CST

    This might just work

    by Ye Not Guilty

    If it were a two hour, made-for-tv movie, but not as a theatrical release. The problem is that it falls prey to the same criticisms that many fans make of the TNG movies - that they are essentially two hour long episodes of the tv series. All this does is fill in some (albeit very interesting) backstory to already established characters. I agree with what another Talkbacker said, that this plot does not advance the franchise in any meaningful way. It is about revisiting the past, which is fun in a nostalgic way, but it would not be enough to sustain a theatrical release. Still, I could see it working on the small screen. Just replace the McCoy bookends with Sulu bookends, update it a bit, write around the continuity problems, eliminate some of the corny humor, throw in a couple of Scotty voice clips recycled from old episodes of TOS, add a line or two each from Kirk and Spock (these can via communicator, so the audience hears their voices only) and you have solid, quality teevee entertainment.

  • March 20, 2006, 8:24 p.m. CST

    gonna have to disagree with you, IAmNicksAICNSN

    by chiahead

    Make no mistake, Nemesis sucked...but I don&#39;t think the franchise&#39;s problems came from forgetting to make things epic, I think they came when they forgot that epic doesn&#39;t mean shite unless we the audience can relate to it on a purely human, PERSONAL level. Just my opinion. But one of the things I liked about TNG was that it went beyond this feaux grandiose ideollogy of TOS and BECAME about real(ish) people who, despite all this fancy shmancy technology, were still struggling in a very present-tense way to survive. Ensign Rowe&#39;s storylines in particular are a very good example of what I&#39;m talking about. That&#39;s also why I found Data&#39;s character to be so interesting, no matter how repetitive his &#39;antics&#39; became on the series. It was always about little things like... trying to figure out what humor was, or learning how to dance. Also the Beacon episode where Picard gets beamed into a different life etc. These weren&#39;t high handed or didactic, and if they were epic, what thrilled me about them was that I cared about the characters moreso than the fate of the universe. In any event, I think the creative teams on the more recent trek franchises mistook &#39;high stakes&#39; for &#39;high emotion&#39; or even for relevancy. Maybe it was a self imposed scare tactic or some kind of dramatic un-handicap to rewrite the trek history in Enterprise (i wouldn&#39;t know, i never watched that trash)- but i definitely think thinking BIGGER was putting a band aid on a much bigger problem. They shouldn&#39;t have been thinking BIGGER so much as they should have been thinking more specific. The more specific one gets in writing, the more universal it becomes, I have found. You yourself referenced Star Trek IV- I don&#39;t think the thematic content of ecology over extinction made it so popular so much as a) it was something we related to in the day, the idea of conservation et al, and b) we got to see all of these characters cast in the light of a completely different environment. Saving the world almost seemed like an afterthought. But that is just me.

  • March 20, 2006, 8:24 p.m. CST

    Bravo, Merrick!

    by Kap'n Kek

    It&#39;s easy in the current climate to jump on the bandwagon and beat the crap out of Trek, and sadly...DAMN but it deserves it. This is coming from a lifelong, official Trek dork, someone for whom the reruns of classic trek in the mid &#39;80s were the beginning of a whole new appreciation for fiction. NG was good, even great from several technical standpoints, but it only touched on true greatness when it emulated the original series, i.e. making the relationships between the characters the central issue. Look at Khan, why is it the universally regarded best film? It is about nothing but the characters and it is moved by those same characters, their despair, hate, and the surprising depth of their friendship. It&#39;s absolutely great to see someone value Trek the same way. The lines from the treatment(?) sound like he&#39;s channeling Fontana, sounds more like Kirk than he did in Generations(which I didn&#39;t entirely hate...there&#39;s something about a pauper&#39;s funeral for a great hero that I find moving). Anyway, if there is to be Trek in the future, haha, this sounds like a no-brainer compared to more NG whose characters have NOT aged the same charming way the OS actors did. Damn, reading that script/treatment/idea made me more excited about Star Trek than the last three movies put together. Now as far as casting...

  • March 20, 2006, 8:26 p.m. CST

    let it die

    by gredenko

    give it a generation or so, then let it be reinvented/remembered/revisited. there&#39;s too much bad trek baggage in the recent past for anything to take hold now like the original movies and series in syndication did.

  • March 20, 2006, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Bring Bennett + Meyer Back NOW!

    by genrefanboy

    They were both chiefly responsible for relaunching modern Trek. Gene took a back seat after STMP. Its been well documented in various books that Gene hated the TOS movie franchise (except for ST4). Harve should be given the chance to bring Trek back again as he was the primary creative force behind Treks 2,3,4 + 5. 5 failed because it had a weak premise + awful VFX. Strong VFX would have made it a lot better. If Paramount are floating this idea out there to see what fans think then they should realise that it would generate a lot of interest/money if done right either as a TV movie or straight to DVD as less financial risk although with the right hot young actors + Shatner & Nimoy could still be a huge hit @ the theaters as old & young would be interested in it. Even if it were poorly produced would still be a huge improvement over anything Berman & Braga produced since ST8!

  • March 20, 2006, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Set the next series or movie in the Trek Universe

    by Ingeld

    but in hundreds of years before. Kirk&#39;s great great grandfather was a smart aleck but clever member of the FBI who explored strange phenomenon with a female ancestor of Dr. McCoy. She worked as a forensic scientists/medical examiner. Perhaps, they almost fall in love. Nah, it would never work.

  • March 20, 2006, 9:15 p.m. CST

    THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH...

    by Joseph Merrick

    ..for your kind words. They are profoundly meaningful and appreciated.

  • March 20, 2006, 9:17 p.m. CST

    One more thing Trek needs...

    by MrD

    Writers. Not just television writers. Science Fiction writers. People with real ideas, not rejiggered TOS or TNG stories. Sure, some tv guys will need to be there for polish, but there is a wealth of storytellers out there waiting to be tapped.

  • March 20, 2006, 9:40 p.m. CST

    you take the good, you take the bad...

    by omarthesnake

    and there you have it. Good bits: sounds like the characters are well handled. Bad bits: The lack of Finnigan, the cliched badass chick character, and both the notions that everybody met each other at the academy and that they were all there the same time in the first place (aren&#39;t Bones and Scotty like ten years older than Kirk? And who knows HOW old Spock is?). and my vague suspicion that this is a fan wank script and not an actual one. Merrick, buddy, pal, why isn&#39;t this script available online somewhere for us all to peruse? and to add to the chorus, Merrick, your writing is too good, your observations too insightful and rational for this site. Go back and read that godawful Harry review of what was it, Blade II?

  • March 20, 2006, 9:51 p.m. CST

    sounds really good

    by springs360

    I&#39;m a big fan of TOS despite the general 60&#39;s shoddy sets and design but the stories were interesting the acting sound and was just generally exciting, although from a 2006 POW a bit camp and outdated althuogh i think its better than the frankly boring and tedious nxt gen/DS9+Voy (althuogh I&#39;m not really a fan of formumatic space stuff except firefly). The script for Academy looks good, not too cheesy or slef-knowing like some preuels but i think this should be the last ever trek related thing so let it go before it dissolves into joke

  • March 20, 2006, 9:51 p.m. CST

    For God&#39;s sake: Let Trek RIP

    by Jim Jam Bongs

    It needs to go into hibernation for AT LEAST 9 more years (counting 10 years since the end of Enterprise) before we start seriously discussing another revival.

  • March 20, 2006, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Hey Merrick, need a tagline?

    by Uncle_Les

    How about: "I am NOT AN ANIMAL, I AM A MAN!"? No? Okay, it was worth mentioning.

  • March 20, 2006, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Recasting TOS

    by Alan_Moore

    Bennett had a nice idea, but at the wrong time. The idea of replacing the beloved TOS cast was understandably met with resistance in 1990. But now that 2 of the cast are dead, and it&#39;s been 15 years since the public has seen the classic characters in live action, the idea is more acceptable. That said, while I&#39;d definitely watch an Academy movie, it&#39;d be even better to have the characters at their familiar stations on the Enterprise. Set it in year 5 - show us the famous 5 year mission wrapping up with a grand adventure, and end it with Kirk, Spock and Bones returning home as heroes and then saying their farewells to one another. Think of it as the ending TOS always deserved, and never got ("Turnabout Intruder" hardly cuts it as the finale to such a legendary show). It was thrilling to see the 1960&#39;s-era costumes, sets, props and a Constitution class starship during a 2-parter in Enterprise&#39;s final season. To see a ship that, for all intents and purposes, was the NCC-1701, whipping ass in a way the limited FX of the original series could never show us, much as they may have wanted to. It&#39;d be much more of a thrill if the ship WAS the Enterprise, a young James T. Kirk was in command, William Shatner appeared in framing sequences as the older Kirk, and this was all up on the big screen. I firmly believe this WOULD attract an audience. p.s. Shatner himself is set to release his own &#39;young Kirk & Spock at the Academy&#39; novel (written as always with the Reeves-Stevens) sometime soon. Bill even pitched the idea to CBS as a possible series not long ago. Wonder how Bennett feels about that??

  • March 20, 2006, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Ah well... guess nobody wants to answer me.

    by Cotton McKnight

    Who Merrick is, I mean. Moriarty? Check. Seen his stuff. Quint? Yep, seen him before. Harry? Of course. Herc? Yep. Merrick- who? Just give me some background. Is he old school or a johnny come lately?

  • March 20, 2006, 11:07 p.m. CST

    Kirk and Spock: Brokeback Planet

    by SeedyAl

    I think they should remake the original series with new actors. Flava Flav could be Captain Kirk and Bobcat Goldthwaite could be Spock.

  • March 20, 2006, 11:13 p.m. CST

    There Are Three Good Trek Series

    by SeedyAl

    TOS, TNG, DS9. All had some really really bad shows and some really bad acting, but all had some very good shows. Trek doesn&#39;t exist for me past DS9. Voyager and Enterprise were just bad dreams.

  • March 20, 2006, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Paramount should hire Merrick

    by oisin5199

    I agree with those who have said that his is the best description of what went wrong with Trek and what kind of potential it has. My biggest question was why this didn&#39;t get made? As a movie or a series, this sounds like it could be great. Total proof the studio has its head up its collective ass. My guess is that it&#39;s all politics and bureacracy. That bit Merrick said about the journey to the stars is right on, totally part of the original Roddenberry spirit. One of the reasons DS9 was so critically successful was because it freed itself from the ship-and-missions formula that Voyager and Enterprise ran into the ground (though it certainly was the darkest Trek). This movie/series could be about something more than flying around in a ship. It can be about people trying to escape from their earthbound realities and getting to the stars and stumbling along the way. And as individuals, they represent the human struggle to transcend. Could be brilliant. I love BSG, but I think the time is fast approaching for a message of hope to come through scifi again. If anyone&#39;s out there who has influence, get this made!

  • March 20, 2006, 11:51 p.m. CST

    it is over...

    by perfecto_fan

    Kinda sad...these movies are done. Rick Berman needs to let someone else produce Star Trek.

  • March 21, 2006, 12:12 a.m. CST

    I&#39;ve said it before...

    by Rakafraker

    I&#39;ll say it again: If ppl could get over the fact that Wesley Crusher was disliked, there was a HUGE opening for exploration (one of the biggest thematic elements of ST) of the ST universe with the &#39;Travellers&#39; premise. I wish I could find my old copy of OMNI (mid &#39;80&#39;s? Wow... I AM that old!) where it was mentioned that (long before the crapola series came out) &#39;Voyager&#39; was going to be about various different situations in the ST universe. We all want to explore this universe, what better way? I know it would be expensive with all the differing sets and a (mostly) different cast every week (Hey, it worked for Quantum Leap. Hmmmm...), but imagine the possiblities. You could involve ANY of the characters that ppl find interesting and think of all the continuity issues that could be solved. BTW-Wouldn&#39;t it be cool to see Q again? Travellers VS Q... Hmmmm...

  • March 21, 2006, 12:26 a.m. CST

    Besides...

    by Rakafraker

    Didn&#39;t TNG elude to that premise? I&#39;m not saying that it even has to be about Weasley Crusher.

  • March 21, 2006, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Re-birth... and tag lines.

    by Cold Winter Wind

    A VERY good read, Merrick. Actually makes me want to re-visit that universe. Quite an accomplishment since I now wince whenever I see an episode of TOS. And I&#39;m truly surprised that no one has yet suggested "I&#39;m Merrick, Wanna Climb My Derrick?".

  • March 21, 2006, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Kirk explicitly said in TOS

    by slder78

    that he was a bookworm at the academy and didn&#39;t become who he was till later, so that would kinda fly in the face of the movie.

  • March 21, 2006, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Hey chiahead, we are in complete agreement

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    Yes, I made the point about epic story-lines, but I meant that in the movie form. I defintely pointed out that I wanted fractured heroes, almost anti-heroes. That&#39;s why First Contact, and in my opinion Generations, were so good. They mixed grand story-lines (The Borg finding away to eradicate humanity, a big wavey-thingy that not only destroyed planets and ships but destroyed the Enterprise-D for farks-sakes) with emotional character plots (Picard dealing with his Borg past, Cochrane coming to terms with his future, Troi bein a drunky, Data and perfection, the fuckin Borg Queen, in FC, and Picard dealing with the loss of his brother and Rene his nephew killing the Picard lineage, Geordi and Data&#39;s friendship, Data getting emotions, Data and Spot, Worf getting promoted, Soran and finding happiness through any means necessary, in Gen). And again, you&#39;re right with Star Trek IV, a fairly big story that was complimented with masterful character interactions. And you&#39;re right, I left out in my anti-Enterprise rant was that you never cared about any of the principle characters, no matter how big the story was. Should have clarified all that better!

  • March 21, 2006, 1:42 a.m. CST

    The one Trek film I would have loved to see made

    by ZombiKiller86

    But I&#39;m wondering how they would&#39;ve casted the thing. I mean, it&#39;s not easy to get people that look like a young Shatner, Nimoy, Kelly, and Doohan. And yes, Star Trek V is a very underrated piece of genius.

  • March 21, 2006, 3:08 a.m. CST

    Agree that Merrick needs to write on here more often.

    by Gabba-UK

    A very good piece of writing. Totally agree with the reasons that Trek &#39;died&#39; at the end of his work. I&#39;m not sure that an TOS academy series would work. I don&#39;t think the fans will go for the recasting of icons. An academy set 30 to 40 years after TNG/DS9 would work however as one talkbacker has already suggested. TNG/DS9 regulars could be worked in as guest speakers/teachers at the academy. Hell, you could even have holo-deck versions of Kirk and Spock giving lectures and advice to the recruits (note to future writers use these versions of Kirk and Spock VERY sparingly), Comparisons have been made to Smallville and why not? While there are problems with Smallville (how many types of Kryptonite?!!!) the way they have worked round Superman lore and little touch&#39;s such as the using of the same set design for the Daily Planet for the upcoming movie and hints to what is to come make the show fun to watch. And fun to watch is not a phrase to be used for watching Star Trek since DS9. I wasn&#39;t aware that Berman&#39;s contract was due to end this year. Thank God! One of Roddenbery&#39;s few creative cock-ups was setting Berman up as his successor. Mark my words, Paramount will not give up on Star Trek, its worth too much money. But if Bermans contract does expire this year, the day after he clears his desk, a new Trek will be announced and he&#39;ll have nothing to do with it! And there&#39;ll be much rejoicing from Trek fans around the world.

  • March 21, 2006, 3:47 a.m. CST

    Nice job

    by Exterminans

    I&#39;m glad it wasn&#39;t made because I can&#39;t imagine anyone besides Shatner playing Kirk but I still enjoyed reading the article. I think a similar idea using new characters would be interesting but I&#39;d rather they let the original series characters die with the actors who played them. I don&#39;t need to see a young Kirk or Spock. All in all a nice piece Joseph Merrick. Please write more.

  • March 21, 2006, 4:24 a.m. CST

    Spot on Merrick

    by David Frames

    Your dissection of what went wrong with the francaise is completely accurate. I hope Trek does come back one day but I&#39;d favour something set further in the future so that new writeres weren&#39;t constrained by continuity and had the freedom to reinvent the whole, er, enterprise. Those writers could do a lot worse than read your article - good work my friend.

  • March 21, 2006, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Star Trek: The Academy Years = dumb idea.

    by Darth Bono Jr.

    But I have no problem with a RECASTING of TOS characters for new movies or a t.v. series. The original premise and characters are FAR superior to anything that was done by Berman & evil crew. I wouldn&#39;t mind seeing them again, in a new series. But please NO MORE SHATNER & NIMOY as Kirk & Spock!!! Those two look like wrinkled nursing home patients!!!

  • March 21, 2006, 5:10 a.m. CST

    NOTHING involving Rick Berman or henchman Bragga!!!!!

    by Mike Nesmith

    They are NOT acceptable! For God&#39;s sake, Paramount, keep them away from STAR TREK!!!!! In fact, NO ONE from The Next Generation & spin-offs, please.

  • March 21, 2006, 5:47 a.m. CST

    I hate Star Trek and I still read this.

    by DOGSOUP

    What&#39;s wrong with me?

  • March 21, 2006, 6:39 a.m. CST

    We had a prequel already, it was called Enterprise.

    by Darksider

    It was cancelled. Until Star Trek gets it&#39;s head out of it&#39;s ass, I have Battlestar Galactica. They didn&#39;t try any prequel shit. There&#39;s the whole universe out there and people still can&#39;t get over Kirk and TOS. The best thing I can see them doing is something totally original ala Deep Space Nine dealing mostly with other civilizations or a current(not past version) of Starfleet Academy and if it&#39;s successful, start a movie with them on duty. My only requirements are an ass-kicking android and hot bitches.

  • March 21, 2006, 6:47 a.m. CST

    What ever happened to Q?

    by Darksider

    I think it would be cool to follow one of them around for a while. John De Lance? wasn&#39;t even in a TNG movie and Q was in the first an last episodes. And yes, DS9 got fucking robbed of their movies. The Dominion War would have been a great movie starting point.

  • March 21, 2006, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Great article

    by yodas_dad

    Hope we get to see this story in some form one day.

  • March 21, 2006, 7:50 a.m. CST

    ahhh Merrick

    by ILK

    always a breath of fresh air. Great article.

  • March 21, 2006, 7:50 a.m. CST

    ...

    by Scorpius

  • March 21, 2006, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Harve Bennett was the secret ingredient

    by quentintarantado

    I seem to track the rise and fall of TOS with Bennett&#39;s participation. Out of the blue, his name appeared in Khan and he worked on the next two with bigger success each time. His last adventure with Trek, the fifth, is the blot on his track record, but I like to attribute the faults of that movie to Shatner, not Bennett (Shatner, in turn, blamed it on the lack of a budget for proper special effects.) I seem to recall Bennett was kicked out of the series because he planned to do Academy Years and the big stars had him hung, drawn and quartered for conspiring to retire these overpaid divas and restart with fresh faces and low salaries. He did not take part in Trek VI. I was checking IMDB and he&#39;s been inactive since 1998, working in TV. Before Trek, he did a lot of television, some Six Million Dollar Man specials and Bionic Woman. Most notably, he worked on "A Woman Called Golda" with Ingrid Bergman. Is producing this script really far out? After Trek was cancelled the first time in the sixties, things may have been hopeless right there and then, but like a phoenix, the franchise keeps coming back to life. I think the fans should not give up, they should dream big and have this script made!

  • March 21, 2006, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Nothing says "Creative Bankruptcy" like PREQUELS

    by Laserbrain

    The death knell of any series is when the producers decide to take us "back to where it all began...". Fuck all prequels. They are always... ALWAYS NON-ideas.

  • March 21, 2006, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Star Trek needs a completely new direction

    by Scorpius

    I

  • March 21, 2006, 8:08 a.m. CST

    This is dumb.

    by fiester

    If they&#39;re going to do it, use all new characters. No lame rehashes or some young kid trying to channel Shatner.

  • March 21, 2006, 8:09 a.m. CST

    They should do Star Trek: The Bajoran Chronicles

    by MJAYACE

    For the most boring bit of Star Trek ever created. DS9 episodes that focused on that worthless planet had to be about the saddest case of weak story telling in history. "Let&#39;s create a planet, put a thing on their noses to make&#39;em aliens and tell their story as boring as possible!" Makes for great TV... Sigh. As an old Star Trek fan I say let it die in peace and be fondly remembered for the great bits of story telling that did happen ala the original series and TNG.

  • March 21, 2006, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Idiots who double post to correct a misspelling...

    by Behemoth

    Guess what...if you wrote "lean" instead of "learn," we probably got it. No big deal, and no reason to post again just to say, "Uh, I meant &#39;learn&#39;". Tools. Quit being so self-important. No one gives a rat&#39;s tuckus. Stop clogging the board with your narcissism. Infidel defilers. And Merrick...nice read. Danke.

  • March 21, 2006, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Braga & Trek

    by DeathStalker

    Interestingly, I met Brannon shortly after he first started working on Trek, back in 90-91. Back then he was a completely different person than what he has become. I know some of the "inside" happenings that occurred with Voyager (a show I never liked, but then I was never a big fan of TNG either). I thought DS9 held the most promise, after they let Sisco become more Hawk-like. And, I really, I mean REALLY, like Enterprise during the first and fourth seasons. They lost their way a bit with the 2nd and 3rd, but the first will always be golden to me. As for Berman, .... Trek has unarguably gone down the toilet since he took over. Paramount should turn the whole franchise back over to Bennett (though I doubt he&#39;d even take it at this point).

  • March 21, 2006, 9:15 a.m. CST

    the only star trek i&#39;ve ever seen

    by white owl

    were some episodes of Voyager. That was a good show, I think.

  • March 21, 2006, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Star Trek: Dyson Sphere

    by RogueWarrior65

    Am I the only one who thinks the Dyson Sphere episode would make for practically limitless plot/story possibilities?

  • March 21, 2006, 9:31 a.m. CST

    No No No No No No

    by Sans Souci

    Six Degrees of Trekeration. Everybody knows everybody! And I suppose that Khan, Dukat, the blood sucking energy cloud, the crystaline entity and the Borg Queen all team up to do together what they could never achieve individually: DESTROY THE FEDERATION! Dum dum dum! "Contrived" doesn&#39;t begin to describe this. You can explore the character backstories, but having Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty all attending the Academy at the same time reeks of sloppy storytelling. Want to re-energize Trek? Try doing an animated series again. Live action Trek needs to rest a few years before it can return at full power. And Trek needs to take chances, not hedge bets and play it safe like they did with Voyager and Enterprise.

  • March 21, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST

    I agree about Q!

    by Flickerhead

    Q was the most intriguing villain in any of the "Trek" incarnations. With Q episodes bookending the series, I felt sure we&#39;d eventually get a killer TNG film featuring him and his wacky hijinks. It coulda been the bomb. Alas, "Nemesis" drove the final nail into the coffin of "Trek." &#39;Tis dead. Let us mourn and move on.

  • March 21, 2006, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Bennett is The Man...

    by Alan_Moore

    ...who wrote the classic exchange... KIRK: "My God, Bones, what have I done?" MCCOY: "What you had to do. What you always do. Turn death into a fighting chance to live." Just awesome. The reason Trek soared under Bennett and floundered under Berman is that Bennett simply GOT IT and cared about the material. Here is a man who, when hired in the early 80&#39;s, booked a screening room on the Paramount lot and spent the week educating himself by watching every episode of the original series! By the time his marathon was over, he had the idea for The Wrath of Khan. Compare that to Berman, who admits he was never an original series fan and to this day has only seen "about a third" of TOS. Bennett, Nick Meyer, and Leonard Nimoy reportedly clashed A LOT during the production of Treks II through IV, but that was because each man had a passion for the material, strong ideas about which direction to take the franchise in, and wanted the best possible product. They cared enough to try and make each entry an event, not just a double-length tv episode, and we were all the benefactors of their creative tension. One can only assume things went very smoothly during the production of the TNG films, with no one questioning Berman&#39;s "wisdom". As for whether Bennett still wants to do the a Trek film, he said as recently as last month, "Could we make it now? If somebody wants to, I&#39;m there." The full interview can be found here: http://www.treknation.com/interviews/harve_bennett_2006.shtml

  • March 21, 2006, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Instead of Voyager...

    by Shermdawg

    They should have did a series based on Alan Ruck&#39;s character from Generations and the crew of the NCC-1701 B. Ruck would always seem a little bit odd, he is secretly reliving the day the greatest captain *died* aboard his ship. There is a prototype holodeck on board and he goes there and talks to a aging Kirk, After a season or two, he would snap, big time, and his first officer, John Leguizamo would take over for the remainder of the series. Oh, and the show would have had Sulu cameos galore! DYR!!!

  • March 21, 2006, 10:50 a.m. CST

    End of the Dominion War, and the Federation in ruin...

    by ComputerGuy68

    pick up with the DS9 crew, find Sisco and help rebuild a new Federation. Civil War, Famine, Genocide, oh the possibilities! And just as the new Federation is about to begin, introduce a new enemy who is taking advantage of the weakened/fractured Federation. I don

  • March 21, 2006, 11 a.m. CST

    Agreed......

    by Reignofjerm

    I thought Trek V was the most ambitious and didn

  • March 21, 2006, 11:10 a.m. CST

    new film needs a hardcore crossover

    by haywire666

    you know what im talking about folks.. Q old gen, new gen, ds9, voy.. forget about ent. q insane, he&#39;s blowing up the universe... only our starfleet heroes can stop him. launch new series on the back of that

  • March 21, 2006, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Idiots crying because of spelling corrections.

    by Some Dude

    Behemoth, some people care, some people don&#39;t. Why, though, are you crying about it?

  • March 21, 2006, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Going into the past is rubbish

    by bhercules

    They should always push forward rather than meddle with the history. Voyager just never seemed like a team cut off, the ship looked nice and clean and never really ever came under any food or power shortages. Just didnt ring true. Enterprise, Theme song meddling with established history. Would love to see a Section 31 series or just one where we deal with how the Federation behave as badly as the klingons and romulans in their own way. I could even see a seperate academy series, not with kirk or anyone, but with a new cast of kids. Might suck, might not, might bring a new audience. If they decide to bring back a new series or film they should keep heading into the future and get someone else in charge, Bermans been there too long. if they keep going into the past they&#39;re just going to run out of room.

  • March 21, 2006, 11:25 a.m. CST

    They need to jump about 100 years ahead

    by Jeditemple

    ...Just to put all of the crap behind them and start fresh.

  • March 21, 2006, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Star Trek Forever and the next series!

    by Ingeld

    Look, if you consider that every reality based television show is set in the very same universe that our beloved series is in then you realize that Trek will never die. There are plenty of Trek series out there. Star Trek Law and Order: Special Victims Unit comes to mind. Star Trek: ER is another great Trek show. One of my favorites is Star Trek: The West Wing. Hell even the news is part of it. Star Trek: 60 Minutes. Now that we got THAT straightened out, I think if they ever do a series again, they should, indeed, set in the far future, but this future should be one in with the galaxy is starting to emerge from a dark age. The federation has long fallen due to war, the borg or something. A great amount of knowledge has been retained in some places, but a great deal has been lost. A new federation, based on the ideas of the first is starting to emerge. The mission of the show is an attempt to reclaim old knowledge and old connections to races as they also seek out the new. Now, that would be fun.

  • March 21, 2006, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Jumping ahead 100 years is a bad idea!!!

    by Darth Bono Jr.

    The writers couldn&#39;t even handle THE NEXT GENERATION technology in a believable way...jumping ahead 100 years would result in stories with technology like THE JETSONS!! In fact, that&#39;s pretty much what the much-loved-but-incredibly-stupid holo-deck was...a ridiculous execution of a sci-fi idea.

  • March 21, 2006, 1:05 p.m. CST

    anchorite, you mean suck AND Blow...

    by ComputerGuy68

  • March 21, 2006, 1:07 p.m. CST

    hey, where is the Cute Borg poster...

    by ComputerGuy68

    He miss a Trek talkback? Unheard of...

  • March 21, 2006, 1:08 p.m. CST

    anchorite ;)

    by ComputerGuy68

  • March 21, 2006, 2:16 p.m. CST

    C&#39;mon! Doesn&#39;t ANYBODY remember...

    by Rakafraker

    The &#39;Traveller&#39; and the last few episodes of TNG? F*CK the fact that it was Crusher. TNG was headed in that direction already. Am I the only person who remembers this?

  • March 21, 2006, 2:29 p.m. CST

    NEWVOYAGES.COM

    by Kentucky Colonel

    TREK LIVES at newvoyages.com ; once you get used to the new faces the episodes are good fun. Check &#39;em out...fan produced hour-length episodes that have the TOS spirit down cold. AND ITS FREE!!! newvoyages.com

  • March 21, 2006, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Starfleet Academy? Are you guys fucking serious???

    by moondoggy2u

    No wonder trekkies get beat up...

  • March 21, 2006, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Lets just put cameras in Berman&#39;s Bathroom.

    by moondoggy2u

    That way, we can just watch him take a shit for an hour and at least be honest about it. Starfleet academy? Yeah, way to boldly go to new dorm rooms and new civics tests. Star Trek: 90210. Only a hollywood pinhead could have thought up that story...

  • March 21, 2006, 4:02 p.m. CST

    THE DEMISE OF STAR TREK

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Star Trek ended after FIRST CONTACT. INSURRECTION was OK, for a TV episode, but not for a feture length movie. Why didn&#39;t they do a big war movie, with lots of crises and Q popping up now and again to annoy? That could have been a major blockbuster if it was well scripted. At the end of the day Paramount took STAR TREK for granted, there was no quality control over it. Enter Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. The fact neither of them can get a successful series off the ground speaks volumes...

  • March 21, 2006, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Star Trek: The Musical

    by Incrediburgible

    I&#39;ve said it before and I&#39;ll say it again. Star Trek needs to be a Tristram Shandy The Movie style film, where they are making a Star Trek musical for broadway (set it in 1977 and get Ben Affleck to play Shatner) with lots of song and dance and extra-curricular dramas, and the Gorn, ("Get me out of this faggoty suit! I need some air!") - - Or, don&#39;t do it as a behind the scenes meta-narrative. Just do a straight up Star Trek Opera with a Greek chorus of 200 year old children ("Bonk Bonk on the head! Tell &#39;em Jim. Tell &#39;em Jim. Tell &#39;em Jim....") The Gorn definitely needs his moment in the spotlight, The Gorn&#39;s Lament, in a kind of Olivia Newton John "Hopelessly Devoted To You" mournful ballad where he&#39;s crying into his PVC tube of gun powder and debris, while Kirk is off chasing little green skirts on Rigel 12. Spock and McCoy could have a Deliverance style dueling bangos number where Spock picks out some Flat & Scruggs on his retarded Vulcan autoharp and McCoy plays some kind of "space banjo". And I&#39;m picturing some kind of Daft Punk gay techno number for Sulu where he&#39;s staring at those space daggers coming at him on the view screen and he&#39;s trancing out, while Chekov does a rendition of that Davey Jones song from Brady Bunch ("Gull.... look whot you&#39;ve dun to meeee.... Oh Gull.....") BRING IT! Stop fucking around with these brain-damaged prequels and reimaginings and sequels and reboots. Fucking get to the heart of what people treasure most about Trek. The CAMP VALUE. It&#39;s all cheese. Cheesy as all bloody hell. Stop pretending it&#39;s serious or that it matters or that it ever mattered, pencil dicks!!!!!!!!

  • March 21, 2006, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Wow, I&#39;m hooked

    by CloudCleaver

    Just read through that quick synopsis of yours, Merrick. I&#39;d LOVE to see that film made. Just no one get the bright idea of actually putting William Shatner in it somehow.

  • March 21, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST

    I like the concept

    by darthSaul666

    This would have been really cool to see as a film. Great article!

  • March 21, 2006, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Only Star Trek would introduce a Dyson Sphere

    by cookylamoo

    with nobody living in it. As for Trek set in the "future", forget it. It&#39;s was obvious that the light based life forms like the Doctor were eventually going to revolt and take over the galaxy. Die, inefficiant carbon-based life forms.

  • March 21, 2006, 4:56 p.m. CST

    i would love to see this as a one-off flick.

    by dregmobile

  • March 21, 2006, 4:59 p.m. CST

    maybe the first of a pre-OST trilogy

    by dregmobile

    i hit the &#39;return&#39; key instead of &#39;tab&#39;. just last night i was watching the hippy episode of trek where the guy with the ears searches for eden. kirk turns to scotty at one point saying that they were mischievous when they were young. the potential for this to happen is all there. btw, it&#39;s great to see so many people aware that voyager and beginning seasons of enterprise and nemesis killed star trek. you people have your head on straight. berman needs to go bye-bye. bring bennett back before it&#39;s too late!

  • March 21, 2006, 5:07 p.m. CST

    craptastic!

    by Redmantle

    That&#39;s the new word I learned from visiting AICN, and if anything fits the bill it&#39;s Star Trek the Academy Years. It&#39;s Got Craptastic written all over it...

  • March 21, 2006, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I like it! A lot!!

    by BendersShinyAss

    Only it couldn&#39;t be McCoy. I think the remaining Sule, Checkov & Uhura could have a group retelling. That&#39;s be kewl. As for David Loughly and his weak script for Trek 5. Bollucks! Trek 5 had one of the greatest treatments of any Trek film. So did Generations, btw. The problem is that the integrity of the film makers and the money people is what ultimately let those films down. As with Generations, there were concepts, scenes and moments that were just pure star trek and would have made for repeated viewings. There was something magical about the original Star Trek that just couldn&#39;t seem to faulter. Indeed, Trek 5 (the movie) may have been handled poorly, but when you take into consideration movies like Insurrection and even Nemesis - Two trek films tha had the full 100% backing of Paramount, Trek 5 upon revisitation is a surprisingly solid film in comparison. If Paramount had of gotten behind Shatner on his Trek 5 project, the film would have been possibly the greatest Trek film made. Track down a copy of the novilization. Do the same with Generations. You&#39;ll find that the ideas floating around in those stories were pure star trek. Genuine and marvelous. As for Rick Berman..... Are his nuts still intact? Man that guy fucked up my best friend. (yes I am a hard core Trekkie)

  • March 21, 2006, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Nice to see the ST:V love here...

    by ComputerGuy68

    for so many years I thought I was the only one who liked it. I actualy like it better than IV (it hasn&#39;t aged well). VI was good, but is missing something... The NG films all felt like TV shows to me.

  • March 21, 2006, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Yes, 6 is missing something

    by BendersShinyAss

    I think it&#39;s a grandious score. the whole film plays like a stage play. not a bad thing. but my last viewing I did feel as if Trek 6 needed something. but what? I just don&#39;t know. Top flick though.

  • March 21, 2006, 6:54 p.m. CST

    I am TOTALLY against a star trek remake

    by BendersShinyAss

    with familiar actors pretending to be Kirk, Spock &#39;n Mcoy. That would be fucked. The star trek universe is solid. Keep it in the same universe. They just need to find a new footing. Might I suggest a LotR approach. A massive story, filmed over a year and released yearly - sort of a meshing of TV series to cinema. But really, i think what Trek needs is TV movies - all set in different time periods and involving different races and what not.

  • March 21, 2006, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Oops! Sorry, IAmNicksAICNSN. Totally missed your pnt!

    by chiahead

    But I&#39;m glad we agree brotha. Sorry about that.

  • March 21, 2006, 8:16 p.m. CST

    when did George Lucas start writing Trek???

    by Cavlone

    i mean, c&#39;mon... Trek high school years? what are the odds that the whole crew went to Academy together? didnt Spock work under Pike for some time? isnt Spock alot older than the others? where is JarJar gonna fit into the script? i think the only thing that will interest me in Trek again would be a return to the Original Series and its message. but Enterprise proved the couldnt even do that right. think of what they could do with the OS with todays tech!!! and i dont mean redesign it and muck up the timeline like Enterprise. why dont they do a all digital cartoon for the OS? isnt it obvious?

  • March 21, 2006, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Lords of Space Discipline/Saved by the Space Bell

    by Ray Garraty #47

    If it ended up getting decent reviews, I&#39;d consider seeing it. People gave "Batman Begins" a chance when it came out, so why not? And the new Superman flick as well. Although Battlestar Galactica seems to be satisfying everyone&#39;s space jones for the moment.

  • March 21, 2006, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Tim Allen

    by Turtlepride

    As a star fleet captain 100 years after NGenation.

  • March 22, 2006, 1:43 a.m. CST

    Paramount crapped all over Trek V TWICE

    by Triumph poops!

    The first time was when the film was actually in production and it was discovered late in the process that the special effects team who had been hired weren&#39;t so special at all. They had done assorted TV commerical effects work, but had never tackled a big budget film on their own before. So naturally, now given the chance of a lifetime to prove themselves, they dropped the ball entirely and cranked out totally unuseable footage which resulted in hasty reshoots and drastic scene cuts in a race to reach the finish line in order to make the premiere date. The second time the studio fucked over the film over was for the DVD 2-disc "Special edition release." Sure, Robert Wise got to go back in and tweak TREK 1&#39;s pacing. Sure, he got to update some effects shots and reedit things. Sure, Paramount got behind THAT and it made for a MUCH better film than the original film release AND made them some good coin off the DVD sales. But when the time came to rerelease TREK V as a special edition, did they give the Shat some money to FINALLY fix the film? To finally put in DECENT effects shots or to resurrect old footage and cut the film the way he originally envisioned? No. Even after the Wise DVD sold great and even as Paramount was still counting TV Trek money all the way to the bank, they STILL wouldn&#39;t give Shatner a few mill to fix the film once and for all. And if there was ANY Trek film that the films would have liked to see finally FIXED, it was Trek V. What a bunch of studio suit morons...and worse, what a wasted opportunity. I agree with others that had TREK V been completed the way Shatner envisioned, it would have been one of the best in the series. As it is, it&#39;s painful to watch at times because of such varying and such drastic production quality changes within the final film itself. On the other hand, it does have some of the best character moments of the entire series. It certainly captured the chemistry of the original crew and when they were "on", they sparkled. So thanks, Paramount! It&#39;s not often a studio fucks things up TWICE in a lifetime!

  • March 22, 2006, 3:27 a.m. CST

    STAR TREK :TITAN

    by Sithlord_999

    This is how TREK should come back= Riker captains the USS TITAN where no one has gone before, with Troi as Mrs. Riker. I ask, WHY NOT??? This show would INHERIT all the stories and political backdrops laid down by TNG, DS9, and the &#39;premise&#39;, or rather, the &#39;promise&#39; of Voyager. Would Riker and Troi be able to carry a show? Yes. Check this out. How old was Picard in the first season of TNG? 40? 45? Imagine (in an alternate reality) that 18 years before TNG, say, 1970, we had a TREK show, a really good one, TNG caliber (seasons 3-5), which featured a Picard in his mid-to-late 20&#39;s as second-in-command of whatever ship he served as commander. He, and all his crew, look up and respect to

  • March 22, 2006, 3:48 a.m. CST

    Triumph poops

    by BendersShinyAss

    Don&#39;t forget Paramount also shelled out for Nick Meyer to go back and fix up Trek 2 for the DVD release. Apparently Trek 4 directors cut is a far superior film also, yet we&#39;ll never see it. Generations, too, has an alternate cut we&#39;ll never see. Of course in order for them to fix Nemesis they&#39;d have to reshoot the whole damn film. why the fuck didn&#39;t Picard get to play both roles? At least!

  • March 22, 2006, 6:22 a.m. CST

    this is terrible

    by Trazadone

    The synopsis is awful. It&#39;s a terrible story. This is one of those frequent situations in which something has turned to crap, and then somebody "on the inside" bravely says, "We&#39;re aware of the &#39;crap&#39; problem and we&#39;re fixing it. Here is a list of the elements that makes our current output into crap; we are hereby taking them out in the new version, which will be a welcome change because it won&#39;t be crap but will instead be what you, the fans, are clamoring for (in terms of tone, fidelity, quality, etc.)." Everybody gets excited by this, and then the thing they&#39;re talking about comes out and it&#39;s EXACTLY THE SAME CRAP as everyone&#39;s been complaining about. This happens all the time and it&#39;s happened many times on Star Trek. "The feel of the original" is a football I&#39;m not going to attempt to kick because "Lucy" Paramount keeps pulling it away.

  • March 22, 2006, 6:23 a.m. CST

    I HATE prequels that claim:

    by Trazadone

    Plus which, I HATE prequels that claim: a) Everything was already connected together b) Everything important in the past happened in one instant Problem a) is most readily apparent in Phantom Menace (Anakin built Threepio etc) but is constantly on parade in prequels. I&#39;m glad Coppola cut the scene from Godfather II in which we see Hyman Roth meet Vito in the 1919 period...so he&#39;s a little bit smarter...but this crappy Trek synopsis is the same damn thing. Kirk, McCoy, Spock and Scotty were already screwing around together and having adventures during their academy years? That&#39;s ridiculous. Problem b) can be found in such examples as "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," in which Indy&#39;s bullwhip, fear of snakes, adventuring ways and chin scar all date from the same morning. Don&#39;t they realize that taking a character with a murky, evocative past and telescoping all of that missing narrative into a single incident is going to destroy the character arc? Real life doesn&#39;t work like that and everyone knows it. How many adult nemeses did you previously encounter when you were a kid? How many of your character traits date from a single incident in which you suddenly got all of them? Are we going to see twelve-year-old Martin Riggs having an important adventure with teenage Roger Murtaugh in which Riggs jumps out of a window and Murtaugh says, "I&#39;m too old for this stuff?" Is fifteen-year-old John McClane going to have a schoolyard encounter with the Gruber brothers, in which he says "Yippy-kai-yay?" Will teenage Clark Kent have problems with teenage Lex Luthor? (Oh, wait, they did that.)

  • March 22, 2006, 8:59 a.m. CST

    I Can&#39;t Wait To See William Shatner play a 16 year old.

    by jamawalk

    They should cast all the other parts as kids but have Shatner play Kirk. The guy&#39;s got two emmys. What the hell do you got? Nothing? Well double-dumb-ass on you, then, pal.

  • March 22, 2006, 11:17 a.m. CST

    KIRK IS 75 TODAY...and Trek V got raped by Paramount...

    by StudioPlant69

    Bennett and Shatner wanted to wait for Nick Meyer to be available to write the script and Paramount didn&#39;t want to and they went with David Lougherty(spelling?). The did not like Shatner&#39;s original idea and wanted the religious aspects toned down. The budget was cut during the production, the vfx team sucked. They injected all the gags and forced humor because Trek IV was funny and made a lot of coin. The movie has so much potential and could be fixed with editing and new fx. Too bad, it could&#39;ve been a monster hit had it been handled better. GFY

  • March 22, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Happy Birthday to the SHATNER

    by lttlgrnmen

    Shatners 75 today

  • March 22, 2006, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Props

    by RaulMonkey

    Good work, Merrick: I now feel you are fully incorporated into the AICN crew--you just needed a sweet-ass something to get passionate (and intelligent) about. I totally agree with you about Trek: there was never any flogging of a dead horse going on, and the greatness of DS9 *simultaneous* to the relative weakness of VOYAGER illustrates quite nicely that it is the skill of the people involved in bringing the shows to life, as opposed to the series as a whole having run out of steam.

  • March 22, 2006, 6:17 p.m. CST

    ...bringing the shows to life *that counts*...

    by RaulMonkey

  • March 22, 2006, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Why look to the future?

    by Mutant Leader

    You know what I think? I think some of us are going around in circles and kidding ourselves about what it is we really want. Take King Kirby&#39;s post, for example. Its a good post. . .a painstakingly thought-out idea. . .but what does it really boil down to when you stop to think about it? Something we already have: the three timeless seasons of TOS. If you want TOS, why not treat yourself to a box set or two? Instead of making more, why not find new and exciting ways of enhancing TOS for today&#39;s viewers?

  • March 23, 2006, 5:42 a.m. CST

    Post-Dominion War Movie

    by Giftoflight

    A real post Dominion War, and not that Alien Space Bat nonsense from Nemesis where they tried to cram several plots into one movie and try to make it the successor to ST II. Make a Dominion War sequel, regarding the Pah Wraiths, Dukat, and Sisko. Something like, the Pah Wraiths want their own celestial temple, and a new wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant is opened that the Dominion fleet can use to enter the Alpha Quadrant.... Bring Weyoun back as well, damn he was one of the best villains in Trek ever.

  • March 23, 2006, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Star Trek- The Trilogy

    by Stone316

    Star Trek should look to the future. Instead of going back to the Academy Years (which is a good idea for a tv series) it should go forward, wheather its in the 24th century or the 27th, and the federation should be at war. Create a new species, or something, but it would have to be something that would go against EVERYTHING that Gene Roddenbery stood for. I actually believe that the end of the first film should be the destrucution of the Federation. By doing that the main characters (whomever they were) had to start all over again, defeating the evil species and rebuilding a new Federation. If done correctly, a film like this, or even a trilogy, couldnt be compared to Star Wars, Galactica or whatever and would (once more) solidify the message that Roddenbery had in the beginning of the TOS. At the same time that same message would have new meaning, because it was something that the characters had to fight for and we as the audience could see sometihing we had never saw before. The building of the Federation. In a post 9/11 world this would make a great film and great source material for many Star Trek films for years to come.

  • March 23, 2006, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Star Trek: River of Light

    by Sardy

    "Q was the most intriguing villain in any of the "Trek" incarnations. With Q episodes bookending the series, I felt sure we&#39;d eventually get a killer TNG film featuring him and his wacky hijinks. It coulda been the bomb." http://www.trollkingdom.net/forum/showthread.php?t=30517

  • June 28, 2010, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Quite possibly worse than JJ Trek

    by AdmNaismith

    Wow- Bennett's 'Academy Years' is easily 10x worse than JJ Trek. About half of the character stuff is actually good, but the other half is pure cliche and the central plot stinks on ice. This script says that the ideals of the Federation formed over a short 10 yr time-frame. I submit that the longer time-frame from first contact to the formation of the federation makes MUCH more sense. Kirk and Spock cheating? Warp Drive in its infancy? Overt specism and lynching? An aged Enterprise? No, No, No, no, no, no, no. Oh, and Bones is short for Sawbones, an already dated term for a doctor in the 60s. I know Berman didn't watch TOS, but at least he was there with Roddenberry at the beginning of TNG, but it seems no one else ever watched Trek before they tried to get their filthy mitts all over it. When Bennett took over ST II, he had the good sense to watch every TOS ep before writing a story. Loughery would do well to do the same. Stone316, you have very much the right idea.

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