AN HOUR-LONG SCI-FI ADVENTURE
FOR TELEVISION & OTHER SCREENS
Star Trek should return to television
The 1st crew of NCC-1701
Doctor Robert April / Yeoman Colt
Stephen Fry / Felicia Day
1701 begins with ‘the Rosenberg’
A ‘throwaway’ line history
The Constitution-class ‘Starships’
2244 and ‘The Triangle’
The five-act Star Trek/1701 format
Makeup, effects, & costumes
All-Star guests; a workplace tone
On CBS via syndication
‘Made in Detroit’ (and elsewhere)
‘Block shot’ for economy
Secondary & tertiary characters
The arc & future stories
1701 is organized by Daniel Ernest Malo
Star Trek was created by Gene Roddenberry
Star Trek Should Return to Television (it’s obvious)
“Star Trek once excelled as a form of social commentary, and…I can’t think of a better time for it to return to its philosophical roots…Yes, the crew encountered great adventures and epic fights, but it was when these incidents were balanced with a moral question—what does it mean to be human? When do the ends cease to justify the means? What makes a utopia?—That Star Trek truly shined.”
Sadie Gennis, TV Guide
“When you get into the small screen, you need stories… entertaining, interesting, vital stories that have a philosophy…an excitement about them, so that the viewer stays with it, but receives the philosophy as a byproduct. Those were the best of Star Trek, those kinds of stories.”
“Star Trek is……Stories dealing with life, quite similar to that of earth. There will be differences, ranging from the subtle to the boldly dramatic, out of which comes much of our color and excitement…It tends to keep even the most imaginative stories within the general audience’s frame of reference.”
To that end, your talent is requested for 1701
The intention is for broadcast on CBS, prime-time, via syndication; for television and internet audiences, for/before Fall 2016, in advance of/or to coincide with Star Trek’s 50th anniversary.
The APRIL era, as recorded by Yeoman COLT
…just prior to the era depicted in The Original Series (2244), in the continuity of established ‘canon’ prior to the 2009 film. Covering the franchise’s ‘history’ from 2244-2264, mentioned in ‘throwaway lines’ and lore from licensed comics, books, video games, and other media.
It will reconcile the ‘alternate timeline’ presented in the current films as the overall arc of the first and second terms. 1701 is capable of morphing into a show featuring that cast reprising their roles.
A polymath, planetary anthropologist, renown for his series of Old Culture frontier studies on the USS Tiberius. April’s popular chronicle of the Tiberius missions guided the creation of the Constitution-class Starships, which he considers ‘a technical leap for exploration and discovery’.
“A colorfully complex personality, he is capable of action and decision which can verge on the heroic – and at the same time lives a continual battle with self-doubt and the loneliness of command.”
A pacifist by nature, he worries about the proliferation of the Constitution-class ships for aggressive purposes. He has lived in Detroit since his *fallout* with Starfleet brass in London. He articulates himself through euphemism, recollection, and wit. He considers this stint ‘better than his last desk-job’.
Colt is an astute historian, seeking to understand the mysteries of the universe. The Doctor’s personal assistant; she turned down a commission, a fiancé, and other opportune postings accompany April on the Tiberius, establishing herself as his protégé and equal partner. About to *breakout*.
Tired of the paper-work and tedium of the Starship ‘gig’, she’s been second-guessing her career on a recent semi-furlough. Often ‘plucked’ from a project or daydream by April’s ever-changing whim, she sticks by as his side-kick/scribe, hoping for another historic mission. She’s already packed.
From the town of Astoria, Pacifica, near Portland, she is quiet around new people, but warms up quickly. She can be excitable and expressive when learning and sharing new information. Happier reading about society than being in it, she is never far from her notepad computer.
Stephen Fry as APRIL
Widely known to American and international audiences for his portfolio of work, he bears the APRIL accent and likeness. From his documentaries, Stephen is familiar with many of the themes that are covered in 1701. With a stage & screen background, his range and delivery suit the role.
Felicia Day as COLT
Known for her popular web-based serials, her production company has received more than 200 million views in two years. COLT has much in common with Felicia’s online persona. Her mainstream credits have been in Science-Fiction & Fantasy, making her a familiar face to a Star Trek audience.
They’re probably both busy people…
but they make sense as co-producers.
1701 begins with a rescue
Ideals – On its unsanctioned initial voyage, the Enterprise rescues the SS Roseberg, a colony ship in Klingon space. April & Colt discover that the mission was broadcast as a flawless success in the Federation news media—before they found the lost ship and barely made it happen.
2244 (before ‘stardates’)
At this point in future history, the Federation is on the edge of radical reformation. Member nations consider leaving the arrangement and its proposed economic plans of ‘zero currency’. Colonies on the Federation frontier suffer hard times from blight and famine (induced via hidden, subversive parties) and doubts of the Federation’s long-term survival as a collective body are casual conversation.
Corporations and corporate media still hold a shaping role in human society. The earth is still almost homogenously human, and many people have yet to meet and dialogue with their first ‘alien’. The desire to leave the federated arrangement is founded in tinges of xenophobia, prodded at by vested interests, who would like to “transition to a more egalitarian social arrangement’.
1701 covers a renaissance of unprecedented, interplanetary sharing of concepts and ideals; Societies are reexamining their historical truths and myths and uncovering the esoteric.
This time period in the Star Trek franchise stands out among all others
This includes the launch of the original 13 Constitution-class starships, potential expansion (or dissolution) of the Federation; failing colonies, and skirmishes, then war with the Klingons.
It includes numerous storylines; many worthy of their own feature, among them: the aggrandized crimes of THE ALBINO and coverage of the famed Captain GARTH’s fit of insanity. Further, 1701 uncovers the origins of television’s most beloved starship, the Enterprise, and it’s most famous crew—what led to Kirk’s promotion at such a young age? (Actual and alternate continuity aside)
As presented in Trek lore and ‘throwaway lines’ from the licensed Star Trek backstory
This series will explore plot lines of other Trek series, perhaps resolving plot holes of prior incarnations or providing exposition for narratives that deserved more exploration. 1701 establishes itself firmly in the Star Trek universe, but has been created for a casual viewer unfamiliar with Federation history.
Much of the licensed works of Star Trek — books, comics, and roleplaying/video games — present hundreds of potential storylines within the 2244-64 timespan. These stories should be developed, as they are among the most intriguing properties of the franchise. As well, 1701 will embrace the wealth of back- and side-story in these mediums as official ‘canon’, by retroactive continuity when possible.
1701 was discovered by researching the history of the original Enterprise.
The Constitution-class ‘Starship’
“Now bigger, faster, and more equipped for science or battle, than any ship before,” these ships replaced an ageing fleet typically held together by years of patchwork refit, and manhandled by anomalous encounter. The older vessels were prone to navigational and power systems failures, as was the Constitutions’ initial design competitor, the over-powered Xenophon. The Constitution-class vessels dawned a new era of exploration and expansion for the Federation.
The overall arc will occur in “The Triangle”
In a region of space between the Federation, Romulans, and Klingons territories, inhabited by a number of races, not bound by Federation law or economy. A frontier of failing colonies amidst ‘commerce planets’, odd paradises, the Triangle also hosts ruins, presumed to be of the ancient ‘Old Culture’. This setting and storyline explores the franchise cosmology and raises questions of our own.
At a time of conflict with the Klingons
The most obvious villain of the day would be the Klingons, who have at this time splintered their Empire after their own eugenics fiasco. Differentiating physical appearances are the marker of class and caste. They are a stand-in for the Spanish, and the Inquisition, some being the most honorable warrior clerics and philosophers, others, ‘lightly-ridged’, doubling as conquistadors.
Varying Klingon factions have surgically-altered agents posing as human, and this is the Federation’s most dangerous threat (besides the ones from those within).
1701 is not an ‘ensemble drama’
The stories follow the two main characters, their importance in the franchise mythos, and their interactions with Big Name Special Guests. April knows everybody. Colt gets to meet everybody.
It has many ‘unit stories’ and standalone episodes
April solos. Colt solos. Janeway solos. (what?) Stories without the main characters, but important to the timeline. 1701 has been organized for scheduling convenience and series evolution. IDIC.
The Star Trek standard: Five Acts
1701 should run approximately 44 minutes with commercial interruption, but capture and present more than that amount when costs are amenable for additional content such as ‘long directors cuts’, ‘webisodes’, ‘shorts’, and other commercial or promotional material.
However, reflective of a change in viewing behavior, 1701 has flexibility in that the stories can also be told in half-hour segments, in three- and four-acts, single-acts, or scene shorts; before single and multi-camera setups, or played live before a studio audience, if desired. These stories will be told episodically, with seasonal and overall arcs delivering stories within the franchise universe.
Award-winning special makeup & effects
Our show will require elaborate alien makeup in some cases, but the predominant appearance is ‘human’. The Klingon appearance (of many in this continuity) is similar to humans, as are the other semi-regular alien species, the Vulcans. There is little need for new alien designs, as the franchise has provided plenty of the existing species during the past 50 years, and done them so well. In our most exotic cases, if an alien isn’t playable by a human in makeup, high-quality puppets shall stand in.
While, green-screen work is always a necessity, it should not be over relied upon. Our ships (models of all sizes) shall be captured (much like our exotic planetary locations) with front and rear screen projection techniques. Other ‘old fashioned’ but impressive effects should also be considered.
Our alien planets should use exotic real locations, yet, this production should borrow liberally from the library of special effects shots from past Star Trek series where appropriate and as homage.
As with every other Star Trek production, 1701 will feature a new uniform, and can, through plot device and time, eventually incorporate the look from the current movie series. Casual should be retro to the 1950’s in both dress and hairstyle, however, the show should also attempt to feature forward-inspiring contemporary designs. Specialty costumes will also be needed.. Utilitarian/naval uniforms predominate, but they should also be supplemented by marketable uniform alternatives.
1701 will capitalize the brand popularity and offer the logo apparel that our characters wear; ex. regulation thermal hoodies, caps, shirts, accessories; perhaps, even, all-black ‘All-Stars’ duty shoes.
An estimated cost of $2 million per episode, approximately $10 million will be needed for establishment of primary sets and production costs of the Enterprise & Pilot.
The human characters of the show (and the actors who play them) will reflect the dynamism of humanity. The show will feature familiar talent from pop culture, music, television, comedy, and cinema. It should be a literal ‘star trek’ or ‘star vehicle’ which works hard to attract and accommodates ‘A-listers’. It also showcases breakthrough, famous, and familiar filmmakers; both domestic and foreign to broaden audiences. 1701 seeks to be a global phenomenon.
1701 should continue to honor the Star Trek ‘family’ tradition of hiring individuals who have participated in the forming of past Trek productions, by bringing them back for another production. 1701 strives for as much talent as it can manage for: a couple takes, episodes, block shoot, or ‘backdoor spinoff’ attempt.
Each scene of 1701 will ‘reveal’ more about the Star Trek universe and this series shall be a concise, well-timed adventure that attracts and retains viewers. It is nearly a ‘workplace comedy’ yet demonstrates the best aspects of the precursor Star Trek series in look and novelty while “exploring an anthology-like range of exciting human experiences.”
It will feature exciting circumstances and exotic places and storylines. It will find humor in each situation. It incorporates the typical action element of the Science-Fiction genre, with epic special effects and space battles. It will display the fullness of our characters in a synchronistic manner. Each story broaches the esoteric, mental, and metaphysical.
1701 should broadcast via syndication
As other successful sister series have done in the past, it should be presented to the widest global audience. If possible, it should be made available online, in ‘seasonal whole’ via new media distribution services. Drive-in and theater showings should be explored.
1701 should attempt to crossover with its sister series, other Sci-Fi universes, and other non-Science Fiction universes, when the physics of both universes are amenable to produce such stories. It should also produce spinoff worthy material, when opportunities appear, for the perpetuation and profitability of the franchise. 1701 should also explore the territory of comedic ‘shorts’ and ‘webisodes’ to broaden the overall narrative and visibility of the series.
Michigan Motion Picture Studios, in Pontiac
1701 episode should film at a world-class facility in close proximity to the variety of landscapes necessary to tell our stories. The series could benefit from the acquisition and modification of office/warehouse property adjacent to MMPS for interior sets and exterior full-size ‘saucer section’.
‘The Enterprise’ shall be constructed in the modified campus space; with a menagerie of filming interiors and public theme attraction. Additionally, the leasing of studio space at MMPS is required for additional sets, green-screen work, ship modeling and projected special effects shots.
Our production shall also have a live-audience capability, but otherwise, the sets depicting the Enterprise shall be similar to that of The Original Series, and open for use to the public inasmuch as possible for performance viewing, or fan film use. This will be the primary home for 1701.
1701 will also utilize guest production teams
The majority of the production shall occur at the Pontiac campus, with majority of our effects and planetary scenes done at MMPS before front and rear screen projection techniques, however, in addition to filming in Michigan, a presence in Toronto is also suggested, from which to perform casting, voice acting, green-screen work, and other photo/sound/voice services.
The ‘unit series’ aspect of 1701 presents the idea of multiple production teams who could produce stories remotely from Los Angeles, Vancouver, or elsewhere, utilizing the talent from those locations. Simultaneous production of episodes should occur when possible for stories that don’t require the core casts or sets. This can be done concurrent to the work of our primary characters at the Pontiac campus.
The in-house production team shall be crewed primarily by Michiganders, Chicagoans, and Toronto-based talent, as well as imported ‘keys’. This primary team controls the creative direction of the show and assigns and contracts guest players for production of an episode or block shoot. The in-house team will supervise the narrative and continuity of the series and assist the guest creative talent.
The majority of the episodes should be “block shot” in three or four story groupings.
For cost considerations and speed of turnaround, this manner of production should be used to provide a buffer of “episodes in the can,” additional ‘post’ time, and general savings through efficiency. Because this is not an ensemble series, savings from eschewing that format can be applied to the production through guest talent, both actor and crew; more elaborate sets and settings; and more grandiose effects presentations.
Secondary and tertiary characters
(Sarah) POOLE – Doctor/Vet of the Enterprise, April’s long-time friend and crush.
(George) KIRK – Married to WINNY; both served on the Tiberius. Father of JT & Samuel.
(Anita) ZARAGOLI – Multi-talented, but famous for her career in screen, song, and style.
SIMON – The bridge commander who keeps the young crew in line; a gossip and ‘cat lady’.
FLORIDA – Bridge crew; helmsman with accidental precision and a collection of wild stories.
SANAWEY – Astro-telemetrist; capable multi-tasker who gets orders by the dozen.
BARRY – A rookie engineer with a bridge posting on the flagship; has a secret crush on TYLER.
TYLER – A future Admiral. Bridge crew, lady’s man who Colt ‘doesn’t want to talk about’.
MORROW – Friend of APRIL; eventually JT KIRK’s recommendation for captaincy.
CARTWRIGHT – Star Fleet attaché to QASR; a power-hungry cut-throat with questionable ties.
CHRISTENSON – Outgoing Federation President. An activist fighting corporate corruption.
QSAR – Former VP/Newly elected ‘war hawk’ President.
Imperatives – Colt explores the history of the ‘Prime Directive Planet’ at the near-empty ‘Nibiru Station’. April is forced to go along with a simplistic cover-narrative of the Rosenberg rescue, as the skeleton crew of Enterprise and the Rosenberg refugees wait under guard.
Insignia – April is thrust into a press conference where he’s forced to soften the details of the Rosenberg rescue, and divert the public’s focus to the new Starfleet image. A new uniform and logo are introduced. Released from custody, Colt allies with skeptics of the mission.
Other episodes, in no particular order:
The Enterprise – April & Colt share dinner with the Nogura family. They talk about the importance of the Constitution-class ships, the Rosenberg mission, and other, ‘non-sanctioned’ operations being performed for “the enterprise.”
The Constitution – As guests aboard the USS Constitution on its maiden voyage for a cadet and dignitary cruise to the planet, Babel, our crew sizes up their sister-ship’s officers (and vice-versa), and the story of the Rosenberg starts to unravel, in-house.
A Serviceable Villain – News of a devastating explosion on Sherman’s Planet goes viral over subspace communications. Conducted by a team of Orions mercenaries and an albino Klingon, media focus is placed on lackey, “Albino,” which casts (and creates) him as a mythical villain.
It Runs on Symmetry – A group determined to end the Federation is the hidden culprit responsible for a string of false flag terror campaigns. They discuss their isolationist concerns of galactic ecology and state of affairs in a gathering of high-profile supporters in a remote asteroid city.
Shakedown – The Enterprise’s first sanctioned shakedown operation under the command of Commodore Rasmussen goes horribly wrong when Klingon agents posing as crew attempt to hijack the vessel; one cadet “Number One” is able to avert total catastrophe and loss of the ship.
In The Dirt – Shortly after the burial ceremonies from the disastrous shakedown mission, humanity is gripped by fear in the terroristic use of tranporters. Suspicion of spies in key roles on ships and starbases is rampant. “Is your neighbor a Klingon?”
Iconological – Exploring the ruins of Donatu V, an away team led by Commander Mangione finds a ‘stargate’, thought to be of the lost Preservers species—older than the ‘Old Culture’, and this puts her at odds with competing responsibilities to her Captain, subordinates, and managers at Section 31.
An Account, Much Abbreviated – April holds a long-distance conversation with former President Christenson about the state of the union and rumors of dissolution. The media pushes the rampant turmoil afflicting the border colonies and the state of the planets in the Triangle for money reasons.
The Battle of Donatu V – Federation Fleet versus a Klingon fleet. The impetus for a decades long arms race and cold war. The Klingons bombard the ruins of Donatu V, and many Federation ships are disabled or destroyed. The battle is a draw; it becomes the ‘Pearl Harbor’ of the 23rd century.
Scattered – Months after the Battle of Donatu V, Leonard McCoy is a newly enrolled medical student, days away from his first day of college and engaged to his childhood sweetheart. Attending his sister’s gymnastic tournament with family, he meets Dax, and the encounter changes him forever.
The Preservers – On Earth, April & Colt attempt to understand the importance of their research, and place the puzzle into larger context. They find even more complicated realms of the human story, with ancient advanced technology, ages-old wisdom, and roots at the seeding of galactic civilization.
Bullseye – April & Colt meet with old Admiral Archer, on his deathbed. Archer recounts stories of his Enterprise, including his ‘temporal’ encounters. Partly senile, he rants, telling stories of the future, learned decades ago by time travel. He warns about the military buildup of the Federation.
A Road to Yesterday – The Enterprise is christened by President Qasr to much fanfare; the launch is propaganda to support a larger order of the Constitution-class ships. April & Colt settle in for the journey, worried about what they’re leaving behind, and curious about what awaits them.
Beyond That Next Star – The Enterprise is diverted, without instruction from its mission to Starbase 2 to pick up crew. Their orders bring them to a red supergiant system, near supernova, where they encounter another Captain who presents them with a message from parallel future.
Return to Prime Time – April & Colt review the recordings of Ambassador Spock, Captain Pike, Captain Kirk, and Number One from a similar, but bleaker future where Vulcan has been destroyed. They resolve to carry out the suggested instructions to mitigate or resolve the future temporal mishap.
To be continued…
April & Colt will set course for The Triangle, where the resolution of the temporal discontinuity is achieved. The Enterprise returns at the end of the second term with the crew having created a few minor Timeline Anomalies of Their Own. Hundreds of potential stories have been discovered.
By continuity, Captain Pike will enter as subordinate to April. The series could then reinvent, go to feature film or spinoff the characters. 1701 can also begin to re-introduce the current Star Trek movie cast on the small screen: A team which has grossed a half-a-billion dollars (domestic) on two releases.
James Van Hise, Trek 25th Anniversary Celebration, 1991
“Star Trek is as much social commentary as science fiction, and that’s one reason so many people are drawn to its magic. It was about people—their fears, likes, and dislikes—and humanity. It has been the product of the talents of many people, it is Gene Roddenberry’s basic ideas, developed by many writers and seen through the interpretations of the actors and directors…ongoing art by committee in the truest sense of the word.”
“More often than not, it paid off and the results continue to stand the ongoing test of time.”