1701 · WHY BOTHER?

Why don’t I push this as fan-fiction. Why dream big?

I saw Star Trek (2009) and was heavy-hearted in many ways. While I’m a fan of a couple of J.J. Abrams projects, I felt like his heart was never into Star Trek. And that’s ok. Star Wars is cool, too. And Orci’s great at writing Transformers. I saw what they were trying to do. It wasn’t *bad*, and a billion dollar global box-office take says they did something right. It just wasn’t my kind of Star Trek. I have the feeling that they, as busy people, were unable to dig too far into canon research. I don’t blame ’em.

Make it so. Nothing meaningful be accomplished with rehash. However, this universe is established (Memory-Beta) and, if they’re any good, a Star Trek episode *needs* to be ‘a thousand-piece puzzle’ that explores its vast franchise. The continuity was never too complicated that it needed to be scuttled, nor did Enterprise do so badly that Star Trek needed a brilliant reboot (though any Star Trek could use Ronald D. Moore). I’m very pleased, that a *fan*, actor Simon Pegg (nuScotty), is co-writing the third reboot feature.

1701 (this Fry/Day pitch) was envisaged very quickly (2010-ish) as a vehicle to correct the ‘timeline discontinuity’ created in the movies. A chance to mix-it-up and divert a little from what had become, in the eyes of many life-long fans such as myself, a stale…erm…’mold’. I tell the stories with allusion, homage, and wit.

The stories easily presented themselves: How could the brand new, but full-of-battle-burns Enterprise perform a widely public rescue yet get away without questions upon it’s return? They flew it through a sun attempting to escape a Romulan battle swarm (Final Frontier). The Federation is falling apart at that time and about to get plowed-over by imperialistic Klingons (The Final Reflection). Starfleet *had* to spin this one. Not to mention, someone’s gonna have to fix the Abram’s timeline mess. Sounds like a task for the 1st Crew of the Enterprise.

The allegories wrote themselves syncronistically with source material.

After this transition to fiction, I think I’ve finally got it down (after lots of practice). I’ve watched a lot of good and bad television. Good and bad scripts. I strive to better my work against those quality bars. I try do do something that I’ve never seen accomplished in the history of TV in each new story. I’ve found that the best moments come from tears of joy. I’ve learned that language is *actual* spell-craft. Then the formatting. Years of study. Hundreds of re-writes. Then the struggle begins to find a reader.

My first motive with 1701 was to finally get into fiction-writing, especially screenwriting. A half-started dream of mine, I got a taste of film production in the pre-Katrina, new-film-tax-credit days of New Orleans. I wrote note upon note, and endless outlines. I never finished my spec scripts. In hindsight, I realize I never put in the re-writes. I didn’t understand ‘story craft’ and I didn’t know, yet, ‘how to write’ even though I read many screen-writing books.

1701 is the project which taught me how. If this is simply ‘fan-fiction’, then I am guilty and proud.

I wound up in college at age 28, ready to drop out as my first essay came due. I still didn’t know how to write. I was afraid…*really* afraid. And somewhere–through editing and another set of eyes and ears, plus the addition of personality and confidence–I was able to get it done. By the next semester, I was tutoring composition. IDEALS was the first teleplay I’ve ever *completed* (well, actually INSIGNIA was 1st). Each were re-written at least a hundred times between 2012 and now. They’re still wet paint. I understand they might wind up completely different if put to screen/CBS. Anyway, here it is.

I was the kid playing by himself at the far edge of the sandbox.
I suppose that’s what I’m on Earth to do.