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Scott D. Pierce: Is it about time for a new 'Star Trek' series?

Published June 17, 2014 9:09 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Bad news, fellow Trekkers. The rumors that CBS and Netflix are developing a new "Star Trek" turned out to be exactly that — rumors.

This should come as no surprise. You should never get caught up in TV rumors until a pilot has been produced and bought by a network. Or online streaming service.

But aren't we sort of past due for a "Star Trek" TV series?

It's been nine years since the end of "Star Trek: Enterprise." That's the longest we've been without a "Trek" series since the the 13-year gap between "The Animated Series" and "Next Generation."

For those of us who became accustomed to the 18-year, unbroken run of "Next Gen," "Deep Space Nine," "Voyager" and "Enterprise," we've waited a long time.

Hey, for five of those years, there were TWO "Star Trek" series airing at the same time.

You could certainly argue that there was too much "Trek" for a while; that producing 624 episodes from 1987-2005 burned the franchise out.

But the last couple of movies proved that there's still a lot of life in the "Star Trek" franchise.

Nobody asked me, but here's my proposal. Let's do a new series set in the same time-line as the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot and 2013's "Star Trek Into Darkness."

Clearly, Chris Pine's movie career is going too well for him to reprise his role as Captain James T. Kirk to a weekly series. Same with Zachary Quinto (Spock).

But what about the character of Lt. Sulu? In the other "Star Trek" timeline — the one with William Shatner and the original cast — Sulu was promoted to captain and commanded the U.S.S. Excelsior in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country."

Hey, we had Khan in the new timeline. Why not Captain Hikaru Sulu and the crew of the starship Excelsior?

And John Cho, who played Sulu in the last two movies, does television all the time. As a matter of fact, he's in the cast of the new ABC sitcom "Selfie," which is scheduled to debut this fall.

That would seem to be a complication for any series featuring Sulu, but odds are it won't be a problem for long. Cho's TV shows tend not to last for long.

Here's the list — "Off Centre," 28 episodes; "The Men's Room, four episodes; "Kitchen Confidential," four episodes; "FlashForward," 22 episodes; "Go On," 22 episodes. Not that the failure of any of these shows was his fault.

But after watching the "Selfie" pilot, it's hard to see it having an extended run.

Anyway, put Sulu on the "Excelsior," build a new crew around him and send them out into the galaxy. CBS owns "Star Trek," and it might not be the best fit for that network ... but maybe The CW? Or, yeah, maybe Netflix?

Isn't it about time?

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.