Straczynski Wants To Reboot Trek
Inspired by a recent SCI FI Wire poll, Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski posted a message to a newsgroup urging fans to write to Paramount, owner of the rights to the Star Trek franchise, in support of a new Trek series that he and Bryce Zabel (Dark Skies) developed last year.
Although the studio originally passed on the treatment due to "political considerations," Straczynski feels that they might reconsider if they knew that fans were eager for such an idea. "I'm taking the unusual step of going right to the source ... right to you guys," Straczynski said in the message. "Fueled in part by a number of recent articles and polls, including one at www.scifi.com/scifiwire
in which nearly 18,000 fans voted their preference for a new Trek series, and 48 percent of that figure called for a [J. Michael Straczynski] take on Trek."
Straczynski said that he and Zabel share an affection for the original Star Trek series, and a disappointment in the later iterations of the series. Together, they created a new treatment and a five-year story arc with the intention of returning to the roots of the world created by Gene Roddenberry. "If you want to see a new Trek series that's true to Gene's original creation, helmed by myself and Bryce, with challenging stories, contemporary themes, solid extrapolation, and the infusion of some of our best and brightest SF prose writers, then you need to let the folks at Paramount know that. If the 48 percent of the 18,000 folks who voted at SciFi.com sent those sentiments to Paramount, there'd be a new series in the works tomorrow," Straczynski said.
Straczynski added that he felt that the current stewards of the series have been too cautious in their stories, and the franchise has suffered as a result. "Over time, Trek was treated like a Porsche that's kept in the garage all the time, for fear of scratching the finish," Straczynski said. "The stories were, for the most part, safe, more about technology than what William Faulkner described as 'the human heart in conflict with itself.' Yes, there were always exceptions, but in general that trend became more and more apparent with the passage of years. Which was why so often I came down on the later stories, which I did openly, because I didn't feel they lined up with what Trek was created to be. I don't apologize for it, because that was what I felt as a fan of Trek. That's why I had [Roddenberry's widow Majel Barrett] appear on B5, to send a message that I believe in what Gene created."