Something occurred to me recently: we haven’t had a successful show about humanity’s future in outer space on television since 2005, and that with a very broad definition of “successful”. Before you say “Battlestar Galactica” or one of the Stargate variants– neither of those technically qualify. BSG, strictly speaking, is set in the distant past (sorry, spoilers), and Stargate is more in an alt-present than the future. The last real attempt was the interesting failure “Defying Gravity” in 2009, and even that was set entirely within the confines of the Solar System.
In the 1990s, we had three iterations of Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Andromeda. in the first half of the next decade: yet another Trek, Firefly and Farscape*.
So where is the next Star Trek?
Now, so I’m clear, I’m not talking about another iteration of Trek itself. Not that I would object, mind you, but I’m not sure what form it would take, given the baggage of five different series, and even the rebooted movies come laden with baggage.
But it doesn’t need to be Trek– which Babylon 5 and Firefly proved. It can be its own new thing, a brand new vision of the future. In fact, that would probably be best.
So why hasn’t it been done? I mean, it’s not like anyone says, “Well, we don’t need another cop show” or “we don’t need another lawyer show”.
I think there is a huge audience out there hungry for something new that would appeal to fans of Trek (and B5, Farscape, Firefly, BSG, and so on.) So I’m downright surprised that no one has tried to capitalize on it. And it can be presented in an entirely new way, because the television landscape has changed radically since any of those shows have gone off the air. I’m also surprised that no one seems to be hungry to do it.
My first rule of writing, in terms of what I write, is “write what I would want to read”. I don’t bother with trend-chasing or mimicking others or even what’s necessarily “sellable”– just that simple rule that I would want to read it. If it’s something I’m geeked out on, then that passion would come through, and readers would be into it as well.
That’s what’s at the core of the universe I built for Banshee, my simmering on the backburner work-in-progress. It’s a vision of the future that’s not Trek (or B5, Farscape, Firefly, BSG, etc.), but would appeal to the fans of those things.
But in the mean time, I wouldn’t mind seeing a new show. Trek or otherwise.
*- True, Farscape is also an “alt-present”.