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Yes yes I am straying from my weekly Comic Book Movies I’d Like to See model a bit this week. I’ve had this idea sitting in the back of my mind for months. Ever since I heard that the upcoming 11th Star Trek film will take place just before the Original Series and will feature Kirk and some other characters associated with the original series I have been pondering a remake of the original series. Seems like a fun concept to play with. Recast the original characters, remake some of the original episodes, use modern set design and CGI to really make a show that is both a great drama and great eye candy.

The original series characters were actually pretty rich when you look at them, I’ve done just a bit of tweaking here and there to these characters, trying to bring forward those elements that will contribute to a decent dramatic program. So, the characters that follow are a little bit different, I have taken liberties with them in the back seat of my car. Actually, one could argue I took some of the less well known characters, stripped them naked, and left them by the side of the highway.

Captain James Kirk
Character: Born in Des Moines, Iowa. As a child his family moved to the Tarsus IV colony where he witnessed a massacre by Colonial Governor Kodos, who was attempting to reduce the population of the colony, to save some of the colonists during a food shortage, by “cleansing” the undesirable ones. In the Academy he was also friends with Gary Mitchell. His first assignment was on the U.S.S. Republic. He served as Tectical Officer on the Farragut. He served as First Officer of the Yorktown before taking command of the Enterprise at the relatively young age of 31. The Enterprise was not on it’s face the most desirable assignment, but deep space exploration dedicated to seeking out new life and new civilizaitons appealed to Kirk’s sense of adventure. Kirk took on the Enterprise after the promotion of Captain Christopher Pike.

Played by: I like Nathan Fillion, and why not? Tone down the humor just a bit and slap a yellow shirt on him and Mal Reynolds is a bit like Captain Kirk.

First Officer/Chief Science Officer, Commander Spock
Character: Spock is the son of former Federation Council Member for Vulcan, Sarek, and former first violinist for the San Francisco Symphony Amanda Grayson. Spock was born and raised on Vulcan, both of his parents agreed that he would be raised as a Vulcan. Spock struggles with his dual heritage. Though he identifies as a Vulcan he is often reminded that he is only half Vulcan. He had been the Enterprise’s first officer for 4 years before Kirk took command. He declined command of the ship when it was offered to him. Spock was the first of many Vulcans to join Starfleet rather than pursue a career through the Vulcan Science Academy. This has caused a lot of friction between himself and his father, as Sarek always saw Starfleet as a military organization.

Played by: I’m fond of Cillian Murphy from 28 Days Later, and Batman Begins. I believe he could pull it off.

Chief Medical Officer, Lieutenant Commander Dr. Leonard McCoy
Character: Leonard “Bones” McCoy was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He joined Starfleet after his father died. He served for nearly a decade at Starfleet Medical before requesting a deep space assignment. He doesn’t like transporters. If he can at all avoid using them, he will. He’s a passionate man who thrills at the prospect of heated debate with colleagues and shipmates.

Played by: I saw a rumor online about Gary Sinise playing McCoy in Star Trek XI. Sinise looks a bit like Deforest Kelley, so why not?

Chief Engineer, Lt. Cmdr Montgomery Scott
Character: Born in the town of Aberdeen, New Scotland, on Alpha Centauri III, “Scotty” is, arguably, the best engineer in the fleet. He is also, unfortunately, a bit of a drunk, and has a tendency to start fights in bars. This has generally kept him below the level Chief Engineer and saddled him with less than desirable assignments. He figures this is the case with the Enterprise, especially when Kirk promotes him to Chief Engineer. He has a tendency to question Kirk’s orders, because he thinks Kirk is too young, and a fool for promoting Scott to Chief Engineer.

Played by: Christopher Eccleston. As Doctor Who his TARDIS was a bit of a hodgepodge of different things kind of slapped together into something that seemed to work, plus he has a certain intelligent intensity that I think would really work for Scotty.

Navigator, Ensign Pavel Chekov-
Character: Chekov was born in Moscow, Russia. He is on his first assignment after graduating from the academy. He’s well versed in unusual alien entities. Specifically, he has an interest in seemingly demi-god-like beings. Chekov has a photographic memory. He is also very ambitious and frequently trying to prove himself capable to his superiors.

Played by: Zachary Quinto is pretty good as the creepy Sylar on Heroes. I think he’d make a decent, but different Chekhov.

Relief Navigator, Ensign Arex-
Character: Edosian male, orange in color with three arms and three legs. Starfleet ships tend to, generally, be populated by species of the same or similar physical requirements. This is mostly for the purposes of efficiency. Arex is one of a very few officers on the ship who is quite different from his fellow shipmates. He tends to wear a uniform made of thicker material than the other officers as his home planet is quite hot. He often feels a bit out of place on the ship and tends to spend much time alone.

Played by: A combination of puppetry and CGI, his voice done by Frank Welker (also known as the voice of almost any cartoon character you can think of).

Helmsman, Second Officer, Lt. Cmdr Gary Mitchell-
Character: Gary went to the Academy with Kirk, they were in the same class, but Kirk advanced significantly faster than his friend. Gary is an accomplished Helmsman and a fair tactical adviser. His rank and Spock’s experience with the Enterprise are the only things that prevented Kirk from making him First Officer. Mitchell harbors some resentment towards Spock for that. He is engaged to Relief Navigator M’Ress.

Played by: I think another member of the Heroes cast, Adrian Pasdar, would do a pretty good job of Kirk’s school pal.

Relief Helmsman, Lt. Junior Grade Hikaru Sulu-
Character: Sulu was born in San Francisco, California. His family has been in Starfleet since it’s founding, his Mother is an Admiral. Sulu has an enthusiasm for botany and is an accomplished fencer. On off duty hours he provides fencing lessons in the Rec Room.

Played by: B.D. Wong from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Communications, Lt. Cmdr. Uhura-
Character: Uhura was born in the African Union on Earth, her parents were Political Science University Professors. She learned to speak several dozen languages as a child (including Vulcan, Andorian, Edosian, Caitian, Klingon, and Tellarite). Uhura entered the academy with the intent to rise through the command ranks, but she discovered that she had a particular talent for the repair and operation of shipboard communications arrays. She is acknowledged as an expert in the field.

Played by: I went and saw Grindhouse again this weekend, so how about Tracie Thoms? I kind of liked her in Tarantino’s Death Proof, though I didn’t quite like her character (yeah I think that’s a touch weird).

Relief Communications, Lt. J.G. M’ress-
Character: Caitian, born in Carthage, Rome on Alpha Centauri II. She is a second generation Starfleet Officer, her father was the First Officer of the Yorktown before Kirk. She met Gary Mitchell before several months before they were stationed on the Enterprise together (something Mitchell asked Kirk to do).

Played by: Slap a cat mask and a bunch of make up on Butterfly from Grindhouse, Vanessa Ferlito (yes, the vast majority of my casting for these posts comes from what I’ve watched recently).

Head Nurse, Lt. Christine Chapel-
Character: Nurse Chapel was born in New York City, New York. She is former medical researcher who volunteered for duty in starfleet out of a desire for adventure in deep space. She was formerly engaged to scientist Roger Korby, who has been missing in deep space for some time. She joined the crew before Pike was promoted and has had a crush on Commander Spock for some time.

Played by: I’m thinking Catherine Dent, Danny from The Shield, because I don’t think I’ve grabbed any of the actors from that show for this post yet.

Ship’s Counselor, Lt. Cmdr. Dr. Elizabeth Dehner
Character: Elizabeth was born on Mars. She studied Psychology and after spending a short time as a private therapist she joined Starfleet. Kirk was reluctant to take on a ship’s counselor, but Starfleet insisted because the Enterprise’s deep space mission may result in the crew having no relief for much of it’s five year mission.

Played by:  Stacy Haiduk, because of my vague memories of the Adventures of Superboy series of the late 80s/ early 90s.

Yeoman, First Class Janice Rand-
Character: Janice is from Liverpool, England, where her wife and children live. She is the most experienced enlisted person on the ship. Janice acts as the personal assistant to Captain Kirk.

Played by: Polly Walker, Atia on Rome, because I’ve been meaning to slip her into one of these posts for awhile now.

The Enterprise-
The ship, isn’t really a character, but it kind of is a character. I mean it would be the setting for most episodes, so it’s a bit important. I would say the general design of the ship should remain relatively unchanged. Tweak some of the details. For example, more windows would be a good thing, it doesn’t need to be covered with them like in TNG, but I see nothing wrong with adding more windows. Interior wise, I would replace some of the features, like the red railing around the bridge could be a nice wooden railing. The ship was also filled with lots of flat bright colors, let’s replace those with more muted colors. The ship should still be brightly lit, though. I mean, come on, they’re producing enough energy to go multiple times the speed of light, I think they can power some lamps. When it comes to the computers, displays and so forth, they should probably be updated to look like some sort of extension of technology today. We don’t need to do anything fantastic, probably just touch screen interfaces that resemble the push button consoles of the original series.

In general, I would keep the uniforms exactly the same. They’re simple uniforms, easy to identify after about half an episode what the people in the blue shirts (scientists) are supposed to do, what the people in the yellow shirts(commanders and those who fly the ship) are supposed to do, and what the people in the red shirts (people who fix things and die) are supposed to do. Plus, I just dig the classic uniforms.

Pilot Plot:
The plot of the pilot, as I envision it, would be a remake of the classic episode “Balance of Terror.”

We open with Kirk presiding over the wedding of Gary Mitchell and M’Ress. The wedding is interrupted by a call for Red Alert, a Federation outpost along the Romulan Neutral Zone has sent out a distress call.  The Enterprise arrives at the outpost too late to save it. In a meeting of the senior staff Gary Mitchell insists that the attackers must be the Romulans. There is some review of the Earth Romulan War a hundred years prior and then the meeting is interrupted by another distress signal. This time, they are able to make contact with the outpost while it’s under attack. They’re told the attacker appeared out of nowhere and keeps disappearing off the outpost’s sensors. The Enterprise again arrives too late to save the outpost. Now, suspecting the attacker is using a cloaking device they stop searching for a ship and start looking for the secondary evidence of a ship (like plasma exhaust, or gravity fluctuation, or some kind of techno mumbo jumbo). They are able to detect something headed away from the outpost. Kirk orders them to shadow what they think must be the attacker. As they get closer Uhura passively scans for subspace radio signals. She picks up one from the attacker directed towards the Romulan homeworld. The message has a visual component to it and they are able to bring that up on the main viewscreen on the bridge. Everyone is shocked because the Romulans look more or less exactly like the Vulcans. Later in a staff meeting to determine what they will do next Spock admits it’s possible the Romulans are the result of one of the very early attempts by the Vulcans to colonize space. After some discussion it’s determined that they should attack the ship, instead of just following it. They follow the Romulans through the tail of a comet, and the Romulans turn back around on them (realizing they have somehow been followed) and the two ships trade phasers and torpedos for awhile. Each ship takes on a lot of damage and each commander is desperately trying to figure out how they will outwit the other. Spock and Mitchell head down to a damaged Phaser control room to try and bring them back up for a last strike to cripple the Romulans. Mitchell is able to salvage the console and get off the critical shots before coolant explodes in his face. Spock attempts to drag him out of the way and into safety, but with no luck. They have defeated the Romulan ship, which the Romulan Commander destroys to avoid capture, but Gary Mitchell is dead.

Subsequent episodes would show how crewmembers deal with the loss of Mitchell and the changed parameters of the Enterprise’s mission after the Romulans emergence from 100 years of silence. The only kind of Original Series episode that should be avoided would be the “Parallel Earths” episodes, where Kirk and crew beam down onto a planet exactly like Earth, except everyone’s gangsters or Nazis or Native Americans (not that I don’t dig those episodes, but they were  a bit silly).


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