When the news hit that CBS was prepping a new Star Trek television series set to warp into space (and onto the small screen) in 2017, the Internet exploded. After all, Trekkies/Trekkers and fans alike have been waiting for more than a decade for the beloved sci-fi franchise to make its eagerly anticipated return to where it belongs.
Following the untimely demise of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005, many have tried and failed to get a new Star Trek series back on TV, but Michael Dorn, who played Lt. Cmdr. Worf on seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation and four seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (as well as in four movies), has been the most vocal of the bunch in his desire to bring the franchise back to television with a Captain Worf series called The Worf Chronicles. But since CBS is now doing its own thing, what does it mean for Dorn’s plans?
Speaking to Spinoff Online, Dorn said:
“We talked with them [Paramount] last year, the beginning of last year. I always tell the story that they didn’t say no. I always knew, and the people that I was working with, maybe they were a little optimistic about it, but I’m always kind of a realist. I said, “They’re going to do it or they won’t do it. Also, they own it. So they might want to do their own.” So when this came out, it wasn’t a big shock to me at all. I mean, everybody was calling me saying, “Hey, Michael, what do you think? What do you say now?” I think it’s an opportunity. I think it’s great for them.
But now that they’re not involved, or they’re not interested in what we’re doing, it’s an opportunity to take another track and go to another part of science fiction. Maybe do my own kind of “Star Trek.” We definitely have the backing. The fans are there; there’s a definite fan base. As long as it’s science fiction, I think we have a shot. I’ve always — maybe it’s my ego, but I always think, “You know, OK, if they don’t want us, we’ll just do something that’s better than theirs.”
In a separate interview with IGN, Dorn elaborated a bit more on the CBS/Paramount situation:
“The thing is, CBS Paramount has guarded the Star Trek franchise pretty fiercely. They are probably not going to allow -- and I never thought they would -- a bunch of Star Treks to come out. I think that they're going to do this, and hopefully it will be successful. If it's not, they'll just go, "Oh, well. That's it" and move on. But I always say that we're in space for cripes' sake, so anything's possible.”
When he was asked if there were any other projects he was working on other than his proposed Captain Worf series or anything that wasn’t Star Trek-related, Dorn had this to say:
“The only thing that's happened is I wrote the pilot script for that Worf spinoff. And since we found out that they’re doing their own show, we decided to go to Plan B, which is writing our own script and telling people, "Hey, it may not be Worf, but it's Michael Dorn, which is the next best thing to Worf." And since I do have a following, we have a built-in audience. Instead of trying to piggyback on the Star Trek universe, why don't we make our own universe? So that's what we're working on now. We're calling it "Plan B." [Laughs]”
The Star Trek actor then revealed that said Plan B would be to do another sci-fi concept where he would get to be the captain of a starship — or something very close to what the Great Bird of the Galaxy had envisioned.
“Oh, yeah, yeah. What we're going to do is, we're going to do the same thing that Gene Roddenberry did initially, which was Wagon Train to the Stars. Like, we're on a ship, we're out in space, we're running into bloody aliens, we have a crew that is a good crew, and have their own little things -- but it's not going to be a lot of conflict within the crew; it's going to be a good crew. They're smart, and [the captain] is a great character, and he's going to be like the Kirk character. Because I think the one thing I want to do is get back to the Gene Roddenberry vision, as much as I can.”
Dorn added a bit more insight into how he would play that new Worf-like character to Spinoff Online, saying:
“I think that I am Worf. No matter what happens, I think that there’s a certain amount of the fans that will follow the character, or the guy who plays the character. My Plan B is to do the character, have a character without makeup, of course, it would be me, and have him be just like Worf, just without the makeup. Have him be a strong, kind of warrior type guy that can’t wait to fight. He has a spiritual side and a sense of the society that he lives in and preserving that. So it’ll be Worf, just without the makeup.”
For those expecting Dorn to use Kickstarter to get the ball rolling on his future sci-fi project, the actor has said he won't go that route “The Kickstarter thing is really cool, and it works really well for some people, but I prefer to do it the old-fashioned way.” What do you think?