Strange New Worlds: 7 Star Trek settings that should be explored in the new series

Contributed by
May 17, 2016

Following the news that Star Trek would be returning to TV in 2017, there’s been a lot of speculation about what the series might be about and when it will be set. A recent unconfirmed rumor stated the show could take place in the original Star Trek universe instead of the rebooted alternate universe of the J.J. Abrams movies, and be set between Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek: The Next Generation. The rumor also raised the possibility of the show being an anthology series and following different stories each season.

Despite this being just a rumor at this point, I love the idea of returning to the original universe and the idea of an anthology series brings up some interesting possibilities for the show. Even with five live-action TV series and 10 movies, there’s still a lot that can be explored in that timeline and act as great settings for the series. Some of these times may have been explored in various novels and other media over the years, but it would be fun to see them played out on TV. Here are seven times I’d love to see explored in the new series.

1. Post-Dominion War


Considering the impact of the Dominion War, setting a show not long after the events of Deep Space Nine’s series finale would provide some great stories for a TV show. This would allow us to get a closer look at how everyone deals with the aftermath and tries to pick up the pieces as they recover. The story could follow a new Starfleet crew on a new ship as they navigate a post-war galaxy and the shifts in power that might be taking place. It could even potentially deal with the eventual return of the USS Voyager and the information from the Delta Quadrant it brings with it.

If the series is an anthology show, though, I think a more interesting way to explore this time period might be by focusing on a specific location, such as Cardassia. One season could follow events in the capital of their homeworld as they rebuild, or perhaps follow a specific Federation team that goes to help with relief efforts. This would give us a more intimate look at this time in a place heavily impacted by recent events and open the door to learning more about what else is happening in that area of space. For example, this setting could also let us see what Bajor is up to and if they eventually join the Federation.


2. Post-Nemesis


Starting right where Star Trek: Nemesis ended would allow the show to continue the story of the original timeline right where we left off. This doesn’t mean it can't provide us with a brand new angle, though. I think there are two ways this time could be explored that would make it feel different while returning to a familiar point where we basically know what's going on. The first way is exploring a new department in the Federation. After all, there’s much more to the Federation than Starfleet. It's an angle that might work best for just a season of an anthology show. We could follow the exploits of the Department of Temporal Investigations or see what type of adventures the Federation’s archaeology teams get into on their digs around the galaxy. Another unique setting could be the judiciary branch for a law-show spin to Star Trek for a season, or there could be a more political focus by featuring the operations of the Federation Council, itself. Then there’s always Section 31, which just might be the most intriguing option leading to some exciting episodes.

Another avenue would be returning to the exploration aspect of Star Trek with a new ship and crew that explores a new area of space. Following Voyager’s return, a crew could embark on a planned trip to the Delta Quadrant to explore areas Voyager didn’t see during its years focused solely on getting home or a new ship could go to the Gamma Quadrant instead on a similar exploration mission. To really make things different, they could even introduce us to a ship that sets out to explore a whole new galaxy and leave the Milky Way entirely!


3. The Far Future

Speaking of the future, the series could jump far enough away from the previous series and movies in order to not be too bogged down by their events. How far into the future would present different opportunities. It could go just about 15 to 20 years forward on the timeline to show us what’s been happening in the universe since the events of Nemesis while not being too connected to it, like a series starting right after its events. This would allow room for familiar characters to pop up every now and then, letting us see what they’re up to all these years later, while leaving the main story to follow a new cast of characters in a potentially very different galaxy depending on what everyone has been up to.

A time jump for the series could also go even further into the future around 100 years to really cut ties with what we’ve seen before and present us with quite a different setting to discover on the small screen. This would limit the number of characters that could return from past series, but offer a fascinating look at how things have changed with the Federation, the Klingons, and everyone else in a century along with opening the door to some imaginative new technological advances as well.


4. A future where Romulus is destroyed


I imagine the above future settings not really acknowledging the Abrams universe at all, but a different take on setting the new show in the future of the original timeline can be following the route of the massively multiplayer online role playing game Star Trek Online. This game is set in the original timeline decades after Nemesis, and acknowledges the events that sparked the Abrams alternate movie universe with Romulus’ destruction and Spock’s disappearance. Acknowledging that these events did, indeed, happen in the original timeline would provide an intriguing setting, as the world we’re familiar with has to deal with the aftermath. The show could explore what happens right after these events or, like the game, jump ahead in time to show us how things have changed over the years due to that disaster. We’d once again be able to see some familiar faces by leaving the door open to characters from the old shows while also offering a nod to the most current version of Star Trek we’ve seen in theaters.


5. Mirror Universe Future


Returning to the Mirror Universe would really only work if the show is an anthology series. Multiple seasons set here would eventually get tiresome, but a season set in it would be fascinating. Episodes that explored this parallel world were always fun, and offered a unique alternate spin on what could have happened in the Star Trek universe. I’d love for a season to show us what has been happening in the future here. It can follow a new cast of characters, perhaps continuing the story of the Terran rebels or showing us what occurred once they were successful or defeated. This season would also present the opportunity for cameos from former characters, only they would be their mirror versions. It would offer a chance for not only the return of mirror versions of characters we’ve met before, but give other Star Trek characters that never showed up in the mirror universe a chance to play in the world!


6. Romulan War

I know that the prequel setting is probably not one many fans might welcome due to the controversial Enterprise series, but I think it’s one that provides a great opportunity for exploration for a season of an anthology series if the right time is chosen. One time I think would work well in a season is the Romulan War. The war was an important event in the original timeline and, not long after, was followed by the creation of the Federation. A season here would let us see what happened during the war, with perhaps the final year being the best setting. This way, we could see how the final battle played out, how the Neutral Zone was set up, and exactly what led these allies to create the Federation we're all so familiar with. It can follow another ship and crew, but we can hear about what the crew from Enterprise is up to at this time and perhaps see some characters make appearances as well.


7. Pre-Original Series


Continuing to look at the options for exploring a prequel era, another time that could work for a season at least is exploring events right before The Original Series. This would get rid of some of the problems that could result from setting the show too far away from The Original Series by presenting us with a time period we're more familair with but in a new way. We can learn more about what was being explored before Kirk and crew set out on their mission, and perhaps even towards the end of the season start to crossover with the early years of The Original Series. There could be references to the events we know happened to the Enterprise, but focus on this new crew and their adventures during this time.


When would you like the new Star Trek series to be set? Tell us in the comments!

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