Saturday, 27 February 2016

WeWantWorf? Apparently CBS might Want Kurn

Still ten months away but here's our first hint of what might be.

Veteran Star Trek actor and Candyman Tony Todd is rumoured to have made the short list for the series. What exactly the role he's up for could be is just as much a mystery as the rest of the show however just this one trickle of possible info does indicate that the wheels are in motion and this really isn't some massive 50th anniversary prank.

Todd's, who has also worked on series such as Babylon 5 and 24, has an association with Star Trek that crosses three series starting back in 1989 with his first of four episodic appearances as Worf's brother Kurn in Sins of the Father followed by the two part Redemption and later Sons of Mogh over on Deep Space Nine.  In addition Todd played a Hirogen Alpha Hunter in the Voyager story Prey and the role of Older Jake in one of Deep Space Nine's finest,  The Visitor.

It is odd that with Bryan Fuller on board we're now starting to see other 'familiar'  Star Trek names being bounced around. I'm still not thrilled with that Angela Bassett rumour that appeared the other week but I suppose the Rumour Mill is only just powering up and who is to say that Tony Todd will make it onto the show at all. Heck, if he's on the short list just imagine who else might be...

The history of Star Trek is littered with rumours and casting possibilities - remember that Wesley Snipes was on the list for The Next Generation and Nigel Havers could have been the captain of Voyager. Todd is a big name to have associated with the show even at such an early stage but my thoughts go in two directions here. One is that having such a big, recognised name is sure to draw the publicity and news lines to keep the show in the limelight. Todd would need to be one of the main characters for it to be worth his while even mentioning the fact and I can't see Fuller and co relegating him to a second player. Saying that he could just be in the pilot and we might never see him again...I'm thinking even Game of Thrones/Walking Dead kill off potential early on.

However, is having a big name associated such a good thing? Look at the reboot movies which went for fairly "unknowns" for the crew. Ditto with Deep Space Nine and Voyager - would it be better to get some fresh faces in there to kick it off as I don't think it's going to require a major player to draw attention.

Alongside that news, showrunner Bryan Fuller yesterday announced that Star Trek II director Nicholas Meyer will be joining the show as one of the writers. Simply WOW. It's another sign for me at least that there is a major concern that this new series needs to align itself with the core values. Meyer's record in Star Trek may only stretch to three movies but the impact he had with directing the second, co-writing the fourth and co-writing and directing the sixth movies is near legendary in the fan community. 

Now unbelievably 70 years old, Meyer's credentials stretch to, surprisingly, only ten directing credits but 29 writing credits for both movies and TV including three series in the last two years. I think we can say there is a wealth of experience there which Fuller, Kurtzman and Kasdan can use to the maximum. Just on that point has anyone else noticed how this news has come from Bryan Fuller with no hint of a word from the other two execs on the show? While Alex Kurtzman did announce Fuller's involvement, Heather Kasdan has been strangely quiet/absent from proceedings thus far. Will those two be deferring to Fuller's judgement on the day to day proceedings of the show?

I was genuinely excited by the news that such a huge figure from the franchise's past would be involved and it did increase my confidence that this is going to be the series that fans have wanted since 2005 (or maybe earlier if you didn't like Enterprise). Between The Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home and The Undiscovered Country, Nicholas Meyer had a varied experience with the franchise and can diverge between serious drama to more light hearted escapades. 

So now we have three franchise alumni connected in some way with Star Trek 2017. Those fans who berated and immediately dismissed the project may well be having second thoughts as there seems a distinct desire to do this the right way giving a mix of new, JJ and classic both on screen and behind the scenes. 

It also suggests that we're going to see more recognisable names coming on board. Meyer and Fuller's attachment could be a big draw and I for one think that the future of this upcoming series is looking brighter by the second.

How happy are you that Star Trek 2017 is drawing on the rich past of the franchise? Should it be totally fresh or are the decisions to bring recognised faces onboard good moves?

All images in this article from Google Images

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