Friday, 4 March 2016

The Famous Five?


Am I missing something here? 

We now have a total of five executive producers announced for the upcoming Star Trek series with the names of Ted Roth and Rod Roddenberry added to the list which already includes Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin and Bryan Fuller.

Dropping a comment onto Twitter I did get a few responses around the point that this seems to be a large list of people that are exec producing. But it's not, seemingly, that big if you look at Hannibal which had six - eight if you include the two involved with the pilot. The largest Star Trek managed was three for Voyager with Taylor, Piller and Berman. From discussion with @sir_swish2262 on Twitter I checked just what the definition of the role is and it seems that it is to supervise the creative content as well as the financial aspects of the production. 

Now my grumble was as to why they need five (at present) exec producers to manage the new series but actually, it does make some sense because each brings a different aspect to the show. While five might be a lot to manage the money, let's just think how this is potentially (and I thought about this overnight) a good thing for the show and not the mistake I considered it to be at 7pm last night.

Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth represent the Gene Roddenberry vision, the masters of the original series, the keepers of the legacy from the creator of the show. They may well help steer the ship so that it brings the ethos that made the adventures of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the USS Enterprise crew so memorable and, at times, controversial. Their appointment actually makes sense because of the other individuals charged with holding the creative reins of the show.

Bryan Fuller acts as a link to the 90's Star Trek, specifically to Deep Space Nine and Voyager while Kurtzman brings more recent exposure and experience from the reboots of 2009 and Into Darkness. With this wealth of televisual and cinematic Star Trek, enhanced even more so by the presence of the "six day wonder" that is Nicholas Meyer in the writers' room, I have to admit that this is sizing up to be uber-impressive. What of Heather Kadin though? Perhaps this is where the money will be overseen or perhaps she's there to ensure everyone else is reined in and reminded that this is Star Trek for 2017 and not 1996. I guess someone needs to be able to keep a modern perspective since there are so many experienced Star Trek faces now associated with the show. Once again, just take note how Kurtzman and Kadin have kept to the background. Are these two the real power behind the throne with overall CBS control to oversee Fuller, Roddenberry and Roth?

roddenberry.com
When I heard that Rod Roddenberry was going to be involved at the exec level I was a little tepid on the idea. Aside from a website and carrying the Roddenberry name the only real contact I've had with his work is the documentary, Trek Nation, he produced a few years back and that was about it. I never even considered that he would be attached to the 2017 series. His knowledge of the show and input will no doubt be much sought especially to help keep that eye on the original beliefs of his father's creation and on the flip side it's a cunning political move that may help to win over some of those viewers who were initially put off knowing that Kurtzman was involved at the senior decision-making level. Roth too, if you check out his IMDB page has that link to Trek Nation and only a few other credits including Questor from 2016 which I'm guessing is something akin to the Roddenberry pilot The Questor Tapes which never made it to a full series.

We are now only ten months away from the premiere of the show and these seemingly weekly updates and announcements are helping to maintain and increase the interest around the show. Eagle-eyed Twitter users may also have seen a conversation between Ben Robinson from the Official Starships Collection and @jvancitters around whether the model series will get a chance to produce replicas from the show. I would think this is looking like a very real possibility and with the magazine series heading to at least 110 issues there's going to be more than enough time to drop some of the new ships in. For note, I reckon we'll be around issue 80 or so when the show hits screens.

And talking of screens it seems that CBS are more than aware of their international fan base since they are looking carefully at how it will be distributed outside the US. Streaming services such as Netflix have been interested as indicated by CBS CEO Les Moonves but I wouldn't be surprised to see it head to satellite or maybe even a domestic channel in the UK.

From everything that is going on around this show I have become a lot more positive about its prospects since there appears to be a big drive to get recognisable names to drive it forward. It makes me believe that it will be set in the Prime Universe but exactly when...?

Could it be in those lost years between Generations' opening Kirk sequence and Encounter at Farpoint? What about many years after Voyager? I'm not going to start spouting anymore guesses until we have something more concrete - just have to wait until next week then huh?!

How do you feel about the inclusion of a fourth and fifth exec producer for Star Trek 2017? Good move? Alarm reaction?

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