With various rumors surfacing in recent months teasing the possibility of Star Trek returning to its home medium of television, there are clearly ideas swirling behind the scenes. The atmosphere has created a rare opportunity for one superfan to actually pitch his own self-conceived idea for a new TV pilot directly to Paramount. Could this be a dawning of a groundbreaking pickup for a fan project, or will the TV rights owners at CBS shut it down?
The series concept, titled Star Trek Uncharted, is a two-decades-in-the-making labor of love creation of fan Michael Gummelt. However, in recent years, the project became central to an endeavor with others that are also currently attempting to convince Paramount that Star Trek belongs back on television. With Gummelt going so far as to construct a site around the posted pilot script, it seems that his passion caught some important eyes over at the studio. Now, the studio has extended an invite to Gummelt to pitch his Uncharted idea in person to some big brass sometime this summer.
Fortuitously, Gummelt will get a chance to set what could potentially be an unprecedented realization of a fan project making its way into a major franchise. The concept centers on the crew of a new version of the U.S.S. Enterprise set in a time several decades after Captain Kirk and the classic crew had officially departed the space docks, but well before The Next Generation era. This new “Perseus Class” U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 would be embarking on an expedition into a mostly unexplored Andromeda Galaxy, propelled by a new kind of warp technology called a “Spacefold Gate.” Clearly, the show is designed to restore the traditional franchise mindset with a focus on the exploration of the unknown.
The show also seems to have put together an interestingly diverse crew who could see their leadership shared with an enigmatic human expedition leader and a half-alien captain. Yet, its place in the lore is not quite clear; especially considering that the proposed “Perseus Class” non-letter-designated Enterprise does not exist in the established mythology. Gummelt admits that, in its current form, the show’s status within the timeline-muddled post-J.J. Abrams Trek canon is rather ambiguous. As Gummelt tells TrekMovie:
What I want for this series is for it to be the future – a Star Trek TV series that feels modern and feels futuristic relative to our current times. So, as I see it, Star Trek Uncharted is set sometime in the future, distant enough that it doesn’t really matter which universe it takes place in. It’s universe-agnostic. In my fantasy world where the series actually gets made, it would need to establish itself as its own show, with its own identity. Only once it’s accomplished that would it need to establish its place in the lore.
The galactic vacuum on television created by a lack of Star Trek has just passed the ten year mark with the May 13, 2005 finale of Star Trek: Enterprise being the last proper piece of primetime to “boldly go.” Clearly, Gummelt has a vision that looks to restore the property’s intrinsic ethos while introducing it to a new generation of viewers. It’s a tall order, for certain; especially given how much the state of the medium has generally changed in the last decade in terms of quality and matured tonality. With quality drama being required to seriously stand out in order to court commitment from an audience, the rich history of Star Trek, which some new audiences could see as an intimidating effort, will need to be incidental to the new show.
Gummelt seems to acknowledge this idea when he says that he intends to minimize the array of obscure references and shout-outs to Trek-obsessives. At least in the beginning, anyway. Advantageously armed with that level of self-awareness, it will be interesting to see if he can convince Paramount and property owners CBS to move forward with his long-gestating idea and make fandom history.