SciFi Friday: Animated Star Trek, Writers Awards, and Galactica Mid Season Finale

Rumor has it that Matt Damon might play James Kirk in the upcoming Star Trek movie to be produced by J.J. Abrams, and Damon says he would consider it. The movie, possibly to be released in 2008, isn’t the only new version of Star Trek being considered. The has information on an animated series being considered: has learned that there is a new animated Trek project under consideration at CBS, but it has yet to get the green light. The series would most likely be broadcast on the web and be made up of ‘Clone Wars’ like 6-minute mini episodes. The yet-to-be-named project was originally pitched by long-time Trek producer David Rossi (well known to readers as a producer on Trek Remastered) along with his producer/writer partners Doug Mirabello and José Muñoz. Rossi sat down with for an exclusive look at how he and his partners hope to create a different kind of Trek set in the 26th century…

The Zero Room team felt that the time was right for a new approach to Trek. The setting is the year 2528 and the Federation is a different place after suffering through a devastating war with the Romulans 60 years earlier. The war was sparked off after a surprise attack of dozens of ‘Omega particle’ detonations throughout the Federation creating vast areas which become impassible to warp travel and essentially cut off almost half the Federation from the rest. During the war the Klingon homeworld was occupied by the Romulans, all of Andoria was destroyed and the Vulcans, who were negotiating reunification with the Romulans, pulled out of the Federation. The setting may seem bleak and not very Trek-like, but that is where the show’s hero Captain Alexander Chase comes in. Relegated to border patrol, Chase is determined to bring the Federation (and a ship called Enterprise) back to the glory days of seeking out new life and new civilizations.

The parallels with the real world are obvious. The view is that to be relevant Trek cannot skirt around issues. Rossi explains: “couching big social issues in allegories so they are more palatable is kind of passé now. Today shows deal with these issues head on, so we decided to make the entire show an allegory. The premise is an allegory for the post-9/11 world we live in. A world of uncertainty and fear.” In addition to the attempt at relevance, the Zero Room team want to incorporate other modern techniques. The show will have an overall ‘arc’ related to the mystery of who perpetuated that ‘Omega’ attack which sparked the Romulan War (turns out it wasn’t the Romulans…ooops). As one might imagine, all of the above back-story is quite a lot to get across in animated mini episodes, but that is where the web comes in. On there will be a special sub-site for the show with crew logs and detailed histories of the Federation to get viewers up to speed on what has been going on since Picard’s day. The team also want to tackle the issue of how Trek does not usually lend itself to the action-oriented world of animated shows like Star Wars: Clone Wars. “We won’t have long diatribes, we are utilizing a clipped kind of writing and the editing is frenetic,” explains Rossi. The overall approach is hoped to make the show have a wider appeal than Trek’s last foray into the world of animation.

It might be interesting, but it isn’t Star Trek. Besides, they already tried this idea with Andromeda, which they wisely made a stand alone series as opposed to a Star Trek sequel as originally considered. I wouldn’t mind if this winds up like Star Trek Phase II and other ideas which never made it to television.

Writers for Battlestar Galactica, Lost, and Heroes have been nominated for awards from the Writers Guild of America television awards:

ABC’s hit SF series Lost got two 2007 nominations for Writers Guild of America television awards, and SCI FI Channel’s Battlestar Galactica received one.

Lost received a nomination for best dramatic series, and the episode “Two for the Road,” written by Elizabeth Sarnoff and Christina M. Kim, received a separate nomination for episodic drama. Lost is written by J.J. Abrams, Monica Owusu-Breen, Carlton Cuse, Leonard Dick, Drew Goddard, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Adam Horowitz, Dawn Lambersten Kelly, Christina Kim, Edward Kitsis, Damon Lindelof, Steven Maeda, Jeff Pinkner, Matt Ragghianti, Elizabeth Sarnoff and Alison Schapker.

The two-part Battlestar Galactica episode “Occupation/Precipice,” written by Ronald D. Moore, got a nod for best episodic drama.

NBC’s Heroes, meanwhile, received a nomination for best new series for its writing staff, which includes Jesse Alexander, Adam Armus, Natalie Chaidez, Aron Eli Coleite, Kay Foster, Bryan Fuller, Michael J. Green, Tim Kring, Jeph Loeb and Joe Pokaski.

Tonight is the 2006 mid-season finale of Battlestar Galactica with the first part of a two part story which concludes on January 21 when BSG returns on Sunday nights. The story involves both Galactica and the Cylons going after an artifact which might provide a clue as to the location of Earth, and Odama must consider sacrificing members of the crew to prevent the Cylons from finding earth. It has been previously revealed that a major character would be killed off sometime later this season. Reportedly Baltar also has to stop messing around with those two Cylon babes and return to Galactica in the second part of the upcoming episode. The Chicago Tribune has an interview with Ron Moore which provides further information on the second half of the season.

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