Science fiction fans who love nothing more than to boldly go where no one has gone before have a lot to be happy about at the moment.
Star Trek is in rude health on the small screen once again, with several different series, including Discovery, adding new layers to the rich mythology which has been developing ever since the original series was first broadcast back in the 1960s.
A sci-fi phenomenon
The fact that the franchise has become an all-conquering powerhouse is actually fairly remarkable considering how the show’s first iteration – starring an iconic cast led by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy – faced some difficult moments during its time on air. After all, as the official website explains, it was allegedly only saved from cancellation after its second season in 1968 thanks to a letter-writing campaign.
Remarkably though, the show’s reputation grew thanks to syndication and, as a result, Kirk and Spock went on to enjoy numerous adventures on the big screen. Furthermore, a host of other series set in the universe emerged, while the brand continued to develop as a total multimedia phenomenon. Countless novels based on the franchise have been published, while all kinds of merchandise linked to its various shows is available.
Conventions are held across the world and it is also thriving in video gaming thanks to titles such as Star Trek Timelines. The show even has links to the casino world, with several video slots titles available online based on the original and later series, including Star Trek Red Alert and Star Trek the Trouble with Tribbles, featuring the iconic creatures. Of course, we should also mention The Next Generation and the JJ Abrams movie released in 2009 too.
— Star Trek (@StarTrek) May 15, 2020
In recent times though, the franchise has been back in its original environment of TV, with Discovery enjoying plenty of success and Picard seeing Sir Patrick Stewart return to the universe. Anticipation is now also building for the newly-announced Strange New Worlds, which will see Anson Mount reprise his role from Discovery’s second season as Captain Christopher Pike. However, is it possible that we might see some other former captains return to the bridge soon as well?
James T Kirk himself, William Shatner, was asked about the prospect of him ever returning to his famous role in a recent interview with Anna Behrmann for INews.co.uk. While he has always been fairly adamant in the past that he believes Kirk’s story is done, the actor suggested that it was not entirely impossible. He said that if the role was good and he was paid well, “why wouldn’t I do that?”
Another former Starfleet captain who has been discussing the likelihood of a return to the franchise is Jason Isaacs, who memorably played Gabriel Lorca in Discovery’s first run. The captain of the titular ship, it subsequently emerged he was in fact a Mirror Universe version of the character. While that evil iteration died, there was a big question left hanging – what happened to the original Lorca?
Isaacs recently suggested to the Empire Film Podcast that there had been some discussions about him returning to Star Trek, as he stated, “We talk.” Like Shatner, he went on to explain that the key thing for him to return is that it would have to be a good story. However, he added that if something emerges he would “happily” do what is needed to get back in the uniform again.
Fascinating times ahead
Such comments are very intriguing and it will be fascinating to see if Isaacs does make a return to the Trek universe, as well as whether Shatner could potentially have another opportunity to take on his most iconic role, even briefly.
Star Trek is undeniably in a very healthy state at present and it will be interesting to see what is next for the franchise both on the small and big screen.