Since the recent rebirth of Star Trek on television – beginning with CBS All Access‘ Discovery and now Picard as the first non-Starfleet-centric television series – the franchise is making new and bold decisions deviating from traditional formula storytelling. Here are some other characters we think deserve a shot at their own series.
There have been rumors, but never any definitive plans to move forward with Star Trek’s most popular Klingon. Michael Dorn played the character through The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, all four TNG films, and even his ancestor who shared the same name in The Original Series film, The Undiscovered Country.
At the conclusion of Deep Space Nine, High Chancellor Martok requested Worf be appointed Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire – while still serving his duties with Starfleet as Lieutenant Commander during the events of Nemesis, the final TNG film. With the series primarily focused around the Kirk era, there’s been strong demand to see the story continue on in some form.
Before Picard, the prime universe’s story halted following the destruction of Romulus (the Federation’s primary foe during TNG) and served as the impetus for J.J. Abrams Kelvin Universe. Other TNG cast members have expressed interest in appearing on Picard, with Dorn’s response of wanting to be more involved than just a guest appearance understandable.
The relationship between the Klingons and the Federation is one of the most intriguing aspects of TNG’s run since they were at war with each other during the TOS timeline. While Picard might not likely be a story of exploration and more of a serialized accounting of the main character’s loose-ends, Worf’s story is a a man caught in between two worlds – like how previous recent works focused on Spock’s inner struggle between his humanity an Vulcan sides.
It was always perplexing how Star Trek never experimented with dedicating a series to a major character before. With Picard set to premiere, this is probably their biggest opportunity to examine the Worf character.
The idea of him going through Starfleet has been explored through novelization and that could also be a source for a new series.
Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy
Played by DeForest Kelley in TOS and all six subsequent films and by Karl Urban in the Kelvin Universe films, Leonard McCoy was the third pillar along with Kirk and Spock. Fueled by determination, will, empathy, and the human spirit, he scoffs at how Spock separates himself from his emotions as he’s performing his duties as Starfleet office.
The bond between the three is immeasurable, but the audience does get a glimpse at his distant future in the TNG episode “Encounter at Farpoint” where he’s an admiral touring the U.S.S. Enterprise D. Following the decommission of the Enterprise A, it would be interesting where his life went. Did he take a position at Starfleet Medical teaching future doctors? Did he go world to world helping others suffering from epidemics? There’s plenty of content out there that you essentially can turn this series into Trek’s first medical drama.
As for the name? Star Trek: Bones does have a nice ring to it.
A prequel series involving Starfleet’s favorite android could create additional layering to his character. While we know what’s happened Data (Brent Spiner)’s time during the Enterprise under Picard, but what we don’t know is how green he was to humanity’s ways as he formalized himself to StarFleet regulations.
Anyone from Spiner to a recasting of the role with a younger actor could put Starfleet’s principles upfront with Data’s interaction with other cadets as he rises through the ranks and bigotry he likely encountered during his time there. The series would naturally end with his recruitment to the Enterprise D.
This likely falls more of “what could have been,” but maybe not. At age 82, George Takei committed to AMC’s The Terror – could he commit to a Star Trek series full time? We had glimpses of his command and how he operated the U.S.S. Excelsior in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, as he defied Starfleet’s orders to help Kirk and the Enterprise A unravel a conspiracy between the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans that would threaten existing peace between the Federation and Klingons as they make their way to the Khitomer Conference.
Takei appeared in the Voyager episode “Flashback” as a nod to his service as captain. Unfortunately, the time period between TOS and TNG is seldom explored and like the earlier suggestion with McCoy, brings the audience into more of what life was like before the Enterprise D and how the Romulans became the Federation’s next greatest threat after the Klingons.
Whether if it’s as captain or admiral, Sulu deserves more. No offense to John Cho? He’s too young to play Capt. Sulu.
Post-“Star Trek: Voyager”
Aside from the gross neglect of the events since Nemesis to the galaxy at large (which should finally be addressed during Picard) some mystery has shrouded what happened to the remnants of the U.S.S. Voyager since returning home. Beyond Janeway’s (Kate Mulgrew) promotion to admiral and Seven of Nine’s (Jeri Ryan) presence in Picard, nothing much else is revealed with the ship’s crew: Chekotay (Robert Beltran), Tuvok (Tim Russ), Neelix (Ethan Philips), the Doctor (Robert Picardo), and Harry Kim (Garrett Wang).
With Tom Paris (Robert Duncan Neil) and ship’s engineer B’Elanna Torres (Roxan Biggs-Dawson) ending up married with child, did they continue in Starfleet? Same goes for the others I just mentioned. Did they end up retiring or serve on other ships? The presence of the Doctor is perplexing, because he was designed as an Emergency Medical Hologram program – but on Voyager, he grew sentience and evolved.
So those are our five picks – who do you think deserves some solo series attention?