I first created this site in early 2014. Mainly as a site to refer people to when I told them about my proposal. It was a site I could direct them to that would be able to graphically present the concept with visuals and background information and provide them with many ways to read the pilot script. I never intended it to be a general website for people to just stumble across and read.
And, true to this intent, the site was getting less than a hundred hits a day, and many of those I'm sure were not real people. My survey would get maybe 1 or two results a month. In fact, in the first year, I got a total of 30 survey results.
Then, out of the blue, my inbox was flooded with survey responses - 65 in one day! 6,500 hits! I knew something had to be up, so I went online to see if someone had mentioned the site.
Imagine my surprise when I saw this:
BREAKING: Star Trek XIII to be titled ‘Star Trek Beyond’
Holy crap! The new Star Trek movie is going to have the same name that I happened to choose for my new Star Trek TV series proposal! What are the odds!
Here's the funny thing. I agonized over the name. I knew it was going to have to be a name that was simple, memorable. That evoked the spirit of exploration I was going for, but without being too cheesy. I wanted it to be something that Bad Robot might think of (following their trend of using Trek as a verb - as in "Star Trek Into Darkness").
I had originally conceived the series as set 100 years after Voyager, and I named it "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds". I liked the title, but feedback from some industry insiders (who had actually pitched a series themselves) told me that the only way a new series would have a chance was if Bad Robot approved it. And they would likely not approve a series that contradicted the movies - in other words, went back to the old original series/TNG timeline. Also, there have been other things called "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds", including a short story anthology and the new comic book visual novel series by John Byrne (impressive work!)...
So I tweaked the script and decided I needed a new name. I made up a list of nearly a hundred names and then picked the best 16 of them and sent them to some friends who had read the script and asked them to vote on them.
Here were the results, with my thoughts on each title.
Votes - Title - Comments
5 - Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - People like it because it's the first title. Too derivative of previous Trek? Sounds too much like a spin off? Too wordy?
3 - Star Trek: Odyssey - Too much like Voyager? Too much about going far away.
3 - Star Trek: Andromeda - Too much like Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, pigeonholes it to that galaxy, too literal.
3 - Star Trek: New Horizons - Too much like New Frontier? (Peter David novel series)
2 - Star Trek Uncharted - Too reminiscent of the video game?
2 - Star Trek Unbound - Show isn't really unbound - freed from anything?
2 - Star Trek: Destinies - Too generic? Too much about the season 1 plot, not inspiring or forward looking.
2 - Star Trek: The Andromeda Prophesy - Don't like the idea of prophesy, too religious, fatalistic, too tied to season 1 mystery.
(skipping over some others...)
1 - Star Trek Beyond - I'm the only one that likes it.
"Star Trek Beyond" only got one vote - mine. But I just felt like it was the right name. It evokes the spirit of exploration, the wonder of the unknown and the idea of moving past Trek's past and evolving into something new. So despite being the lone vote in favor of it, I went with my gut and chose it, then created this website to go with it.
Now, a year later, I see at least one person at Paramount/Bad Robot had the same thought! And, by sheer coincidence, my site is actually getting visitors, the concept is getting some attention and, who knows, maybe a few of those thousands of visitors might even be reading the script!
I don't know what will happen now. At the very least, I'm excited that people are seeing the concept at last. And, in my dreams, I hope that someone at Paramount, Bad Robot or CBS/Viacom has heard that someone already has a StarTrekBeyond.com and comes to check it out, sees the concept and says "hey, this looks interesting... we really could use a new Trek TV series for the 50th anniversary..." :)
Now, I love what Simon Pegg has said he wants to do with Star Trek 3. I think it's the perfect direction for the movie series and it's sorely needed. We need to see this new incarnation be explorers, to have a sense of camaraderie like the Roddenberry/Coon crew had. We need to see them on a heady sci-fi adventure like The Original Series had, written by some of the best sci-fi writers of the time. We need to see the crew be *friends*, be competent and have fun.
But: I think that, in addition to the movies, Star Trek needs to return to the format that made it what it was in the first place: episodic television. Not because TV is superior. But because a multi-hour series allows the show to have a long, evolving plot and allows the characters to really grow. We can see them in quiet times and in crisis. We can learn their quirks and idiosyncrasies. We can see how they behave in all different situations. We get to *know* them, understand them, feel for them. They become important to us. And Star Trek, as much as it's been about sci-fi, space opera and action/adventure... has always been about the *characters* when it was at its best.
And the episodic medium has come so far, even since The Next Generation. When I look at shows like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, True Detectives and the new Daredevil series on Netflix, I see the amazing potential for Star Trek if that premium, quality-over-quantity model was applied to it. Imagine the deep storytelling, compelling narratives and character growth that you could get out of a show like Star Trek when approached with modern storytelling techniques. It could be the greatest Star Trek ever. That's my hope, and that was my goal with this proposal.
So, hopefully word spreads and more people visit as the movie gains steam and starts to get more press. And maybe, just *maybe* someone in a position of authority reads the script and my phone rings. :) A man can dream!