Wednesday, October 9, 2013

From The Idea Hole: Star Trek - Strange Frontier (Part Three Or Three: Series Breakdown)

If you don't know what this is, check here for PART ONE, and here for PART TWO to catch up. Frankly, I must commend you for lasting this long, if indeed anyone is still reading this thing at this point. If you are, I'm closing out this little adventure in nerdity with my loosely constructed breakdown of how I envision this series would go, even though as I've already pointed out many times, it will never exist anywhere outside of my head and this blog. I planned it out for seven seasons, as that is the typical length for Star Trek spin-offs when they don't get unceremoniously cancelled.

The basic twist would be that the unique transitive nature of the planet was the result of its first inhabitants, The Q. Specifically, this was the planet where the Q were born, before they ascended to demi-godlike status. As a result of their transformation, they left their world in a state of flux, travelling in space and time at random, collecting souvenirs along the way and integrating them into its biosphere. Or at least this was random until the arrival of an alien scientist, swept up in the planet's wake and stranded in the jungle. He learned of the planet's nature and attempted to recreate the circumstances of achieving Q-hood, but failed, and in the process became something of a disembodied spirit haunting the planet, able to control its movements and selection from other worlds, but unable to leave or become physical again. This character, mostly unseen except for his effects, will be the main antagonist of the series.

His plan is to use the planet's temporal instability in conjunction with the actions of sentient lifeforms he abducts and allows to live in order to create an escalating series of increasingly unmanageable time paradoxes in order to attract the Q to return and investigate, at which point he can capture one, figure out where he went wrong, and escape the planet as an omnipotent being. All the while he is stymied by the Travelers  a species even older than the Q who made the evolutionary step before them and dedicate themselves to ensuring others follow their own path at their own pace.

At some point many years before the start of the series, the Iconians would find the planet (or rather, be allowed to find it by its invisible caretaker), reverse engineering the properties of this world into their famous teleportation technology, and using the moving planet as a secret base of operations, installing a network of underground laboratories. One of these is located under the ruins of an ancient city that was once inhabited by a race of creatures who went extinct long ago. Once they did what the alien needed them to do, he arranged for the Iconians left on the planet after they fled their own to die, trapping them in a transporter gate for eternity.

In the first episode introducing the ruined city, we would see a mural depicting the extinct species worshiping the sun. In the last episode of the first season the lab underneath this city will be revealed to be connected to the time travelling function of the planet, and the Octopi alien crewman would be sent far into the past. As a result, a time wave would extend across the planet as history is changed, and the mural in the now active city would reveal the species no longer worshiping the sun, but rather a mass of tendrils.

Season two would take place in this alternate reality where the alien's actions in the past resulted in the species who built the city, a war like amphibious race, survived to the present day. As a result, the events of the first season were less forgiving of the main characters. Most of the background characters are dead, as are several major characters. The twist is that most of those major characters who died in this new reality are still alive thanks to where they were standing during the time wave.

The Iconian installations were insulated from the effect of the time wave, and anyone inside of them, something like half the main cast, would have been inside one of them at the time, walking out into a brand new and harsher world where the rest of the people they know have different memories of the events leading up to the present, still at war with the indigenous aliens that are no longer extinct. We would learn the differences as the cast does and get a second look at the events of Season one through a new and darker prism.

I have no reason for this photo, but why not.

We would eventually learn that the Octopi alien, who is still alive in this alternate reality where he never went back in time, unintentionally became a God to the amphibious creatures when it scared away their natural predator. Instead of both of these species killing each other off long ago in the past, they both survived into the present, still at war, with the two crews caught in the middle. A clue to the eventual reveal at the end of the season would find many in the Starfleet crew uncharacteristically taking sides in the conflict rather than try to resolve it peacefully, all while the amphibians' enemy is never seen. In the cliffhanger for this season we would find out that the enemy is in fact the Blue Gill aliens, creatures from the Delta Quadrant who were on their way to Earth in response to the beacon sent in the TNG episode Conspiracy, never making it here because they were scooped up by the island. Their giant Leviathan-like mother lives in interconnected lake system and has infiltrated the crews' settlement, taking over the minds of important characters leading into season three.

Season three would deal mostly with the aftermath of this revelation as members of the crew discover the spies within their ranks and no one can be trusted. The war would escalate until eventually the mother of the Blue Gill aliens would be found and destroyed, and a fragile alliance would be forged between the amphibians and the Federation crews. We would end on another cliffhanger, when we discover that the latest planetary shift has placed the planet into Earth's Solar System, and a Federation rescue party is on their way.

Season Four would follow the Deep Space Nine and Voyager model of adding a new character, or in the Deep Space Nine case, an old character reprising their role. I'm thinking either Chakotay, just to give Robert Beltran the kick ass redemption story he always wanted, or maybe Wesley Crusher as a Traveler to introduce that element of larger mythology, giving him weird powers and esoteric knowledge to supplant Gary Seven as the Star Trek equivalent of The Doctor from Doctor Who. The rescue would of course go sour, and the season would mostly be used to introduce more of the history and reveal the presence of the major antagonist, though he wouldn't be noted as such at the time. 

Season four would end with the cast split up as an event meant to bridge the original two time lines (thus saving the crew who died in the war with the amphibians) and fix the mistakes of the past few months on the planet only serves to make things worse. One half find themselves in the other time line, but time is frozen into permanent night, and the other half is stuck in the second timeline, traversing a planetary teleportation system built by the Iconians, bouncing from place to place all over the planet in a world tour trying to get back to the settlement. This would make up the brunt of season five.

Season six would find the crew finally fixing the problem created in season five, at least in terms of being re-united with each other, but they would find out that this was all a part of the alien's plan, and they would walk out into yet another timeline merged between the two previous ones and set in the far future of both of them. Here the descendants of the two crews from both time lines, one somewhat like a Federation colony though made fascist by years obsessed with protection from external threats, the other more tribal and linked genetically with the amphibians after years of interbreeding, are at war over territory, with our main crew from the past once again caught in the middle.

This season would end with the culmination of the alien's plan, as all of this is finally enough to attract the Q, who would reveal themselves in the last episode leading into Season Seven. Season Seven would wrap up the timeline war as the Q attempt to clean up their mess as they run afoul of the Travelers who believe the Q to be immature and undeserving of their power and knowledge, a situation exploited by our main villain as he attempts to escape his prison and take control of the Q's godlike technology.

So that's it. Well technically there are some other small things I didn't really have a place for, but for the most part, that's it for the broad strokes. I won't go into the individual character arc stuff, as the more I've gotten into writing this, the more I think I might actually do something with it, maybe in a fan fiction series to be posted here sometime in the future. Well, probably not, as just writing this mini-show bible thing was an intensive chore. We'll see how much I can sustain my excitement, and if that gets me into an actual script. Anyway, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it, and I'll see you next time for whatever new stupid unreadable nerdy thing I come up with after this. Maybe a Farscape sequel, or something Blake 7-y. Who knows? 

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