Hello, fellow Trekkies. A few years back I created a short animated film called “Klingon Propaganda“. Maybe you’ve heard of it? The hope was not just to amuse fans – though that was a major motivation – but to also bring awareness to the viability of an animated Star Trek show. Unfortunately, despite many attempts and rumors, such a project just never materialized.
Along with the propaganda video I had also developed several scripts for an animated 30-minute series of my own. I wanted it to be an anthology with no particular cast but occasionally recurring characters. Each episode would take place somewhere in the Star Trek universe, but not necessarily on a star ship. Locations included colonies, pirate vessels, and space stations. Most of these stories would be set in the Original Series “Prime” universe, though I could imagine straying into other “Prime” eras if they could be organically connected with the other stories in the overall narrative. I couldn’t help feeling these scripts were going to waste sitting in the bowels of my hard drive. For almost seven years now they’ve been begging to be seen. Hopefully this site will be where they get their moment in the sun.
I’ll be treating this project as a low priority hobby for the foreseeable future. I hope to release a set of panels each week, but with no promises of a regular schedule. As a nonprofit gig with no possibility of even donations because of copyright sensitivities I can’t really afford to have it any other way. My best advice is to like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, or add the RSS feed to your favorite newsreader to get alerted instantly about each new panel.
Like all of you, I have my own personal canon and I’ll be following it closely in this series. I’m a TOS textualist. Basically TOS is the Constitution and all other series, movies, and books are just local statutes that can be overturned if they are inconsistent with what the framers wrote. Here’s my take on some long standing Trek disagreements:
• The Romulans didn’t have warp drive prior to the Klingon alliance. “Impulse Power” was derived from the Orion Project, a concept that has been studied since 1953 and would have been well know in the general science community by 1966. It moves the ship using exploding nuclear or anti-matter devices. This is surely what the writers were looking at when they developed the Enterprise’s own impulse drive and considered the Romulan’s sole method of propulsion as well as the S.S. Valiant’s. Heck, the “old-style nuclear warheads” the Romulan commander refers to could be part of the propulsion system. Yes, it’s kind of stupid to think ships going a maximum of 80% C could be reaching the galactic rim within the lifetime of the crew, but there are many stupid concepts in Trek. We can assume that this amazing impulse drive can do some level of FTL, but it’s space-normal.
• Klingons are not proud Viking warriors. They’re just not. And they always had bumpy heads no matter how much you loved “Trials and Tribblations. Why? Because Gene said so, dammit.
• Constitution class ships don’t have centrally located warp cores. Jefferies was pretty clear when he stated the whole reason the engines were separate from the rest of the ship was because all the dangerous stuff was in them. As a result ships will never just explode like the Galaxy class does when you breath on it. It doesn’t happen with real naval ships, it never happened in TOS (the Constellation, the Lexington), and it will never happen in these pages.
• The Treaty of Algeron is one of the most confusing elements of Trek lore TNG ever introduced. The most problematic part of it is the “no cloaking devices” clause imposed on the Federation. For one, I can’t believe a massive, interstellar power would just abandon a technology willy-nilly. Could you imagine the US giving up stealth planes to appease Russia? Again, we bow to a statement from Roddenberry on why Star Fleet ships aren’t equipped with cloaks: “Our heroes don’t sneak around”. Judging from “Who Watches the Watchers” I would amend that to “when they don’t have to”. I would guess there are some Federation ships with cloaking technology, and if necessary, as seen in “Enterprise Incident”, one can easily be plugged into to a ship’s shield generators.
• The plot line of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” is probably going to bring up questions of “Section 31”. I never could wrap my head around the whole “Tal Shiar vs Obsidian Order vs Section 31” thing in DS9. It plays on the idea that conspiracy theories and secret societies can exist in a democracy, a view point I do not share. The closest thing Section 31 could be compared to is the CIA, and they are neither autonomous nor officially denied. They are out in the open and obey the President and Congress whether you want to believe it or not. It also doesn’t take a secret society to create secret weapons. The Department of Defense does that themselves all the time. When Star Fleet needed to sneak into Romulan space to steal their new cloaking technology in “Enterprise Incident” they didn’t send Section 31. They sent their top ship and crew with secret orders.
• Star Trek’s world and ours are not the same thing. The was no Eugenics War during the Clinton administration. That doesn’t mean we should try to push the Eugenics War into the 21st century, nor should we try to figure out how the war could have happened without anyone noticing. You can’t reconcile our world with Trek’s no matter how much VOY and ENT and various novels have tried. The best I can do is treat Star Trek like a parallel universe that evolved similarly enough to ours but had very different defining events.
• There is one point where I have to side with TNG over TOS and that’s splitting the Eugenics War and World War III into two different conflicts. TOS made it pretty clear us savage humans had a nuclear conflict before we all got along. The Eugenics War’s death toll (30 million) just doesn’t mesh with a nuclear holocaust. Nor does it make sense with Shaun Christopher’s manned Saturn mission and the Cherybdis probe which take place in the early 21st Century when we should have still been dealing with 1996’s post atomic horror. “Encounter at Farpoint” is Dorothy Fontana and Gene’s baby and it lays the third World War square in the mid 21st Century. That makes a lot of sense to me.
• Some of Gene’s other work outside of Star Trek, however, is canon. Gene’s “Genesis II” and “Planet Earth” fit incredibly well as prequels to TOS, including a post-atomic war settings and a proto-Federation/world government where pacifist humans are improving themselves. Genesis II’s subshuttle system even get’s a mention in Gene’s novelization of The Motion Picture. I would include “The Questor Tapes” as well just because, why not?
• TOS was not particularly progressive for women, even stating in “Who Mourns for Adonais” that most female officers abandon the service to have babies. This was made worse in “Turnabout Intruder” when Janice Lester comments that women can’t be ship captains. I would hope these attitudes would not actually exist in the 23rd century and the comic will hopefully reflect that.
• “Enterprise” is so incompatible with TOS regarding technology, history, and ship design that it has to be tossed out in its entirety. Plus it’s a pretty weak show. This doesn’t mean I would disregard Enterprise’s more interesting visual concepts. The Vulcan ships are cool and based on Matt Jefferies designs. The multi-legged Tholians were pretty much what you expected they looked like below the neck. Gorns, however, are upright lizard men with insect eyes, not velociraptors in tunics. And the term “Augments” should never pass human lips again.
• The same goes for TOS Remastered. The new visuals are only canon if they make sense to me.
• Discovery is in the same boat as Enterprise except I like it better. I consider Discovery a hard reboot of the franchise, taking all the stuff we’re familiar with in a completely new direction.
This is all, of course, a matter of taste. Unlike some other fan works I have no delusions about being the one true torch carrier for the franchise. Hopefully these contentions will seem minor compared to the strength of the plots, characters, and drama I’ll be presenting in each serial. Enjoy and live long and prosper.