Fresh from her announcement that she’s accepting a position on Fox comes bigger leaked news. Former governor Sarah Palin is in negotiations for a lead role on a new Star Trek series, tentatively titled Star Trek: Reckoning, going into production this fall, ready to be aired on both Paramount and Fox in the Fall of 2011.
If she accepts, Palin would play Captain Nalia Fergus of the USS Steadfast, one of the ships convinced of an upcoming battle which the Federation won’t take seriously. Unlike past series, this series concentrates on multiple ships and the Federation–so some political intrigue. Palin, of course, has to be a “rogue” captain! [I love it!]
The series takes place after Voyager, with an expansive Federation, a bit more difficult to govern, a bit too relaxed. The title, Reckoning, refers to an Armageddon-like disaster predicted by the D’mi, a culture that sees dreams as predictions of the future. They’ve had a collective, planet-wide dream that involves the whole Federation, but very few are listening. The show is about their attempts to convince the Federation to do something about an impending attack that could destroy multiple sectors. In the premiere and first season, they are able to convince three ships, who will work tirelessly through the series to undermine the current administration, all while trying to create alliances with other ships through deception, manipulation and controlling the media.
The President of the Federation, a very powerfully-minded, but peaceful, Betazed, is unphased by a dreaming culture predicting doom. Fergus, believing D’mi predictions, forms an underground alliance with two other ships (writers are arguing over names like the USS Sun Tzu, USS Pearl Harbor, and the USS Buchanan) to protect Section 001, Earth. This show will be about a bit of infighting in the Federation.
“They’ve done it before,” says one of the writers. “The TNG episode, Conspiracy, the Maquis, and the Dominion, and even the threats of Species 8472–but these were mostly alien attacks, people posing as humans. The Maquis sequence really opened up the door to talking about multiple sides within the Federation–or even political parties,” say writers who want to remain anonymous till Paramount’s April announcement.
Still they’re excited about the series. And about these rogue captains. “They really distrust the President. He’s too peaceful. He can read their minds–which they hate. He’s a negotiator, a diplomat, at a time when they feel like war is coming. The constant question on the table will be–are the D’mi’s dreams really accurate, do they have a political agenda, and at what moment do you take matters into your own hands?”
One of them quipped, “It’s kind of like writing a series in the Mirror Universe, except this one is bad.”
The coolest thing is that Fergus’ first officer is Commander Nuuk, a walking, talking polar bear from some ice planet. Earth apparently dropped off its Arctic species on this planet (yeah, climate change wiped them out on Earth) and they mixed with the indigenous life there–very similar–so you get a polar bear. Fergus used to hunt bears. Nuuk doesn’t know that, so this is going to be a source of tension, as she doesn’t want to admit it, but thinks of him as a trophy first officer. She’s gonna have a D’mi onboard too–who has these waking dreams–who’s living in both reality and fantasy all the time, but can’t tell the difference.
These are three ships full of conservatives. I do think that a ship of conservatives gives the writers what they’ve always waited for–the ability to write in closeted gay characters. There won’t be much open romantic intrigue because everyone’s uptight, not wanting to be revealed.
Palin has expressed interest, according to one former aide in Alaska. “She likes the character. It’s so much like her–bold, aggressive hunting woman, now commanding a starship of conservatives, who move with her every command. They fight for Earth, and they seek to protect the planet from its own bad judgment.”
Palin is reportedly brushing up on Federation policies, which like Kirk, she will ignore and bend at will, and she’s learning Klingon–just in case. She does have some concerns. She’s asked to be written in as a mother, with small children on board the ship. She wants to be assured of a four year gig (no death in season two). She also wants to have her own ghost writer write in folksy things she would normally say, but now in a command-sort of way.”
Paramount and Fox want to give her as much latitude as possible. “We’ve never been able to pick up this demographic. Usually we just get intelligent, science-oriented, techno geeks with a liberal, compassionate viewpoint. We have the potential to scoop Red State America–the O’Reilly viewers,” says one assistant producer. “We wouldn’t just have a fan base–we’d have an electorate!”
McCain, a trekkie since William Shatner was a child, has said he’d always wondered how the Earth in Star Trek ever resolved pluralistic ideas. “Never made sense to me why everyone agreed on Earth. What happened to pluralism?” And he has a point. How did this series eliminate differences of opinions? Where did the all Israeli ship go? Or the Chinese ships? Where were the rivals to get spaceships into space? Did they sabotage each other? Surely there was more fighting before we conquered space. This series, McCain indicates, will “bring back the lipstick in realistic.” No one knows exactly what he means.
It does bring up interesting possibilities for the writers. Could they keep the Star Trek fan base intact–those rooting for the Federation? But those fans just might like a quirky, folksy rogue captain–plucky enough to cause a conservative revolution.
Palin as Captain of her own ship? What do you think? She does wear red well.
Shatner giving Palin the baton, the formal written permission to be as “rogue as she wants to be.”
(this is, of course, a parody. A wink to Sarah Palin.)
For more on the new Star Trek Series, don’t miss these entries: Gingrich as D’mi, and Palin citing Star Trek to promote Gun Rights and Red State America Wants Their Star Trek