Saturday, February 27, 2016

Wrath of Khan Director Signs on for New Star Trek Series

Bryan Fuller has started his tenure as Star Trek showrunner off with a bang. Nicholas Meyer has signed on as consulting producer and writer on the as of yet unnamed Star Trek series that will premiere early next year. Nicholas Meyer is probably most known for directing Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which is considered by most Trek (and non-Trek) fans to be the best film of the entire franchise. He also helped write the Khan script and later co-wrote Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (which he also directed). In short when people say that the "even" films are the good ones, you can thank Nicholas Meyer for that.
“Nicholas Meyer chased Kirk and Khan ‘round the Mutara Nebula and ‘round Genesis’ flames, he saved the whales with the Enterprise and its crew, and waged war and peace between Klingons and the Federation,” said showrunner Bryan Fuller in a statement. “We are thrilled to announce that one of Star Trek’s greatest storytellers will be boldly returning as Nicholas Meyer beams aboard the new Trek writing staff.”
The key thing to know about Meyer is he wasn't a fan of Star Trek when first worked on Khan. He was vaguely familiar with it when first signing on, had seen a few episodes here and there but that was about it. As a result he didn't really hold anything sacred about the franchise. More importantly his approach was not ego driven (like most directors) where he felt a need to place his stamp on to the franchise by making changes just for the sake of making changes. Instead he made the effort to understand the key characteristics that allowed Star Trek to stand the test of time and use them to drive the story. Something all directors should do when boarding a long lasting franchise. He still put his stamp on the franchise by raising the bar on what a good Star Trek story should be.

As a result of that kind of "outsider" (but respected what came before) status he was able to make the films accessible to new viewers in a rather invisible manner while also satisfying long time fans at the same time. If look back at those films the juggling act remains impressive as few franchises are able to do it all these years later. I can only hope he can work the same magic on the new series so new fans can join the Trek universe while at the same time providing lots of Trekisms for long time fans to enjoy.

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