If the rebooted TV Star Trek is a ship-based series, I think serializing it (at least over the course of the series) would be a bad mistake.
Well, serialized TV would fall victim to the vagaries of TPTB. e.g. Oh, we have a hit, let's extend the series; Oh, it isn't performing as well as we thought it would, let's cut/cancel the series. This happened with B5; this happend with Surface
. A serialized story needs to have a definite length to it, if only for pacing purposes if nothing else.
Then, in reading accounts of ships, or the officers serving on them, their experiennces are often more episodic in nature. After all, they're noting in what they tell the public the highlights of their adventures. And generally, any follow-up is more a checking up to make sure the situation remained settled than an attempt to once again charge into the breach.
In fact, the only place one would see any continuous development/progression would be in the relationships formed on the ship, and the person becoming better acquainted with their duties and working towards their promotion/qualifications.
Now, as for what I would do differently:
Well, I'd have the focus characters be the junior officers, NCO's and enlisted personnel; as these would be the types to serve for years on a vessel; and also are more likely to be the ones sent out on dangerous missions, and mingle with the hoi polloi and the demi-monde of various worlds while their betters generally deal with the high ups. Probably have the main character be the new guy on board, so that he (or she) would be learning about the vessel and its crew, as well as their duties, responsibilities, etc. allowing the audience to become familiar with how the ship operates. These people are not paragons of virtue, but rather the types that one would find below decks on a ship. They'd argue, bicker and tease each other, some might even hold grudges against others, but when the chips are down they are all of the same crew and will stick up for each other.
For a continuing series long arc, this character would, by the end of the series, have worked himself (or herself) up to being a Department Head on the vessel -- before being transferred off ship -- as helped by those encountered along the way. I'd also have the Captain and XO replaced once or twice during the series (depending on the series length) as those individuals advance along their career paths.
Also, I'd make the series primarily episodic, with an evolving situation occuring in the background that would have to be resolved by season's end (say 13 episodes). This would help appeal to those seeking a through story, while at the same time allowing the series to remain accessible to late comers.
Finally, I'd have the seasons be nominally independent of each other. Each season starts fresh, with most of the cast returning, but the overarcing problem is simply different from the previous seasons as opposed to being larger (and more important) in scope. And the focus would be more on a local level (that world for an episode, or that sector for the season), and less of galactic import.
I think this would allow for a more in-depth exploration of the universe and the ship, than the model of the command staff who do everything while everyone else is simply cannon fodder.
Oh, and I'd insist on minimizing the techno-babble as much as possible, and eliminate the special - single engagement only - gadget solution that saves them from the crisis du jour.
the G-man Himself
Edited by G-man, 09 January 2013 - 12:49 PM.