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Nicholas Meyer On His ‘Ceti Alpha V’ Star Trek Mini-Series

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Now in his new interview, Meyer can’t say for certain why the project hasn’t moved forward at the remerged ViacomCBS, but he believes in part it has to do with how streaming has changed things:


Well, I don’t consider it dormant because I think it’s it’s a terrific project. I think what happened, or up to a point what happened, was that the business model for streaming was changing really fast. And what was originally commissioned as a three-hour or three-night event, by the time I finished writing it, three hours was not enough. They wanted longer stuff. And somewhere between those two imperatives, the thing sort of fell between two stools. And I still don’t know why they’re not doing it, even if it’s to say, ‘give us ten episodes instead of three or whatever.’ I don’t know why.




It is certainly the case that executives from CBS as well as Alex Kurtzman, the executive producer in charge of the Star Trek Universe, used to talk about limited series being part of the mix of their streaming plans for Star Trek. In fact, when Star Trek: Picard was initially announced, it was reported to be a limited series (or a “10-part movie”).

Meyer revealed to TrekMovie that it was Alex Kurtzman who originally proposed the idea of the Khan miniseries:


The whole idea of it was Alex’s idea. He came to me and said, ‘What do you think about this?,’ and I was over the moon about it. I just thought it was such a great idea. And couldn’t wait to do it.





When asked by TrekMovie if he believes the Ceti Alpha V project could be expanded beyond his 3-episode plan and possibly turned into an ongoing series, Meyer was skeptical:



Well, that may be a defect of imagination on my part. I think if it went on and on and on about Khan and Ceti Alpha V  it risks becoming a kind of Gilligan’s Island. Which I think is a wrong idea… It was commissioned as a three-hour thing and there were certain parameters that were put down, to which I adhered. And they’re all fungible.

The dilemma appears to be about finding a way to spread costs and maximize revenue by extending beyond just three episodes, while still making the story work without repeating itself. A longer series would also have to fit with Star Trek canon, which established the genetically enhanced crew of the Botany Bay remained in exile and the Federation was unaware of the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI.

Of course, there could also be other reasons why Kurtzman and Paramount+ have chosen not to move forward—at least not yet—with this project.  While Meyer still feels strongly that the Ceti Alpha V project is a good idea, he confirmed that he still has not heard anything about the status of it.

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