Nicholas Meyer, long time Star Trek writer and director, walked into the CBS meeting room to see that Les Moonves and Bryan Fuller were already sitting and waiting. "Thanks for waiting for me Les, and Bryan." he said as he shook Moonves' hand. "Don't worry about it, have a seat." he replied. Meyer also shook Fuller's hand, as they had been acquainted previously. As soon as they sat down, Moonves started the meeting, "Now that everybody is here we can begin with the pitches. Bryan?"
Fuller stood up as he began, "Thank you, sir. First I'd like to know if you have any plans or expectations for the series, before we begin to incorporate a story together..." By the time he finished his sentence however, Moonves had taken his phone out of his inner jacket pocket and started typing at it as he tersely said, "We have none."
Noticing the lack of involvement from Moonves this day, Fuller began to nervously pace around the room, "Ok, well I have a few pitches and I'd like to know your thoughts, sir." Moonves was still focused on whoever he was texting as he said, "I'll listen, but remember that everything today is subject to change. We still don't have our other producer here yet". Fuller understood this, so he laid out his first idea.
"Well one of the things I had in mind was this idea where each season could take place in a different century, with a different crew. We could move this well past the 25th century, and it will remind the audience of the essence of Star Trek - The journey."
As Meyer began to think about it, he stroked his chin and added, "That has potential for interesting stories. We could even maybe follow someone's lineage through that time." Fuller's eyes lit up at the suggestion, "I like that idea. Plus they don't always have to be in Starfle..."
"Wouldn't that mean building new sets every season?" Moonves interrupted as he looked up from his phone. "Sure," Fuller admitted. "But we can certainly recycle old sets too. We used to do it all the time." Moonves dismissed this idea as he went back to his phone, "What else you got?"
Fuller closed his eyes and visibly sighed. It was both in frustration and as a psychological reset for his next pitch, "I did have this idea that comes from the Countdown comic. This story begins after Ambassador Spock has disappeared into the rupture and into the space-time continuum, which created the Kelvin Universe. What if before Romulus was destroyed, Data saved part of the population by using Borg technology to mass-beam as many Romulans from the planet as possible?"
Meyer re-calibrated his mind to accommodate for the new pitch as he openly suggested, "Hmmm... if the Romulans didn't know that the Federation was implementing Borg technology, to see people being beamed up en-mass, like the Borg can do, could potentially be traumatic for them."
Fuller, glad that Meyer was following his idea responded, "Exactly and it will be, because Data with the help of Seven of Nine, will use captured Borg cubes to beam them up, which those Romulans could see from the planet. Remember, after Endgame the Borg were badly crippled and so the Federation had since took advantage. The Romulans are being saved, but to them it looks like an invasion. Data is going to be accused of being insensitive to organics and his friendship with Picard will suffer since..."
"Nope," said Moonves as he put away his phone. "We've already reached out to former cast-members and neither Stewart nor Spiner want to be in another space show. Besides, they would be too expensive to bring back and if this show isn't cheap, it isn't happening." Fuller was starting to feel a little annoyed at Moonves' dismissive attitude towards the potential cost of his pitches, but said nothing. Moonves continued speaking as if he knew the franchise casually, "Damnit, why can't we do it on the cheap? Like the original show was?"
Fuller and Meyer paused and glanced at each other. Fuller finally responded, "The, uh... original show was not done cheaply. Even back then they were using expensive cutting edge technology to tell the stories."
"Well, I don't know why all these ideas have to be so expensive," said Moonves as he stood up. "I'm going to leave you two at it. You guys seem to play off of each other well." Before Moonves left Fuller asked, "Uh sir, we still have another 50 minutes left in the meeting, where are you going?"
Moonves winked as he said, "Hot date! Don't want to be late." and walked out the door. Meyer waited until he was completely gone before confiding in Fuller, "What a pig."
Fuller agreed, "You know that he didn't even know the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars?" Meyer was surprised, "Are you serious? No wonder he cancelled Enterprise. Everybody knows that Star Wars is about fighting and Star Trek is about discovery."
"There was another idea I had," said Fuller. "Where we'd go into the 25th century and just keep the story moving."
"That might be the cheapest idea if we're gonna please the pig." said Meyer. Fuller began to let his frustration show, "He just doesn't get it. We're making a series about the future. You can't just go to IKEA and pick up modern furniture for sets, everything has to be custom made."
"He's gonna have to accept the costs." Meyer concluded before changing the subject, "So what is Starfleet up to in the 25th century?"
"Terraforming." said Fuller.
"Ah," Meyer was intrigued, "project Genesis?"
"No," said Fuller, "Mushroom spores!"
Meyer thought he was joking at first, "Huh? Hahaha, are you pulling my leg?"
"Not at all. You know how fungus can function as a sort of network?" Meyer thought about it, "I've read about that. I think it's called the Mycelium network?"
"Yes, and that's how we terraform!" said Fuller. Meyer thought about it some more, "Cleaver! Also, one of the things I've never really seen - and we can do this well today - is a non-humanoid life-form as a reoccurring character."
Fuller's brain started lighting up, "Non-humanoid, like what? A ball of goo or something?" Meyer clarified, "More like an actual creature, like a bug or..."
"...Or a microscopic organism..." chimed Fuller. They both went silent for a few seconds before both coming up with an answer: "Tardigrades!"
Click here for part three