I grew up watching my father watch Star Trek. I became familiarized with the crew’s uniforms from the quick glimpses I had of the family TV screen, the theme song of Star Trek: Next Generation permanently etched into my conscience from the pinball machine my uncle purchased, and I learned of Tribbles when my parents refused to buy me a stuffed one after taking me to a Star Trek exhibit in Las Vegas. The show was important to me, but in a very tangential way, so last year I decided to watch the original series all the way through. God, was that fun.
Once I wrapped up the third season, I jumped right into my first viewing of The Wrath of Khan to finish it off with a flourish. And oh, what a flourish it was. As it so happened, just as I completed wiping my eyes, my fellow WWAC contributor J.A. Micheline noticed me tweeting about the experience. A particularly cruel mood must have had a hold over her that day because she then dared me to start watching the newest movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness. It ended with all my friends laughing at my agony, some Cumberbitch coming out of the soulless depths of Twitter to yell at me, and JAM refusing to take any responsibility for it. To this day, I plot my revenge.
So busy was I with the revenge-plotting, trapped in the early seasons of Star Trek: Next Generation, I paid little attention to the announcement that a new Star Trek series was in production for the modern age.
Just kidding, I was pissed. And goddamn, finally now an official Trekkie, I had right to be! Supposedly, the new Star Trek series was going to resemble more of the recent movies than the older series and the recent films had very little of what myself and my friends enjoyed. William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk had his flaws, but Chris Pine’s version grossed us out. It made no sense that Spock, a Vulcan, would enter a cliché romantic relationship. Even worse, Uhura, one of the most influential black female characters on TV, made up the other half of that relationship, throwing all of her potential into the trash. Also, it had Chekhov. CHEKHOV. Whoever cast the movie gazed into their crystal ball, spotted my Star Trek marathon, and decided that they really hated me.
But with or without nostalgia to guide viewers, the movies are weak. They are plagued by poor plotting and dialogue and, while no one could ever claim the original series didn’t have both, the show never had such a terrible grasp on themes. Without themes, the new Star Trek movies have a lot of shiny lights and special effects and absolutely nothing important or heartfelt to say. Not that director J.J. Abrams cared; they were just a convenient franchise to put on his resumé to prove that he could direct the new Star Wars films.
I was not watching this new series.
Then yesterday, something incredible happened. Entertainment Weekly released an update on the new Star Trek series. Bryan Fuller had signed on as the series’ show runner.
That is, Dead Like Me Bryan Fuller.
Pushing Daisies Bryan Fuller.
HANNIBAL BRYAN FULLER.
H-A-N-N-I-B-A-L BRYAN FULLER.
A number of us here at WWAC, including myself and JAM (and our lovely, beautiful publisher Megan Purdy, who insists otherwise yet comes up with at least one awesome Hannibal AU fanfiction idea per day), are Fannibals. RAW Anthology-buying Fannibals. Hours-long speculation of the nature of Will Graham’s relationship with the world Fannibals. Overflowing our hard drives from saving a purely ridiculous amount of reactionary GIFs from the show Fannibals.
It’s not surprising that this fandom is one of the most visible and mainstream in recent memory. There’s a lot of reasons to love Hannibal, including the cinematography, the food porn, and the acting from greats like Gina Torres and Lawrence Fishburne . However, if the first season taught us anything, it’s that Fuller is not just talented at the quirky dialogue he became notorious for in his earlier shows. In each episode, from the food Hannibal cooks to his therapy sessions with Graham to the big bad serial killer Graham has to hunt down that week, all elements end up tied into one giant theme that acts to magnify the intimate details of how the show’s characters see the world.
Fuller has a wholesome approach to storytelling and not only that, he’s interested in telling the stories of all kinds of people.
“I want Angela Bassett to be the captain, that’s who I would love to have, you know Captain Angela Bassett and First Officer Rosario Dawson,” Fuller said to Den of Geek, because he is THE MAN.
As of writing of this article, Bassett had not responded to the mention, but did retweet a thrilled person reacting to the suggestion. Fuller also said that he had a “very specific idea” for the relaunch, which is INCREDIBLE because the last time he had a very specific take on a piece of media he loved very much, we got three seasons of Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy flirting with each other through artful gore and gourmet human platters.
Having started his career in TV writing for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Fuller understands the core of Star Trek the way many don’t. Anyone with any interest in the new series should get amped because the show is now in the hands of perhaps the most qualified person. I’m getting amped because the network hired the only person who could convince me to try it.
Or, as my friend David Fairbanks from Loser City put it, we all should get amped because, “Those Kirk/Spock fics are [about] to get a lot more textual support.”