Nicholas Meyer, director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, has offered an update on the long-rumored Khan television series.
“I was commissioned to write a 3-hour or 3-night event, and that’s what I did,” Meyer says. “It’s called Ceti Alpha V and I don’t know the current status. It’s been up in the air. Partially, there was a lot of confusion between CBS, and there were big upheavals at CBS and while they sort of didn’t know who was in charge, they also didn’t know what they were going to do with Ceti Alpha V. I’m not exactly sure what’s happened, I haven’t heard from them in some time.”
Despite being confident in the material, Meyer isn’t certain the series will ever actually be produced.
“It’s very good,” he says. “It’s a terrific trilogy. I think one of the things that happened is they’re not sure that a trilogy is long enough to warrant the cost of doing it. Maybe it should be something longer, or … I don’t know the details of their thinking, because I haven’t heard them.”
There are a few things to unpack from this new information. The first is the title. Ceti Alpha V is the planet that Khan and his crew of augments were left on at the conclusion of the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Space Seed.” Khan’s escape from the planet kicked off the events of The Wrath of Khan. The miniseries then would, presumably, tell the story of what happened in between, while Khan and his followers were living on the planet.
The title is also interesting because it is one of six titles that leaked via trademark filings earlier this year. Ceti Alpha V is the second title to be confirmed as official after CBS All Access announced another, Star Trek: Lower Decks, was being used as the title for an in-development animated comedy. This seems to lend credibility to the other four titles and suggests that CBS All Access may yet have plans for Ceti Alpha V.
As for Meyer’s assessment of the situation, it is easy to see what he’s talking about. The upfront cost of producing a three-episode sci-fi series just may not be worth it for CBS, especially since the series is likely meant for CBS All Access, which wants to attract monthly subscribers
CBS All Access has gotten around that issue with its four-episode Star Trek: Short Treks series. The series is able to manage costs by reusing sets, characters, and concepts from Discovery, as well as by keeping the episodes’ length at under 20 minutes. The episodes are being released monthly, which encourages fans to keep their subscriptions active.
CBS executives have expressed a desire to have some kind of new Star Trek content available on CBS All Access all year long. Perhaps Ceti Alpha V can be used to attract Star Trek fans during the summer months while Discovery of is hiatus, billing it as a television movie trilogy released monthly.3comments
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