Alternate history was a passion of mine for a long time. It all started when I read a book called “What might might have been”, which was essentially a series of essays written by respected historians discussing alternate outcomes to real events. What I liked about this book was that rather than discussing events that could never have happened, it focused on single decisions taken which (if the alternate had been chosen) would have resulted in a wholly different outcome.
Recently I have been thinking about alternate geek history, but not decisions that could have been made (e.g casting a different actor) but decisions that should have been made, choices that could have been awesome but ended up as awful.
In short I have hit upon a new semi regular segment. So with that in mind…
STAR TREK VOYAGER DONE RIGHT.
There are actually two simple ways to have made this show great, possibly even as good as the original series and all it takes is a simple tweak of the premise.
The Andromeda factor: The TV show Andromeda was created using unused material from Gene Roddenberry that his wife submitted as a new show idea. It’s not great truth be told but is chock full of ideas very similar to Star Trek itself. Because of that the whole thing screams better idea for Voyager so much it hurts.
Think about it, instead of getting transported to the Delta Quadrant what if the ship had been sent 300 odd years into the future to a time where the Federation and the other major powers had collapsed leaving smaller more aggressive pocket empires. Then what you have is one lone Starship not trying to get home but rebuild the concepts that the Federation was built on, from scratch.
That I think could have made a really compelling series rather than the two separate mediocre ones we got.
Then there is option 2, a less radical change but an interesting one.
The Marquis: When I watched the pilot episode of STV this was the part that appealed the most. A hostile group used to fighting the Federation suddenly thrust into a situation where they had to work together with them. And it turned out to be a wasted opportunity.
All they had to do was make Chakotay a more machiavellian character who was constantly trying to turn every situation to his advantage. He could appear to be on Janeway’s side but instead be plotting to overthrow her as the captain, making for a far more interesting premsie. Throw in a couple of characters who are on the fence about who to follow and you could add real drama to a lacklustre show.
You see, with just a couple of tweaks the series could have been a lot more fun. Ok so perhaps we delve into the realm of fan fiction but I like to think that there is an alternate universe out there where the show was based on one of those ideas.
Anyway I enjoyed writing that so I’m sure I’ll revisit the series soon.