Two Star Trek Limited TV Series in Development at CBS
One of the two Star Trek limited series is reportedly based on the "Wrath of Khan" storyline.
In addition to a potential Picard-centric Star Trek revival, an animated series, and a series set at Starfleet Academy, the Star Trek TV universe is reportedly also considering expanding their world with two limited series. While there is yet to be any plot details around one of these limited series, Variety reports that the other would be based about the Wrath of Khan storyline. Presumably, this is the Star Trek project Nicholas Meyer has hinted at being involved with in the past?
The Khan storyline has had its ups and downs. The character of Khan Noonien Singh was originally seen in The Original Series episode “Space Seed,” portrayed by Ricardo Montalbán, before going on to star as the villain in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. The character popped up again to less great effect in the 2013 Star Trek reboot film Star Trek Into Darkness where he was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, continuing the awkward tradition of casting a non-Asian actor playing a character seemingly from an Asian background. Hopefully, the proposed limited series, should it move forward, doesn’t whitewash this character for a third time.
In Star Trek canon, Khan is a Human Augment, a hyper-intelligent superhuman borne from the genetic engineering common during the late-20th century Eugenics Wars on Earth. He would rule as a tyrant on Earth during the 1990s before being eventually overthrown during the Eugenics Wars, disappearing along with 84 followers. When the crew of the Enterprise encounters them in 2267, it is revealed they have been in a period of suspended animation. Thwarting Khan’s attempts for power, Kirk makes himself an enemy of Khan, leading to their destructive encounter in Star Trek II.
It’s unclear how the limited series might be inspired by the story of Khan, though it might be interesting to learn more about the Eugenics Wars that led to such political instability on Earth—though CBS should probably set them sometime other than the 1990s.