When a few months ago I read an article stating that “Star Trek: Discovery” showrunner Alex Kurtzman had signed a deal with CBS (the studio behind Star Trek) to produce four new shows, I got, well, pretty damn excited. One show was going to be set in Starfleet Academy, the other was going to be based around something to do with Khan, the third was an idea yet to be released, and the fourth would be a new animated series. But it was the series about Khan that really stirred my interest. The appearance of his name, and the idea of a mystery show on the horizon, got me thinking: what if I was in charge of writing a show that featured Khan? What would that even look like? Also, was there anything different I could do with the franchise? Something new that hadn’t been done to date?
It seemed like an impossible task… but then I had a thought, which led to an idea, which then led to me scrambling for my computer to write it all down. Two weeks later, I was finished – and you know what? I think it’s pretty good! So, without further ado, here is my pitch for the new show, Star Trek: Fractured. I hope you enjoy it too.
[By the way, you can download the full pitch here as PDF]
A no-nonsense temporal operative is forced to team up with a disgraced member of Section 31 to stop a rogue agent from destroying the timeline.
Following the attack on the Enterprise by Admiral Marcus [from the film “Star Trek: Into Darkness”], the clandestine agency ‘Section 31’ is officially disbanded with all remaining agents lost to the wind. One of these agents, VINCE MACRON (45) – suffering PTSD from the sudden loss of his sister on board the USS Vengeance – attempts to assassinate Kirk but is interrupted by two operatives from the Dept. of Temporal Investigations. A trained fighter, he kills one of the operatives and steals her mobile temporal transporter to evade capture. Disillusioned and on the run, he uses the device to travel back in time to save his sister and create a new future where he is in control. This presents a serious threat to the timeline; the future of Starfleet, the Federation – basically all life – now hangs in the balance.
With the odds against them, the surviving temporal operative HANNAH TENNET (31) must now [reluctantly!] team up with another ex-Section 31 agent, PETER MARS (34) to hunt him down. Peter is personally driven to find Vince – not only was he a good friend, but Peter was also engaged to marry his sister, SARAH MACROM (33). However, as Vince’s motivations become clearer, Peter is faced with a moral dilemma – do his duty and save the timeline, or risk it all for a chance to be with his fiancée again.
Or, to put it in a different way, Peter needs to ask himself if the needs of the many really outweigh the needs of the few – or the one?[Still following? A few explanatory notes might be needed here: The TV series takes place in the new Kelvin timeline – the one from the new movies with Chris Pine as Captain Kirk. It follows the events from the film “Into Darkness”. The USS Vengeance was the ship piloted by Admiral Marcus that Khan crashed into San Francisco // The Dept. of Temporal Investigations (DTI) is a Federation agency tasked with ensuring non-contamination of the timeline // Section 31 is an independent, clandestine operation, tasked with protecting the Federation by any means necessary.]
Although at its core the TV series will be a buddy-cop drama featuring a slow burn love interest between the two odd couple characters, the show is much more than that. There is tremendous potential here to explore periods of history that have only been hinted at so far within the Star Trek universe, but which have never been tackled in any substantive way, e.g., the origins of the Augments (1950’s Cold War era), the Eugenic Wars, the rise & fall of Khan, World War 3, etc,. This also presents us with an opportunity to explore what humanity was like during this period, and how we turned it around – against the odds – to create the future utopia that is the Federation.
Given the time travel element, there is also the potential to showcase what the alternative of this perfect future could look like… not just the ‘mirror universe’, but other futures in which, for instance, Khan stayed in power, WW3 never ended, Zefram Cochrane never cracked warp drive, Klingons/Romulans/Borg/Ferengi take over, and so on. This could all fit within the new Kelvin direction – there are no barriers here to what can be achieved.
Above all though, this will not be Star Trek as we know it. There are no captains here to save the day, no photon torpedoes to be launched, no Scotty to beam them out at the last second…this is a battle of wits, a story of two unsung heroes whose accomplishments will never be known. And although they are both flawed in their own way, and their chances of success are low – they carry the torch of hope with them because in its essence, that is what Star Trek is about. It is a story of hope…and this is something we all need now more than ever.
HANNAH TENNET (31), Betazoid/El-Aurian. DTI agent. Beautiful, quirky, colourful…but don’t let her looks fool you! She is a tough-as-nails, by the book agent that never backs down from a challenge. Underestimated most of her life, she has had to fight hard to get where she is. This dedication to duty has made her an outsider but she doesn’t care – the mission always comes first!
PETER MARS (34), Human. Former Section 31 operative. Peter is a charismatic, hard-hitting rogue with a heart of gold (but hidden under many layers!). Once a dedicated and loyal follower to the cause, he lost his way after the death of his fiancé and the closure of Section 31. Normally found these days passed out under a bar, Peter is in desperate need for something – or someone – to bring purpose back into his life
VINCE MACRON (45), Human. Former high ranking Section 31 operative. Although it’s probably fair to say that Vince was never quite balanced to begin with, it was the sudden death of his sister that really pushed him over the edge. Now, he is on a personal mission to bring her back and redo the wrongs against him…or watch it all burn in the process.
SARAH MACRON (33), Human. Former Section 31 operative. The best way to describe Sarah? Would “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” be too much? Probably not! Driven, secretive, stunning, Sarah is the type of woman that can seduce you with a smile – and cut you down with a look. She had her world turned upside down once…now she is determined to never let that happen again.
PILOT & FUTURE EPISODES
The stage is set. The rifle is aimed. Vince has Kirk in his sights. Just a simple squeeze and it’s over… a moment of hesitation, is this the right move? He reminds himself of what they did. The Federation betrayed him, took away everything he held dear. They killed Sarah. Time to focus. He looks down the scope. This is the right move. They must pay for their sins….
This is how we kickoff season one. A lone man, broken with grief, attempting to right the wrongs against him. Except that Vince doesn’t get a chance to pull that trigger. Two Temporal agents appear to arrest him, but he is too fast for them, too well trained. Before they can react he is on them. One dies, her mobile temporal transporter and harness ring stolen…and then he is gone, lost in time.
This is bad – real bad, and Hannah knows it. Swallowing her humiliation at letting Vince get away, she teams up with Peter to bring him in. But this will not be an easy relationship. While not as far gone as Vince, Peter is unpredictable and certainly no friend of the Federation – but he’s all she’s got – and she’ll have to make it work somehow. But it could already be too late. In the blink of an eye, the world changes around them. The year is correct but everything else is different – the Federation is gone, replaced by a military dictatorship. Apparently, Vince has been a busy guy. And that’s not the only surprise waiting for them. Sarah is also back…and she’s not happy.
EPISODE 2: Hannah and Peter are on the run. Soldiers track them down and they come face-to-face with Vince and Sarah. Peter finds it difficult to adjust to the fact that his dead fiancé is still alive. Vince tells him he killed Khan in the past and took power to create the perfect future. Hannah makes a daring escape with Peter but Sarah shoots, hitting Hannah in the back.
EPISODE 3: It’s 1992 – but don’t get any ideas. This is a world in real crisis. Poverty and suffering is everywhere. Hannah is severely wounded. A mute boy brings them to a makeshift hospital for the “genetically inferior”. Hannah tells Peter to keep an eye out for Vince and not to interfere with the events around him. She passes out.
EPISODE 4: Peter is close to a panic attack. His dead fiancé is back, he is stuck in the past, and Hannah is dying… he really needs to punch something. Fortunately he gets his chance when he sees enhanced soldiers pushing/kicking around the little boy. But things go wrong when the boy uses Peter’s phaser to shoot and kill one of the soldiers. Terrified, the boy runs off and disappears into the crowd. This is bad.
EPISODE 5: This episode will focus on Vince’s journey. We start off with Vince standing over Hannah and the dead operative. Next he is onboard the Vengeance. Explosions everywhere, people in panic. He slips Sarah a note and beams her off. Then he goes further back in time and arrives just as the boy shoots the soldier. Vince waits for Peter to give chase and steals the dead soldier’s ID.
EPISODE 6: Peter arrives back at the hospital to look for the boy and gets a terrible shock – Hannah is no longer there! But that’s not the least of his problems. The local resistance have found him – and they think he is one of Khan’s spies sent to infiltrate them. One false move and it could all be over for the mission – and for Peter.
EPISODE 7: The resistance become nervous when they can’t find Peter’s DNA on the system. They decide to kill him, but the mute boy with the phaser comes to his rescue. A tense situation is broken by commotion outside. The streets are teaming with soldiers – and they are not in the mood to talk! Hannah reappears too. She now knows when & where Vince will attack – but first they have to escape… .
EPISODE 8: They help the resistance clear the hospital through escape hatches underground. Everyone is accounted for, all except for one – the little boy. Peter, Hannah, and the resistance go back for him. Peter is able to rescue him by causing a cave-in but a lot of the resistance are captured, and the fall damages Hannah’s temporal transporter. Now there is only power for one more jump. No more second chances.
EPISODE 9: Back at base, the resistance are in disarray – their leader was one of those captured and is due to be executed the next day during a military parade. Hannah tells Peter that not only is this the moment that Vince will assassinate Khan, but without the resistance, Khan will never be overthrown! There’s only one thing to do – Peter will lead the resistance to free the prisoners and somehow also stop Vince in the process. What could go wrong?
EPISODE 10: Infiltrating the parade, the resistance start setting up homemade flash grenades at key points to cause confusion. Security is tight, the streets are crowded, and they are now in a race against time – at 12 noon, Vince will kill Khan. They need to find him and fast! Hannah opens her mind to try to locate him but it’s looking hopeless…
EPISODE 11: Using his intuition, Peter moves in to where Vince might be. At this range Hannah is able to sense him but before they can reach him, the grenades go off. The prisoners are now free – but the mass panic slows them down. Vince aims to fire but Peter is finally on him. The phaser misses and Khan gets away. Vince pleads with Peter to let him finish the job so they can create a better future – together with Sarah. But Peter has already seen that future and is not interested.
EPISODE 12: Back in the original timeline, Hannah hands Vince over to the temporal authorities. Hannah and Peter have gotten closer to each other; strong emotions are forming. In the background, a woman is watching – it’s Sarah. She drops Peter’s note on the ground – she is not happy! She follows her brother and breaks him out. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!
FUTURE SEASONS: There are so many directions that this show could take. For instance, Season Two could focus on the cold war period on Earth, a period of history which saw the beginning of the Augments. Vince and Sarah travel back to 1950’s America to prevent the creation of the Augments – but instead, trigger their development…and the creation of Khan! This could lead to new and more fractured futures where anything is possible.
TONE & WORLD BUILDING
Fractured should be a mix of Into Darkness and Discovery – dark when needed, compelling, edgy – but always hopeful. Pacing should be fast; visual style energetic and creative.
And that’s it! What did you think? I would love to hear your feedback.
I really had a lot of fun creating this pitch and although it has a snowballs chance of actually getting developed, I don’t regret the time spent working on it. It was the first time I ever took a stab at creating a TV show – something which I may actually do again soon, but with a new original idea.
Feel free to reach out to me via this blog or Twitter if you would like to discuss this idea more. As always, happy writing – and live long and prosper!
As mentioned above, this whole pitch is available as one nice PDF.
In case you are wondering how I put the pitch together, there is a fantastic resource available from Studio Binder. They provide templates and advice on how to create eye-catching pitch presentations (and it’s free!). Here is the link: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/tv-show-pitch-bible-template/. // Images: The Earth crescent is a real image taken from Rosetta – here is the link to that site. Besides one image purchased from Getty Images, all other photos were sourced via the amazing Unplash.com & Pixabay.com (no accreditation necessary). As with everything else created on this site, this pitch and story belongs to Shane O’Halloran.