The Season You Never Knew…
I’ve spent a lot of time – probably more time than is healthy – really looking at Season 3. What went wrong, why did it fall apart, etc. A big part of the reason, which has been discussed ad nauseam, is that the staff got busy (or lost interest) and I, as showrunner, wasn’t able to effectively manage things. But there’s another reason I’ve come to grips with lately: it was the wrong story. Completely, utterly, the wrong story.
The season three openers took us back to Bajor, if for no other reason so I could write some DS9 stuff again, and because I wanted to “say goodbye” to the familiar in the AQ. But in doing that, I locked us in an odd path. We tease this incredible journey in the S2 finale, but we don’t leave until 3×06. That’s nearly halfway through the season.
Mind you, we’ve got some truly great episodes in the early running. But what got lost with this season is a sense of where we are in the overall story. Partly, I think, because I didn’t have it mapped out terribly well. Oh, I knew how it was all going to end. But getting there was another story. Literally, another one. A different one. But this was a big complaint (and those of you who were with us will no doubt shout in agreement). We promised this epic journey, then poked around for way too long.
I’ve been looking at our existing episodes, really trying to work out what’s necessary. I am going to do my best to include all of our original releases, but I’ve opted to change the order of things a bit (Sito would be irate with that; you know he loves the order of things). Getting rid of Ascent really makes us have to rethink things. But we still have only 16 episodes in which to tell this season’s story. We must be more efficient in our use of episode space.
The season will now open with a three part epic: an all new serial that will get this new mission off to an explosively memorable start. We’ll meet many of the new characters (other ships/captains in the so-called Wagon Train) and a new villainous threat to the mission (whose origins may surprise you), the return of a certain goddess of death from Season 1, and enough mystery and action to satiate anyone less than satisfied with our original opening.
From there, our existing scripts will be reordered and modified, to get the GA mission off the ground right sooner than we did last time. We will have a few slots left for completely new adventures at the end of the season as well.
The changes are big, but they’re overdue. And really, what’s come before doesn’t matter so much at this point. S3’s release wasn’t as widely read and even some of you still with us never had the chance to get through it. Better for the season to get things off to a proper start. So effectively, about half of Season 3 is going to be new material. The other half will be our existing stories, worked into the new timeline (this will require surprising little effort as they’re stand-alones, for the most part).
I’m not even going to attempt to post a release time frame, since I’m doing these changes myself. I’m pretty pumped about them, though. The path is much clearer now. I guess age and experience will do that for you, eh?
So, I’ll be releasing S3 is a new season in its own right. Forget about what’s come before if you’ve read it, and get ready for the first (mostly) new season of Frontiers in seven years!