Could “NCIS” fans’ loss be “Star Trek” fans’ gain?
With the CBS show “NCIS: New Orleans” canceled in mid-February, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the May 16 series finale may be the last time Scott Bakula plays Dwayne Pride, the special agent in charge of the New Orleans field office. “NCIS” fans already have a petition circulating to encourage CBS to continue with the show from the Big Easy.
Just before “NCIS” was canceled, Paramount Plus spent money on Super Bowl ads teasing new upcoming content, including “Star Trek: Picard” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” Of course, “Star Trek” fans are on “red alert” for “Strange New Worlds” to begin. Already, it seems “Star Trek: Section 31” — a drama about the super-secretive organization — may be on hold. Trekkies and Trekkers are eager to see more seasons of “Picard,” “Discovery” and “Lower Decks.” And there are spinoffs like “Star Trek: Prodigy,” now also slated for Paramount Plus.
In the Star Trek world, everything is moving at maximum warp.
And “Star Trek” fans are speculating that Bakula could return in one or more of the upcoming new shows.
Will Bakula Return as Archer in ‘Picard’ or ‘Strange New Worlds’?
As “Star Trek: Enterprise” fans know, Bakula also played Captain Jonathan Archer, captain of the Enterprise (NX-01 version). It was a mission cut short after only four years.
With the “NCIS: New Orleans” series ending, Bakula could easily portray Archer again in “Picard” or “Strange New Worlds.”
Bakula could make an appearance in a different way as Archer. Brannon Braga, Enterprise’s co-creator and head writer, often indicated the Temporal Cold War agent (also known as Future Guy) who led the Suliban was Jonathan Archer.
Has Archer become a temporal agent able to travel back and forth along the timeline? CBR.com and fan theories suggest Archer could show up in “Discovery” in the Temporal Cold War.
But Bakula could play a number of other roles as well.
Internet rumors also have him leaping back into Dr. Sam Beckett in a reboot of “Quantum Leap,” a role he played from 1989 to 1993. Bakula told TV Line in a November 2020 interview that “the idea of walking in another man or woman’s shoes is so relevant and so important right now” and that he “would wish whoever did it luck.”
New Content: Romulan War or Birth of the Federation?
Paramount Plus could also create something brand new if fans have anything to say about it.
As Paramount Plus competes with Disney Plus and other streaming services, it will want new content for dedicated fans to gain subscribers. If you’re a “Star Wars” or Marvel fan, you know there are several new shows teed up for you on Disney Plus. It’s a way to entice you to buy the service. “The Mandalorian,” for example, has been a ratings-winner and one of the top-streamed shows. Paramount Plus will want to do the same, and “Star Trek” is one of their leading money-makers, according to TrekMovie.com.
What would be good content? Paramount Plus should include “Star Trek” characters and events fans are desperate to see. In the “Star Trek” universe, fans yearn to watch two major events: the Romulan War and the birth of the Federation.
How popular are the ideas of depicting the Romulan War or the birth of the Federation? These events have fan groups, online games, books and fan fiction dedicated to them. There are even fan films — backed by crowdfunding — spotlighting these events.
Archer is a pivotal figure in both the Romulan War and the birth of the Federation. He already faced the Romulans in “Enterprise” and helped defeat them by uniting the humans, Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites. He even helped uncover Romulans who had infiltrated the Vulcan High Command in the arc known among fans as the Vulcan arc – “The Forge,” “Awakening” and “Kir’Shara.” Fans also know Archer becomes the President of the Federation.
Beyond Scott Bakula
Of course, fans are excited to see Jonathan Archer’s return, but “Enterprise” aliens with long lifespans could return as well. Fans want their favorites to return. John Billingsley could come back as the cheerful Denobulan Dr. Phlox. Jolene Blalock could appear as T’Pol, a Vulcan. Even some of the alien guest stars could return, such as Gary Graham — Ambassador Soval, a Vulcan — and the much-loved Jefferey Combs — Shran, an Andorian.
Fans also want to resurrect characters, especially Charles “Trip” Tucker III – an “Enterprise” character who died in “These Are the Voyages.”
Whether Bakula or others come back, the “Star Trek” universe has never been brighter. New shows and seasons are just around the corner. The universe continues to expand, bringing back favorite characters like Captain Christopher Pike (played by Anson Mount). And the unlimited potential for more of the “Star Trek” universe to be covered is possible.