10 Women Who Should Be Involved in Bryan Fuller’s New Star Trek Series
Call them maybe.
Last week, when we covered the addition of writer/director Nicholas Meyer to the team on Bryan Fuller’s new Star Trek series for CBS All Access, I mentioned that while I was thrilled with his addition, I was also waiting for a female name to be associated with the project. Hell, maybe even several if they’re feeling particularly rambunctious! So, I’ve decided to help.
Here are 10 women – five writers, five directors – that I think would make amazing additions to this new Star Trek series:
She’s pretty much the Queen of Genre Television at this point. Not only has she written some of the best episodes on many, if not most of our favorite shows (Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, and Once Upon a Time to name a few!), but she also got her start in the business by writing a spec script for Star Trek: The Next Generation back when the franchise accepted open submissions. She’s also written for Trek professionally, having written the Season 4 episode of Deep Space Nine called “Accession.” Not only is she incredibly well-versed in sci-fi television, but she’s also usually the one responsible for really shaping the finely-etched character moments we’ve come to love about any show of which she’s been a part. If Fuller hasn’t already contacted her to see about getting her on their team, I don’t know what is wrong with the world.
Cooper is less of a “household name” in the geek world than Espenson, but she is quickly making her mark on genre television, having been on staff and written for shows like V, Grimm, The 100, and Witches of East End. What’s more, if you follow her on social media, her constant Star Trek references (not to mention her obsession with Hannibal) let you know she’s no stranger to the Star Trek universe, nor to the work and style of Bryan Fuller. Talented writer? Check. Bringing the geek knowledge? Check-check.
Another writer who’s quickly made a mark on genre television is Shimizu, who after getting her big break on The Cape (it wasn’t her fault how bad that was, you guys) and landing on the staff of the American adaptation of Being Human, was snatched up by Berlanti Productions and is not only currently writing on Arrow, but wrote the Season 1 Flash episode “Fallout,” and the entirety of Season 1 of the animated Vixen show for CW Seed. She certainly knows her superheroes, and I’m sure that she can take her talent and sensibility and apply it to Starfleet.
Perlman has made more of a name for herself in film than in television, having co-written the script for Guardians of the Galaxy and currently co-writing the Captain Marvel movie. But TV is pretty much the new film, right? Not only is Perlman a skilled writer, but she’s also obsessed with the idea of sci-fi entertainment being more scientifically accurate. So much so, that she’s on the steering committee of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, an organization that pairs filmmakers with scientific advisers on their projects in the hopes of improving the way science is used in film and TV. She’s clearly a writer capable and interested in dropping science knowledge on what will likely be a show filled with technobabble otherwise.
Dorothy (“D.C.”) Fontana
Fontana was there at the beginning, having started as Gene Roddenberry’s assistant and then becoming story editor on the original Star Trek series. Despite not even having been a sci-fi fan at first, Fontana worked on both Star Trek and on The Next Generation (as well as The Animated Series and DS9). In addition to being one of the people responsible for making Star Trek the thing we know and love today, she also wrote for such shows as The Six Million Dollar Man, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Logan’s Run, and Babylon 5, among many others. The producers of CBS’ new Star Trek series would be remiss in their duties as humans if they didn’t invite Fontana to pen an episode or several.
This should be a no-brainer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she were already on Team Fuller’s radar, but in case she’s not for some reason….um….ROXANN DAWSON. Not only has she been an actor in the Star Trek universe, playing B’Elanna Torres on Voyager for seven seasons, but she’s also become one of the hardest-working directors in television, directing episodes of genre shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Revolution, and yes, Voyager, and more mainstream fare like Scandal, The Good Wife and The Closer. Her experience and versatility, not to mention her clear love of her experience with Star Trek make her an obvious choice to direct on this show.
Lately, Alexander has been doing some great television – having directed episodes of both Arrow and Supergirl – and she also has three features under her belt (Lifted, Punisher: War Zone, and Green Street Hooligans). She excels at directing action, but if you’re familiar with her work, or have read interviews with her, you also know that she does her homework on any show she’s given and really delves into character work. If anyone would do a great job blending Space Adventure with the kind of intimate character moments that are a Trek staple, it’s her.
Gaviola is another director who’s been all over genre television. Like, Alexander, she’s also directed on Supergirl (that show is clearly all about finding female talent!). In addition, she’s directed fifty-six episodes of television in her 16+ year career, including episodes of geek favorites like Grimm, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Gotham, Alphas, Lost, and Alias. She, like Dawson has a long, varied career in television that also includes mainstream fare, and her competent and confident handling of big-budget franchise properties make her more than qualified to take on Star Trek.
Obviously, we know her film work with her brother in blockbuster franchises like The Matrix films and campy, if eye-popping fare like Jupiter Ascending. We also know that she does amazing work in episodic television, having seen the brilliant Sense8 on Netflix. She clearly has a penchant for sci-fi, and her eye might be just the thing to lift what could be ordinary network sci-fi fare to something extraordinary. It would also be interesting to see her tackle something that she hasn’t co-written. Or alternately, perhaps she’d go into both the writing and directing categories here for a completely unique Star Trek experience. With, or without her brother.
Talalay has directed Time Lords, superheroes, and comic book badasses, having directed on Doctor Who, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and – oh yeah – Tank Girl. In her nearly thirty year career, she’s directed features and television episodes all over the map, including non-geeky shows like Ally McBeal and Cold Case. Most of her credits, however, are genre shows and films, so it’s clear she feels right at home in that world. The Star Trek universe would be a better place if she were allowed to play in it.
Well, those are my picks for women who should really be asked to work on the new Star Trek series. What do you think of my list? Which female writers/directors do you think I missed? Let’s talk about the possibilities in the comments below!
—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—