Okay. Fine. I’ll admit it. I have ideas for what I would want a new Trek series to be about.
…and by that I mean I’ve had ideas for a new Trek series since I was a child.
So, the basic premise is a cooperative venture of multiple Trek civilizations to send a city-ship and support vessels on a one-way trip to the Andromeda Galaxy, where they will explore and seek to make contact with any civilizations that may exist there.
I’ve tossed around a few ideas on how to get the ship there. What I eventually settled on in terms of backstory is that ten years prior to the series (which should be at least a generation after VOY, and probably more like a century) teams exploring the Dyson Sphere (you know, from the TNG episode with Scotty?) discovered why someone would need the colossal amounts of energy a Dyson Sphere collects: it is capable of acting as a “transwarp slingshot,” hurling a ship incredibly vast distances in an instant.
So the venture begins. After a few experiments using the slingshot for short trips (just tens of thousands of lightyears instead of millions) they prepare for the big one. Even with the Dyson Sphere now fully operational, it still takes a decade to charge the slingshot to the energy levels necessary. In the meantime, they build the city-ship Jenolan, named after the ship which discovered the Sphere. The Jenolan is enormous, able to hold over a million people, and a carrier able to hold full-size starships in its bays. This is, of course, an enormous undertaking, and the Federation doesn’t even try to go it alone. The Andromeda Project ends up being a joint venture between the Federation, Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, Ferengi, Dominion, Borg Cooperative, and Voth–but those are just the people who participate in the construction. The crew and passengers include volunteers from dozens of other cultures.
Note that this is not a Starfleet ship–it is overseen by a council consisting of representatives of each of the civilizations that built it. However, that does not mean there is no Starfleet presence. I mentioned that it can carry entire starships, and it does: the Federation starship Enterprise of course (probably G, H, or I by this time), as well as the Klingon battlecruiser Kahless, the Romulan warbird Empress Sela, the Cardassian cruiser Damar, the Ferengi trade vessel Leeta, the Dominion dreadnought Urizen, the Borg carrack Lore, and the Voth destroyer Purity.
Although the trip is one-way and the Milky Way can’t send another ship for at least a decade, there is a connection with home, namely an artificial microwormhole that permits large amounts of data to be sent between the Jenolan and the Dyson Sphere. This means (for example) holodecks in both locations could be used to have a real-time encounter with family or friends left behind, or to confer with experts, etc.
In Andromeda, they encounter alien civilizations of course, and thanks to the Preservers/ancient humanoids being limited to the Milky Way, none of them are remotely humanoid. Other story possibilities include the complexity of life aboard the ship, political conflicts in the council, learning to understand and cooperate with the other cultures on the ship, and of course space anomalies that do weird stuff to the ships/crews. Maybe something bad happens in the Milky Way that the people on the Jenolan can’t do anything about and have to come to terms with, like relations breaking down between two of the civilizations that built it. Almost certainly some of the people who came along intend to exploit, conquer, or colonize, and will have to be opposed by the others. And there has to be an early episode where millions of people in a pre-warp culture are doomed to die from something that could be easily prevented by the Enterprise, but Prime Directive so they whine for a bit before deciding the correct thing to do is stand around smugly patting themselves on the back for making the Hard Moral Choice of Sticking to Absolute Principle ™, and then literally everyone else intervenes to stop the whatever-it-is and calls the Starfleet folks out for their dickery, and thereafter the Prime Directive is never mentioned again.
Lt. Nandez Maiya: Security chief of the Enterprise. A Bajoran woman, basically an expy of Ensign Ro. Should be played by a Hispanic actress. I’m undecided about her sexuality.
Lt. Cmdr Majel: The fully sentient holographic avatar of the Enterprise computer. Serves as pilot, librarian, and ship’s counselor. Simultaneously, around the clock, and still has time to spend just hanging out. Fully capable of being in multiple places at once. Agender, ace-aro, uses feminine pronouns because she’s a ship, usually presents as a middle-aged white human woman but can choose any form she wants.
Cmdr John Kerrick: First officer of the Enterprise or the Jenolan, I haven’t decided which. Black British man. Somewhat reserved, scholarly type, a diplomat and expert on alien cultures and first contact, master fencer and excellent shot. Ace and homoromantic.
Captain ???: Captain of the Enterprise. Still debating on a name. Indonesian Muslim woman, wears a hijab. Cool-headed, methodical, and ruthless as a commander, but warm and friendly off-duty. (She refers to this as being able to “switch it off and on.”) Pansexual and aromantic.
Ensign Tjuta: Ops officer on the Enterprise (which includes serving as transporter chief and “mission control” for away missions–there isn’t a transporter room anymore, they just beam people from the bridge or wherever to the planet). Horta woman, single mother of 700 small children.
Captain ???: Captain of the Jenolan. Still debating on name and species. A harried administrator, constantly having to balance between the competing demands of the council, the captains, and the population of the city-ship. In my mind, she’s played by Laverne Cox. I know she’s too young, but that’s who I see.
A married couple, a Klingon man and Ferengi woman, who are a monk and a priestess of their species’ respective religions.
The Commander of the Urizen (a Vorta woman) and the Jem’Hadar First. They’re buddies.
The Changeling on the council, who has Nefarious Plans ™.
The gregarious, easy going, but utterly impossible to fool security chief of the Jenolan.
An Andorian, assigned chan, who over the course of the series comes out as trans and transitions to than. This isn’t even a B-plot, just a background thing that occurs without conflict. Maybe the Enterprise CMO or Chief Engineer?