Memory Alpha has this to say about JMS’ entry:

In 2004, Straczynski worked on a treatment for "rebooting" the Star Trek franchise with Bryce Zabel, one that was ultimately turned down.

Its external source links are unhelpful, and generally repeat the same summary without any further details.

Have further details of JMS’ "Star Trek Treatment” ever been revealed: period setting, nature of show, based around any Enterprise, or not, etc. Did “rebooting the franchise” mean it was a hard reboot of TOS, etc?

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    Star Trek: Treatment, following the incredible adventures of the USS Treatment as it travels the galaxy, vaguely suggesting what alien civilisations should do without ever having to work out the details. Green-light that sucker now! Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 14:43
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    I don't have enough details or proof to make this an answer, but he basically pitched B5, but in Star Trek universe that they turned down, then made DS9 without him at the same time he was doing B5.
    – Daishozen
    Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 15:05
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    @Daishozen Thank you, but I think based on timing, and context as described by Memory Alpha, the circa 2004/2005 treatment long follows any circa 1990s (1992-1994) plans that JMS was coordinating. I don’t think it’s the same projects. Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 15:10
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    Wasn't there a concept floating around of a spin-off centered around Beverly Crusher's (or maybe someone else's) medical frigate? Sort of a cross between Star Trek and Grey's Anatomy or something. Probably not what you're thinking of, but I swear I remember that being rumored at some point... Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 13:29
  • From Memory Alpha: memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Undeveloped_Star_Trek_projects “ During the second season of The Original Series, Gene Roddenberry and Darlene Hartman (writer of unproduced episode "Shol") came up with an idea for a spin-off series entitled Hopeship, which would have been about the voyages of a Federation hospital vessel. The series would have included Doctor M'Benga (Booker Bradshaw) in the regular cast. Despite the series concept never being realized within the Star Trek universe, Hartman later wrote the idea in the form of a novel in 1994…” Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


An archived version of the blog announcement by Bryce Zabel of the failed reboot proposal he and J. Michael Straczinski developed in 2004 exists. The 14 page treatment is also archived:


A Google search indicated most folks at the time on message boards considered this a reboot of TNG's "The Chase" crossed with The Original Star Trek rebooted and recast - like the 2009 movie did. This is accurate. My opinion also is JMS was trying to add in some of the ancient First One's type motifs he did so well in Babylon 5 (and disastrously in Legend of the Rangers) to the Star Trek universe.

From the Treatment's various pages...

"We want to re-boot STAR TREK. The original. Pure and simple. The characters, universe and situations that have attracted, and continue to attract, a worldwide audience. Re-set… re-imagined… re-invigorated… Imagine taking those characters, and using what we know now about the universe, and combining it with the kind of storytelling that audiences of 2004 are used to seeing in modern prime-time television."

"We will start with a two-hour pilot that tells the story no one has ever seen: the circumstances that lead Kirk and McCoy (friends before this) to meet Spock for the first time. It will involve their discovery of a lost city on an uncharted world, nearly a million years old, and their encounter with the race that built it, a race long sought after by every civilized world for the tremendous advantages they could provide."

"A race, long thought dead, but which our characters know is still out there somewhere...waiting for us...waiting to see if its children can come and find it, there in the darkness between the stars.... And there are others out there, also searching for this race...forces of darkness who may view our activities with more than a little hostility. One thing we will discover is that buried deep within the DNA of humans, Vulcans (even Klingons) and other intelligent bi-pedal races is a mathematical code, something buried so deep and of such complexity that it could not possibly have occurred by chance."

And where it goes off course in my opinion...because NO IT IS NOT ODD!

As noted above and as established in television history, Kirk was the youngest starship captain in the Federation...but what led to this? We know that the Enterprise was sent out to explore where no human had gone before...but if you stop and think about it for a moment, isn’t that an odd assignment...to take one of the finest ships in the fleet, give it to the youngest captain in the Federation, and tell them to just go drive around and see what they can find? It’s peculiar...until you allow for the possibility that they were looking for something specific...something they had to keep a secret even from the rest of the crew"

For context...

Compare to TNG's "The Chase" where the Enterprise, Klingons, Romulans, and Cardassians chase from planet to planet trying to unlock an ancient DNA program only to discover a greeting by the first humanoids saying they put this message into the primordial soup and made the end result of evolution something humanoid as their legacy.

Babylon 5, JMS's competitor to TNG and DS9, focused on a galaxy plunged into war that ultimately was a feud between two species millions of years old over how the humanoid (non-lovecraftian) species of the galaxy would develop. That is - focusing on ancient aliens is a very Babylon 5 thing to do - even if Star Trek had done it often enough too, "City on the Edge of Forever" for example. Unlike classic Star Trek this would have been an ongoing multiyear theme in the reboot.

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    One small nit to this (otherwise great) post: I get the impression that the intelligent ("younger") species design of B5 being mostly humanform was a nod to practicality rather than story design. There was actually a "younger race" insectoid alien running the station underworld during S1, but JMS had to cut him after that for budgetary (CGI expense) reasons. The first one was also humanform, if you remember.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 13:24
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    @T.E.D. in the pilot ("The Gathering"), there were plenty of non-humanoid aliens. Audiences reacted badly to them, and when they began the full show they decided to stick with humanoid aliens.
    – Graham Lee
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 14:19
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    @T.E.D. I very much doubt Lorien's humanoid form was anything but a projection but of course can't prove it. I think the glowing sphere form is his natural form and how he started. N'grath the preying mantis crimelord was not CGI. Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 14:56
  • Centauri hair has to be one of the most interesting and visually-stunning effect of television aliens. I’d much rather see something unique like this than yet another forgettable rubber suit alien. Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 14:57
  • @lucasbachmann - I had the same thought, but if he wanted to do a Vorlon-style projection, it would have made sense (both story-wise and budget-wise) to just make him a human with no weird "alien" prosthetics and makup, but that isn't what they did. In fact, his look was that of a unique alien race. The logical conclusion is that this was intended to be pretty much what the dude really looked like.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 18:37

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