Many people consider Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to be the finest Star Trek film ever made, and no small amount of credit goes to director Nicholas Meyer for that success. Now, Meyer has written a prequel to the movie that will stream in narrative podcast form.
Meyer directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and helped write the screenplays for both of those, as well as the Leonard Nimoy-directed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home—in other words, all the best Trek movies, by most fans’ reckoning. The director brought influences from beloved, epic naval stories and series like Horatio Hornblower, Moby Dick, and Botany Bay—as well as Shakespeare—to give the franchise a whole new look, vibe, and set of themes. That narrative cocktail was a huge creative success.
It turns out that over the past several years, Meyer had worked on a potential TV miniseries or film project that would be a prequel to The Wrath of Khan, focusing on the time villain Khan and his superhuman crew spent stranded on the dying planet Ceti Alpha V between the original TV series episode “Space Seed”—which introduced the characters—and the film The Wrath of Khan, which ended their story.
For various behind-the-scenes reasons, that TV and film project did not come to fruition. But Meyer has rewritten the story to work as a narrative podcast, a contemporary descendent of the radio drama that has gained steam as a storytelling form in recent years.
Current franchise overlord Alex Kurtzman said the following about Meyer’s project in a public statement:
Nick made the definitive Trek movie when he made Wrath, and we’ve all been standing in its shadow since. Forty years have offered him a lot of perspective on these extraordinary characters and the way they’ve impacted generations of fans. Now he’s come up with something as surprising, gripping and emotional as the original, and it’s a real honor to be able to let him tell the next chapter in this story exactly the way he wants to.
The announcement was made during Paramount+’s Star Trek Day celebration and marketing blitz, but it didn’t include details about casting, a release date, or much of anything else besides the concept, the format, Meyer’s involvement, and the name: Star Trek: Khan – Ceti Alpha V.