Paramount+’s rebooted Star Trek franchise has achieved an unbelievable job rising its viewers, message, and style over the past 5 years.

Besides the 5 — rely ’em, FIVE — sequence which can air this yr, Simon & Schuster Audio has simply launched an all-new journey, “Star Trek: No Man’s Land,” as an audio drama co-written by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson.

Both authors are well-seasoned Star Trek specialists.

Beyer has performed a big half within the creation and evolution of the various present Star Trek tv sequence, serving as author and producer on all of the live-action sequence in addition to a co-creator on Star Trek: Picard.

Since becoming a member of the franchise in 2007, Johnson has written and co-written essentially the most Star Trek tie-in comics in Star Trek’s historical past.

Star Trek: No Man’s Land, that includes Star Trek: Picard’s Seven and Raffi on an journey of their very own within the time hole between Season 1 and Season 2, attending to know one another whereas saving lives and fixing a thriller involving everlasting life and misplaced love.

Speaking with TV Fanatic by way of Zoom audio, Beyer and Johnson focus on the collaborative course of of making a narrative solely targeted on the 2 girls. Beyer describes the early improvement of the narrative, “It actually grew organically out of the performances that Michelle and Jeri gave us in Season 1.

“Watching them develop and evolve these characters to the purpose the place it simply felt like there was a lot occurring for them individually after which probably between them, it was a kind of issues the place you are like, ‘I gotta know extra.’

“This is how we study extra. We dig in, and we begin writing.

“We had been talking with Simon and Schuster about doing the audio drama before Season 1 ended, but we hadn’t really settled what the story might be.”

Johnson has been collaborating with Beyer on varied Star Trek tie-in works for years now. The pitch of an audio drama was a unbelievable new alternative.

“Fantastic alternative is true. I’m very fortunate to know and work with Kirsten Beyer.

“We had labored on a bunch of comedian e-book tie-ins for Discovery and Picard, so when the chance arose, Kirsten reached out to me and stated, ‘Do you need to write an audio drama for Star Trek?’

“I try not to be too stupid, so I said, ‘Yeah, I would love to!’ It went from there.”

Beyer is equally keen about their partnership, “Mike and I’ve been doing this collectively for six years, and one of the best a part of it’s, legit, simply the 2 of us sitting throughout a desk or over the telephone collectively tossing round story concepts.

“Coming up with one factor, after which any person makes it higher, after which [we] simply maintain occurring from there.

“Honestly, it is at all times a joyful course of doing this with Mike as a result of he comes from such a deep Trek data background as do I, however greater than that, now we have the identical or very comparable sensibilities about what we like in a Trek story and what we need to see and really feel once we’re experiencing one.

The audio drama medium appears from a by-gone age, harkening again to radio performs like Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds” and the long-running serial “The Shadow.”

What are Beyer’s and Johnson’s ideas on why the medium is making a comeback?

Beyer names the brand new incarnation first, “I think that there is a fair amount of this form of storytelling coming back, but I think a lot of times they’re in podcast.”

Johnson expands on the enchantment of audio dramas, “I actually assume there’s one thing to the truth that individuals have been stepping into podcasts and audiobooks via the previous couple of years.

“I believe it is solely gaining momentum. I do not assume it is going away. I believe it faucets into one thing form of primal in people the place it goes again to sitting round a campfire and telling tales to one another and the oral custom.

“I imply, for many of human historical past, we did not have written tales. We had oral transmission down via the generations.

“I think people really like to listen to stories being told. And I think the popularity of podcasts and audio dramas is a testament to that today. I think it’s just something fundamental in us.”

The pandemic has disrupted the manufacturing of all kinds of media. Why would making an audio drama be any completely different? Gone are the times of desk reads and forged members sharing a recording studio.

Beyer is amazed at the way it all got here collectively.

“It was all achieved on Zoom with every particular person actor by themselves, which was bananas to me.

“I began out on this life as an actor, and after they stated that is how now we have to do it due to COVID, I used to be like, ‘I do not perceive the way you construct a efficiency this fashion.’

“And but, each single considered one of our actors did it, and so they did it brilliantly. I believe they’re extra used to it as a result of [while] they’re all skilled actors, numerous them are skilled voice actors as nicely.

“They just got right into it, but it was still extraordinary to watch them listening to something that wasn’t there and yet hearing pretty much what they were going to hear. It was stunning.”

In addition to Jeri Ryan and Michelle Hurd voicing the elements of Seven and Raffi, respectively, Star Trek: No Man’s Land additionally stars Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Fred Tatasciore (pronounced “ta-ta-shore”!) as Rynin, Jack Cutmore-Scott (seen above recording traces as Hyro), and John Kassir as Professor Gillin (and Hyro’s pilot, Deet).

Beyer is delighted with the forged they assembled, with each Trek veterans and newcomers.

“I do not assume John or Jack had ever achieved Trek earlier than, however John, we’re all conversant in. He was the voice of the Cryptkeeper in Tales from the Crypt. He’s a really well-known voice actor as nicely.

“Jack has done a number of TV things, so he just came to our attention through that. “

The Star Trek: No Man’s Land name to journey for Raffi and Seven is an assault by Rynin, a wannabe Romulan warlord, on a planet the Fenris Rangers had used as a hidden archive of artifacts and paperwork salvaged from the Romulan evacuation.

Rynin’s goal is the Lemniscate, an artifact described by Fred Tatasciore so splendidly in Rynin’s voice within the above recording studio clip.

The Lemniscate is rumored to bestow everlasting life on its bearer. Is Rynin’s pursuit of immortality a callback to Data’s ideas on life and the way its preciousness is imbued by its finiteness on the finish of Star Trek: Picard Season 1?

Beyer believes the parallel messaging is inadvertent.

“[Talking about it now] these connections appear so apparent in a bizarre approach, however I’m undecided that there was ever a second the place we had been pondering particularly about that theme because it associated to Season 1 of Picard.

“Although once we do these initiatives, we’re at all times very consciously making an attempt to strategy the work in the identical approach the reveals achieve this that it seems like issues are of a bit.

“The similar kinds of thematic components, the identical kinds of selections when it comes to depth of character and weight of plot and issues like that.

“In this particular case, although, the thought of everlasting life and everlasting love and The Professor’s story was a results of the story we had been telling with Seven and Raffi.

“These two girls who’re exploring the opportunity of relationship, who’ve had relationships earlier than that, for one purpose or one other, they’re now not in, and who, whereas clearly attracted to 1 one other, are very, very cautious about one another, based mostly on their experiences.

“The idea there could be any version of perfect love or a sort of relationship that they might find intriguing or interesting is what we were looking for with The Professor and his wife. What could that teach them that they might not already know?”

Star Trek: No Man’s Land picks up simply after the occasions of the Star Trek: Picard Season 1 finale with Seven and Raffi taking a while to calm down at Raffi’s house within the desert, attending to know one another over wine with an entertaining and enlightening variation of Twenty Questions.

Johnson admits the complete opening scene was Beyer’s brain-child, whereas Beyer gives a considerate description of the method she went via to develop the scene.

“The precise sport, the thought of the questions and solutions, and the best way they had been taking part in with one another took some time to get to truly.

“The job of that scene initially was to find us not solely in area and time however in what second of those girls’s relationship are we.

“You write the primary few variations, and also you’re ensuring you get all the knowledge out, and you then begin taking part in with ‘how do individuals actually discuss?’ and ‘how do these individuals actually discuss?’ and ‘how would they go a few second like this?’

“What we had been capturing for was ‘how a lot enjoyable might we presumably have with these two?’

“The adventure’s going to start, and things are going to get heavy and intense, and then they’re going to get pulled apart, so, how can we — in one scene — give both the characters and the audience the sense that these two people would be awesome together, and we would really like to see more of that.”

Despite that tantalizing tease, Beyer can’t verify extra Seven and Raffi audio adventures are coming.

“No. Sorry. This was step one for Simon & Schuster stepping into this market, and whereas Mike and I’ve been delighted with the critiques’ response and the followers’ response to the audio drama, there isn’t any solution to know at this level if or how they could proceed.

“It feels like if this does really well, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want to do more, but we’re not working on anything specific at this moment.”

Johnson clearly revels in his work with Trek tie-ins and has plenty of love for the franchise and its messaging.

“Not even joking, I’m very fortunate to rise up every day and work in Trek. Last evening, I used to be engaged on an upcoming comedian e-book that hasn’t been introduced that Kirsten and I are engaged on.

“It’s simply actually cool to be engaged on these characters on this world, and I really feel grateful to be doing it nonetheless. I believe there’s plenty of – for lack of a greater phrase – IP on the market, and Star Trek is particular.

“Star Trek represents one thing in our tradition and popular culture historical past, and it is a actually good place to spend your psychological prime in what looks as if an more and more horrible world to stay in.

“But the good outweighs the bad ultimately, and I think Star Trek represents that, so it’s just a nice place to spend your days.”

Out of all the immersive, action-packed, and mystery-laden scenes that deliver Star Trek: No Man’s Land to life, do Beyer and Johnson have a selected aspect that shines for them?

Johnson jumps in first. “For me, it was the genius concept that Kirsten had which had been the letters that The Professor writes that we hear Seven learn.

“Not solely had been they an important storytelling system, significantly for an audio drama, however they’re simply actually stunning and emotional.

“They don’t just serve to move the plot along – in a lot of stories, we just have things that are there to service the plot – they’re specifically about revealing character and conveying emotion. So, the letters for me are the most important part.”

The two co-writers are so in sync that Beyer echoes the identical sentiment.

“Well, Mike stole my reply. But simply to say that they had been essentially the most stunning aspect for me once I was listening to it for the primary time as soon as it was achieved.

“I used to be blown away by how the mixture of the sound and the phrases and the music created a complete new factor that I hadn’t anticipated.

“I might say that the opposite scenes that I discovered significantly affecting that got here as a shock had been each of the scenes – each the flashback after which close to the top – between Seven and The Professor.

“We had been saying that there was this relationship and this connection established through those letters, but the two of them finally talking to each other and playing off of each other always gets me.”

Star Trek: No Man’s Land is obtainable wherever digital audiobooks are offered.

Have you already loved this audio journey, Fanatics? What did you assume?

If Raffi and Seven pair up for extra recorded dramas, the place do you think about they will go? Beam your ideas and theories into our feedback under!

Diana Keng is a workers author for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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