William Shatner’s TekWar Novels May Trek Into Animation

William Shatner’s TekWar Novels May Trek Into Animation
Inset of the cover of Tek Secret by Boris Vallejo. (Image: G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Star Trek wasn’t William Shatner’s only foray into science fiction. He also created TekWar, a nine-novel, cyberpunk-ish mystery series that was a big enough deal in the ‘90s that it spawned a TV series, four TV movies, a comic, and a video game. Now, TekWar is all but forgotten — although that may change in the near future.

Pure Imagination Studios has teamed with Shatner to adapt the series as “a mixed-reality, adult animated series” which will be developed by former Star Wars: The Clone Wars head writer Matt Michnovetz. The plan is, in a word, ambitious — supposedly “viewers will be able to participate with the show in different forms of technology via mobile, tablets, or wearable devices. The series can be viewed stand alone, but the level of immersion into the show, its characters, and technology is enhanced by the ability to become part of the narrative,” according to a press release.

The TekWar novels begin in 2043, where a highly addicted drug/“bio-digital” microchip called Tek is the world’s hottest commodity. Jon Cardigan, a former police officer who was once framed for dealing Tek, teams with Sid Gomez to solve Tek-related crimes in Greater Los Angeles, pitting them against criminals, drug cartels, and a mysterious government agency called the Office of Clandestine Operations. While Shatner outlined the books’ stories, they were ghost-written by the extremely prolific author Ron Goulart. Despite the franchise’s former popularity, I don’t think we can be at all certain that a new TekWar series will actually ever make it to screens.

First of all, the series’ popularity has deeply waned since its heyday. Relatedly, there’s no network or streaming service announced, which means these guys are going to have to shop around an unsolicited series with a limited fanbase. And if you look at Pure Imagination’s body of work, it’s done nothing nearly as grandiose as this, which means it may be overpromising what it can deliver.

But I’ll be happy to be proven wrong.

Since the only announced plan for this TekWar reboot is “we’re gonna make it,” there’s obviously no release date but if it happens I suspect it would air in 2023 at the absolute earliest. If there’s more actual news about it, we’ll certainly let you know.