Berman: ‘I have produced my last Star Trek’

According to an interview in the new Star Trek magazine, longtime Trek producer Rick Berman has read the writing on the wall. Berman on being involved in Trek’s future: 

Without sounding clichéd I’m not going to say never, but I assume that I have produced my last Star Trek, especially with the interest that Paramount has gotten from J.J. Abrams to do another movie, which if successful, could lead to other television shows

Berman oversaw the franchise for many years, with a lot of ups and downs. Although many fans like to focus on the end of that reign, they often ignore some of the highlights. Berman may get blame for the failures of Enterprise and Nemesis, but he was there at the peak of TNG, the launch of the DS9, and produced First Contact. Berman reflects on his history with Trek. 

I have nothing to be ashamed about. We created 624 hours of television and four feature films and I think we did a hell of a job. I’m amazed that we managed to get 18 years of the kind of work that everyone involved managed to contribute to, and its certainly more than anyone could have asked for.

Star Trek Mag is out in the UK, and will be out in the US in a few weeks, excerpts and more at SciFi Pulse

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There where certainly ups and downs under Berman’s “reign.” I’ll give him credit where credit is due, but really, it was time for him to leave by the end of Voyager. Star Trek needed fresh blood and a willingness to take chances to stay fresh. Under Berman, it just became more and more bland.

Good riddance. He screwed up the last season of TNG, made crap movies, and three crap spinoff shows. I’ve never seen one talentless hack get so many chances after only suceeding in 4 or 5 years of an established show.

Three words.

Thank. You. Jesus.

No more Berman. No more Braga. Trek Lives On!!!

Bye bye Berman and Braga, we won’t miss you! They really did outlive their usefulness.

you failed berman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh people, come on. You would (and will) complain, no matter who does (or will do) Trek! Get a life! You all want these no-brainer, screw with your mind shows like the new Battlestar Galactica. Do you think that would make Trek better?

Berman did a good job for a long time, and I certainly wish him well.

Soon enough, Trek fans will find a new “villain.” The basic social nature of the subculture is not going to suddenly change.

Berman can be given credit for getting the pot boiling, but he stuck around about five years longer than he should have and corkscrewed the whole damned franchise into the ground. If Abrams’ re-interpretation turns out to be a wet fuse (and let’s be honest about it, he plans on ‘re-booting’ Trek, however obliquely), all you’re gonna see for the next 15 years are low budget fanboy webisodes.

I am not nor have I ever been a Berman fan, but he was involved in Trek during a time of tremendous success and momentum. We must remember that if he was not responsible for this success, then he at least contributed in some part to it. The time for his departure was probably around the midway point of Voyager’s run. The only regret I will carry with me is that people like Manny Coto did not get the opportunity when Trek really needed them. For this I cannot forgive Berman. Star Trek was too important and he obviously had little or no interest in the show anymore by the time Enterprise rolled around.

Berman was always from day one a studio supplied stooge hired to watchdog Roddenberry. He fell into it and realized that this was a “pooch that couldn’t be screwed”… I for one am glad he’s finally gone.

James Heaney (fka Wowbagger)

And at the same time, DB, there are always going to be us, too. Trekkies who give credit to a man whose only crime was to outlive his heyday.

He must feel a lot like Kirk on Harriman’s Enterprise. Too bad we can’t find a Nexus to give Rick Berman a heroic finale.

*shrugs* the venom is all drained out of me… Really, just wish the best for Star Trek is all, now. I’m reminded of a story I read lately. A character talks about inheriting the family business and how hard it is to inherit success and not make it yourself. If it fails you get blamed, but if it succeeds, you don’t do much better. I agree, Star Trek needs new blood… Not new boss same as the old boss. ;-)

Later Berman, don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you pal,

oh and, “we are pleased.”

Rick Berman was a very good organizer and manager. He was the nuts and bolt guy who for 18 years and 624 hours of Star Trek television made the show run smoothly. He made sure it was a streamlined, affordable, clean product that Paramount could sell.

Not a creative or passionate force in any way nor any desire to make it even interesting. It is sad that the person who ‘Ran’ Star Trek for almost 18 years was such a bland and uncreative person. He could have surrounded himself with creative types but efficiency and banality were really his main interests.

In the end his contribution to Star Trek is that of creating a bland mosaic out of 624 hours. Any interest, passion, ideas and real character growth were continually removed and in their place a blank slate is all that is left.

Star Trek did not die, it was simple watered down to the point of blandness, neither liked or disliked by the fans and non fans alike. Background noise that just plays on and on with no one bothering to turn it off and that is his real failure.

We have lives, and Berman and Braga should have been shot before they had a chance to make that abomination of a show, Enterprise.

He still refuses to admit to mistakes and take any responsibility for the decline of Trek the last 10 years. At least Braga acknowledges some things. Berman is either clueless, or simply refuses to admit what fans have been saying about him since 1996

TNG started to go bad when they found Data’s head in a mineshaft.

Trek started to go bad when Kirk died a meaningless death.

Whoopi Goldberg was there for both events!!!!

Too late, but still it’s great to see you gone. I’d be more respectful, Rick if you’d been more respectful to us fans. Right from the beginning you said you didn’t care what the fans thought and you lived up to it. Now I don’t care what you think. Glad you’re gone, hope I never see your mug again. Later…

Where was NOMAD when we needed him?

IM…PERFECT! MUST STeri-LIZE!

Is Berman expecting some one to argue with him?
“No, please Rick don’t go!”
I don’t think so.

Since his association is finally completely utterly over by his own admission that mean he is no longer Trek news.

I really don’t understand why Berman & Braga get so much heat. Yes, there were some mistakes, and yes Star Trek did have many opportunities that were missed, but they did an overall good job. Enterprise was a great show and like all the other treks it was getting REALLY good by its 3rd season. I have more fear about Abrams (Look at the Superman script), at least B&B knew trek inside out, these new guys look like the only care about the canon from the original and maybe Next Gen. I’ve been watching a lot of the DVD’s lately, and B&B did write some great episodes (I’ll admit there are some bad ones), but those who know anything about screenwriting would applaud them for their work. I’d like to see any of you naysayers come up with a good script! If I ever saw either of them, I would thank them, because no one would have looked over Trek with the care and respect that they did for 15 years!

A quick thought — given the way things turned out, what would have happened if instead of Brannon Braga, Berman had gone with avowed Original Series fan Ron Moore as the “go-to guy” for post-DS9 Trek projects?

Would the Berman-era Trek still be going strong? Would “Enterprise,” which was co-created by Braga, have not required rescuing by Coto, Sussman, Reeves-Stevens’, et. al.? Would the heaps and gobs of critical acclaim being heaped upon “Galactica” these days instead be directed at a Ron Moore-led Trek project?

Remember that together, Braga-Moore wrote “All Good Things” and “First Contact,” four of the Next Gen’s final hours. Moore left Trek, Braga stayed… Moore worked on DS9, Braga on Voyager and Enterprise… Hmm ….

I find all this Berman venom fascinating. With all this hatred of Enterprise and most of voyager I wonder how long it will take for it to sink in that DS9 and really all the Movies (esp first contact) were horrible as well. Its taking time, but trekkies are figuring out that what they liked they only liked because they were too afraid to let go.

Berman? You mean, Berman, the guy who brought lesbian kissing to “Deep Space Nine”? That Berman?

Was that Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future? (What was that sound? Did you hear Roddenberry turn over in his grave?)

Well,

This will piss off many among you and I’m not a least bit sorry……..

Rick Berman had a job that not many of you could do, reguardless of what you think he didn’t have total control of the franchise like Lucas does with Star Wars. Paramount is a Company, not Starfleet. They want to make money just like other companys do. Berman was TOLD to make a DS9, Voy, and Enterprise. to keep money rolling in. If you are givin a Producers job and told to make 600+ Hrs of TV you will f’ up at some point or another. Stop bitching about something you couldn’t do. You don’t see other producers outright slamming Berman because they know how hard the job is as well…. I’m not trying to defend him but jeez, some of you need to get over it and hope for the future………

Gee, didn’t Roddenberry think there was “hope for the future?”

I remember Berman’s comment that Paramount was going to do another ship-based Trek series and that if he didn’t do it, someone else would. That was the point where he turned into Colonel Kurtz. He should have let someone else do Voyager.

Berman sorted out the mess that Roddenberry had made of TNG, but lacked the talent to do anything more substantial. The Trek movies he produced were dreadful: even First Contact, the best of them, looked like a TV movie.

The guy outstayed his welcome and, I guess, even the studio heads eventually realised he was the Emperor’s New Clothes where Trek was concerned!

Actually, thewatcher, it’s quite probable that Roddenberry would have championed the lesbian kissing as well… he was apparently known to be a champion of sexual expression… both in public and his own life.

I must disagree with most of you. I think that Berman did a very very good job on trek. He was hand picked by Rodenberry to keep his vision going after his death and I believe he did this very well. I have heard most of the TNG cast at conventions and all of them praise him for his work, and say that HE is the reason that the franchise has lived this long. Sure there were some not-so-good episodes, but who doesnt make a few mistakes?

Yes, Roddenbery, like many Hollywood hypocrites, wrote morality tales one way and lived his life another … like the adultries he commited with assorted women, even on the show. One paramour even became his new “wife”, who was later going to leave him because of his continued faithlessness. [“Inside Star Trek the Real Story” by Solow & Justman]

But Star Trek was about about mankind rising above the gutter, not stooping down to lick it.

[P.S. — “sexual expression”? That’s some semantic justification of perversion. You probably voted for Bill “I never had sex with that woman Miss Lewinsky” Clinton.]

I think you’re mistaken in calling Roddenberry a hypocrite… I don’t recall anywhere where Roddenberry put a “morality” on sexuality… Trek never seemed to me to have spearheaded any fight against adultery or celebrating marriage… in fact, it went out of its way to suggest that mankind had moved beyond the need for it in relation to sexuality. Especially in TNG, Sex became an activity rather than a hidden duty in the confines of marriage. I don’t necessarily agree with this very 60s interpretation… but his “morality” was to never restrict sexual expression. And no… it doesn’t mean perversion. And why bring politics into it?

Brian, Roddenberry didn’t handpick Berman: he was forced to take on Berman, because TNG was in such a mess at the time! The handpicking story is spin!

Whether or not people think Roddenberry was a hypocrite depends on a number of factors, including whether they are Star Trek fans or a ‘Church of Roddenberry’ fans.

As a Star Trek fan, I don’t think he was a hypocrite: I think he was a nutter in the end! Roddenberry stuck by his weirdo beliefs and even turned a spin-off of his only successful programme into a mouthpiece for his warped ideas (pun intended!)

The best thing about a ‘proper’ Kirk/Spock Star Trek film is that it might lead to a spin-off series based on Star Trek, for a change! ;)

I akin Berman to Eisner @ Disney; he eventually became the evil he sought to protect the kingdom from — and Trek’s been burned out for years.

You’re FIRED!

Clearly, you haven’t much watched The Original Series (especially the 1st season, where Roddenberry was completely in charge), or even the very first “restored episode” broadcast, “Balance Of Terror” — which just drips God & morality, sexual relations and otherwise. Here, a male and a female crewman (just to clear up your apparent confusion) approach an altar in the ship’s chapel [yes, that’s the script description; also see “The Making Of Star Trek” p.340], kneel with closed eyes in a moment’s prayer, and stand to face the waiting ship’s captain:

“Since the days of the first wooden vessels, all ship masters have had one happy privilege, that of uniting two people in the bonds of matrimony. So we are gathered here today, you Angela Martine and you Robert Tomlinson, in the sight of your fellows, and in accordance with our laws and our many beliefs, so that you may pledge your …” [Capt. Kirk, before interrupted by a ship-wide alert]

Politics? “The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.” [The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language] You just don’t know much of Star Trek or the dictionary.

“Brian, Roddenberry didn’t handpick Berman: he was forced to take on Berman, because TNG was in such a mess at the time!”

So TNG was in such a mess before they even produced the first episode? So that’s why Roddenberry was forced to take on Berman as an associate producer while they were in pre-production of the series.

Actually, TrekNerd, it was. Check out the info on David Gerrold’s massive involvement in the creation of TNG. Arguably, as writer of the series bible, he was more the creator of TNG than the Rodd-ster!

WTF Why do they want my name?

Berman was a good guy and I have nothing but respect for him and the work he did for this franchise and thats that. Star Trek will forever be Roddenberry’s Berman did what he could with a franchise that wasn’t his.

I blame Braga more than anyone else the a hole even admitted when they brought him onto TNG he’d never seen a single frame of Trek (think about that trolls)

I say keep Berman, bring back Ronald D Moore and Jeri Taylor and Behr!

Screw Abrams he only knows TOS he doens’t even know TNG for crying out loud!!!!

I believe the best Berman produced STNG were his partnership with Michael Pillar, starting with the third season. Then, once Pillar became tired, which is only human (witness the film Insurrection and even Gene L. Coon’s “Lee Cronin” work on TOS), and characterization and drama gave way to technogibberish, alas, entropy ruled, and there was no direction to go except down.

However, I did enjoy the beagle in Enterprise (not Mr. *Bakula*, please). MTV sex and violence and Lizard Nazis — highly embarassing to all concerned.

May the Force be with Mr. Berman; he may be weary as well.

So long RIck……

It would be nice to know if they would ask him how it feels to be the man who destroyed Star Trek.

I think PBS is hiring……

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