VegasCon 07 – Braga Reflects On A Life With Trek | TrekMovie.com
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VegasCon 07 – Braga Reflects On A Life With Trek August 12, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Conventions/Events/Attractions,ENT,TNG,VOY , trackback

Brannon Braga was one of the few Trek writer/producers to appear at this year’s Creation Las Vegas Star Trek Convention. Braga started off almost reticent, telling the crowd "it has been many years and so I am a little nervous." The veteran of Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise made it clear that although Trek was an ‘amazing experience’ which occupied most of his adult life, he was not involved with Trek anymore and saw the con as a ‘nostalgic experience.’ After that, the Trek veteran’s appearance took on the nature of an exit interview with Braga inviting the crowd to get it off their chests:

I wanted to stop by to say hi to you guys and to ask any last lingering questions you had. This may be the last one I do so this is your chance to get out you final gripes and questions.

Wouldn’t change a thing…well maybe some things

Braga’s time as a writer/producer with Trek goes all the way to 4th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and continued with 104 episode writing credits (more than any other Trek writer) for TNG, Voyager and Enterprise. He also co-wrote the first two TNG feature films (Generations and First Contact) along with Ron Moore. During his tenure there were certainly highs such as the finale of TNG ("All Good Things") and First Contact, as well as lows (who can forget Voyager’s Janeway and Paris evolve into lizard creatures episode "Threshold"). Braga was asked if he had any regrets and if he had a chance what would he do differently. His reply..

I honestly have to say that creatively probably nothing. There are certain episodes that are really stinky that I wish I hadn’t done, but how can I go back and change that. There were also episodes that turned out great that we thought were going to be terrible.

 

However, in subsequent questions the writer did seem to voice some regrets. For example when talking about the controversial season finale of Enterprise ("These Are The Voyages"), Braga seems to dislike it as much as most of the fans: 

I do have some regrets about that final episode. It didn’t quite creatively align with the rest of the season. ….The final episode was very controversial and I do have some regrets about it. What we were trying to do was send a valentine to all the Star Trek shows. Enterprise just happened to be the show on at the time and it turns out the episode was a failure. It had some great stuff init and it was a cool concept, but it was languid. I don’t know if it fully delivered and it really pissed off the cast. It was a hybrid show. Rick [Berman] and I were involved in the franchise for years (Rick for 18 – me for 15). We felt like we wanted to send a valentine to the show, but I do concur it was not a complete success.

One controversial aspect of the finale however, Braga has no regrets for…

It was the final episode, we knew the series was over and we could do anything we wanted. Trip was always my favorite character on the show and I wanted to….I just wanted to kill him. I cant give you a coherent response. We wanted to do something that had emotional impact and had consequences which is something we were never allowed to do.

Braga also seems to agree with most fans regarding the direction Enterprise went once he handed over the show running reigns to Manny Coto in the 4th and final season, saying:

I thought Manny Coto did a great job. One could argue that Enterprise might have been that from the beginning. When I was seeing what Manny was doing it was like “you know what? Maybe this should have been the show from the start.”

Of course it wouldn’t have been a Trekkie gathering if someone didn’t ask Braga about canon and the perceived view that Enterprise violated canon by having the Vulcans appear differently than they did on The Original Series and subsequent series (and specifically having mind melds only being able to be performed by a minority of Vulcans). On this issue Braga was firm

Contrary to some people’s opinions we paid very close attention to continuity. There has always been a perception that we spit in the face of Star Trek canon and nothing could be further from the truth. One of the biggest beefs is that we violated the Vulcan culture, that we did things with Vulcans like the mind melds that clearly were not kosher with regards to the Original Series. But remember, cultures change. This show took place a long before the Original Series and Vulcan culture was different then. We got to explore that Vulcan culture was not like it was by the time of Kirk…in the same way that American culture is not the same as it was 200 years ago. Things change, technology changes…mind melds change.

[and how did thing's change to where all Vulcans could perform mind melds?]

They learned how…Community College!

Braga also defended the decision to have the prequel series appear more futuristic than the show it preceded (in story arc, but not in real time). However his explanation for the more advanced looking ship was more pragmatic.  

It is a paradox. How to make the show look cool by today’s standards and yet not cheesy like some parts of the Original Series by nature of the 1960s designs. This is certainly something that J.J. Abrams is dealing with and his prequel. You just have to bite the bullet and say that is probably more important to make the show look cool than be completely accurate… We certainly tried to make it look more futuristic than we have today, but less than Kirk’s time. But look at the stuff they were using on that show. They got communicators that are bigger than any cell phone. The laptops they used on Voyager were gigantic…they were ridiculous.

Regarding how the last two Trek show’s were treated on the new UPN Network, Braga also found common ground with the fans…

I think it damaged the show. If you don’t mind booting Brent Spiner later on I could stay up here all day and talk about this one subject. I think it hurt Voyager and much more with Enterprise, to be on a constantly shifting fledgling network that in some parts it was on channel 92 if you could find it and you needed the foil rabbit ears. Here we were shooting this beautiful show and posting it in high def and people were watching it on the crappiest stations imaginable. Tons of problems being on that network. Also we didn’t have a lot of money to promote. So I don’ think it was a great thing for the franchise. I cant blame it all on that. There were other problems of course, but it was truly frustrating.

One of the stranger questions was from someone who clearly was reading too much slash fiction who asked why they never showed a romantic relationship between Seven of Nine and Captain Janeway on Voyager. But Braga seemingly somewhat endorsed the idea.
 

There is nothing I would love to see more…maybe with B’Ellana. The homosexuality issue was always one on the show, even since Roddenberry’s time. As we understood it, it was Roddenberry’s feeling that ‘how would you know if somebody was gay?’ It was so accepted in the future, that if you try and dramatize it you just call attention to it. However, I still wish we did something more overt. Regarding Seven and Janeway: no way. The studio would not have let us…not with the captain. Plus it would have been dangerous for Janeway…you don’t know what kind of borg implants are down there.

It was not all critiques and canon nitpicks for Braga. A very young fan came up to the mic to says “I just wanted to tell you I loved Enterprise – it was my favorite show” and Braga joked “you are actually the first person to say that…thanks.” But then thanked him sincerely and also seemed to be genuinely touched by the young fan.

Braga left the stage with what seemed to be a farewell to Trek

It has been an honor doing this work for you guys and I enjoyed it as much hopefully as you enjoyed and I appreciate you coming very much.

 

UPDATE: Braga continues his conversation with the fans
See the comments section below (starting at #63) where Brannon Braga responds to this article and begins to take questions from the other TrekMovie.com community members. Thanks for dropping by Brannon!

 

NOTE: I know that it seems to be some kind of accepted blood sport to rag on Brannon Braga and Rick Berman. However (as I have noted before), Braga was part of some of the best Trek ever. Besides the ‘highs’ mentioned above, Braga was behind what are sure to be top episodes in each of the three series he worked on such as TNG’s "Parallels," VOY’s "Year of Hell," or ENT’s "Zero Hour." I wish many things (especially with VOY and ENT) were different (and apparently he agrees), but I also try and look at his career with Trek in the context of the full body of work.
 

Comments

1. Dom - August 12, 2007

For someone like Braga, who’s best known for his Trek work, the old adage of ‘you’re only as good as your last project applies.’

It’s sad that later failings probably overshadow the good work he’s done. Hopefully he can redeem himself with another success in something non-Trek related, in time.

2. Ro-Dan - August 12, 2007

In view of all the acrimony he’s been getting from Star Trek fans of late I think it was very ballsy of him to stand up on stage and take questions like he did.

3. Dbhays - August 12, 2007

I agree. I was rather shocked to see this. If I were him, I would be a thousand miles away from that convention stage.

4. THEETrekMaster - August 12, 2007

Braga bashing is old and boring…let’s move on. He’s not the anti-Christ. No, I didn’t think his work was the best ever — but I did enjoy All Good Things!

TTM

5. Thomas - August 12, 2007

I would agree with Braga’s comments about UPN’s shuffling of ENT contributing to its’ demise. By the end of ENT’s run, I wasn’t even sure what time and night it was on. Early on, it was easy; here in L.A., it just occupied VOY’s old timeslot, Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m.

6. brady - August 12, 2007

i guess to proves that to fully enjoy enterprise you must look at it through the eyes of a child.

7. THEETrekMaster - August 12, 2007

Forgot to say First Contact is the best of the TNG films as well!

8. Mr. Atoz - August 12, 2007

IMO most of Voyager was crap.
I only watched about 5 episodes of Enterprise and gave up.
I’ve heard that some of the last episdoes of Ent. were good so maybe I need to watch those.

Star Trek was dead after about 1996. TNG was really good and a credit to Braga.

Can’t wait to see Abrams’ version!

9. OneBuckFilms - August 12, 2007

I find it disheartening when I hear of the Berman-Braga efforts as ‘Ruining Trek’ etc.

Every show, Trek or otherwise, has had bad episodes, or bad implementations, and not everything is going to be perfect in god knows how many hours of Trek.

In the end, there was far more good than bad with their work, and for Trek in general.

Criticism is valid, I have some, but people should be respectful in their criticism.

BTW, This is probably one of the few Star Trek related sites I visit.

A fantastic source of information, and it has great posts on my favourite artificial usiverse.

10. Paul Martin - August 12, 2007

To #8, dead since 1996? Watch some DS9!

11. Russ T.C. - August 12, 2007

Pretty interesting.

Enterprise is my favorite series, with Deep Space Nine a close second, so Braga’s okay in my book. :)

Sure there were certain aspects of the show, and all of them for that matter, that could have been better, but that’s the case with every series out there.

12. Geno Z Heinlein - August 12, 2007

> One of the stranger questions was from someone who clearly
> was reading too much slash fiction who asked why they never
> showed a romantic relationship between Seven of Nine and
> Captain Janeway on Voyager.

Why is this a strange question? There was lots of subtext on Voyager pointing to some kind of interest between Janeway and Seven, including ‘The infamous missing pip scene’ (http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Someone_to_Watch_Over_Me, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ocH5o_AQHs).

13. neal - August 12, 2007

One of the fascinating issues with this debate about ST:E, canon, and “Vulcan culture” is this constant assumption of “outgroup homegeneity.” Like, all alien cultures are a single, monolithic culture. But look at Earth. Today. Do we have one culture? We have a zillion. And so why can’t the Vulcans have innumerable nations, tribes, sects, creeds, cults, and worldviews? There is absolutely no trouble for canon if we learn that *some* Vulcans do things this way, whereas *other* Vulcans do things completely differently. This goes for all the alien cultures on Trek, which in all honestly have never been much more than simple cartoon stereotypes. (Tellarites are argumentative; Andorians are fearless, etc).

14. Ron - August 12, 2007

The reason I left TrekWeb and came here for my Trek news/reviews fix is because of the virulent anti-B&B-ism that absolutely infested the former. Legitimate criticism is fine, but those folks absolutely hated B&B on a personal level. I saw postings wishing they would contract cancer, postings calling for their assassination, postings threatening their families – at the time, some of the most horrible comments I had ever seen directed toward generally decent human beings (this was before BDS began routinely infecting political discussions). The ugliest posts would get deleted and the authors banned, but it didn’t change the hostile atmosphere. I still keep TrekWeb in my RSS reader, but I rarely visit anymore. Hate tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

The B&B nags always had a “what have you done for me lately?” attitude, ragging on their recent failures – Threshold (the VOY episode not the show), the early seasons of ENT – and refusing to acknowledge the string of successes they’d had previously. Berman had guided Trek since Roddenberry’s health declined; Braga had been written some of TNG and VOY’s best episodes. It would be nice to see history correct this tendency and give credit where credit is due, along with reasonable and valid criticism.

15. steve623 - August 12, 2007

Not one of my favorite people.

16. IrishTrekkie - August 12, 2007

i really liked alot of his work , but at the time of enterprise coming off the air , it looked like star trek the show i had love all my life , was being killed so i could not help but be very mad , if there is anything good to come from that is that with the new movie on the way , it shows that star trek is too big to be taken down by one failure ( not to say if the new movie falls on its ass it wont hurt star trek badly ) just that hopefully , star trek will always be around .

17. stallion (Archer is the best) - August 12, 2007

I don’t hate Braga. I consider him to be a great writer.

18. Sean4000 - August 12, 2007

We got to explore that Vulcan culture was not like it was by the time of Kirk…in the same way that American culture is not the same as it was 200 years ago.

Enterprise was only 100 years before TOS.

19. Erik - August 12, 2007

Uhhhh, TNG’s “Parallels” ???

20. A 4 year old - August 12, 2007

Duh huh huh. Everything Braga did was crap. Duh huh man im so cool

21. dalek - August 12, 2007

When the product is mediocre the people at the top are responsible unless the studio directly interfered.

Even when Coto took over it was better than Braga in command, but it still wasn’t the greatest Star Trek.

Michael Piller and Ira Steven Behr are possibly the greatest thing to happen to the Star Trek spinoffs.

22. Plum - August 12, 2007

Capt. Archer (to the little Vulcan girl who dared to speak up, T’Pol) in the very first episode of ENT: “You don’t know how hard I’m restraining myself from knocking you on your ass.”

Pleeeeeese… it’s crap like that which solidified ENT as utter garbage.

Certainly Braga has made his mark as a writer, and he’s certainly correct in how the network dropped ENT like a hot potato, but ENT stood out as having really questionable content… and I don’t mean silly fanboy wanks about ‘canon’ but a show that managed to insult the average viewer. imho.

23. Garyp - August 12, 2007

I thought Manny Coto did a great job. One could argue that Enterprise might have been that from the beginning. When I was seeing what Manny was doing it was like “you know what? Maybe this should have been the show from the start.”

This statement angers me. All he had to do was turn on his laptop at any given time for three years and listen to what fans were saying. Why so stubbornly take a show in a direction nobody wants?

The main reason why Enterprise failed was because the characters were immature and childish. There is no way in hell I would let an angst-filled unworldly Captain Archer be the spokesperson for Earth. That’s insane. The writing was really poor.

24. Michael Hall - August 12, 2007

#23–word. If you look at Braga’s early efforts it’s obvious that the man was quite talented–the Twilight Zone-ish “Frame of Mind” was one of TNG’s best, IMO–and if his ability (and that of Berman) to come up with fresh concepts for the Trek sausage factory declined over time, well, the same could be said for Roddenberry, Fontana, Coon, et al. What infuriated so many fans in the final years of Voyager and Enterprise was their smug attitude that they knew best, and that the reasonable feedback of many fans about things like incessant technobabble and catsuit-ed pandering was just so much irrelevant net chatter. Braga’s comments here are a little muddled and confused (was “These are the Voyages” a debacle or not?), but refreshing in their honesty. His association with Trek made him a rich man, but earned hm the ire of millions for his failures as well, a strange combination unfortunately not so unique to our time. In the spirit of spirit of the franchise that I think he never really understood all that well, I personally wish him bon voyage and success in his future efforts.

25. DavidJ - August 12, 2007

My problem with VOY and ENT wasn’t so much the lack of continuity or the messing around with canon that he talks about — it was the juvenile, one-dimensional writing. There was no subtext or sophistication to any of the stories, and the characters all acted like overgrown teenagers.

Now maybe Braga and Berman were required to dumb things down for the UPN audience, I don’t know. But their shows looked positively childish compared to the riskier and wittier shows like DS9 and Buffy that were on around the same time.

26. James Wylder - August 12, 2007

Braga is one of my favorite screen writers of all time… I love his work.

Needless to say Enterprise is my favorite show too, and I’ve been sick of all the B&B bashing that goes on on most Trek sites. I basicly only check Trekmovie.com any more because you can’t say anything about ENT without getting bashed.

Its too bad he has such a bad reputation, because the ideas behind enterprise (shwoing the development of the cultures we knew later) were wonderfull, his characters were fully fleshed out… Some people disagree. But to me, Brannon Braga is always going to hold a high place in my heart.

27. Garyp - August 12, 2007

#25 You put it better than my post (#23). Enterprise’ characters were written like overgrown teenagers. Because of this, dilemma’s and plot obstacles were created not because they ran into difficult circumstances, but because the characters weren’t mature enough to handle them. And then we would here from the writers that ‘Archer is maturing’ and ‘They’re just trying to get their space legs’ and ‘It’s novel because they’re not perfect.’ No. That’s weak, lazy writing. As soon as Manny Coto stepped in, Archer started acting like a leader because Reeves-Stevens and Coto knew the difference between ‘lack of experience’ and ‘immaturity’. And T’Pol, just because you’re a little stoic and act like a jerk does not make you act like a vulcan.

Oh, I could go on.

Bragga had ballz for showing up. That’s all I can say.

28. Kev - August 12, 2007

I don’t agree with everything he did, especially Generations, and I don’t think he really “got” Star Trek, but he did some good eps. I think the logic about how they couldn’t have ‘big”communicators on Enterprise is flawed, and I heard this argument made at the time. The cell phone comparison is specious; a cell phone is not a point to point communcations device, it works by having stations boost its signal and utilizes a system of satellites to operate. Kirk’s communicator on the other hand, had nothing between it and the ship. They should have known this, or their science people should have. Roddenberry was just into stuff like that, and the tech wasn’t his strength. Maybe they knew this and just wanted to jazz stuff up, though. Also I though Enterprise the show with Archer wasn’t bad, but it’s hard to forget the time traveling alien space nazis at the end and their failure to identify Future Guy. Not to mention the starship buzzing the Chrysler building. I will say that those TNG shows were at their worst better than 90% of anything else on TV, which is saying something.

29. Dennis Bailey - August 12, 2007

Braga is a good guy and a good writer. People who don’t like him…that’s their problem and no one else’s, and their anger touches nothing. :)

30. DavidJ - August 12, 2007

#28

Yeah, it’s not like Kirk was carrying around the equivalent of those first, brick-size cell phones or anything. The TOS communicator is actually a pretty decent size even for today.

Still though, I never had a problem with any of the design choices on ENT. I thought they found a nice balance between modern tech and TOS tech. I thought the bridge was awesome.

31. Rich - August 12, 2007

Yes I think Braga was only complacent in what happened. The real mastermind behind the suckiness was Rick Berman. I got so excited about Nemesis and when it came out and I saw it, at the end his name came up in the credits and I shot it a bird right there in the theater with everyone watching. At that point I knew that Star Trek was over and it would take a lot to see anything new again. Thank goodness that we have a second (third?) chance.

32. Lao3D - August 12, 2007

This to me sums up the weakness of some later Trek:

“Trip was always my favorite character on the show and I wanted to….I just wanted to kill him. I cant give you a coherent response…”

Rather than creating drama from realistic character struggles, character growth, internal conflict, external conflict — let’s knock somebody off. Yeah that’ll spice things up, be it Kirk, Data, Trip whomever. It’s lazy writing, and Braga’s earlier career evidenced that he was capable of better. They just should have changed things up sooner than they did, management-wise.

33. Sci-Fi Bri - August 12, 2007

Braga wrote some of the best TNG episodes

34. Ben - August 12, 2007

first off all credit to him for going up that stage and facing the fans.

as poster number 11. Russ T.C. – August 12, 2007
“Enterprise is my favorite series, with Deep Space Nine a close second, so Braga’s okay in my book. ”

Same for me.

35. The Realist - August 12, 2007

What a gutsy move. Knowing that many fans would love to chop him into little bits, he still attends a convention.

B & B worked on the same show for 18 years, under pressure from a studio wanting higher ratings and more bang for their buck. Who would not get tired, who would not get stale, but they still delivered some beautiful Trek.

TNG: The Inner Light, Best of Both Worlds, All Good Things.
DS9: Battle Lines, Emisary, A Call To Arms, Way of the Warrior
VOY: Year of Hell, Dreadnaught

Movies: Generations (Yes I liked it), First Contact (IMO one of the Best Trek Movies). Nemesis (excellent idea, poorly carried out. My big beef is the Director.)

VOY and ENT were on a weak network, shifting time spots, with no real advertising budget, nothing under those conditions would last long, yet they kept Trek alive for over 7 years on this poor network. Yes he and Rick should have handed the ENT over to Cotto earlier on, but was any one available. At least he is man enough to admit that ENT became stronger afet Manny took over show running duties. How many of us could do what they did for 18 years? Most people change jobs every 2 – years.

As for the sets of ENT, I think the balance between TOS and keeping it “realistic” was excellent, no touch screens, having to hit a button to open the doors, all worked well. Branon and Braga are fine by me, they have handed over to Abrams in the movie department, and if any new show comes up, hopefuly a cotto lead team.

36. trektacular - August 12, 2007

I thought Bragas episodes were always too weird for Trek in the first place, and was suprised he was promoted to executive producer just for that reason alone. His brand of writing just did not mesh well with Trek.

37. The Realist - August 12, 2007

And sorry ENT episodes:

The entire story arc of the 4th season as well as the 3rd season (great character development) and even some of the 2nd: Regeneration was a brilliant idea. And ENT ranks as my Fav with TNG and DS9 tied for 2nd.

38. RDL - August 12, 2007

Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea, he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises. He also wrote, Across the River and Into the Trees. I’m not comparing Braga to Hemingway, that’s ridiculous. However, even the best writers don’t always succeed. Churning out consistently good television scripts is impossible, and if you don’ t think so, try coming up with just one good idea, one well structured script, one script with good, compelling dialogue on each page. Try it under a deadline.

I thought Generations sucked. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s much easier to criticize than it is to create. A bad script means a bad film or television episode. That’s all. No one dies from a bad movie. No one even gets hurt.

I’ve enjoyed Star Trek since it first aired in the 60s. Braga and Moore and others have given us hours of decent science fiction, rare on television. They gave us First Contact which was a good film.

Killing Kirk was a mistake, killing Trip was almost emotionless for me and Braga had nothing to do with Data’s death. Data didn’t really die anyway, he was downloaded. I don’t attribute these things to lazy writing.
Was Spock’s death in STTWOK lazy writing?

The Nexus plot device was absurd, but, on the other hand, figure out a way to get Kirk and Picard together without another time travel story.

Bottom line, most art is bad, or mediocre at best. How many films have been made? 10,000? 50,000? . When they do those lists of the greatest, it’s always the greatest 50 or maybe 100. Shit happens (all the time). Great rarely does.

None of the ST writers need my defense, and I’m sure they can laugh at whatever criticism they get all the way to the bank. I’m as critical of bad Trek as anyone but i try to keep in mind that, to a degree, it’s like criticizing the .275 hitter who strikes out with the bases loaded. Go ahead an boo, go ahead and call him a bum. Hopefully, after you get that off your chest, you realize that you couldn’t even foul off a major league fastball.

39. Demode - August 12, 2007

Mmmmmm… “These Are The Voyages” was an awful way to end the series. I liked seeing Riker and Troi, but they should have been saved for an episode in the middle or towards the end of the season, but not the LAST EPISODE! That was really unfair to the Entreprise cast.

I really do think they should go back and make an ENTERPRISE tv movie or mini-series to give proper closure to that series.

40. The Realist - August 12, 2007

39. Demode – August 12, 2007 – A great idea. Similar to what they are doing on StarGate. Who knows, it could generate a lot of interest in the series and could be done over a couple of movies, and follow up the founding of the Federation even.

41. Ron - August 12, 2007

#35: I’d add TNG’s “Cause and Effect” and “Parallels” as well as VOY’s “Timeless” to Braga’s “plus” column.

42. Greg2600 - August 12, 2007

I want to strongly rebut the statements that Trek was dead after 1996 or 1987 or whatever. I found it to be very good right through the end of DS9. Voyager had some very good characters (I personally loved Kate Mulgrew’s Janeway), but also some aweful ones. Seven of Nine was without question the worst character in Star Trek history, and Jeri Ryan played the part unbelievably bad. But Jennifer Lien did decide to leave on her own accord. Voyager had good character interaction, but the stories were often repetitive and boring. The Borg angles and Seven of Nine as part of that, were the biggest problem. I often just skipped that week if I knew the Borg were in the episode. Enterprise was a good concept, and I think the actors were okay. However, until Manny Coto took over, the entire series was one DS9 or VOY script repeat after the other. The Xindi angle was a slap in the face, after having 2 series go for 7 years where they were fighting everybody all over the place. Brannon Braga was long viewed as Berman’s whipping boy, and perhaps now that Berman is long gone, the heat is off of him. Like I said, I have no problem with Braga, my dispute is with Berman. He turned Star Trek production into his friends-only club, which stamped out new ideas.

43. Nathan - August 12, 2007

I consider Braga essentially a good writer, but not a great show-runner… he could really turn out great episodes (or movies) under the tutelage of an executive producer…but, when running the show himself, while he could still turn out great episodes, his administrative talents weren’t quite up to riding herd over a diverse group of writers.
But what do I know….

Thank you, Mr. Braga

44. Muldfeld - August 12, 2007

The fact is that Braga/Berman had all the power of the success of the franchise behind them. Instead of creating challenging stories (Berman did work on some decent early DS9, I suppose) with political insight and dramatic realism like the under-appreciated DS9, the created simplistic nonsense that relied on cliche and nostalgia — and increasingly on sleazey outfits for hot women. They just didn’t care enough about creativity compared with ratings and profits. They helped kill the last couple of seasons of Next Gen, ruined Voyager, despite a reasonably promising beginning, and destroyed the francise with Enterprise with stereotypical alpha male heroes. They may be decent people, but they were lousy writers and have spoilt a franchise which deserved a lot better. Long live Ira Steven Behr and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine!

45. Muldfeld - August 12, 2007

They also never gave DS9 its due credit, calling it ” too dark”. And JJ Abrams won’t fair any better with his idiot writing duo who approach drama from a similar, albeit a slightly edgier, angle. Alias is crap, and Abrams is a superficial hack.. Lost is only really as good as Lindeloff and Cuse have made it. Star Trek only really lived with DS9’s creation and died with its ending.

46. Gregory - August 12, 2007

I thought Enterprise was a great series; What hurt it was the end of UPN and Paramount taking Trek for granted. TNG was good, DS9 was awesome and so was Voyager. I respect Bragga for owning up to his mistakes. Rick Berman deserves the majority of the blame.

He should have brought in veteran writers from the old series to help out both new and established writers from the previous shows. Lets wait to hold off an opinons of JJ Abrams’ take on ST until after the movie is out, not before.

47. Sean - August 12, 2007

#35

Braga had nothing to do with the DS9 eps you listed. Not production credits, not writing credits, nada. Berman’s involvement in the same is questionable as well, as the series even gave writing credits to Gene Roddenberry, who was dead at the time. You mostly have Ira Steven Behr & Ronald D Moore to thank for DS9’s development (and you can blame them for the Ferengi excess as well, but it’s more forgiveable than having The Rock wrestle Jeri Ryan).

However, I do offer kudos to Braga because it did take guts given the general feelings a lot of Trek fans have for him. I think in the early days of TNG he really told some interesting stories (I still think Phantasms was one of the better episodes of the troubled Season 7).

I think anyone would get burned out after spending so many years on the same project. I mean, Harve Bennett helped bring about Treks II-IV but somehow thought V was a good idea. Sometimes you just need to change things up. In fact, that’s how Berman & Braga came into power in the first place.

48. DJT - August 12, 2007

Kudos to Braga for showin’ up.

Nuff said.

49. Buckaroohawk - August 12, 2007

Admittedly, we’re not hearing everything that was said during Braga’s time on the stage, but the feeling that I get is that Braga is a little remorseful that Voyager and Enterprise didn’t turn out as hoped. His responses have a “Casey at the Bat,” forlorn quality to them. I actually felt a bit sorry for him. It seems to me he gave his best to Trek, but in the end he feels he came up a little short. I can’t help but respect him for acknowledging the problems with those shows.

I’ll add my name to the list of people who give him kudos for facing a crowd that could have been very unruly. However, it sounds like they were mostly respectful, and that’s a good thing.

My hope for him is that he’ll develop a new vehicle (TV show, movies, whatever) that will allow him to step out of Trek’s considerable shadow very soon.

50. Stefanbkk - August 12, 2007

I pitched to Next Gen, DS9 and Voyager several times during the 90’s when I was living in LA trying my hand as a screenwriter. I also had quite regular contact with Brannon, Ron Moore and Lolita Fatjo during that time, as I assisted them doing grunt work at theTrek Writers Workshops they did for Creation at conventions. Ron was a great guy, as was Brannon… one of the quickest wits of anyone I’ve ever met.

But my opinion of Brannon changed when I pitched to him once for Voyager. In the room was Brannon, another writer (can’t remember who) and an intern who was taking notes. I was a pitching a pretty cool Harry Kim story, one in which he had a new love interest… the girl character’s name was Kayla if I remember correctly. Now Brannon knew me, and he knew that I was gay. This had never been an issure before, but on that day things suddenly were different. Although my story had no gay overtones, Brannon was determined to rattle me throughout the entire pitch:

Brannon: “Now Steve, is Kayla a woman or a man?”
Me: “Uh.. she’s a woman, Brannon. Harry’s not gay.”

As I started to pitch again, I was constantly interrupted with comments meant to shake me up and amuse his cronies in the room:

Brannon: “So… at any time does Harry actually get to ‘lick her wormhole’?”

followed by gaffaws of laughter

It went on like that throughout the rest of my story pitches that day.

I was so shook up when I left that I stopped and talked to Lolita, the script coordinator, and after much coaxing from her, I told her what happened.

Well she was so pissed at him, that the next day I got a call from Jeri Taylor, who apologized for him and told me that any future pitches from me who be heard by her directly. I think I went back and pitched to Jeri once after that. But the whole experience just left a really bad taste in my mouth about continuing.

So it’s strange. When I first met Brannon, he was a funny, witty and extremely talented and insightful newcomer to Next Gen who was excited about his work and about writing what he and Michael Piller always called “high concept”stories. Then I encountered him again during Voyager and saw a completely different guy… arrogant, insecure and … a bit of an ass”

Loved MOST of his work, but in the end, was not too fond of the guy himself….

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

51. Cranston - August 12, 2007

#13 neal —

You’re absolutely right, and I’ve had the same problem with fan reactions not only to ENT’s Vulcan portrayals, but in general any fan griping of any episode that usually involves some statement along the lines of “but [insert species/culture here] would *never” act like that!”

While I didn’t really enjoy what they did with the Vulcans on ENT, I did appreciate the attempt to show Vulcan cultural variation not only at any given time, but cultural change through time. I particularly enjoyed what they did with the Klingons in a similar vein — they showed that the “warrior culture” was only one segment of the population, and was only recently consolidating its rule over the entire Empire. People griped on and on about how we know from Worf that Klingon warrior culture goes all the way back to Kahless, etc etc, not thinking about the fact that every ascendant ideology traces its lineage as far back as it can, even if it wasn’t always dominant in reality.

Anyway, good point. It’s always bugged me that Trek aliens/cultures were always portrayed as these monolithic entities, without any acknowledgment of the kind of cultural diversity that exists in any society (not to mention any sentient species, if humans are any indication).

52. trektacular - August 13, 2007

#47
Bennett didn’t like the Trek V story and only produced because Shatner begged him.
#50
Ron Moore had problems with Braga later on as well.

53. Reign1701A - August 13, 2007

Braga wrote Year of Hell?! Didn’t know that, I give the man props! I LOVE that episode.

54. Cafe 5 - August 13, 2007

Its all about ego. Braga and Berman couldn’t admit they could do anything
wrong. They had tons of advice from the fans telling them they were doing
something wrong with “enterprise” and chose to ignore it. Making these
kinds of mistakes is contagious and if left unchecked they just continue and
the person making these types of errors thinks its perfectly normal to do so.
Braga and Berman both wrote very good episodes but in the long run they
both became egocentric and that is what damaged the franchise and almost
did it in. Being able to admit mistakes is good but its all a little late for most
fans. Braga seemed to want to dilute his own admissions of screwing up,
this makes me believe he still thinks he was right all along.

55. COMPASSIONATE GOD - August 13, 2007

This is just a reminder of how it is good…very good that the Berman era is dead. So much was more bastardization than stories capturing the heart of that which made Trek great…much like the Star Wars Prequels when compared to the Original Trilogy.

56. Josh T. ( The undiscovered cowpie) Kirk Esquire' - August 13, 2007

This egotistical prick doesn’t deserve the dignity of being reffered to as affiliated with Trek even past tense.

Anyone that defends this guy is defending lazy-substandard writing and hackneyed creativity.

Don’t let the door hit ya “BRANNON”.

57. Buckaroohawk - August 13, 2007

Josh T. (#56),

As usual, your maturity shines through with every post.

“This egotistical prick doesn’t deserve the dignity of being reffered to as affiliated with Trek even past tense.”

It takes one to know one.

58. Montreal Paul - August 13, 2007

Personally, I had no problems with any of the Trek series. They ALL had some bad episodes … “Spock’s Brain” for example. But I thought that DS9 and Enterprise were pretty solid shows. The last season of Enterprise was well written and produced. My favourite series will always be TOS, but I am open minded enough to look at the other series as they were meant to be… stand alone series that showed a different side of Trek. I have no beef with B&B. And i will keep my mind open to JJ’s new movie as well. Love live Trek!

59. reptileboy - August 13, 2007

I used to be one of those who felt Brannon and Berman were leading the Star Trek universe astray. Especially once DS9 ended and I became a little tired of Star Trek as a whole. However, I came back to the series in a big way as Voyager ended and Enterprise began. While I can’t say that Enterprise was a bad idea, I simply don’t, it took me a while to recognise that it had developed into a fine series by itself.

And while fans will continue to debate the merits of Brannon contribution to Star Trek, the many years he spent writing for it demonstrated his dedication to it. Although some of his efforts felt poor, I always believed that few shows had the ability to produce so many stellar episodes. It always sucked when a dud came along, but you always had the sense that next weeks episode might just surprise you.Which is what Enterprise did on a number of occassions.

Ultimately I believe that time and distance will allow fans to take a deeper look at the Berman and Brannon era. Unlike the era of TOS, we haven’t had the tell all books, the veiled allussions to disharmony, and the back biting. It’s why, when both Berman and Brannon eventually sit down to set the record straight, I’ll be eager to hear it.

Both men have been demonised by fans who simply disgust me with their attitudes. How can it be that fans of such an optimistic and positive series like Star Trek, can be such vicious and vile human beings. Desiring contempt and disgust on people, who for over a decade, produced some of the finest Star Trek stories and series, that enhanced the legacy of Gene Roddenberry and allowed us all to have something to talk about at length for years to come.

60. Shatner_Fan_2000 - August 13, 2007

#54 “Its all about ego. Braga and Berman couldn’t admit they could do anything wrong. They had tons of advice from the fans telling them they were doing something wrong with ‘enterprise’ and chose to ignore it.”

You’re right. In fact, “We are very pleased” – an oft-repeated Berman quote – became a sarcastic, negative catchphrase being bandied about by fans on Trek sites a few years ago. :(

How far things have come! The new administration, if you will, is interacting with fans (via this great site) and taking their thoughts into consideration, as well as making a true effort to avoid past mistakes. THANK YOU, JJ, Orci, Nimoy, etc. Although the film is still a long way off, you’ve already brought the Great Bird known as Star Trek up from the ashes. You’re giving us confidence, and I have little doubt that you will deliver a product that – for the first time in a long time – kicks ass! It is an exciting time to be a Trekkie again! :)

61. stallion (Archer is the best) - August 13, 2007

Josh T is just bitter because not every hate B&B. I’m glad to see not all fans are close minded like him. Thank god we have more open minded fans and less fans like Josh T. Go back enjoy your three season of TOS.

62. Sean - August 13, 2007

#52

That’s what he said after it bombed :)

63. B. Braga - August 13, 2007

Brannon Braga here. I have to say, I am both heartened and horrified at the responses to the transcript of my appearence in Vegas. But in the end, there is truth in all of your comments. I accept the compliments and the condemnations. I wish my 15 years on Trek had all been smooth-sailing. I wish every day and every episode had gone without a hitch. There are arrogant comments I wish I hadn’t made in interviews, and in pitch meetings (as one email points out, and dude, I am sorry for that). I don’t think I ever really grasped how much I would be scrunitized in my position. I learned the hard way. Still am. Anyway, just here to say I appreciate the comments, even the negative ones: they are all useful and informative. Special thanks to Mr. Pascale, who seems like one cool guy.

– BB

64. stallion (Archer is the best) - August 13, 2007

#61 I forgot to put everyone. That is what I get for typing fast.

65. Anthony Pascale - August 13, 2007

Hi Brannon…thanks for dropping by and I have to agree with the comments above that I do think it was a brave thing for you to do. I also hope it isn’t your last con, but if it is then I think it was a class act and good luck in your future endeavors

66. Sean - August 13, 2007

#63

Brannon, I have to say no one would be prepared for the level of scrutiny you’ve been under and for you to even come here and comment as calmly as you have gives me great respect for you. As I said above, I do truly enjoy your work on TNG and I think you wrote some of the best eps of that series – Reunion, Identity Crisis, Cause and Effect, Relics, Schisms, Timescape, etc. I know everyone dogs you and Ron about ‘Generations’ but you were both rushed into writing it under a very tight deadline so I think under the circumstances you both did what you could.

I’ll admit to not being a big fan of your work on the later series but hey, it’s all a matter of opinion, right? I think anyone would need a break after 15 years. Good luck on whatever project you’re headed for next. (‘Threshold’ was a nice little show by the way).

67. Dr. Image - August 13, 2007

Hey BB,
It’s great to see that you respect this forum enough to drop by.
It’s also great that, as we all should do, you’ve learned from your mistakes, missteps, etc. I am impressed.
I always had thought that you were, yes, an arrogant little prick, but, hey, nobody’s perfect. You were so very lucky to be involved with the modern mythology we call Star Trek.
I now wish you well and the best of luck.
-The Dr.

PS But, you know, “Threshold”….. really DID suck. (Sorry! I’m not giving you that one!;)

68. DeQueue - August 13, 2007

It’s obvious Voyager and Enterprise were creative failures, but you can’t help but feel bad for the guy. I think he genuinely tried his best, and everyone realized 7 years a little too late that he didn’t have the experience to run a show.

He wrote some great episodes “TNG: Cause and Effect, Realm of Fear, Timescape, Parallels,” but writing for one episode is really different than developing the creative vision for an entire series, where you need consistent character development, ongoing storylines, and a direction for the plot. On The Next Generation, Michael Piller was the Executive Producer, and Braga had Piller to handle the creative decisions of the executive producer. Braga was just part of the writing-staff and could focus on that one episode he was assigned to. Great writers do not automatically make great showrunners, and Braga is a classic case that not all writers should become executive producers. (at least, not yet)

In previous interviews, Braga seemed more clueless than spiteful when he became Executive Producer. It wasn’t that he didn’t care about what the fans were concerned about — he didn’t understand what they wanted and stopped trying to understand. This was the unique creative gift that Michael Piller, Ron Moore, Ira Stevens Behr, and Joss Whedon have in driving an overall vision for a series, and that probably also comes from experience and their own failures. This doesn’t take away from his talents. It’s a unique talent to be writing good science fiction like he has. And it’s a unique talent to run a show. Some people have one or the other, and some people have both.

Braga’s first, best destiny was to be a sci-fi writer under a competent Executive Producer. (TNG under Michael Piller) Anything else is a waste of material. Paramount realized too late it was a “bad fit.” It’s classy of him to take the stage and face the fans knowing what they think of him. He does sound remorseful that his shows didn’t turn out well, and it’s good he’s moving on from Star Trek, since it just wasn’t working out. He needs more polishing as a showrunner, and Star Trek is too big of a franchise and fanbase for him to be “learning.” Perhaps, he’ll find other opportunities (like “Threshold” even though that didn’t work out) outside of Star Trek where he can develop his showrunner skills, and heaven-forbid, maybe he’ll return to Star Trek one day and run a damn, good show.

69. The Realist - August 13, 2007

Anthony Pascale – Pleas tell # 56. Josh T. ( The undiscovered cowpie) Kirk Esquire’ – August 13, 2007 to leave the language at home or I will gladly lead any boycot of this site, I left it for a while sick to death of his name calling and disgusting language, it is rude and childish and has no place in a civilised debate, people are warned but never barred from the site, and I am fed up with it.

63. B. Braga – August 13, 2007 – Thank you for having the backbone for going into hostile situations. And thenak you for many great years of Trek, take heart that there are many fans out there who loved and enjoyed your hard work. Yes you said some arrogant things but at some point we all do, to err is human. And the fact you can see ENT took off under Cotto is a credit to you, it is ashame that it was canceled. A big thank you from a fan.

70. Anthony Pascale - August 13, 2007

Realist I did not see josh’s comment….as I said in another thread i dont read them all.

you are correct. Josh I have said repeatedly I do not want to see personal attacks and language like that you have been warned before so next one is permaban

by the way realist there are actually about half a dozen people that have been banned from this site for that kind of thing. And others that went on temp bans.

when the forums open I will be appointing some moderators to keep a closer eye.

that being said the ‘leading a boycott’ thing is not exactly the way to motivate me to do anything. I force no one to be here and this site probably has the most civil discourse of any in trek…including the official site. If I think trekkie boycotts are silly, then boycotts of my site are even sillier but knock yourself out!

71. Trekmatt - August 13, 2007

Brannon, i just wanted to say that its great to see you here on the forum answering fan comments. I personally enjoyed your work and thought you were a good writer and at the end of the day, you helped to write some of the best of modern trek which we all as fans have to give you credit for.

I think it took great guts to appear on stage in front of fans, because it would have been really hard to judge what reaction you’d get, so you must have been really nervous, and i give you great credit for appearing, i also really hope it’s not your last con appearance as i think that will be a real shame.

I did also enjoy Threshold, i thought it was quite a clever premise, just wish you could have finished your idea.

Thanks for spending some time visiting us here :-)

All the best for the future, Matt

72. The Realist - August 13, 2007

70. Anthony Pascale – August 13, 2007 – Anthony, I was not looking to attack or offend you, it is just frustrating that some people have to resort to personal attacks and language. The debate was going well, and on a level I have not seen lately, on many forums and then for a post such as that, making no clear point or real contribution just got under my skin a little to much, so please accept my deepst apology. I do enjoy this site greatly.

73. B. Braga - August 13, 2007

To those who comment “it took guts” to get on that stage: yes, I was nervous as hell. Because as you point out, I had no clue what the reaction would be. But I was prepared to handle it no matter what. And to my relief, the audience could not have been more gracious. Thanks to Adam and the Creation team for putting me there in the first place!

74. The Realist - August 13, 2007

Mr. Braga,

I have a question I have been wanting to ask for a long time.

Where did you see ENTERPRISE going if it did get re-newed for a firth season? Or where did you see it going if it ran for a full Seven Seasons?

Just Curious.

Tim

75. Anne - August 13, 2007

I admit that I tended to villify B and B after watching TATV…which I still absolutely detest. But after going back and rewatching seasons one and two (which for some strange reason I never got into during its original run) I have to say that there are a few gems sprinkled here and there. Some of my favorite episodes were penned by these guys and after putting the show and the eps in context with what they were trying to achieve, I can better see why they chose to run with what they had. This only applies to Enterprise overall though. The “valentine” they sent to the fan was just horrible beyond belief, and I still can’t wrap my head around any thinking that made them feel it was appropriate much less appreciated. It’s like giving the gift of maggots and shaking your head in confusion when the chunks come flying.

76. Trekmatt - August 13, 2007

Thanks for commenting again, I’m glad the audience were considerate towards you, its the least they could do really considering what you’ve given us over the years. I would have loved to have visited Vegas to visit the con, but sadly i’m in the UK so is slightly more tricky.

I hope you’ll visit more cons :-)

Matt

77. The Realist - August 13, 2007

Oh and Mr. Braga, would you sign my ENTERPRISE box sets :-)

I am also gald the audience were considerate. After all you gave 15 years of your life to Trek, and much of it was great work, I must admit to really disliking “These are the Voyages” it’s just I realy liked ENT.

And I agree with some other posts I realy enjoyed GENERATIONS.

Tim

78. B. Braga - August 13, 2007

If “Enterprise” had continued, we would have kept going with Manny Coto’s unique vision of the show. Also, we would have explored the temporal cold war to its conclusion. We all felt that there were many more Trek stories to tell with that crew, and we were saddened by its premature end. Manny and I speak often about this. The show had really caught fire in seasons 3 and 4.

79. Anthony Pascale - August 13, 2007

Brannon, didnt Manny try and wrap things up with the TCW at the beginning of season 4?

80. Trekmatt - August 13, 2007

Brannon, I would have loved to have seen a season 5 of Enterprise and to have seen where Manny would have taken the show, including hopefully seeing another mirror universe episode as they were great, what did you think of them? Would a mirror universe series, mini-series or film ever be considered?

Thanks again,

Matt

81. The Realist - August 13, 2007

78. B. Braga – August 13, 2007 – Thank very much for the answer it is realy appreciated. It is rather sad that the full arc of the cold war was not explored. I agree with Matt more Mirror Episodes would have been great see. I thought the cast and crew on ENT were up there with the best. Bakula’s Cpt. Archer seemed to have a Picard/Kirk/Sisko style to him, diplomatic, adventurous and passionate. It is a real shame that ENT was on UPN (Channel 9 in Australia, in theory). UPN and 9 seemed to changed timeslots rahter alot.

82. B. Braga - August 13, 2007

We wrapped up the temporal cold war somewhat quickly at the top of season four because we suspected we would be ending the show that year. Otherwise, we would’ve more thoroughly played it out.

83. Russ T.C. - August 13, 2007

It’s so great to see you posting here, Brannon. I’m sure that you already know it by your time at the convention and by perusing these comments but there are many people who appreciate your contributions to Star Trek, Enterprise included.

I look forward to any future projects in television or film that you may become involved in.

And oh yeah, not sure if you still follow the Browns, but you sported a hat of their’s in one of the special features sections on the Enterprise DVD so…

Go Browns! ;)

84. B. Braga - August 13, 2007

I am a huge Browns fan, having grown up in Canton, Ohio. Brownies!!

85. Trekmatt - August 13, 2007

Not sure how much you can say Brannon, but are you involved in any exciting projects at the moment? And any views on J.J Abrams taking over the trek franchise? Plus (just if you missed it before) what were your views on mirror universe episodes and could they work as their own entity?

Sorry for all the questions but am just interested in your opinions :-)

Thanks again, Matt

86. Xai - August 13, 2007

# B. Braga
Thanks for stepping into our conversations. I find it a great deal of fun to find you and Roberto Orci and DB joining in and knowing that Mr. Nimoy has looked in as well. It shows a depth of caring for the Trek Universe and it’s fans. Thanks.

X

87. Anthony Pascale - August 13, 2007

Brannon,

something that I didnt put into the article but is worth mentioning is how you said you were still deeply involved in season 4 of ENT – and that you even wrote or contributed to some of the scripts without credit. I dont suppose you could tell us which ones….I dont think the WGA monitor this site!

88. The Realist - August 13, 2007

Mr. Braga,

Please let us in on which EPS of Season 4 you worked on. We won’t tell any one we promise!

And thank you for the respect you have been treating us with, it is greatly appreciated.

Anthony, thank you so much for bringing your site to Mr Braga’s attention, I have been a fan of his work for many years!

89. Dort Munchouser - August 13, 2007

He should have been stoned on the stage. The franchise needs “reinvigorated” because of the damage he helped deliver through the shows…especially the later ones.
So he had some nuggets among the dung….every monkey is gonna find a bananna or two. That doesn’t forgive all the dung.

90. Russ T.C. - August 13, 2007

In response to #84 B. Braga

Very cool! Gotta love the Brownies. I’m from (near by) the Canton area. Attend the Stark (and main) branch of Kent State actually. :)

91. Brannon Braga - August 13, 2007

Dort – This monkey found a lot of bananas in his dung, thanks. Happily I was not stoned on stage. However, I did have one glass of wine beforehand, I must admit, just to relax.

Anothony – I was indeed involved in Ent-season4. But only in a supervisory capacity. Manny was really running that writing staff. I was there to help him fashion stories and give notes, which was only part of the time because Manny was doing an amazing job. I rewrote an episode called “Divergence” I believe. No offense to the credited writer. It just needed work and I was happy to help Manny out.

92. Brannon Braga - August 13, 2007

T.C. – I also attended the Stark branch. Two years. 84 and 85.

93. Russ T.C. - August 13, 2007

Yeah, I’ve seen your Distinguished Alumni Award in one of the halls of the Stark campus.

94. The Realist - August 13, 2007

92. Brannon Braga – August 13, 2007 – Let’s hope you pop in more often!

95. Anthony Pascale - August 13, 2007

Dort…uncool dude

96. Dennis Bailey - August 13, 2007

89. Dort Munchouser : “He should have been stoned on the stage”

And you are one useless idiot, sir.

97. Kevin - August 13, 2007

I’d just like to say that I liked Voyager and even though I stopped watching Enterprise after a while, when I came back in the last season, I was actually enjoying it. The stories had improved and the whole look of the show started to feel more like Trek.

I really feel that UPN was the worst thing to ever happen to Trek. I can’t imagine how much further Star Trek would have made it if they had actually launched a Paramount network in ’79 instead of filming The Motion Picture. Star Trek has always been at the top of it’s game in syndication and has never performed well on a network.

Of course, there was also the need for a resting period for Star Trek. When ever something becomes wildly popular, soon after the general public considers it to be old and passe. This is true with anything from movies to fashion. At it’s high point, Trek was everywhere. You couldn’t walk into a grocery store, book store or mall w/o seeing it. Once something’s peaked, it’s best to put it away for awhile.

98. Brannon Braga - August 13, 2007

For the record: I have always enjoyed interacting with fans of Star Trek. They’re intelligent and thoughtful and really helped guide my thinking in shaping episodes of the show. That’s one of the reasons I went to so many Trek conventions over the years, and started reading the web when it got up and running. But I’ve always been shy about coming online directly. This is because so many of the comments are brutal and unproductive. Now, I don’t mind brutal: that I can take and respond to. But calling for my death and harping on about how I was boffing Jeri Ryan and what an asswipe I am doesn’t really compel me to come back for more. Having said that, I don’t necessarily think I’m so important that my being here means much; but it means something to a few people, and it means something to me, as well. The reason I’m here now is because the folks on this site seem to articulate their grievances in a civil manner, unlike another site I know, where I feel like putting a bullet in my head after about five minutes (“Why DON’T you put a bullet in your head!” someone will no doubt respond). Anyway, just wanted to share those thoughts. Bring on the criticisms, no matter how harsh, but please leave the ugliness behind. Thanks for a great site.

99. The Realist - August 13, 2007

92. Brannon Braga – August 13, 2007 – I have one beef about ENT. These Are the Voyagers. I am in two minds about the episode. While by itself it is a good episode, very imaginative, fun (except Trips death) and clever. but as a series final it was poor, it paled to All Good Things and What You Leave Behind. Was there any other idea for a send off? Or was this a forced rush job by the studio.

Also, I can only speak for myself, but Nemesis, while I did like, I thought the acting and script was a bit off, particularly with Riker and Picard, the characters did not seem right. Why was Jonathan Frakes not asked to direct. And thank you for spending such a very long time with us.

100. Kaylee - August 13, 2007

Mr. Braga:
I loved your TNG episodes, and I loved Enterprise from day one, all of it, all four seasons. TATV put me off Enterprise for a long time–I was o.k. with kiling Trip, but it was done so poorly, it just seemed idiotic. No one on the crew had been promoted? Trip and T’pol never advanced past what they had in the second to the last? No one at the ceremony gave a damn that Trip wasn’t there?

I know that none of these are new criticisms, but I’d like to write them anyway.

I just recently decided to revisit Enterprise after seeing a couple on Sci Fi, and now I’ve bought the first two seasons on dvd, and will buy the rest soon. I’d forgotten how much I loved this show–I almost let TATV put me off it for good. I’ll stop before that episode, though, when I watch season 4! I don’t like the book relaunch with Trip alive, etc., I can live with his death, but i’ll let my own imagination fill in the years between and the circumstances, etc. It happened on the holodeck right? It was a made for t.v. movie for the 24th century, I’m sure.

Anyway–it doesn’t seem to be a popluar opinion but here it is: Enterprise was a great series, I followed it avidly from Broken Bow onward, and I loved the characters.

Good luck in the future!

101. The Realist - August 13, 2007

100. Kaylee – August 13, 2007 “Enterprise was a great series, I followed it avidly from Broken Bow onward, and I loved the characters.” Agre with you one hundred percent!

102. DeQueue - August 13, 2007

Hi Brannon:

Thanks for being so active on this site. I think part of the problem was the vision of the producers was different than what the fanbase expected, and perhaps wasn’t as executed or articulated well to us — though when I watch your interviews on DVDs, I’m beginning to understand what you were trying to do. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the vision of the series is most accurately captured in the episode “First Flight” an episode that did a great job of showing the struggles of early space exploration. The intention of the series was NOT to make a prequel (with all the “references” to future Star Trek series), but to create a series that:

1. Approached Star Trek with more contemporary characters we can better relate to — the 22nd century being closer to our time than the 23rd or 24th.
2. Similar to the movie “The Right Stuff,” to show the challenges of early space exploration.
3. Re-introduce viewers to a universe we are familar with through the eyes of the characters — the strategy being that it could bring in newer viewers who have never watched the show

and in a way re-capture the spirit of The Original Series but for our generation. In essence, it’s like taking The Original Series and remaking it in the 21st century, but not necessarily rebooting. The idea is that since it is BEFORE the other Star Trek series, the series could literally stand-on-its-own without being bogged down with too many backstories.

ENT was a prequel in a sense, but in many ways, it wasn’t trying to be…not in the Star Wars way, that is. In fact, it seemed to purposely AVOID references to previous Star Trek, because it was supposed to be a “fresh start” and could stand “on-its-own.” This would allow a new viewer should be able to tune in and watch the show for the first time.

I feel like ENT was selling apples (a fresh start to the franchise), while the fans were expecting oranges (a prequel that neatly filled in all the missing holes in history — which Coto eventually did in Season 4), because that’s what Star Wars did with their prequels, and I think that’s the cause of a lot of disconnect between the fanbase and the producers.

Unfortunately, it didn’t help matters that the apples were not very good the first two seasons which made it difficult to “sell” the premise. (which is why Season 3 changed the premise, and after demanding so many oranges, finally got a true prequel in Season 4). I think the reality is any premise would have been sold on the audience had the writing been solid. Heck, the series could be the year 7560 on the starship Blah, and it would be great had the writing been good.

That being said, could that original ENT premise had taken steam if given time and the writing improved? Frankly, I don’t know how much “early space exploration angst” the audience could really take before it got old. And it could probably get ridiculous fast if ENT happened to invent everything from “Red Alerts” to “Escape Pods.” I think Manny Coto had the right idea with the pre-TOS premise. There’s much more you could write for there. If you had started over from Season 1, would you still approach ENT the original way?

103. Kaylee - August 13, 2007

Yeah–and I remember loathing First Flight third only to TATV and Similtude because there were no female speaking parts (or even female scientists or whatever not speaking in the backgrounds) other than T’pol and the gal shooting off a rifle in the bar. Sheesh–talk about stereotypes! Blech!

I had watched TOS in syndication as a kid in the 70s, TNG in graduate school, and the other two as a young professional. I didn’t have any expectations, I didn’t worry about canon when it came to a prequel–I just enjoyed Enterprise. I watched it for what it was, and I enjoyed the whole “first voyage into space” feel.

How could the ship look less sophisticated than the 1960s sets? How in the world could a show conform to the continuity of 4 shows that went before! Absolutely, 100% impossible! Heck, the shows themselves had continuity errors! I didn’t watch Enterprise expecting it to match. I watched Enterprise because I liked the idea of Star Trek–the franchise’s larger vision of the future. I liked the lack of a prime directive, I liked the limited use of transporters, and I liked the realistic Vulcans for whom supression of emotions was cultural rather some biological, written in stone destiny.

Anyone watching the show who expected it to match the other 4 could be nothing but disappointed–anyone who gave it a chance and enjoyed following the paths of Trip, T’pol, Archer, and the rest was in for a great ride.

104. Buckaroohawk - August 13, 2007

Wow! This is really something. The Trek Remastered guys regularly come to this site for reactions to their new FX and even use the dite for an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke. Dennis Russell Bailey is a regular contributor, as ar several other Trek writing alumni. Roberto Orci screenwriter for the new film, visits regularly as well. Now Brannon Braga, one of the most important people involved with post TOS Trek on TV, has come to the fold.

This site really is becoming THE place for all things Trek. That’s just so freakin’ cool!

Mr. Braga, along with many of the others who have posted above, let me extend a virtual hand and welcome you here. It’s good to have you aboard, and I hope you enjoy the time you spend here. And don’t take some of the harsh words you may find here from a few “Movie Poop Shoot” type bashers to heart. Overall, this is a decent bunch on this site, and we don’t cotton to internet cowards who like to spit their bile then run away. I think you’ll find it more supportive here. In short, if you decide to stick around, you’ll discover that more than a few of us have got your back.

And I, for one, hope you do stick around. I may not have been a big fan of Voyager or Enterprise, but I’m endlessly fascinated with the process of creating and writing for TV and movies. You have a wealth of experience that I know many of us would love to hear about and possibly learn from. I hope you’ll give us the chance to do so.

Anthony, I applaud you yet again. You’re becoming quite the Trek insider, you lucky devil. I’m so jealous.

105. Brannon Braga - August 13, 2007

DeQueue – Excellent assessment. You captured very well what we were trying to do with Enterprise. But we were also excited to delve into Trek canon. Canon fodder for stories, so to speak. Not nearly as much as Coto did in season 4, obviously, but still… we wanted to do it all.

Would I change anything? Of course! Hell, man, if I could travel back to 1999 I would change a lot of things. Was Enterprise all apples? No. You gotta admit, you tasted an orange here and there.

It’s fascinating to see the myriad opinions here.

106. Cyrus - August 14, 2007

Brannon, thanks for posting here. I think you would have been OK posting at the other site too (assuming I am guessing correctly about which site you are talking about). While there would be a few jerks who would be rude, I think you gain the respect of most of your critics just by being brave enough to interact with them (as has been the case with other Star Trek writers that have posted online).

On that other site I have both defended you and also been critical. You have written some damn good scripts, many of which are very underrated especially those Voyager episodes you co-wrote with Joe Menosky (how come Joe M. never wrote for Enterprise, not even as a freelance writer?). But as a showrunner/creator you didn’t always make the best decisions. It would have been great if you had hired a co-creator/exec producer like Manny Coto right from the start. A prequel show needed someone who was a big original series fan among the showrunners.

Best of luck to you on your future endeavors.

107. trektacular - August 14, 2007

Brannon if you had a real chance, how would you have done Trek with no strings attached, i.e. the way you wanted it?

108. Stefanbkk - August 14, 2007

Hi Brannon,

Thanks so much for posting here. I’m still stunned that you HAVE posted… and many times. Very impressive.

Thanks for the apology in your initial post. I’m the guy who related the “pitch session from hell” story earlier. Believe me when I tell you that reading your six simple words: “dude, I am sorry for that” made a world of difference to me. I really appreciate it.

Up to the day of that fateful pitch, I’d had many chances to meet and talk to you, Ron and Lolita. I always thought you were one of the funniest and most creative people I’d ever met. I’ll never forget your comment when you told me that due to budget restraints, your aliens in TNG’s “Schizms” ended up looking less like scary aliens and more like monks. Your throwaway comment: “not that monks aren’t INCREDIBLY frightening” still makes me laugh.

I don’t want this thread to turn into a personal letter, so let me just say; thanks again for the apology, and thank you so much for making yourself so accessible here in this forum. I think it’s fantastic. It says alot not only about the validity of trekmovie.com, but about you as a person and a fan.
I hope you stick around for a while.

Steve

109. Ben - August 14, 2007

Pity Berman is still a dick about it been a good episode.

110. Trekmatt - August 14, 2007

Brannon, thanks again for taking the time to visit here and add comments of your own in response to the fans, i can’t imagine there are many other places where fans can interact like this with creators and producers of shows and movies.

I think just having you here, knowing that you are reading comments and replying to comments, makes fans (including myself) feel proud to be on this site. But also having you here has given us a feeling of respect for being fans and hopefully we have shown you to have a lot of respect from us too.

As another poster mentioned, don’t take the harsh criticism to heart, some things people have said are terrible and i’m sure are not meant, so don’t take them to heart. Most things like that, people probably say because they think that they’re never gonna get in contact with you, or that you’re never going to read them, but i bet that if they knew you were reading those comments while also commenting yourself on them, they may take a different tune.

I think we all wish you luck with the future, and i hope you stick around here replying to the topic, as your comments are great to read.

Matt

111. Chris M - August 14, 2007

First Contact is my favourite Star Trek Movie and Season four of Enterprise (apart from the final episode) holds its own among all the seasons of Trek!

112. Trekmatt - August 14, 2007

Also i forgot to say in my previous comment, that Brannon i hope you still carry on doing the convention circuit and that this years vegas con wasnt your last one, as there are many fans who enjoy your insight on the stage which you also must have felt when you were up there :)

113. Dr. Image - August 14, 2007

Brannon,
Hope you stick around.
Your comments have been surprisingly enlightening.

One aspect of Enterprise that could have contributed to it’s downfall was it’s stylistic sameness to previous Trek series- that is, the style of acting, the cinematography, the lighting, the “music,”- so many things started to get so tired over the years. For a show set in an earlier trail-blazing era, it wound up playing it safe in these areas. Was this a concious decision on Rick’s part, or did it all just end up that way unintentionally due to the fact that so many of the same people were still on board from the other shows? I mean, I was expecting a raw, dangerous, pre-Pike version of space travel from ENT. Instead we got what wound up as yet anothr “version” of TNG or VOY.
I’d love to hear your input on this.

114. Lee Gordon - August 14, 2007

I think Braga is destined to forever be the Bill Buckner of science fiction. It’s true that Braga did a lot of great work during his tenure with the Star Trek franchise, but, unfortunately, he also presided over some notably bad stuff and that’s what he is most remembered for.

When discussing that bad stuff in interviews, he and Berman always seem to point the finger of blame at circumstances rather than at any of the creative decisions they themselves made.

115. Cafe 5 - August 14, 2007

Most people are in agreement that Brannon wrote some very good stories.
Early on when “enterprise” first started and the fans began to let the powers
that be in on the fact that certain things were not working they were totally
ignored. Statements were made by the producers that if the fans didn’t like
the show they didn’t have to watch. This was a wonderful attitude to have
towards the fans. All the fans wanted was Star Trek. Sometimes they actually got Star Trek most the time they did not. Painting one’s self into a literary
corner then choosing to either kill someone or blow something up is not very
good composition. These events haven’t had enough distance of time to be
let go by the fans who saw and enormous amount potential wasted before
their very eyes.

116. B. Braga - August 14, 2007

Wow. Difficult to know where to begin. But let me try…

Cyrus – Joe Menosky was brilliant. He and I wrote what I thought were some of the best ever episodes. Feel free to disagree, but if you look at those 2-parters we did… cool stuff. Joe moved on after Voyager. As a showrunner, I made good and bad decisions. Hopefully, mostly good. That obviously is open for debate but I feel positive about my career with Trek; but I also recognize my failings and accept the blame for them. And hey – I wish I’d found Manny Coto from the start, as well!

Steve – No problem. You deserved an apology. Just sorry it was a decade late.

Trekmatt – Thanks for your encouragement. I have no problem with harsh criticism. None at all. It has always helped me make the work better. It’s the silly personal threats that are irksome.

Dr. Image – Maybe we didn’t take the “look and feel” of Enterprise far enough away from the others shows. You might be right. We didn’t want to stray TOO far from what people loved about the show, so you can understand our paradox. Rick and I also had a studio that was a little nervous about the prequel idea.

Lee Gordon and cafe 5 – I have always taken responsibility for my creative decisions. Never once do I recall blaming the fans for not watching the show. That is crazy. However, there were many circumstances contributing to Trel’s eventual “downfall” or “loss of popularity” or “taking a break” or whatever you want to call it. I don’t think anyone can point to one reason Trek went off the air for a while. Even “Gunsmoke” and “I Love Lucy” came to an end! By the way, Bill Buckner might really be offended by your comparison to me.

117. B. Braga - August 14, 2007

P.S. Hope I don’t sound too defensive. Just engaging in a dialogue is all.

118. Cyrus - August 14, 2007

Brannon- Definitely agree on Braga/Menosky Voyager episodes. They were very cinematic and highly entertaining.

Any chance you can share with us what caused Ron Moore to leave Voyager? The official reason that he simply preferred a DS9 type management style is not really believeable (though it probably has some kernel of truth in it). At the time he seemed really pissed at you, but later on he said you guys patched things up. I understand if you don’t want to comment on this. Certain things are best left private.

119. Athena28 - August 14, 2007

It was great that he came and explained his viewpoints re: Trek.

He was quite interesting and I hope he considers appearing again.

120. Anthony Pascale - August 14, 2007

Hey Brannon…nice to see you coming back for more…it is like this is an extension of your talk. By the way There are a number of other current articles up…many of which are indirectly talking about you. The big topic of the moment for many fans is the shatner/kirk/new movie/post-Generations resurrection thing

as the co-writer of Generations maybe you might find those topics of interest too. You would be surprised how often the word ‘Nexus’ comes up in every article about The Shat!

121. Trekmatt - August 14, 2007

Thanks for your reply Brannon, and i agree that the Braga/Menosky Voyager episodes were very good, Voyager is personally my favourite trek series and i felt the majority of the stories were well written and well handled.

122. Trekmatt - August 14, 2007

Btw isn’t it your birthday today Brannon? (looks at IMDB.com) if so, happy birthday!! :)

Matt

123. DeQueue - August 14, 2007

#105

Thanks Brannon for the response. I definitely tasted some oranges (prequel elements) in Seasons 1 and 2 — “The Andorian Incident,” “Shadows of P’Jem” “Minefield” “Cease Fire” “Judgment” to name a few. And these episodes did a nice job of tying-into the mythology of Star Trek. (And all of Season 4 was essentially these type of “prequel” episodes)

But I also wanted to say, I do enjoy apples! It didn’t have to be all oranges “prequel stories” for it to be good. I definitely welcomed a “fresh start” and “fresh look” to the franchise about “dangerous early space exploration.” But I absolutely agree with Dr. Image in #113. For a show that wanted to be “different” and “more contemporary” it stylistically looked EXACTLY the same as VOY and TNG. The characters and the episode still had a “24th century” feel to them, and the show could easily have taken place in the 24th century.

It is this “stylistic sameness” that made the apples difficult to accepted, because ENT felt like Star Trek: Voyager, Part II. Instead of the “fresh start” that it wanted to be, it felt like it just wanted to mimic TNG and VOY, and was “afraid” to take risks and try new things. And as #113 alluded to, why did the style stay so “safe” — so close to how VOY and TNG was produced? Was this a conscious decision on Rick Berman’s part to stay “close” to how TNG and VOY was done? Was it UPN? Were there things you WANTED to try, but were told not to? (It might be touchy if there were so limitations that were placed on you that you can’t talk about)

I don’t know if you’ve ever watched Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” — it’s very different from Star Trek, but it’s a style that could have easily been adapted for ENT. But yeah, that would have been a really different type of show, and maybe from a “business-sense” it seemed too risky to make Star Trek so different that it could potentially lose viewers used to a certain type of show. But it’s risks that keep viewers interested in tuning in.

I do believe ENT did make a conscious effort to try to make the ship and the characters different, but in the end, it just turned out WAY too similar to what we’ve seen before on VOY and TNG. Maybe if the same creative stuff is involved, it’s just too hard to break out of a certain writing and production style. Maybe there were restrictions from the studio or Rick. I don’t know. In any case, I think the fans definitely would have welcomed something radically different and innovative but was surprised to tune in and watch exactly the same show.

124. B. Braga - August 14, 2007

Yes, there were limitations — or opinions would be a better word — placed on us during the show’s development. But that’s part of the process. Paramount was understandably worried about protecting their huge franchise. You know, Rick’s initial idea was to play the first season on Earth as they were building the very first warp ship. But that was way too off-concept, I think, for the studio. Maybe they were right, who knows. Remember that the previous Trek shows were very successful for the most part. It’s a balancing act when you try to “reinvent”. So we ended up with Enterprise, an excellent TV show, if you ask me, but also with its share of compromises and problems. And yes, writing was a large part of it. I think we did some superb work, but there were times that we did things that felt too familiar. Sometimes without realizing it. Quite a strange situation, working on the fifth incarnation of a series. Quite a challenge, as you can imagine.

125. Trekmatt - August 14, 2007

I can imagine that doing a 5th incarnation of a series would be pretty tricky in trying to do something different, so don’t blame you for that. Rick’s idea doesnt sound too bad, may be if that took place for like the first half of the 1st season or something, that would have been quite a good intro. It was similar to when you introduced the NX-02, it was great to watch the lead up to her construction and find out why they needed another ship, what they would do with it etc, so i think that would have worked quite well at the start of Ent with the NX-01.

126. James Heaney (fka Wowbagger) - August 14, 2007

Whoa. This is definitely one of the more exciting days of my month. Brannon Braga is HERE! If TrekMatt says truth, happy birthday as well. I won’t ask your age. :P

Could you… just never leave? I mean, we Trekkies get a lot of Q&A’s with set design people and former actors and the odd writer, and you can actually get in touch with some of the authors in various places, and I seem to recall Rick Sternbach floating around the TrekBBS… but what my dream (and the dream of a lot of fans) really is is to talk to the guy who makes it all happen, who has the vision, who somehow pounds out those stories we tune in to see every week. We’re the fanbase that was “too cerebral” for NBC–what we really want to hear about are the *stories*, more than the actors, the sets, anything. Your insight would be incredibly valuable, and there are literally millions of us who want to hear what you have to say on virtually every subject in Trek.

At the very least, if you’re ready to take one last look at what you leave behind, accept this as a return to grace, and move on to a new chosen realm (pardon the puns)… could we have one big Q&A session? Please? (Or could you take a cue from your co-executive producer and write a book?)

As for the interview itself, I’m very pleased to see that there is some acknowledgement of the horror that was TATV. While “All Good Things…” was my favorite Star Trek episode of all time, capturing the essence of all things good about the franchise, TATV was unquestionably the worst, suffering from terrible pacing–“languid” is an excellent choice of words–and a badly executed premise made worse by the fact that it was a series finale and that Trip was killed uselessly. The murder of Trip was irrational and pointless. I know that writers sometimes get irrational urges, but that was definitely a case where Mr. Braga ought to have “murdered his darlings,” as I believe the saying goes.

But I did enjoy “Threshold” (yes, the episode). :D

I will also defend to the death Mr. Braga’s articulation of Enterprise’s effects on canon. They did a great job trying to keep canon sacrosanct throughout the series. The mistake I saw was not so much that they violated canon, but that they were so used to using the same old bag of tricks, of returning to the same well, that they were stuck reusing old Voyager plots (“Aquisition” is a good illustration of this, IMO–although “Resistance” was great and a demonstration of how that old bag of tricks can still be given new life). I *especially* liked their portrayal of the Vulcans, although it would not have in the end been satisfying without the explanation for the transformation of Vulcan society provided by Coto and the Reeves-Stephens.

I’ll also agree with the murder UPN did on the ratings of ENT and latter-day VOY. I did some close scrutiny of that back when I was at TrekUnited (does anyone still remember TU? Did Braga ever hear of it?), and I concluded that Enterprise absolutely should have ratings of at least 3.5 points in its final season–if not more–if UPN hadn’t tried so hard to kill it. (Direct competition with Stargate, you Klingon bastards!) Lesson learned: syndication forever.

I wonder why no one has mentioned yet Mr. Braga’s strange idea of sexuality on the show, though. Troi/Worf? Trip/T’Pol? Torres/Paris? Archer/T’Pol? And, of course, the one that really gets people rowdy: C/7? What the dskopach? Let’s add this to the random catsuits, the occasional supposedly comedic but incredibly juvenile incidents where Hoshi would lose her shirt and undergarments, and Vulcan Neuropressure, and we have a fairly complete picture of what a lot of fans considered alternately befuddling and insulting presentations of sexuality in Braga-run shows. I have no idea what role Mr. Braga played in these various creative decisions, but… seriously, what was going on? The Theiss Titilation Factor is one thing, but ENT and VOY’s attempts to follow TOS’s spirit of free love just came off looking strange and frequently annoying.

Loved “Divergence.” The image of Trip climbing between two ships on a cable was one of the classics, and on seeing it I immediately said, “Braga.”

Anyhow, to close: Mr. Braga, thank you for being here, thank you for doing that convention, and I hope we hear more from you in the future. It has indeed been a pleasure to watch your work in all its forms for these past fifteen years.

127. DeQueue - August 14, 2007

#124

Thanks again Brannon for the response. I think I would have loved having the first season on Earth for ENTERPRISE! That sounds like a really neat idea. One of the things I felt was really missing from ENTERPRISE was…Earth. What are humans like on Earth in this century? How did they solve their problems to become the paradise it is in the 23rd century? Is there a United Earth? “Demons/Terra Prime” dipped on that subject a little bit in the 4th season, and it was very intriguing. It had a little bit of a “Earth: Final Conflict” feel to it.

I totally understand the decision to stay with the starship-exploration premise, given the risk of an audience that may tune off if it’s too off-concept. (The audience initially tuned off Deep Space Nine for that reason, before they gradually accepted it over time)

Having it on Earth is totally off-concept and risky, and I definitely give you guys kudos for suggesting that.

128. Dr. Image - August 14, 2007

#124 BB-
It was a blessing, in other words, for Ira Behr & co. to be “left alone,” so to speak, by Paramount in developing DS9, while all the scrutiny and micro-management got focused on VOY and then ENT. Sadly, it showed.
BTW, Brannon, I’m from Cleveland!
Browns Stadium just had to have a thousand defective toilet valves replaced- there was a massive sewage flood a couple of weeks ago. ( gives new meaning to GO Browns..) It’s a classic example of a stadium build by a lowest-bidder consensus.
Just goes to show- the more people involved with a project, the more you’re apt to have QC issues.
Oh, for the movie they should bring Kirk back as a hologram, like Rimmer in Red Dwarf.
Problem solved!

129. Sean - August 14, 2007

Brannon,

I think having the first season on Earth would have been great. I really like that idea and I think it would have been quite a departure, but a healthy one. It sounds like there were too many cooks in Paramount’s kitchen to allow you to do what you really wanted to. I mean, people were hesitant about DS9 taking place on a space station but ultimately most people seemed to accept it after time (even though they did compromise with the Defiant). Too bad the people behind ENT weren’t willing to be more flexible, concept-wise.

130. Lope de Aguirre - August 14, 2007

Cool to see you here Mr. Braga.

At first I have to say that I jumped on the bashwagon of you and Mr. Berman too a couple of years ago.
I was young and made the stuff my own that folks were babbling about.
Ah and excuse my sometimes twisted English cause I’m no native speaker and life in Germany.

I was very suprised soon after that that you wrote or co-wrote great TNG episodes like “Parallels”, “All Good Things…”, “Genesis”, “Cause and Effect”, “Frame of Mind”, “Timescape”.
That are episodes which define TNG for me and this are the TNG episodes (among 15 others) which I can still really enjoy.
I don’t like TNG as a whole any more cause the characters are to perfect and a great deal of them is badly acted and 2 dimensional written.

The stories are also too one dimensional -> Our heroes are always right and there is always a safe and convenient day to solve the problem.
So TNG worked best with great sci-fi concepts like your scripts.

As of your later work I have to admit that I skipped “Voyager” almost completely on it’s first run.
It took me a while to get into DS9 but as it happened I was completley sold to that show and didn’t really care about VOY.

I watched Seasons 1-4 a year ago but except “Scorpion”, “Deathwish” and the Herogen stuff there wasn’t anything appealing for me in it.
I guess partly cause of UPN which would not allow you to take chances.

So I have to say for now that I started to be a fan back in 1990 with TNG and grew out of it, took over to DS9 which is still my favorite Trek show only to end up with “Enterprise” after a couple of years Trek pause.

So at the start I hated ENT cause it didn’t catch anything what I visioned for this time period and the Temporal Cold War really drove me of.
As I watched a couple of Episodes soon after it got canned I really appreciated what I was getting.

There was a cool ship out there with some strong characters (in comparison with other Trek shows ;)) improved design, decent stories from the get go (the other modern Trek shows – TNG, DS9 + VOY – were getting good with season 3) and finally more vulcans.

IMO there isn’t one bad season of ENT but they all had there flaws.
The most part of the episodes were good and I didn’t mind the script recycling and the minor cannon stretches much.

Here are my problems with ENT:
– the Temporal Cold War arc was nothing I wanted to see on a show set in this time period. That the whole TCW concept was going nowhere as far as I can see didn’t help either (but as far as I know the TCW was a decission from above)
– the lack of a real story arc or theme to the show
I mean as a Trek fan I enjoyed some standalones but I really like arc based shows and I guess the casual audience wasn’t impressed with a concept of the 1980ties
– holding up the trek core (a positive future) wasn’t a bad thing but in that respect the first two seasons were too much.
It wasn’t really interesting that the guys who are out there first could bubble with every alien (in the most time completley WITHOUT any translation from Hoshi OR any Universal Translator), took out there dog to unexplored planets.
I mean they were representing earth by numerous frist contacts but they have neither a real Ambassador, some Scientists or Military on their ship.
Man I wonder how they could survive that or what the hack they were doing out there in the first place.
– It was Star Trek as usual!
I mean sure it was better in some aspects and everything looked nice BUT come on they have working transporters to beam living organisms?
Wow there is this new Star Trek show that takes place over 200 years before TNG and guess what?
(responese) It is new and fresh?
No dude everything is the same but it looks slightly better…
How the hack was the ship, the crew, the weapons, the aliens and their behavior (except the Vulcans) and lots of other stuff the sam as usual?

I would have really enjoyed if the crew would makes some mistakes with consequences.
Considering that they are the first out there and they aren’t ready for what is coming.
But no they are mostly these super heros which lets every other race to appear stupid.

Sorry, this is getting way too long.
I wanted to say that aside from some serious flaws ENT is my second favorite Trek show and I even liked “Generations” (also besides it flaws it also shines).
Loved “First Contact” – for me it is the second best Trek movie out there after “The Undiscovered Country” – and didn’t actually hate “These are the Voyages” it was a mediocre episode with a good idea and bad execution.

Keep up the good work Mr. Braga and you know… live long and prosper!

131. giulene - August 15, 2007

i’m from Rome Itally,59.Enterprise’s been best Trek show I ever seen. best cast, best shots,best plots.I never understood why many trekkies didn’t like it. It is a prequel, obviously can’t be like the others. 200 years before TOS the Vulcans can’t be the same of TOS!!! Our world within 50 year is changed! My thought is that many trekkies are narrow–minded!

132. Josh T. ( Kirks death haunts you) Kirk Esquire' - August 15, 2007

I’m appalled and stunned by all of the ass-kissing occuring here.

Attempting to mend fences and arrive at some sort of rectification AFTER the fact is slanderous and offensive. Where was the engaging of dialogue with the “fans” WHEN it mattered during production of the various series?
The internet isn’t a NEW resource for obtaining feedback. Things look quite a bit different atop the horse than they do after one has fallen off I daresay. Only now in retrospect once contracts have expired do certain personas find the time and have the inkling to interact.

Why was Moore forced out of Voyager?
Why did you and Moore kill Kirk, how could that have possibly been considered a good idea? Or beneficial? Or advancing the Trek legacy?
Why did yourself and Rick Berman not become INTIMATELY familiar with the source material when creating these spin-off series as Harve Bennett did when producing Wrath of Khan?
Why the dismissive, condescending attitude towards the original series when because of it you and Berman had a paycheck?
Why did you not step aside when you felt you had no more to give creatively rather than meander along half-heartedly producing product you didn’t truly believe in?

133. Lope de Aguirre - August 15, 2007

Why do you call it “ass kissing”?
I hope my post does not appeaer as such but I guess I’m happy to see one of the most influential writer/producer of modern Trek appear here.

Then considered that there are mostly bash posts and personal threats on the I-net about Mr. Braga (and Mr. Berman) I think it is only fair to give him credit for what I liked.

Grantede VOY wasn’t just a wasted opportunity like ENT – for me it was a nearly complete stinker.
Doesn’t change the fact that I liked “The Andorian Incident”, “Unexpected” (both Braga), “Shuttlepod One” (Berman/Braga) or “The Maguis” (Berman).

Trek could have been so much more BUT
a) we don’t know for sure who was responsible for what specifically and which other factors played in
b) some of Bragas episodes are the best of whole Trek IMO
I personnaly like Moore more for his great character and drama driven scripts but the sci-fi stuff from Braga is as far as I can see unique (known concepts different approach, one that actually works not like most other TNG + VOY attempts)

134. B. Braga - August 15, 2007

Good point, Lope. Star Trek encompassed different kinds of stories each week. Some “high concept” sci-fi, others character drama, some political, etc. What’s amazed me over the years is how Trek means different things to different people. And it’s very difficult to satisfy everyone with every episode. Gene Roddenberry likened the show to an anthology of sorts.

Ass-kissing, Josh T? You’d better believe I’m kissing your asses. And I will keep kissing, happily so. Meandering along? A product I didn’t believe in? Man, Josh, I wish you’d been there. We were sprinting at all times to give you the best we had. Me, all the writers, actors, production crew: we committed our lives to that show. We loved it. You may not have liked what we gave you, but you’ve got it all wrong when you acuse me or anyone else of being lazy.

135. Trekmatt - August 15, 2007

Thanks for your reply Brannon. As i’ve said and other people have said, Mr Braga has delivered some great trek episodes, but everyone seems to only remember the bad ones. 15 years is a long time to devote your life to something, something that not many of us could probably do and so for that reason i think Mr Braga deserves respect and credit for his work. Yes, some episodes were ‘misses’ but he’s admitted to that but the majority were good sci-fi adventures that we could all tune into every week and enjoy, i can’t imagine running such a tv show is easy at all, to make sure things work as they should, so i really don’t think the trek production team have been lazy at all.

Matt

136. Chris Roberts - August 15, 2007

Interesting admissions by Brannon Braga there. The mistake that proved fatal with Enterprise, at least how I saw it, was Berman and Braga’s desire to have the lion’s share of the writing duties. I don’t really consider myself to be among their detractors. Berman in particular is responsible for developing (if not outright inventing) some of my favourite characters, concepts and storylines. So many of the other series were perfected once new blood was brought in. Ira Behr in the case of DS9, although Berman and Piller originated the setting. Part of the reason I wanted to see Manny Coto continue to redirect ENT onto the road of wider acceptance. It needed the same retooling afforded to DS9 & VOY and the resulting hype which surrounding a cast shake up.

137. Kregano - August 15, 2007

Enterprise’s main fault, in my opinion, was that it was too much of the same, too soon. If Paramount had waited longer (until about now) and had less restrictions (and maybe some writers who weren’t really familiar with Trek to give some new ideas), the fanbase might not have targeted Berman (who seems to have dropped off the face of the Earth) and Braga (it’s nice to see show runners interacting with fans) so easily.

Then again, there wouldn’t be any “how Enterprise should have been done” fanfics, some of which are quite interesting (though sadly lacking in visuals).

138. Anon. - August 15, 2007

Hi, Mr. Braga. I’d just like to say I loved ‘Frame of Mind’, the season six episode of ‘The Next Generation’ where Riker keeps alternating between being on the Enterprise-D and being in a mental institution, until the walls of reality break down. I thought that was a very good episode.

139. Lope de Aguirre - August 15, 2007

I wish ENT would have more seasons.
Sure I would prefer ENT like the fourth Season but also ENT as it was in Season 1 (in comparison to other Trek) was GREAT.

Part of the struggle ENT had was too much non stop Trek (which was also very similar aside from DS9) and a already disappointed or even angry fandom cause of “Insurrection” (which wasn’t that bad but again a wasted opportunity to tie in with the Dominion War and a serious let down after the great “First Contact”) and “Voyager” (this time no comment).

Ad to this the powerful competition of “Farscape”, “Firefly” and “Battlestar Galactica”.
Before that “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Babylon 5″ took sci-fi on TV or even Trek to a whole new level and it would be hard for anyone to satisfy the audience.

@ Mr. Braga
Was there any particular reason why Trek IX + X weren’t any longer written or co-written of you?

Or any comments on the whole Moore interviews (I’m assuming you read theme) about Trek and the working environment?

140. Bill Hunt - August 15, 2007

Hey Brannon,

First of all, thank you for doing this. It’s good to have a chance to give a little feedback as a fan all these years, but also to hear your thoughts on things. Nobody’s perfect, and I’m one of the many who really disliked the finale of Enterprise, but you’ve done some fantastic work over the years, including the series wrap of The Next Generation, which remains one of my favorite episodes of that show. You’ve made a huge contribution to Star Trek. I for one appreciate that, and I know I’m not alone.

Actually, I really wanted to ask you about the final episode of Enterprise. I was really hoping that you’d do an audio commentary on that episode for the DVDs, but was disappointed when there wasn’t one. I know that at the time, it might just have been too soon to have perspective on it. But I would really love to see you do a “podcast” mp3 commentary for that episode sometime, either here or at StarTrek.com, because I’d really love to hear your thoughts on that episode in more detail.

I acknowledge that the idea behind that final episode, and the motivation behind it, was good and genuine. Paying tribute to all the series was a nice idea, and giving Enterprise legitimacy by having Next Generation characters reflect on it was a cool touch. But a few things frustrated me about the episode, and I wondered if you’d comment on them:

1. Trip’s Death – the idea of killing Trip wasn’t what bothered me, it was the way he died. It seemed so hasty and really kind of silly. Aliens of the week – jewel thieves no less – show up and Trip blows them up, and himself too, to save Archer. That Trip would sacrifice himself for Archer I buy, but it was the way it happened that seemed so trivial.

2. Little Emotional Reaction – Other than that one scene with Archer and T’Pol packing up Trip’s things, nobody really seems to grieve for Trip. At the big speech, Reed is complaining about his seat. Everyone else seems positive about the future. There’s no sense that Trip’s death really affected any of them. That really undercut the drama and impact of Trip’s sacrifice.

3. No Resolution for Trip and T’Pol – This was the most frustrating, because their ongoing arc was really the only major bit of ongoing personal character development we were given in the second half of the series. And after a season and a half of “will they or won’t they,” Bound and Terra Prime seemed to finally answer this question… and then These Are The Voyages establishes that they broke up right after Terra Prime, leaving T’Pol more emotional than ever ten years later. She seems to regret that they’ve grown apart and tells him so… but then Trip bites it. The End.

4. No Big Speech – Having the episode close with “End program” right as Archer is about to start speaking at the founding of the Federation was a huge cheat for me as a fan. That is such a huge moment, and there was the opportunity to finally see it. Especially after we’d been teased with shots of it in the Temporal Cold War arc, actually hearing even a little bit of what Archer said would have brought things full circle.

5. Doesn’t Fit with The Pegasus – Riker and Troi’s appearance in the episode just doesn’t seem to quite fit with the story and tone of that original Next Generation episode. Having rewatched it recently, I just can’t see where Riker would have had the time or the need to slip off to the holodeck with Troi to talk with the NX-01 crew. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for us to see Riker and Troi on their new ship, the Titan? That would seem to have been a better way to tie Enterprise with the other shows – by offering a glimpse of the future of two of our favorite characters post Nemesis, while they look back to the first crew. Maybe it was budget, I don’t know.

Anyway, whether you comment on any of the above, please consider doing a podcast commentary for These Are The Voyages. I think a LOT of people would love to hear you guide us though that finale with your thoughts, comments and perspective. Maybe, people would even come to appreciate the episode more after having heard what you had to say about it.

Regardless, I hope we see new creative work from you soon. Best wishes to you, Brannon.

Bill

141. Bill Hunt - August 15, 2007

And by the way… Anthony? Keep up the great work. You’ve turned TrekMovie into a real boon and resource for Trek fans. Well done.

Bill

142. Anthony Pascale - August 15, 2007

hey bill…see you have been putting some thought into that!

and thanks for the thoughts….coming from the man behind the essential reading of Digital Bits that means a lot.

143. Bill Hunt - August 15, 2007

Yeah, what can I say. As you know, I really loved Enterprise, flawed though it was. I just loved the characters, I loved the idea of a prequel to The Original Series. I loved that it was in high-def widescreen and it looks damn great even on standard DVD. I didn’t like the first couple of seasons nearly as much as the last two, but I just thought that of all the Trek shows since the original, it was the best and most interesting idea to build a series around.

It was good seeing you down at Comic-Con. Let’s talk more soon…

Bill

144. Lope de Aguirre - August 15, 2007

@ Bill Hunt

I agree.
It wasn’t THAT Trip (or Kirk) died.
On the contrary I think to sacrifice a popular main character every now and then is a good thing for Treks storytelling.
But it seemed so pointless especially with Trip.

On “Generations” you and Mr. Moore tried really to be meaningful and push things. It looked like both of you were playing with the possibilities of the franchise and do same lasting things – “First Contact” had some similar high goals I think (but connecting the plot with the established Universe, take some risks and ad some lasting stuff – all elements which were unfortunately lost in “Insurrection” + “Nemesis” by the way).
Although I know from the (IMO very good) audio commentary that there were a lot of fixed story elements from the studio or Mr. Berman (can’t remember the exact statements).

By the way for me as a guy who is very fond of the Q character it is really sad that he never appeared in one of the TNG movies.
Too bad “All Good Things…” wasn’t the first movie or that he wasn’t the main opponent in the last one – to give the Q/Picard storyline more closure.

Interestingly the expactations of the audience changed a lot.
The beloved TNG played it save for 7 years in my book. Never taking any risks.
Nowadays a big part of the fandom seems to dislike that in the later shows. Getting tired of the reset button happy endings with our crew one more time as the heroes of the day I guess.

But I hope you noticed Mr. Braga that many fans return to ENT, give it a second (or first) chance and much more appreciate what they were getting.

Lope out.

145. LOLTrekker - August 15, 2007

Braga made tens of millions of dollars creating the abortion that was ENT.

Awesome, isn’t it?

146. Chris Roberts - August 15, 2007

Yes, ENT was awesome (at least for those more open minded).

98 episodes ain’t an abortion LOL Trekker.

147. Mark 2000 - August 15, 2007

I just want to comment on TOS looking dated, especially the crack about communicators being bigger than cellphones. Cell phones depend on lots of local transmission towers which depend on satellites. A communicator can signal someone on the other side of a planet, deep underground, and on a ship in orbit and it depends on nothing. NOTHING. And it fits in your pocket. How small should it be?

148. The Realist - August 15, 2007

134. B. Braga – August 15, 2007 –

Thank you, for defending yourself so gracefuly. And you do not need to “kiss ass” and neither would I.

There are some things that bugg me about TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT, it is a TV show and you cannot please everybody.

The Episodes and Movies you worked on/wrote, we in my opinion some of the best Trek/Movies and TV ever produced. First Contact was excellent as was Generations. ENT had some of the best Trek ever as well including Characters. I also appreciate the episodes I don’t like, why? Because some one has put a lot of hard work into creating a show/episode under hard conditions and time frames. I am trying to write a book/script at the moment, while I know where I want the story to go and end getting there is very hard, and I dont have a time frame or a Studio pressuring me for bigger bangs with less buck.

So some of us realy do need to calm down and keep their venom to them selves, or put it in a constructive way with our profanity.

Brannon thank you again for having the fortitude for coming and answering our questions.

149. Kaylee - August 15, 2007

I’d post more, but Bill Hunt’s said it all! Thanks, Bill for #140 and #143! But- I’ll differ from you about one thing–I liked seasons 1 and 2 as much as 3 and 4.

I’m content to watch my Enterprise dvds, accept Trip’s death as canon, but never watch TATV again. My imagination (any fan of the series’s imagination) can do a better job.

I can’t believe that I let the finale keep me away from reruns and syndication and dvds–watching season 1 again just reminded me of how much I really loved the characters, the stories, the different cultures (including those emotional vulcans), and the original Enterprise as a ship in her own right. It was a must-see tv event each week for me, personally. I hadn’t felt that way about Trek in years back in 2001.

150. jonboc - August 15, 2007

Enterprise was, hands down, my favorite of all the spin-offs. While the “feel” of the show…the music, sound FX, etc…was all too familiar, I really enjoyed the characters..particularly Trip, Reed and Phlox (who was way underused). They seemed really down to earth and natural, in a TOS sort of way. A very likable bunch. When the writing was on target and and they weren’t bogged down with a B plotline, I really dugg it.

Brannon, if you’re still around, can I ask why is there the need to do B plots in television these days? When you’re not an arc based series and you’re loaded down with commercials, you really don’t have enough minutes to tell one story well, much less two. Why does Hollywood insist on weaving in the extra baggage? I gotta admit , after so many years and episodes of TNG, Ds9 etc etc, I was thrilled when Enterprise stuck to just one story.

Anyway, good to see some appreciation for Enterprise. I didn’t care for the better part of the 24th century shows and found Enterprise a breath of semi-fresh air….it just was a little too similar to the other spin-offs in style and production.

It was cool to read your points of view Brannon, don’t be a stranger.

151. Brannon Braga - August 15, 2007

I am overwhelmed by the amount of comments here. Decided to “check in” on the site and found myself facing some 25 new remarks.

#126 – Interesting insights. Yes, I suppose I did (along with Rick and the other writers) infuse Trek with a few sexual moments over the years. Took a lot of flack for Seven’s catsuit. But you know, Roddenberry’s Trek universe had an undercurrent of sexuality. He established it in the original series with episodes like “The Cage”. Orion slave girls anyone? How about Kirk’s escapades? And is the catsuit any more offensive than those miniskirts? Roddenberry took some criticism for some of this, I realize; especially for being sexist at times, as in “Turnabout Intruder”, where he established that women could not command starships. But we always did it in the spirit of fun and exploration. What’s wrong with Vulcan neuropressure, I ask you? What’s so insulting about creating moments of physical intimacy for the characters? Star Trek explores all dimensions of humanity, and sexuality is arguably one of the most prominent.

I will concede, however, that Hoshi losing her shirt was a bit “Girls Gone Wild”. But then, Trip in his blue underwear didn’t seem to get a lot of complaints. Just ask Connor Trineer. Entire websites have been erected in honor of his skivvies.

152. The Realist - August 15, 2007

151. Brannon Braga – August 15, 2007 – Thats one thing I like about ENT and DS9 and VOY, the Characters seemed more real. They loved, had flings etc just like in TOS. ENT is closer to TOS than many realise.

153. Brannon Braga - August 15, 2007

#139 – I didn’t write any more movies after “First Contact” because I was running “Voyager” at that point and didn’t feel like I could do both justice. Having written two movies with Ron Moore while also doing the TV shows was just too much. I chose to focus my energies on “Voyager” and I’m glad I did. I’m most proud of my work on that show.

154. Brannon Braga - August 15, 2007

#140 – All valid critiques of the “Enterprise” final episode. While writing it, we thought it would be great. We were off-base. Rick Berman may not agree with me, and I don’t want to speak for him, but I believe that the story was tangled and didn’t fully convey the sentiments we intended. Please know that we never set out to anything but our very best. I poured my soul into that episode, which I guess makes it even more tragic that it didn’t turn out so well.

155. Russ T.C. - August 15, 2007

I’m curious, were there ever any serious thoughts to extend the finale to two hours, via condensing Demons/Terra Prime into one episode?

Terra Prime was a great episode, but Demons felt more like filler. It seems as if you could have gotten away with reducing that two-parter into just one episode, freeing up an additional hour for the series finale (I’m guessing UPN adding an additional episode to the initial 22 episode order was never an option).

I’m not really hating on Demons, because it’s not as if it was a poor episode, just that given the situation, the series finale would have benefited from a longer runtime.

TATV to me is not the best episode of the series, nor the worst, I like it enough to watch it again, but my like for it stems more from its potential than the actual episode content.

Sure overall it missed on several marks, but that’s not to say it didn’t do well elsewhere, such as the Chef/Trip scene and other scenes involving Archer and T’Pol.

156. Josh T. ( Captain Kirks drop kicks save lives) Kirk Esquire' - August 15, 2007

As an unabashed AND unapologetic disliker of modern era Star Trek, and as someone who has more than a few issues with Brannon Braga, Rick Berman, Sherry Lansing and company, I would like this oppurtunity to hear Brannon discuss some of his personal insights and reflections on what to me, was the pivotal moment in the Trek legacy which was the killing off of the character of James T. Kirk, since it could be argued and debated that single event infact began the decline of Star Trek in many ways, both commercially, critically, conceptually, and monetarily.

Can you discuss some of the personal intricacies Brannon?
How did that decision arrive? Was it initially agreed to? What was the process behind the story leading to that conclusion? Was there ever any thought given to perhaps not using Kirk in the film, or his character continuing in the 24th century much as Scotty did?

I’m genuinely curious about your insights and memories.

157. Josh T. ( Captain Kirks drop kicks save lives) Kirk Esquire' - August 15, 2007

Additionally, and perhaps more importantly,

as the co-author of the characters demise, what are your personal views and opinions on potentially bringing the character of Kirk back from the grave?

158. trektacular - August 15, 2007

Josh T if you hated Modern Trek so much why did you watch it?

159. Brannon Braga - August 15, 2007

Josh – The decision to “kill Kirk” was a complex one, made by many people, including Shatner himself, who was heavily involved in the process of developing that script. I don’t remember where the idea originally came from, but I can tell you that everyone was on board. It seemed a fitting way to “pass the baton” to a new generation and a final farewell to Shatner’s character. But I don’t argue that his mode of death was less than overwhelming. Listen to Ron Moore and my DVD commentary for more on that.

I disagree that Kirk’s “death” signalled the “demise” of the franchise. “Star Trek: First Contact” went on to become the highest grossing Trek film ever, and one of the best reviewed. The TV shows were doing pretty damn well, too.

Kirk back from the grave? Hell, yeah. I even noodled a story that would do that on “Voyager”. Involved the Klingon hijacking of a modern-day 747 (and some time travel of course). Never wrote it, though.

This is sci-fi. Anything is possible.

160. Bill Hunt - August 15, 2007

Thanks for addressing my post, Brannon. Again, please consider doing a podcast commentary for that last episode on Trek.com or something. Your comments about it are very interesting and I think a podcast would help people to appreciate the episode more. Best to you!

161. galleywest - August 15, 2007

Brannon,

I really respect the honest feedback you’ve given here. It’s been great to read, especially your reply to Bill Hunt, who summed up many of my own questions and feeling about TATV. Thanks for keeping in touch with us!

162. Josh T. ( The wrath of Shatners all-powerful toupee and gut) Kirk Esquire - August 15, 2007

# 158

I didn’t watch it.

I was younger when TNG premiered and was caught up in the novelty and euphoria much as everyone else. I enjoyed while it was new and broadcast. I kept up with it religiously while it aired. If I see it on today, I still casually glance at it.

With every successive series my interest level waned. Mine was a longing for the original era and seeing something with the title Star Trek attached to it every week satisfied that craving, but never silenced it.

Oh and, I appreciate the honesty Brannon,
I think as a recipient of much aggression and venom by fans, you should try to remember it may not be personal so much as people being passionate about something they love, and when it turns south, or when it’s even percieved to have turned south, they naturally have to find some sort of outlet to vent their anger and hostility. It isn’t personal.
I think having a foil to counter and temper inspirations or ideas is the best recipe for creative success.
It isn’t fair to you to take the brunt of fan criticism anymore than it’s fair for people to give any one individual credit for successes such as the way alot of people worship Nicholas Myer.
Much literature has been written about the internal conflicts and struggles behind the scenes on the original series with varying viewpoints, approaches resulting in outright shouting matches.
I think one of the problems with the later series, at least in terms of how they are percieved, is that there was a lack of these foils, or counter arguments to temper creative whims. I can recall no accounts of hostility or shouting matches. The general perception is that Berman surrounded himself with merely yes-men and that simply stagnates creativity.
George Lucas had some of this phenomenon going on in the view of many people when he created the Prequel Trilogy. On the original films there was allegedly some brutal knock down drag out conflicts between Lucas and Kasden, or Lucas and Kurtz.

My point is, someone stepping forward and calling “thats bullshit” on our creative whims tempers us back to reality, and that isn’t a bad thing it can only make something better. I suppose if I were creating something I would much prefer someone challenging me or calling me out and keeping me on my toes rather than someone always agreeing with me which invites self-indulgence.

I don’t have a problem with you Brannon, and I suspect many people who spew venom towards you do not either, so do not ever take it personally.
Some of us are just quite upset Star Trek has seemingly waned in significance and popularity over the years, we remember the golden years and we simply want that era to return and people to look forward to Star Trek again, not cringe at it’s mention. I think that’s something we can ALL agree upon.

163. Buckaroohawk - August 15, 2007

Josh,

You’re latest post (#162) is the most intellegent and reasoned I’ve ever read from you. Quite a surprise. If you’d started out that way, you may have found yourself in less of a quandry with so many other posters here.

Interesting how you’ve gone from practically calling for Mr. Braga (and others who oversaw the later Trek series) to be burned at the stake for their supposed desecration of Trek to a more moderate stance in the space of just a few days. Keep this up and you may just become an “ass-kisser” (a term you used above) like the rest of us.

Of course, instead of apologizing to Mr. Braga for the venom you yourself spewed here, you simply ask him not to take it personally. Well done.

“Some of us are just quite upset Star Trek has seemingly waned in significance and popularity over the years, we remember the golden years and we simply want that era to return and people to look forward to Star Trek again, not cringe at it’s mention. I think that’s something we can ALL agree upon.”

That’s no excuse for the kind of raw, unapologetic hate you’ve levelled at Mr. Braga and others. They were doing their level best from Day One, and during the heyday of their tenure more people were watching Star Trek than ever watched The Original Series. They produced some great television and some great Star Trek. Just because YOU didn’t like it very much is no reason to take the stance you did in so many of your posts. And your latest post in no way makes up for the unrestrained cruelty you’ve shown toward the TNG-era creators (and the fellow posters who liked those shows) since you started posting here.

I never cringe at the mention of any Star Trek series or movies, never have. I gave every one of them a shot. I stuck with those that captured my interest and passed on the ones that didn’t. None of them ever affected my overall enthusiasm for the concept of Trek, however, and I certainly never got so angry at the makers of those shows that I resorted to publicly calling them names on internet forums. The “golden years” you speak of produced some great stories, but they also produced some real dreck. That is true of all of the Trek TV series and movies.

The issue is not what may or may not have happened to Trek under the administrations of Mr. Berman or Mr. Braga. The issue why you let it affect you so profoundly. It’s one thing to not enjoy a movie or TV show. It’s quite another to react the way you typically do when the TNG era is brought up here. Do TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT really affect your enjoyment of TOS and those “golden years” you remember so fondly? If so, the problem isn’t with those shows, it rests solely within you. And you are the only one who can do anything about that.

Take account of (and responsibility for) your viewpoints and opinions, and how you’ve represented them here. You mention the advantages of having a “foil,” someone to challenge your ideas and “keep you on your toes.” Every time someone has done that for you here, though, your usual reaction is to attack them until they choose to ignore you. Perhaps you should take some of your own advice before you try to give it to someone who has found a measure of success in their chosen field of expertise. If you can do that honestly, I believe you’ll find that much of the wasteful spite you harbor will dissipate quite rapidly. If you can’t, then the burden you carry will do nothing but weigh you down all the more.

164. James Heaney (fka Wowbagger) - August 15, 2007

#151: “Trip in his blue underwear didn’t seem to get a lot of complaints. Just ask Connor Trineer. Entire websites have been erected in honor of his skivvies.”

Tee hee… you said “erected.”

I’m sorry. I’m really a twelve-year-old at heart.

Since you ask why I found the portrayals sometimes insulting: Roddenberry did take a lot of flack and you’re right about that–his portrayal of sexuality was incredibly edgy for its time. And this is a much edgier time. As a child of the late 80’s, it’s very difficult for me to do a fair comparison of TOS-edgy and ENT-edgy, because I can’t take the sexuality of TOS and “adjust it for inflation,” so to speak, because I wasn’t around in the 60’s and don’t really know what the social mores were like. But I will say that, watching TOS, I always *believed* the situations in which Kirk found himself romantically, and, well… *mostly* believed the universe that gave us the Orion women, Vina, and the women’s miniskirts.

Frankly, it was easier to do this rant when you weren’t around to discuss the point, but I always felt that, as time went by (starting as far back as with Troi’s bunny suit, which I believe was before your time), the attempts at sex appeal became more and more… obvious. Seven of Nine was the only crewmember with the catsuit. Why? Really, if every woman aboard had worn catsuits, it would have, in my opinion, worked better, because it would have been consistent. As it was, it seemed like a blatant attempt at saying, “Look! We have an actress with BREASTS! Watch Voyager!” I think I am coming to realize that that wasn’t how it was intended, but the special treatment she received seemed to reinforce it. The same was true of T’Pol–the only woman in the Vulcan or Earth militaries wearing a catsuit… which was too bad, ’cause she was HOT in that captain’s uniform in “Twilight.”

I also felt that we were blindsided one too many times by relationships that were simply out of the blue. My jaw dropped at “Day of Honor.” My jaw dropped again at the unfortunately-abbreviated Emmy-winner “ANIS.” And it did once again in “Harbinger.” I simply never saw any of those relationships (T/P, A/T, T/T, for those of you playing along at home) coming, and I didn’t feel they were properly sketched out. It is possible this was simply a miscommunication between me and the writers, but the fact that they were out of nowhere for me made all of them feel like, “Hey! Watch our show! It has SEX!” Maybe it was different for other people; I don’t know.

Ditto with the Vulcan Neuropressure sequence. I believe Jammer’s reviews at ST-hypertext characterized it thusly (and I’m paraphrasing generously here): “Next to the F12 button on the Berman & Braga keyboard for “write generic escape sequence,” there’s an F11 button for “create premise that allows us to write serious scenes with obvious titilating sexual subtext to draw in the viewers while not actually offending the censors OR developing any real intimacy between the characters.” The same for the Decon scene in “Broken Bow,” which, I’m sad to say, was where a very good Trekkie friend of mine, hardcore Voyager fan, gave up on Enterprise.

Looking back, and hearing what you have to say, I’m beginning to think this was all meant in a merely playful, fun manner. It was a joke at times, a wink and a nod to the Kirkscapades, and sometimes led to serious character development–after all, although I didn’t believe “Harbinger,” Trip/T’Pol became one of my main reasons for watching the show in S4. It just didn’t come across that way to me or a lot of people I know at the time, and that is simply a tragedy.

(Frankly, whoever was writing your episode previews at UPN didn’t help. I remember the preview for “Cogenitor,” one of the most thoughtful episodes of its season–the UPN trailer was thirty seconds of “THERE IS SEX IN THIS EPISODE!” See also the preview for “Broken Bow.” Or most of the rest of Seasons 1 + 2. After that, of course, you stopped getting promoted at all, so it didn’t matter. Frakkin’ network. Frakkin’ Les Moonves. Gar!)

I didn’t start out intending to write this. I started out intending to post a brief shoutout to #138 Anon: I have found in the past nine months that there are a suprising number of moments when it is appropriate–albeit befuddling to bystanders–to shout, “You BET I’m agitated! I may be surrounded by insanity but I am not insane, and nothing you or anyone else can say will change that! And I won’t let you tell me that I am. You may be able to destroy my mind. But you can’t change the fact that I’m innocent. I didn’t kill that man! And that’s what’s driving you crazy.”

Did that in class once. Quality moment. Trekkie in the front row fell over laughing and everyone else just stared.

Thanks again, Mr. Braga. I would imagine the sheer volume of comments directed at you is pretty overwhelming right now.

165. James Heaney (fka Wowbagger) - August 15, 2007

Incidentally, was the “website dedicated to Trip running around in his skivvies” TripHammered.com? Cause I know the webmaster and he would literally be thrilled to know you had been there.

166. Michael Menichetti - August 16, 2007

I first became aware of Brandon when watching the film Trekkies. He seemed a bit cocky in a very likable way. I think we are all a bit jealous of such a young guy with such a seemingly cool job.

As an original series fan, I was a bit skeptical of TNG, however it was mostly Brandon’s story lines that won me over as a fan.

I also felt Voyager got progressively better after DS9 was off the air.
Divided attentions didn’t seem to work out well.

As for Enterprise I just wasn’t a fan of the prequel concept.
I would have rather seen a Star Trek legal series on the USS Bengoshi
I guess no one would watch that either.

Anyway, thanks for a lot of great episodes Brandon, I think you always did well with what you had and wish you the best in your future endeavors.

167. Josh T. ( The power of Shatners excessive stomach ) Kirk Esquire - August 16, 2007

#163

(Josh,

You’re latest post (#162) is the most intellegent and reasoned I’ve ever read from you. Quite a surprise. If you’d started out that way, you may have found yourself in less of a quandry with so many other posters here.)

— I’ve never been much concerned with how I’m percieved or viewed on these boards, I speak my truth that’s right for me, as I suspect everyone does.

( Interesting how you’ve gone from practically calling for Mr. Braga (and others who oversaw the later Trek series) to be burned at the stake for their supposed desecration of Trek to a more moderate stance in the space of just a few days. Keep this up and you may just become an “ass-kisser” (a term you used above) like the rest of us. )

— I wouldn’t read too much into it, Brannon is probably seeking some closure and finality. If I can contribute to that, so be it. It may be mutually theraputic. I don’t blame him for the quality of product being churned out during his tenure. I believe conceptually, the spin-off series from ground up at their core were ill-concieved. Regardless of how well constructed the house is, if the foundation is unsteady, everything built on top will be flawed.

( Of course, instead of apologizing to Mr. Braga for the venom you yourself spewed here, you simply ask him not to take it personally. Well done. )

— I’m not nor ever will apologize for conviction. When people begin sacrificing their convictions to go along with the crowd or fit in, they are shaming themselves.

“Some of us are just quite upset Star Trek has seemingly waned in significance and popularity over the years, we remember the golden years and we simply want that era to return and people to look forward to Star Trek again, not cringe at it’s mention. I think that’s something we can ALL agree upon.”

( That’s no excuse for the kind of raw, unapologetic hate you’ve levelled at Mr. Braga and others. They were doing their level best from Day One, and during the heyday of their tenure more people were watching Star Trek than ever watched The Original Series. They produced some great television and some great Star Trek. Just because YOU didn’t like it very much is no reason to take the stance you did in so many of your posts. And your latest post in no way makes up for the unrestrained cruelty you’ve shown toward the TNG-era creators (and the fellow posters who liked those shows) since you started posting here.)

— Are you personally privy to the fact they were doing their very best? Were you included in production day to day? That is an assumption.
On the contrary, TNG enjoyed roughly at it’s peak 20 million viewers per week during it’s syndication run. This figure did NOT translate over to the box office when the film series began. TOS during the 70’s which peaked in the early 80s enjoyed unprecedented viewership and was translated and televised in over 40 languages in every market in the continental United States and half the nations of the world. As to it being great television, that is simply your opinion, whereas I have my own opinion and I express it as my convience.

( I never cringe at the mention of any Star Trek series or movies, never have. I gave every one of them a shot. I stuck with those that captured my interest and passed on the ones that didn’t. None of them ever affected my overall enthusiasm for the concept of Trek, however, and I certainly never got so angry at the makers of those shows that I resorted to publicly calling them names on internet forums. The “golden years” you speak of produced some great stories, but they also produced some real dreck. That is true of all of the Trek TV series and movies.)

— I gave every one of them a shot as well. I love Star Trek. Passionately. When something Star Trek related cannot or does not engage me or pique my curiosity, there is a problem. Something is wrong. I cannot blindly accept mediocrity or lap up something simply because it bears the Star Trek title. I simply cannot do that and be intellectually honest with myself. I have standards. Yes, standards, you should have them as well.

( The issue is not what may or may not have happened to Trek under the administrations of Mr. Berman or Mr. Braga. The issue why you let it affect you so profoundly. It’s one thing to not enjoy a movie or TV show. It’s quite another to react the way you typically do when the TNG era is brought up here. Do TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT really affect your enjoyment of TOS and those “golden years” you remember so fondly? If so, the problem isn’t with those shows, it rests solely within you. And you are the only one who can do anything about that.)

— Of course it affects me profoundly, I love Star Trek. You see, I was around when there was ONLY Star Trek. It was a whole universe unto itself. It enjoyed a universe unto itself for 20 years, almost a generation, before the advent of TNG. Thrilling to the exploits of Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, and the adventures of the starship Enterprise engaged a many a childs imagination. When it sours, there is a problem, and if you love something, it’s difficult to sit idly by and not speak up.

( Take account of (and responsibility for) your viewpoints and opinions, and how you’ve represented them here. You mention the advantages of having a “foil,” someone to challenge your ideas and “keep you on your toes.” Every time someone has done that for you here, though, your usual reaction is to attack them until they choose to ignore you. Perhaps you should take some of your own advice before you try to give it to someone who has found a measure of success in their chosen field of expertise. If you can do that honestly, I believe you’ll find that much of the wasteful spite you harbor will dissipate quite rapidly. If you can’t, then the burden you carry will do nothing but weigh you down all the more. )

— I have done nothing BUT taken account for my statements and actions and I certainly do not require your presumption or PERMISSION to continue doing so. I’ll continue posting against hypocrisy, double standards, bias, and most importantly feigned authority at my leisure and convience, but thanks for the encouragement.
As i said in another post elsewhere, people on this site can dish it out, but they sure as hell can’t take it. That is the repeating cyclical pattern.
If my posts are inflammatory or controversial, then simply ignore them and move on, as I do a MANY a post on here.

168. debra h (pookha) - August 16, 2007

brannon
you have written a lot of my favorite trek episodes over the years.
and for the people who think you lost the ability back in the days of tng i often hold up shuttle pod one and some of the other trek episodes as examples that you didn’t.

plus, if by some miracle enterprise was to come back while i would want manny to the show runner i would still like to see you write some for the show.

still there is tatv.

above you said..
” Please know that we never set out to anything but our very best. I poured my soul into that episode, which I guess makes it even more tragic that it didn’t turn out so well. ”

i know this sounds so strange but is it possible you were burned out by the whole trek experience by then but didn’t see it.

for several reasons i felt tatv just wasn’t worthy of so much that you had wrote for the various series.

it is like you seemed to feel “divorced ” from the characters for long stretches within the episode.

that while there were some nice scenes such as the one between trip and malcolm in engineering so often the characters were acting in a bizarre manner.

one aspect of this was at times the characterization was inconsistent
within the episode.
for instance at times troi sounded like an expert on the period but
then admitted she often got those museum ships mixed up.
uh??

and the decision to use pegasus as the framing device.
we know in pegasus why will did what he did and when.
that his play acting in the holo deck just couldn’t compare to actually seeing the dead on pegasus.

and while i think most fans are way off in some of the criticisms they have about canon within enterprise tatv itself was problematic in that area.

in the end perhaps you so wanted to do something special you didn’t see how removed you had became and possibly how your involvement in threshold was also having an effect.
of course i may be just barking against the wind.
;)

i guess one thing that is sad for me is that by writing tatv and thus in the minds of many fans of enterprise tarnishing your legacy to the show it would have been nicer if the last writing credits you had on the show had been azati prime and zero hour two of the better episodes of the series.

even now i believe that end run of the expanse story line starting with azati prime is some of the best trek filmed.

i dont know but you are one of the few tv writers that can write something that will make me want to stand up and cheer and on the other hand pelt you with something soft like marshmallows and go why.. why did you write that..

169. Kipron - August 16, 2007

Hi Brannon!

Just wanna say thank you for making Voyager what it was, my family and I really loved that show.

I didn’t have the time to get into Enterprise, but for what it’s worth I really liked the finale. I get why some of the diehard fans were annoyed, but as a more distant viewer I loved the underlying metaphor.

Troi and Riker *are* us. They’re “watching” the NX-01 crew the same way we watched Trek. At the end of the day, you switch off the screen (or the holodeck) and go back to the real world. But when it works, it leaves you inspired and hopeful, sometimes enough to make the real world a better place.

(In fact, Voyager inspired me to study physics! And now I get to study fusion reactors every day. Granted I’m still in a basement, except now it’s more like the Bat Cave. So yay!)

Fandom can be so fickle. But no matter how it chooses to remember the shows, the truth is you helped make a difference to many, many people.

Thanks for making it happen. :)

170. Arman - August 16, 2007

Brannon,

I know this might still be a sensitive question, so I’m not really expecting you to answer it. But I was wondering about you and Ronald D. Moore. You two wrote some of the best stuff in Trek in my opinion (both as a team and by yourselves). If I remember correctly he’s said that you could come up with these really strange, original ideas (Klingons hijacking a 747!? – I would have loved to see that episode!) and he sort of brought some structure to it.

So what happened when DS9 ended and Ron tried writing for Voyager?

I’ll understand if you don’t want to talk about it, though.

I really loved Threshold (not the episode – the series!). Real shame that it got canceled because I thought you were heading in an interesting direction with that. I especially liked how you were committing yourselves to go in a certain direction and that it was sort of inevitable – that kind of coherence I think was lacking in Voyager, although Voyager did have its share of standout stuff.

Anyway, best of luck in the future. I do hope to see you involved in a new project soon.

171. Buckaroohawk - August 16, 2007

Josh,

I appreciate your response to my post. I could write a lengthy rebuttal, but it’s obvious that it wouldn’t get either of us anywhere. You have your convictions and standards, and I have mine. They are undoubtably very different.

You did provide one sterling idea, however, which I have taken to heart; ignoring posts not worthy of my consideration. Advice I should have heeded long ago. Thank you for reminding me.

172. Trekmatt - August 16, 2007

Thanks for still being with us Brannon, good to have you here. I was just wondering if you were involved in anything at the moment? Would be great to see some new work from you. Also, is Berman doing anything that you’re aware of? As i don;t think i;ve seen anything from him since Enterprise?

Thanks again, Matt

173. Mr.Paradox - August 16, 2007

Hi Brannon!

I hope you’re still reading this.

It’s really great you’re answering fan comments. Especially here on the net, since I’m not American and don’t go to conventions.

First, I have to admit that I was disappointed with how “Voyager” and “Enterprise” turned out overall.
Although I liked them both in the beginning, I lost interest because I felt they didn’t distinguish themselves enough from TNG, even though they were set in a different time and/or place. I imagine UPN is a lot to blame in that respect. But still there were some episodes of “Voyager” and “Enterprise” that I really enjoyed.

Second, I wanted to really thank you for your work on TNG.
TNG was my first introduction to Science Fiction Television and I still love the show. You wrote or co-wrote some of my very favourite SF episodes ever, like “Cause and Effect”, “Frame of Mind”, “Timescape”,
“Phantasms”, “Parallels” and of course the brilliant finale “All Good Things…” These shows inspired my imagination and fueled my interest in real science. And not least, they entertained me. :-)

Thanks again,
Paradox

PS: Trekmovie.com is the best Star Trek site at the moment. Thanks and keep up the good work! Looking forward to Star Trek XI.

174. tiberius - August 16, 2007

I just got sucked into this site. I was never into Enterprise, despite watching all of the other ST shows. Tried it a couple of times, and it just didn’t engage me. However, in doing some internet research, there seemed to be a consensus that season 4 was great (other than a final show which seemed to rival Seinfeld and X-Files for worst finale ever….thus I am intrigued), so I picked it up on DVD and am about halfway through, and enjoying it thoroughly.

What makes Trek great for me is that it is, in all of its incarnations, like visiting a comfortable old friend. There are some cringe-inducing moments in all of the forms, and also some true excellence. What drew me to this site is seeing that Brannon Braga is accessing this as well. It’s pretty amazing (and Trek fans take it for granted) that fans get to have so much access to the creators of the entertainment that they love so much.

I don’t have in my head all of the things Brannon has brought to the series, but a few do stand out.

The first three seasons of Next Generation were, for the most part, dreadful. Watching the first episode of “Best of Both Worlds” was like a delightful smack in the face, because it took that series, finally, to a level where it should have been all along. I can’t think it’s a coincidence that Braga’s arrival on the show as a writer in season 4 coincided with the show itself becoming good.

ST: Generations is a pretty good film up until the point where Kirk and Picard meet. Then it all kind of falls apart and instead of facing one another down from their respective bridges, they cook breakfast together. If you haven’t done so already, listen to the writers’ commentary on the DVD. Braga and Moore get it absolutely right, and understand exactly where things went wrong. It is entertaining and fascinating. And they redeemed themselves quite nicely in First Contact, which is a gem of a picture.

As for the death of Kirk……it was a no-brainer. The most dramatic thing one can do is kill a main character, and you only have select opportunities to do it. It’s always a dramatic gimmick, and sometimes it works better than others. Spock’s death in TWOK works wonderfully. Kirk’s, in ST:G doesn’t as well. Any decent writer would have done the same thing.

Brannon, thanks for great work on the various series. Thanks, even for the mediocre work. Not everyone gets it right all the time. It’s very cool to see you on this site.

175. B. Braga - August 16, 2007

Thanks to you, tiberius, and everyone else who’s been sharing thoughts or even just reading along. This is a really cool site and I feel comfortable here. At some point, we’ll have to do a more organzied Q & A because this is rough for me to navigate.

Trekmatt, I am working on a project at the moment. Left Paramount after 17 years and am now at Fox.

176. tiberius - August 16, 2007

Mr Braga – thanks to you. Now that we have your attention, I can’t think of a single question to ask you :)

A more structured Q&A sounds like a terrific idea, and I guess it’s up to our host to set that up.

It must be surreal to live out your dream, only to discover that part of that dream is having people you don’t know trashing your work….I am glad there isn’t a website devoted to critiquing what I do for a living, by complete strangers!

Best of luck at Fox. Trek, at its core was about new ideas. This may have been best personified in “All Good Things….”, which was a wonderful finale (so don’t let all of this talk about Enterprise’s finale get you down). I never liked the “Q” character personally, but his final diaogue with Picard is perhaps one of the best moments in TNG. And “First Contact”, like “Wrath of Khan” stand on its own as a great movie, not just a great Trek movie.

177. Lope de Aguirre - August 16, 2007

@ Sexual content in Trek

There’s IMO nothing wrong with Sex in Trek in the contrary TNG + VOY were again IMO very much asexual, conservative and stuffy.
Sevens right in you face catsuit was to me only a lame compensation.

What I’m trying to say is that shows like “Babylon 5″, “Farscape”, “Firefly”, “Carnivale” or “The Wire” aren’t that clumsy in integrating some sex in the show.
There is erotic or a feel for sexuality which is much more natural and honest as the Babewatch thingies in VOY + ENT.

@ Bring back Kirk

I’m very excited about the new movie.
Espacially that it takes (at least part) place in the TOS era and that Nimoy is on board as Spock.
Although I like Shatner I can’t see a decent way to bring him back.

One reason is that it botheres me that all Trek characters which die come back sooner or later (Spock, Dax + Data if there would have been a real Nemesis sequel).
The other reason for me is that it would weaken the plot + pacing of the new movie and in the same time put some audience of from a fresh start of the franchise.

178. James Heaney (fka Wowbagger) - August 16, 2007

Tony, have you considered taking some of Mr. Braga’s comments in this thread and reposting them as a new article (or an update to the current one)? There are only a few of us reading this by now, but some things here, like:

“We wrapped up the temporal cold war somewhat quickly at the top of season four because we suspected we would be ending the show that year. Otherwise, we would’ve more thoroughly played it out.”

…are fairly big revelations about… well, about a roundly-hated arc of a two-years-dead TV show. But I loved the TCW and ENT, and I’m sure there a lot of people who read your site who don’t read the comment threads who feel the same way. And this:

“Rick’s initial idea was to play the first season on Earth as they were building the very first warp ship. But that was way too off-concept, I think, for the studio. Maybe they were right, who knows.”

That’s pretty spazzing huge. That’s the sort of thing hardcore Bermaga bashers at the TrekBBS always said B&B were incapable of doing.

Just spitballing there.

@177. Lope – Sexual content in Trek:

I think you hit the nail on the head of what I was trying to say earlier. It wasn’t that sex in VOY and ENT was inherently a bad thing; it’s that it was clumsily done, and therefore came across as alternately puerile or as a blatant grab at the 18-24 male demographic.

179. Trekmatt - August 16, 2007

Thanks for the reply Brannon, good luck at Fox, i look forward to seeing what your next project is all about :)

Matt

180. The Realist - August 16, 2007

Brannon please let us know the manes of any new series or movies you are working on!

181. Anthony Pascale - August 16, 2007

that is a good idea. I am going to be closing this thread soon and give Brannon a break. After that I will do that. Most site visitors dont read the comments so it will be a good followup for them.

182. Bret Boyd - August 16, 2007

Gah, don’t close the comments yet, I just got here! :)

Brannon, I’ve been admiring your writing since the TNG days and after a few episodes there knew that I’d enjoy pretty much anything with your name on it. I was in high school while you were writing for TNG and found your off-beat style to some episodes (“Timescape” for example) to resonate most with me and my own desire to write fiction. Another fave for which you might not get alot of attention is the VOY episode “Deadlock.” It’s a shame the Vidiians did not stick around longer as villains. They may have been a one-trick pony in terms of character dimension (give me organs!) but they were, in my opinion, the most sinister villains Trek ever produced (although not quite as good as early pre-queen Borg).

In any case, thanks for inspiring a young writer with your work. Don’t sweat the ENT finale. OK, it could have been better but I understood completely what you and Rick were trying to do and likely would have tried the same in your place.

Thanks for checking in on these comments,
Bret

183. Brannon Braga - August 16, 2007

Bret –

You rock! Thank you so much for the thoughtful comments. “Deadlock” was one of my faves, too.

184. Michael Menichetti - August 16, 2007

Someone mentioned earlier it would be hard to bring Kirk back.
As far as I understand Kirk went into the temporal nexus.
The nexus is timeless so anyone from any point in time could enter the nexus and find Kirk in there still riding his horse and presumably take him out. However, please leave Woopie Goldberg in there, I have had too much of her for one life time.

185. Lope de Aguirre - August 17, 2007

@ Michael Menichetti

No, it’s stated in the movies that what remains is sort of an echo.
Guinan can’t follow Picard ou of the Nexus cause she is already out.

The same applies to Kirk.
Kirk is dead the “echo” still in the Nexus but can’t leave.

186. Ottens - August 17, 2007

Mr Braga,

Your effort to take the time and answer so many of these questions with great care is something I deeply appreciate. I must admit that I was one of those fans who held you in a somewhat low opinion after the first two seasons of ENTERPRISE, in spite of your excellent work for Star Trek: The Next Generation and “Generations”. But reading your comments here, and reading at other places about the constraints that were put upon the show by the studios, I’m beginning to understand that you were trying to do the best you can. It’s just that we, the fans, never heard the other side of the story. We only saw the episodes, many of which, in our minds, brought nothing new or contradicted the old. It would be interesting to say the least to hear YOUR views on producing ENTERPRISE.

You mentioned that the Q&A format here works rather awkward for you, and for that reason also, I’d like to ask you whether you’d be willing to talk further over e-mail.

I maintain a website called “Forgotten Trek”, which is the largest, most extended resource on the production and behind-the-scenes of Star Trek. Should you be interested in conducting an “interview” over email, I’d ask your permission to publish it at “Forgotten Trek”, thus finally providing the fans—not the least, including myself!—with insight into the production of ST:TNG, “Voyager” and ENTERPRISE from the writing staff’s point of view.

I understand you may be reluctant to publish your emailaddress here, so feel free to contact me at n.ottens@gmail.com should you be interested in my suggestion.

187. ableone - August 17, 2007

Mr. Braga,

Thanks for sharing your thougts.

You stated earlier that there were episodes that looked great on paper but did not turn out great and others that looked like loosers but ended up successful.

Can you expand on this?

Is this a natural by-product of “writing” for a medium that is not consumed in the written form? How often, if ever, does the concept that the writer intends to convey stay exactly the same through the whole process?

188. ableone - August 17, 2007

Oh crap this thing needs an edit or a spell check function.

My apologies.

189. ChuckPR - August 17, 2007

The consistent problem, Mr Braga, that I believe to exist with your creative vision is that it is overly grandiose.

I believe Star Trek has always been about whether or not humanity will deserve to survive itself and go forth and flourish throughout space one day.

It began at a time in the ’60’s when the entire world sincerely worried that we might not last a decade without literally destroying the planet.

Star Trek gave us an entirely new way of looking at the future. It showed us a future in which through hard work we had overcome differences, yet cultivated the best of what it means to be human so that we deserved to survive and flourish.

Yet it was never a finished product.

TNG even handled that theme by bookending the series via a trial of mankind.

Trek has always been at it’s best when it was about the characters facing challenges though.

NOT when grandiose plot twists and techno-babble were overly relied apon.

“Enterprise” as a series failed because from the very beginning we were treated to week after week of time-hopping nonesense.

We were told the early Federation was the pioneering, struggling, organization that we always thought it to be.

Instead we were shown an early Federation that was apparently always watched over by the Big Brother Federation of the Future…

a feckless, boring, bureaucratic Federation of the future who couldn’t be more boring and who couldn’t seem to do anything right even with the foresight of centuries.

In short, Enterprise as well as later seasons of Voyager suffered do to a ridiculous overuse of time-hoping and other grandiose plot gimmicks.

Enterprise was presented to the public(I still have the TV guide interview you did right before it aired)

as a Trek series that could be understood independently from other Treks and therefore would gain Trek new fans.

Then, within the first couple of hours we were treated to the “temporal cold war” and a convoluted, over-arching, time-hoping plotline that lasted over three years and that no new fan to Trek could have ever hoped to make sense of.

It could have been a true prequel. It could have introduced new fans who didn’t know anything about Trek to Trek and still had them understand it.

Had not you immediately resorted to the time-hoping, grandiose, three-year long plotline that destroyed any image we may have had of the early Federation being filled with pioneers.

Instead we were shown a Federation who had been watched over and spoon fed by Boring Bureaucrats of the Future.

With all due respect, Mr. Braga, you have a grandiose artistic vision.

That is not always a good thing.

Good stories. Good character development. Interesting conflicts that aren’t resolved with gimmicks – those are the traits the best Trek episodes have always had in common.

Having a grandiose vision doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

But in the future remember that without good character development and conflicts that aren’t resolved with gimmicks,

a grandiose artistic vision simply becomes so much loud paint thrown against a canvas that might have been beautiful had the right attention to detail been paid.

190. Kaylee - August 17, 2007

ChuckPR has a point–I loved all four seasons, but the one part of the series that I liked the least was the TCW! I’d love to hear why the show’s creators thought that was a good idea–what was the point of it?

191. ChuckPR - August 17, 2007

The overuse of the time travel theme and other heavy handed plot devices in both Voyager and almost all of Enterprise undermined the value of literally everything that occurred in all of the series.

Don’t like an event?

Let’s just undo it.

How about the Voyager episode in which the ship and crew were deteriorating throughout, only to have a totally different Voyager pass by after it had dissenegrated with no explaination?

The Voyager placement of federation future craft in the 20th century that attempted to tell us we also would have been too dumb to invent printed circuit and other technologies unless craft from the future had been reverse engineered?

These grandiose, big idea themes are fine when used maybe two or three times in a series. But they were used over and over and over again.

And the way in which they were used were almost patronizing and insulting to the innovation and hard work that has been done by real scientists – not just the history of Trek.

My father was an electronics engineer who saw in his lifetime the development of today’s technology evolve from tubes, crystals and wire to what we have today – and none of the technology we have today – at least none that we the general public have seen – required the reverse engineering of future or alien technology.

It has required a ton of hard work in the last several decades however. Work that should be respected – not diminished.

In fact, had mankind sociologically looked at technologies a little differently, we might have landed a man on the moon a thousand years ago.

The Greeks had a working steam engine two thousand years ago, but rather then build trains and railroads, they used it as a novelty to move food back and forth on tables during feasts.

Had someone looked at it and simply said, “Why not make it bigger? Use it to move goods and people?”

the industrial age might have begun almost two thousand years earlier then it did.

The TCW and other time-hoping plotlines that were used over and over and over and over and over and over

undermined the value of everything that came before it and told us that any moment everything we were watching could and often would be made irrelevant.

It told us that the federation wasn’t made up of the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants pioneers struggling and earning it’s success.

It told they were always being helped along by boring bureaucratic Big Brothers from the future.

The grandiose story archs were heavy handed and way overdone, remember the several episodes of Voyager that were made moot by the year that never was?

I sincerely hope that the new movie(s) and any future series don’t devalue, not just Trek history, but the history of the real world scientists and engineers who are among those we depend apon to truly improve mankind’s lot.

Part of Trek’s original appeal was that it showed us a future in which we developed and learned to use technology to better one another’s lives, rather then used the technology to annihilate one another.

I understand Mr. Braga’s desire to paint sweeping epics.

But those sweeping epics shouldn’t undermine the value of what came before them the way his over use of time-hoping did.

Mr. Braga, you have produced some excellent work in the past.

What happened to you during your involvement with Trek I would respectfully compare to what happened to the writings of Anne Rice.

Her early work was brilliant. But after her first few successes she refused to be edited anymore by her publisher and they unfortunately allowed themselves to be convinced that that was a good idea.

It wasn’t.

I think you can be a much better artist then you have become.

Because of your position I doubt many people wanted to seriously critique and help you edit your ideas, and definitely no one had the authority to overrule you before you fell into some of the writing habits you learned to over rely apon.

In your future endeavors, surround yourself with writers who are excellent at writing dialogue. Writers who love to sit in restuarants and cafe’s and study people.

Work in tandem with such writers and study the motivations of people, groups etc.

If you can spend more time perfecting the small conflicts, rivalries, motivations, aspirations, the saints and the sinners among us and make us believe and care about the people in your future stories more,

you may find the little pictures that you will have then learned to string together can make you grand artistist vision one that people once again can relate to and care about.

Ideas are important. But only if you can move people to care about them beyond an intellectual level.

Surprising, shocking and daring doesn’t really matter if people don’t care about the characters.

Plus, you can only be surprising, shocking and daring – grandiose – so many time before that itself begins to become formulaic.

192. LogRoller - August 17, 2007

I wanted to chime in briefly here on the ST:E series finale.

I very much felt gypped by the ending. I was actually angry to the point that I didn’t sleep after I watched it. It seemed as though the characters were treated with contempt.

If I ever hit the lottery, I swear that I’d actually put up my own money to produce another episode, movie, whatever that sets this right. That’s how strongly I feel about it. The entire franchise is tainted by the existence of TatV. I have to actively pretend that it doesn’t exist whenever I rewatch an episode of ST:E in order to enjoy the show.

I realize that this is dog piling, and I apologize for that, but man, I’m still hot about it. I have a life outside Star Trek, I assure you. But it’s been a part of my life since I was a kid growing up in the 70s. Star Trek has always represented an escape from the realities of human life, while still being rooted in its best qualities. The theme of the social evolution of humanity has always been its greatest attractor for me. I love Star Trek, and always have.

And to have the franchise wrapped up with the inexplicable petering out of what could have been (and what appeared to be) an epic romance coupled with the death of a main character under relatively mundane circumstances was a slap in the face. It violated the unspoken contract between fan and creator – our expectation is that if you’re going to give us a tragedy, that it is worthy of the heroes you’ve lead us to admire over the years. That there is time to examine grief and feel the loss.

But beyond that, if I want that sort of tragedy, the one wherein bad things just happen to good people, I can watch the news. I watch Star Trek to escape the damned news. I want to be entertained by it, but I also want it to give me some hope.

Brannon, I’ve loved a lot of the episodes you’ve written. Really loved them. But that finale, oh, what a solid disappointment. I’m still in denial about it.

193. Praetor - August 17, 2007

Brannon, I’ve been following along without saying anything thus far but I must tell you how much I respect you for saying what you’ve said here, and how much I admire your courage for doing so. Much of your writing work is among my favorite episodes, particularly your TNG episodes.

As someone who had high hopes for ‘Enterprise’ and was saddened when it wasn’t what I hoped, I can now better conceive of the pressures that you and Mr. Berman must have been put through by the Network when creating ‘Enterprise.’ I did my share of ‘Beeb bashing’ in the day and I must apologize to you for doing so. I now believe that you are truly a creative person who was simply limited by the circumstances you were in, not out to ‘stick it to the fans’ or any of that supposed crap. I think that while you will surely agree that there were a few episodes of ENT (and even VGR) that were sub-par, a lot of my rejection of ENT had to do with my personal expectations of what the series should be or what I wanted to see. Thank you for the wonderful contributions that you made to the Trek franchise in your tenure at Paramount, and I’d again like to offer congratulations for your good work and perhaps the small consolation that I believe I better understand the kind of work you were trying to accomplish.

Since we have this wonderful and unique opportunity to hear from you, I wonder if we might hear more about the original Earth-bound premise of Enterprise? In addition, I’d love to hear about what you feel are some of the biggest ‘missed opportunities’ from your time with Trek, either stemming from Network-imposed limitations or other.

Thanks again for everything, Mr. Braga.

194. Bring Back Writing - August 17, 2007

Brannon,

Thank you for the “Voyager” series as it’s the most fun with Trek I’ve had since TOS. It really conveyed a sense of exploration and desperation. I love the Janeway character and Mulgrew’s portrayal is spot on. My entire family was spellbound by the episode “Year of Hell”. It was simply amazing. It should have been offered as a movie. Any thoughts on a “Voyager” movie? Is it possible to extend “Voyager” by revealing the series finale was simply a dream? The finale seemed too rushed or anticlimatic, it didn’t seem to do justice to a series that spanned 7 years. Thanks again for all your contributions to Trek.

195. Craig - August 18, 2007

Brannon. I was curious as to why the Romulan War was never explored during Enterprise? I also think Enterprise should have be set during 2155 to 2161. That way the whole Romulan War could have been seen. Then the formation of the Neutral Zone. The final season could have been gathering members for the Federation.

196. James Wylder - August 18, 2007

Brannon,

This whole time I’ve really just wanted to say that you’re one of my Heroes,

Seriously.

After I watched Enterprise… Well I started watching other things you wrote and worked on, and I’ve really been inspired to have a career in writing now… Be it Journalism, or something more creative then that. I’ll be going to college soon trying to figure out which one I’m going to devote my life to I guess,

I have a bunch of questions,
but before these comments are closed I just wanted to say thank you for making all the stories you did, and I’d rather do that.

So thank you.

-James Wylder

197. sean - August 18, 2007

Brannon,

I forgot to mention it earlier, but I think Year of Hell was the closest Voyager ever came to being ‘cinematic’. I rewatched that episode recently and it seemed like most of the characters came into focus in that episode, moreso than they had in any other. Chakotay & Paris had some genuine tension between them, Seven & Tuvok forged a relationship I wish we’d seen more of and Janeway’s emotion over the breakdown of the ship really nailed it. Most importantly, in Annorax we finally had a sympathetic villain that wasn’t SO sympathetic you wanted to slap him. In the end when the little box with the lock of his wife’s hair shatters, I actually found myself shedding a tear for him. Serious kudos on that one.

198. Kaylee - August 18, 2007

Year of Hell is part of the problem that ChuckPR is writing about–a great episode with character development wiped out by a reset button–none of it ever happened by the end of the episode–pointless.

199. Anthony Pascale - August 18, 2007

guys I am going to be closing this thread down soon (when it falls off the front page). Brannon will come back at some time to answer more questions….possibly in a more organized Q&A.

I just wanted to thank all of you for (the most part) keeping things civil and of course a big thanks to Brannon for dropping by.

200. Brannon Braga - August 18, 2007

One last comment from me:

THANK YOU EVERYONE for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings. It means a great deal to me. Even those who still hate, your passion amazes me. To those who love (like James Wylder), I love you back. You say that I inspired you, but the reverse is even more true. Let’s please continue this dialogue in the near future…

– Brannon

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