Rick Berman Talks 18 Years of Trek In Extensive Oral History | TrekMovie.com
jump to navigation

Rick Berman Talks 18 Years of Trek In Extensive Oral History August 26, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: DS9,ENT,Feature Films (TMP-NEM),TNG,VOY , trackback

No one spent more time with the Star Trek franchise than Rick Berman, who was a producer from the pilot of Next Generation through to the finale of  Enterprise, overseeing the franchise for most of that time. In a (very) long 2006 interview now available online, Berman gives an oral history of his time on Trek and talks its rise, fall and rise again, as well as his legacy. You can watch it below and/or read some of the bullet-point highlights and key quotes.

 

Berman for posterity
This three hour long interview was conducted May 31st 2006, which was Berman’s last year under contract at Paramount [interview was put online in April, but just came to our attention]. It was done by the Archive of American Television which is part of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (who put on the Emmy Awards). The Archive has a large library of these kinds of "oral histories" which are quite comprehensive. The interview covers Berman’s early career and then goes into lengthy sections for the four Trek shows Berman produced (TNG, DS9, VOY, & ENT), then wraps up talking about the TNG feature films and some summary questions.

HIGHLIGHTS
The first 19 minutes focuses on his background, childhood and early years as a producer and executive in Hollywood, leading up to when he was a vice president at Paramount in the mid 80s and the first word came that Gene Roddenberry would be producing a new Star Trek series and he was assigned to work on it.  Starting at 19:30 Berman starts discussing his history with Star Trek and tells an interesting behind scenes point of view, starting off with the birth of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Berman on TNG [19:30 – 1:17:15]

Berman on DS9 [1:17:15 – 1:43:10]

Berman on Voyager [1:43:10 – 2:08:20]

Berman on Enterprise [2:08:20 – 2:39:15]

Berman on TNG era movies [2:39:15 – 2:43:40]

Final wrap-up, favorites, etc [2:43:30 – end]

Berman on ‘franchise fatigue’ and the future of Star Trek

While talking about the end Enterprise, Berman expanded on the notion of "franchise fatigue":

Jon Dulgen, who was the chairman of all of Paramount at the time, used the phrase to me "franchise fatigue" which I think was one of the best explanations of what was going wrong. Because at the same time we made a movie with one of the top screenwriters in Hollywood [John Logan] called Star Trek: Nemesis and it just died, and simultaneously there were problems going on with Enterprise. Nemesis was a good movie. It was not a problematic movie at all. I think it really had to do with a sense of franchise fatigue and the fact that there had been so much Star Trek. As I said before we ended up after the fourth season of Enterprise, producing 624 hours of these four television series, which is unprecedented.

Berman was asked what he thought the future held for Star Trek.
[NOTE: interview conducted in May 2006 – shortly after it announced that was JJ Abrams was to produce a new Star Trek movie, but before deal was final or any details were revealed].

Well, there is word that JJ Abrams, who is one of the hot directors in both television and film, is going to star work on developing a kind of re-invention Star Trek film. That could be very exciting. I think that if there is, not if, when there is another television series, it will probably come out of that. I think that TV-wise it needs a rest. It has only been off the air for a year at this point. I think it needs a little bit more of a rest. I think Star Trek will go on for a long time. There is hardly a person on this planet who does not know what warp speed means of what "beam me up, Scotty" means, or what a photon torpedo is. I think Star Trek, in one for or another, will go on for a long time. As far as the TV end goes, I think it is good for a rest for a number of years.

Berman on Internet criticism and how he would like to be remembered

Berman was asked if he had any regrets, and he used that to talk about some of the famed Berman bashing he has recived on the Internet.

I have taken a lot of the criticism to heart. I don’t believe that any of the people who are involved in the websites think that we read them, but in fact we do. And I think that a lot of the criticism that has been directed at us by hardcore Internet people is that we ignore their wishes and we ignore the chronology of Star Trek and the canon of Star Trek. It makes us said because it’s not true. I wish there had been some way to communicate with these people over the years in a little bit more of a believable fashion. I once got on the Internet and told people who I was and they didn’t believe me, so I got off.

The final question was how he would like to be remembered, Berman responded:

At the risk of sounding hokey, I would love to be remembered as somebody who took Gene Roddenberry’s vision of what Star Trek was all about — people felt he didn’t have it in him to do another show and it was so heartwarming to see how pleased he was with the reaction that Next Generation got after so many years of not producing TV shows. I would like to be remembered as somebody  who took his vision of the future and idea of what Star Trek was supposed to be and tried to keep these four series and four movies that we have done, to keep it true to his ideals. I wonder whether that will be the case in the future. I would like to think that was something that I managed to achieve.

 

More Trek in TV Archives
There are many more great (and lengthy) oral histories from Star Trek luminaries, all available on YouTube:

SHATNER, WILLIAM (as “Captain James T. Kirk”)
TAKEI, GEORGE (as “Mr. Sulu”)
NIMOY, LEONARD (as “Mr. Spock”)
JUSTMAN, ROBERT (associate producer/ co-producer)
FONTANA, DOROTHY (“D.C.”) (writer, 10 eps/ story editor)
COURAGE, ALEXANDER (theme composer/ episode composer)
FRIED, GERALD (composer)
JENNINGS, JOSEPH (art director)
JOHNSON, GEORGE CLAYTON (writer, premiere episode)
Montalban, Ricardo (guest actor, “Space Seed,” as Khan)
Donahue, Elinor (guest actress, “Metamorphosis”)
Wyatt, Jane (guest actress, as Spock’s mother)

 

Comments

1. Mike Stivic - August 26, 2009

Been waiting for a long time to hear from Berman again. He was important to Star Trek and although he made mistakes– not letting Voyager live up to its premise and not making Enterprise like Season 4 from day 1, I think overall he was faithful to the heart of Star Trek.

2. German Trek Fan - August 26, 2009

Thank you Rick Berman for so much good Trek!

3. stephen whelan - August 26, 2009

I think Berman has come in for so much crap from people in recent years but reading/listening to him it sounds like alot of problems stems from the studio pushing for more Trek when it should of been giving breathing room for a few years. I will remember him for giving us some (not all) great Trek for many years.

I agree with Mike Stivic…he was faithful to the heart of Star Trek

4. Anthony Thompson - August 26, 2009

A lot of interesting tidbits here. And I’m left with the feeling that Berman was a “loyal soldier” and really doesn’t deserve the criticism that has been heaped upon him. Would love to know his reaction to the new film.

5. Jim Smith - August 26, 2009

I’ve done a lot of interviews over the years for books and papers I’ve written. I’d love to sit down with Berman (and indeed Braga, separately) and properly interview them, rationally, calmly about ‘Star Trek’. Challenging them when I think they’re wrong, but respecting their comments and opinions. This video just makes me want to do that even more.

6. Cap'n Kirk - August 26, 2009

All told, he did a great job. He had the right idea. But I don’t think it should be hard to admit that although, “franchise fatigue,” played a role, the stories for Insurrection & Nemesis were just bad. Insurrection was unfortunately a rehash of at least 2 TNG episodes that had been done, & well. And the idea of having not just a flawed, evil copy of Picard, but also one that miraculously hooked up with an earlier version of Data? And then to kill Data just to salvage something emotional out of the strained to bursting plausibility?

Trek is great because it’s smart, & not in a “Galaxy far, far away.” And Kirk did deserve better – I would’ve liked to have seen Nimoy’s version of Generations before he left it.

Wish there was a season 5 of Enterprise – they were really cooking with the Reeves-Stevens writing it. But Berman, you did pretty good. Your heart was in the right place, & Trek is all about heart

7. Kevin from Akron - August 26, 2009

I used to dish out a lot of crap against Berman, but now reading these bullet points leads me to believe that he was working with what he was given. Studios often throw a lot of crap at Executive Producers they have to deal with. I’m about 90 percent with Berman now, and what he had to do to make the serials work. The other 10 percent? I think he should have fought a little bit more to get his way. Case in point: James Cameron. He had to fight with studios and he even gave away his rights on the script for “Titanic” to complete it. He won. The film made more money than anyone could have imagined. Almost the same story with “The Abyss”.

8. Jeff - August 26, 2009

Unfortunately, Trek has become a victim of it’s own popularity. As a generalisation, modern fans want action, suspense and conflict, whereas older fans want the Gene Roddenberry ‘vision’ where everyone is friends at the end of the day. Certainly a noble vision, but is it entertaining in today’s world? Thankfully we have so much Trek to keep us entertained. I, for one, am glad that there has been a break and that new people are now in charge of the Trek movies. Hopefully the studio will listen to Berman and keep TV Trek off the screens for a while – at least until a few more JJ Abrams films grace our screens. Then, the fans might be open to a re-working of the TV format as well.

9. MJD - August 26, 2009

Berman maybe got some fatigue himself, but ultimately he was good for Trek. It ended on a creative down turn, but a lot of wonderful Star Trek was made on his watch and he deserves some credit for that.

10. Dom - August 26, 2009

Rick Berman should have stepped aside for the first UPN Trek show and left that and any follow-ups to a different creative team.

He is also staggeringly naive about some things: ‘this was a character was long dead when Next Generation took place, but we were perceived as killing Capt. Kirk!’ Well you did kill James Kirk! You made Generations and oversaw writing it!!! Having the character perceived as probably long dead in TNG is different from directly splattering the guy’s brains all over the bottom of a cliff!

‘Berman believes that greatest legacy of Trek is Roddenberry’s “uplifting vision” of the future “depicting a culture of man ,more evolved in the best of all ways” unlike other dark sci-fi’

Except the vision of humans in TNG was shockingly out of kilter with that in the original Star Trek, depicting a dehumanised, self-righteous race who casually commit genocide in episodes such as Homeward.

11. me - August 26, 2009

I don’t think the serious criticsm go directly against Berman.
Everyone can see how great TNG became. And you can’t say Berman was bad when TNG was good.

But I believe Berman was part of the Trek Crew for too long. When you stay at one project for a very long time you get some kind of “incest”-effect.

And when that happens the new episodes don’t feel new or original anymore, the quality declines further and further, pretense and reality drift apart.

When u reach that point – which in my opinion will be reached inevitable by every creative mind – you have to take a time-out for yourself and bring in new people to the project. When new people changed the universe and you had your time-out you can come back and suddenly new, original ideas (as you could produce them in your beginning) are coming back as well.

Not Berman was bad, I think he just didn’t find the right moment to leave, to make something else, to pass the torch, before coming back to Star Trek with new ideas.

12. Dom - August 26, 2009

8. Jeff: ‘Unfortunately, Trek has become a victim of it’s own popularity. As a generalisation, modern fans want action, suspense and conflict, whereas older fans want the Gene Roddenberry ‘vision’ where everyone is friends at the end of the day.’

Most of us fans of the original 1960s Star Trek want action, suspense and conflict. That’s why we were driven away by a version of Trek where an emotionless android was the most emotional performance in the show! It’s the people who grew up with TNG who have a skewed idea of what Star Trek is about!

13. Commodore Kor'Tar (U.S.S. Kahless NCC-76108) - August 26, 2009

I’d like to offer my thanks to Mr Berman for all the wonderful years of entertainment .

Years in which we knew we could come home at the end of the day and see one , (some times two) new episodes of Star Trek during the week .

I grew up on the TNG era and I relished every episode , and as I grew and matured the franchise grew and matured as well .

I enjoyed ds9 , but felt it seemed a tad bland in the early days . After the addition of the Defiant and Worf and the Dominion War arc , it really found it’s footing .

I liked Voyager , it felt alot different to me than the other Trek series , but it was a little Borg heavy by later years .

Enterprise was a good concept , but was a tad slow the first two years , the 3rd and 4th seasons really improved things , and I agree if the cahnce had been given 3 more years would have been great . Then we could have at least seen the Romulan War and the formation of the Federation in the proper way .

I enjoyed all his films as well with First Contact being my favorite .

I think people who want to give Mr Berman flack should try being the producer of a popular TV/Film series for 18 years themselves before they start offering thier insults and free advice .

He did a good job and gave us more Star Trek than anyone else has before or since .

Were they all gems? Of course not , but there are ALOT of good stories that were told over the years .

Keep on Trekking !

Qa’Pla!

14. Dom - August 26, 2009

13. Commodore Kor’Tar: ‘I think people who want to give Mr Berman flack should try being the producer of a popular TV/Film series for 18 years themselves before they start offering their insults and free advice.’

By that rationale, you should try being the producer of a TV/Film series for 18 years before ‘big-upping’ Mr Berman.

What you’ve stated in your post is the laziest argument out there. In other words, you can’t say whether you like or dislike a book unless you write books yourself. You can’t criticise a movie unless you make movies yourself.

Eighteen years is far too long for anybody to stay in charge of a show. Gene Roddenberry didn’t run the original Star Trek for that long: he didn’t even have anything much to do with season three.

15. screaming satellite - August 26, 2009

the majority of DS9, VOY, the first 2 seasons of ENT plus INS and NEM may have been yawnsome in the extreme but Berman oversaw classics like Yesterdays Ent, BOBW, Q Who, Inner Light, Cause and Effect, FC etc

His place in Trek history is assured

seems like he was fighting over saturation but the studio wouldnt have it…sounds like he was forced to do Voyager

regarding ENT:
“Berman felt prequel best as going forward after TNG era “didn’t offer that much” because it was just slicker space suits and shinier space suits ”

agree with that totally… – also applies to the new film (for those saying the new film shouldve been a post TNG era film)

dont agree with the following though:
-On demise of Kirk in Generations: “this was a character was long dead when Next Generation took place, but we were perceived as killing Capt. Kirk”
-Berman feels INS “had some amazing stuff in it…..”
-Berman considers Nemesis a “classic Star Trek movie” in the vein of the Nick Meyer movies….”

no no no no no~*tut tut tut*

16. screaming satellite - August 26, 2009

*”Billy Campbell cast as Pike, but Pike didn’t feel he had command presence, so went with 2nd choice ”

er – shouldnt that be Riker?….

17. HotStove - August 26, 2009

The guy was a great producer, in the vein of Harve Bennett. Writing by itself is easy – what is hard is writing within the boundaries of budget & format. Berman found a format that worked for Star Trek that allowed them to churn out mostly good episodes on a TV budget. He kept, for the most part, the suits and viewers happy. In other words, he did his job and did it well. I’m hard-pressed to think of another producer who has the same track record. Berman gets waaaaaay too much flak for “killing Star Trek” when he, in fact, helped save it in the first place.

18. Ron - August 26, 2009

Glad to see that time is finally starting to moderate people’s feelings about Berman. I remember not too many years ago when “fans” (I use the term very loosely) were calling for Berman’s assassination, wishing he would get cancer, etc. on certain forums. Disgusting. I’ve always held that Berman did the best with what he had to work with, and given that he produced 18 years worth of Trek, most of it of extraordinary quality, much of the nastier criticism was entirely uncalled for. It reflected very poorly on Trek fans and I’m glad to see that trend changing.

19. S. John Ross - August 26, 2009

The part I keep staring at is “Billy Campbell cast as Riker, but Pike didn’t feel he had command presence, so went with 2nd choice.”

Because this means that someone thought Frakes _did_ have “command presence.”

Now, I think Frakes is six kinds of awesome (seven when he’s voice-acting), and several seasons into TNG’s run they did seem finally (with enough beard and shoulder pads) get Riker to resemble a dude from a distance, but … command presence? I must’ve missed that episode :/

20. toddk - August 26, 2009

very interesting..i’ll have to watch the whole interview when i get time.

nemesis had one huge problem and it overshadowed the whole movie…shinzon! Other than being bald, tom hardy looked nothing like patrick stewart, which in turn forced fans to accept the clone premise,

If only patrick stewart could have doubled as shinzon the film would have been better recieved. It would have made data’s riker’s and troi’s exit more acceptable as the last TNG movie.

I agree that berman dosent deserve all the blame as to what went wrong in trek’s last series. I was also very critical of him when I saw the first picture of the ship in TV guide. I hated enterprise for so many reasons that i was quick to criticise anyone who helped it get made.

I want to now thank rick berman for his great contributions to star trek!

Thank you rick!!

21. Mitch - August 26, 2009

The guy took a billion dollar franchise and ran it into the ground. He was the worst thing ever to happen to Star Trek.

The only thing worse than his being in charge for so long was the fact that Paramount took so long to get rid of him.

Think about this–if this guy was such a great producer of television, why is it that he did nothing before Star Trek, and nothing since? If the “great producer of 600 episodes of Star Trek” was available, how come no one is hiring?

22. TonyD - August 26, 2009

Interesting piece. I’m sure Berman always had the best intentions in producing the various Trek shows and movies, and he did produce a lot of great moments. But his self-confessed stubborn streak still shows through in a couple of areas:

With regard to his comments on Kirk’s death in Generations: Kirk may have been long dead in the TNG era but it is one thing to speculate about what happened to a character and quite another to actually show it on screen. Berman was the one to sign off on dramatizing Kirk’s demise when he could have just as easily left his final fate vague so it is only natural that he get heat for that decision from fans of the character.

I also don’t buy into the whole franchise fatigue thing. What I do buy into is the notion that Berman & company had just run out of good ideas – completely understandable after a continuous run of almost two decades. Enterprise and the latter TNG films failed because they did not tell good stories or give us good characters, starting with Archer who often came across as a clueless bigot.

I give Berman all the credit in the world for keeping Trek going for so long, but like just about everyone else in Hollywood, his blinders sometimes keep him from seeing the mistakes that were clearly visible to so many others.

23. Major Shat Lover - August 26, 2009

Nice try, but your arguments are based on emotion and are quite illogical. I doubt many people on this planet have the perspective to accurately judge Rick Berman.

Well, perhaps we can be pissed about the Enterprise theme song. Grrr!

Logic, logic, logic… Let us not forget logic my fellow humaaanz.

24. Major Shat Lover - August 26, 2009

I want to know if Berman has seen the Abrams flick and what his opinion of it might be. I would like to hear Brent Spiner’s opinion as well for some reason.

I wonder if they were invited to Kirk’s charity party a while back?

25. Alec - August 26, 2009

Good article. I’ve never partaken in ‘Berman Bashing’. On the contrary, I think Star Trek fans, who have enjoyed Trek all these years, owe a great deal of their enjoyment of Trek to the talent and work of Berman (and others). TNG and DS9 were excellent. I think he’s right about ‘franchise fatigue,’ too. VGR was awful (unoriginal, uninspiring, recycled characters; way too much techno-babble; ruined the Borg; etc). ENT was just as bad; perhaps it was worse, since ENT represented a missed opportunity. That show could and should have been great. I also agree with Berman about Nem. That story is far better than any other TNG film’s story. For once, in the TNG films, we’re given a strong villain with a real connection with the hero. It had few out-of-character or silly moments (unlike FC) and had some good battle scenes. And a great score for Goldsmith, sadly in his final years. It’s just a shame that the second-half of the film was a nigh carbon-copy of TWOK; and a copy is never as good as the original.

26. Darth Sylar McCoy - August 26, 2009

I’ve never trusted Klingons, and I never will, I could never forgive them for the death of my boy.

Again! Again!

27. Mitch - August 26, 2009

That’s the thing–regarding Kirk’s death–he really doesn’t get it. Kirk was NOT long dead in the TNG era. His fate was unknown. It was shown flat out that McCoy was alive. If he was alive, then why NOT Kirk? At minimum, it was very much open ended.

The final image of Kirk at that point was the end of ST6 and it was brilliant.

Kirk’s death was by far the biggest mistake in Trek history, and the fact that he STILL doesn’t get it is mindboggling. He was actually snickering when talking about it. To be that out of touch with the fan base and what Captain Kirk meant to the franchise–it’s no wonder the franchise tanked under his watch and he is perceived so poorly.

28. Darth Sylar McCoy - August 26, 2009

Alec,

All good things…

Meaning I agree for the most part. I disagree about VOY as I thought it was a fun show (with its excessive, and even horrifying moments no doubt: e.g., Flotter). They should have kept Kes and developed Chakotay more (no, this is not Robert Beltran typing).

29. TK - August 26, 2009

i guess it says a lot when I think about the fact that I didn’t become a fan of any of the other serise apart from TOS…and if Rick Berman was behind them all, then perhaps I don’t appreciate his style. But I’m glad they became successful and the ST universe was allowed to continue.

But, there is one thing I find it difficult to forgive him for….WHY oh why did they have to kill off Kirk in the way they did…. Kirk really, really, deserves a better ending. With the newly established ST universe where quantum physics prevails, the possiblities are limitless………………….

30. Major Shat Lover - August 26, 2009

Come on over to the Shatnerverse!

Seriously, I will never forgive them for the death of Jim Kirk. He was supposed to die alone (STV) in some glorious fashion. “Did we make a difference?” *Barf* “Hi bald English guy, I’m James Tiberius Kirk. You’re cooler than me, I’m just an old has-been who can’t cook a f*ckin egg and who wants to make a difference if only you’ll hold my hand and tell me what to do. Kirk out.”

31. Mark - August 26, 2009

I’m sorry, but Nemesis was just a baaaaddd movie. Poorly executed, poorly written, a paint-by-numbers rip-off of Star Trek 2.

32. New Horizon - August 26, 2009

Nemesis…it wasn’t a good Trek movie. lol The interview is 3 years old,I hope he has gained some perspective on that by now.

33. Schultz - August 26, 2009

Berman (and others) were super-important for Trek. He can’t be thanked enough. I mean… just look at all the different series from the final days of TNG to ENT, and all the movies. Lots of variety, different vibes. There’s something in it for literally everyone. My only criticism is that they didn’t cast Bujold as Janeway. But then, most people like Mulgrew’s interpretation of the role, so I guess I’ll better shut up. ;)

34. Mitch - August 26, 2009

33–If Rick Berman never set foot on a Trek set, would Trek be better or worse? We still would have had TNG, and it would have still been a success.

There would have been another Trek show that spun off of TNG. Given that Berman’s role in DS9 was very minimal compared to the other shows (he was busy finishing TNG and creating Voyager), he didn’t make any difference on DS9. There are many more talented people than he was, so even if DS9 didn’t happen, something else would have and it likely would have been good.

And then we have Voyager and Enterprise, which both stunk overall and drove the fanbase away.

Without Berman, you don’t see Kirk die. It was such a terrible idea, I doubt anyone who had anything to do with making Trek great would have even considered it.

And maybe we don’t have to wait 18 years between decent Trek movies.

35. KingDaniel - August 26, 2009

IMO Nemesis was really good. Honestly.

I think people only hated it because it was considered “cool” to shit on everything to do with Trek since Enteprise started.

36. Admiral Kent - August 26, 2009

He’s veeeery dry in the interview. I wonder if he’s really that humorless.

37. CAPT KRUNCH - August 26, 2009

Let’s remember…he kept TREK alive! We may have got some bad, but all n all we got a lot of good as well!
It was probably too much at once…..
Too many shows, movies, etc to keep it fresh and new, and he killed Kirk!
All n all it was fun..I really did not appreciate it as much as I have now that I am watching them all over on dvd sets..
The Dominion War arc…Xindi arc…Borg episodes..were exciting!
given another year, Enterprise would have been a fine show..really wanted that Romulan war!!…any chance of a reunion show for that ?
As for the movies…keep First Contact and throw the rest out! …nuf said!

38. Star Trackie - August 26, 2009

“…Gene Roddenberry hired Berman partially because he liked that Berman had never seen any Star Trek before.”

Witnessing 18 years of something completely different, the fact that the man never laid eyes on TOS is pretty obvious. And sad.

“… It was not a problematic movie at all. I think it really had to do with a sense of franchise fatigue and the fact that there had been so much Star Trek. ”

No, there had been too much of YOUR version of Star Trek. As they say, familiarity breeds contempt. And as they also say, absence makes the geart grow fonder….witness JJ’s return to a style and vision of Trek that had been absent for almost 20 years. It was a blazing success not 5 years after the entire Trek franchise, under Berman’s rule, came tumbling down. If we never see the 24th century style of “Trek” again, it will be too soon for my tastes.

39. Tiberius Kirk - August 26, 2009

“Rick Berman Talks 18 Years of Trek In Extensive Oral History” LMAO

Does anybody really care what this stooge thinks?

40. Star Trackie - August 26, 2009

#11 “And you can’t say Berman was bad when TNG was good. ”

Sure I can. I never thought TNG was good. Mediocre 95% of the time with a small sprinkling of Star Trek now and again with episodes like The Inner Light and Yesterday’s Enterprise. Sadly, these episodes were the exception rather than the rule.

41. Star Trek: Voyeur - August 26, 2009

This is the FIRST CONTACT with RB for many of us since his reign ended.

Hopefully it will quell the INSURRECTION of disgruntled fans.

RB was not a NEMESIS to Trek, possibly a better steward than Gene.

Thank you Rick, for giving us a breadth of product that will live on for GENERATIONS.

42. RTC - August 26, 2009

Good interview. And I’m especially glad to see so many kind remarks about Mr. Berman on this page. I don’t agree with everything he did with Trek, a few I disagree with strongly, but I’m not a TV producer, either, so who am I to judge? Right or wrong, you can’t question his sincere desire to create a great set of television shows. He certainly did his best, he did a great many things right, and without his leadership we wouldn’t have had Star Trek for so long. Well done, Mr. Berman, and thank you!

43. Mitch - August 26, 2009

37–I don’t believe he kept Trek alive. He just couldn’t kill it.

There’s a difference. Trek thrived before him, failed during his tenure, and the first project that didn’t involve him, thrived again.

Trek was always a viable property. It just was managed very poorly. Monkeys on typewriters could have done what he did with the same result.

It’s like finishing last in the olympics. Anyone can do that.

If Voyager or Enterprise never existed, the franchise would likely have been in better shape. If Trek was turned over to competent people with writers given free reign that actually get the product (like the Reeves Stevenses), it would have been better off.

44. Tiberius Kirk - August 26, 2009

You who love Berman so much should know that he HATED the original show!

By his edict, it was forbidden to even talk about the original series in his presence or on the lot.

He had everyone who worked under him scared to even mention it’s name for fear of retribution.

That’s why he never used any of the original series aliens, except Klingons and Romulans.

45. Your Mobile Phone Deals Out your Fix of TV | Intro to SIP - August 26, 2009

[…] Rick Berman Talks 18 Years of Trek In Extensive Oral History … Tags: Earthquake Warnings, Inhabitants, Mobile Networks, Power Consumption, Ring Tone, Tv Format […]

46. NCC-73515 - August 26, 2009

Nemesis failed not because of franchise fatigue, but because of the director and too many mistakes.

47. Al Levy - August 26, 2009

It’s easier to fail in television than succeed. Almost 700 hours of television dedicated to one general idea has to be considered an overall success.

For me, there have been some down moments but the up ones outweigh anything else.

I don’t believe in hero worship. Flash Gordon (the original serials) and Trek have come the closest.

It’s nice to speculate that someone other than Berman would have done a better job. But they didn’t.

Overall, nice work, Rick.

48. Major Shat Lover - August 26, 2009

I don’t really know much about all this drama, but don’t people tend to blame Rick Berman and Brannon Braga together?

Btw, things seem to be leaning towards the old “TOS is perfect Trek and everything else is hokey and ghey.” Problem with that is that I still watch TOS episodes from time to time and am thus frequently reminded of just how hokey and goofy TOS is. haha. Pretend it is some amazing thing but most of the episodes stink. And this is coming from someone who really digs TOS; just get real, it is freakin 1960’s television, just like TNG is late 80’s, early 90’s television.

Deanna Troi wears a wig of absurd 80’s hair for crying out loud. Chekov has a collection of wigs styled after the members of the Monkees.

I wonder if there is a discussion of those sort about Full House or Happy Days out on the net some place. Don’t get me started on that sterile, monotone spin-off Laverne & Shirley!!

49. Major Shat Lover - August 26, 2009

#47 – Wow.. Right on. I find myself believing that you are quite right. Plus I also admire the Buster Crabbe serials.

Nice work Rick! (everybody now…)

50. neonknights - August 26, 2009

I never personally liked Voyager of Enterprise, but currently I think I would take them over Abrams’ Parody Trek anytime.

51. Iowagirl - August 26, 2009

#27
My thoughts exactly.

52. janeway in the sky with diamonds - August 26, 2009

Stay in bed and grow your hair mates.

53. LCDR Arch - August 26, 2009

Mr Berman gave us some of the best of Trek. When Next Gen was announced, I was afraid it was a huge mistake. But he and Gene pulled it off and gave us something new. DS9 gave us some of the best stories in Trek. He made a few mistakes by lettting Kirk die in Generations and not having Enterprise focus on explaining TOS more. Coto saw the mistake and got us on track by season four.

Overall. Berman is as important as Gene Roddenbery in the hist of trek. I am thankful that during my teenage years and twenties I had Star Trek to watch weekly on not just the TOS episodes I have seen countless times each.

Thank you Mr. Berman for your outstanding work!

54. janeway in the sky with diamonds - August 26, 2009

#53: Agreed.

“BERMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHN!!!!!!”
– Jim Kirk

55. P Technobabble - August 26, 2009

I, too, think Rick Berman has taken a lot of mean-spirited crap.
I was brought up on TOS, and watched it when it was in syndication, until I could recite dialogue. I got to feel something about these characters and this show.
When TNG first arrived, I had a mixed reaction. I was certainly excited to see new Star Trek, but I thought a lot of it was far more sterile than the grittier TOS. I watched TNG pretty regularly, and I got to like the characters, especially Patrick Stewart, who brought a certain dignity to the show. But these characters did not always have the greatest adventures, really. Many of the stories tended to be rather superficial “fan-stuff,” and lacked the more “in your face” attitude of TOS.
I maintain that DS9 — a show I enjoyed because of its more thoughtful writing — did not have to be called Star Trek. Apart from the fact that the story is set in the ST Universe, the show could surely have stood on its own. But I thought there were some great episodes, and I liked the characters.
VOY was another show where I liked the characters but was disappointed in the execution of what seemed like a cool idea to me: “Star Trek meets Lost In Space,” another childhood favorite. Unfortunately, these characters also had too many less than stellar adventures, and too much fluff.
I agree with everyone else about ENT. It was just getting good when it got squashed.
Should Berman be blamed for all of this? As Capt. of the ship, it does fall on his shoulders. For me, personally, I would like to have seen more writing from real, honest-to-goodness sci-fi writers, the way TOS did. I found so many of these stories to be little more than soap operas with a twist, often displaying the characters in cliched relationships and cliched “scientific” dilemmas. There were often scenes where I wanted to throw my shoe at the tv, but opted to change the channel instead.
At the same time, TNG produced “Best of Both Worlds,” which is one of the finest episodes of ANY kind of television. It was TNG’s “City On the Edge.” There were lots of great, or good, tv from all of the shows under Berman’s administration. And lots of not so good… IMO, of course. The same is true of TOS, a show which we all realize is a show of its time, and (even in spite of the remasters) still looks dated… with episodes like “And The Children Shall Lead” to its name.
As for saying “Kirk was already dead…” regarding Kirk’s demise, I understand what you’re saying, Rick, but COME ON…. was that really necessary???

56. Wesley's Bunkmate - August 26, 2009

I found this after reading that he said Wil Wheaton regretted leaving Trek. That didn’t sound quite right to me.

http://tinyurl.com/l9rd23

He doesn’t seem to have much time for Mr Berman. MAybe the truth is somewhere in the middle but Wheaton doesn’t seem to have any regrets.

57. Mitch - August 26, 2009

Berman is NOT as important as Gene Roddenberry. Without Roddenberry, there is no Star Trek. Without Berman, Trek would still be here, and we might have had a set of better movies and shows at this point. Certainly wouldn’t have been worse.

58. Chris Fawkes - August 26, 2009

I bit of shoving his head in the sand.

“On demise of Kirk in Generations: “this was a character was long dead when Next Generation too\k place, but we were perceived as killing Capt. Kirk”

Apparently the character wasn’t dead according to generations so how does he work that out?

Most fans were not miffed that Kirk was killed but that he was killed in the lamest possible way. How about accepting responsibility for a major cockup and obviously bad story telling. Nup the fans are just mistaken, idiots.

“Berman feels INS “had some amazing stuff in it, but didn’t do quite as well as First Contact”
Berman considers Nemesis a “classic Star Trek movie” in the vein of the Nick Meyer movies, but acknowledged “it was not well received at all”
Does not believe release date (close to LOTR) was factor, but admits “I don’t know what went wrong” except possibly “franchise fatigue” (more below)”

You are kidding. This guy is seriously in denial. INS had some amazing stuff in it? Franchise fatigue.

I’m glad for some of Berman’s better work and he deserves credit for much but some of those comments are completely ridiculous.

59. dmduncan - August 26, 2009

I have Berman fatigue.

60. ger - August 26, 2009

“Nemesis was a good movie. It was not a problematic movie at all.”

No, Nemesis wasn’t a good movie! So many things wrong with this movie, you’d have to change the entire script and recast the villains to make it good.

61. ger - August 26, 2009

But he’s right, INS did have some pretty cool stuff in it. I like that movie. It’s not better than First Contact, but it’s okay. And the box office agrees with me and Berman on that one. Not great, but okay. Nemesis on the other hand…

62. S. John Ross - August 26, 2009

#58: “You are kidding. This guy is seriously in denial. INS had some amazing stuff in it? Franchise fatigue.”

It’s a grand tradition by now. :) Whenever anyone does anything tedious/crappy/uninspired under the Trek name, they blame Trek itself.

63. Michael - August 26, 2009

It’s kinda funny looking back, cause Roddenberry said in a tapped interview that Paramount begged him to come back and do another Trek series, and he said they couldn’t pay him enough…..and they said: “What if we didn’t have a network and it was syndicated and NO ONE was telling you what to do and you could do it YOUR way? It seems the studio was almost of not just as castrating as any Network was/is at the time!
If Berman was constantly having battles, arguing, losing what he felt was right to some suit pinhead ….I can see how the fans were not entirely in the loop when it came to who actually was tossing foul balls @ the fans.
Paramount was/is a $ hound and they thought their cash cow would never run out of milk. The fans proved them otherwise.
Tv series used to be 34 episodes a year back in the day and 50-51 min or longer each hour show. By the time TNG came around it was down to 24-26?, 42min. shows. The cost to produce a tv series since TOS has went to obscene proportions.

64. jdp13 - August 26, 2009

Overall I think Berman did a great job guiding the franchise. Yes there were a few missteps, but the postitive definitely out weigh the negatives.

65. Mitch - August 26, 2009

He lost 80 percent of the TNG audience from 1994 to the end of Enterprise. The only movies that didn’t fail had the Borg gimmick and Kirk. But they also had bigger budgets than the TOS predecessors and adjusting for inflation, were flops. The Abrams movie did more in its first two days than Nemesis did in its entire run.

The entire runs of Voyager and Enterprise were black marks on the franchise and were major contributors to the demise on his watch. Rick Berman was Herbert Hoover. It all happened on his watch, and the failure of the franchise was due to his decisions. The positives do not outweigh the negatives, unless you consider that Abrams’ one project, which happened because of Berman’s ineptness, would never have happened had Berman not been fired.

Unfortunately, he was fired about 10 years too late.

If Rick Berman was so great, why has he done absolutely nothing outside of Trek? It’s been several years since Enterprise. Even Braga managed to get a job (through Coto).

66. Imrahil - August 26, 2009

More like ANAL history. AHAHAHAHAHAH. Ahaha. Aha.

My biggest problem with Berman’s Trek is the completely neutered music. “Sonic wallpaper” indeed.

67. Spockish - August 26, 2009

Berman was not the father of Star Trek (that’s the Great Bird of the Galaxy’s role) but he did a very good job as a step father. And Berman was the lead person for the Star Trek Communicator Magazine (have issue 48 to 138 of the magazine). And in his editorial comments he expressed much of his views as to why things in the Trek Universe happened and how those ideas meshed with what he knew of Roddenberry’s fatherhood of raising the concept of Star Trek.

He did not know of the great bird back in 1963 as Gene had Star Trek mature in his thoughts back then, Shatner and Nimoy sould now more about that. But since 1986 he got to learn much from Gene about Gene’s vision of Star Trek until Gene left us in the start of 1993, right around when TNG:Unification was finished and ready to air. In that two parter we got to see that the Romulan’s were a part of Vulcan Heritage and more than less sharply pointed ears as the Vulcan’s have.

Going back to what one of the first Star Trek books i read in the 70’s. It was pointed out that Klingons were Russians and Romulans were Chinese, I’d like to slightly alter that Vulcans are closer to Chinese and Romulans are more like North Koreans. But these analogies will alway alter as politics change here on Earth.

I could go into more details about my thoughts on this concept but that would be digging up to much political dirt, and that kind of dirt stinks to much for here and the web site curators (namely Anthony and crew).

What would be a unique sereis idea would be going back some 5,000 years in time when the Romulan branch of Vulcans seperated from Vulcan. But that series would have no Earthers because then we were still learning that wood floats and Moses was the big guy on Earth, and around the time that UFO Aliens were leaving first person contact with Earth maybe as they had there Prime Directive inforced.

But that is almost saying all divine beings on Earth were not GODs but just Prime Directive defying UFO Aliens. Just like how ‘The Fifth Element’ states in it’s plot.

68. Phlox in the sky with diamonds - August 26, 2009

YOU BASTARDS!

LEAVE BERMAN ALONE!!!!

HE’S A HUMAN!

69. Denise de Arman - August 26, 2009

Under Berman’s watch Captain James T. Kirk was eliminated in such a disrespectfully casual way most fans will never forget nor forgive. I doubt Berman will ever understand the feelings fans experienced when Kirk was simply dropped from a bridge to his death below and covered with a pile of rocks.

Let us not forget, however, that Shatner freely participated in Kirk’s demise. Shatner argued his character’s motivations and wording without compunction when working with Meyer and Nimoy, even bringing his attorney into the initial meeting with Nimoy for The Search For Spock. Yet in Generations he gladly freed his iconic character to scramble eggs and ride around on horseback, ultimately hurling him to his death in the end. I would suspect there is plenty of blame to go around for Generations.

70. Admiral Waugh - August 26, 2009

I am, though I shouldn’t be, shocked at the degree to which Berman continues to delude himself regarding his classiness and his right decisions. Just because he survived in his job as long as he did? All it means is that there were more incompetent people above him? Let’s talk about a few huge errors:

* Insurrection: Are you kidding me? A Communist utopia where people can’t be artists until 60 yrs of training? What happened to virtuosos or all possibilities? You’ve explored the universe to come right back to the worst of the 20th century.

* Nemesis: NOT a classic film. PERHAPS derivative, and even then, with absolutely no chemistry. It was a decent two-part episode, but not a movie, and yes, franchise fatigue had set in because the characters were so much more boring than the TOS actors, all of whom exhibited a certain charisma (sorry TNG fans).

* Generations: Is that your best explanation for the worst death of an important character ever? Long dead? Like Admiral McCoy? You’re brilliant, Rick.

71. GOOSFRABA - August 26, 2009

RICK BERMAN IS THE MICHAEL VICK OF STAR TREK

72. me - August 26, 2009

“Sure I can. I never thought TNG was good. Mediocre 95% of the time with a small sprinkling of Star Trek now and again with episodes like The Inner Light and Yesterday’s Enterprise. Sadly, these episodes were the exception rather than the rule.”

Pah, TNG and DS9 were the best Star Trek ever produced on TV.
TNG was the more intellectual Star Trek, DS9 still is one of the best Scifi Series on the narrative aspects and character interaction (dozends of minor characters that almost were as good as main characters of many other series)

TOS of course was good, too. But it wasn’t as evolved as TNG and DS9.

The downfall came with Voyager and the TNG movies.

73. T'Cal - August 26, 2009

Mr. Berman did some fantastic work in his time with Trek. As for those who don’t like some of the directions Trek went, I won’t be joining you in blaming one man for a corporation’s choices that he had to live with.

While none of the films were perfect, each had their moments when the essense of Roddenberry’s ideals were clearly displayed and I believe that was accomplished in no small part due to Berman’s guidence.

74. AJ - August 26, 2009

“Franchise fatigue” sounds like an excuse the higher-ups created to justify ending Berman-era Trek, which was losing viewers weekly.

The biggest wrong-turn was INS. After First Contact was a success as an actioner, the studio should have ordered more of the same, but even bigger and better. “Insurrection” was garbage and bored the world to tears. By NEM, the TNG films were dead, and that film’s shortcomings did not help.

The ‘fatigue’ was actually within Berman himself. And not to sleight this man at all, I think he just was unable to move “Trek” along into the 2000’s. With “Sex and the City” and “Sopranos” tearing up the charts, Trek simply got hokey. No sex and no real threats to the lives of the crews just made the VOY and ENT crews seem one-dimensional in an era where TV was being transformed.

75. Spockish - August 26, 2009

#63. Michael, what I view TV air time as is 32 shows a year in the 66-69 era and from 51-50 minutes per show in 67 to 49-48 minutes in 69. And for TNG time it was 45-44 minutes per show in 1988 to 44-43 minutes in 1995. And show segments were 13 minutes and three ad breaks in 66 to now 6-5 minutes segments with 6-7 ad breaks and TV ads are now 20% to 33% the cost of what they priced at in the 60’s. And pulverizing has moved from newspapers and magazines to 15-30sec to 2 min semi infomercials.

TV is now 36-41 minutes per show (or 27 min on G4 daily shows) and I’ve always thought that when TV reached the 30min show / 30 min ad time TV would die.

And in the Trek universe via DSN it is stated TV dies in 2040, and in doing some math in 1995 in a paper I authored on TV ad time that started in 1953 with one ad break of 3 minutes to the 44 minutes of show not eaten by pulverizing time, it showed that point would happen in 2036.

But just like Social Security only has a few years left before turning red, TV time in the 21st century will reach the 50/50 mark in 2012-2017. Maybe the Inca calendar end of time at 12/21/2012 ment the end of free TV.

76. OneBuckFilms - August 26, 2009

63. I think the actual timing was more like 44:50, but you are right.

The thing is, whatever the studio promised Roddenberry to get him to come back, people come and go in the top eschelons of Paramount, and policies do change.

It’s probably not the first time execs broke their word.

The real problem is that too much creative freedom could be risky from an executive’s viewpoint.

There are probably a lot of ideas that were nixed by execs that may have been completely ridiculous.

Although frustrating, there is something said to having some checks and balances.

77. Spockish - August 26, 2009

One last comment on the ending of Star Trek Enterprise. So say it was like a death bu heartache, I say it was more like a death by beheading and you can not find the head so no open casket funeral.

And I was hoping that it to would live 7 years. Almost as deadly as TOS’s death on 6/13/1969.

I know JJ gavea rebirth to the movies but for a TV show please let it have a few more years before it is given birth again. That way people may see and learn of the flaws created in the TNG-ENT time span.

78. raffie - August 26, 2009

It’s pretty amazing to me he keeps quoting ‘franchise fatigue’ as the demise of Star Trek. The truth is it’s more producer’s fatigue. VOY was not up to the standards of previous shows, even boring at times, while ENT was just plain bad television. On top of that NEM was a bad movie. Star Trek’s audience left largely not because there was a lot of it, but because Star Trek had become bad and boring, comming down to even rehashing the same storylines.

There was a creative draught, and thats ALL it comes down to.

79. Dr. Image - August 26, 2009

#74 No. The biggest “wrong turn” was Voyager and its horrible writing and irritating characters.
And giving a bigger role to Braga.

Oh well, that’s working within the system.

80. sean - August 26, 2009

Star Trek is about whatever the individual viewer thinks it is about. There’s no ‘skewed’ view. It’s all a matter of perspective.

I think Rick Berman gets a lot of grief, some of it deserved, some of it not. Ultimately, I don’t think he meant any harm, but was simply associated with the show for far too long. And I have to agree that some of his statements are ridiculously naive. ‘I didn’t kill Capt Kirk, I just hired two writers to write a scene wherein he’s killed!’ Come on Rick! But hey, Gene was honestly involved for too long as well, however difficult that might be for some of us to understand. Trek seems to thrive with a lot of changeover behind the scenes.

81. Marvin the Martian - August 26, 2009

#35: Actually, I hated “Nemesis” because the film sucked. And I felt that way from the time I first read the god-awful script… which was leaked to the internet via the Defacer (if anyone remembers him).

So, pardon me if I’m not a big fan of Berman. I still haven’t forgotten that he fired Ron Jones because he was willing to write music that was dramatic and thrilling, and not the aural wallpaper that Berman insisted upon. Compare the dramatic underscores between TOS and TNG. There’s no comparison. The TOS scores have become part of pop culture, like the Kirk/Spock fight in “Amok Time.” Even the TNG scores from the first season when Berman had very little authority are consistently more musically engaging than what came later.

And I can’t ignore Berman’s claim that Maurice Hurley fired Gates McFadden “because he didn’t like her acting”…

In Hurley’s defense, the reason he told me that McFadden was fired was not because he didn’t like her acting, but because she demanded that the writers only allow Picard to be romantically involved with Dr. Crusher, and not any other alien or human character. Hurley thought this was creatively stifling, and because McFadden threatened to leave over this, he called her bluff. (Remember that Hurley was not just “a writer on TNG,” but he was also co-executive producer.)

He also told me that the remaining cast was was so resentful at the firing of McFadden, they took their anger out on Diana Muldaur the next season, and they were so cruel to her, she often left the set in tears.

82. Bilar - August 26, 2009

Rick is a good Lt. just not a General. Someone to get the job done, on time and on budget but not someone with a real vision that requires risk and vision. We all can’t be Gene Coon or Ron Moore.

83. Alex Prewitt - August 26, 2009

Mr. Berman did what he thought was best for the franchise. I think he did more good than bad on the whole. If it wasn’t for him, we would probably be on the net bitching about Buffy The Vampire Slayer instead of some cheesy show from the 60’s.

84. Enterprise41 - August 26, 2009

Enterprise was the epitome what Trek slowly became under his guidance: crap.

85. Shatner_Fan_Prime - August 26, 2009

Whatever. I’m glad he’s gone. JJ & crew have made Star Trek FUN again.

86. Angus Burger from McDonalds is actually pretty darn good - August 26, 2009

I still blame him for kirk’s death..

BTW…Who would win this Berman or Berman from the Magic Bullet commericals?

87. Bob - August 26, 2009

This idiot almost ruined Star Trek. PI$$ on him.

88. Denise de Arman - August 26, 2009

Alex#83- “…some cheesy show from the sixties”? Excuse me?

89. darmok and jalad in the sky with diamonds - August 26, 2009

I created Star Trek back in the 60’s, which from my perspective was/is the 51’s nomos of the 5th aeon. Gene would channel my spirit and I would speak through him. From your perspective I exist far into the future, billions of your years into the future, and yet I exist in many times and places through subordinate modes of being.

As the supreme authority on Star Trek I renounce Generations and Nemesis. I furthermore renounce Enterprise and numerous episodes of VOY, DS9, TNG and TOS (the formal list will be provided to true fans through an interior inspiration – you will know). I must also canonize TAS once and for all, with the exception of the devil episode (because it is goofy) and Larry Niven’s episode (for convoluted legal reasons).

Good day.

90. Marian Ciobanu - August 26, 2009

- I love his work…

91. darmok and jalad in the sky with diamonds - August 26, 2009

Oh, and Ellison can keep that damned overrated episode; consider it expunged.

92. AJ - August 26, 2009

69:

Denise:

I agree that Berman should ‘take the blame’ for Generations’ mutilation of the Kirk character as a precursor to his stupid death. He is a corporate guy, so he blames the writers. The film made money, so he got his bonus as well.

93. 'Welcome back ambassador Spock' - August 26, 2009

Enterprise was excellent. Berman was consistent in the quality of his work. The ratings dropped because of franchise fatigue, and everyone was downloading the show from the Internet.

Enterprise’s strengths were the story arcs and the theme song.
Its weakness was the cast. Reed and Tucker were poor. T’Pol was good up until she became overly emotional. Archer was excellent.

Berman is a genius and he consistently produced top notch ST material.

94. braga in the sky with diamonds - August 26, 2009

LIAR!!!!!

95. Author of The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers - August 26, 2009

@81: “He also told me that the remaining cast was was so resentful at the firing of McFadden, they took their anger out on Diana Muldaur the next season, and they were so cruel to her, she often left the set in tears.”

I had heard that *Roddenberry* was so antagonistic to her that *he*, when he made set appearances, drove her off the set in tears. Surely an entire troupe of actors aren’t so childish as to take out their creative differences with a *writer* out on a fellow actor.

As far as I’m concerned, Diana Muldaur as an actress (with her Trek stripes) and Dr Pulaski as her character were a collective breath of fresh air that was so desperately needed by the antiseptic TNG world. It stood in the face of this absurd rule laid down by Roddenberry that no one on the crew ever has conflict, which was probably the most asinine and unrealistic constraint placed on a creative writing team. That she was unceremoniously dumped from the series just so we could see Mom Crusher come back and wring her hands over her kiddo saving the ship week in and week out was a tedious and conspicuous failing of TNG.

96. Valar1 - August 26, 2009

Oh, now after all the shows have been cancelled does he begin to admit his various failings, thanks, but no thanks. When he had the chance to alter course to save Trek it was full speed ahead into a ditch. Whatever.

97. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - August 26, 2009

I have been a big time critic of Berman for many years. But after reading and listning to some of what he had to say maybe i was a bit wrong. Yes he did make some mistakes but he was trying to do the right thing and im sure there are way to many instences of headbutting with the top execs. Im sure he would do some things differently if he could. But all in all the series he did were all good. the 4th season of Enterprise except for the finale was great and in tradition of Star Trek. I thought Voyager was a overall good show and DS9 was a good one as well. Heres hopeing that J.J and the court can learn from the mistakes and go forward.

98. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - August 26, 2009

Hey anthony. Maybe you could Invite Rick Berman to come on to Trek Movie and Blog with us. Do you think he might do that.

99. captain_neill - August 26, 2009

Berman gets such a bad rap. Hundreds of Great Trek episodes were produced under his watch and he always tried his best for Trek and to honour the fans.

I agree he might have been there to long but he has done great work for Trek.

Although Voyager fell short on its potential I still believed it had a lot of great stories in the show. Enterprise started off a bit shaky but became a great show in my eyes.

I am hoping that the new fans discover these shows as well as TOS because it all adds to the universe.

100. john locke in the sky with diamonds - August 26, 2009

#98 – Too many mean comments; I wouldn’t want him to be subjected to some of the Drek I’ve seen on here. I hope he doesn’t surf these sites, and if so, I feel bad.

101. OneBuckFilms - August 26, 2009

I think after 18 years, anyone could make erroneous judgements.

I think the Berman Bashers are ungrateful to an unfair extreme for what he presided over.

102. Enterprise41 - August 26, 2009

#100 – He’s made tens of millions of dollars from Trek. I don’t think he gives a &&*@ about Internet nerd opinions.

103. Orb of the Emissary - August 26, 2009

#97- Couldn’t have said it better!

104. JimJ - August 26, 2009

You know what bothers me about that finale of Enterprise? It’s the fact that overall I really liked the episode, just didn’t like the part where they killed Trip. That ruined the whole thing for me. I was able to handle all the rest of it including the TNG tie-in. Just my opinion. I really thought Enterprise seasons 3 and especially 4 were quite good. There were gems in the other seasons, but they were more rare.

105. Andy Patterson - August 26, 2009

“this was a character was long dead ”

Kirk never was dead to me. I think that’s a silly thing to say. I never even acknowledged the movie he supposedely died in as a valid part of his history. It, like some other things, was just a mistake or a misinformed decision.

106. Anthony Pascale - August 26, 2009

I am glad that most people are being reasonable and civil and not resorting to silly ‘Berman bashing’, however not all

warning for Tiberius Kirk, there is no reason to get personal

107. Muldfeld - August 26, 2009

Thanks so much for posting this. I’m very excited to hear from this man because, although he’s taken some unforgivable directions with Star Trek, he did some good work on DS9’s first 2 seasons and had a sense of political conscious completely missing from the superficial tripe of J.J. Abrams

108. Jordan - August 26, 2009

I’ll always have a deep respect for Rick Berman. Although not a fan of Voyager or Enterprise, he nevertheless did great things with the franchise.

109. stat trackie - August 26, 2009

#101 “I think the Berman Bashers are ungrateful to an unfair extreme for what he presided over.”

Hey, I’m an equal opportunity offender. I equally blame Roddenberry, who had continued his decline from the chaotic days of the motion picture and, in doing so, cranked out TNG, a show so radically different from TOS, in everything from inception to execution, that the only resemblence to it’s namesake WAS the name.

Thankfully, those dreadful days are behind us. With JJ at the helm, the future does look bright indeed. And, more importantly, Star Trek is fun again. Wow…. I haven’t been able to say that for about 18 years. Feels good!

110. Kent Butabi - August 26, 2009

1:02:40

“By the time we finished TNG we were doing 100% of our work with… computers.”

What?

111. DasInfoGod - August 26, 2009

I saw Meyer speak last night on the first leg of his national book tour and he noted that after Star Trek VI, he was never asked by the Berman crew to participate in the production of any Trek.

…and I’ll add that it shows.

112. Captain Rickover - August 26, 2009

I think it’s fascinating, how HATEFULL some people can be, if it concerns TNG and it’s fans. Make we wonder how it ever could have run for seven season. Perhaps someone should remind them that the glorious Mr. Abrams and even Bob Orci are TNG-fans.

But now about poor old Mr. Berman:
The true fall of Berman began with ENT, when he was not able to start with new ideas and new dynamics. I could blame him for that, but I think that’s not fair. If he was forced as he said (and I don’t doubt it, because I know studio-bosses), he had no other choice and please, Berman-bashers, tell me: DO YOU KNOW THE RIGHT MOMENT TO STOP AND LEAVE? I believe no one knows. That’s why casinos in Vegas are still in buisness.

Thanks Mr. Berman for 18 years of Star Trek. I realy enjoied it.

113. THX-1138 - August 26, 2009

To blame Berman for the decline of Trek is both naive and short sighted.

Some of the thanks for Trek’s continued popularity can be directly attributed to him. I find it interesting to hear the same arguments that the nuTrek fans use to praise the JJ film are the same ones that the TNG fans use to praise that show. And that the nuTrek fans are the ones who most frequently are the one who dislike the TNG era shows. TNG was a departure from TOS by design. And contrary to what some folks may want you to believe, it was quite succesful at getting new fans interested in Star Trek. Like the new film has done. Was Kirk’s death stupid? Yes. Was the destruction of Vulcan a bad idea? I would have to say in my opinion, yes. That’s just one comparison that comes easily to the top of my head.

Undoubtedly Berman had probably been involved in Trek too long and should have stepped aside. But to bash him is ignorant of the facts.

114. Star Trek: Voyeur - August 26, 2009

#82 – “Rick is a good Lt. just not a General.”

Spot On, Bilar!

A perfect example of the Peter Principle: In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence.”

115. Alex Prewitt - August 26, 2009

88. Denise de Arman – August 26, 2009
Alex#83- “…some cheesy show from the sixties”? Excuse me?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

No offense – I was attempting (failed) to be sarcastic. We all have this passionate affection for a show that so many others are willing to write off as mindless nonsense from a bygone era. If Rick hadn’t helped revitalize the franchise into something viable, we’d likely be arguing passionately about something else!

116. AJ - August 26, 2009

110:

” “By the time we finished TNG we were doing 100% of our work with… computers.”

What?”

As opposed to typewriters?

117. sean - August 26, 2009

#116

I hear they wrote ‘Encounter at Farpoint’ on papyrus!

118. Horatio - August 26, 2009

Franchise fatigue? Baloney.

What happened was that all the series started to look, feel and sound the same. Trek had become a victim of SAMENESS. If Berman were to be blamed for anything it was for not taking any chances. He had a formula and by god, he was sticking with it. Many people started to get BORED.

For example take the music soundtrack. Its been mentioned several times above how the music seemed so lackluster and lacked any real drama to it. On top of that, the music from Enterprise is pretty much identical to what you would hear on TNG or DS9 or Voyager. But it wasn’t just the music. It was EVERYTHING.

The tragedy of Enterprise is that it promised to shake things up and it didn’t. It was more formula Berman-Braga Trek. It was well produced and was being made obviously by people who loved Trek – but it was still just more of the same. For a show billed as Retro Trek it didn’t feel very retro. Enterprise FINALLY found its voice in its 4th season (which should have been its first season) but by then all but the very faithful fans were gone.

There was some great TNG. IMO DS9 was awesome seasons 3-7. Voyager had its moments. I appreciate what Berman did for alot of Trek’s run he was at the helm but like so many who have been a part of it (i.e Shatner) I don’t think he really ‘got it’. His defense for killing off Kirk is a prime example.

119. rm10019 - August 26, 2009

This is a great find! Thanks Anthony for your tireless work.

120. Toothless Grishnar Cat - August 26, 2009

Jeeze. Some of the commenters here have real anger issues. Acting as if Berman is the Anti-Christ or something. Childish in the extreme. He made some true screw-ups, granted, but I don’t hold a personal vendetta against him.

121. AJ - August 26, 2009

117:

I have the TNG writers’ guide somewhere in storage, and it was typed out, xeroxed and bound quite cheaply. Berman may actually mean that when he refers to computers, coming from the perspective of someone ‘of that time period.’ I think the Apple IIc was hot back then, if you could turn it on.

The Writers’ Guide was quite specific that Klingons and Romulans were not to be referenced in the new series, and from what I subsequently read, that came from the Great Bird himself, not Berman, as was suggested above. We all know how that ended up.

122. Commodore Lurker - August 26, 2009

Decloaking . . .

For crying out loud people, sometimes I think we all have completely lost our Borg Collective minds!

Rick Berman gave us 25 seasons of Star Trek and I think the best film (FC).

Each series delivered at least a dozen Trek masterpieces, many more brilliant eps, and nearly everyone was more entertaining than just about anything else on TV.

If it wasn’t for Berman we wouldn’t have a Canon to argue about since TNG may not have survived its third season. To which I also credit Michael Piller for opening up script submissions to anyone, which in turn, a writer named Ron D. Moore was hired among other notables.

I also credit Berman for seeing his Trek burnout and handing the reins over to Manny Coto, who I would like to see helm the next Trek series.

All in all, I’ve watched Berman Trek countless times. I’ve seen JJ Trek twice, and I’ve had enough.

Recloaking. }:-D>

123. AJ - August 26, 2009

I give Rick Berman a lot of credit for taking Trek as far as he did. It sounds as if he was a corporate stooge (not an insult by any means. It’s a job.), and had to compromise when a higher-up thought he/she had a better idea.

I think he owes a lot to people like Michael Piller (RIP), Ron Moore, Jeri Taylor, Brannon Braga and Manny Coto, but he’s still covering his own corporate buttocks when he blames others for creative problems like Kirk’s death. The corporate rule to remember is “Be careful how you treat people on the way up, because you may need them on the way down.” Maybe he doesn’t need anyone. But his positive legacy is secure enough not to have to deflect criticism onto others.

124. Tiberious - August 26, 2009

Berman has put out some good Trek and some bad Trek. That’s all. If he really didn’t want to do another show he could of begged off. My real beef with him (and the writing staff of Generations, the movie) is that he was a big proponent of killing Kirk. I feel that this was unnecessary. I would rather there be no Kirk/Picard movie than have the one that was released in 1994. Rick Berman is a very important factor in the Star Trek franchise and that’s it. Now it’s in the hands of a new team. Down the road someone else will pick up the rights. It’s just a cycle.

125. Lt. Bailey - August 26, 2009

While I like that he admitted that ENT could have gone on for 3 more seasons, had he started off with shows such as in the 4th season. There is nothing we can do about it now sadly. Unless the Save Enterprise campaign starts up. It was a great idea from what I saw in Las Vegas that it go straight to DVD.

126. Marian Ciobanu - August 26, 2009

- IMHO the only character unecessary in Voyager was Neelix….not Kes…and Phlox was a boring character….and T’pol was a really enoying character…

127. HunterRex - August 26, 2009

The Star Trek franchise and us fans were so lucky to have Rick Berman at the helm. Very few people would have been able to make a franchise like this sustain nearly 20 years of various series and movies. He and the crew did stay true to canon more so than TOS did during its run.

Way to go, Rick!

128. zanzibar - August 26, 2009

Great stuff, thank you.

129. Eli - August 26, 2009

Well, from just reading the bullets, it sounds like we got the level of quality of Trek that Berman was willing to stand up to the Studio for. After that, he went along with whatever his bosses above wanted. Had we had a weaker producer, we would’ve have possibly lower quality and less Trek and if we had a more passionate Producer, we may be still seeing new Trek on TV today.

It is heartening to see that he wanted to take a break as much as we wanted to after Voyager, I just wish they would have gone further with the concepts for Voy & Ent than they did. He stayed away from DS9 and it turned out golden!

That sucks about Diana Muldaur, while I have nothing against McFadden or her character, if she was trying to pass mandates on the writers or producers, that’s kinda bitchy. And if Gene and/or the cast was mistreating Muldaur, that’s even worse! I liked the Pulaski character, she was like a female McCoy and brought some color to the second year of TNG.

130. jonboc - August 26, 2009

Yes, Berman kept HIS vision of Trek afloat for almost 20 years. Some give him credit, I give him blame.

131. ATROX - August 26, 2009

HE SAID ENTERPRISE E.

132. Michael - August 26, 2009

Well, now I feel kinda bad. I’m sorry I was mean, Mr. Berman. I can’t fully understand what it’s like to deal with studios that are relentlessly pushing you for more and more product. You did some great stuff. Without TNG none of us could even be here to nitpick. I still believe DS9 was the best of the trek series. As for VOY and ENT, well, it’s water under the bridge.

133. Kent Butabi - August 26, 2009

# 131

I know! There were a few comments he made where I thought he was mistaken. About use of CGI, about actors – but THAT takes the cake.

134. LOO-SER! - August 26, 2009

I think Berman did a good job.
But I don’t think Ira Steven Behr and Manny Coto get half enough praise for what they contributed. Certainly Behr doesn’t, which is an apsolute shame.

I love how candid he is here though.
I think we all know about Beltran’s problems on VOY, but I can’t believe their was problems between Mulgrew and Ryan. That makes me sad, but it never showed on screen so fair play to the two obviously professional women.

Overall though, I think we should all be very greatful to what Berman has given the Star Trek community. Sure, somebody else might’ve done it a whole lot better. But there is a greater chance, I believe, that if it were somebody else who was handed the reighns after Roddenberry, we wouldn’t be here talking about DS9 or VOY or ENT today. In other words, Berman was probably the best candidate for the job, and we should show our gratitude towards that.

135. Colonel West - August 26, 2009

@122 Commodore Lurker:

Agreed.

Now I am in no way a Berman apologist, far from it in fact but some people take things far, far too seriously and personally. It’s a fictional creation! As much as we all love it and are passionate about it there’s more important things in life to worry about and get all worked up over than who “killed” Trek and what you’d do to them from behind the anonimity of your keyboard.

I do believe that mistakes were made and franchise fatigue for want of a better term was absolutely a major factor. What people don’t seem to realize, or want to understand for that matter, is that Rick Berman was basically middle management. He was in charge of managing the franchise (god i hate that word anyway) for HIS bosses and what his bosses say goes because they are the top dogs at Paramount. If your boss tells you to do something and you tell him no, not a hope, you’d be out the door before your feet hit the floor and replaced with someone who’d say yes sir, right away sir.

As I said mistakes were made and those who made them know themselves but you have to look at it objectively. 4 tv shows totalling 24 seasons and 4 movies is a hell of along time to be in the same game and is a great achievement. Some was bad and some was ok but the majority of it was good and I’d take that batting average in a heartbeat.

Lastly, as was touched upon, the opening up to submissions allowed some fantastic writers to get into not just Trek but the business in general and their work not just in Trek but post Trek proves that. For me, when they stopped accepting submissions was when things probably started to go.

136. LOO-SER! - August 26, 2009

Also, I’m kinda happy that Denise Crosby and Wil Wheton regretted leaving. I knew that they did, but it’s nice to hear Berman say it.
Hahaha Losers!

137. Magic_Al - August 26, 2009

Blaming Nemesis on “franchise fatigue” suggests the same movie shown at a different time would be well received. I think that may be true of Insurrection, but Nemesis is just not put together right.

138. Adam C - August 26, 2009

and some time later ive watched all that video wow kept it listening the entire time.

139. stallion - August 26, 2009

I appreciate the concept that Voyager and Enterprise had, but it’s pretty obviously that DS9 had the better creative staff and after DS9 was over they moved on. Despite the fact it was to late I appreciate the fact Berman gave Manny Cotto control of enterprise.

140. Kev - August 26, 2009

I can’t say I blame him for the demise of star trek but that “no conflict between core characters” rule seems stupid.

I admit I dont want it to turn into a soap opera but you need some sort of meaningful interaction and conflict between the main charicters (love and hate are key parts of any good story) which is what alot of the post rodenberry stuff felt lacking in.

although part of that might be because I didn’t like either of voyagers or enterprises characters

and frankly I think he just spent too much time with trek and should have moved on to something else after tng finished up.

but atleast its back now, and it did need a rest.

141. nic - August 27, 2009

Long term fan, short term poster …

That all gives a great insight for me. I liked all series in it’s own way.

I personally think that the Studio got a little money-hungry and pretty distant from the fans, and then suggesting gimics to draw people in (like exageratted breasts in CAT suits) – which is great being a guy but also a tad desperate me thinks. Perhaps also, the traditional fans aged at the same time and new series didn’t link with either old fan or the new generations.

You know, Chocolate is great to me but if I ate it every night I’d quickly lose my ‘spark’ for it.

Don’t get me wrong, the Seven character was actually really good & played well.

All series had their own ‘tone’ and I liked TOS & TNG myself.

All credit to Rick Berman for his part in my favorite story (& of course all others involved). The choice of Patrick Stewart was perfect.

142. noirgwio - August 27, 2009

ENT and TOS are my top faves, but TNG, DS9 & VOY – of which there’s alot I haven’t yet seen… All that I have I’ve enjoyed alot. Trek, ALL the movies as well, is a big part of my life. Passed down from my dad, it’s just one of those comforts/loves/interests/curiosities etc. The creators, writers, actors etc. all essential to fitting together a wonderful puzzle of affirming, entertaining TV… Berman was a huge key to it, and many props to him. BTW: I didn’t hate Faith of the Heart… It inspired me. Keep on rocking Mr. B!!

143. Tino - August 27, 2009

People always blame the front person.

But let’s not forget, Rick Berman also had to answer to certain people – people who gave money for Star Trek to get produced. So they surely had a lot of say in it too.

However, I always thought that the writing went down in the last seasons. Look at Enterprise … the first and second season had so many stickers in it. I hardly blame any not-hardcore-fan for having left the series.

However, it’s hard to keep the same audience interested for twenty years. Especially when the main characters are always nice and warm and right.

If I have to point my finger to it, I daresay the stories were becoming boring, repetative and without a good spark.

BUT

I’m hoping for a longlasting TV-series set in the Abrams-universe. The Kelvin wouldn’t work anymore … too bad. But maybe another cool-looking ship and a very good storyline that keeps people interested (like Lost, just a little bit less of continuity and time travel). :)

144. Locke for President - August 27, 2009

It is hard to keep anything creatively interesting after so many years. After all, there were a combined 25 seasons of Star Trek under Berman’s watch.

I do think Voyager and Enterprise, in hindsight, were going to the well two too many times. The next series for Star Trek after the creation of DS9 should have been another spin on the mythos, just like DS9 was. Sure, the whole Delta Quadrant angle was supposed to make Voyager different, but really it was TNG-lite.

The feature films should have been handled by someone else. There’s one good movie in there, one average one, and two below par. They each ended with the bad guy trying to destroy the good guys with a device or weapon with a countdown.

All in all, I give Berman his due, for keeping it going as long as he did. It kind of amused me watching the interview, though, when he kind of messed up on a few details. I guess it was just a job for him, and we are more apt to remember those details.

145. Reed Farrington - August 27, 2009

Thanks for bringing these “oral histories” to our attention. I like hearing from the creative people about their experiences and views on Star Trek.

I’m glad with the mostly positive comments here about Rick Berman. I appreciate his contributions to our Star Trek universe.

146. Mark - August 27, 2009

+1 for the music issue.

I work in the periphery of the industry (industrials), and when we spot,we use “Berman” as shorthand for that kind of sonic wash.

Several times I’ve said “do you want me to write something for that or do you just want to do a ‘Berman’,” and music people invariably know what I mean.

I don’t know how people with such glaring “blind spots of taste” get to be in charge of creative enterprises, but it seems to be the rule and not the exception.

–Mark

147. Gary - August 27, 2009

There’s a bunch of questions and follow up questions that would have been nice to hear answers to. For example:

Did you try to get The Shat on Enterprise? Is that rumor true?
What would have happened in the 5th season of Enterprise?
Why did you kill Trip?
Who were some of the other actors under consideration for various roles?
Why did you hire Stuart Baird?
I read that Garrett Wang wanted to direct? Why didn’t it happen?
Were any other roles (besides Guinan) created just for stunt casting purposes?
Why do you dislike blooper reels?
How hard did you try to get Michelle Forbes on DS9?
Why did you kill off favorites such as K’Ehleyr, Vedek Bareil, et. al.?
What’s your take on Ron Moore not working out on Voyager?
Was T’Pol originally supposed to be T’Pau?
What’s the goofiest piece of fan mail you ever received?

Maybe fans who keep track of this stuff know the answers…

148. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - August 27, 2009

Rick Berman you are a great person! You have remained true to star trek and to Gene. Thank you for all the time and energy that you put into the development and continuation of star trek. I truly believe that the “silent majority” thinks that you did a wonderful job and would love to see you come back WHEN another tv series is produced. If you are not recalled to trek then i will always be thankful, you have had such a big indirect impact on my life. May you have peace and long life.

Josh Huelat

149. Shatner_Fan_Prime - August 27, 2009

#148 “I truly believe that the ‘silent majority’ thinks that you did a wonderful job and would love to see you come back WHEN another tv series is produced.”

No way. As someone else pointed out, the tv landscape has changed. When you have sophisticated genre shows like the BG reboot and LOST intriguing viewers and drawing critical raves, tired old Berman Trek would NOT cut it. Just as with the movie, any new tv Trek would require a new creative team, not a return to the old.

150. jonboc - August 27, 2009

The silent majority spoke volumes with their combined inattendance to Nemesis and utter apathy towards Enterprise.

151. Magic_Al - August 27, 2009

There’s a little ring of truth that Gates McFadden wanted more romance between Beverly and Jean-Luc, as she has suggested that she accepted the role perhaps not realizing the comic interplay in “The Naked Now” was the exception and not the rule.

But I find it hard to believe she would be naive enough to think she was in a position to make ludicrous demands that the whole show be changed around her wishes, and if that had happened, I don’t believe the rest of the cast would have felt she’d been fired unfairly and I don’t believe she would have been re-hired. So I completely discount the “blame Gates” theory because it doesn’t add up at all.

152. Dess Truxion - August 27, 2009

Thanks Mr. Berman. I have seen every episode and while some were better than others I have never hated a single one of them.

153. The Last Maquis - August 27, 2009

RICK BERMAN IS THE BOB ROCK OF STAR TREK

154. jay kim - August 27, 2009

I have always shared the general (and a lot of specific) criticisms of Rick Berman.

At the same time, I’m kind of a softy so I’ve always felt sorry for him for taking such a beating with the fans.

But while I feel it only fair to acknowledge his vast and significant (and often positive) influence on Star Trek over the years, this interview—which I watched ALL OF—only served to further my dislike of the man, I’m sorry to say.

He’s a “suit” who was given the reigns to my favorite franchise. I’m reminded of a bunch of Mamet lines from ‘Glengarry, Glen Ross': “Who ever told you you could work with men?” In Berman’s case, the line would be: “Who ever told you you could work with creative people?” “You COMPANY MAN!”

He’s so dry and dull as well…only there is almost a tyranical menace behind his monotone that keeps his narrative almost interesting.

And it was interesting to me how many facts he got WRONG: Nana Visitor played ENSIGN RO…”A character we set up on TNG.” Are you kidding me?? Have you seen a little show called “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?”

Thanks for the memories, Rick. But I’m glad you’re gone.

155. TheBigCW - August 27, 2009

Berman SHOULD have fought for the ‘rest year’ between TNG and VOY and VOY and ENT.

The movies could have benfitied by those “rest years”

The BBC figured that out with the ‘specials year’ of DOCTOR WHO, rather than jump into another season of 14 episodes (Counting Christmas), we are getting 4 “specials” this year,

156. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - August 28, 2009

All in all, given everything he has mentioned, I think the demise of Enterprise is the saddest aspect — I’m watching the 4th season now, and I stand by by opinion that the 3rd and 4th seasons are solid, and even the 1st and 2nd are okay.

Still, if I had a career like Berman’s, despite all the flak he’s received, I would be pretty satisfied — it’s mostly all successes. I am impressed that he wanted to give Star Trek a rest between Voyager and Enterprise, and it’s too bad the studio didn’t listen to him.

I must disagree with him about Nemesis, though. Like many other fans, there is something underwhelming about the plot — a big anticlimax in the “vengeful creation” theme embodied by Shizon as Picard’s clone.

157. Dom - August 28, 2009

148. DS9 IN PRIME TIME: ‘Rick Berman you are a great person! You have remained true to star trek and to Gene.’

No he hasn’t.

‘ I truly believe that the “silent majority” thinks that you did a wonderful job and would love to see you come back WHEN another tv series is produced.’

No they won’t. Most people will never have heard of him and most of those that have will run for the hills. Star Trek under Berman was safe, bland and lifeless. The Berman-era view of humans as virtual automatons was depressing. The treatment of non-humans as neurosis- or vice-of-the-week-with-funny-nose-or-forehead bordered on racist.

Star Trek, by the middle of this decade was in a mid-1980s timewarp. While the rest of TV had moved on through the eras of The X-Files, Buffy, 24, nu-BSG, Alias and Lost, the Star Trek franchise was pumping out the same-old-same-old from its bubble. It was ghetto TV for a small group of obsessives. Even when Enterprise season four started to become a prequel to TOS, rather than TNG, it was still essentially fanwank, with nothing to draw in a wider audience.

158. Cafe 5 - August 28, 2009

Berman is human and hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t help what happened to the last movie and series. Mistakes were made and because the egos of the producers and the studio execs that let the mistakes continue we almost lost Star Trek. For the good things that Mr. Bernam did…thank you. But you won’t get a pat on the back for the last of your tenure.

159. 'Trick - August 28, 2009

I love how everyone is up in arms about the death of Kirk and they blame Berman 100%. Are we going to be having these conversations 10 years from now about the new movie? “He destroyed Vulcan! For what? For some emotional depth to an otherwise vapid, albeit exciting and entertaining, movie (yes, I liked the movie a lot)? To prove that they can do whatever they want from now on? How dare JJ do that!”

Most ST fans I know loved Generations at first. They didn’t bash it until a long time after they had thought about what it meant to Star Trek as a whole, and the character of Kirk.

I am also amused by the “TOS only” crowd. Come on guys, lets be a little honest here. Every show has its stinkers, but TOS has an entire season (one-third of its run!) dedicated to making them. I love TOS and I love Gene’s vision. But you guys must’ve been watching a different show when you portray it as the ultimate in writing, action, acting, etc. Yes, TNG had less action, but TOS wasn’t exactly a Michael Bay film. Nor was it especially deep, or perfectly constructed. The good episodes are epically awesome, no doubt, but even in the good episodes there are weird moments of acting/directing/story. And season 3, what? There are maybe 5 good episodes there (and by good, I mean watchable). I still love it though, just as I love TNG and DS9. Yeah, VOY is a little boring at times (you have to skip around to get through), and ENT was a failed opportunity (can you be any more Wooden and the opposite of compelling Capt. Archer?), but stop acting like TOS’s sh** don’t stink because oh man, it does. Turnabout Intruder has to be the worst ST episode ever.

No one is going to strike gold all of the time. Mistakes? Sure, he made his share, but it sounds like the studio had something to do with a bit of that. I still prefer any of his shows to most of the fare you find on TV today. Blech.

-P

160. captain_neill - August 28, 2009

Dom

I happen to like the TNG- ENT era as much as I love the TOS era.

I thought that TNG and DS9 especially added a lot to the Trek universe.

To me FC is a much better film than the new one, and I did like the new film, just prefer 5 of the previous films better than it.

I grew up loving TNG to Voyager, and I loved it all till Enterprise got cancelled.

It hurts me that everyone seems to be wanting to write off the past 22 years of Trek, but the truth is there was a lot of great television in those years and many of them had excellent storys.

The new movie delivered great on the characters but the story was lacking.

If you watch Enterprise, it tried to fit in with canon and for the most parts it works for me but there are contradictions of course but then the new movie had a lot as well.

161. captain_neill - August 28, 2009

Although I loved the new Trek film, it had a thin plot and to me it felt like Trek dumbed down.

I loved it but to me it does not compete with some of the best hours done in TOS and under Berman’s watch.

162. captain_neill - August 28, 2009

when I said Berman’s watch I was refering to TNG – ENT

163. Dom - August 28, 2009

159. ‘Trick: ‘I love how everyone is up in arms about the death of Kirk and they blame Berman 100%.’

People were up in arms about it from the moment it was mooted about Generations. Actually, People were concerned about Generations from the outset, including several castmembers. The reaction to the film wasn’t that favourable: it was more a case of ‘OK, the torch has been passed and we know there’s a lot of room for improvement.’

‘Are we going to be having these conversations 10 years from now about the new movie? “He destroyed Vulcan! For what? For some emotional depth to an otherwise vapid, albeit exciting and entertaining, movie (yes, I liked the movie a lot)? To prove that they can do whatever they want from now on? How dare JJ do that!”’

No, because Star Trek 2009 was a movie. It could get away with doing big things on a big scale. The TNG were inconsequential TV movies put on a big screen that didn’t have the budget or scope to get away with things like killing Kirk,

‘I love how everyone is up in arms about the death of Kirk and they blame Berman 100%.’
‘Most ST fans I know loved Generations at first. They didn’t bash it until a long time after they had thought about what it meant to Star Trek as a whole, and the character of Kirk.’

People were up in arms about kirk being offed from the moment it was mooted. Actually, people were concerned about the rushed nature of Generations in general from the outset, including several castmembers. The reaction to the film wasn’t that favourable: it was more a case of ‘OK, the torch has been passed and we know there’s a lot of room for improvement.’

‘I am also amused by the “TOS only” crowd. Come on guys, lets be a little honest here. Every show has its stinkers, but TOS has an entire season (one-third of its run!) dedicated to making them.’

Many of us would beg to disagree. There are many excellent episodes in season three. It’s more that there are a few prize stinkers in there that stand out. But ‘Is There In Truth No Beauty’, The Tholian Web, The Enterprise incident and Spectre of the Gun are all examples of excellent episodes from that year. Had Season Three not opened with Spock’s Brain, I suspect its reputation would be better!

‘I love TOS and I love Gene’s vision.’

But TOS and ‘Gene’s Vision’ aren’t the same thing. TOS was the work of a number of people.

‘But you guys must’ve been watching a different show when you portray it as the ultimate in writing, action, acting, etc.’

We don’t.

‘Yes, TNG had less action, but TOS wasn’t exactly a Michael Bay film.’

We know: that’s why we like TOS! ;)

‘Nor was it especially deep, or perfectly constructed. The good episodes are epically awesome, no doubt, but even in the good episodes there are weird moments of acting/directing/story.’

TNG and co took themselves too seriously. That’s half the TOS fans’ problem with the later spin-offs. Star Trek was sexy action-adventure sci-fi show with a healthy dose of philosophy thrown in. TNG was talk talk talk.

‘And season 3, what? There are maybe 5 good episodes there (and by good, I mean watchable).’

Actually even bad episodes of TOS are watchable. I wouldn’t put my worst enemy through TNG’s The Last Outpost!

‘I still love it though, just as I love TNG and DS9. Yeah, VOY is a little boring at times (you have to skip around to get through), and ENT was a failed opportunity (can you be any more Wooden and the opposite of compelling Capt. Archer?), but stop acting like TOS’s sh** don’t stink because oh man, it does. Turnabout Intruder has to be the worst ST episode ever.’

No it wasn’t! The Way to Eden is far worse! ;)

‘No one is going to strike gold all of the time. Mistakes? Sure, he made his share, but it sounds like the studio had something to do with a bit of that. I still prefer any of his shows to most of the fare you find on TV today. Blech.’

I don’t. Star Trek needed to evolve down the years. Changing the crew and ship name isn’t evolution when you’re still pumping out the same old guff you put out fifteen years earlier, while the rest of TV had long since moved on!

164. Shatner_Fan_Prime - August 28, 2009

#159 “Most ST fans I know loved Generations at first. They didn’t bash it until a long time after they had thought about what it meant to Star Trek as a whole, and the character of Kirk.”

That wasn’t my experience. I remember the audience walking out quiet and depressed after Generations ended. Of all 11 films, that one had the worst ending. Overall, a very dreary film.

#163 “Actually even bad episodes of TOS are watchable.”

I agree. The TOS cast had larger than life personas and a chemistry that none of the other casts ever equalled. Even in embarrassing stories like Spock’s Brain … Kirk, Bones, and Scotty were so much fun they made you want to stick around. Bones: “Call Chekov and have him send my stomach down.” :-)

165. star trackie - August 28, 2009

#159 “Every show has its stinkers, but TOS has an entire season (one-third of its run!) dedicated to making them. ”

Very true. But that’s not the issue. Star Trek was what it was, sometimes bad, but most times good action-adventure imaginative science fiction fun. TNG was nothing remotely similar. I wanted more Star Trek, I got almost 20 years of something,with apologies to Monty Python, COMPLETELY different. The ratio of good episodes versus bad episodes has nothing to do with it.

When I was told a new series called Star Trek, by Roddenberry, was coming my way, silly me, I thought I might be getting something that just might resemble Star Trek. Boy was I ever wrong! And I’ve been enduring this new “Mod” trek for years hoping against hope that it might, some day, return to it’s roots and entertain me with the same sense of fun and adventure that had hooked me and millions more years ago, creating the whole phenomenon to begin with.

It took awhile, but Star Trek is finally a familiar face again…a dear old friend that I haven’t seen in ages! Star Trek is back with a vengence, it’s fun and it had absolutely NOTHING to do with Rick Berman or Gene Roddenberry. I couldn’t be happier!

166. Dom - August 28, 2009

160. captain_neill: ‘I happen to like the TNG- ENT era as much as I love the TOS era.’

I know: you tell us in so many posts. ;)

‘I thought that TNG and DS9 especially added a lot to the Trek universe.’

TNG added plenty but took away more! DS9 shouldn’t even have had the Star Trek name in its title. It was an interesting spin-off show that happened to be set in the Star Trek universe.

‘To me FC is a much better film than the new one, and I did like the new film, just prefer 5 of the previous films better than it.’

I like to watch movies in the cinema. FC was a good TV movie. I consider the new movie as a separate entity to the others.

‘I grew up loving TNG to Voyager, and I loved it all till Enterprise got cancelled.’

Bad luck! I was lucky enough to grow up loving Star Trek and was 12 when I watched in dismay as an aging Gene Roddenberry finally sold a new TV series by using the Star Trek name to deliver a show that betrayed everything Star Trek was about. While TNG is nowhere near the disgrace that the Herbert/Anderson McDune novels are to the Dune saga, it’s based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what Star Trek is about!

‘It hurts me that everyone seems to be wanting to write off the past 22 years of Trek, but the truth is there was a lot of great television in those years and many of them had excellent storys.’

It shouldn’t ‘hurt’ you: it’s just a TV show! Of course there was some good stuff in there, but it wasn’t good Star Trek very often. The fact that Berman and co wouldn’t countenance mention of the original Star Trek unless it was to snigger at it speaks volumes for how much of a true follow-up TNG was.

‘The new movie delivered great on the characters but the story was lacking.’

The removal of the Klingon material was a mistake IMO. The fact that we didn’t spend fifty per cent of the film with characters sitting in a briefing room having a philosophical mass debate was a vast improvement.

‘If you watch Enterprise, it tried to fit in with canon and for the most parts it works for me but there are contradictions of course but then the new movie had a lot as well.’

No. It tried to fit in with TNG. If you are going to make a series that is supposed to be a prequel to the original Star Trek, it might have been worth Mr Berman watching the original Star Trek, which he’s never done.

161. captain_neill: ‘Although I loved the new Trek film, it had a thin plot and to me it felt like Trek dumbed down.’

Yes, you said that in post 160.

‘I loved it but to me it does not compete with some of the best hours done in TOS and under Berman’s watch.’

Yes, so you keep on saying!

162. captain_neill

‘when I said Berman’s watch I was refering to TNG – ENT’

I thought you were talking about his Timex!

Berman strikes me as cold and arrogant in the interview. He’s unable to see that he’s made any mistakes at all and essentially says that it’s the audience’s fault for not liking his work. Someone who ran Star Trek for a decade and a half at least ought to have watched the original show. He even had the nerve to overrule Walter Koenig and James Doohan and insist that they had to call Kirk ‘Captain’ rather than Jim in Generations, when everyone knows they’d have called a retired Kirk ‘Jim’.

Berman did his job pretty well to begin with, but he sat there for too long and seems to have become Colonel Kurtz!

167. ger - August 28, 2009

“He’s unable to see that he’s made any mistakes at all and essentially says that it’s the audience’s fault for not liking his work.”

I remember the exact same attitude to criticism by the writers of the new movie.

168. jonboc - August 28, 2009

^^ ^^ ^^

I don’t recall that, please elaborate.

169. dmduncan - August 28, 2009

159: “Most ST fans I know loved Generations at first. They didn’t bash it until a long time after they had thought about what it meant to Star Trek as a whole, and the character of Kirk.”

“I am also amused by the “TOS only” crowd. Come on guys, lets be a little honest here. Every show has its stinkers, but TOS has an entire season (one-third of its run!) dedicated to making them.”

I didn’t like Generations as I was watching it. The experience was like being trapped in the Nexus with Picard at home for Christmas.

And I loved even the bad episodes of TOS. They were great. Those things help to keep you from taking the show too seriously. And given TOS at its worst, it was still enjoyable, because it still had the best characters the franchise ever spawned, and the best design work.

TNG was the Utopian Gene Roddenberry speaking, and Star Trek suffered because of that. I sure as hell don’t recall any utopian theme in TOS, but there was conflict, conflict between the Federation and other aliens, and conflict within the Federation itself—mission of the Enterprise to explore strange new worlds notwithstanding.

The human beings depicted in the 23rd century on that 1960’s show were US, just as we are now, with the good, the bad, and the ugly all claiming a share of our collective personality as a species.

170. ger - August 28, 2009

Aww come on, would you listen to yourself? You love everything about TOS, even the bad episodes? What’s up with that neurotic worshipping?

And TNG had no conflicts? Must have been a very long time since you’ve last seen an episode of it. I’d say in TNG “there was conflict, conflict between the Federation and other aliens, and conflict within the Federation itself”.

171. captain_neill - August 28, 2009

You guys call Berman arrogant

so is JJ Abrams, probably in the opposite side of fence but he’s still arrogant.

Berman is adament he stayed to Roddenberry’s vision and kept it true. While Abrams is arrogant enough to piss off the Star Trek fans to get the mainstream crowd in.

I would love to have seen TOS in first run, I love it and watch it all the time but all I get here is hate for the rest of Trek, I grew loving TNG crew as much as the TOS crew.

TNG is one of my all time fav shows along with TOS and its sad to see TNG get bashed even more these days due to this new movie.

God you think Abrams was the second coming. he did a good jod on Trek XI but his other work is mediocre.

Oh yea what are they calling the parallel universe in Fringe? Oh yea “Over there!” guess dumbing down is the wa to go to get that mainstream audience.

This is not an insult to the new movie, read my review in the reviews page I did give it 8 out of 10 and I did see it 5 times. Just dont like seeing the stuff I grew up on getting bashed.

172. captain_neill - August 28, 2009

Guess there aint no love for TNG on this site.

173. jonboc@aol.com - August 28, 2009

172 Guess there aint no love for TNG on this site.”

I’ve seen plenty, including shout outs from bob orci and anthony, and that’s fine, people like what they like, but you sure won’t get any from me.

174. dmduncan - August 28, 2009

170: “Aww come on, would you listen to yourself? You love everything about TOS, even the bad episodes? What’s up with that neurotic worshipping?”

Actually, Ger, I probably hear myself better than you hear yourself. I don’t worship TV shows, actors, automobiles, jewels, or anything else that isn’t going with me when I’m dead.

I love the bad episodes exactly because I do NOT worship them, exactly because I do NOT take them as seriously as so many other people do, probably including you. That leaves me free to ENJOY them, which means to laugh at what’s corny and admire what’s good about them both at the same time.

“And TNG had no conflicts? Must have been a very long time since you’ve last seen an episode of it.”

Most stories have to have some sort of conflict to generate interest. The conflict in TOS often came from flawed human beings ignoring rules and responding for better or worse, right or wrong, to uncomfortable situations, just like in real life. Kirk violated the Prime Directive on multiple occasions. In the Cloud Minders, the Advisor of Ardana, a Federation world, orders Kirk to be killed on sight if he should appear again! Those things are very far indeed from a utopian future.

I watched TNG only sporadically, but what I remember most is exactly why I don’t care for TNG that much: Picard described the legendary Kirk as, and I’m paraphrasing, a “cowboy,” and noted that the Federation doesn’t do things the way they did them in Kirk’s era anymore, as if Kirk’s era was the equivalent of the Old West. I believe that was from “Unification”? In other words, generally speaking, Starfleet and the Federation is a nice antiseptic place where everybody follows the rules and plays nice.

So apparently the Starfleet of Picard’s time once again lost that “leap without looking” attitude that Captain Pike saw in James Kirk in ST.09. And it’s a valid criticism, because that’s exactly what I felt watching TNG. It was a pale copy of TOS. I’m not saying it was bad or that I hated it, I just didn’t love it. It wasn’t fun for me the way TOS always was. And it certainly wasn’t as colorful.

And yes, some of that has to do with the look of the show. I still think the TNG Enterprise is an eyesore whenever I see it.

And look at that TNG bridge set. NEVER been able to convince myself it was cool.

The TOS bridge, on the other hand, is timeless. Kirk occuppied the center of the bridge as the center of command in a chair all by himself, and his advisors SURROUNDED him.

In TNG, Picard shared the center of the bridge with Riker—a castrated Kirk-figure—on one side, and Troi—always considering people’s feelings— on the other. To top it off, the whole bunch was cradled in the wooden arms of Worf’s security station.

The gestalt I got from looking at the TNG bridge was that this Captain is weak, has trouble making decisions on his own, and needs protection.

That doesn’t make for a good hero to follow Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

Now if you like TNG better, that’s fine. I’m not knocking anybody else’s love of some different part of the franchise, I’m just explaining the reasons why it wasn’t nearly as interesting to me.

So that’s my opinion. And I don’t resent you having a different one.

175. Shatner_Fan_Prime - August 28, 2009

#171 … “You guys call Berman arrogant so is JJ Abrams, probably in the opposite side of fence but he’s still arrogant.”

You’re right, they are on opposite sides. Berman is defending his own failure. Abrams brought the business back.

176. Dom - August 29, 2009

171. captain_neill: ‘Berman is adament he stayed to Roddenberry’s vision and kept it true. While Abrams is arrogant enough to piss off the Star Trek fans to get the mainstream crowd in.’

Yes, but as has been explained to you ad nauseum, ‘Gene’s Vision’ (aka the Roddenberry Box) is the basis of TNG. The original Star Trek had many other people to thank for its many concepts: people who are acknowledged by the fans to this day. With TNG everything was ‘Gene Gene Gene’ and poor old David Gerrold, in particular, gets forgotten. He’s the guy who came up with most of the concepts, character relationships and the command structure. He also wrote the series bible before he was sidelined.

And reading Gerrold’s novelisation of Encounter at Farpoint shows how much better a show TNG could have been!

177. Duane - August 29, 2009

I finally had the chance to view this video. I personally never had anything against Rick Berman or any of the others. From where I stand, they had a difficult job to do and they did it well. I love about 25% of all the TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT episodes, and I really like another 25%. That’s a great batting average.

Loved this video and plan to buy his book.

178. ger - August 29, 2009

“I watched TNG only sporadically, but what I remember most is exactly why I don’t care for TNG that much: ”

Yeah, that explains everything.

“Starfleet and the Federation is a nice antiseptic place where everybody follows the rules and plays nice.”

That’s a totally wrong statement. You’re acting just like those guys who haven’t seen the new movie but judge the hell out of it.

“So apparently the Starfleet of Picard’s time once again lost that “leap without looking” attitude that Captain Pike saw in James Kirk in ST.09. And it’s a valid criticism, because that’s exactly what I felt watching TNG.”

It’s not valid because it’s not true about the show.

“The conflict in TOS often came from flawed human beings ignoring rules and responding for better or worse, right or wrong, to uncomfortable situations, just like in real life. Kirk violated the Prime Directive on multiple occasions.”

You just described TNG as well.

“The TOS bridge, on the other hand, is timeless.”

I guess that’s why it needed several updates, eh?

Seriously, watch the damn thing before you judge it!

You would say the same thing for people criticising this movie just by looking at the trailers or some ten minutes of footage on Youtube.

179. ger - August 29, 2009


175. Shatner_Fan_Prime – August 28, 2009
#171 … “You guys call Berman arrogant so is JJ Abrams, probably in the opposite side of fence but he’s still arrogant.”

You’re right, they are on opposite sides. Berman is defending his own failure. Abrams brought the business back.

Too bad we can’t hear what Abrams would say after having been in control of Star Trek for 20 years, after having created 5 motion pictures and 4 TV shows with 25 seasons. But I bet we would hardly call that “a failure”.

180. Dom - August 29, 2009

179. ger: ‘Too bad we can’t hear what Abrams would say after having been in control of Star Trek for 20 years, after having created 5 motion pictures and 4 TV shows with 25 seasons. But I bet we would hardly call that “a failure”.’

No, we’d call it a lack of creativity and a lack of drive to move on to anything else. It would be a case of churning out the same old rubbish year on year and laughing all the way to the bank.

Abrams’s strength and weakness is his creative restlessness. Once he’s created something and got it on the air he’s already thinking in terms of the show or film after next and planning to leave the current show in the hands of others.

Berman wasn’t creative and he was perfectly content to keep Trek rolling on the momentum established by the Roddenberry/Gerrold model, rather than accept that it was already hopelessly out of date by the mid-90s. Had Gerrold or Roddenberry still been able to work on the franchise, don’t think for a minute we’d have ended up with the last two shows!

TNG and the ’24th/22nd century saga’ was successful in its time, but in the long term, it failed. David Gerrold was once asked how many Star Trek films he thought could be made and memorably said: ‘One too many!’

Generations was one TOS-linked film too many. Insurrection was one TNG too many and Nemesis thus lived up to its name! There wasn’t a talented writer out there who wasn’t clamouring for a chance to reboot the franchise, which Abrams and co pretty much gave us earlier this year. Old Trek finally had a line drawn under it. Thank God! I wish they’d do the same for Last of the Summer Wine! ;)

181. dmduncan - August 29, 2009

178: “Seriously, watch the damn thing before you judge it!”

Play me another tune on that violin, Ger. I’ve watched TOO much TNG, or did you skip over the I’ve watched half it’s run part?

Or do you mean I have to watch every episode to make a judgment call? No, actually, I don’t. I have a good impression of the show from all the episodes I did watch, and THAT’S WHY I STOPPED watching it.

Were there exceptions? Sure there were. The Borg are probably the best Star Trek villains ever created, in part because it’s hard to see how the Borg could be credibly transformed into decent characters we could identify with, even after Picard has a long talk with them, punctuated with compassionate half smiles, over tea. They are perpetual baddies. But that still doesn’t change the fact that TNG had a much different overall attitude than TOS, and this attitude came through regardless of whatever exceptions you think you can post to show it’s not true. Unfortunately, it’s true despite the exceptions. And if I was interested in wasting time I could go back and find way more examples than anyone wants to read. Especially you.

What? You think I just have a vendetta against TNG and didn’t want to like it? Nope. I did want to like it. But what Picard said about Kirk and the TOS times summed it up beautifully. In fact, I don’t think I knew what really bothered me about the show until Picard put the words in my mouth.

The difference between action and conflict in TNG and TOS was like the difference between a grass fire in a thunderstorm and a grass fire under a clear sky in the summer.

“I guess that’s why it needed several updates, eh?”

Er, actually no, the TOS bridge did NOT need it, and despite that no bridge done since the 60’s is as cool in its design or color scheme as the original, they all followed the same pattern of a single center seat surrounded by a circle of advisor stations. Same difference Ger, same difference. I thought the bridge of the new Enterprise was too crowded, but JJ got the basic idea right, and he did a fantastic job on the displays and instrumentation, which is something that’s always going to need updating.

182. screaming satellite - August 29, 2009

i wouldnt mind seeing Rick Bermans proposed ‘Star Trek: The Beginning’ movie trilogy adapted into a novel or better still a graphic novel….

Same goes for Harve Bennetts aborted Starfleet Academy movie (although DCs 1991 annual 2 kinda covered that)

183. Janeways Knickers - August 29, 2009

“Faith of the heart” killed Enterprise. No question in my mind. If I’m flicking channels, I will stop and listen to the other series’ intros. I have skipped through enterprises theme or even changed the channel when it comes on. It is laughable. I’m glad that now I know who exactly it was who allowed that to be the theme. But in fairness i guess there is a lot more to thank Mr. Berman for.

184. captain_neill - August 29, 2009

ok but it just seems to me that JJ Abrmas is viewed as the second coming on this site and I dont think its deserved.

I liked a lot of Trek under Berman’s watch. And it is a shame that what everyone does on this site is bithc about how bad Trek was under Berman and how Abrams is like the best thing since sliced bread.

185. dmduncan - August 29, 2009

@184: I love Italian and Mexican food best. And it’s not bashing Chinese food to say it doesn’t have the tastes that I love best.

And to be fair to Berman: With all due love and respect to Gene Roddenberry, I also think he was part of the problem on TNG, but it’s easier for eveyone to single out Berman because he’s not the creator of the franchise.

Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman together have managed to catch lightning in a bottle again, and they did it by trying to make a really good movie, versus making something for fans only, and they all deserve credit for that.

It’s been a long time since I was a fan.

186. screaming satellite - August 29, 2009

I love Italian…and so do you…

187. DATA476 - August 29, 2009

I must asmit that this interview with Berman is very interesting… I pretty much watched the whole thing and I find Berman to at least project himself as a very positive but thoughtful person.

The fans should blame Paramount more-so than Berman for Trek’s demise… I think he was just doing the job he had to do regarding Enterprise. Personally I didn’t like Enterprise and although Berman said he kinda did like Enterprise I still believe that he only liked it because it was his work and he naturally wants to defend his TV series, OK that fine. Paramount are the one’s who destroyed Star Trek with a final (hurtful/incoming) nail in 2005. I am grateful that he did this interview because it certainly made me think a little more positivily about Berman.

188. Cafe 5 - August 29, 2009

#183

I agree. Berman never liked real music in his television episodes he felt it was an intrusion. The “song ” stayed the fans didn’t. There are so many talented composers that would have provided Enterprise with a more fitting theme.

189. dmduncan - August 29, 2009

Enterprise sucked because it kept trying to follow the same old TOS formula in a different direction. Leave TOS alone already! Let TOS be TOS, and stop trying to copy its theme, characters, and actions for a new series.

Enterprise should have been “Defying Gravity.” It should have totally distanced itself from TOS by showing humanity at the tip of a bold new adventure WITHOUT new aliens with new kinds of knots on their heads.

It’s probably just a matter of time before we see Star Trek on TV again, and then what will we get? Hopefully not the same old stuff.

How about a series built around the Eugenics Wars? It could easily be conceived as alternate history Star Trek that takes place in our own time, showing how dictatorial “supermen” have colloborated to rise to power sponsored by a global alliance of oligarchs, united by a common vision of world control, and the sort of artificial peace that would follow, using the very apparatus of government that we think guarantees and protects our freedom.

It could show how modern trends and technology play into that rise to power, and finally the war and loss of power that drives Khan Noonien Singh and his cohorts into space on new experimental spacecraft.

There’s an idea with lots of conflict and big action potential (it ends with nukes going off) that could also last a long time while commenting about trends in the world we see and how they could be abused. It could be very relevant to us right now, without duplicating TOS in any way and yet still be tied to Star Trek.

I would like to see what someone like Ron Moore could do with that with the same control he had of BSG and most importantly as a show of cautionary tales that are relevant to us in the here and now.

That would harken back to the best of what Trek did.

190. Jerry - August 29, 2009

I wish people would leave out how much trash a series is. You may dislike it, but someone else may not. I loved every episode and every series. And I still watch everyone of them.

191. Steve - August 30, 2009

Well after watching this interview I can certainly see why Berman was able to sustain the franchise for so long in an industry that’s so volatile and destructive. Fact is, he’s a great guy to have worked for who knew his stuff inside out. Totally dedicated. Man, how you could anyone not dedicated have lasted this long in an industry like this. He kept a lot of people employed in the business for so long, and became a huge mentor for others who went onto other things. Sure, he didn’t get everything done right, but he did enough to have kept the franchise alive for so long. God bless him.

192. Dom - August 30, 2009

191. Steve:

There was a remark made at the time Voyager came out that was telling. I can’t remember the source now (it’s been over a decade) but essentially, Berman said that Paramount was going to go ahead with a new starship show with or without the Berman team, so they decided to stay. Big mistake.

The end of TNG was the perfect time for the old team to move on to other shows and for a new team to revamp the starship series concept in a new way. It was hubris that kept the same gang in there churning out another [i]eleven years[/i] of the same old stuff.

Just think: that’s more than a decade where other people could have been keeping Trek alive bringing their different approaches for the material. That’s where the dislike for Berman and co comes. Had they done TNG and left, they’d be pretty well thought of. But there’s a point where you outstay your welcome and they sailed way past it, using the protection of ‘Gene’s Vision’ as a hollow excuse!

193. Parosu Grasu - August 30, 2009

Ive watched every episode of SterTrek, from TOS,TAS,TNG,DS9,VOY to ENT and I enjoyed almost all of them. Sure there where some really bad ones and some contradicted cannon, but overall StarTrek is brilliant. Its never going to be easy to satisfy everyone, especially with so many fans out there. We all have different opinions and visions of how StarTrek has to be, but overall i personally think the guy did a great job. Hopefully, in a few years, we will have a new StarTrek show on TV and hopefully it will bring a new generation of fans into it.
All I can say is thank you Mr. Berman for 18 years of Trek, wish you all the best in the future!

194. ger - August 30, 2009

“Enterprise sucked because it kept trying to follow the same old TOS formula in a different direction. Leave TOS alone already! Let TOS be TOS, and stop trying to copy its theme, characters, and actions for a new series.”

I have to ask again, where is the friggin’ difference between this and a reboot that gives you TOS all over again in a different direction (which you happen to love soooo much).

195. jonboc - August 30, 2009

^^ ^^ ^^

Hey, I’ve been waiting 18 years for Star Trek to return to it’s roots. I’m delighted!

196. Dom - August 30, 2009

194. ger: ‘I have to ask again, where is the friggin’ difference between this and a reboot that gives you TOS all over again in a different direction (which you happen to love soooo much).’

Plenty. The new version of Star Trek features the same characters that we know and love in more adventures. The whole Nero thing was simply a way of allowing the old-school designs to get a revamp canonically. After this new film, in practical terms, there’s really not a lot of difference between the old universe and the new.

Send the Enterprise into deep space to meet a strange new civilisation, who gives a damn whether Vulcan still exists or if Spock’s nobbing Uhura (watching episodes like ‘Charlie X’ you can believe he probably was anyway!)

There’s a huge difference between using the original characters in a film made by people who love them and cheap copies created by a team who have heard know of the original Star Trek but wear it as a badge of pride that they can’t be bothered to watch it!

197. Dom - August 30, 2009

should have been ‘have heard of/know of’

198. dmduncan - August 30, 2009

194: “I have to ask again, where is the friggin’ difference between this and a reboot that gives you TOS all over again in a different direction (which you happen to love soooo much).”

I covered all this already more than once in other threads. Here goes again: Quite simply, the TOS characters are great. The relationships are more interesting. The other characters in the rest of the franchise are so so. So if you are going to reboot anything, why reboot anything but your best product? I’m really not interested in seeing any TNG anymore because I never liked or cared about the characters that much. They just weren’t as interesting.

I already noted an exception with the Borg, and I would love to see an encounter between them and the TOS crew for the reboot universe, only instead of making the Borg composed mostly of humanoids, they may have the budget to improve their appearance by showing the Borg composed of a great number of non humanoid species the Borg assimilated.

So when I say leave TOS alone, I mean specifically stop trying to follow the original pattern for new series. Nothing to date has matched the original. Not even close.

But I’m all for the idea of rebooting the original characters, however. I thought about that 5 years ago, that they should go back to the beginning, and I had my fingers crossed that they’d have the same idea and get the people to do it who could pull it off.

Wish fulfilled.

So there’s a big difference between rebooting TOS, which has the best characters the franchise ever produced, and making paler and paler versions of TOS with newer and less interesting characters.

199. dmduncan - August 30, 2009

Fans: Don’t take your favorite show so seriously that you can’t tolerate different opinions about it without getting upset, but DO take Star Trek itself seriously enough to know that differences of opinion and outlook should be respected, preferably without generating a long lasting grudge.

Most people in the world are probably not Star Trek fans. Not fans of ANY series in the franchise.

And even after you show them the best episodes, they are not all going to suddenly become interested in it.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Otherwise, what will you do? Insinuate through your sneering comments that they are all stupid idiots because they don’t like what you like?

That’s ignorant.

200. Balok - August 30, 2009

Nemesis was total crap, Insurrection was total crap. Two bad Trek movies in row killed it, not Trek fatigue (unless he meant fans tired of crappy Trek movies)…

201. Dom - August 30, 2009

199. dmduncan

Goodness gracious! That’s the most offensively politically correct post I’ve probably ever read! ROTFLMAO! So disappointing after your brilliant previous post! Where’s the fun in the world if we can’t yell at each other? ;)

Remember IDIC was only created to sell cheesy hippie medals! LOL

You said in post 198: ‘I would love to see an encounter between them and the TOS crew for the reboot universe, only instead of making the Borg composed mostly of humanoids, they may have the budget to improve their appearance by showing the Borg composed of a great number of non humanoid species the Borg assimilated.’

Interestingly, the Borg were originally meant to be an insect race. Maybe we can get insect Borgs for a TOS film.

202. dmduncan - August 30, 2009

201: “Goodness gracious! That’s the most offensively politically correct post I’ve probably ever read! ROTFLMAO! So disappointing after your brilliant previous post! Where’s the fun in the world if we can’t yell at each other? ;)”

Hahaha. Politically correct??? That’s a first for me, buddy. In fact, I had to turn around in my chair to make sure you didn’t mean that for somebody behind me.

Some people just take things a little too seriously involved with the franchise. I recall one poster on another site who was so distraught at the film that he said in a very non joke-like way that he didn’t feel like living anymore.

Most fans are alright, I think, but some have something spooky going on.

And really, I don’t care if someone has a different opinion. It doesn’t get me all broken up inside.

“Interestingly, the Borg were originally meant to be an insect race. Maybe we can get insect Borgs for a TOS film.”

I sort of like the idea of the Borg assimilating cultures, maybe because I’m around American Indians so much so I’m aware of how WE are actually the Borg to THEM.

So that idea has something to say.

But with a TV show budget then the Borg assimilates only humanoids. It would be cool to see humanoids in a minority within the Borg and to showcase a wild variety of non humanoid alien lifeforms of varying sizes that have been assimilated. You could have giant Borg and tiny little insect Borg, and Chihuahua sized Borg. That would be cool. It would also be expensive to design and render.

203. kfir - August 31, 2009

Rick Berman, YOU ARE THE MAN!!
don’t listen to these strange people who go hard on you.. you are one of the people who made the best thing(s) on television, thank you.

204. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - August 31, 2009

Dom

I have no idea how you can think that TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise are all galactic failures… Obviously they did good enough to have 7 seasons each and 4 seasons for Enterprise. You call it boring but others call it exciting. You say Berman failed but others say Berman did a fantastic job (obviously since Trek was on for so long and did well in the ratings). You say anything except the TOS is not worthy of Star Trek, then I say go to a convention, any Star Trek convention and see if you make it off the stage alive after you say the stuff you have been saying on here. I respect your opinion, but your opinion is not backed up in fact. Millions of dollars have been made by Paramount not just on the movies, but all the books, toys, mugs, and all the other non TOS stuff that has been made over the years. Sucess is created by time spent, and dollars made. 25 years and hundreds of millions later, Berman was a success.

End Transmission

205. captain_neill - August 31, 2009

204- I agree

I love TNG to Enterprise as much as I love TOS.

206. star trackie - September 1, 2009

#204 “. Millions of dollars have been made by Paramount not just on the movies, but all the books, toys, mugs, and all the other non TOS stuff that has been made over the years. ”

Success and representing “Star Trek ” as I know it, are two different things. WWF wrestling could put unifroms on all the wrestlers, Paramount could officially sanction it as WWF Star Trek and it would be wildly successful. But I still wouldn’t like it because it has no resemblence to Star Trek…THE Star Trek, from 1966.

My beef with TNG and it’s spinoffs of the last 20 years have nothing to do with success and everything to do with their failure to have the slightest resemblence to it’s namesake, in both inception and execution.

207. Dom - September 1, 2009

202. dmduncan: ‘Hahaha. Politically correct??? That’s a first for me, buddy. In fact, I had to turn around in my chair to make sure you didn’t mean that for somebody behind me.’

The winkie/smiley thing was supposed to indicate I was taking the pee! Do you think I usually bandy around remarks like ‘Goodness gracious!’ in the 21st century! ;)

204. DS9 IN PRIME TIME: ‘I have no idea how you can think that TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise are all galactic failures…’

Please refer me to the relevant quote. Within the greater context of the ’24th/22nd Century’ franchise, the whole shebang sputtered and died. That’s a failure. Didn’t mean it wasn’t successful within its time, but it didn’t exactly finish on a high! In the long term, it’s schedule filler fodder. Berman and co didn’t know when to stop and the franchise went down the drain!

‘Obviously they did good enough to have 7 seasons each and 4 seasons for Enterprise. You call it boring but others call it exciting.’

No, I call it churning out the same old predictable, safe, undemanding codswallop to an ever-diminishing fanbase.

‘You say Berman failed but others say Berman did a fantastic job (obviously since Trek was on for so long and did well in the ratings).’

No. It was same old same old material that was easy to churn out and ‘break even’ with. Star Trek became a peculiar never-ending franchise existing in its peculiar bubble outside the rest of the business churning out the same 80s-style soporific trash, unaware that mainstream TV and its audiences had moved on. Berman outstayed his welcome beyond a small hard core of people who would worship a vagrant’s stinky underpants if they had the words Star Trek written on them!

‘You say anything except the TOS is not worthy of Star Trek, then I say go to a convention, any Star Trek convention and see if you make it off the stage alive after you say the stuff you have been saying on here.’

Why on Earth would I be seen dead at a convention? They’re for a very, very hard core of extremists. Normal people don’t go to conventions. For a start, they can’t afford to waste that sort of money! I’d rather go to the pub! If you think that convention-goers are a realistic yardstick, you’re extremely deluded. And I’ll say what I damn well like! If Anthony or the mods have an issue, they’ll tell me!

‘I respect your opinion,’

No you don’t.

‘but your opinion is not backed up in fact.’

It’s an opinion. I don’t state opinion as fact. I regard this site as a bar where you have a casual chat with people, not a formal debating chamber.

‘Millions of dollars have been made by Paramount not just on the movies, but all the books, toys, mugs, and all the other non TOS stuff that has been made over the years.’

Yeah and boy did they laugh all the way to the bank! See the smelly vagrant’s underpants remark!

‘Sucess is created by time spent, and dollars made. 25 years and hundreds of millions later, Berman was a success.’

Success is longevity! I love it when people who can’t defend a lack of creativity start throwing around bank statements. It really is the last waltz on the Titanic when that happens: ‘We know it sucks, but people got conned into spending lots of money on it therefore it doesn’t suck!’

‘End Transmission’

What was the point in that? ‘End transmission': is that trying to be clever or something? It kills your argument by making you look like a weirdo who worships stinky vagrants’ underpants! ;)

205. captain_neill: ‘I agree’

You bloody would, wouldn’t you! :p ;) This site wouldn’t be the same without you captain_neill! Gawdblessyou!

208. captain_neill - September 1, 2009

Dom

Your attitude makes it out that Trek fans are wrong to enjoy the spin offs as well.

Its an attitude which annoys me about fandom in general.

Oh you don’t like the new movie? Oh you’re not a true Star Trek fan

You love TNG? Whoa you’re not a true Star Trek fan.

You enjoy Voyager? Sorry mate but liking that show does not make you a Trek fan.

I get this attitude in all message boards. I am looking forward to the new fans enjoying all the shows

Dom. Negative attitudes over a show I loved in my childhood pisses me off. In fact the negative comments about everyting except the new movie gets on my nerves.

209. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - September 1, 2009

Dom

I think you are just angry at life. I pitty you for not being able to enjoy lifes little pleasures like Star Trek.

210. Dom - September 1, 2009

208. captain_neill: ‘Your attitude makes it out that Trek fans are wrong to enjoy the spin offs as well.’

Nope! Far from it. But painting Star Trek on the tin doesn’t make it Star Trek inside!

‘Its an attitude which annoys me about fandom in general.’

That’s a gross misrepresentation of ‘fandom’!

‘Oh you don’t like the new movie? Oh you’re not a true Star Trek fan’

I have never seen one instance of that! I’ve seen a lot of crybabies complain that the film is ‘not Star Trek’ and when anyone dares to disagree with them they scream that they are being condemned for hating the new film.

‘You love TNG? Whoa you’re not a true Star Trek fan.’

No one’s ever said that. The criticism with the likes of Mr Berman (and this goes back to Gene Roddenberry’s flawed 1970s-80s revisionism) is that there really isn’t much connection between TNG and Star Trek once you scrape away the surface details. It’s a sci fi show and often a pretty good one, but it has little to do with the 1960s show Star Trek or Star Treks II-VI!

‘You enjoy Voyager? Sorry mate but liking that show does not make you a Trek fan.’

I actually am quite partial to Voyager. I would rather Voyager had come along before TNG when all the stories were still new!

‘I get this attitude in all message boards.’

Then don’t spend so much time on message boards. I long ago learned that spending too much time on discussion forums is soul destroying!

‘I am looking forward to the new fans enjoying all the shows’

In standard def! :p

‘Dom. Negative attitudes over a show I loved in my childhood pisses me off. In fact the negative comments about everyting except the new movie gets on my nerves.’

Are you threatening me? :0

People criticise things I love from my childhood all of the time! They criticise me a lot of the time too! Get over it! Jeez! You come off sounding like a serial killer!

209. DS9 IN PRIME TIME: ‘I think you are just angry at life. I pitty you for not being able to enjoy lifes little pleasures like Star Trek.’

In the Dune fan world, that’s called ‘Preek Argument Number 18.’

I’m very happy in my life, thanks. I’m very happy with my Star Trek Blu-rays. I’m quite happy to discuss Star Trek anytime. Thing is, TNG-era fans got used to being able to say what they liked about the original Star Trek back in the 1990s and it was usually pretty mean. Fifteen years later, they think people still aren’t allowed to say TNG was anything less than perfect.

I am scathing in my criticisms of what I perceive to be TNG’s failings as a Star Trek series. It doesn’t mean I don’t think TNG is worthy in its own right outside of Star Trek. And I tend to get more abuse because of that than if I outrightly said: ‘TNG is rubbish and should burn!’ TNG has some cracking episodes like The Best of Both Worlds I, Yesterday’s Enterprise, Conspiracy, The Inner Light and All Good Things. I watched all but one TNG episode, so at least I can criticise with a good knowledge.

The Gene Roddenberry who created TNG in the 1980s was not the same Gene Roddenberry who created Star Trek in the 1960s. It was obvious that he’d had some serious changes of view with the plans for that bonkers Star Trek Phase 2 show in the 1970s that thankfully never happened, just it was obvious in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (aka the ‘other’ first episode of The Next Generation) and certainly in TNG.

I like the ‘vision’ that Gene had for Star Trek in 1966, a vision developed with the likes of Robert Justman, DC Fontana, Gene L Coon, John Meredyth Lucas, Harlan Ellison and Theodore Sturgeon. That’s pure unadulterated original Star Trek, the Star Trek other people had to make separately from the revisionist Gene in the five of the movies and there was an element of that core original Trek mixed with a dash of TNG and something altogether new in ST09.

TNG is a different ‘vision’ (I hate the ‘V-word’ . . . or at least that particular V-word!) with a different attitude to the human race, how it interacts with itself and other lifeforms. Its view is often a frightening one to me and it’s certainly not a positive one and not a future I would care to live in! On the other hand, although it’s more dangerous, I would like to live in the TOS version of history (as long as no one buys me any red clothes!)

So, to reiterate: I’m not saying I think TNG is a bad TV show, but I don’t think it’s a particularly good Star Trek show either.

And going back to the Rick Berman thing, I haven’t said he’s a bad person, but that 18 years was far too long for anyone to be on one franchise and the ultimate fate of the TNG-ENT Treks reflected that!

211. Rich - September 1, 2009

Wow. Can’t believe I just read all of these comments.

I do have to echo the thoughts of many on this board. Nemesis was not a good movie. I had high hopes, was excited about the movie.

Maybe I’m dense but I didn’t really feel a connection with the storyline. The “camera work” during the battle scenes was hideous (seriously…are you able to follow the locations of the Romulans and the Enterprise at any time during the battle? How many “iconic” shots can you remember from the battle sequences other than the collision? Compare your memory of this to the shots in TWOK). Casting was hideous (what was the use of the guy who held Shinzon’s head all the time? For that matter what was his name???). Touchy feely Counselor Troi saves the day? And then you kill Data and give us “B4?” Granted I never liked Data that much to begin with…thought he was way too much of the show throughout TNG and the movies…but now we have to go back and do all the “will B4 learn to do this right?” stuff that we just spent 7 years in a TV show and 4 movies doing.

It’s all just so tiresome. My first viewing of the movie, I saw Rick Berman’s name come up on the screen and immediately stuck my middle finger up at the screen. I left angry and told my friend that went with me “well they finally killed Star Trek.”

Amazingly, it seems that I am still angry to this day about that movie.

Sad….the movie…and that fact that it still makes me mad to think about it.

212. captain_neill - September 1, 2009

211

How can you not like Data? Data is one of my favourite characters.

Dom

Alright I’m sorry, don compre to some kind of serial killer. I have a love for the spin offs and I just get angry when they are being criticised all the time on this site, even more so with the release of the new movie in my opinion.

213. captain_neill - September 1, 2009

Everyone is entittled to their opinions,

I enjoyed the new movie but in my opinion it aint the best. And I believe that JJ dumbed it down. It is still a good film andI pre ordered the blu ray of the film.

214. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - September 2, 2009

207. Dom

So, to reiterate: I’m not saying I think TNG is a bad TV show, but I don’t
think it’s a particularly good Star Trek show either.

I have to say that is probably the most civil way you have put it so far. And yes i do respect your opinion that you might think it was bad TV. I guess what irks me is when people say that its not Star Trek in its truest form, which i would totally disagree.

215. Dom - September 2, 2009

214. DS9 IN PRIME TIME: ‘I have to say that is probably the most civil way you have put it so far. And yes i do respect your opinion that you might think it was bad TV.’

No! No! NO! I think it was good TV, actually quite a lot of the time. I just think it was based on a revisionist misunderstanding of what Star Trek was about and therefore bad Star Trek!

‘I guess what irks me is when people say that its not Star Trek in its truest form, which i would totally disagree.’

Well, get used to it. I’ve had to put up with years of pseuds going on about TNG being ‘Star Trek Perfected’ and the original being some sort of caveman/cowboy show! The shows are simply different and I think Roddenberry trying to pass off TNG as Star Trek was a terrible thing!

216. Cafe 5 - September 2, 2009

An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. In Bermans case he had chances to correct many errors but chose not to. His actions are his and he failed not only the fans but himself. What a waste of potential.

217. captain_neill - September 2, 2009

As far as Im concerned TNG was Star Trek, because TNG was not tied to a network Roddenberry had more freedom than he did with TOS, he was not arevisionist.

To me it was a way to show how humans had advanced from the 23rd Century to 24th Century.

I love the spin offs and I love the the new movie by JJ Abrams. I just don’t think the new movie is the best ever Trek.

I love how the new movie is getting Star Trek the attention it deserves but I am hoping that Star Trek’s rich history does not get overshadowed by one movie which has more in common with the Hollywood Summer Action movie than Roddenberry’s great vision of the future. To me TNG was an extension of that vision which Gene started in TOS. I believed berman tried his best to maintain that vision andI felt he did very well.

Abrams evokes it but I don’t think he fully conveys it. I find it annoying that everyone is talking about how the movie is better than the past 20 years, to me I find this hurtful as I grew up loving the shows over the past 20 years. Am i suppose to ditch because Abrams redoes it all.

The new movie was set in an alternative universe for a good reason, to give the writers freedom from canon (Probably too much freedom in some areas, ie the destruction of Vulcan, which still pisses me off), yet it allows the universe we all love to still be there. So therefore I wish for both to co exist and in the culture. But as both universes exist then we do have the advantage over Star Wars fans

I am angry more so because I am worried the new movie will overshadow the rest of Trek, but i do want both universes to be developed etc.

I hate to see the Trek we grew up loving becoming an afterthought to the new movie , which in my opinion is a fun movie and really grabs the new fans but I don’t think it captures Star Trek at its best. I just don’t want the rest of Trek to be forgotten because of this one movie.

218. dmduncan - September 3, 2009

TOS came at the peak of Roddenberry’s career and talent, and TNG came on the downslope. That was evident even by TMP, which was so drab that it might as well have been shot in black and white.

And there aren’t many fans left who actually think that TMP under Roddenberry’s control is anywhere near as good as JJ’s ST.09 which Roddenberry obviously had nothing to do with. So the idea that it’s better or more perfect because Roddenberry was attached to it is baloney.

Star Trek became bigger than Gene Roddenberry, so much so that he couldn’t change things and make people believe they were better just because it was HE who was changing them.

Roddenberry had lots of help, and everything fell into place in the 60’s—art direction, costume design, actors, writers, producers. By 1979, everything had fallen out of place, and even with it’s huge budget TMP wasn’t as good as Star Trek’s decent TV episodes.

It wasn’t about the creator of Star Trek having the money, it was about catching that lightning in a bottle again as Nimoy said couldn’t be done. It wasn’t all about Gene Roddenberry, it was about the entire team that made the franchise great. He was just one part, and not a sufficient part, to regain the magic of TOS.

Star Trek died under Berman/Roddenberry and it came back to life through TOS under Bob, Alex, and JJ’s command. And to them I say live long and prosper, brothers.

If Star Trek survives, it will be because The Magnificent Seven (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scott, Sulu, and Chekov) saves it.

219. captain_neill - September 4, 2009

218

so obviously there aint much love for any spin offs in this site, a shame.

Very unfair about your comment about Roddenberry about being on the downslope. Roddenberry’s vision did not change with TNG, I believe with TNG he had more freedom and developed it further.

The talents of Ron D Moore, Michael Piller, Ira Steven Behr were great to Star Trek as much as DC Fontana.

The new movie is great fun but I don’t see JJ, Bob and Alex as the second coming as everyone on here seems to think.

Orci andKurtzman delivered the best film this summer with Star Trek but they also delivered the worst film as well, Transformers 2.

To me they got the characters but the plot for Trek XI was thinner than tracing paper, a side effect of making it mor accessible to the mainstream. I loved the film but I DON’T think its the best ever.

And I get annoyed at the TNG bitching, which is a great show I loved watching when growing up.

So sorry if I feel a bit offended by some of the posts here

220. dmduncan - September 4, 2009

219: “I loved the film but I DON’T think its the best ever.”

I do. I did not think the plot of ST.09 was thin at all. I thought it was very clever and ambitious. And I’m not bitching about TNG. It is what it is. I never tried to change it or to convince anyone else to change it. I walked away from it and got interested in other things.

221. captain_neill - September 4, 2009

219
Fair enough

Its just the new Trek is number 6 for me

222. Dom - September 5, 2009

219. captain_neill: ‘so obviously there aint much love for any spin offs in this site, a shame.’

Again with that nonsense! There’s a new movie with Kirk, Spock and McCoy as the main characters, ergo there will be a lot of fans of the original crew here either as fans from the 1960s show or fans from the new film. Let it go: if TNG and its companion shows have any lasting worth they’ll show it in their own time. Right now, the last 20 years of shows is kind of irrelevant, because people are interested in the Star Treks being made right now, which happen to chime with the 60s show. If you don’t like that, then do what I did when everything was focused on TNG: walk away and stay out of it (I did for 12 years!)

‘Very unfair about your comment about Roddenberry about being on the downslope.’

Actually, it’s completely accurate. Roddenberry hadn’t sold a TV show in two decades when he came to TNG and that was cobbled together from multiple old sources: Picard was Pike, Riker and Troi were Decker and Ilia and Riker was called ‘Number One’. Data was a mix of Xon and Questor. Politics backstage on TNG were vicious. Star Trek was Gene Roddenberry’s only real success.

‘Roddenberry’s vision did not change with TNG, I believe with TNG he had more freedom and developed it further.’

No. TNG had a more limited scope as it came from the mind of an increasingly infirm boss (and his lawyers) and didn’t allow for other minds to develop its scope. You forget that TOS wasn’t about ‘Gene’s Vision': it was the product of several superb minds, most of whom were working in second careers, following service in WW2 or Korea.

To quote Herb Solow: ‘My displeasure grew over the years as he [Roddenberry] reinvented the origins of Star trek, further enlarging the Star Trek legend and the Gene Roddenberry Myth. While there is no denying Gene created the root, the core from which the series grew, there were other important contributors to its growth: Gene Coon, Bob Justman, Matt Jefferies and me. Unfortunately the credit for our contributions was washed away in the wake of Gene’s disinclination to honor them, and by doing so, he assumed their authorship’

The Roddenberry worshipped by rabid TNG fans is a myth. Learn to get past it!

223. N - September 6, 2009

Riker command presence? I thought they wanted a guy who couldn’t replace Picard & was destined to only be a #2. Heck he still is. Which is what Frakes was IMO.

224. N - September 6, 2009

# 222, I disagree Roddenberry’s pilots were great. It was the dumb studio’s that got it wrong.

Spectre
Questor Tapes
Planet Earth
Genesis II

Were all good pilots & had potential. A man before his time!

225. Dom - September 7, 2009

224. N

Never said they weren’t. Then again, they were way too far up their own arses to sell. Now they’re plain cheesy!

TNG was way, way up its own anus too, but got away with it by hijacking the Star Trek name!

226. Cygnus-X1 - September 7, 2009

He didn’t seem like a particularly self-deluded or stubborn individual, until he cited “franchise fatigue” as the reason for Nemesis’ failure, adding that it was a good movie.

There’s just no way that an objective analysis of the film would fail to notice its many, egregious flaws….wonderfully and humorously synopsised here, as most people here are aware: http://www.stardestroyer.net/Nemesis/Pictorial-1.html

The appeal of DS9 I’ll never really understand, so I suppose, for my part, I have to acknowledge that Berman did a good job, through at least TNG and DS9.

But, in like fashion, it must be acknowledged that Voyager and Enterprise (apart from Season 4, alright) were on a lesser, more mediocre tier. And, again, “franchise fatigue” is just a lame excuse. There are series that have been on the air much longer than the run of TNG through ENT, and yet people don’t tire of them.

Without knowing a thing about the man’s personal life, I’d have to offer “Berman fatigue” as a more likely cause, meaning that the guy just needed a break from the franchise…and it from him.

227. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - September 7, 2009

Dom

What are your thoughts on The Shat asking Lennord Nimoy “why was i not in the movie” about 5 or 6 times?

228. tom vinelli - October 28, 2009

#69 lightin up the shat agreed to die in trek 7. hows that bermans doings?

229. john - November 23, 2009

Voyager was easily the best of all the series IMO. Enterpise turned me off and DS9 seemed static to me. Was a fan of TNG though.

Voyager had it’s ups and downs like all the shows, but the cast and characters we’re easily the best. It’s too bad there’s not going to be a voyager movie. At least a TV movie would make me happy.

230. Aberdown - December 12, 2009

I hate to burst your bubble guys but Berman was wonderful it was Roddenberry who throttled the franchise by his oposition to Trek II and VI .
Seriously he would have hated DSN if he was still alive and Roddenberry and Berman’s friendship would be over.
Seriously!

231. Lanell Walkinshaw - April 21, 2011

Hello, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, excellent blog!

232. 2David271098complete - September 23, 2011

#207 DOM

First off just because you go to conventions does not mean you are an extremest, I go because I enjoy it and the reason I enjoy it is because the people who attend the conventions are good people. I have been attending conventions since 1975 and made many friends. Another reason is because I dig Trek all Trek with an exception. You see i work in the real world, where I see homicide, rapes, molestation’s, spousal abuse, elder abuse, traffic accidents, and just the WORST that the human race has to offer on a daily bases. So when I am at a convention i see the flip side of the Human race…THE BEST SIDE of it. So as you see I beg to differ. What is your definition of normal sir. I have been a cop for 25 years. I have a 17 year old daughter I live in a pretty damn nice house I have been married for 21 years. I drive a 1978 Vett silver in color and we have a German Shepard as the family dog…..sounds damn normal to me. In Re not being able to afford the conventions, Well if you have a JOB and you work HARD then you can do what ever the HELL you want. If all you can do is afford to go to the pub then maybe you should look for a better paying JOB. If all you want to do is go to the pubs then its you prerogative to spend your money they way you want. So please do not slander those who choose do what we want. I am a Star Trek fan plain and simple i don’t hide in the closet for the fact that someone may call me a “GOD FORBID a TREKKIE” By what you have said its sounds like you are ashamed of being a fan or that if someone knows that you are a fan of Trek you wont get ANY. Did you ever ask yourself that the reason that you don’t get ANY is because you just may be a total jerk. Oh by the way did you even notice that by what you wrote above you even knocked Anthony, you know the site that you are currently on. He also attends and chairs panels at the conventions and is truly a great guy. He too is one of the as you say “extremists” that i have had the pleasure to meet at the conventions. This time the shoe my friend is on the other foot…as Shatner said “GET A LIFE”

TrekMovie.com is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.