VegasTrekCon10: Brannon Braga Answers Fan Questions On TNG, Voyager & Enterprise | TrekMovie.com
jump to navigation

VegasTrekCon10: Brannon Braga Answers Fan Questions On TNG, Voyager & Enterprise August 9, 2010

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

Brannon Braga, Star Trek’s most prolific (and often controversial) writer came to the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas to interact with the fans. Braga answered questions about his time on Next Generation, Voyager, and Enterprise, revealing some insights and new details. Get a breakdown below.

 

Brannon Braga on TNG, Voyager, Enterprise and beyond

Brannon Braga started his appearance by saying that he loves coming to the cons every year to hear what fans have to say, but then noted "I’m always nervous that some disgruntled fan is going to come here to try and kill me."  Here are some highlights from the Q&A of Star Trek’s most prolific writer/producer:

On  TNG

On VOY

On ENT

On career in general and other projects:

STLV10-Sat-61
Brannon Braga at Star Trek convention

REMINDER: Brannon Braga appearing this weekend at First Contact Screening

The Summer Star Trek movie series at the Laemmle Royal Theater in West LA picks up again this weekend with a showing of Star Trek First Contact on Saturday August 14th at midnight. Preceding the film will be a Q&A with Brannon Braga. I will be asking Brannon questions on the film and his time with Trek. If you have any questions suggestions, let me know in the comments below.

 

 

More Vegas Star Con 2010

For more from the con see our full reports:

…And much more to come with coverage of TNG and Enterprise stars from Sunday.

Comments

1. Mr.Scotty - August 9, 2010

Who CARES about the designs? Basements all over the country are groaning with the sighs of nerds & their blueprints..HOW DARE YOU!!!

2. Hat Rick - August 10, 2010

In some ways, it’s a close call as to whether the NuEnterprise’s bridge is more futuristic than the Enterprise-D’s. In some ways, it is — it’s got these moving screen graphics, for example, and it’s brighter. But in other ways, the Enterprise-D seems more advanced, with everything clearly touchscreen.

Also, unlike Braga, I think that production design does matter. As a fan, I care about it, and I think many others do, too.

Finally, to me, it’s sad that Braga that he thinks that there are fans out there who are so deranged that they would want to physically harm him. In the end, it’s just an entertainment franchise we’re talking about here.

3. Hat Rick - August 10, 2010

^^ Correction: “sad that Braga said that….”

Also, I think that the TMP Enterprise bridge looked just as advanced (though less flashy) as the NuEnterprise’s bridge.

4. SaykredCow - August 10, 2010

Braga is definitely is a talented guy and was involved with some of my all time favorite Trek episodes. He doesn’t deserve the flack some fans give him…

Disgruntled fans indeed…. Fans who criticize the wrong things and can’t understand that character is the most important thing are what truly ruins Star Trek.

5. MvRojo - August 10, 2010

#2. Even if they’re just internet postings, I’d be a little freaked out if I was in his position and reading all the hateful things that have been said about him.

6. MJD - August 10, 2010

He gets too much sh*t. He is responsible for some very fine work in the franchise, particularly with RDM, but in my view, he stuck around too long and perhaps burned out. As a result, his latter work was very laboured, almost as if you could feel how tired he was. He no longer had anything new to say.

But, he wrote All Good Things and First Contact, and for those things alone he should be lauded, let alone many of the other fine episodes he was involved with.

7. Hat Rick - August 10, 2010

5, yeah. That’s part of why it’s sad — people write things on the Internet without regard to the concept that if they said it to the person they’re writing about, it would be considered a threat. The pseudo-anonymity of the Internet is often misused by people who shouldn’t use computers without adult supervision.

8. WGW - August 10, 2010

I am waiting for this one to be asked at a convention:

Braga- How was it being involved with the hottest woman (next to Uhura) in trek history?

9. S. John Ross - August 10, 2010

#2 “Finally, to me, it’s sad that Braga that he thinks that there are fans out there who are so deranged that they would want to physically harm him. In the end, it’s just an entertainment franchise we’re talking about here.”

It is sad, but also … well, let me just say that even small-time creative types working on fairly fringe licensed material get some scary, scary vibes in email sometimes.

It is not a sane concern, but at the same time, it is in literal terms a reasonable one.

10. Jim Nightshade - August 10, 2010

Yah i dont blame braga-even on this site many “fans” have said very cruel even hateful things for no sane reason—remember-john lennon was killed by a crazed fan-i never thought anyone would want to kill a musician/star icon like a beatle–especially one that seemed so wise n charitable n talented–yet it happened-i am still in shock over that one–

11. Porthos - August 10, 2010

I liked the bridge, and the ideas of characters and the storry. But the show was booring. With old episodes in a new show. For example the Ent episode with Rene Auberjonois from a Ds9 ep with Rene Auberjonois).

Travis could be a focus, in the conflict beetween colonies and Earth. Hoshi was an annoying newbie as Kim. And Malcolm a security chief who likes explosions. They were stereotips. After the Babylon 5, and Serenity this show was too old.

And they ignored the humor. One most importent part of Trek series.

In the years of TNG, there were several Star trek writers. During the Ent remain just two pruducers. When Many Coto arrived show became better a bit. Similar situation than in Star Wars. Durin the classing trilogy were “brainstorming” and lot of argue. During the prequel trilogy just one chief and his orders.

So i hope Abrams will make series with writers. (Ha was on comic con with Wheadon:))

Meanwile i would like to read Enterprise comics from IDW…

And I want cheese!

12. Philip Dunlop - August 10, 2010

All the stick Braga gets from certain quarters is very, well…. un-Star Trek. I happen to be a fan of a lot of his work, although I do agree that the time travel aspect was a crutch that was too heavily leaned upon at times.

11. I have to disagree. I thought Hoshi was a good character on Enterprise (though her skill for learning new languages came almost TOO easily, without any great deal of frame-of-reference to back up her skill). And I thought Mayweather was more the Harry Kim type (who actually went on to become one of my more favoured Voyager characters as the series progressed) – the naivety, despite being one of the characters who had more experience of “space time” than a lot of the others. I just felt he was never particularly well developed and, to be honest, I didn’t really fancy Anthony Montgomery as an actor. I also happened to be a big fan of Lt. Reid. He had a bit of an interesting past to draw upon, and there always seemed to be something that was left unmentioned that created a bit of mystery about him. He was, for all intents and purposes, and despite his being the armory officer, the show’s equivalent of Worf: always focused on duty, loyalty and honour, and sometimes inclined to let those get in the way of actually performing his duties to the best.

Also have to disagree with the humour element. I thought it went back to being humorous where Voyager was the one that really disregarded it, at least until Seven came into the show and became developed as a character. It might have had a more ham-fisted, TOS-style of humour, but it was certainly there at times, despite a very dark subject matter.

13. Corinthian7 - August 10, 2010

Some of those early ideas for Enterprise were intriguing. I like the idea of the. 1st season being mostly earth based as it would have given us an opportunity to see something not really explored in Trek and would have really emphasised the historic nature of their mission as well as building up a lot of excitement for season 2.

I think Brannon was clearly joking about getting assassinated by a fan but all the abuse he’s had over the years for something he’s invested so much energy in must really hurt. Sure there has been a few duff episodes over the years but we all have a bad day at the office now and again! I personally would like to thank Brannon for the many hours of enjoyment I still get from rewatching those shows!

14. Jeff O'Connor - August 10, 2010

Those original Enterprise ideas… I was familiar with the first-season pitch, but not with the studio disliking the story being set in the past.

Those pitches sound so much better than what we got.

15. Philip Dunlop - August 10, 2010

13. When you consider how many actual episodes of Star Trek there have been, from “The Cage” to “These Are The Voyages”, it’s actually astounding how the quality of the writing hasn’t faltered more than it did. Just by sheer volume alone.

16. Jeyl - August 10, 2010

“Also noted on design differences “who cares!? I think it is more about characters, than production design””

Uh, I care. Because if it’s a crappy set that looks unconvincing, that can totally take you out of the episode/movie. You know? Like the Brewery from the new Star Trek film. You’re lucky Enterprise had all sets.

17. fred - August 10, 2010

brannon wrote some great episodes but like piller at some stage he real needed to move on and not become to showrunner for voyager and enterprise, im so glad he decided to stay with next gen and finish the programe off as who knows what sort of danage he might of done to ds9 which i am sure given the shit the top blass gave them brannon would be bitching about it now and srewed it up instead of what the writer did and some how made it make sence out it

18. El Chup - August 10, 2010

#2

I’m sure if you were Braga and you read the countless millions of internet posts wishing his demise or harm you might begin to believe that there are at least a few nutters out there who do want to harm you.

19. TMZ - August 10, 2010

Note the other reason he liked Voyager the most is because the majority of fans forget that for a short while he was schtooping Jeri Ryan.

I guess I’d enjoy that period of my life too.

20. Silicon Avatar - August 10, 2010

Could you ask Braga at the screening if the Borg became a prominent villain on Voyager because of the success of First Contact or if they planned to use them before the film was written.

21. P Technobabble - August 10, 2010

I’ve been a critic of Braga over the years, but I also acknowledge that he contributed some of the best Treks ever. And I did like the way he wrote episodes that were twisted and maze-like. Sometimes they worked really well, like “Cause And Effect,” while others, like “Frame Of Mind,” didn’t do much for me.
But badgering of Trek writers/producers is an ordinary thing in Trek-dom. It’s easy to be vicious, rude and obnoxious while hiding in virtual anonymity. I doubt most of such people would be so bold if they were standing face to face with their “victim.”

22. P Technobabble - August 10, 2010

I would ask Brannon:

Over the course of nearly 20 years of doing Star Trek, how did you keep the energy going? Where did you find inspiration and motivation?

23. Horatio - August 10, 2010

I HATED the temporal cold war subplot of Enterprise. Nice to know that the series was originally intended to be more like season 4 and was typically f’d up by brainless studio hacks.

I think most fans – I include myself – keep forgetting how much Berman, Braga et al were beholden to the uninspired powers that be at Paramount.

Still, I think Enterprise could have been glorious…..

24. Brian - August 10, 2010

They still could have told the story they wanted and still be be a space-based show. Like “Lost” used flashbacks to show how the characters wound up being on that plane. They could have used flashbacks to show how NX-01 came to be. They did it for one great episode but that was it.

25. skyjedi - August 10, 2010

Who wrote these are the Voyages, the finale episode of Enterprise. As a fan of Enterprise i was pretty pissed off about that episode and the stupid way they shoehorned riker and troi into it.

26. Kirk, James T. - August 10, 2010

I kind of like Braga, he comes across a bit of a pompous person but I’m sure he’s a nice guy and I dunno if it’s just me but his comment about Enterprise and his original concept for it being identical to that of JJ Abrams movie – It just kind of makes me respect him less since obviously it wasn’t that the concept sucked, it was that you had people so involved with Star Trek for 18 or so years, who’d got so sucked into the TNG formula that they were unable to bring anything fresh to the table, I don’t even think it crossed Braga’s mind that perhaps contemporary wasn’t really the way to go with Enterprise… As far as he’s Star Trek career, I just think he did his best work on TNG with First Contact being the last great piece of writing he did – after that it desperately needed new blood to take it forward – whist I don’t dislike Voyager or Enterprise, I feel those concepts would have been executed better if they had been produced by a totally different team – it would have probably saved Berman’s reputation too had he handed the “key’s” to a new team on a high note…

Besides DS9 (I thought that was a really really great series) I think the overwhelming feeling I get watching anything after Star Trek: First Contact was the potential Star Trek had but was squandering with badly conceived concepts, poor and re-hashed scripts and just a lack of anything fresh or original that hadn’t been seen in TNG – Where as the likes of TOS and TNG are considered classics of their generation with some episodes that are just classics in their own right, I don’t think anyone will remember Voyager or Enterprise in the same light even if they are remembered much at all.

Deep Space Nine was a fantastic series but I don’t think it was a very Star Trekky concept so for the purpose of this post I’m leaving DS9 out of it….

27. Nick Cook - August 10, 2010

Braga gets way too much flak and not enough credit. He deserves constructive criticism as much as anyone, but some of the psychotic ranting aimed at him is just silly.

Would absolutely love to share a few brews with him one day. I think he’d have a lot of interesting stories to share.

28. Hugh Hoyland - August 10, 2010

I cant agree with him about the ship and bridge design, The Ship IS a character as well, And it also sets the “mood” for the show in many ways.

The Enterprise from ENT simply looked like a stripped down version of something we would see in TNG or Voyager, not a pre-TOS vessel. His argument about the New Enterprise bridge looking so advanced isnt valid either IMO, The new Enterprise comes from a different timeline, built under different circumstances.

The ENT Enterprise is supposed to be in the same timeline as TOS, just earlier. I think it would have been “cooler” to actually have it retro instead of what they built.

29. Doug Skywalker - August 10, 2010

and it just goes to show how studios can indeed ruin projects, aka ST: ENTERPRISE. just think of how cool that show would have been if they would’ve let Braga have his creativity flurish the way he intended.

i also believe that i had once mentioned how the first season should’ve been exactly the Braga wanted it: the build-up and launch of the ship and no stupid Temporal anything (although the Xindi storyline in season three was kinda entertaining, and season four was just a hoot, thanks Manny Coto).

30. John from Cincinnati - August 10, 2010

Ha HA!

Brannon Braga just re-confirmed what Roberto Orci has been saying all along:

The Prime universe is alive and well.

31. Tony Whitehead - August 10, 2010

If Brannon reads these posts, as he sometimes does, would love to know what the grand vision was for the remaining un-aired years of ENT. I figure the Romulan Wars and founding of the Federation, but what else was buzzin’ ’round the writer’s room? hmm. . .

32. John from Cincinnati - August 10, 2010

Oh , yeah, contemporary audiences don’t like things looking retro.

Sure. Yeah. right.

I stil believe a more TOS style bridge, only updated, would’ve looked great and the general audience would’ve accepted it.

33. John from Cincinnati - August 10, 2010

Enough with the negative connotivity associated with TOS. It was the best! I loved the uniforms, sets, bridge, actors, Engineering, etc.

34. Kirk, James T. - August 10, 2010

@ 27 – What do you expect them to receive?

The thing is whilst I see your point, It’s a flawed point. When Star Trek is good the people who work hard to create it are praised – when Star Trek is bad the people who work hard to create it get told so – What happened with Star Trek wasn’t to do with anyone’s talents – it was to do with the FACT that these talented people had been doing the same job for 18 years and after 18 years, especially in the creative industry, it’s hard to keep things fresh working on one thing – What killed Star Trek wasn’t because of franchise fatigue or a lack of interest, or that the people creating it weren’t good enough, it was because the people doing it had run out of new and fresh ideas – and thats no surprise. What frustrates me is that the Studio let Star Trek stagnate because unfortunately for the creative aspect of it, the business was still making money…

Nowadays, I am so so pleased that we have such a rich tapestry to enjoy and take away something from each adventure weather it be a feeling of optimism or nostalgia or something different. I love every incarnation of Star Trek but, although there are only so many stories to tell in this world, I am a hundred times happier that its now in a fresh pair of hands who can deliver a fresh approach that people so embroiled in the universe after 18 years day in day out just couldn’t deliver anymore.

When TOS ended and TNG began – everyone was shouting sacrilege! But look at that show, 7 years of pure sci-fi gold but it was only gold because they took a totally different direction with it than they did with TOS. TNG was made by different people with different ideas and opinions, It kept it fresh and different from TOS and that’s why it succeeded – Voyager and Enterprise lacked the new blood coming in to keep it fresh and relevant and the ratings and ultimately the fate of the franchise were sealed – now look at it, after ONE movie, Star Trek’s reputation is once again bouncing back among not just the fans but the wider world, critics and the mainstream alike are talking about Star Trek and the anticipation around the next movie….

It might interest you to know that many film and sci-fi mags are billing the next Star Trek movie as the most anticipated of the decade – shocking stuff for a franchise ridiculed only five years ago after the cancelation of Enterprise…

35. Marc McKenzie - August 10, 2010

One thing I gotta say about Braga–he’s a survivor. He’s done a helluva good deal of work in a business that can pretty much suck you dry.

#4,#6: Right on the money. I think that the venom that’s directed at Braga was undeserved. He DID write or co-write some of TNG’s best episodes, and both he and Moore were one hell of a writing team. He’s had his bad scripts or ideas that didn’t work, but….who hasn’t?

#34: You hit the nail right on the head. And remember, not even five years ago or so all we heard was, “Let it die!! There’s nothing left to do!”

And even when Abrams and company took on the project, there was still the great wave of cynicism, the smug, arrogant belief that they would fail. Well, they didn’t, and thankfully, ST has been given new life, and a new chance.

36. TJ Trek - August 10, 2010

If Brannon isn’t pulling any punches about what Enterprise was suppose to be all about, then once again we have forces outside the direct hands on creative team of the show, to thank for having the 6 years of stuff (minus the new STAR TREK movie) turn out to be less then steller as a whole.

I think that the take on ENTERPRISE that Brannon is proposing would have been an interesting one, and would have made for a good show. The first season and the second season would have been different enough from each other, that it would have been season 3 before the show started dragging its heals at all.

On the otherhand, I understand where the studio is coming from. If you can you want to invest all this time energy and money (mostly it’s the money), into a concept that you are relatively sure is going to work. You look at TNG that worked with flying colors. Voyager worked with the same flying colors. Now Brannon and Rick want to propose a Star Trek series, in which the first season takes place intirly on earth. and the studio’s thinking: “What are you smoking? we have no idea if that’s going to work or flop, we can’t invest in that kind of Unknown.”

Anyways, that’s why we got the ENTERPRISE that we did. While it was good, here’s to wishing that the studio had not interfered, so that the show could have been much better.

37. Hat Rick - August 10, 2010

Given what Braga said about his vision of ENT, CBS should take him up on his words and ask him to submit a treatment for a Trek TV miniseries based on his vision.

Why not? Anything to jump start a Trek TV series of some kind.

When should the next series air? Not until after the next Trek movie. But it’s never too early to get the development process going.

RDM (Moore) got what he wanted with the new BSG. BSG was DS9 reimaged as “Lost.” (Yes, you read it here first. ;-) ) That is, if JJ (“Cloverfield”) Abrams had been asked to direct a modern-day episode of DS9, with complete creativity, then it might have looked a bit like an episode of the RDM’s “Battlestar (“hide the ball, make mysterious references, do totally weird and wonderful character and plot twists, drop philosophico-religioco-sociological references”) Galactica.” (I mean, Starbuck as a woman? Only a truly creative mind would have imagined that, and made it work.)

Anything to jump start a Trek series.

Braga has had a few years off the Star Trek hamster wheel. Creative fatigue should have abated by now.

Let him do it. See what happens.

38. Daoud - August 10, 2010

Even in the Altered Universe, Star Trek: Enterprise and the NX-01 are still an integral part of the pre-2233 universe. Did not the line “Admiral Archer’s Beagle” resonate?

Oh, to see a USS Kelvin era series. THAT was how a starship-based prequel should have looked. Best part of the movie overall was that newly-conceived first 15 minutes. It gave us Trek we REALLY hadn’t seen before.

39. Browncoat1984 - August 10, 2010

I used to associate him with “the death of Star Trek” but now I think it was more the studio than anything else. I think that if his original ideas for Ent had been put into place that things would have been much better for that series. Ironic, isn’t it? The big network studio that thinks it knows fans so well and what they want changed the show to what they thought fans wanted, when in reality it was the exact opposite!

That said, I think Ent is better than most give it credit for and there were some quality stories told, specifically during season 4 of the show which I think is probably closer to Braga’s original vision of the show. I hated the temporal cold war for the main reason that it never went anywhere and sort of fizzled out at the end of the show.

It also doesn’t help that Ent came about at a time when Trek was no longer the big sci-fi series on the block, and there were more shows showing up. Galactica, Farscape, SG-1, Firefly, Smallville, just to name a few, Trek had some tough competition and the fact that it wasn’t advetised outside of UPN or to anybody but Trek fans at all was a big problem. I sort of see JJ Abrams’ Trek movie as how Enterprise SHOULD have been, as Braga says. Instead they wanted him to write it like every other Star Trek and try to pretend that it was different.

40. Hat Rick - August 10, 2010

To be perfectly frank, I was quite a fan of the first half of the first season of ENT and I followed it until about the second season. I kind of lost interest after a while, but then I heard that it was great again in what turned out to be the last season.

Do you remember the fan-based campaign to save ENT? I was morally completely in support of that effort in that I wished it well. But by that time, it was too late to save ENT.

I sometimes think we overestimate the rationality of big corporations. Any large entity is made of people, and directed by people at the top who may be all too eager to surround themselves with yes-men and who may be prone to make decisions — conservative decisions — calculated, perhaps, to save their own skins. That’s why art is so rare in television; it’s a bean-counting business, just the way that our economy is based on dollars and cents.

I don’t know of a single account of UPN or any of the controllers of the Star Trek properties on television that portray its leaders as visionaries or men or women of great talent. Art and business coexist very uncomfortably, for the most part.

What was and is lacking in American business is the sense of risk-taking that used to characterize the American spirit. Captain Pike’s commentary on Starfleet at the beginning of ST2009 could be taken as a commentary on Hollywood as a whole. It’s just a business; the Hollywood studios are just an arm of corporate America. Corporate America is responsible for shareholder money (or at least, it’s supposed to be — Enron notwithstanding). It’s also responsible for financing obscenely outrageous CEO salaries at the cost of nearly everything else, including actual talent and creativity.

Star Trek may be a vision of the future, but it’s a vision subject to the whims of the present. There’s a saying that it’s hard to soar with the eagles when you are surrounded by turkeys. And that gobble-gobble sound you hear so loudly these days is the sound of Wall Street and its attendant interests.

Ah, well. Ars long, vita brevis, as they say.

By the way, the news says that former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe may have been in a plane crash that reportedly killed former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. A sad day in aviation.

41. Hat Rick - August 10, 2010

^^ By “controllers” I mean everyone OTHER THAN Gene Roddenberry, Robert Justman, et al., who were associated with TOS, TNG, etc. Producers such as Roddenberry and Justman, and talented writers and production staff such as Dorothy Fontana, et al. were true visionaries, whatever else one might say about them.

42. NuFan - August 10, 2010

He’s not wrong at all. Plenty of deranged lunatics in the fan base. Plenty.

43. AJ - August 10, 2010

40: Hatrick

You are absolutely correct, but what we are seeing with CBS is an almost complete lack of understanding that Star Trek needs a full-court press between films to keep newbie interest healthy, and attract those who caught the film on video.

It’s not about sillies spending $7000 on a painting of Spot, but about an animated series and associated toys which should continue to be released in the long stretch between films. Otherwise, the equity won in Trek thanks to the new film simply dissipates. ST 2012 is a second re-launch, marketing it once again to the newbies who forgot about it three years ago.

44. mr. NUspock - August 10, 2010

enterprise should have looked like the ring-shaped enterprise we saw in both TMP and enterprise…….
And had primitive tech., inside, build with a near-warp-drive(fusion-ion-based) engine and the crew should had been flying in vulcan-ships, up until season 2……..and in the mean-time we should have been known the the ring-shaped enterprise was coming, and it should ALL the way had focused on the events building up till season 4!!!!!!!!

45. mr. NUspock - August 10, 2010

and moved on the the romulan-war……..

46. Jim Nightshade - August 10, 2010

Earlier it was mentioned that TNG worked cuz it was totally different from tos and went in a different direction with new people–

I think that Gene Roddenberry himself, the same creative force behind TOS designed and made TNG what it mostly was…he did make lightning srike twice or once anyway since tos wasnt really a hit until after life….

Watching some of the shows on BBC America again I was reminded that even though other fans derided the first few seasons of TNG the ones with the EXEC PRODUCER GENE RODDENBERRY seemed to me to be the ones that set up many of the concepts and storylines expanded later in the series…also those episodes did remind you more of the old tos shows as well. At least to me….

Not that it was perfect we all know every show is human….still think Yars Death was handled terribly..being killed by a puddle of hated Oil…GULF COAST OIL FROM BP MAYBE? ohwell…

47. Horatio - August 10, 2010

I think I see how Trek is fleshing out:

Prime Trek Universe – reserved for TV

Abramverse – reserved for film.

48. Crypter Crypter Crypter - August 10, 2010

I enjoyed every ep he penned for TNG! Very talented and prolific…AND he banged Jeri Ryan…

49. Damian - August 10, 2010

#23–That has been one of my points when I defend Berman, Braga or anyone else involved at the time. People sometimes forgets, Paramount held the purse strings. If they did not like something, you either yielded to their will or you looked for a new job. That’s showbiz people. You can stand on your laurels and say, hey that’s a sucky idea, while you stand on the unemployment line and someone else does your job.

I did not really have a problem with the set design. Look, they had a no win scenario of their own. The show took place about 100 years before the original series. But let’s be honest, the sets from the original series are outdated even by today’s standards. How can they make it look literally less advanced than the original series sets and still look futuristic? The same people that complained about how advanced the ship looked now would have been complaining about how primitive and ridiculous the ship looks and how we could make something more advanced today. Zimmerman, Drexler and all involved did the best they could. The ship was still smaller than the Constitution class ship, it did not have shields, force fields or tractor beams, could only travel warp 5 instead of 8, did not have photon torpedoes and phasers, and the transporter was in it’s infancy. Maybe the sets had to be dialed up to be more futuristic by today’s standards, but the technology the NX-01 had was still lightyears behind the NCC-1701.

I do agree that the Berman regime did have issues with franchise fatigue. They produced a lot of TV and 4 movies. Eventually you get drained, whether you liked it or not.

50. Anthony - August 10, 2010

I admit I was a little disappointed at first with the design of the NX-01, both the interior and exterior. I was hoping for something a little more close to what Spock had described about mid-22 Century vessels in “Balance of Terror”. But I also understood why they went the direction. As much as I love Trek, I realize it is entertainment and not reality.

And I didn’t mind the Temporal Cold War at first because I had always assumed Future Guy would turn out to be a Romulan. But as time went on I began to realize that they were just pulling it out of there @$$.

I don’t hate Braga, he DID write some great episodes. But with him it’s a lot like football: some people are great offensive coordinators, but terrible head coaches. He was a great writer, but not a show runner.

51. Phaser Guy - August 10, 2010

Braga is still one of the best Trek writers to me. He wrote the best TNG movies, and some of the best episodes. Enterprise wasn’t too great, but that’s because the cast wasn’t as good as the other series.

52. Daoud - August 10, 2010

Plus, the Temporal Cold War could have been used specifically and explicitly as the reasons for the changes from what the 22nd century should have looked like.

As time goes by, the NX-01 and the series looks less out of place than it used to. The USS Kelvin seemed a reasonable descendant of the NX era after all.

Of course, Braga’s solution of using time travel, the TCW, was in a sense lifted by JJ to create the Star Trek ’09 alternate universe!

Now if somehow we could have revealed Future Guy to have been *Mirror* Old-Kirk out to prevent the UFP and our Kirk from arising, it all would have made sense.

53. Dom - August 10, 2010

Sorry, but Braga, Berman and co seemed to be churning out the same old, same old, year after year because they liked the money and the power. I don’t see the new Trek universe as even being all that much connected to Enterprise either: the new Trek universe might have had similarities, but there were probably differences going right back.

I tend to see the new Trek universe as being an extrapolation of the present, the same way TOS was from the 1960s and the TNG one (yes I consider TNG to be a separate timeline from TOS) from the 1980s.

Braga contributed some stories I really liked, but as with all TNG and its companion shows, I wish they hadn’t used the name ‘Star Trek’ because they had far too little in common with Star Trek!

That he became Trek’s most prolific writer isn’t really a positive.

54. Terran_Guy - August 10, 2010

I’m actually not a very big fan of Braga. Of his stories and episodes, I liked very few and out of the one I did like, almost all of them were written along with someone else. Like Ron Moore, who I really think is a great writer.

I also think Moore had too many stories that focused on a twisted reality, because he wasn’t very talented at making stories that made sense normally.

But the one episode of his that he wrote alone and I enjoyed was

“Timescape”

55. Phaser Guy - August 10, 2010

Who wrote Nemesis anyway? That was worse than anything Braga could come up with. Oh, yeah Brent Spiner wrote that, right?

56. OLLEY OLLEY OLLEY - August 10, 2010

@ 12. Philip Dunlop Qutote
“All the stick Braga gets from certain quarters is very, well…. un-Star Trek”

And that statement is very George Orwell 1984
Hitlers Germany
Stalins USSR
Glenn Beck.

57. Bucky - August 10, 2010

Anthony, I would *love* to know from Brannon Braga what it was like to be writing both “All Good Things…” and “Generations” at the same time. I heard they got the storylines confused sometime. Did they just plow through “All Good Things” almost as an afterthought and kept picking away at Generations script? I like Generations a lot, but I think All Good Things is one of the best Trek’s I’ve ever seen. so how did that episode come out of the pressure cooker of working on Generations and working on a big movie at the same time you have to write a series finale?

58. Bucky - August 10, 2010

oh, and just a random shot-out to Braga’s Frame of Mind. Total gold, top to bottom. Timeless, Fist Contact, and Shuttlepod One rock also.

59. bill hiro - August 10, 2010

Braga stayed too long.

60. Jonboc - August 10, 2010

24th (and 22nd )century Trek was a burr under my saddle for almost 20 years. I couldn’t be more thrilled that it’s over and JJs Trek is firmly in place.

61. Vultan - August 10, 2010

#57

Check out the Star Trek Generations commentary by Braga and Ron Moore. They talk quite a lot about the difficulties of doing both “All Good Things…” and the movie around the same time. Plus it’s interesting to hear them rip their own (movie) script to pieces.

62. Kev - August 10, 2010

Every time I see this guys face I think, theres the man who killed star trek.

so no I dont ever want to see his name associated with trek ever again,regardless of the good stuff he did, if you really want to get into detail about what he and his group screwed up look up a guy called sfdebris on youtube, he’ll tell you all about it.

and sfdebris did just do a review of generations.

63. Red Dead Ryan - August 10, 2010

I wonder if Bob Orci has ever met Brannon Braga. Braga wrote “Parallels” and “All Good Things…”, two of Bob’s favorite TNG episodes.
Hopefully, if the remastered TNG gets done, Bob does a commentary for either or even both episodes. A “fan commentary” just like he did for “The Voyage Home”.

The proposed first season of “Enterprise” sounded intriguing. We might have seen Hoshi Sato and Travis Mayweather at Star Fleet Academy, Jonathan Archer completing his service as first officer aboard another ship and then being promoted to captain before taking command of the NX-01. We could have learned more about Erika Hernandez and her relationship with Archer as well as learning more about Henry Archer.
The end of season one could have seen the launch of the Enterprise.

As for Brannon Braga’s fear of being killed, I’m sure he was kidding, though both he and Jeri Ryan were apparently stalked by some nutjob about a dozen years ago. I can’t remember everything, but the wacko sent wierd loveletters to Jeri Ryan and threatening letters to Brannon Braga.

64. Douglas - August 10, 2010

I agree with #57 in that “All Good Things…” is one of the best Star Trek stories ever. I’ve watched it many times with amazement. It’s a masterpiece. I wish it had been the first TNG film, however, it was a wonderful ending to the TNG series.

By contrast, I found the ending of Enterprise was an embarrassment. It’s difficult to understand how it would be produced as a farewell to the 4 season series. I can only image that the internal show business politics around Star Trek at that point must have been brutal with everyone struggling to save-face and survive to continue a career without burning bridges. Studio politics are overwhelming and no one person should be held solely responsible for mistakes under those conditions. Some of the internet rants against Braga were really too personal after Enterprise ended.

Star Trek for me is simply fun, imaginative and thought provoking. As a viewer i believe discussion of it should should never be used to insult or hurt.

Braga had brilliant concepts and should be applauded for those. I look forward to his new series and appreciate somebody with his imagination back at work.

65. draderman - August 10, 2010

hey brannon
thanks for coming back again this year brannon. its too bad you had such a late time spot. with all the autograph lines and people moving about, it was a bit of a madhouse in there for the first few minutes. you kinda screwed up your answer to my question too bro :p i asked what your fav episode was that u didnt write, but only for tng voy and ent, and you answered city on the edge of forever. its all good tho it was noisy and i was nervous so maybe i didnt express my Q well enuf.

what i wanted to know is what episode, written (story & screenplay) by another member of the writing staff besides you, during the time you were part of the writing team on trek, was a personal favorite of yours?(blah)

anyway thats it thanx again if your back next year u should come play 18 holes with johnny and i at the wynn one morning. lol thats what fox execs do BTW ;)

jay

66. Nick Cook - August 11, 2010

@ 34. How is it a *flawed* point to say that they should receive constructive criticism, but psychotic rants is not acceptable? That has nothing to do with talent or lack thereof, and everything to do with simple courtesy and rational behaviour. I don’t care if the work is good, bad or indifferent, criticism should address the work, it should not involve personal attacks, threats against people lives, or any of the other excessive nonsense that gets aimed at any of these people.

67. S. John Ross - August 11, 2010

#34: “What killed Star Trek wasn’t because of franchise fatigue or a lack of interest, or that the people creating it weren’t good enough, it was because the people doing it had run out of new and fresh ideas – and thats no surprise.”

Amen to that. The “franchise fatigue” claim was – and is – ridiculous nonsense. Creative team fatigue? Yes. Creative leadership fatigue? Yes. Hardening of the creative arteries by business priorities? Also, certainly, yes.

There was never – and will never be – anything wrong with the vitality of Star Trek, conceptually speaking. We will _always_ be just barely at the beginning of the story possibilities of that universe (or its new spinoff).

68. michaela - August 11, 2010

love ENTERPRISE..LIKE USUAL..and don’t forget BRAGA wrote THESE ARE THE VOYAGES!!

HE KILLED TRIP!! x(

69. Damian - August 11, 2010

When I mentioned franchise fatigue, I was referring to the producers involved, not the fans. I liked it all. I’ve never taken issue with other fans who only liked certain shows, only when they start questioning by intelligence for liking them. I found all the shows and movies to have their good points and I liked that they all had different points of reference. If they were all like the original series, Star Trek would have died years ago. It needed some variety or it would have gone stagnant. The Next Generation carried on much as the original series did, with an angle toward exploration and defense as the flagship. Deep Space Nine showed us how the Star Trek universe handles politics, war and religion. Voyager was the ultimate exploration show, really having gone where no man has gone before. Enterprise provided us with the origins of what would become the Federation. These are all the elements that won me over to each show. In all of them, humanity is shown to have great potential. Earth survived and became a much better place. Human beings are not perfect, even in the Star Trek universe. But we learn from our mistakes and are better for it.

Thank you Mr Braga for some great Star Trek moments. Yes there were some slip ups (Threshold comes to mind), but we are are only human. Star Trek has moved on, and the new team in charge shows great promise, but I still enjoy sitting back and watching all the shows from all the series.

70. JP - August 11, 2010

This may not be cool to admit but, his “Someone to Watch Over Me” is an episode very dear to my heart. Good on ya Brannon

71. jas_montreal - August 11, 2010

He brought up a good point. Why should people care about production design? Maybe one thing that hurt Star Trek during the 90’s. They were always trying to achieve the same style/feel. Future shows were always scared to do something radical. Hopefully Lessons were learned.

72. S. John Ross - August 11, 2010

#71: “He brought up a good point. Why should people care about production design?”

Because television is a visual medium and production design is visual, so it matters. Here; I found a great example:

“Maybe one thing that hurt Star Trek during the 90’s. They were always trying to achieve the same style/feel. Future shows were always scared to do something radical. Hopefully Lessons were learned.”

I agree 100% … and so, together, you and I just cared about production design. :)

73. Bucky - August 11, 2010

Someone to Watch Over Me is a fantastic episode. Very underrated.

74. Bucky - August 11, 2010

Yah, 61, actually after I posted this I went an ripped a copy of the Generations w/ Brannon & Ron commentary track to my iPod. Haven’t heard much about making All Good Things yet at about 40 minutes in (the Aramgosa observatory just blew up) but those two guys are honest, insightful, and sometimes hilarious. They should take it on the road or maybe MST3K Generations live at a con.

75. jas_montreal - August 11, 2010

@ 72

It matters to a certain extent. Once again, its the characters that drive the story and what drive interest in the show. BSG proved that point clearly.

And yes, i see what point your trying to make, lol. But once again, i guess i didn’t make my point clearly enough. What i’m trying to say is that it was too much of a huge focus back in the day. It should only matter for a very very small portion of the entire creative process. Same thing with Trek’s massive cannon. Its completely annoying how much attention and focus goes into it during a Trek movie/tv production.

76. S. John Ross - August 11, 2010

#75: “It matters to a certain extent. Once again, its the characters that drive the story and what drive interest in the show. BSG proved that point clearly. ”

Certainly, my own interest in BSG was driven by great characterization (including some stunningly good performances by the principal actors) … but are you suggesting that BSG had poor production design? IMO, production design is a lot like the soundtrack: you don’t notice it when it’s excellent; it just becomes part of the experience, naturally. Only when they do a bad job does it call attention to itself. I thought BSG had excellent production design all the way to the end … so I’m not sure how it provides an example unless you feel that the design was poor?

“What i’m trying to say is that it was too much of a huge focus back in the day. It should only matter for a very very small portion of the entire creative process. ”

Presumably, that portion would be the production design team :) Do you feel that other parts of the creative team got somehow sucked into the production design jobs or that their own work was compromised by it?

“Same thing with Trek’s massive cannon. Its completely annoying how much attention and focus goes into it during a Trek movie/tv production.”

A certain type of fan obsesses over the canon, sure … but how is there any way to really tell how much the creative teams do, except by what they choose to tell us (and how much of that is just promotional chatter to get the fans’ juices flowing)?

77. denny cranium - August 11, 2010

I remember reading a quote from Braga saying that “he had to kill Trip Tucker”
Anthony- I wonder why or what his motivations were for killing Trip.
If you could ask him that?
Thanks

78. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - August 11, 2010

My question is DO THE TV AND MOVIE EXECUTIVES GO TO CONVENTIONS? They would see first hand what fans want!! They should do a made for tv movie with Voyager or DS9 or TNG it would be great and i KNOW it would get great ratings… Why do they not see this?

79. Damian - August 12, 2010

I never really had an issue with production design. The Federation ships did have a sterile, utilitarian feel to them. But what do you expect? You have a limited space in a starship and everything has to have a function. Even the Enterprise from the original series was very utilitarian. Also, I would expect Starfleet ships to have a similar look to one another. Alien ships looked different. Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian, Jem’Hadar and Borg ships looked dramatically different from one another. Now I suppose you could argue that planetwide scenes sometimes looked the same, but there was not a whole lot you could do unless you greenscreen everything. That never looked particularly impressive to me back in the 90’s. Today, you could probably do a better job because of how computers have advanced. You also have cost concerns. Sometimes you have to use the same set for multiple scenes.

I always felt Herman Zimmerman & Richard James did a good job with what they had to work with. At least engineering had a recognizable warp core and did not look like a brewery (I did like Star Trek [2009] but the set design for that did bother me).

80. jas_montreal - August 12, 2010

@ 76

-I’m not suggesting production design in BSG was poor. I’m suggesting that it wasn’t necessarily THAT important to eick and moore, versus the writing and fun level. But you did mention the production design team, and we’ll leave it their responsibility, lol. So yea, to a certain extent your right, but if your trying to plant an idea in my head, then it won’t work. Because i’m firmly supporting the idea of ignoring detail in production design/cannon. You mentioned tv being a visual medium, and yes, it is. But once again, were attracted to art, not because of how it looks, but because of the AFFECT it has on us. I think the TOS star trek had the worst production design EVER, but it affected me, with the great story-telling and acting.

81. S. John Ross - August 12, 2010

#80: “I’m not suggesting production design in BSG was poor.”

Okay, good; that had me worried :)

“But you did mention the production design team, and we’ll leave it their responsibility, lol.”

I think that’s where it belongs, yes. You’ve said (more-or-less) that production design wasn’t overly important to the BSG creative team but that it was too important to the 90s Star Trek creative teams. I’m curious how you decided in each case. Based on inside information, an interview somewhere, etc?

“if your trying to plant an idea in my head, then it won’t work.”

My psychic superpowers are still being dry-cleaned; I expect them back by tomorrow afternoon but I’ll be using them to collapse an economy in a third-world dictatorship for a client.

“Because i’m firmly supporting the idea of ignoring detail in production design/cannon.”

Canon and production design are unrelated topics and conflating them is silly. I entirely agree that ignoring canon is a good thing (ignoring a cannon, on the other hand, could be dangerous). It doesn’t matter how I feel about production design (I only care about stories and characters, personally), but it literally _cannot be ignored_ in the making of a TV show. If it’s ignored, the actors would be standing in an undressed sound stage without so much as a chair to sit on, let alone a starship, space station or planet. Any suggestion that it even _could_ be ignored, let alone should be, is nonsensical.

82. S. John Ross - August 12, 2010

#79: “I never really had an issue with production design.”

Yeah, me neither. I think it’s the one thing that every Trek show has had a high standard of professionalism in (though I agree with #71 that the sameness of design in TNG/VOY/DS9 may have had some negative impact).

83. dep1701 - August 12, 2010

“I think the TOS star trek had the worst production design EVER, but it affected me, with the great story-telling and acting.”

Sorry, but I have to disagree. The production design for the original series must be taken in the context of when it was created, and the limited budget involved. For the sixties, the look of the Enterprise and the bridge set were fantastic and revolutionary. Matt Jefferies designs were so influential that even the US Navy studied the bridge as a template for a control center.

No other spaceship before looked like the Enterprise. 90% of the time they were either saucers or rockets Granted the layout of the ship may not be particularly practical in a real scientific sense, but damn it looked good.

Yes, of course by today’s standards the original series sets look dated – especially with the occasional missteps of things like obvious backlighted paper viewscreen displays ( see: “The Galileo Seven”and “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” ) . But if you REALLY want to talk about “the worst production design EVER”, especially in SF, try looking at the second season of the 1970’s “Buck Rogers In The 25th Century”. That was produced in 1980, and looks far more primitive, cheap, dated, and unbelievable than the original Trek, which preceded it by more than a decade.

In fact most ( mind you, not all, but most ) televised Sf of the ’70’s looks ridiculous and cheap compared to Trek. Just check out “Logan’s Run”, “Star Maidens”,and “Moonbase 3″ for example.

84. grigori - August 12, 2010

Enterprise was a good show–but that was in SPITE of the irritating Temporal Cold War. I didn’t think they needed transporters either, but to their credit they didn’t often use them as a logistics cop-out.

The NX-01 look and feel was perfect for the time period: grittier and more functional than Kirk’s Enterprise, and the uniforms as such were inspired, NASA-like. I was ecstatic to see that time period in “history” portrayed, and for the most part they delivered.

Of course These Are the Voyages was ill-advised, to put it mildly and politely. But the rest of Season 4 was everything I wanted from that show and then some. You win some, you lose some.

Gotta thank Braga for Best of Both Worlds and First Contact, some of my favorite Trek ever.

85. skyjedi - August 12, 2010

Personally i still blame Braga, Moore and Berman for getting star trek canceled. Because of them their will never be any more real star trek aka set in the so called prime universe, either in tv or movies.

For the poor way they handled Kirk’s death generations was an abomination. Shatner should be ashamed for going along with too.
For the way they handled the writing of enterprise and underused such a talented cast until the fourth season.

For allowing someone who knew nothing about trek to write and direct Nemesis, and make a mockery out of my favorite next gen actors and characters.

Worst of all it allowed a star warsey non canon trek be made that was not any more original than nemesis, yes i am talking about trek 2009.

86. S. John Ross - August 12, 2010

#83: “The production design for the original series must be taken in the context of when it was created, and the limited budget involved. For the sixties, the look of the Enterprise and the bridge set were fantastic and revolutionary. ”

And it’s still gorgeous, _genuinely_ iconic (unlike a thousand cheap uses of the word “iconic” that flit through websites like these every picosecond or so), still imitated and referred-to and studied …

“No other spaceship before looked like the Enterprise. 90% of the time they were either saucers or rockets”

Yep, the brilliance of the Enterprise was that it was kind of both … a flying saucer attached to rockets :) (the nacelles) making it the best of all worlds (I love that in some early Star Trek artwork, like the cover of one of the Blish books, I think (?) … there’s actually flame shooting out of the back of the warp nacelles, because the artist clearly got the idea …) :)

“But if you REALLY want to talk about “the worst production design EVER”, especially in SF, try looking at the second season of the 1970’s “Buck Rogers In The 25th Century”.

True, but the costume design made up for it. By which I selfishly mean “lots of sexy girls with tight shiny pants.”

But heck yeah … Star Trek looks 1960s, but it doesn’t look shabby, whereas many other shows do.

87. skyjedi - August 12, 2010

The best design ever was the refit based upon an idea for phase II by Jefferies, changed up for the silver screen by Andrew Probert.

88. Kevin from Australia - August 15, 2010

I went up to Brannon and spoke to him at the Vegas con. It was a pleasure to shake his hand and thank him for what he has given us. Brannon is a LEGEND and he is more important to Star Trek than the Directors, Writers and Actors even. He was a PRODUCER. We have Brannon to thank for 15 years of Star Trek. I am embarassed and ashamed when I see people dishing out on him. Without Brannon we would never have had so much of the BEST of Star Trek. How dare anyone attack this man. Brannon is a frickin’ legend and has my respect. 15 years is a good sized slice of the cake of Life. People who criticize in the way this man has sometimes been criticized are obsessive and are probably part of that sub-culture of Star Trek fans who are whack jobs and probably think Star Trek is “real” and with whom us “normal” fans stay away from.

89. Commodore shaggy - August 17, 2010

I’ve been rewatching ENT on CBS.com. I liked the show when it was on TV and I like it now. I’ve watched every ST series religiously but I don’t see what some fans were really expecting with the ENT design. Was everything supposed to look like a sci-fi show from the 50’s or earlier so that TOS design fans stayed pleased? That would have been ridiculous and wouldn’t have helped bring in new fans. That’s why the new re-imagined Enterprise doesn’t look at all like the original series. I understand what Brannon was saying with the new Enterprise design – it’s about keeping things looking as futuristic as possible using modern means.

90. binarymoon - August 24, 2010

@26 “I don’t think anyone will remember Voyager or Enterprise in the same light even if they are remembered much at all”

You’re quite wrong on that one, cause Voyager is by far my favorite series. Lots of good memories from that one, for me. I hold it up in that light you mentioned. What makes something “classic” is definitely in the eye of the beholder. You can’t just assume that ,based on your own opinion.

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