In the latest issue of the official Star Trek Magazine, Trek’s long-time producer Rick Berman talks about the end of his era. SciFi Pulse has excepts from the article where Berman defends his tenure and discusses why the last Trek TV show (Enterprise) failed. Berman says that the rumors of his hating The Original Series (TOS) are not true, but that doesn’t mean he has seen all of it:
There was a feeling that Enterprise was going to be a show that was a precursor to The Original Series, and although I’ve read a lot of depictions of both Brannon and myself ‘hating’ the original series, that could not be farther from the truth. We were not obsessed by the original series. I can openly admit that I did not see all 79 episodes of the original series, or 80 if you include the various versions of the pilot, but it was something we respected and did our best to lead up to. But I think that was something that was unsettling for the fans.
Not to jump on the ‘bash Bermaga bandwagon’, but it is not unreasonable to expect the creators and producers of a TOS prequel to have at least seen all of TOS.
Berman draws the distinction between Enterprise’s characters and those of the TOS and TNG eras:
They weren’t from the distant future as much. And we felt we could have more of a contemporary television show and less of a show-taking place in the distant future, something a little different from the Roddenberry humans of the 23rd Century or even the 24th Century who were pretty flawless. From that point of view, these were the choices at the time that seemed very reasonable and I would probably do again. But it had pitfalls and maybe at times it became a bit too casual, and a bit too contemporary, and lost some of its science fiction flavour and some of its futuristic flavour that would make it a precursor to the original series. It certainly had its problems.
He also talks about Coto’s attempt to really make Enterprise into a prequel, but seems to dismiss his efforts as only appealing to the ‘hardcore’
Manny had a tremendous amount of excitement about the potential links between Enterprise and the first season of the original series, and he wanted to build those bridges, or at least create steps that would foreshadow some of the things that would happen in the original series. I think to the hardcore fans it was a terrific direction to go. On the other hand, the ratings continued to slip a bit. The problems that existed continued after the release of our final movie [Nemesis] did not help.
…and before he goes, one last jab at UPN for good measure
Looking back, the lack of support and the lack of interest people seemed to have in UPN didn’t help us, either. We were working on a network that, in a sense, was completely contradictory to the nature of the show. UPN had become a network of young women and girls and it was not a good marriage at that point.
This may be the last we hear from Mr. Berman. After overseeing the Trek franchise since the death of Gene Roddenberry in 1991 his tenure has come to an end. Berman’s contract with Paramount ends in about 2 weeks and Paramount have made it clear that he will not be involved in JJ Abrams Star Trek XI.
for more check out the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine (out in the UK, due in the US in a few weeks)
excerpts courtesey of SciFi Pulse