In the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine, Trek’s longtime producer Rick Berman has a sort of ‘exit interview.’ The interview was conducted last December, shortly before he packed up to vacate his offices on the Paramount lot after 22 years with the studio. When asked if he is considering writing about about his experiences not only did he say he would, but he has already started…
I have started writing a book because I realized that in 1986, when Gene Roddenberry asked me to get involved in work with him on this thing, the number of stories that I have accumulated is amazing.
Berman says that the book (which does not yet have a publisher) will be ‘warts and all,’ but says the focus will be on all the ‘wonderful and bizarre and funny things’ that happened during his 18 years with the franchise. Trek’s former honcho is also reaching out to former colleagues to help him recall certain events. Berman has witnessed more Trek history than just about anyone, and so a candid chronicle of that time could be a good read.
In addition to the book Berman says he he has some some other projects going, but provided little in detail:
There are two projects that are possibly in the works here at Paramount and two that are not connected to the television business, but time will tell.
VOTE: Want it?
would you buy Rick Berman’s Book on his Trek experiences?
…vote in the new poll (right column)
For more pick up Star Trek Magazine (#132 in the UK, #5 in the US) on newsstands this week.
First, and it has to be this? Oh well.
before you guys get going….lets not turn this into another berman bashing fest, or at least get a bit more creative. Lets not forget Rick was there in the good days too. His last years were not his best, but he saw it all and worked very closely with Piller, Roddeberry, Behr, etc and if his book is truly \’warts and all\’ it is likely to be a good read.
sounds good im looking forward to it
Yes, the reflexive B-bashing does get old. I’ve always thought he was probably one of the hardest-working people in show business, whose main flaw was the kind of arrogance that led him to the conviction that he had talent as a screenwriter. But even if he had been much more competent at the writing trade than he was, it’s likely that burnout and fatigue with the Trek franchise would have reared its ugly head sooner or later, as it inevitably did with much more talented writers like Gene Coon and Michael Piller. I’ve also long suspected that many of the more egregious pandering the latter series did (e.g. Seven of Nine and T’Pol in their suffocating catsuits), which the B-bashers always held him liable for by default, was in fact imposed by the studio.
All in all, I’d be interested in checking this one out.
Yeah, I’d buy it. I’ve only ever heard his POV from interviews – something “in his own words” sounds very interesting.
“warts and all” … shouldn’t that be ridges and all?
So many jokes, so little space.
OK, I LIKE TNG. I think for its time, it was good. I DON’T think all of it has the lasting power of TOS. But, about half the episodes are a welcome hour out of my day anytime.
Thanks Rick. Oh, and all those bad things people say about you…
…um… we’re deeply emotional creatures. We’re only human. I’m sure you’re with us all in wishing a tremendous new beginning for the franchise.
yes, i’d buy the book. Shatner’s was surprisingly good and interesting.
(and he’s been almost as maligned as Berman)
i’ve always thought a book like ‘disneywar’ (about the eisner regime at disney) should be written about star trek. a no holds barred look at the last 20 years of star trek would be really interesting…seems more like it should be ABOUT him, not written BY him, though.
I wish him all the best and I hope the book is a good read. I agree with #9, though. A no-holds-barred book by an outsider might be the best.
Here is my problem with Berman.
It’s not so much that Enterprise was awful, I mean nobody’s perfect.
It was his attitude. I watched countless interviews with him and he always made a face like he had sucked a sour lemon whenever people would mention TOS. I think it bothered him so much because it was a stiff reminder that he was merely a passenger riding the Star Trek “gravy train” A small example of this attitude was his statement that he immensely disliked the “over the top” music from the original series, which finally explains the Star Trek MUZAK the later followed.
He invented nothing.
He took a HUGE multilayered universe that was already created by brilliant creative men and women and millions of loving fans and said…
Came up with some fomulaic “Star Trek Lite” shows and when he finally had the chance to honour the brilliance of TOS by doing a “prequel show” he AGAIN said in a loud steady voice:……..”Meh”
and completely disregarded things that had already been established for 30 years.
“Lets have cloaking devices (although they haven’t been invented yet )because we cant think of anything new and innovative ourselves”
Sacrificing a clever and original idea, because you dont have the talent to find your way out of a dramatic corner you may have painted yourself into, is hardly worthy of anyone’s repect.
Berman’s tenure with Star Trek and consequent “passing of the torch” was obviously a RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME situation.
And now that he is THANKFULLY out of the picture, he is desperately trying to cash in on his already fading legacy.
I think Mr. Abrams is going to show him how it’s done.
Creative enough Anthony?
#11 i agree. and to berman’s book i say “meh….”
don’t care for the studio puppet.
It seems to me that Berman was involved with Star Trek for too long, and maybe that was part of the problem towards the end.
During his 22 year run he definately left his mark on the trek franchise, but I’m glad he won’t be involved with future Star Trek projects. I’m not trying to be critical of him, I just feel that the franchise needs fresh new ideas and a completely new direction.
LIke him or not, he was instrumental in the expanstion of Star Trek beyond it’s core audience of TOS, which resulted in many new and younger fans. I think most will agree that was a good thing.
I also give him credit for being part of the team that brought us Deep Space 9. This is my second favorite ST series after TOS, and argueably the best spin off series in the trek franchise.
My personal opinion about Berman is that Star Trek, under his tutelage, lost its positive and inspiring vision of the future. I am not an expert on how much he was involved in this issue, and I would be interested if others knew about this. But my problem with Berman is several years after Roddenberry died, culminating in Deep Space Nine, too much of Star Trek just became just another Sci-Fi show, at least to me. I know DS9 is liked a lot but to me it was just not Star Trek. Too dark, too much about fighting and enemies and space battles, and too little on demonstrating a positive way forward for humanity. To me it could Babylon 5, or The Terminator for that matter; enjoyable at best but not particularly inspiring.
And I can’t imagine that happening under Roddenberry, to whom Star Trek and humanism were always fused.
What is Treble? A Tribble planet?
Even though TNG was good in it’s own way, Berman has always bugged me, as someone mentioned above, because his arrogant attitude pervades everything we think of him. You can be sure if Rick Berman claims to be writing a “warts and all” book, somehow you can count on the author himself to come off as being remarkably unblemished regarding his actions and decisions throughout the retelling of his Trek days. Someone else will ALWAYS be to blame, of course, for any negatives he chooses to address. What an ego!
meh is right….lets have another book by Justman instead
I’m sure about 90% of the people that worked under Berman during his run on Star Trek will say nothing but positive things about him. I believe one reason Voyager wasn’t the show it should had been was because of UPN. They wanted the show to be like this and they gave in. I do believe the stuff that people complained about Voyager Berman made it up with Enterprise. The concept and characters of Enterprise was great but B&B didn’t do their homework. He made a good call on putting Manny Cotto in charge but it was to late.
It would be interesting to hear Berman side of the story. If you listen to the B basher you would think all Berman did all day was try to figure out how he can ruin Star Trek or how he can cause it’s downfall. I don’t think he is hte evil bastard other people make him out to be.
I am only familiar with Mr. Berman through this forum and he has generally not been cast in a good light here. I guess the reason I’m not interested in his book, though, is because I am not interested in the shows he produced for the most part. I lost interest in the Next Generation after about the 3rd year and never got past even a couple episodes of the later series.
I for some reason recently NetFlixed the “Mirror Darkly” disc of “Enterprise” and was surprisingly not all that repulsed by it, except for the lame Tholian web effects and the even worse Tholian.
Voyager was just unwatchable and Deep Space Nine was a borefest whenever I tried to watch it, except for the flashback gimmick episode with the tribbles.
At least he never tried to cast a fake Kirk.
The problem I had with Berman was the direction of Trek after TNG.
DS9 had awesome writing, and could stand alone as a sci fi series. However, it didnt fit with Gene’s ideals for the trek universe.
Voyager had interesting concepts, but fell short as the ship never lost a naclle or had even a scratch, considering the amount of fire it took over seven years. Don’t get me started on the borg.
And dont get me started on Enterprise.
But through all of that, he insulted the fans more times than we can probably count.
Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis creators love their fans and listen to them, no matter how juvenile a small percentage of them can be at times.
B5 kept it’s storyline straight. Fans appreciated that.
Point being, Berman and Braga, even to this day, disrespect the fans when asked about their mistakes. That’s the beef with berman, imo.
So, would I like to see a book? Sure. But i’d rather there be a focus on TNG, but i’d rather have Jeri Taylor write it. Or Majel Barrett. It might be interesting.
Long time reader, first time poster here…
There were a lot of things that Berman did that I didn’t agree with and there are a lot of things that he did that I enjoyed with Berman’s name on it. I think that he is unfairly maligned rather frequently. Sure, he made some mistakes: Nemesis and Voyager plus episodes of TNG and ENT, particularly “These Are the Voyages” come to mind. But, think of what he gave us: first, he kept Trek alive. Second, TNG (while the early years are rather dated) would not have truly survived had it not been for him and Michael Piller. While he certainly wasn’t a part of what made it great, he and Piller also created DS9 which portrayed Roddenberry’s vision in a different light. Say what you will about the films and Enterprise, but for the most part I found those adventures entertaining.
His stories have got to be very interesting and I for one look forward to seeing what he has to say. Of course there will be a certain level of trying to paint himself in a good light when perhaps there shouldn’t be, but maybe we’ll see him in a different light after this book.
My God it takes willpower not to launch a tirade the likes of which God would admire,
however, in deference and respect to Anthonys request, and just to show some of the Next Gen, Voyager, DS9, and , and, I can barely stand to type it, Enterprise fans, I can be reasonable, I’ll …
Oh the hell with it! Berman you take your book deal and stick it up your swollen turboshaft fella!
Would anyone expect anyone less of me here? :P
Expect *anything* less too, errata resolved.
I’m not the biggest Berman fan, but come on, a book about his Trek experiences? It’d definitely be worth a read.
Once again this arrogant SOB is sucking a paycheck from someone else’s creation. A creation that he never liked, but why should that stop him from getting paid?
If he’s so talented why doesn’t he move on to something else instead of once again sucking Trek dry? It’s because he’s not talented, he’s a savvy businessman that saw an opening then exploited it, ruining the product in the process. He changed Trek to what he wanted instead of creating his own brand so that he could sell his uninspired crap under a known name. He’s an opportunist, he lucked into the opportunity of a lifetime and is still profiting from it.
The reason there’s so much Berman bashing is because it’s warranted. If he was so great, there would be very little venom.
…anyone care to guess how many fingers on one hand will be required to count all the “warts” he attributes to himself? Based on his arrogance with regards to the Enterprise theme music debacle, I bet he dedicates an entire chapter to explaining a) why he picked the song, b) why he wanted to use the original, lamer, Rod Stewart version, but Rod refused to allow it, c) and blames fans for causing the show to be cancelled over the use of the song while d) expousing his superiority in the matter simply because he was the producer of the show and fans haven’t a clue what’s good or bad.
Again, someone needs to do an in-depth analysis on why Enterprise and the entire Trek franchise was allowed to go into the toilet under Berman’s tyranny…
How obvious can it be, this is nothing more than what he’s been doing all along, and that is MILKING THE COW.
Berman, STFU already.
Who is Rick Berman? :-p
Rick Berman and Brannon Braga have consistently thumbed their nose to the core of Trek, assigned blame to the fans for the decline in interest and viewing, and smeared the inspiration for EVERY followup every chance they had, yet people can still defend their decisions and creative choices? It boggles the mind.
I… Am… Captain Kirrrrk!!!!!!!
Looking for positives here.
At least he never had an idea like casting another actor as James Kirk.
If it ISN’T titled “The dummies guide to burying a cherished franchise” then well, it’s false advertising. ;)
Stanky, Berminator wanted the Shatness to play “Chef” on Enterprise.
The meeting did not go over well.
Nuff’ said I daresay.
This “Tiberius Chase” echoing visionary idea of Berman’s, in lieu of a wonderfully elaborate Reeves-Stevens/Shatner hatched idea to mark the return of the Mirror universe Tiberius Kirk to the Trek universe.
But no, “well , we thought you could be Chef” murmurs Berman as drool runs down his chin.
The Shat should have bitchslapped the mans eyes STRAIGHT right on the spot.
Berman wanted the Shat to be Chef? WTF? Where did this come from?
Here’s a challenge. With all the combined intelligence on this board, we could come up with some creative titles for this baby. I started a similar line of thinking at Trekweb:
1. How to Cook the Golden Goose!
3. I Fell Out of a Boat and Didn’t Hit Water.
I’ll buy it. It’ll either be just a great yarn or a deep insight into the mind of one of the most (irrational, IMO) hated men in Star Trek.
#36: There was major negotiation last year, prior to “In A Mirror, Darkly,” to get the Shat back on the show as Tiberius Kirk. It didn’t pan out, and they went with the completely different IAMD script, instead. However, I’ll note that the plan seemed at the time to be coming from Manny Coto, not Berman/Braga.
God that was funny…
Sorry Anthony, but I simply could not resist.
IIIRC One of the ideas was Shatner to appear as Chef on ENT. Something happens to Kirk before his death in Generations that effects the timeline Since Chef has this remarkable resemblance to Kirk he replaces Kirk in the timeline
I believe the other was another time travel story what if Kirk did not stop McCoy in “City on the Edge of Forever” . Requiring also Jackie Collins to make a appearence, It seemed both sides were interested but Paramount didn’t want to flip the bill. Shatner’s asking price was just too high for a show that was struggling in the ratings.
Both stories sound far fetched. but I believe one of them was going to be written by Garfield Reeves Stevens.
I rather read about Berman’s involvement in TNG. He was pretty much assigned by Paramount to watch over Roddenberry. Roddenberry’s relationship with the studio was rather strained since STTMP. From what I gathered not a lot of TOS people that worked on TNG were ecstatic on him. They ultimately all quit after Season One because Roddenberry was told from his lawyers and the studio that they were not the people he should listen and trust.
I really think he was a good money man but I found his ideas lacking . His execution was utterly off . Thier were times He could surprise me but thats it . He gave a lot of people great starts. Or we wouldn’t be enjoying so many cool shows today. I think at some point he was looking to replace and to groom somebody to head the “franchise” . I don’t think he could have found anybody. One of the reasons they ultimately left Trek and Paramount all together was the studio and possibly Berman. From what i understand he wasn’t a easy guy to get along with, Most of the people have moved on to another production company and have success elsewhere.
His job was difficult because he had to please the fans and the studio alike. I’m not ecstatic on the man myself
This is fantastic news, and I sure hope that some publisher out there realises the significance of this book. While there has been numerous books written by TOS staffers and producers, we have had virtually nothing written by the modern franchise staff.
I have always hoped that Rick would write about his work on Star Trek, as he has probably more to say than anybody who has ever worked on Star Trek. I kinda got tired of all those people who milked the fascination with TOS by writing tell all books that were really just a chance for them to get out grievances and stroke their ego.
From what is being said, it appears Rick wants to avoid the bashing and petty name calling that seemed to be a hallmark of most behind the scenes books.
You make not like Rick for whatever reasons, but he has virtually said nothing bad against anyone. And I’m glad he is not using a book to do this.
I’m excited about this, because there is so much I want to know about the modern day franchise that only Rick can really elaborate on.
I think Berman did a fantastic job, 20 years of constantly working on one series would make anyone tired but not Berman he always kept the importance of Star Trek at the forefront of his mind. I do not think he is arrogant, I can not understand people who act like they know him when they have never physically met him, when you see him on the screen he is answering a set of questions that have been predetermined and that is the way he answers them, there is a difference between that and arrogance. People are always first to criticise and secondly hindsight is a great thing, but people only come out after the event and they think its some kind of cool thing to join in this inane ‘bashing’ ceremony. Star Trek (All Series) is my favorite programme of all time ( I loved Enterprise), it has helped me through a life of hardship. Along with Gene Rodenberry I think Rick Berman stands as a true monument to the greatness that is Star Trek. We celebrated 40 years because of both of these men, I think Rodenberry knew that Berman would keep Star Trek alive and he trusted him, I can think of no higher commendation. I salute you sir.
I still remember going to a Trek convention back in 1991 and having a brief conversation with Richard Arnold shortly after Roddenberry’s death. Arnold and several other longtime Roddenberry aides had just been fired by Berman and replaced with Berman loyalists. When I asked him why, he smiled and said, “Well, you know what happens whenever a king loses the throne.” It wasn’t that these people weren’t good at their jobs, talented, or knowledgeable about Trek — it was that they weren’t Berman’s guys. I kept that in mind as I watched Berman’s decisions over the years. His greatest achievement was to create a loyal band of supporters around him that made it tough for the studio to replace him. It took until the flops of ENTERPRISE and NEMESIS for the studio to bite the bullet, clean house and start over.
What’s all this “DS9 does not fit to GR’s vision of Trek”? I think it fits original Star Trek more than well. Do you think there are no wars in Star Trek? We didn’t see any, but they are there and somebody has to fight them. Kirk did. Sisko did, too.
Look at Sisko – there was NEVER more kirkish captain in modern Trek, especially in later series. They’re both soldiers, not some warp-propelled new age coffee-bar pseudohumanists like Picard and his gang.
I agree that DS9 is un-TNG series… but not un-Trek series, not at all.
I have a bad feeling about Rick Berman. My impression of him is that he’s a businessman who took the inspiration and wonder out of Trek, and replaced them with formulae. He strikes me as an anti-artist: a man on the wrong side of the Art/Commerce schism.
(I’m sorry, Anthony, but, try as I might, I find myself unable to abstain from Berman-bashing here.)
And, I must concur with others’ impression of Berman’s “attitude” as well. So, I’m not buying his book, unless I hear such great things about it that I’m otherwise compelled.
Perhaps, if someone could reveal something good about Rick Berman – something that I’d actually appreciate him for – it would ameliorate my feelings about him. But, no one has yet…for some reason.
P.S. – “Star Trek Movie Memories,” by William Shatner. This was a fun book.
#41 “not some warp-propelled new age coffee-bar pseudohumanists like Picard and his gang”
I like that phrase. Is there any chance we could have it be a lyric in a new rap song? Boom, ba, boom…”yo,yo,yo…not some warp-propelled…mo’ fo’..
re: 34. Josh T. ( The Shatnastic duotronic hairpeice removal kit) Kirk Esquire’ – April 21, 2007
“Stanky, Berminator wanted the Shatness to play “Chef” on Enterprise.
The meeting did not go over well.”
I was not aware of that…and glad I was not.
I think I’d want to read it, Because even though Berman did bring us Enterprise and Nemesis, he also brought us much of TNG and First Contact. And about half of DS9 and Voyager was awesome, and half wasn’t. He’s the most controvercial figure in Trek, he’s finally gotten the message that most of us blame him for wrecking the franchise, and I’d like to see how he’s dealing with that. Star Trek’s Off-screen tragic hero, so to speak.
Berman did fine with Star Trek as long as he was somewhat
reined in and held in check. At some point he broke free and
ran amuck. He turned the last movie and series into the New
Coke of the franchise. Altered the formula and proceeded to
run the entire structure into the ground. He had massive
amounts feedback and failed to heed any of the advice.
Then after “his” vision failed he blamed the fans for losing
interest. Rick Berman wasted potential beyond imagination.
The fans and everyone involved in the Trek franchise were
made to suffer because of his excessive pride and
arrogance. The perfect example of a little tin god. When he
admits to himself and the fans his failures then I might read