VegasCon 07 – Braga Reflects On A Life With Trek

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

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

Wouldn’t change a thing…well maybe some things

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They learned how…Community College!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Can’t wait to see Abrams’ version!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretty interesting.

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

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

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

Why is this a strange question? There was lots of subtext on Voyager pointing to some kind of interest between Janeway and Seven, including ‘The infamous missing pip scene’ (,

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

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

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

Not one of my favorite people.

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

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

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

Enterprise was only 100 years before TOS.

Uhhhh, TNG’s “Parallels” ???

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, I could go on.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Braga wrote some of the best TNG episodes

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

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

Same for me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And sorry ENT episodes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you, Mr. Braga

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Kudos to Braga for showin’ up.

Nuff said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

followed by gaffaws of laughter

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

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

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

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

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

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.