In 2003 Manny Coto joined the staff for Star Trek Enterprise where where he worked closely with co-creator Brannon Braga for the final two seasons. Now the pair are working together again on 24, which airs a 2-hour prequel movie on FOX tonight (Sunday). In August TrekMovie spoke to the Coto and Braga about 24 and Enterprise. Watch the video interview below.
This is just part one of the interview, look for part two coming up soon where Coto and Braga talk more about Enterprise and the new Star Trek movie.
Watch "24: Redemption" Sunday night
Jack is back. The two prequel to season seven airs tonight on Fox at 8PM. Season Seven of 24 premiers Sunday January 11th. More info at FOX.com
Here is the trailer
NOTE: For those that are wondering, the video interview was shot during the week of the Creation Las Vegas Star Trek Convention in the special events room above Quark’s Bar at the now closed Star Trek The Experience at The Las Vegas Hilton.
Season 4 was Enterprise’s best, Thank you Mr. Coto!
Will Jack fix the warp drive in time?!
I thought season 3 was pretty cool. I liked the Shran-Archer character arc. It really made Enterprise pretty cool. I liked the idea of Hoshi too, the linguist. That was a pretty rational characterization. I am gonna go back and study all the languages she was picking up.
I always thought Enterprise’s issue was the rather bland characters moreso than the stories, but the rehash of a lot of TOS/TNG plots certainly didn’t help, especially in the first two seasons. I think Coto did his best with what he had to work with, but it was too little too late.
Season 4 was by far the best season. from the Arc of Vulcan and the Augments and Showing What Realy Happened to the U.S.S Defiant was great. It was a great season and would have loved a 5th season. I have never seen any eps of 24. But one day i might. Though im a Huge fan of N.C.I.S and C.S.I The 2 Best Shows on T.V
If Coto & Braga were given the chance to make another Trek Tv Series, would any one object? Would you watch?
If the new film is a success that everyone hopes…I for one would love to see Trek back on the small screen. As long as they used fresh stories and not rehashes and they would have to use up to date fx kinda along the same lines as the new film has used. Bringing new and younger writers would really help their talent pool in bringing Trek back to the masses.
That is a great interview, incredibly interesting. I am such a big fan of TNG — have the entire 7 season DVD set– and I think these two did some amazing things with Roddenberry’s ideas. TNG was Star Trek. Not trying to cater to the non-cerebral popular viewership, treating audiences like we have brains. And it payed off. That show was popular and amazing. Thanks very much to Braga and crew.
I admit, maybe Braga got a little tired after Voyager and into Enterprise… they really just needed a massive injection of new ideas, new perspectives.
Dude, they’ve been there. Three times. With DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. And really, no one was watching. Each new series lost viewers. Trek won’t work on TV again for a long time.
You can tell that when the Enterprise questions came up their tone of mood sank.
I liked it when Coto talked about releasing shows via DVD… I would love that to happen for a future Enterprise season, but thats really wishful thinking.
The last two seasons of Enterprise are way underrated. Great stuff that’s dissed too often.
Thanks for the interview. You might consider buying an external mic for your
camera. Your subjects will sound way better.
Eh, Enterprise started out fine, but by the Xindi thing, it became so heavy handed and not fun.
I was a great fan of Enterprise, but more in spite of itself. I would love to see more, but I have no illusions we will. It’s a shame though. B&B copied enough of the original Trek dynamic to have some interesting characters, but were very inconsistent in their storytelling, and seemed to believe they couldn’t write interesting stories while adhering to what went before. They wanted to sex up Trek, make sure everyone knew it “wasn’t my father’s Star Trek.” The idea as I recall was to bring Trek to a whole new generation… Uh oh.
But beyond that, the fourth season proved they could do real Trek within the parameters of the show, and despite “These Are the Voyages” I missed the show when it went off. I hope the new film finds both the popular success Enterprise didn’t, and makes the fans happy whom Enterprise couldn’t.
The last two seasons of ENT are way OVERrated.
The writing was still lame and the characters were always almost as irritating as Voyager’s. (Too bad, the actors were first-class.)
Coto’s contributions were too little, too late and he ended up as the fall guy.
And let’s just keep Braga AWAY from Trek… FOREVER.
I really tried to like the Enterprise show. I was really looking forward to watching it and then when it came on I wanted to throw up. It looked to advanced to happen before the TOS show. And it seemed to have the same kind of stories that were already done with TNG. The fourth season was good but still it could of been alot better.
I actually really liked Enterprise, the characters just took some getting used to, but after that I really liked a lot of the stories. It felt like “Trek” to me, I never truly understood why people weren’t into it.
Enterprise season 4 was probably the best trek on tv in a while after voyager and even better than the latter tng movies
I would love to see these guys and/or Ron Moore back on trek…especially in collaboration with Abrams…
Season 4 was so unwatchable. You didn’t know if it was going to be a fun episode, or another “let’s wrap it all up” episode.
If the studio didn’t want serialized Voyager episodes, they should have pushed harder to get it. That’s one of the biggest things I don’t like about Voyager. The lack of “reality” of having a ship 70,000 lightyears away from home, but somehow is able to run the holodeck continually and get damaged one episode severely and the next episode it’s back to normal. It’s too bad really because Voyager had a cool concept which never came close to being developed how it should of been.
Braga seems to think way too much about the rules of television in general, something original Trek never cared about.
Three cheers for Mr. Coto, who did his utmost to make Enterprise’s swan song enjoyable. Thankless job, much?
If he had written the Enterprise finale instead of the dreaded Berman-Braga team, it would have been remembered a lot more fondly.
We have to remember that these guys did the big job of bringing a continously long running series from 1992 – 2005 ! Without Berman , Braga and some others , there wouldn’t have been much of the Next Generation , Deep Space 9 , Voyager or Enterprise . Think about it ? I’m thankful we have all that !! And I’m thankful to them !!!
Slightly off topic, I agree with Coto that Spiner was great on Threshold, which was a TV show the network seriously sold short. I’d love to see Spiner in a meaty role on 24. That would get me watching fast — although I already rent 24 on DVD as a matter of course. (It was great when Alexander Siddig showed up in season 6)
I really liked the 24s days 1, 2 and 3. I don’t remembert 4 and 5 that well, but season six really sucked. Jacks father and brother, and Tony Almeda alive at the end. Ridiculous. Boring and stupid.
Now Tony Almeda will be the bad guy? Come on. Whatever formerly succesful franchise you want to destroy, let Braga work on it.
If season 7 of 24 will drop in the ratings, he can bring in the Borg, as always.
Coto Good. Braga Bad. ‘Nuff Said.
I was there for that interview got to talk to them for a bit, cool guys I miss watching Enterprise when it aired at the experience we had a lot of fun. That interview was in the Captains Lounge upstairs from Quarks we hosted some great parties there, got to meet a lot of the celebs at the private functions we held.
I don’t really know how well I can put forward my beliefs on Enterprise and Berman and Braga, but here goes:
Enterprise could have been a really good TV show had they stuck to what made it good in the first place, the idea that all this takes place before TOS. Unfortunately, it really comes through that someone thought that linking a brand new show to a 40 year old one would make the audience go away. Hence, most of the poor plotting in season 1 and 2.
Now, season 3, I liked it quite a lot. A long story ark that really kept me on the edge of my seat with some nice writing in there and some fine acting too. Unfortunately, you could tell that the characters were defined through poorly written stereotypes. T’Pol especially was written to be “the sexy alien” which really comes from a studio mentality, not from a writers one.
Season 4 of ENT was great, I loved it. Had that been the show’s main premise (to show how some things from the other Trek series came to be) then we would have had a really interesting TV show.
Braga, I liked him in his early days on TNG and Voyager. He did have some fine writing abilities. Unfortunately he became friends with Berman.
Berman, he was never a true producer. He was a bean counter a number cruncher. The studio guy, the man who thought about money and business first and then MAYBE about the creative side. Point of fact, DS9 was successful in its storytelling mainly because Berman was not as hands on with as he was on VOY and TNG.
The studio had wanted another Harve Bennett, because Harve was able to do really quality stuff from a creative POV without spending a lot of money.
Now, as we all know a studio is not really focused on the creative side. They take that for granted. Hence, they chose a man who was really focused on the money, they chose Berman.
Under Berman, the show was cost effective, but with the passing of time he really started to manhandle the creative side of things. He managed to castrate most of the creative endeavors mainly because he thought that a more standardized creative mindset would make the show sell better.
His manhandling and his focus on finances ended up in some of the worst trek ever made.
When most the really talented creative leaders left Star Trek, Berman thought that he can take over as both the money man and as the “creative leader”. Hence, Generations, Voyager, Insurrection, Nemesis and Enterprise.
Braga was creatively castrated by Berman as Berman’s style of doing things really influenced Braga. Braga started writing stories that were more and more standardized.
If Enterprise had been handled by someone else, it would have been a terrific show from start to finish, not just a mediocre show with random flourishes of quality.
I like ALL Trek, but my least favorite ones are the ones in which the studio had all the control. This manhandling is obvious on Trek V, Trek VII, Trek IX and X and on Voyager and ENT.
If you check your Trek history, these are the ones on which the studio took complete control and changed the original premises on something that they thought would sell better.
And yet, all these trek moments (shows and movies) still managed to have quality moments, mainly thanks to their directors, writers and actors whose quality still managed to shine through all the studio interference, unfortunately, only in scarce moments.
Final thoughts: I like Braga’s early work, before Berman took complete control.
Moore is OVERRATED. Battlestar Galactica is not the best thing since sliced bread as it has moments of extreme quality buried under tones of boring, brooding and soap-opera-ish storytelling.
Enterprise had a great idea behind it. If only it had all been handled like Season 4 (mini-arcs, linking Trek past to Trek present)
Berman was a good money man and an awful creative leader.
Trek on TV should come back after the new movie.
Straight to DVD Trek movies would be a great business AND creative entity, much like MGM is doing for Stargate.
I really hope the new movie is great, so far I am 50/50 on it.
#8–stop being so pessimistic; the last few seasons of ds9, voyager and enterprise failed because they were on an infantile, dying network (upn)…if a new star trek show were on cbs or mtv or nbc, it’d work again…
Coto’s Enterprise would have been the best re-invigoration of Star Trek!
I believe the problem was just that ENT immediately followed Voyager, at a time when people were already overfed with Trek. With an intermission of several years, the impact of ENT would have been much greater, in my opinion.
The idea of going back to simpler times was right on target, just at the wrong time, it seems. A big unexplored galaxy, a crew who can’t rely on their superior ship all the time and who isn’t backed up by the galactic superpower UFP, Vulcans, Andorians, no holodeck adventures, no counselor Troi, and no episodes where the whole point is that Geordi/Data/Wesley/Torres/Kim invents an inverted Tachyon pulse to counter a polarized Tetryon wavefront. Just the ship, the Captain and his crew and the stars to steer by.
(Not that I don’t love TNG very much, but this series had its annoyances, too.)
What a shame that we’ll probably never see how Archer makes first contact with the Ardanan City Dwellers! Couldn’t we get a stand-alone TV movie about this story, like the B5 movies? Yes, I know, the sets are already torn down…
Enterprise had the potential to be the best of all the spin-offs, and it is, in fact, my fav. But despite it’s good intentions, it just couldn’t manage to cut the apron strings of TNG and be something totally fresh and different. Eventually it turned out to be just another 24th century wolf in 22nd century clothing. Potential was there, but ultimately, it was just more of the same. That’s why it failed.
Only time will tell about 24. The last season was really lame, hopefully they can learn by Enterprises failure and shake things up a bit at 24. The formula has grown tired, it needs a fresh take.
Manny did some amazing things for Enterprise. Season 4 contained some of the best Trek ever made.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS…
…that Abrams’ is tackling the franchise now and not Berman & Braga (regardless of canon issues).
At the very least, it’ll be well-directed and the “sonic-wallpaper” soundtrack will be thrown in the trash heap!
Enterprise when it first came out seemed more of the same ol’ same ol’. I enjoyed some of it it but was expecting something new so was disappointed overall.
However I recently dusted off the DVDs (you kinda do that while waiting for May 2009) re-watched it and there weren’t nearly as many bad episodes as I thought. I even enjoyed Season Three which felt like an endurance test first time.
I think my initial expectations were too high – I thought it would be the best Trek ever and at best it was only as good as – which is not too bad if it is Trek! So having lower expectations the second time around was quite enjoyable; definitely worth a second look and visually – it is great.
I bought season 4 of Enterprise on DVD and that’s it. It’s all I’ll ever own except for the episodes that come on the special themed sets.
#6: “If Coto & Braga were given the chance to make another Trek Tv Series, would you watch?”
If Coto was doing it, that would be a definite YES. It wouldn’t even matter what the premise was. I just know he’d do it right.
#23: “season six really sucked. Jacks father and brother, and Tony Almeda alive at the end.”
Tony wasn’t in Season 6.
DS9 was syndicated like TNG, which is part of why it survived to tell some of the best Trek stories in a long while. VOY & ENT were on UPN, and yes, that certainly hurt them in a lot of ways. Though by the time ENT came around the problem was we’d had 18 years of nonstop Trek on TV. And over those 18 years (especially on VOY & ENT) we were starting to see a lot of recycled plots.
Paramount should have allowed DS9 to flourish by itself after TNG went off air, but they had to go and create Voyager less than 2 years later. I understand why, but it’s the same reasoning that had banks handing out mortgages to people who should have never owned a home – We can do it, so why not? If Voyager was Trek run amok on a drinking binge, then Enterprise was the morning after. You were glad the binge was over, but you still didn’t feel as good as you did the day before you started drinking.
None of which, IMO, is Braga or Coto’s fault. I think they did the best with what they had to work with. Paramount had squeezed the cow dry by that point.
Jack is back!
I think that Kiefer Shuterland (maybe as Section 31 operative) would be great as lead actor in the new Star Trek series, helmed by Manny Coto and Brannon Braga. :)
I caught one ep. of the Enterprise 4th (or 3rd?) season. It was the “mirror” episode. I really had liked Scott Bakula’s work on the show, but I couldn’t buy his portrayal of the “evil” Archer. Not at all. It was laughable, in fact.
Manny Coto did what he could to rescue Enterprise from B&B but by the time he came on board the damage had already been done.
I would have LOVED to have seen a fifth season with Coto at the helm and the show finally having left behind all that Xindi/Temporal War crapola.
If you ignore “These Are The Voyages”, then Enterprise went out on a high note. I really don’t care that “These Are The Voyages” aired, it was an insult that spat in the face of an amazing season. It should never have aired. Coto should have been allowed to wrap the show up in his own way.
I don’t like 24, but Coto is the man. Would love to see another Star Trek tv-show under his rule. Enterprise Season 3 and especially Season 4 was superb entertaining and some of the best Trek ever shown in tv. It was a shame, Paramount/CBS didn’t gave Enterprise a chance under the new management.
Braga was once a good writer, but burned out shortly after TNG. It was his fault not be creative enough and rise up against Rick Berman, who had taken control over every aspect of Star Trek.
I have often wondered: after TOS, TNG, VOY, and ENT — each one a “traveling starship” premise — how do you come up with new, exciting ideas? We could see how many of each of these series contained episodes that were either deliberate re-hashes of previous episodes (“The Naked Time” = “The Naked Now”), while others were more loosely based, or used elements of previous episodes.
The basic premise is: starship goes to alien planet/encounters alien ship. Then, conflict. Followed by conflict resolved. After a while, this template becomes rather weary, eh? Writers kept falling back on what they knew. I found it terribly annoying to have VOY encountering Klingons, for example; or ENT encountering the Borg. I didn’t mind seeing new aliens, but quite often you could replace the new alien with Klingon, Romulan, whatever…
So, my question is: how do you get out of the Star Trek box? DS9 was an attempt to do something really different, and, in many ways, it had some of the best stories because they were forced to write something other than another “alien of the week” story.
The idea of an on-going arc does offer something a bit different, in that the story can be far more complex. But, even this can become a limitation. “Space, the final frontier…” seems like it should be an extremely unlimited thing.
I’m one of those people who were pretty critical of Trek under Berman and Braga, but I wouldn’t try to dismiss all of their accomplishments. Braga wrote some great episodes (“Cause and Effect” is one of my favorites). I just think they lost their “juice” for Star Trek. Even the best job in the world, after you’ve done it for 15-20 years, gets to be tedious.
Thankfully Ron Moore kept Rick Berman out of DS9 (or he just plain gave up on it) – otherwise we’d have had The Rock guest starring as a Jemhadar! ;)
Great interview, Anthony.
I watched “24” last night and it was like I was home again.
Dear Manny Coto, Brannon Braga –
Please give some thought to twisting CBS’s collective arm into backing an ENT movie for DVD.
DAMN YOU BRANNON BRAGA! DAMN YOU!!!
Though I’m a big fan of ENT, I, too, wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it when it first aired. I liked the show, but not too much. I was simply tired of Trek. The DVD sets I purchased years later made all the difference for me. One should really watch it detached from the 24th century shows. It works very well when seen as a prequel to TOS, on the other hand.
39: “These Are The Voyages”… what’s that? Is that supposed to be an ENT episode? Don’t remember ever watching it ;-)
“Bringing new and younger writers would really help their talent pool in bringing Trek back to the masses.”
for the most part i agree. but i believe it would also be wise to bring back a few writers who always seemed to have an affinity for writing solid trek stories: michael taylor, david gerrold, d.c. fontana, david weddle and bradley thompson. and maybe even guest spots from the likes of: j. michael straczynski and harlan ellison.
Great stuff, thx Anthony.
Never bothered to watch ENT when it was on — I was totally Trek-fatigued.
Bought the DVDs last year and now am a huge fan. Most underrated Trek series ever, even if the model spaceship didn’t look right.
Sid – 100% in agreement – UPN switched timeslots so many times, so many preemptions, then ending up on Friday night – I never caught the show until SCI FI did a long marathon and I found I really enjoyed it and bought the DVD. Would’ve loved a quality seasons 5-7.
One the one hand – I was glad it ended IF they wouldn’t have kept the quality and UPN continued to treat it so poorly (well, they would’ve had to find another home anyway when UPN folded a year or so later – hopefully in syndication)
On the other hand – selfishly – I want three more box sets of ENT, which, besides TOS is my favorite trek – and I’ve seen them all multiple times. I thought the cast was highly underrated and, especially in the beginning, given some really poor writing to contend with. Also – Following VOY was rough, and then top it off with the similar ‘flow’ episodically really would’ve turn me off if I’d watched the first run episodes. Seas 3 and 4 were really terrific in my opinion. and there are definitely some gems in Seas 1 and 2 – just not enough that could sustain the audience thru to seas 3 and 4.
Last comment – I have rarely seen such vehement hate for any show as I have seen for ENT. The “fans” of trek really didn’t even give it a chance – yet many – from what I read now – have softened quite a bit on the show in 2008/9. Perhaps if they would’ve stood by the show and let it get it’s bearings, they’d have gotten to 7 seas. If I remember correctly (and I know I do) TNG and VOY both sucked a** in their first few seasons… No slack for ENT though.