Interview: Brannon Braga On Taking Risks In ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ And The Thrill Of Seeing Seven In ‘Picard’

On Monday TrekMovie posted our exclusive discussion with veteran Star Trek writer/producer Brannon Braga about his new Hulu horror movie Books of Blood and how he brought some of his love of horror to Star Trek: The Next Generation. Today that discussion continues, moving on to his time with Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise, along with his thoughts about what’s new with Star Trek and if he would consider returning to the franchise.

Turning to the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager, what do you feel is the legacy of that show?

First of all, I’m not the right person to be asked, you’re the right person. Because you are a serious genre critic and serious writer about this stuff and you could answer better than I can, because anything I’m going to say might sound trite because I worked on the show for so many years.

But I think most people are going to point to Captain Janeway. The best characters on the show were women. A woman was the lead and the leader. It was not something we were calling attention to, it just was what Star Trek did. And I would say Voyager is just part of Star Trek’s legacy in totality, so far. Which is to say it is just part of the concept that the crews were diverse. It wasn’t a thing, it was part of Gene [Roddenberry]’s concept of the show, starting with The Original Series. I think that’s the legacy of Voyager, and I think it’s one important part of the legacy of Star Trek: the depiction of diversity and equality.

We talked a little bit earlier about pitching. Bryan Fuller was on Mark Altman’s Inglorious Treksperts podcast a couple of months ago, and he talked about how the writers’ room was really excited about Voyager season four and developing “Year of Hell” as an overarching arc for the season. And then you went in to pitch it, Rick Berman said no and so it became a “two-parter.” Bryan also said you were dejected by the decision. Is that how you remember it?

I don’t remember the particulars of why it didn’t happen, but I do know that my original concept was to do “Year of Hell” as a season. And I knew that it probably wouldn’t happen, because at the time there wasn’t really serialized TV going on as far as I knew. It would have been harder to syndicate, and Star Trek was a particular piece of entertainment and business for Paramount. It would have been a tough sell. I don’t know who said no. Was it Rick? Was it Jeri Taylor? Did it go up to the studio? I don’t know. So Bryan may be right, that that is the way it happened.

I’m proud of the two-parter. Because Joe Menosky and I had been doing these two-parters and we thought, ‘Why not take it to the next level?’ A two-part episode of television was a big deal. What? A story over two episodes? Which today is almost antiquated. We wanted to take it a whole new level and do a season called “Year of Hell” and it is going to be the most challenging and absolutely crazy thing that Voyager has ever experienced. I am proud of that two-parter and even recently watched a little scene from it; the bit where Janeway is saying goodbye to a blind Tuvok before she goes down with the ship, and it’s very moving. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this show works, when it works.’

Kate Mulgrew as Janeway and Jeri Ryan as Seven in Voyager‘s”Year of Hell, Part 1″

In your original vision, would the season have still ended with that reset? I know that is part of the conceit, but aren’t you also losing something?

Well, the reset, I totally get why a lot of fans didn’t like that. But it was part of the concept of the villain. That was Voyager’s goal. We are going to erase this year. It wasn’t me saying, “Well, we got to get the ship clean again.” It was built into the DNA of the concept that this is one year they would like to forget. So I thought it was cool. And I like the way it ends. And I like the Janeway sacrifices herself and goes down with the ship, which of course, couldn’t happen! There are extremes I could take this that I could not have if the time travel element wasn’t built into it.

Only six years later you and Rick essentially did a “Year of Hell” season on Star Trek: Enterprise [Season 3]. Had the landscape of television changed that radically in those years (including the premiere of 24), or could you have taken more risks with Voyager?

Well, first of all, I think we did take risks on Voyager. There are some really great episodes. There are some really powerful themes explored. I think bringing in Seven of Nine was a gamble. Personally, I think it paid off and helped the show and helped Janeway. I was always trying to do the best stories that we could. I was always pushing what the production of Star Trek could do, whether I was destroying the ship or putting the ship under ice and freezing the bridge. There’s some nutty stuff that was being done because I wanted to really push the boundaries of what was possible even just visually.

But 24 changed everything. 24 came out and it took hold and was a hit. It was brilliant. And when we started discussing [Enterprise] season three towards the end of season two, and the studio felt that we should shake things up a bit. Our original concept of the show was a little more daring. Having said that, I went back to this serialized storytelling concept. Let’s tell one story over the course of season three. And it was accepted. And I really do believe we have 24 to thank. Ironically, I would go on to write for 24. And I think it is some good Enterprise there in season three.

It’s true that a lot happened in those six years. Of course, 9/11 happened, which also changed the whole landscape.

Go back six years. I was thinking about Cosmos, which is airing right now, Tuesday nights at eight. I think when Cosmos came out six years ago, there weren’t these documentary series, really. Certainly not very many of them at all. Then Making a Murderer came along, then The Jinx, and others. And now it’s its own genre. And I just marveled at the domination of the streaming platforms and the proliferation of television over the past six years. It has been absolutely jaw-dropping. So a lot can change.

Matt Winston as Daniels and Scott Bakula as Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise‘s “Azanti Prime”

Have you heard that Robert Duncan McNeill wants to bring back an element of Voyager?

No. I hadn’t heard that.

Well if you hadn’t seen, CBS has a new series of short episodes set in Star Trek called Star Trek: Short Treks. Robbie has suggested doing some Captain Proton shorts in black and white with the whole Voyager cast. Your Orville colleague David Goodman is even interested in writing it, but nothing has been officially pitched yet, I don’t think.

I love it.

Goodman told me that as soon as he becomes a free agent, his first call would be to Alex Kurtzman and Secret Hideout to pitch that and other Star Trek ideas he has. With CBS creating so many Star Trek shows, and with Paramount pondering their next steps. Could you imagine a world where you returned to the franchise?

I’m trying to think about how many spaceships I’ve been on. Next Gen had two different Enterprises. I had Voyager, I had Archer’s Enterprise. The Ship of the Imagination [Cosmos], then the Orville. So six ships! I’ve been on the bridges and writing for six different ships. And I never get tired of it. I just love it. So I don’t have immediate plans to work on Star Trek. Nor do I know that anybody would want me to be on Star Trek, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. Absolutely not. But I don’t have immediate plans and I am busy with The Orville.

At CBS and Secret Hideout their approach is to put together different kinds of Trek shows with different styles and themes, not unlike how Disney is doing with Marvel and Star Wars TV shows for Disney+. So maybe if you had an idea for a Star Trek horror anthology type of show, maybe they would like that.

[Laughs] The dark side of Star Trek, I’d watch that.

Although they actually are developing a Section 31 show for Michelle Yeoh, which could be kind of dark.

I have always been attracted to reality-bending, and often scary science fiction. But what I haven’t been attracted to personally, is depicting Starfleet in a negative way. Because it was really important to Gene that the Federation be something that isn’t corruptible. It was founded as a democratic, multi-species body that stood for something. And I never felt we needed to do that. Having said all that, a Section 31 show is an intriguing idea, especially with Michelle Yeoh.

You did have some Section 31 in Enterprise, but I guess you weren’t showrunner anymore on Season 4.  

Yeah, I wasn’t there. That wasn’t me. I’m not crapping on section 31 as a concept, I’m just saying it wasn’t my bag. That was on season 4, and that was Manny [Coto]’s season.

But I love what they’re doing with Star Trek. I think it’s fascinating. And I think it’s pretty obvious with Picard that the shows are going to be different. Picard is not on the bridge of a ship when we meet him. It’s different and more character-driven. I think it’s great. I think it’s fun.

Speaking of Picard, you mentioned how you created the character of Seven for Voyager and cast Jeri, who you were very close to. So, what is it like for you to see Jeri play Seven in this entirely different context?

Well, I haven’t seen all of Picard, but obviously, I was very curious. It’s thrilling to see a character live on and I’m really happy to see Jeri step back into the role. And it’s fun. And obviously, the character that they’re depicting is still very traumatized from her experience. I was thinking she doesn’t quite sound like Seven to me, but then again this is a character that’s been through a lot in the intervening years. There’s a bit of me that feels possessive. But at the end of the day, I’m really happy that her character continues, and people are interested in her. She is a great character, mainly because of Jeri. Jeri brought that one to life.

Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine and Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Picard‘s “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1”

Braga’s Books of Blood on Hulu Today

Brannon Braga’s latest project is being the co-writer and director of the Hulu original horror film Books of Blood which arrived on October 7. Check out the trailer.

More Braga to come

Check back later this week for the rest of our exclusive interview with Brannon Braga, where we briefly discuss The Orville and Cosmos.

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Voyager is great.

Yes it is!

it could have been so much better, didn’t match ds9.

It had some awesome episodes (& a few epic turkeys in there as well.) My only complaint about the show was Voyager’s over reliance on that stupid “technobabble.” OMG. The entire climax to some episodes, heck even the entire PLOT itself, was sometimes nothing but characters reciting technobabble. TNG had a little, but Voyager had waaaaay too much if it. Otherwise, Voyager was very very good, under-rated show!
(Thankfully the writers have learned & matured from those days: Even the writer of “Generations” in commentary groaned when they had a scene in engineering that included unnecessary technobabble that was irrelevant to everything.)
But, yeah, I really liked Voyager!

It sounds like he’s moved on from Trek. He didn’t really jump at the thought of returning! Glad he’s involved with Orville at least…

It’s interesting how we can interpret things differently when it’s written and you can’t pick up on tone and mannerisms. I read it as he would jump at the opportunity but didn’t want to sound desperate to get back into Trek.

I guess I’d just expect “heck ya I’d love it” rather than “I wouldn’t rule anything out”…you know a Frakes level of enthusiasm!

Frakes has a working relationship with Secret Hideout and a good rapport with the fans whereas Braga unfortunately knows there’s a vocal element of the fanbase that thinks he’s the Antichrist and like he says he has no idea if there would be any enthusiasm from Kurtzman to bring him back into the fold. However, his answer is pretty non committal so with no other context to judge his words you literally could take it either way. Personally I think Braga is responsible for many a fine hour of Trek so I’d be delighted for him to be involved again but perhaps that adds some bias to my take.

So agreed! For me anyway, Braga has done more good for Trek than bad. I feel the same way about Berman too.. And I’m one of those people who stopped watching Enterprise after its first season. But when I finally went back to it and gave it another chance, I was surprised just how much I really started to love the show and a lot of those episodes I loved were the ones Braga wrote directly.

Again he was also responsible for some horrific ones too but EVERYONE has good and bad episodes when you are writing for literally 10+ years on the same franchise. And Star Trek was an assembly line type of franchise back then the way Law and Order, CSI and others were. They just had so many shows running but also SO MANY episodes in each show, it’s shocking how many amazing episodes they did make.

But if people truly hate Braga and thinks the guy is the devil, that’s valid too. It’s all subjective at the end of the day and he has enough of a record to really judge him on. That’s why I’m not as hard on Kurtzman for example because all his Trek shows are still very very new. And he doesn’t really write for the shows like Braga did when he was show runner. Kurtzman is certainly a writer but he’s more of a behind the scenes guy on his shows where as Braga probably still sees himself more as a writer.

That’s why I give Braga a lot of credit, he didn’t just run the shows, he wrote tons of episodes for them as well. Most show runners might write a few episodes in a season (and I know it’s some kind of weird writer union rules the show runners have to at least write the season premiere and season finale of every season they are in charge of for some reason) but Braga was deeply involved in the writing process when he didn’t have to be…for better or for worse.

But yes I will also admit season 4 of Enterprise was easily the best season when Braga was nowhere near the show….until he wrote TATV. Ok, I guess I just sunk my entire argument lol.

Lol season 4 of Enterprise was the best but to be fair it built off season 3 which had already introduced the arc based storytelling. I know season 3 was a bit more divisive but for me it was of a similar quality to the 4th year. I guess what makes the final season so universally accepted was that the ties to TOS really were brilliantly executed and it finally started to feel like a real prequel. The Xindi arc on the other hand introduced these huge new events and major races as well as having a plot that wasn’t exactly Roddenberry friendly and people were up in arms about it violating the spirit of trek as wells as the the fact that nobody had ever seen a Xindi or referenced these incidents in hundreds of hours of TV and movies. Clearly there are lot of parallels with Enterprise and Discovery!

Likewise I’m a big fan of Berman as well and think he deserves more respect. I do have a little bit of sympathy for both of them over TATV as on paper it was a great idea, it was just horribly executed. I don’t know what the real backstory to the finale is but I’ve always imagined that they went to the studio with these ambitious plans to close the franchise expecting to be given the funds for a feature length extravaganza only to knocked back and be told to finish the show in 43 minutes with whatever cash was left in the seasons budget. Literally everything they were trying to do in that finale was too ambitious to fit into 45 minutes on whatever limited budget they had to spend and as such all the criticisms about it being a disservice to the Enterprise cast by making it TNG lite as well as the anger over trips death were totally legitimate.

Imagine though if that episode had been treated the same way as AGT, WYLB and Endgame. The stakes could have been much higher and far more fitting for a story documenting the birth of the Federation and Trip’s final sacrifice plus you’d have had enough time to properly service the Enterprise cast whilst still using Frakes and Sirtis for the framing story. Personally though in such a scenario it would have been almost criminal not to have had the Riker and Troi B story be set on the Titan! That’s all wishful thinking of course but whatever the real story I can’t imagine that there first take on it was anything like what was committed to screen. Their mistake for me was continuing with such an idea when they didn’t have the resources or time to execute it.

Orville is a fun show

I think he would love to write for Trek again BUT he is critical of the new shows and probably why he wouldn’t be as interested in returning. And I’m not talking about the writing specifically, it’s more about the tone of them that many here has complained about. I saw him on another interview he gave on Youtube and said he thought the new shows were fine but moved away too far from Roddenberry’s vision. We can argue that until the cows come home but I think that’s the issue. He loves Star Trek, clearly, it made him famous, rich and got to date Jeri Ryan on top of it, so who wouldn’t lol. But I don’t think he would work on something like Discovery either. It really is a much darker show than something like Enterprise was (and that show got darker as well in the third season). I’m not saying it’s good OR bad, just different for him. DS9 was also dark, but it was also the only show he was never involved in either.

“ It sounds like he’s moved on from Trek.“
Thank goodness!! No more bland Trek the snooze generation thanks.

I would have wanted species 8472 to invade earth or be undercover while the voyager duplicates got home at the end of season 5.

Continuing on into season six with a story arc in the Alpha quadrant Barclay can find the real voyager with the pathfinder project, meanwhile the real voyager still lost in the delta quadrant unaware of whats going on back home, when Barclay has first contact communication with voyager he can update them, and Janeway can use the Borg to help voyager get home but win the war between species 8472

I do wonder though if we will ever see species 8472 again? Gosh, I hope so.

That’s actually what excites me about Discovery in season 3 because by the 32nd century I imagine a lot of species from the Delta quadrant could have found their way to the Alpha quadrant by then and vice versa. I’m not really holding my breath we will ever see Species 8472 but you can’t rule them out either.

Again why going forward (in this case way forward ;)) will always be more exciting for a lot of fans because you can just have a lot more options and possibilities, especially when it comes to including different species.

Wow you got me thinking there, remember the voyager episode ‘Living Witness’ the EMH (Robert Picardo) was salvaged 700 years post 24th century by an alien species and set a corse for home

Good interview. Over the past few years it seems like I’ve seen a lot of complaints about how the newer Trek series have gone dark in a way the previous writers never wanted. Those complaints always seemed presumptuous and baseless, in my mind. Ron Moore did an interview similar to this a few months back about taking the franchise darker, and here Braga is doing the same. I’m not defending all of the creative decisions of the Picard writing team. Some of them were baffling. But to say that current writers are the first to try and take things “darker” in order to examine different parts of the franchise doesn’t seem accurate, at least for a few of the former showrunners.

It does get extreme at times.

Because at the time there wasn’t really serialized TV going on as far as I knew.

WHAT? There was a lot of serialized TV at the time. What is he talking about???

What are the examples?

If Braga was plotting season 4 in spring of 1997…
Oz (HBO) didn’t air until July 1997, The Sopranos not until 99
DS9 Season 6 wasn’t until fall of 1998

Maybe Twin Peaks and Babylon 5? Or Buffy (aired in March 1997)?

Babylon 5 had been on the air since 1993, longer if you count the pilot but it was one of the exceptions and certainly not the rule. I personally don’t feel that it gets enough credit for the part it played in paving the way for modern serialised shows.

Not counting all the sitcoms that had recurring themes, just looking at the 1997 lineup at shows I remember that were highly or partly serialized:

Party of Five
Dr. Quinn
The Practice
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

and the fact that by the time Voyager was in it’s 4th season, DS9 was already in its 6th.

So, yeah. There were other serialized shows by then.

The 90s was still a time before tv on demand, many people still didn’t even have cable really. Serialised tv was a very risky concept at the time and only worked if a show was truly super popular and people were tuning into it religiously enough to keep up with what is going on week to week. Voyager was a middling series in terms of its viewership and actually the ratings were on a gradual descent in its final seasons so in fact making more serialised seasons would have probably killed it even earlier, if those episodes ended up being crop.

I wouldn’t include X Files in that list though. Majority of the stories were very much standalone. It was only the alien mythology arc that had a continuing story line and even that didn’t really start until season 3 of the series and was usually only made up about 5-6 episodes of a season. Most of X Files was really monster-of-the-week type shows. In fact in many ways the show felt like an anthology at times because the only two characters who returned every episode was usually just Mulder and Scully. The show didn’t have many supporting characters who you saw week to week like most shows. That changed a little bit in the later seasons giving Skinner more to do but still not a lot.

But all this is pretty moot because it was UPN itself that was against serialized stories at the time. It’s not like that network had a ton of serial shows, hardly any of it was. The ONE show I can remember seeing that was serialized was Nowhere Man. It actually starred Christopher Pike’s (the other one) Bruce Greenwood in the role and it was great. Outside of Voyager that was the only show on the network I was addicted to and watched every week because it was conspiracy based. It was kind of X-filesy but nothing about paranormal or aliens, just more about government conspiracies, deep state, etc. And as great as that show was, it was cancelled after just one season in Voyager’s second season.

Maybe there were more shows that were serialized but after Nowhere Man failed (even though it was a really good show), it was clear the network saw them as more risky and mostly stayed away from it.

And sure, there were definitely other serialized shows on other networks at that time, but they were still few and far inbetween outside of soap operas. ER was a MASSIVE hit but it was really the only drama NBC had at the time that was serialized. And it wasn’t serialized like shows today. Most of the episodes were indeed standalone where you had different medical stories every week, but the character arcs were much more interconnected. But it wasn’t a show where if you skipped a few episodes you were totally lost or anything.

Most people really do credit shows like 24 and later LOST as creating the type of serialization we see today where every plot line can last the entire season or seasons. But back then few shows were really that connected like today.

There are many. I don’t have time to list them. I’m sure others will. But there are many. Anyone who thinks serialized TV wasn’t popular in the mid- to late ’90s must not have watched much TV from before 2000.

Perhaps ‘not as serialized’ would have been a better way to put it. Hill Street Blues was very serialized in the 80’s. Hercules and Xena were both somewhat serialized as well. Soap Opera’s were always serialized.

Great interview. Looking back, I was admittedly too harsh on Brannon Braga (and probably Rick Berman too) in my criticisms back when Enterprise was on. During COVID, I really gave Enterprise a second chance, and I’m glad that I did because it really was good. I think at the time (I was in my early 20’s, not an excuse, but I was a cocky kid) I had this image of what Trek should be and I blamed Braga and Berman for it not meeting that. In hindsight, this was my mistake, of course, having learned this after 20 years of living. I know I wasn’t alone in the fandom at the time, but I hope in some way, they to can come to realize that I can admit to being wrong, and having learned from experience and time that the changes they made and the chances they took weren’t bad at all. After all, it helped to get us here, and this is a grand time to be a Trek Fan.
Anyway, good stuff, and Brannon, if you happen to read this, all these years later, I’m sorry for misjudging your contributions back then, and instead, I thank you for them… and maybe some day, we will all get to see your next contributions to Trek! LLAP

It is a great time to be a Star Trek fan, isn’t it? I feel so lucky to be really obsessed with a franchise that has so much going for it and a fandom that does have some really unique diversity.

The ENT season-long Xindi arc was not enjoyable, imo.

And VOY was inconsistent throughout all seven seasons. Personally speaking, I’m glad Mr. Braga did not do a season-long arc for “Year of Hell”. Two episodes was just fine.

And a big NO to him returning to Trek. He was invested in The Orville. Stay there, please. I daresay Trek needs different creative visionaries post-Discovery, Picard, etc. Hoping/praying Strange New Worlds returns the viewers to stand-alone, innovative episodes akin to TOS and TNG.

Yeah. They really hyped up the Xindi arc but then nothing *really* happened until the final six episodes. Everything else was Archer scowling.

I checked out for most of that season and never really missed it.

Seven is the best thing about Picard. He is so right. She is an incredible character.

Man. Myth. Legend. Visionary. Genius. Braga.

Really enjoyed this interview. I love all Star Trek, but Voyager is at the top for me. I absolutely love Voyager.

Something that I always try to keep in mind is how everyone involved in the making of Star Trek wanted it to be the best it could. They wanted it to be successful and most of the time you can see where their hearts were really put into something and that they cared about the product they were creating.

I loved hearing his thoughts on Year of Hell, story arcs, Trek Shorts and Seven of Nine. Thank you for posting.

“We are both very very pleased” Bermaga

So at least the language hasn’t really changed after the regime change, eh? Well, as per Kadin, we may add “DELICIOUS!!” for mass murderers now. That one is new!

But what I haven’t been attracted to, personally, is depicting Starfleet in a negative way. Because it was really important to Gene that the Federation be something that isn’t corruptible. It was founded as a democratic, multi-species body that stood for something.

Yes, yes, yes! I really wish the current Star Trek showrunners understood this as deeply.

That’s revisionistic, though. In TOS, pretty much every time Kirk met anyone else in Starfleet or a Federation administrative position, that person was crazy, murderous, condescending, arrogant, bullyish, inept or otherwise a villain. Roddenberry’s vision of the future was filled with exactly the sorts of things we see happening now. But people try to pretend otherwise.

Late Gene had a different view on this though, enough that he vehemently opposed Starfleet corruption being the source of the conspiracy in the namesake TNG season 1 episode, instead pushing for the alien angle. It’s possible to change your opinion in 30 years. As Braga only entered Trek during that latter era, his experience of this may not be incorrect.

Gene didn’t exactly bring us a lot of great Trek in that era. TNG only got good once he became less involved. Plenty of the best (and some of the worst) episodes of all the TNG era shows feature evil admirals and corruption at the highest levels of Starfleet.

Remember the scene in ‘court martial’ where Kirk walks into a bar and gets the cold shoulder from fellow officers.

Never had an issue with Braga. There, I said it.

In fact he made some of the coolest most mind bending episodes in all of Star Trek. I actually forgot the tons of episodes he wrote that I loved on TNG until I started to rewatch a lot of it more regularly in the last two years.

This guy is responsible for writing over 100 episodes on three different shows and 2 films, that a crazy amount of writing. Of course it’s not going to all be amazing but I generally loved more of his stories than hated. He was the guy who gave us All Good Things, Timeless and First Contact. But yes, he was also the guy who gave us Threshold, Sub Rosa and These Are the Voyages. The last one probably especially hurts because that was his final credit in Star Trek and in fact the only episode he wrote in the entire last season of Enterprise. I wish he just stayed away completely by then and just let Manny Coto write the last episode since season 4 was basically all his by that point. But anyway…

I’m certainly not saying he couldn’t be criticized obviously. He was directly in charge of Voyager and Enterprise but I also think the problems with those shows had just as much to do with studio interference as well. Voyager actually improved in his run as show runner in the later seasons and were certainly stronger than the earlier ones (but that’s Treks motto ;)). I just don’t really villainize these people. I think all of them have the best intentions, but they will just fall short at times. And I also just hate how quickly fans can turn on a writer/producer/director the second they don’t like something. Everyone was praising JJ Abrams, Orci and others after the first Kelvin movie like they were gods. Then STID came out and they were all hacks and that never changed from that point on. I’m sure Orci has plenty to say about that lol.

As far as Braga, it’s not quite the same obviously, he was involved in Star Trek for a much longer time and had his hand in many variations of it so I get opinions are going to sway wildly because he was there for so long and a huge influence over it.

But for me, I would still be happy he was working on Star Trek today. Not necessarily in charge of a show but fine if he wrote more stories. He wrote some brilliant stories, some of my most favorites 20+ years later. And he really understood Star Trek, but he was never a huge fan of TOS which I know rubbed other fans the wrong way. He definitely made mistakes, TATV a pretty big one IMO, but he is a talented for sure. Funny how so many seem to love The Orville which is basically just TNG in comedic form. But his style of story telling is clearly still popular among a lot of the fanbase.

As per my post for the last part of fhe interview, it boils down to Braga being an excellent, out-of-the-box thinking writer but a lousy showrunner. He’s lacking the discipline and rigor. He should have someone else polish his scripts and correct the continuity / character consistency problems instead of drinking his own kool-aid. Then that happened, things usually went down-hill (note how both AGT and FC are collaborations with RDM).

I didn’t have as much of an issue of him being show runner on Voyager to be honest because even before he got Voyager, it wasn’t that great when it was being run by Michael Piller (who is probably one of the best writers Trek has ever had) and Jeri Taylor either. So I don’t know and all I can say is I thought Voyager was just a better show under him, but it still had many problems. But I do agree a lot of the scripts he wrote could’ve been more polished but I also think that’s just the grind trying to get so many episodes out every year. Discovery has half the episodes to make and all of those still needs tons of work lol.

With Enterprise though, I agree that was a different situation. I think the issue there was they wanted a dramatically different show when they conceived of it and UPN basically shut them down. I think when that happened, he should’ve just stepped aside and let someone else run the show because he clearly didn’t have the passion or knowledge to make a pre TOS prequel, which is why it was a mistake to even go there. He could still be in charge but give someone the reins, literally what happened in season 4.

And yes he was great with RDM, who was clearly the better writer of the two. I’m actually rewatching BSG right now, currently on season 2 and I forgot how that show was. Of course he’s not perfect he wrote stinkers too but they were great together. It really sucks that partnership ended when Moore got to Voyager.

My only question for Braga is does he set out to purposely make bland horrid television and picks bad bland nonsensical scripts, does he just get handed bad scripts and just does it for a pay check or are there good scripts that he blandifies into horrid wall paper?
Example Enterprise. Post WW3 Earth with primitive tech, ships and needing a rebuild surrounded by new and strange alien races. The Captain is on his or her own, no sub space comms to bail them out. Short on resources. No phasers on stun or transporters to bail the crew out. The Vulcans think we are illogical, the Andorans think we are pushovers, the Romulans want us conquered the Klingons want us dead. First contacts gone wrong, can we prove humanity can make it and bring different races together? Who goes Lets take that and have peace with the Klingons, transporters, full sub space comms and phasers on stun in the first hour that the whole show ends up as boring as TNG?

Never forget it was BRAGA and MOORE who wrote the screenplay for Star Trek: Generations. I think they said, at the time, they flew to Hawaii to write it. I don’t know what kind of grass they smoked while putting the storyline together, but what a piece of dogshit it was. Disgraceful! Amateur hour! It makes Plan Nine From Outer Space look like Citizen Kane! He should hang his head in shame on that one.

Generations was fine. I don’t think many people would put it on their lists of best Trek movies, but it was cool to see Kirk and Picard together, it was awesome to finally see Data experiencing emotions, and Malcolm Mcdowell was great as Soran. The movie also explored some pretty heavy themes on time and mortality. It wasn’t the best Trek movie ever, but there was a lot to like about it.

When Picard is aware that he can return from the Nexus to any time and place, why go back to the planet to fight Soran? Picard (from the TV series) was smarter than that, and would have returned to the Enterprise (when Soran was in Ten Forward), called security and arrested his sorry ass!

Yeah, it had some plot holes. Even the best Trek movie had plot holes. I think Guinan probably should have explained that he could only leave the nexus at a place and time where the nexus is. But, that one plot hole doesn’t ruin the movie for me.

I use to always wonder how was it that these guys could make something as cool and amazing as All Good Things… in literally just three weeks, which is crazy in itself; but THEN had an entire year to write Generations, which was a much more subpar work in general? I never hated the movie, it’s probably in the middle of my movie list but yeah it was not great lol.

But then I finally got my answer on that and that was because Paramount had given them all these crazy demands of what can be done in the movie. According to RDM, they were so worried about TNG being the first Trek movie without the TOS cast and that it would be too Star Trek (sound familiar ;)) to a new group of people who didn’t watch TNG and we saw the results.

But then Generations did well enough at least financially where they trusted them and gave them no hard demands for First Contact like the first movie. I think Generations would’ve been a much better film if they could’ve just wrote it how they want. But then the other irony is when they wrote Generations, they said they were trying to make it a deeper and more layered film about loss, getting older and all of that vs FC which is just a popcorn movie with a few things about revenge but clearly FC just worked so much better, even if still not perfect.

But that’s ALWAYS the problem with the movies. Anytime you have genuine Trek writers or fans who want to make a good Trek story, the studio balks if it comes off too cerebral. Pillar had literally the same issue with Insurrection and then again with Orci and his movie. It doesn’t mean these movies are necessarily better or even good, but they constantly have to be watered down. The only movies that got away with it was the Nic Meyer movies and FC because they were all basically action movies but had enough Trek elements to satisfy fans at the same time. TMP was obviously very Star Trek, but nothing has been done close to it since.

I’d say that TMP was much more cerebral than most Trek. It had some similarities to The Changeling, but TOS was always much faster paced and much more character focused than TMP was.

TMP was probably the most Star Trek film in so many ways, but then felt the least TOS in others. Yeah, Trek has been cerebral, but not as much as this movie as you said. But I think Roddenberry sold it as Trek’s version of 2001 and since that made a ton of money for its time, the studio probably just shrugged and went with it.

I always thought it was ironic how TMP came out as it did since we all know it was the success of Star Wars to even convince them to do a Star Trek movie; so you would think they would go that direction in terms of action, space battles, Kirk karate chopping a Klingon, etc. 2001 did well, but Star Wars was on another level and it was full of action throughout it. But for some reason they went with this super expensive slow moving movie where they spend half the time just looking at FX through the view screen. I always wondered if TWOK was the first Trek film, how amazing that could’ve been at that time when Paramount was willing to give a Trek film a real budget.

best thing that TMP did not ape SW or it would have been seen as a knock off like a lot of post SW films in the late 70s/80s.

Yes but the big difference is Star Trek already came well before SW did. Lucas even credits Star Trek in taking the chance the to make SW. I don’t think people would’ve thought that since those things were already well established in the show.

But ‘trek’ is not really like SW, more drama than action.
Trouble is paramount consider the movies their answer to SW so have fell into the action formula ever since ‘khan’.

I didn’t say it was. I was only saying Star Trek WAS an action show just the same. And that most movies AFTER TMP were mostly action films anyway, so it wouldn’t have been a huge deal TMP was too.There has been 13 films, only two of them didn’t have any action in them, TMP and TVH.

but OS was more drama than action.

Why would Harry Kim be an ensign the entire show? Really parochial mistake! He wasn’t even my favorite actor. Secondly, why was Nelix there? He would have been a better miles O’Brien for voyager. The costume was stupid.

I love how Brannon has managed to get the number 47 into the new Hulu horror film project ‘Books of Blood’. It’s like a little bit of Trek is still there.

I thought Year of Hell was brilliant. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Janeway showed a range I didn’t think she had in her.

Little did I realize I’d be living a year of hell in 2020. Not so much fun to live it as to watch it.

Also In Voyager the dialogue between Janeway and Seven of Nine was consistently interesting. I think both actresses were at their best when they had scenes together. Really tense meaningful discussions. Never saw 2 women have such an intense relationship since Cagney & Lacey. Some friends not into sci-fi watched it just for them. It took real creative genius to write scenes like that.

taking risks?
that show had a great premise which it diluted so it could rehash OS, TNG tropes.
refused to fully develop characters, deal with the proper hardships that being stuck in the d quadrant would entail, endlessly pressed the re set on major character, story moments and don’t get me started on the endless supply of shuttles…..

the rebooted Battlestar Galactica dealt with the problems Voyager should’ve faced better than Voyager; and that wasn’t even really the premise for Galactica, it was simply a natural offshoot of the situation.
For Voyager crew, it’s premise was pretty much an annoyance at best due to their technology & replicators & endless supply of shuttles draining any & all sources of drama from the show.
Well that &, by the end of the pilot the whole conflicts from “Maqui interacting with Starfleet” subplot was dropped & EVERYONE acted like perfect Starfleet crew members form then on – unless Torres or Paris needed to temporarily act differently to make a plot happen.

Ron Moore’s time on Voy was short but he saw what was wrong with it and this informed his work on BSG.

best thing about ‘picard’?
not seeing jeri/7 stuck in that catsuit.

Matt Winston as Daniels

Wait a minute…

Look at that photo. Look at that face. Look at that hair.

Mark Zuckerberg is Daniels!

Explains a lot about Zuck, doesn’t it?


Wow. He started right off in P.R. B.S. overload!
ie “It was part of Gene [Roddenberry]’s concept of the show, starting with The Original Series. … and I think it’s one important part of the legacy of Star Trek: the depiction of diversity and equality.”
First off, Gene’s personal life with women aside, i’ll stick to the show itself:

For years he always BS’d during interviews that the reason we lost “Number One” from the pilot & that “Uhura” was never in command was because he claimed it was an edict from the network. That was complete nonsense. The network actually LIKED the progressive idea of a woman being able to be in command of a future starship, it was Gene who disliked it but blamed them.

And then, people LOVE to overlook this glaring fact: Gene’s legacy continued with the SERIES FINALE of Trek whose entire plot revolved around a woman who became so crazed simply because Starfleet did not allow female captains.

On the positive side, like George Lucas, Gene indeed had some good IDEAS, he simply needed a couple other people to flesh out those ideas and make them great (the producers of TOS were the real unsung heroes that came up with a LOT of aspects from Trek that we love today & erroneously attribute to Roddenberry).
So while i’m glad future generations did exactly what Gene publicly said he wanted in terms of reinventing the show & making it better & poignant for the times (ie exactly what “Star Trek Picard” did regardless of what hypocritical rose-colored nostalgic laden “purist” Trekkers want to believe despite all the evidence from Roddenberry himself), let’s not ignore the truth about TOS.

Gene was no longer showrunner by the end of OS.

if gene or any of the writers who made the show work were still working at that time then i doubt ‘turnabout intruder’ would have been written.

I just want to know how he got that ring on her finger.

 But what I haven’t been attracted to personally, is depicting Starfleet in a negative way. Because it was really important to Gene that the Federation be something that isn’t corruptible.”

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I found the conversation with Braga to have had a number of worthwhile observations. As regards his seeming interpretation that Kurtzman Trek’s darkness is out of sync with the franchise’s original ethos, I don’t believe the issue has to do with shows having a dark tone (a very overused trope to the point of being meaningless) or their divergence on diversity.

The problem is that the major domo himself, has openly expressed his antipathy for Trek that preceded the Kelvinverse (which, no doubt, was all well and good as far as Moonves’ goals for the IP going forward was concerned). Chabon, Goldman, and everyone else, past or present, that have been the creative gatekeepers for Discovery and Picard, have taken that cue and run with it, as opposed to what Fuller had wanted to pursue.

The distinction is between what might be considered to be a dark version of a vision and a patently invalid one, that illustrates no understanding of how that reality actually existed to truly and intelligently riff off of. So, what these shows have actually presented, are standard dystopian tropes, with familiar references (of surface depth only) used to justify a brand’s distinctive name to be slapped on an inferior product, that has little to no thematic or textual connection to the IP. I’m not particularly interested in rehashing issues of continuity, canon, illogical storylines, and a special character enabled to dominate a series, who wouldn’t even have egress to a well defined structure, elaborated upon for decades.

No, what I find startling here, is the impression that Secret Hideout has fostered a renaissance, reawakening, amazing rejuvenation, or any other similar characterization. The fault lies, I suppose, in the lack of candor this site appears to practice in genuinely stating the issues that basically dictate that the franchise is now moribund, for all intents and purposes. The patent lack of transparency in any representation of the starkly pallid numbers of viewers watching this product, has been made plain. Fans here may be overwhelmingly positive with these alleged iterations. There’s far too few of you, though,, in aggregate, to warrant making the two primary series, a viable enterprise (sorry there).

This shill of a site, apparently hasn’t communicated the ancient fact that a Section 31 show, is off the boards. SNW has no ready avenue to be produced. And there’s no reason to believe that this isn’t the last season of Discovery or that Picard is even going to have a second season, at all. The overriding issue for all of these, is that there’s no future possible, without international distribution. Both Netflix and Amazon have told CBS to go pound sand, given how they’ve both been soaked with costs for such an obviously meager return. Unless there’s been a very recent contrary development along those lines, there isn’t much reason to doubt that Watts and Redstone want to sever the connection with Secret Hideout, and the IP itself, if they can reap any kind of representative remuneration. Picard is also in a precipice as it relates to securing insurance for its namesake, due to his age and risk as far as the virus goes.

I don’t care that a lot of folks here may think that a halcyon age of ST has been ushered in. That’s your prerogative. It simply and inevitably, reminds me of some old bromide concerning candy, nuts, ifs, and buts, or something along those lines.