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Braga: Favorite Episodes And Seven Of Nine

Posted by T'Bonz - 20/09/11 at 01:09 pm


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Brannon Braga worked on Star Trek beginning with Star Trek: The Next Generation as an intern, and the veteran writer and creator shared his memories, both good and bad, of his Star Trek work.

Star Trek: The Next Generation ended with All Good Things…, an episode of which Braga is proud and one which fans enjoyed as well. “I’m proud of that for a lot of reasons,” he said. “Top of the list, it was just a really great two-hour episode of TNG that fully explored the characters and the sentimentality of where they started, where they are and where they’re going. It had a great science-fiction premise. And it kind of achieved the impossible. I have no recollection of how Ron Moore and I did it, but it was a great ending to a great series. It didn’t disappoint.”

However, there were episodes that weren’t as stellar, such as Star Trek: Voyager‘s Threshold. “Of course, the one I’d just as soon forget is called Threshold,” said Braga. “That’s the one in which Janeway and Paris turn into lizards. That’s a real low point. I was trying something. I don’t want to get into what I was trying  to do, but it didn’t quite work. It was my homage, I guess, to David Cronenberg‘s The Fly, but it really backfired on me. It was poorly executed by me.”

Braga enjoyed his time working on Star Trek: Voyager, and he believes that some of the best Trek stories were told on that show. “When you go back, around seasons four, five and six of Voyager, I think we were doing some of our best Star Trek storytelling ever,” he said. “I think Voyager came under some criticism from some fans, but I think if you look back on it, it was an excellent show.”

In Voyager‘s fourth season, Seven of Nine replaced Kes, a decision that angered some fans and pleased others. “The show needed a kick in the ass,” Braga explained. “Creatively, we needed something. A Star Trek series, in my opinion, is only as good as its captain, and Captain Janeway was a great captain, but she didn’t have her Spock or Data, really. We just didn’t have that special science-fiction character like Spock or Data, the striving-to-be-human character. The idea of putting a Borg on board gave us a chance to have a wild child there. That was the metaphor, a wild child, and Janeway would be her mother and try to tame her and help make her human again. That was a new take on that kind of character.

“To me, Seven of Nine added a nice touch of magic that the show needed at the time. The fact that she was a beautiful woman was just, to me, a benefit.”

Fans weren’t the only ones either sad or happy about the change but Braga felt that his decision was necessary and good for the show. “I thought the character was a great addition to the show,” he said.” And it kind of lit a fire under the cast, too. It was very controversial. We got rid of Kes and brought in Seven of Nine, and some people in the cast were upset about it and some thought it was cool, but at the end of the day I think it did all the right things creatively to the show, in my opinion.”

Source: StarTrek.com

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHC3OFBCSE3LWZ4G2ZENZAPR6I Mike DeLaney

    Except “All Good Things…” featured a horrible science fiction premise. i.e. If the rift was an anti-time vortex, it should’ve been closing as the future Picard neared, not growing when he later returned to it… it made no sense. That’s not even mentioning that the first tachyon pulse in the future that actually formed the rift was from the Pasteur, not Enterprise… Highly overrated. Braga’s also still dilusional if he thinks any season of Voyager was the best storytelling. Seasons 3-6 of TNG or 4-7 of DS9 are patently better in virtually every way.

  • http://twitter.com/Pioneering Joe Dempsey, Sr.

    I think the addition of the Seven of Nine character was a good one but why remove Kes? Is there some kind of Sci-Fi rule that says you can’t have two women crew members (excluding the Captain in this case)? Also if “The fact that she was a beautiful woman was just, to me, a benefit.” is true, then why the infamous “Cat Suit”. He was clearly pandering to the young male audience. Why doesn’t he just admit it? I agree with Mike Delaney’s comments about Voyager’s storytelling as well. Star Trek is much better off now without Berman and Braga.

  • Cdbutler1204

    It’s one thing to bring a new character like Seven on Nine on…..but it’s another to have almost every friggin episode be about her (I almost thought they’d rename the show Star Trek: Seven of Nine).

    Imagine how bad morale was on set when the cast learned the producer was dating the actress playing her!

  • Guest

    I don’t know that Brannon Braga designed the costume for the character. He certainly wasn’t credited with doing so. Berman and Braga’s original idea for the ex-Borg character had it as a male.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Seven of Nine was great but WHY oh WHY did you had to remove Kes instead of Harry/Neelix or even Chakotay?
    I think sfdebris put it really well in his Kes retrospective when he said replacing Kes with Seven of Nine was like “replacing a home theater system with a motorcycle. You haven’t actually upgraded, you’ve just wound up replacing something with something different. You have something great but you’ve also lost something else you really liked”.

    Also, seasons 4/5/6 had great writing when looking at the individual episodes but when you take a step back and look for some kind of cohesion or continuity, there is none to be found which is why it fails on an important level.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Seven of Nine was great but WHY oh WHY did you had to remove Kes instead of Harry/Neelix or even Chakotay?
    I think sfdebris put it really well in his Kes retrospective when he said replacing Kes with Seven of Nine was like “replacing a home theater system with a motorcycle. You haven’t actually upgraded, you’ve just wound up replacing something with something different. You have something great but you’ve also lost something else you really liked”.

    Also, seasons 4/5/6 had great writing when looking at the individual episodes but when you take a step back and look for some kind of cohesion or continuity, there is none to be found which is why it fails on an important level.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Star Trek is worse off with Brannon Braga, but he shouldn’t be allowed to run a Star Trek show because he’s shown on most of his shows he is incapable of that – including his non Trek shows.
    HOWEVER, he is incredibly creative and came up with so many good story ideas and scripts for Trek. His contribution shouldn’t be completely disregarded.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Star Trek is worse off with Brannon Braga, but he shouldn’t be allowed to run a Star Trek show because he’s shown on most of his shows he is incapable of that – including his non Trek shows.
    HOWEVER, he is incredibly creative and came up with so many good story ideas and scripts for Trek. His contribution shouldn’t be completely disregarded.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHC3OFBCSE3LWZ4G2ZENZAPR6I Mike DeLaney

    I agree with that notion, that he did have some great things to offer to Star Trek. Wholly agree… and so did Gene Roddenberry. However, I think we can all agree that TNG got much better when he was no longer creatively involved. The franchise had moved beyond him. He had given it what he had and what it needed. Giving it more going forward would’ve been bad. The first 2 seasons of TNG really were entertaining, but not that great in retrospect when presented with all of Trek. And the issues with those first 2 seasons are almost entirely at Gene Roddenberry’s feet. Does that mean Roddenberry should’ve never created Trek? Hardly. Nor does it mean that Voyager and the first couple seasons of Enterprise negate the great things Berman, Braga, and co brought to the franchise, but neither does it absolve them of the bad stuff… and unlike Gene Roddenberry, neither Berman nor Braga had the good sense to die (joking… maybe not die, how about just leave the franchise like Ron D. Moore did?).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHC3OFBCSE3LWZ4G2ZENZAPR6I Mike DeLaney

    Yeah, and?

    If he had any part in casting, the point remains, doesn’t it?

    Or do you think during her audition they were imagining putting her in a pant suit? Come on…

  • Gauling

    Voyager has been vastly underrated by Star Trek fans for years. Visually, it was a stunning show. The production design was far superior to TNG or Deep Space. I have never been a fan of Herman Zimmerman’s work on those shows. Richard James gave Voyager a new look that still impresses me when I watch Voyager. As far as the writing, Voyager hit its stride in season 4, much like TNG and Deep Space did. Ditching Kes was the second best thing the writers did. Her character was boring and going nowhere. The addition of Seven was the best thing the writers did. She brought conflict to the show. She brought humor to the show in the form of Jeri Ryan’s deadpan delivery of her lines. And… well… that costume wasn’t bad either. Go back and watch “The Year of Hell, parts I and II. It is perhaps the best two hours of Trek ever. Braga co-wrote that with Joe Menosky, I believe, and it’s a damn fine piece of work. Who has the broadcast rights to Voyager and Deep Space nowadays? Both of these incarnations of Trek have been moldering away too long in somebody’s vault. They both need re-discovering.

  • Voyager53

    producer was doing more than simply dating her.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. You’ll never find a bigger Braga fan than me, and I think he’s right about VOY hitting its stride when Seven joined, but there’s no defending him for dating Jeri Ryan. Huge, obvious breach of professional ethics.

  • lola

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