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Braga: Crossover That Never Happened

Posted by T'Bonz - 13/09/12 at 01:09 pm


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If Brannon Braga had had his way, an iconic Star Trek character would have made a guest star appearance in Star Trek: Enterprise.

Crossovers were nothing new for Star Trek or for Braga, who controversially put Commander Riker and Counselor Troi in the finale to Star Trek: Enterprise.

The Enterprise guest appearance that Braga hoped to have happen but didn’t was that of William Shatner as Captain Kirk. “The only crossover that was exciting was there was a brief time when we were going to put Captain Kirk on Enterprise,” said Braga, “and we even met with William Shatner, but it just never happened.

“We had some story concocted about why Kirk was there and how he got there. I don’t remember. I think Shatner had a pitch. It was actually going to be a pretty cool two-part episode. I don’t know exactly what happened. It might have been that we couldn’t make a deal with Shatner or something like that.”

Braga is currently working on the Star Trek: The Next Generation comic mini-series from IDW Publishing, as well as Malice, a new FX series, and a reboot of Carl Sagan‘s Cosmos for Fox.

Source: Comic Book Resources

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  • http://profiles.google.com/wilsonfrontier Doug Wilson

    As I recall (it’s been a while) the rumors where Shatner was to play Chef, and be an ancestor of Jim Kirk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/allen.newman Allen Newman

    Never liked the Chef Shatner idea (didn’t care for Chef Riker either). The only other one I remember floating around was that they would meet the evil mirror universe version of Kirk. The mirror universe would have the advantage of that Kirk living to be Shatner’s age, not having died in Generations.

  • cardinal biggles

    Wait, WHAT? Braga’s going to reboot Sagan’s “Cosmos”? *headdesk*

  • JWPlatt

    ” …controversially put Commander Riker and Counselor Troi in the finale to Star Trek: Enterprise” is the kind of phrase a PC coward uses to spare the feelings of Mr. Braga by avoiding blame. It wasn’t controversial. It was stupidly out of touch. Like killing Kirk or Picard’s nephew and family to render so much investment irrelevant only to suit Braga’s ego, need for control, and piss his mark on the fracnhise. Just like rape is about control, so is the rape of a franchise about the writer’s ego and lack of imagination to do something better. These things are the equivalent of hacks snuffing characters like Aliens’ Newt, Hicks, Bishop and eventually Ripley. I am undecided whether JJ Abrams and his writers are just as guilty by snuffing Vulcan, but it was close. They were still pissing on the franchise to leave their mark even if it did fit better into the story. They were at least better at removing the evidence.

  • cardinal biggles

    She’s reporting the news, not writing a review or editorial, and therefore needs to project at least some level of objectivity. “Stupidly out of touch” is hardly objective news writing, unless you’re reporting on someone else saying that about Braga, or Braga saying that about himself. I find it hard to take the rest of your rant seriously; anyone who equates a writer or producer putting their own mark on a media franchise to violent sexual assault needs to engage their hyperbole filter.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Please tell me that is a joke.
    Are you perhaps thinking of Seth MacFarlane? He actually is involved in the new Cosmos series, and very surprisingly, is quite serious and very passionate about it.

  • Patrick Choi

    Braga has the touch of death. Any show he’s worked on after TNG has been cancelled!

  • JWPlatt

    “Controversially” could have been omitted, without affecting the story, to make it completely objective. Putting in the word invokes the controversy while mitigating Braga’s responsibility – as if he were doing something brave. It was more about hubris than bravery. He just figured it was a gift to the fans; he knows better than the fans what they like and what’s good for them.

  • Mike

    I’m not a fan of Braga’s in any way, however, the notion you just spewed is pretty silly. He’s a television writer. Yes, in fact, he does believe he’s better positioned as the writer to tell the story than the viewer. Duh. And to suggest that’s not accurate is the very definition of hubris. Sure, the fans can like or dislike something. But that’s not the same thing as the fans writing the thing. Any time you write something for public consumption you’re obviously of the opinion that it’s good and hope that people like it. And as ill-conceived as the finale of Enterprise was, I’ve never read Braga suggest that fans should’ve enjoyed it. He has always suggested that they had hoped fans would enjoy it… that it was intended as a “love-letter” to the fans… That’s not the same thing as him saying, “It was perfect and the masses just weren’t smart enough to get it.” He did Trek more harm than good over the years, I think, but let’s blame him for the stuff he actually does, not this silliness… He’s the writer. In advance of production, of course he has to write what he thinks people will like… If they don’t, okay… But he’s never said he was right and fandom was wrong… so, let’s be fair and go after him when he deserves it… for the finale, sure… for his response to the finale? Not so much.

  • http://twitter.com/robtclements Robert Clements

    Fair enough assessment. The problem with Braga’s calls as a showrunner (purely as a writer he seems to be pretty good) could best be summarised by the text speak WTF. The problem with These are the Voyages wasn’t that adding Riker & Troi to the showed p.ed off what was left of the audience big time, it was that Berman & Braga didn’t think it would….

  • https://www.facebook.com/bradleyshorwith bradley

    I don’t think that the fact that they put Riker and Troi in there was the problem as much as the fact that it couldn’t really work in a 43 minute episode. There was not enough focus on the Enterprise characters, and some sloppy writing with Trip’s death. I think a two-parter would have solved a lot of the problems, provided they extended the scenes for the Enterprise characters rather than the Riker and Troi scenes, and rewrote Tucker’s death. They also really should have, the actual speech from Archer at the end.
    Both Trip’s death and Archer’s speech could have been so impactful, but instead they just seemed like wasted opportunities.

  • JWPlatt

    It was bad writing and offensive the instant they freeze-framed the NX-01 and its crew on the holodeck. It made them puppets subservient to the NextGen crew. That was THE mistake at the root of it more than anything else. Remove the holodeck and the writers would have been forced to use a better device.

    Trip’s death at the hands of “random alien pirates”: This has been described on IMDB as the “silliest character death in the history of Star Trek and possibly of all scifi TV.” I forgot to put that in my list of snuffed characters, above, along with Kirk, etc. Right. So here’s yet another example of writers of pissing on a franchise. Unable to think of anything better, character snuffing in the name of drama is the last resort of hack writers organizing into a back-country Deliverance-style lynch mob out for a thrill: “Hey Billy-Bob, let’s just kill something!” And they all chant together like a twisted Alice’s Restaurant gone wild: “Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!” And Billy-Bob asks, “Who?” And like so much Kruge – “Kill one of the cast. I don’t care which.” – it doesn’t matter who, so long as they can piss off (or on) as many fans as possible. And so the writers get what they want: attention and an ego boosted by a franchise forever affected by their pissing contest. Tucker was not a casualty of random aliens. He was casualty of stupid writers.

  • https://www.facebook.com/bradleyshorwith bradley

    At least we can just forget most of the episode and say it was just a holodeck simulation. :P

  • Paul

    Most shows come to an end, most are cancelled.

  • BlueThunder

    Carl Sagan is obviously rolling in his grave! I wouldn’t trust Braga or that SOB Seth McFarlane with Cosmos or anything else as far as I could throw them!

  • Mike

    You think a lot of people are rolling in their graves. Less than a week ago you declared that Gene Roddenberry was rolling in his because a few fans disagree with Abrams regarding his direction for Star Trek… Now, Carl Sagan. Who is next in your grave rolling tour? Funny, though, you defend Abrams’ bastardization of Star Trek by suggesting its creator is rolling in his grave over the outcry from longtime fans… but here you claim the exact opposite… that the new blood has no chance of living up to the original creator… Funny that… I guess it just boils down to your personal tastes…. oh my… I think Mark Lenard is rolling in his grave, as that’s entirely illogical.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neville-Ross/100002343524258 Neville Ross

    The problem with Braga is that most of these so-called ‘fans’ can’t forgive him for what he supposedly did to the franchise, and are still looking to bash him or just kill him and Berman outright. To them, Voyager & Enterprise would have been amazing if it ha been like the new Battlestar Galactica, but they didn’t get that, so they act like big fat cry-babies who need their diapers changed.

    A recent diary entry on deviantArt gets right to the heart of the matter:

    Ok, so before I get a ton of annoying comments from offended fans, let’s clarify some things. This stamp is not directed at all fans. It is directed at the hardcore rabid fanatics who feel the need to bash everyone who doesn’t like the same exact shows/movies they do. Below is a better explanation.

    Every time I look up a video on Youtube about anything related to the new Star Trek movie, there never seems to be any shortage of hardcore fantards bitching and moaning about how JJ Abrams’s new movie killed the Star Trek franchise. Well, if you’re one of those people, let me put things into perspective for you.

    The studio is trying to make a profit. It’s kinda hard to do that though if all they do is pander to the fanbase of a dying franchise. When they do that it alienates the general public and they lose money big time. For instants, if you’ve never seen the TOS episode called “Space Seed” then you probably aren’t going to have a clue what is going on in “Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan”. If you’ve never seen the TNG episode called “The Best of Both Worlds” then you might be confused as to what is going on in “Star Trek: First Contact”.

    Now, maybe those two movies were not good examples to use since both were successful and both are considered to be some of the better Trek films. The target audience of most of the Star Trek movies has always been long time fans who are familiar with the series. Someone who has never seen any of the shows is not going to have a clue what is going on. With the new movie, you don’t have to have watched a single episode to understand what is going on. If anything, the new movie saved the franchise by drawing in lots of new fans.

    As for the reason they did a reboot, think about this. One of the reasons Enterprise suffered was because the writers had to backcheck +40 years of continuity to avoid anon violations. Even still, they weren’t always successful. It was a massive hassle. By making a reboot, they essentially wiped the slate clean and opened the door for all new stories. A common thing I see fans complaining about is that the new movie destroyed the old continuity. Actually, the new film is set in a alternate reality. According to Star Trek Online, the Prime Universe still exists alongside the new universe.

    So how did butthurt Trekkies ruin Star Trek, you might be asking? Here, let me explain it. See, I don’t know what it is about this particular fandom but from my personal experiences, Trekkies are the most overzealous, self-rightous bunch of pricks I’ve ever encountered on the internet. I know I’ve devoted a lot of time to bashing wolfaboos and Twitards but those are just dumbass teenagers and will eventually outgrow their immaturity. Trekkies though, are usually full grown adults behaving like 5 year olds. They fight among themselves and chase off new fans, thus pushing the franchise deeper into the hole.

    Here are some specific examples:

    I mentioned on a Youtube video that I like Enterprise and suddenly five assholes jumped all over me making all manner of personal attacks and telling me that “true Star Trek fans don’t watch Enterprise”.

    A much more common example is when I look up anything relating to the new movie, I always see assholes bashing and making personal attacks against anyone who has anything positive to say about the JJ Abrams movie.

    I also see the hardcore fan beating on the casual fans. A guy comes on and comments that he likes Star Wars and Star Trek and the next thing you know he gets flooded with crap like “Yeah well you suck cuz true Star Trek fans hate Star Wars!”

    I was looking at a Star Trek forum. I was considering joining until I saw something along the lines of this:

    New member: Hi, I saw the new movie and decided join cuz I’m interested in Star Trek now.

    Other members: The new movie is shit and if you like it you’re an idiot GTFO n00b!

    I’ve also seen fans of Voyager getting bashed by fans who think Voyager sucks.

    And as I ready stated, I’ve personally been bashed for liking Enterprise.

    Excuse me? Since when did the Star Trek fandom become an exclusive club? Since when does somebody need the approval of other fans to join? And who the fuck do you think you are telling me what “true fans” do and don’t do?

    When the hardcore fans bash one another and chase away any new fans who come along, it’s no wonder the fandom is in the shitter. Furthermore, when you people raise Hell and piss and moan every time a new Star Trek show or film comes out, it sends a message to the people making the stuff that you don’t appreciate anything they do. I’m seeing a pattern here.

    People bitched and moaned about Insurrection.

    People bitched and moaned about Nemesis.

    People bitched and moaned about Voyager.

    People bitched and moaned about Enterprise.

    I get the feeling that the producers finally got fed up and said “Fuck it! We’re not doing anymore Star Trek stuff.”

    So yeah, I blame obnoxious fantards for ruining the Star Trek franchise, not JJ Abrams, who in all likelyhood saved it from the downward spiral it has been in.

    I should also add that this “I’m better than you cuz I like (insert Star Trek show or movie here)” attitude is contradictory to the message of tolerance and understand that Star Trek promotes.

    http://f14ace.deviantart.com/art/Obnoxious-Trekkies-256238152

    And that, in a nutshell, is why the Star Trek franchise has been having problems.

  • BlueThunder

    Yes, it boils down to personal tastes. I don’t see where there is a problem in that.

  • Polaris01313-1

    Fucking A, Neville! Fucking A! What you have just described is the same thing that I and many others have thought in regards to this subject. You definitely hit the nail on the head concerning this issue. I totally concur with what you have just said 110%.

    Granted the complaining fans haven’t helped the issue, but the former staff at Paramount didn’t help matters, either. There was fault on both sides. Let’s hope that history won’t repeat itself, again, in regards to the franchise.

  • Mike

    I don’t have a problem with you having a personal opinion or personal tastes… I don’t care for your flippant way of ascribing your opinion onto people that have died. In each instance, I don’t remotely agree with what you think they’d think. For instance, Carl Sagan was always more interested in stimulating questions and seeking answers along the journey than anything else… and I think he’d probably be fine with the return of Cosmos as long as it meets that criteria… which it undoubtedly will. The other example is that you thought Gene Roddenberry would be appalled at people disliking the changes to Star Trek that JJ Abrams has made. Again, that’s your opinion, not necessarily his. He didn’t even like Rick Berman or Nick Meyer’s visions for Star Trek, particularly… he certainly had problems with each. So, to suggest he would be defending Abrams and the changes he’s made is laughable… I’m not saying what he’d do, but I’m certainly not convinced you know what he’d do, and you consistently substituting your opinion for those of dead people’s opinions gets old.

  • Mike

    Did it ever occur to you that you’re willing to accept mediocrity and that Insurrection, Nemesis, Voyager, and Enterprise all, for the most part, actually did suck? There’s a reason people have issues there, and it’s not that they just want to be contrarian. Insurrection was a horrible movie. It was boring, inconsequential, slow, immature, and tried to revert Data’s character for no apparent reason beyond them not knowing what to do with him further, which lead directly to his death in Nemesis. Nemesis was a crapfest from start to finish. Stuart Baird intentionally did not make a TNG movie. He actively made decision that were contrary to the series and what the actors believed was proper for their characters… and it shows. What was there to like? The TOS style eye highlighting? Voyager was boring and devoid of character development beyond the juvenile relationship of Paris and Torres, Janeway, the Doctor, and later, Seven… There’s a reason TOS and TNG are just about always in syndication and available wherever you are. They’re better. DS9 suffered from the fact that it needs to be seen in its entirety twice to fully be enjoyed, and a lot of people gave up on it. Enterprise was better than what a lot of people gave it credit for, but at the same time, it was also a lot worse than what the apologists suggest. The sheen on Enterprise was horrible. Sure, the last season was getting better, and it was a shame that it was cancelled then, to be sure… but we cannot assess the series on the unseen potential of additional seasons, and the material we have is mediocre, despite the promise. So, I guess what I’m saying is that just because you don’t agree, it’s not like people have these opinions just to have them… we have them because that’s how we feel and think about it. Are Star Trek fans vocal about what they think is mediocre Star Trek? Yep. And? If it weren’t for that, we’d have had a Robert Wise Star Trek II… and who the hell would’ve wanted that? I’m glad we dissented from the Motion Picture. In Star Trek there used to be the rule of the odd numbered vs. even numbered films… It’s not our fault they simply stopped making good even numbered films… If they put out a good Star Trek, it would be universally loved. Because they aren’t and you want them to doesn’t mean we’re going to become drones and just accept it as good when we know it isn’t.

  • BlueThunder

    Sounds like Braga patterned himself after Fred Freiberger.

  • BlueThunder

    Generations was pretty much a half-and-half film and just a lousy excuse to bring TOS and TNG together. Insurrection was definitely a welding of The Omega Glory and Journey’s End. Nemesis was TNG attempt of melding The Wrath Of Khan and The Undiscovered Country. DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise, like the abominations they really are, should be considered a drunken, nightmare and best left forgotten.

  • JWPlatt

    Shows like Flashforward, canceled after one season, or Lost, should be required to have a “story trust” outlining in detail the planned arc or storyline for the entire run of the series to prove they weren’t just going to make it up as they go along. It would be released to fans if the series were canceled. It should be required before or upon approval of the pilot and certainly before episodes are ordered. I would then put more trust in watching a series because then we would at least have closure sooner or later. I don’t watch new shows like JJ’s Revolution anymore because I no longer trust television, network programming, the writers, the television ratings system, and the demand for immediate results. But it doesn’t matter because I’m not a Nielson family – they are corrupt too. J. Michael Straczynski is the only person to do it right with Babylon Five. He could have provided a story trust for the entire planned length of the series.

  • TBonz

    Biggles is correct. My job is to report the news, not editorialize. The decision to have those two in the finale was indeed controversial as a perusal of the Trek boards at various websites at the time would show.

    My opinions of any of the Star Trek creators or writers is not part of the news process. It’s up to me to present the news, as objectively as possible. The readers make their own calls as to what they feel about the people involved, or the episodes.

    I’m not a coward – catch me on the board and I’ll tell you precisely what I think of something. It’s not appropriate in a news forum, however. If I do it properly, you’ll have no idea what I personally think about something, other than the occasional rare time when I slip in a bit of humor (which will probably offend some numnuts.)

  • TBonz

    He doesn’t like my news reporting. It’s not the first time he’s aimed verbal shots at me. Obviously I’ve offended him somewhere at some point, not terribly uncommon in my experience. ;) C’est La Vie.

  • TBonz

    It was controversial amongst the fanbase. That is something that is pure fact. It means that opinions (pro and con) on the inclusion of the two stirred up the fanbase. It’s not an opinion on Braga. Had I wanted to put an opinion on Braga that WAS an negative opinion, I’d have said, “the ill-thought decision,” conversely, had I wanted to give a positive opinion spin to the article, I’d have said, “the remarkable decision” or “the decision to include the beloved characters.”

    See, words can and should be precise. My decision to use “controversial” was deliberate. It implied that the decision had results beyond what was expected, without passing judgment on said decision.

  • JWPlatt

    I don’t recall any offense. We both have opinions. To blame it on an imaginary offense, casting yourself as a victim, is not worthy of your so-called objectivity. The internet allows for an exchange of opinions. Funny how that works.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    I suspect TBonz was merely trying to find some logical reason for what they perceive as repeated attacks. However, that is only my opinion.
    What is not an opinion is that the statement ” …controversially put Commander Riker and Counselor Troi in the
    finale to Star Trek: Enterprise” is not a softpedalling meant to spare anyone’s feelings; it is a neutral statement of fact. Braga’s decision to put characters from another series into the finale and reducing it to a half-ass Nexgen episode did indeed generate controversy.
    Call it a throwback to an earlier age where those that presented news at
    least made an effort to present it objectively. I seem to recall neutral statements of fact were the rule for journalism before Fox News came along. Funny how that works.

  • BlueThunder

    That’s what happens when you take on a Romulan identity, even though you go by a Vulcan name. Something for which that still doesn’t make a huge bit of sense. Then again Romulan foolishness never did make any sense period.

    Anyway, except for what he said about J.J. Abrams and his staff, JWPlatt does make some valid points about poor artistic decisions being made by people such as Braga, and the consequences of those decisions thereafter. Although I would not have equated a writer or producer putting their own mark on an entertainment francise to that of violent sexual assault, I do understand his points about the valid misuse of a franchise just to satisfy egos and the lack of something creative just to do something better.

    Putting Riker and Troi in the Enterprise finale was just as poor of an artistic decision as that of killing off Jim Kirk in a ‘less than graceful manner’ and the destruction of the Enterprise-D in Generations. The same can be said for the unnecessary creations of DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. Or even the storylines behind Insurrection and Nemesis.

    Those poor decisions on the parts of Brannon Braga, and to some extent Ronald D. Moore and Rick Berman are what put the Star Trek franchise into that long dry period in the first place. Bad choices that were even made before when Fred Freiberger took over the production of Star Trek’s third season.

    The level of objectivity that is projected by studios these days is not one of artistic quality and integrity. It’s one of financial greed and utter stupidity.

    Which is pretty messed up among other things.

  • BlueThunder

    T’Bonz goes by a Romulan identity(despite the fact that her screen name is that of a Vulcan character), so logical reasoning does not equate with that at all. Funny how that works.

  • BlueThunder

    So is the hate spewing bullshit toward Abrams. Nevertheless, I do see your point.

  • Yolanda Reid

    A crossover that Trek fans will love–free e-book at the Magrathea Library, Elementary, My Dear Spock. http://www.extemelysmart.com/magrathea/ Five stars!

  • Jacq

    I have no objection to what you’ve written here, but you wrote “for instants”. It should be “for instance”. Sorry… I’m a diehard English major… who loves Cpt. Janeway.