Security Crackdown at Paramount?By Amy
January 6, 2001 - 3:16 PM
The entire cast of Voyager, in addition to its two executive producers, recently appeared at UPN Winter Press Tour 2001 in Pasadena, California. At the event, which was sponsored by the Television Critics Association, the actors and producers fielded questions on a variety of topics, mainly focused around the steadily drawing closer Voyager finale and the two major upcoming projects – Series V and trek X.
As per usual, both Rick Berman and Ken Biller were elusive when it came to providing anything concrete about the end of the show or, in Berman's case, Trek X and Series V, with the former producer apparently responding several times with a simple but frustrating "Not going to tell you." Berman did comment, however, that "resolving the series has a great deal more to it than just the question of, does the ship get home or not?" adding that he thinks "to compact it down to a simple question like that is unfair to what we're hoping to accomplish in the final two-hour episode." At that point, his co-producer chimed in saying that while they do have the plot for the series ending sketched out, there's still plenty of time for them to change their minds.
Interestingly enough, Berman also commented on the rather large security problem Star Trek has been handed with the steady growth of the internet, given the hunger of Trek fans for new information on the series' and movies, and the willingness of Paramount insiders to provide it. He calls the ability, particularly of 'big' episodes – finals, pilots and two-parters – and movies to have their plots revealed on the internet "extraordinary", saying that all they can really do to prevent leaks is to "try to keep the story, the concept, the script in as tight a group of people as we can and keep our fingers crossed." In the light of Kate Mulgrew's recent speculation on the possibility of multiple endings being filmed for Voyager's final episode, this suggests that there is a strong possibility of security crackdowns at Paramount to prevent leaks for important Star Trek productions. In recent times Paramount has experienced a rash of major security leaks over new Voyager episodes, from the ever-present moles and insider-info a number of the major Trek fan sites acquire on a regular basis, or what has been touted by many as an actual copy of a script for the yet-to-be-aired episode, 'Shattered' – and this at a time when many fans are complaining about the lack of news. Mulgrew's proposed dual or multiple ending makes more sense given the seemingly impossible task of keeping a complete black-out surrounding what promises to be one of the franchise's most-hyped episodes, also pointing to the strong possibility of a something critical happening in the final few minutes, such as the much-rumoured death of a main character. What effect, if any, this will have on the fan-run news sites is unknown.
During the conference, Berman also talks somewhat on the effect of the impending guild strikes, commenting that while the new series could be on the air by fall of 2001 and Star Trek X will likely come to theatres in 2002, those time frames are both largely "contingent upon impending labor strikes." He also adds some fuel to the speculation that Series V will appear on a network other than UPN, calling it ""premature" to speculate on when the new series would premiere and on what network" and also refuses to rule out the possibility of Voyager crew appearing in the new movie.
To read more, please follow the link to the original report at StarTrek.com, which contains a couple of photos. The site also promises to have a full transcript of the press conference online sometime next week.