Rick Berman Talks Series V DevelopmentBy Christian
June 8, 2001 - 5:24 PM
While Enterprise was only officially announced about a month ago, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga started development on the series well over two years ago. In a new interview, Berman for the first time looked back on those two years.
"I was approached by the studio asking for a new series," Berman told Dan Madsen at the Star Trek Communicator (via Voyager's Delights). "That began a process, personally, that had been in the works for awhile, something that I had been thinking about. I was not interested in just doing another Star Trek series. It had to be totally fresh and different for me. There was an idea that I felt very strongly about and I decided that the person I wanted to work with in creating this series is Brannon Braga."
Braga liked the general idea, and the two started fine-tuning the concept. "We began brainstorming, sitting across the table from each other and spending two or three hours a day, for maybe eight weeks, fine tuning the idea, the concept and conceiving what will eventually be the bible for this show. We then began to conceive this story for the two-hour premiere episode. We spent months working on it and getting the studio to support it. We then began writing the script and organizing all the elements to make it happen."
Berman said that the main obstacle for a successful series series concept was that it would need to be fresh enough that he could work on it for several years to come. Now that Enterprise apparently managed to meet this requirement, the show is indeed being prepared for a long run, with a total of three soundstages being used. At the time of the interview, Berman and Braga were just finishing the script for the first regular episode after the finale and already had a story for the next episode. In addition, a writing staff "consisting of writers brought over from Voyager and [writers] who are new to Star Trek" was already working on the next few episodes.
While Enterprise production is really picking up steam now, Berman also revealed that for a time it seemed likely the series would have started much earlier. "There was a period of time where they wanted the series to start as early as a year-and-a-half before Voyager went off the air. I think it was a good decision finally, to hold off until this fall. Of course, if we have any strikes, it will be later than the fall."
For almost as long as Enterprise was in development, internet rumours about the series also abounded. How did Berman feel about this? "I would go nuts if I took it all seriously. Sometimes I laugh it off, sometimes it is kind of upsetting when it has a negative spin to it or it has the potential to be hurtful to people here. We can't avoid seeing it but we also can't allow ourselves to take all of it seriously."
In the full interview, Berman also spoke briefly about Star Trek X, saying he and John Logan were currently doing some final polishing to the script after the second draft was well-received by Paramount, and saying they were just about to start talking about directors, locations and the budget. Pre-production is expected to start in July. Finally, he talked about his reactions to the end of Voyager and what he thought was Voyager's greatest accomplishment over the past seven years.
The interview can be found in the new June/July issue of the Star Trek Communicator, which was sent out to subscribers over the past few days. Other features in the magazine include a Voyager retrospective, an interview with René Auberjonois (Odo) and more 'Women of Trek' articles. To subscribe to the magazine for only $19.95 (33% off the cover price), please follow this link. In addition, a transcript of the interview can also be found here at Voyager's Delights.