Coto Dreams of Cloud City, 25th Century Future For TrekBy Michelle
June 9, 2005 - 7:53 PM
"If we had gotten a fifth season, it would have been about the real meat of the Federation being founded," Star Trek: Enterprise executive producer Manny Coto revealed in a recent interview, saying that the series would have picked up where the events of "Demons" and "Terra Prime" left off to show the United Federation of Planets becoming a reality.
"We would have found new members to join the Federation and watched it come together in a series of episodes that would have spanned the entire season," Coto told >Star Trek Magazine (via Sci Fi Pulse). One of his unfulfilled goals for the fourth season was to return to Cloud City on Ardana from the original series episode "The Cloud Minders", and that visit "probably would have been the opener to Season Five. It breaks my heart...we just ran out of episodes!"
Though Coto has been credited by many long-time fans with returning Star Trek to its roots and making reference to many elements from the original series, he suggested that relying too much on formula may have been what doomed Enterprise in the ratings. "Star Trek has been around for 18 years in this incarnation and it's the same old [format] - we're on the Bridge, here's the captain and the same kind of crew composition and interactions," he noted. "When something fresher comes along like the new Battlestar Galactica, I can see the urge to tune in and see what else is new out there."
As an aside, Coto was asked about whether he thought that the original series should be remade the way Galactica has been, an idea recently proposed by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski (story). "There's no doubt a re-imagining of the Original series would be fun, but it would close you off to a number of possibilities, and unnecessarily so," insisted Coto. "I would argue that the best thing would be to go to the 25th Century. I would go foreward, and leave it open ended."
"I would actually be very open to working on Star Trek again, if that ever became an option. I've had a blast!" he added. "Star Trek is the show that formed me as a lover of science fiction. So I don't regret working on Star Trek for a moment."
Coto reiterated his feeling that the penultimate episodes, "Demons" and "Terra Prime", constitute the real finale of Enterprise, though he added that the series really had two endings with "These Are the Voyages..." as well. For him, season four began with "Home", exploring the xenophobia faced by Dr. Phlox and other aliens, so he finds it ironic that these events, which later led to those in "Demons", were taken ultimately with the beginning of a United Federation Of Planets.