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TrekToday - Reeves-Stevenses Describe 'Terra Prime' Development

Reeves-Stevenses Describe 'Terra Prime' Development

By Michelle
May 17, 2005 - 11:25 PM

See Also: 'Terra Prime' Episode Guide

Writers Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens explained the development of the "Demons" and "Terra Prime" arc in an exclusive audio commentary available for download to play while watching the latter episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.

StarTrek.com has posted a podcast to accompany "Terra Prime", the penultimate episode of the series, telling editorial director Tim Gaskill how the episode evolved. As with previous podcasts, the commentary is posted in Quicktime, WMA and MP3 formats. Viewers are encouraged to watch the episode on videotape or TiVo while playing the remarks by the writers.

The Reeves-Stevenses identified themselves as Judy and Gar and often finished one another's sentences, perhaps giving insight into their working process. They explained that the Paramount Theater was used as the Starfleet conference center, as it would have been too expensive to build a new set for the alien delegations. Money was also a consideration in deciding which aliens would attempt to found the Federation: "Manny was hoping to have the little copper-skinned aliens from 'Journey to Babel' but that was pushing the lines for expenses," Gar explained.

The couple changed some of the dialogue after seeing dailies of Peter Weller as Paxton in "Demons" and also did some rewriting when one of the Andorians - originally intended to be Shran - had to be changed once it was revealed that actor Jeffrey Combs would play the character in the series finale "These Are the Voyages..."

Because the episode is the second of two parts, the writers agreed, more revisions were necessary than might have been otherwise. The opening sequence was altered repeatedly because the ending of "Demons" kept changing and they had to keep up. The biggest development, said Gar, was the need for "a ticking clock for this episode", the 24-hour threat that sets the pace, and once they came to this conclusion they had to ask Manny Coto to incorporate it into the "Demons" script as well.

"There's a lot of back and forth when you're doing more than one episode, and it can get fairly exciting," laughed Judy, who revealed that one of the twin babies playing Tucker and T'Pol's daughter Elizabeth was actually a boy.

Gar explained that Coto had wanted an enormous installation on Mars that could threaten Earth, and had originally thought of lasers. "But we came up with verterons, because faster than the speed of light, they were an instant threat. If you fired a laser from Mars, it would take many minutes to get to Earth."

The pair also shared some of the lines they wrote for Paxton's monologue, some of which were unheard in the background as characters talked on the Enterprise bridge while Paxton made his speech on the viewscreen. "So for the next 24 hours, we guarantee safe passage to all aliens leaving our solar system," recited Judy. "As long as non-humans keep to their own worlds and breed with their own kind, we'll have no quarrel with them." She said they did not know how many of the background lines would be heard in the episode, so they wrote them as if they would all be comprehensible.

The commentary may be downloaded at StarTrek.com. Those with a podcast application may subscribe to the official site's podcast feed here.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.