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TrekToday - Coto Plans To Fulfill 'Enterprise''s Promise

Coto Plans To Fulfill 'Enterprise''s Promise

By Kristine
August 18, 2004 - 9:09 PM

Executive producer Manny Coto has big plans for Star Trek: Enterprise, many of which he's in the process of implementing as the show gears up for its fourth season.

Coto told TrekWeb that he plans to take Enterprise back to the basics and focus on the show as a prequel to Star Trek. "My vision is to try to fulfill what I think is Enterpriseís promise, which is to create a truly prequel series," Coto said. "And that is beginning to tie Enterprise into the overall Star Trek canon and to really use the opportunity that we have to create stories that give us a glimpse into the formation of the Star Trek universe. Thatís in a nutshell my vision for this season, in any event. And on a simply fun level to do stories that Star Trek fans would really love to see."

Though Coto's fellow co-executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga will still be involved with the show, the pair are working on other projects as well, allowing Coto to head up the writing staff. "Iím running the writing room, which is generating the stories," Coto said. "Rick and Brannon are functioning as Rick did in the first three years of the show, which is approving and not approving, giving notes and in a more supervisory role. Iím more generating the stories and coming up with the thrust of the season." Berman and Braga won't be generating stories for the new season, but the pair will "talking about them and helping develop them, absolutely," Coto noted.

Coto is full of plans for the new season, considering everything from high profile guest stars to ambitious mini-arcs. Coto is hoping to get William Shatner (James T. Kirk) for one of the planned arcs, which recently-hired Enterprise writers Judith Reeves Stevens and Garfield Reeves Stevens, who collaborate with Shatner on his novels, might pen.

"Theyíre actively talking with him," Coto said of the network and Shatner. "Theyíre going back and forth with numbers, I know itís a tough negotiation. I couldnít tell you whether itís going to work out or not, Iím hoping that it will. I know that there is interest from UPN and Paramount, they really want to try and make it work, but itís a tough negotiation. It [would be] later in the year."

One familiar Trek face Coto has already snapped up is Brent Spiner (Data), who will play Arik Soong, the ancestor of Dr. Noonien Soong, Data's creator, in a three-episode arc that is filming now. "When we found out that Brent was interested we tried to tailor it to him, and having seen the dailies heís terrific in this part," Coto commented. "For a little while I even toyed with the idea of him playing Colonel Green [from Star Trek's "The Savage Curtain"], but I think heís more interesting playing this character."

Coto also has plans for episodes focusing on the Vulcans, which Trek fans have noted are very different from the Vulcans they're familiar with in other Star Trek series. "I didnít present it in the sense of 'letís explain it,'" he said of the time when he initially broached the idea of exploring 22nd century Vulcans with Berman and Braga. "It exists, 'this is what you guys did; letís use it as a fascinating springboard to tell a terrific story arc that kind of shows the evolution of Vulcan from, kind of, where you guys started to how the Vulcans were in the original series.' So it wasnít much to say 'Iíve gotta explain what you guys did,' but letís use it. 'This is what you did, itís not going to go away, so letís use it.'"

One story Coto is planning would take Captain Archer and T'Pol to the deserts of Vulcan. "Weíre actually developing that story now and itís turning into this great, really fascinating Lawrence of Arabia tale with TíPol and Archer in the desert to go and find these Vulcans who are traitors," he said.

Coto hopes to address Jolene Blalock's (T'Pol) hopes that her character will go in a new direction in the fourth season. "By the end of this Vulcan arc she will become hopefully she will find her center as a Vulcan, and will become a Vulcan in the grand tradition of Spock and other Vulcans that we have known, and will accept the true Vulcan calling," Coto commented.

Fans can even expect the Romulans to show up again, but Coto is very conscious of the fact that continuity demands that no one learns what the Romulans look like. "No one will know what the Romulans look like. No one will know," he assured fans. "Although I donít have the whole story worked out yet because weíre still fleshing it out, but there may be a possibility of someone finding out and that person can die. There are ways to do it so that we can preserve canon, but no, no one will find out that they were Romulans."

To read the complete interview, please visit TrekWeb.

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