Berman & Braga On Guiding 'Enterprise'By Caillan
May 21, 2002 - 5:01 PM
After Voyager, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga wanted to take the Trek franchise in a new direction, and they say they've succeeded with Enterprise.
"I think we are in extraordinary shape. Enterprise is right on target and a strong success for UPN," Berman told TV Guide (via BrannonBraga.com). "To me, the only direction that made any sense for us was backward – that is, taking Gene's [Roddenberry] idea to an even earlier time when humans weren't accustomed to space travel, when the equipment and technology were still rough around the edges, where they could wear baseball caps and be seen in their underwear. In other words, people much closer to us."
Berman and Braga have worked together closely on Enterprise, coming up with many of the storylines in the first season. At first glance, however, they may seem like an unlikely partnership.
"Brannon and I have had a varying relationship over the last 10 years," Berman acknowledged. "We started off with me being his boss's boss and ended up with me being his partner, so the dynamic has changed. Working with him on Enterprise has been the most fun I have ever had." The producer downplayed his partner's reputation as a young upstart. "When Brannon – if Brannon – was ever correctly categorized as bratty, it was a long time ago. He would hate me to say this, but he is very responsible."
Even though his style is sometimes unorthodox, Braga said he has always had the best interests of the franchise at heart. "I'm always looking for ways to turn a story on its ear, to shake up the franchise. I have been accused of being iconoclastic, of not respecting the franchise, but nothing could be further from the truth. I don't think a week, even a day, goes by when we don't stop and say we have to keep in mind what Star Trek is all about and not to stray too far."
After having Deep Space Nine and Voyager overlap for several years, Berman is determined to let Enterprise stand on its own. "One of the blessings of the last couple of years of Voyager is that we had only one Trek show on the air, and I feel the same way now," he said. "There has been so much Star Trek that we're in competition with ourselves. One new show at a time is the healthiest thing right now."
And if Paramount does commission a Series VI? "Then I guess we'll have to pull out that old Starfleet Academy script!" Braga quipped. "It doesn't exist!" Berman countered. "I can tell you in all honesty, we have never even discussed doing a series set at Starfleet Academy, much less written one."
At the end of the day, Berman said he is extraordinarily lucky to work on Star Trek. "Brannon and I have no complaints. People who leave our shows and go off to do something else always come back and say, 'I can't believe what it's like out there! Do you guys know how lucky you’ve got it?' And my answer is always, 'Yes, I do.' Even after 16 years of involvement with Star Trek, I still don't take that for granted."