Berman: It Took Coto To Bring Original Series Thrill to 'Enterprise'By Michelle
December 21, 2006 - 9:16 PM
Rick Berman insists that gossip that he disliked the original Star Trek was entirely incorrect and said that while he shared executive producer Manny Coto's excitement about Enterprise, he felt that UPN was not an asset to the show - a view often expressed by that series' other writers and stars.
"There was a feeling that Enterprise was going to be a show that was a precursor to the original series, and although I’ve read a lot of depictions of both Brannon and myself ‘hating’ the original series, that could not be farther from the truth," Berman told Star Trek Magazine (via Sci Fi Pulse). "I can openly admit that I did not see all 79 episodes of the original series, or 80 if you include the various versions of the pilot, but it was something we respected and did our best to lead up to. But I think that was something that was unsettling for the fans."
Berman and Brannon Braga felt that they could give Star Trek the atmosphere of "more of a contemporary television show" by setting it closer to the present era than the original series, with "something a little different from the Roddenberry humans of the 23rd Century or even the 24th Century who were pretty flawless. From that point of view, these were the choices at the time that seemed very reasonable and I would probably do again."
However, Berman now believes that "maybe at times it became a bit too casual, and a bit too contemporary, and lost some of its science fiction flavour and some of its futuristic flavour that would make it a precursor to the original series." He said that the enthusiasm of Coto, who was a strong fan of the original series, was infectious: "He wanted to build those bridges, or at least create steps that would foreshadow some of the things that would happen in the original series. I think to the hardcore fans it was a terrific direction to go."
However, Enterprise's ratings never took off, "and the lack of interest people seemed to have in UPN didn’t help us, either. We were working on a network that, in a sense, was completely contradictory to the nature of the show. UPN had become a network of young women and girls and it was not a good marriage at that point."
The full interview with Berman is in Star Trek Magazine. Thanks to Sci Fi Pulse for the quotes.