Probert Talks TNG FrustrationsBy Caillan
July 23, 2001 - 11:19 AM
The man who designed the look of the Federation flagship on The Next Generation, Andrew Probert, left the series after its first season because of creative frustration.
Initially, Probert enjoyed working on the series, because of the vision of creator Gene Roddenberry. "While Gene was in charge, he and I got along very well," he told Salvador Nogueira at Trek Brasilis. "We understood each other. And I liked him because of his creation of Star Trek, and he fully understood exactly where he wanted his show to go. Yet he was fully opened to any ideas that we threw at him, and he would talk about that, and he talked about it intelligently."
However, the designer didn't feel the same way about Rick Berman, Roddenberry's successor. "When Rick Berman took over the show, half way through the first season, every time we showed him a design concept, his constant response was, 'no, we can't do that, because it reminds me of something that I've seen somewhere', or 'it looks like a shaver', or 'it looks like something I've seen in a furniture store'."
On the subject of the next series, Enterprise, Probert feared that the designs have also been scaled back creatively. "I've seen a lot of great concepts, by Doug Drexler and a few of the other illustrators that they have working on the projects, all by the way in favor of much more controlled concepts," he said. "My experience with Rick Berman is, you know, he does not understand what he's doing, he does not understand science fiction."