Berman Reflects on 'The Next Generation'By Michelle
March 25, 2006 - 3:52 PM
Executive producer Rick Berman described how he left work as a studio executive to work alongside Gene Roddenberry in the early stages of development of Star Trek: The Next Generation, saying that he wished the series had been on a broadcast network so that it would have received the acclaim the cast and crew deserved.
In part of an ongoing series of interviews with Star Trek Magazine (via Sci Fi Pulse), Berman explained that after working as a film editor, writer and producer, he became an executive at Paramount and was sent to meet with Roddenberry, whom Berman said "was known as being kind of curmudgeonly and somewhat difficult to deal with from the studio’s point of view." At the first meeting, he and Roddenberry got along very well, leading to a query by Roddenberry's attorney about whether Berman would be interested in leaving work as an executive to produce the new Star Trek series.
"I had been an executive for about a year and I was not really enjoying it," Berman admitted. "The thought of getting back into production was something that I was really hungry for." He accepted and eventually became the showrunner, then the man spearheading the Star Trek franchise.
However, he added, there were a couple of unsung heroes whom he credited as a strong influence on him and on the revival series. "One of those people was definitely Bob Justman, who came in and helped set up this incredible piece of machinery...he was sort of the sole survivor of the original series," Berman recalled. Another influence was Peter Lauritson, who ran post-production, "often doing two shows at once...for at least seven years, and the movies." Berman called Lauritson's command of the editing and sound "just remarkable."
As successsful as The Next Generation became in syndication, Berman said that he wishes now they had been on a network. "I don’t think the show ever got the chance to be recognised and be awarded in a way it deserved to be," he explained. "We had some remarkable actors who should have gotten all kinds of nominations and they never did because there was a certain lack of seriousness paid to television shows that were in syndication."
The full interview with Berman is in issue 126 of the UK's Star Trek Magazine. These excerpts are from Sci Fi Pulse.