Braga On Alien Nazis And Xindi FalloutBy Michelle
September 29, 2004 - 9:48 PM
Star Trek: Enterprise executive producer Brannon Braga promised that the show will not put Earth in jeopardy this season but joked that fans should not sing "Ding Dong, the witch is dead" because of his stated plans to scale back his role in hands-on production.
Speaking to the October/November issue of Star Trek Magazine (via his official web site), Braga spoke of his plans for next season, including a number of mini-arcs and an overarching thread for the season that "will probably culminate in the formation of the Federation. I don't know exactly how...but it's really time to usher in the birth of modern-day Star Trek and see how Archer and the gang were involved in that."
At the end of the Xindi arc, said Braga, the production staff always knew that Enterprise would save Earth, and joked that they wanted "some twist where the crew gets home and giant cockroaches are ruling the Earth." Then they decided that they wanted to do something other than a predictable ending or a Xindi cliffhanger. "We went through a lot of different scenarios about what they would find when they got back home. I can't remember who said 'Nazis,' but we just somehow ended up with Nazis. Then that didn't even feel like enough, so we decided to make them alien Nazis." That, they felt, would enable them to kick off the next season in an unexpected direction.
After the seriousness of the Xindi arc, Braga felt that "it was a radical shift in tone to something that was wacky" with the alien Nazis, who dominate the first mini-arc at the start of the new season. "What's most fun to me about these Nazi stories is that they take place in New York City," he said. "It's very entertaining, but kind of disturbing to see the optical effects of a Nazi flag draped on the White House. Take the political commentary as you will."
Braga was pleased with the development of each of the Xindi species and "the backstabbing and Shakespearean stuff that was going on" near the end of the arc. He also had particular praise for Randy Oglesby as Degra. "We knew we wanted to create an Oppenheimer-like-character who was the mastermind behind building the bomb, who was very committed to his species but wracked with guilt, just like Oppenheimer," he said. "And we found a great actor...Randy gave us more than we ever expected, so we used the character more than we thought we would."
Next season, said Braga, there will be a lot of continuity and "a lot of concepts and characters and villains that have been part of Star Trek over the years, but that haven't been explored yet or haven't been revisited in some way." These include Vulcan history and the Eugenics Wars from the time of Khan. In addition, the Temporal Cold War will be resolved once and for all, and a character will get married and stay married.
As for his own role, "I am not leaving. I am going to remain a producer on the show, but in a supervisory capacity," explained Braga. "I'm not going to do what I did in the final season of Star Trek: Voyager. I was basically a 'consultant' and didn't do anything...I'll be more involved in the development of stories and giving Manny notes and definitely keeping a hand in the production and stuff like that. But I have a lot of faith in Manny Coto to kind of grab the reins and take on the daily creative running of the show."
For more, including Braga's plans to develop a new series with Rick Berman, see the transcript from Star Trek Magazine at BrannonBraga.com.