Piller 'Had a Great Decade' With 'Star Trek'

By Michelle
May 2, 2003 - 5:54 PM

"The years with Star Trek, and my 40s, were the highlight of my life," former Star Trek executive producer Michael Piller said in a recent interview. "I had a great decade with Star Trek."

Piller told the British magazine Star Trek: Monthly (via Sci Fi Pulse) that he was a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation before he became a staff writer, claiming that he told creator Gene Roddenberry the first time they met that he could help develop the show's characters.

"He said, 'Don't worry about the science fiction...and he was right about that - although it took me a few months to learn, and it was a trial by fire," reminisced Piller.

Though he struggled with "The Roddenberry Box" — Roddenberry's rejection of stories that introduced conflicts he believed would no longer exist in the 24th century — Piller found that Roddenberry forced his staff to become more creative:

"You couldn't just find some tired old human story and do a retread. You really had to work hard to find a way to make it work in Roddenberry's universe, because it put these restrictions on you. It made us tell better, more original, unique stories."

Piller strongly disagreed with the suggestion that Deep Space Nine, which he executive produced along with Rick Berman, moved away from Roddenberry's ideals. "Deep Space Nine is at the heart of what Roddenberry is," he asserted. "It says that fundamentally there is the ability to co-exist."

Yet Piller said he thought the lack of Starfleet-Maquis conflict hurt Star Trek: Voyager, which he co-created with Berman and Jeri Taylor but left after two seasons.

Currently, Piller has his own production company and is executive producing USA's The Dead Zone, which he also co-created. For more details of the interview, including Piller's revelation of his biggest creative disappointment on The Next Generation, visit Sci Fi Pulse.

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