Braga: We Know Where We Went Wrong

By Lisa
September 13, 2001 - 10:34 PM

Just a couple of weeks from the premier of Enterprise, Brannon Braga has a message for the critics.

"We know the mistakes that we've made in the past, and we know what has worked and not worked," he told UK SFX magazine (via the Great Link). "The problems we had were usually lacklustre character dynamics, cheesy stories, cheesy-looking aliens, some kind of a tired feeling at times of certain elements. On the flip-side, we'll have brand new problems, but at least they will be the brand new problems versus old problems."

Asked whether he was excited by the new show, Braga's response was an enthusiastic yes. "Are you kidding? You'd better believe it. I needed something new, something fresh. As a writer, I don't think that I could have written one more line of dialogue for Voyager. I really had just about had it with the 24th Century. One thing I'm finding here after having written ['Broken Bow'] plus 4 other episodes is that I do feel that I'm writing a different television show."

"Actually, Rick Berman and I were heavily influenced by [successful dramas like 'The West Wing' and 'The Sopranos'] We watch television too. Week after week we would watch shows like The Sopranos and we'd say 'Wouldn't it be great if we could just write people without having to worry about that somewhat stylised, neutral way of talking?' We were really pining to write characters like that. This concept allows us to really start writing more naturalistic characters."

He also spoke about the new enemy to be seen on screens, the Suliban. "The Suliban are interesting creatures in that they're very much like humans, but they've taken evolution into their own hands," he said. "They've acquired super-advanced bio-engineering techniques, where they can basically re-arrange their DNA to do anything. More importantly, through, they're getting this technology from the distant future. They've made a deal with the Devil from some faction from the distant future, and they're essentially soldiers fighting some sort of temporal cold war. Somewhere in the distant future there are different factions on different temporal cold war fronts and different centuries. One of these fronts, obviously, is the 22nd Century. We won't for a very long time know who or why this is going on. We see this as an ongoing mysterious element for the show that we will revisit from time to time."

This will apparently lead up to something new for the Star Trek Universe. "What it gives us in a TV show that is a prequel and is also, to some small degree, a sequel, is that you're going to see elements of Star Trek that haven't happened yet versus elements that happened a long time ago," Braga explained. "I can't explain it further because I haven't quite developed it yet. All I can tell you is that something is going on in the very distant future of the Star Trek universe that is affecting what's going on in the prequel universe."

Such complexity will require careful planning. "We just don't want to plop it out all at once, but we will certainly hope to tantalise the audience. It will hopefully be the best of what The X-Files had to offer in that it will be something that provokes discussion."

More from Brannon Braga, including his thoughts on the ship design, Captain Archer and Scott Bakula, and developing the series, can be found in the latest edition of SFX Magazine on sale now in the United Kingdom. Alternatively, a transcript of the interview can be found here at the Great Link.

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