Piller Reflects On 'Voyager'

By Caillan
February 17, 2002 - 9:35 AM

Currently busy working on his new television series The Dead Zone, former Trek writer-producer Michael Piller recently took the time to look back at one of his earlier creations - Star Trek: Voyager.

"I thought Voyager was less focused over the years but certainly had fine moments, and certainly is a proud achievement for everybody involved with it," Piller told Cinefantastique's Anna L. Kaplan (via TrekWeb).

Looking at the series as a whole, Piller was able to see both its strengths and weaknesses. "The whole idea of exploring space is a metaphor for exploring ourselves," he said. "When Voyager did that, I think it did very well. I think the Seven of Nine stories gave us some insight into humanity and the meaning of humanity that the series sorely wanted. It had its moments. But when it did the exploding spaceships and space-monsters and so forth, the problem is that that's what everybody does in science fiction. I think that reduces Star Trek to being no better and worse than other science fiction shows."

The writer stepped down as executive producer after Voyager's second season to pursue his own projects, although he stayed on as creative consultant, giving notes on the scripts. "I have always encouraged the writers to try to find the human elements, the moral and ethical dilemmas," he said. "I think there was less an appetite for that after I left. I think in a sense that there were some people who felt, again trying to explain the ratings issue, that that was an ambition that was too lofty for a broad-based audience. I disagree with that."

To read the full interview with Piller, in which he also talked about The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, pick up the latest issue of Cinefantastique, out now. Alternatively, further extracts are available here at TrekWeb.

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