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Braga Seeks To Reinvent Trek With 'Enterprise'

By Caillan
August 20, 2001 - 10:02 AM

'TV Guide' cover photo - courtesy TV Guide, copyright TV Guide/Paramount Pictures

Brannon Braga doesn't deny that the Trek franchise needs a new image for the twenty-first century - in fact, that's exactly what he set out to create with the latest series, Enterprise.

"There's part of me that thinks Paramount should fire and replace me," Braga told TV Guide's Michael Logan. "But I think Rick [Berman] and I are the perfect guys to deconstruct and reconceive Star Trek, because we know exactly what the problems and frustrations have been all these years."

Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer), the latest (or the first, depending on your point of view) in the long line of Trek captains, thinks that the strategy will pay off. "People are wondering if Berman and Paramount should have waited a while - maybe laid low for a year - before doing another spinoff, but I'm sensing a groundswell of excitement," he said. "I think the fans are very ready to reenlist."

The sentiment is shared by media analyst Steve Sternberg of TN Media. "The Star Trek fans know their stuff, so it's better that Enterprise be done by people who really know Trek history," he said. "Besides, I think [Berman and Braga] will be reinvigorated by the new premise." Sternberg added that a one-year break from Trek "might have been a good idea, but UPN really needs a successful new show. And I think they have one with Enterprise, because people will look at it as a new sci-fi show rather than another Trek show."

This is certainly something that Berman and Braga were aiming for. "Hopefully the people who've been put off by the enormity of the Trek backstory will check us out," Braga said, "because you don't have to know anything about Trek to watch this one." According to the producer, even the 'Star Trek' brand name has been dropped to create "a bit of a postmodern vibe."

Despite this, the TV Guide story featured evidence that Trek's backstory will still be respected in Enterprise. The article featured a photo of the masks used for the Axanar, a race of aliens seen in the second episode of the series. This race was mentioned in Original Series episodes such as 'Whom Gods Destroy' and 'Court Martial,' where Kirk was said to have been awarded with the Palm Leaf of Axanar.

Finally, in keeping with the attempt to present a more 'out there' look at the cosmos, TV guide revealed that one of the male crew is set to become pregnant. Connor Trinneer (Charlie Tucker) said that his character would experience the "first human male pregnancy" in an episode that he described as "very funny."

Current franchise head Rick Berman also talked briefly to TV Guide about the next Trek feature film, which he expects to start shooting in October.

Berman confirmed that the film will feature "a race that we've never seen before," namely the Remans, from the Romulan sister planet. The film is touted to have an exciting climax, according to the producer, who said that "there is a major surprise at the end."

Currently, Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard) and Brent Spiner (Data) are the only actors to have signed onto the project, Berman said. He debunked the rumour that Sean Connery had ever had a role in the film, though he added that he'd happily write that in if Connery would be interested.

Although Paramount had not yet greenlighted the film, Berman expected shooting to begin in October, with a possible August or Thanksgiving 2002 release.

The rest of the TV Guide Online article, which also includes an exclusive first look at the NX-01 sickbay, can be found here. The complete Enterprise feature can be found in this week's edition of TV Guide, on sale today. Thanks go out to TrekWeb for the additional information!

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