Enterprise Universe 'A Terrifying Place'

By Lisa
July 21, 2001 - 12:40 PM

In recent years Star Trek Captains have become used to mingling with new races and the familiarity of space. According to series co-creator Brannon Braga the Enterprise Universe will be a much more unpredictable world.

"It's a very terrifying place in that everything is unknown to this crew," Braga told reporters at the Television Critics Association's Summer Press Tour, via Star Trek.com. "Earth is in much better shape than it was in the movie 'First Contact,' in that poverty, crime, disease, hunger have all been eradicated for the most part, but the Federation has not yet formed. That's a long way off. And Starfleet is very, very young and this crew has met very few alien species since the Vulcans arrived."

"You know, the Picards and even the Kirks of the world, they tended to take meeting alien races for granted," said co-creator Rick Berman. "This was their daily work. For these seven, it's a pretty spooky occasion. It's always something that's filled with awe and excitement and a little bit of trepidation and fear because they're really more like any one of us, if we were to find ourselves in a situation where we're about to run into an alien species. It would be a pretty scary thing and certainly not just a day-by-day occurrence the way it would be for a Picard or for a Janeway."

Just as the show has a new and exciting setting for the action to take place, the producers were also entering new territory. "We knew we wanted to do a show about people, humans, going out and exploring," explained Berman. "But rather than just taking another 24th-century space ship, giving it another name, throwing seven more characters onto it, we decided to go back to a period where it all began, where it was all in its infancy and where people could watch all this stuff develop, and also where our characters could be closer to contemporary characters today and thus, I think, a lot more accessible. These guys wear baseball caps sometimes and they wear jeans and sneakers and they're a lot less kind of perfect human beings than your Jean-Luc Picards."

For the cast, learning the complex Star Trek technobabble was a daunting experience. "You don't even know which word it's going to be or which phrase it might be that trips you up for half an hour, but it happens to some of us," said Connor Trinneer (Charlie Tucker). "We're three days behind because of him," Dominic Keating (Malcom Reed) interrupted. "He wouldn't know a vented plating from a —" " — from a vented port," Trinneer finished, proving that his memory for technobabble is improving.

"We are given a glossary in each script we get that breaks down and gives the appropriate pronunciation of words," explained John Billingsley (Doctor Phlox) "Sometimes it's words like 'chocolate,' though, which is a little insulting, but that's all right. I'm only kidding. That's actually extremely helpful. So you're not plunging for the dictionary all the time."

More from the Enterprise cast and producers can be found in the full transcript at the Official Star Trek site. In addition, several more features based on the press conference and subsequent party appeared online. Here is a selection:"