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'Enterprise' Producers Promise To Up The Ante

By Caillan
August 21, 2003 - 1:07 AM

See Also: 'The Xindi' Episode Guide

The Enterprise characters aren't the only people on a mission next season: executive producers Brannon Braga and Rick Berman said recently they're determined to make the show's third year stand out from the pack.

"One of the things you're going to see is some pretty radical structural stuff. We're doing stuff that we've never done," Braga told Star Trek Monthly's Ian Spelling (via Sci-Fi Pulse). "Let's set aside the obvious ones. We're beginning the season with a mission, with a continuing arc. The fans that have been screaming for more continuity are going to be in spasms of ecstasy over this, because this is a continuing storyline."

The new arc kicks off in September 10's premiere, "The Xindi", which takes place six weeks after the events of last season. But don't expect to catch up with Archer and company from the get-go. "The first episode of next season doesn't even open on Enterprise," Braga said. "It opens with the Xindi, in a very strange, mysterious place, with insectoid people."

Rick Berman said the season premiere is a "pretty complex" episode with plenty of changes, including new recurring characters, in the form of Enterprise's military contingent, the MACOs. "The tone of the first script is suggesting to everyone that we've got a tighter, more taut and, dare I use the word, edgier television series."

This attitude of 'thinking outside the box' will also apply to the principal villains, the Xindi. Three members of the 'Xindi Council' will be played by actors, including genre veteran Tucker Smallwood (story), while two will be completely computer-generated. And they probably won't be speaking English.

"Right now the thinking is that at least one of the animated Xindi characters will require subtitles, so that you can understand what they're saying," Berman said. "And it could very well end up that both of the computer animated characters, the insectoids and the aquatics, will be subtitled."

Even if some fans haven't warmed to the first two years of Enterprise, Braga said they should at least give this season a shot. "If they're interested in strange aliens, if they're interested in war-edged jeopardy, if they're interested in pushing our characters further, if they're interested in something which has more of a sense of a direction and a continuing focus, then they are going to love this. If they like weird sci-fi and special effects they're going to love this."

The full interviews with Rick Berman and Brannon Braga can be found in issue 108 of Star Trek Monthly. Alternatively, excerpts are available here and here at Sci-Fi Pulse.

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