Coto Discusses Season Five Plans

By Michelle
February 24, 2005 - 5:23 PM

"I don't for a moment believe Star Trek needs a break. In fact I think we need more Star Trek," executive producer Manny Coto said during a Q&A last night in which he discussed fan efforts to save Enterprise and his own wishes for the next incarnation of the franchise. "I would be happy to be doing Star Trek for the rest of my life."

The TrekUnited-hosted chat, which was posted in full by a administrator at the TrekBBS, included Coto's plans for a fifth season, which he said would include the founding of the first starbase, a visit to Phlox's home planet of Denobula and a more complete look at the founding of the United Federation of Planets. He also imagined revisiting the Mirror universe, "almost a series within a series", as well as a multi-episode arc set in the city of Stratos from the original series' "The Cloud Minders."

Coto added that he felt enough had been said about the Temporal Cold War - "I felt a heavy reliance on time travel at the beginning of Enterprise" - but was hoping to address the issue of time travel again in a fifth season. He declined to identify the mysterious shadowy being from the Suliban arc, nicknamed "Future Guy", in case the storyline should be picked up again. Perhaps his biggest bombshell in terms of the future of Enterprise was his statement that if the series continued, he wanted to get Shran onto the Enterprise crew.

Though he said he would not really advise another prequel, Coto said that he would be interested in exploring the period during the Star Trek feature films after the original Enterprise's five-year mission has ended, which would presumably explore the developments and changes between the first Star Trek series and The Next Generation. "However, I'd recommend for the next series going to the 25th century because I feel that Star Trek should move forward," he added.

On the subject of whether Star Trek needs a break, the exec said that he believes there is still an audience for the show, as evidenced by the efforts to keep it on the air and by the fact that ratings are likely underreported since fans download and TiVO episodes as well as watching them when they air. The problem, he noted, "has to do with promotion...I don't know how many times people have told me when I tell them that I'm working on Star Trek, their response is, 'Is that still on?' Many people don't know we are here." He advised fans working to save the series to "make as much noise as possible!"

Echoing Jolene Blalock (T'Pol), who said in a recent interview at Coast to Coast that the on-set mood is gloomy, Coto said that the staff of Enterprise were "understandably let down by the news" of the cancellation and feel validated by the fan efforts to save the series. "We are constantly talking about it and asking how it's going," he revealed. "As for what's happening inside Paramount or UPN, I couldn't say, but I imagine it isn't going unnoticed. We have the full page ad from the L.A. Times in my campaigns have succeeded in the past and they will again in the future."

Like Rick Berman, who has said he thought it would be financially impossible to put Enterprise on another network (story), Coto said he thought monetary considerations would make a move difficult. "I think the obvious choice [for a new venue] is the Sci-Fi Channel. But the Sci-Fi channel doesn't have a great deal of money and we would need to retool the budget...part of me wishes we could just stay on UPN; with more support from UPN we would be fine."

For more, including Coto's wish for a gay character, hope to do a reboot of Babylon 5 and revelation of which of his fellow execs he would save from drowning, see the full chat at the TrekBBS or visit TrekUnited.

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