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Rick Berman's 'Update': Series To Be "Dramatic Departure", Shooting May 8

Posted: 06:03:15 on April 10
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: Series Five

Though the most interesting comment with regard to Series V in this interview was posted last night, here is the Series V portion in its entirety from the Star Trek Communicator Issue #132:

Rick, have you begun casting on the new series?
We've begun preliminary casting. We've had several meetings and discussions but we haven't had any formal casting sessions yet.

Are the roles set now or are you still tweaking them?
The script is pretty much locked for the two hour premiere.

Is this still a starship-based series?
That is correct.

Should I assume we'll see a male starship captain this time
That's not a bad assumption.

When will the official announcement be made for Series V?
Well, Paramount will be making an official announcement for the new series in the next several weeks and that will contain information on the setting, the time period and the general parameters of what the series is going to be about. The reason they haven't announced it yet is purely a question of deals. The question of where this series will appear has not been finalized and, until all those business elements are settled, they would like to hold off on the announcement.

Is it safe to say that this new series will have a much different look from previous Star Trek shows?
I would like to think that this show will be different in every way--a different look, a different personality, etc. It's going to be a somewhat dramatic departure, certainly from the last three series and, hopefully, a departure that is going to be appreciated by our fans.

How much does the original Star Trek series influence what you are doing today with the new series?
Very little. Having been involved with The Next Generation , Deep Space Nine and Voyager, those series obviously have greater influence on me. The original series does have an influence on me in that it is the core that set all of the precedents. We do try to keep those precedents whole to some degree and try to adhere to them. The original series is very important, but in terms of content and style I don't think it's much of an influence on any of us.

What is happening now in pre-production on Series V? I know you have Herman Zimmerman and John Eaves working on design.
Yes, that's correct. We are also finalizing the selection of a director which I hope will be done in the next day or two. We have Merri Howard back on board and we are structuring deals right now with every department head on the project. As far as a writing staff goes, we have made a couple of selections already and we are busily working to put together a fresh writing staff that will hopefully look at this as season 1 and not season 8.

Are you trying to get sets built so you can begin filming before any of the impending strikes?
Sets are already being built. We are beginning construction on one of the big soundstanges at Paramount and will be starting construction on two other soundstages as soon as Voyager wraps. Right now our target date is that we will begin shooting on May 8 with a September premiere.

Do you have a battle plan in case there is a strike
A writers strike will keep us from writing but won't keep us from producing and an actors strike will keep us from shooting but not from writing. We have to carry on as if neither strike is going to occur and we certainly are planning on getting, at least, our first two-hour episode completed before the July 1 deadline for the actors strike.

When Paramount makes the official announcement for the show I assume the title will also be revealed. Last time, you said that this show may be the first Star Trek series with Star Trek not in its name. Is that still the case?
Yes, that is still a very good possibility.

(Thanks to Matthew Klaehn at MediaTrek for scanning in the article).


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sand in our eyes
By Shanok of Vulcan () at 05:51:25 on April 11
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what is happening here is a plain, standard marketing ploy: Berman wishes to keep us guessing for a while longer about the series because, hey, as long as there are just rumours, there's free publicity ! Let them talk, he says, gently masking it with "I really wish I could tell you more but I can't". Whereas there might very well be legal non-disclosure issues, if Berman wanted to, he would spill more details.

As it is, we are left with vague statements and the only logical course of action (apart from simply waiting) is to look at patterns of consistency.

FACT: only a few of the recent Berman remarks allude that there may be a 26 century option, although you can read the same sentences in a totally different way alltogether.

FACT: the casting sheet and prequel idea are all over the place and have never been denied by anyone at Paramount, whereas they have been confirmed by good sources from different sides and unrelated to each other.

Thus, the prequel option still seems more valid than any other option.

Regarding the most ludicrous of those options: the Vulcan war: not only would this do away with roddenberry's premises (to which Berman "tries to adhere"), it would make for a far less interesting foe than the Borg or the Dominion, after the initial "hey, it's the Vulcans" shock. You just can't fill a series with that ands keep up the ratings. It would be an obvious marketing trap and Berman is way to smart for obvious marketing traps. There's a small yet subtle difference between a dramatic departure and utter destruction.

Live Long And Prosper

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Sounds Positive
By Grand Admiral Thrawn () at 17:56:51 on April 10
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These official comments from Rick are begining to put a positive spin on series 5. Atleast its begining to sound highly unlikely that it will be a Prequel or a series based on TOS. Looks to be a radicaly different future time-line. Since this concept has the most popular support, I will remain hopeful that series V may turn to be a good series actualy

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season 1
By Officer Barbrady () at 16:20:41 on April 10
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No more salt!! Please, stop with the salt!!

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Finally, something that sounds positive
By Shadow Doma () at 14:53:55 on April 10
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I must say that for the first time I like the sound of what is going on. Of course I don't put much stock in all these crazy rumors people are spreading but it does make one a little uneasy. Considering this is coming directly from the horses mouth I can tell you I am excited about what is to come.

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Hope is a dangerous thing...
By Rat Boy () at 14:23:24 on April 10
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No matter exciting this sounds, there will still be people complaining about it, denouncing B&B as the Anti-Christs, and Captain Whoever as the worst captain ever.

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Series 5 : sounds exciting
By Paul () at 08:18:36 on April 10
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For the first time in months I'm getting excited with a possible premise for the new series.

150 years in the future, compared to Voyager sounds great. It gives the writers the possibility to make some exciting changes in the Star Trek universe, without creating continuity problems for the TNG/DS9/VOY timeframe. So they would still have some manoeuvreablity for the movies or tele-movies.

I hope for one thing though, 'keep it about the characters' and don't focus to much on action and technobabble. That's the spirit it should have. Unfortunately VOY had to few of this episodes. 'Blink of an eye' was an excellent exemple of what Star Trek is about.

So I do hope that the prequel-idea is nothing more than an Internet-gossip and that the new series will be set in the 26th century.

The first glimpses on the tenth movie also sound very promising. Cloning, Spock, John Logan..... Just get a real "epic" director guys. Someone who can bring someting new to the franchise.... Riddley Scott, Nick Meyer....James Cameron.... but this last one would be a too strong personality for TPTB...

There's hope though for some beatiful Star Trek years to come.

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