22:57:14 on November 06 2001
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: Enterprise | www.stenterprise.com
ENTERPRISE writer Andre Bormanis joined TrekWeb for an online chat last night. He talked all about the show including upcoming episodes. If you missed the event, the full transcript is below!
Welcome to TrekWeb's live chat with ENTERPRISE writer Andre Bormanis!
Stay tuned for the winners of TrekWeb's 5th Anniversary NX-01 Hat Giveaway following the chat.
This chat is Copyright (C) 2001 TrekWeb.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission please.
Welcome Andre (and sorry for the tech problems), thanks for joining us tonight! Would you like to make any opening remarks before we begin with questions?
Thanks for inviting me to this chat. I'm looking forward to everyone's questions.
Ok then, shall we begin?
Can you tell us to what degree you have input in most ENT stories as a staff writer, and whether you will personally write any stories or teleplays soon? Also are you doubling as science consultant on ENT?
Most of the staff writers contribute something to each show, from the development
of the story to the writing of the script. I still help with the science
on the show; for example, I worked quite a bit on the comet stuff
in tomorrow night's episode. The first script that I wrote largely on
my own will air early next year: Silent Enemy. But like any script,
I got a lot of guidance and ideas from the rest of the staff,
particularly Brannon Braga, our "show runner."
I guess I should type "*" when I'm done. * :)
So will you have full teleplay credit on "Silent Enemy" then?
Capt. Mike asks: Since this is only 150 years into the future, will religion be discussed and shown being a part of the crew's lives? DS9 showed that spiritual beliefs in a higher power is alive and well in the 24th century.
You'll see an episode in a few weeks, "Cold Front," that features a group of alien pilgrims on
a spiritual quest. I don't know that spiritual themes will
be developed on Enterprise to the extent they were
on DS9, but they will crop up from time to time.*
"Cold Front" will also feature the return of the Suliban villain Silik and some further development of the Temporal Cold War storyline, correct?
That's right. Something else that distinguished Enterprise
from other Treks is that a concept like time travel is a real
"mind blower" for Archer and company. They think of it as science
fiction, whereas it was established fact in all the other series.*
Thrax asks: Hi. Can we expect a strong story arc to last the run, ala DS9 and the Dominion, in the new
I think the temporal cold war will be a continuing saga for
the series, and the relationship between humans and Vulcans will
probably evolve -- that will be an interesting arc, I think.*
TrekWeb asks: We recently learned that Jeff Combs and the Andorians will return in "Shadow of P'Jem."
Can you give us any more tidbits about this episode and comment on what appears to be the development
of a recurring plotline involving the Andorians, who we know are one of the founding worlds of the
The Andorians were such great characters, you can count on
seeing them again. As far as how our relationship
with them will change in the future, that's something
that we'll discover as we continue writing new epsiodes
for these characters.*
Greg Limardi asks: Would you ever consider using the events in First Contact as a point of historical
divergence, to explain some continutiy problems? For example, the reason the Enterprise looks like it
does, and in fact has the name Enterprise is because of Cocrane's experience in First Contact.
We're trying as best we can to maintain series continuity.
It's hard, afger 600 episodes of Trek, to stay on top of it all.
Plus, there were a number of continuity errors in the original series.
The time frame, for example, wasn't established as the 22nd
sorry 23rd! -- century until late in the first season.
But we do want to stay true to the general flow of events
established in the other shows and movies...*
Dan Heim asks: I've always enjoyed the inter-series cameos, like Bones' visit to the ship in the first
episode of ST:TNG. What I'd really like to see on Enterprise is a "cameo" by a young Kirk (if it fits
the timeline), done by computer animation from existing clips of the younger Shatner. After seeing
Shrek I know this could be done.
It could be done, and we might someday consider doing that.
Right now I think we want to establish these characters on their own,
give the audience a chace to get to know them independent
of other established characters.*
Shane asks: Why can't T'Pol wear a uniform like the rest of the crew? To me its a turn off to watch
her prance around in a catsuit. When will we females get a chance to see a GUY prance around in
boxers-half naked for a full 7 seasons? If she's apart of the crew, I think she should wear the same
thing as the rest of the crew, or at least a Vulcan equivalent.
You raise a valid point. Right now we want to make it clear
that T'Pol is part of the crew, but also separate; you'll notice that
Phlox doesn't wear a uniform either -- he's also an outsider. Clearly T'Pol's
costume is intended to suggest a rather mysterious and sensual
woman, someone who the audience will immediately recognize
as a different kind of character.*
The_Tom asks: Playing around with the conventional idea of a narrative has been somewhat in vogue
lately: Films like Memento have been well-recieved, and The X-Files has done quite a few episodes that
break from the standard mould of telling a story. Might part of the "reinvigoration" of the franchise
promised in Enterprise mean seeing not only a fresh universe in which the characters interact, but
also some innovative and radical ways of framing a stories?
We're going to be doing some experiementing, going against
convention from time to time. For example, not every epsiode
needs to have a tidy little "tag" at the end that sums up the
message of the show. As for something more radical, like
Memento, it really depends on the story. If that kind of structure
best serves the story, then that's the structure we'll use.
Utlimately the structure should serve the story, not vice-versa.*
Peter Mantzioros asks: Hi there, I would like to know when and if Star Trek will lift the ban on
allowing outside potential writers to submit spec scripts like on previous series?
I'm not sure if a decision has been made on that. We're not
taking spec submissions this season, but I haven't heard
if that will be true next season.*
Bill asks: After the episode 'Unexpected', I was suprised to see a 23rd century Klingon Battlecruiser.
Are you guys telling us that design now predates back to the 22nd century? I would have thought you'd
design something similar to the Enterprise.
I think what we're suggesting is that Klingon technology
evolves pretty slowly. It's not unlike Russian rocket technology:
their Soyuz capsules really haven't changed all that much in
35 years or so. I think the Klingon attitude is, if the design that works
why change it?*
Berserker asks: Can you give us any info (plot, credits, etc.) about the episode "Sleeping Dogs"?
It starts shooting next week, but I probably shouldn't share any
details; sorry. But it's going to be a VERY fun episode!*
CaptainPike asks: Will we see nods to TOS such as the Valiant heading to deep space, where they'll
eventually face destruction in "Where No Man..." or the Horizon's contamination of the Sigma Iotians,
or run into the Tellarites?
I think we'll layer in references to other ships and species
on a pretty regular basis. Look for a fun Malurian reference in
an upcoming episode...*
Salvador Nogueira asks: With your extensive experience as science consultant, how is the balance
achieved between science fact and fiction in each story, and who determines which predominates in a
specific episode? Could you tell us a little bit about how science is being treated in Enterprise, and
how different is this approach from the one used in previous series?
In a nutshell, the science has to serve the story. We went out
of our way to get the science right in this week's episode,
and it really helped the story. Since this show takes place in an
earlier era, we want to keep the science closer to today's science
and so you won't see as much in the way of "spatial anomalies"
and so forth. On the other hand, Enterprise is science fiction,
so we do feel free to invent new phenomena and theories once
in a while.*
Cecil L asks: In the opening credits Amelia Earhart is shown (brief flash) standing next to an
aircraft. My guess is that the plane is a Lockheed Vega not the Electra in which she attempted the
round-the-world flight. Can your confirm this?
I think you know more about it than me! It probably is newsreel
footage from a few years before her ill-fated last flight.*
SteveKrutzler Mission Logs
DomenicV asks: Will the writers draw from the many books and articles written about the period from
2061 to the 23rd century as templates for stories? It seems that this would be a vast source of ideas
If you look at the Star Trek Chronology, you'll see that there
really isn't a lot of information on the late 22nd, through early 23rd
centuries. But we can certainly do some extrapolating, and
we spend a fair amount of time looking at books like
the Chronolgy to see if we might find interesting directions for
stories that build on established elements from the Trek universe.*
Can you tell us when you were brought into the development of the series and what role you may have played in those stages? Any interesting stories? ;-)
I came in not long before we started shooting the pilot. I had a
few ideas about stories, and some thoughts on how the technology
of Enterprise NX-01 would be more basic than future ships. I've always felt
it was important to keep reminding the audience that our
sensors are not quite as capable as those on future ships, our
medical facilities not as advanced, and so forth. This crew is
a group of pioneers, and exploring deep space is an even
riskier and more difficult business for them than it was (will be)
for Kirk and later crews.*
Along those lines, what are the current plans for use of the Universal Translator and Hoshi Sato? In "The Andorian Incident" it seemed as easy to communicate with a new alien race as in previous TREKs...
We want to make it clear that alien languages are truly alien,
but some are easier to translate than others. It's a little tricky
sometimes from a story-telling standpoint to constantly
have to translate everything that's being said by an alien.
Our communicators have built-in UT's, and it seems clear
that they had no trouble locking-on to the Andorian language.
I would expect non-humanoid species to generally be harder
to deal with.*
Narrative economy is certainly a good point. Perhaps one of the cinematic departures alluded to earlier might be a usage of the UT wherein we "hear" Archer's perspective of an alien speaking, and then Hoshi's perspective as she "decodes it" with her superb mental abilities. Thoughts?
That could be fun to see. One of the things people sometimes \
wonder about the UT is whether the voices of the aliens
come out of the communicators. Technology exists today that
could "throw" a voice coming from a loudspeaker into the mouth
of the person speaking, so that from your perspective, it sounds
like the aliens themselves are speaking the translated language.*
Face to face communication not through the communicator device is translated via an ear-implanted UT, correct? An explicit usage of this in ENT might be interesting.
I'm not sure we've established the ear-implanted UT on this series
although I believe that was done on DS9...*
The_Tom asks: Fairly dry question here, Andre. Can you give us some upcoming titles (beyond "Sleeping
Dogs")? As of today, what's just been finished? What's being shot?
Most of the titles on the latest scripts are considered tentative
until we are close to finishing the shoot. We're currently filming episode
14, if you count the pilot as 1 and 2, and we'll do a total of 26
this season. The episode that's currently shooting is called "Shadows of P'jem.*
Siobhan asks: Hi, Andre. Do you know if Hoshi Sato and Travis Mayweather will get any "A" storylines this season?
Hoshi was prominently featured in "Fight or Flight"... Travis is a big part
of a story that should air in a few weeks. We have a great cast on this
show, and we plan to give all of them a lot to do...*
Golf464 asks: The show Broken Bow in the beginning when the statement was made about the beginning of
starfleet. Was the meaning of the statement having to do with changing the name from UESPA / UESN to
starFleet? Or is it a new organization altogether started with the help of the vulcans?
I think Starfleet is an organization that was started on Earth,
without the help of the Vulcans. UESPA and UESN are probably larger
"umbrella" organizations that include Starfleet as one element.*
Bucky asks: Continuity is probably the biggest monkey on the back of the writers of ENTERPRISE when it
comes to dealing with the hardcore fans. There's also a few biggies commin up: basically in TREK
continuity there is supposed to be a Romulan/Human war down the line. How do the writers decide which
aspects to pay attention too and which ones to disregard?
It really depends on where we can find good stories.
If we can find a good story that involves some aspect of the
Earth / Romulan war, we'll go with it. If not, I think there's enough
flexibility in the timeline to suggest that it happened just after Enterprise's
mission. I think the next question will have to be my last.*
covetom asks: Do you find being closer to contemporary times makes it easier or harder to be
scientifically accurate in the writing of Enterprise? While you would have more frames of references
in that current technology is closer, you also cannot take the same liberties you can with technology
that is so far off.
I think for the most part, it's easier. We can be more grounded in
our science, keep it more focused on the geology of alien planets,
the biology of alien life forms. The "science" I always find hardest
is the weird "anomaly" stuff...*
Thanks Andre for joining us tonight! We sincerely hope that you will be able to join us again soon to
And we'll all look for your first teleplay, "Silent Enemy"
I hope so. Thank you, and I hope all of you continue to enjoy the show!*
And now here are the winners of the TrekWeb 5th Anniversary NX-01 Hat Giveaway!
Andrew Rayfield of Austalia
Stephen Liddell of England
Chrisopher Sheehy of Massachussetts
Allen Shane Ditty
Thanks to the Star Trek: Communicator for providing the hats! And don't miss TrekWeb's William Shatner
interview and Q&A, to be posted next week. You can submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This chat is Copyright (C) 2001 TrekWeb.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.
See Also: STENTERPRISE.com