21:26:12 on December 21 2001
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By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: Enterprise | www.stenterprise.com
Rick Berman's latest "Star Trek Update" with the Star Trek Communicator has just been published in issue #136, a special issue dedicated to the 35th Anniversary of STAR TREK as well as the new Director's Edition of THE MOTION PICTURE (find the TMP poster on the cover).
In the interview, conducted roughly two months ago, Berman expresses pleasure with the ratings success of ENTERPRISE to that point: "When the people from the network and the studio call me elated about the numbers, I know that we're doing something right." He also says "we have a lot more viewers than VOYAGER had in its last few years... hopefully we ar egoing to hold onto them and the numbers will continue to grow."
Berman says there are no major changes to the show in store, saying he's happy with everything as it is, from actors to characters, and that all of the characters will have interesting backstories developed over the course of the show. "There is a show that Brannon [Braga, co-creator/exec. producer] and I are working on right now which is a strong episode for Trip and Reed and I think will bond those two characters together," he says of the episode "Shuttlepod One" that finds the two spending time isolated together.
The chief exec also talks at length about the decision to use the pop song "Faith of the Heart" as the show's theme song, saying the decision was rooted in the desire to break from previous TREK series and the lyrics' appropriateness to the ENTERPRISE premise. "The fact that it had been recorded before didn't concern me... I think people will come to enjoy it."
On the STAR TREK X front, Berman confirms several long-time rumors about the movie, offering what might be the correct spelling of the Romulan sister species as "Remuns", even though the script spells it "Remans." He says that "there is the possibility of a lot of cameos," as has been confirmed in recent weeks, even leaving the possibility of a Janeway appearance open. Berman does say that despite recent rumors to the contrary, the NEMESIS budget is what he describes as "tighter than on previous films... We know how to make $75 million movies for $65 million." But he stops short of offering any official budgetary figure ($80 million was one recently rumored number).
Speaking highly yet again of director Stuart Baird, who spent two months in pre-production, and screenwriter John Logan, Berman confirms that while NEMESIS is the current title, Paramount marketing could change it at any time.
He concludes with comments about the film's only major location shooting, saying it would span 7-days at the beginning of the shoot (it has now been completed). Berman reveals "It's the biggest and most exciting adventure sequence that we've ever done. It's filled with four-wheel vehicles [TrekWeb has learned, btw, that the vehicles resembles regular dune-style buggies with Starfleet emblems on them -ed.] and lots and lots of surprises. There is a big battle scene on a planet called Kolaris. It's a big action-packed and funny opening."
NEMESIS is tentatively slated for a Thanksgiving 2002 release, making it one of the longest production and post-production schedules for any modern TREK film.
This issue of the Communicator also features interviews with Jeff Combs and Brannon Braga about ENTERPRISE's "The Andorian Incident," as well as an extensive feature on the new ST:TMP Director's Edition. Additionally, it also includes an interview with ENTERPRISE designers Doug Drexler and John Eaves about designing the Enterprise NX-01. The feature includes several diagrams of the newest TREK starship and Drexler reveals one major inspiration for the ship's design to be the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. He also says the design contains several homages to the TOS-era Enterprise that he hopes the fans will enjoy discovering.
Interestingly, the issue includes a never-before seen concept drawing for a new "retro" version of the Klingon battlecruiser [apologies for the rough scan to the left; (getting real scanner for Christmas) -ed.]. Designed with less detail than the TMP-era Klingon vessel, Eaves explains how he tried to make the design -- which, despite the appearance of a Klingon battle cruiser in the episode "Unexpected", has yet to make it on screen -- smoother to indicate it's "retro" look. "I took the old battlecruiser and took it back in time to the point where it's kind of held together by wires, kind of the like the Golden Gate bridge technology. That long neck I thoght at that time might be unstable, so I got kind of three-piece pipe neck with heavy cables attached to the ship... I didn't want framework because you see that so much; so I went with cables... I just turned in the first pass on that and I'm waiting to see about it."
Eaves also discusses making the skin of the retro Klingon ship different from the TMP and later versions of the design: "It almost seems like that [the detailed version] would have come before the smooth design -- if you think about the whole series of the TV shows and movies, you'd think that the really heavy detail look would be PRIOR to the smooth look (of the 60's TV show ships). I tried to keep it smooth but segment the pieces so they're definite -- this wing is a piece and this engine strut is a piece -- as opposed to coming up with detail lines that went across the top."
Continuing, he says, "You see where this section is attached to that section and you see how these cables are designed to hold the piece together so it won't break off. So without going too heavy on the line work I changed the look of the engines and the way they work so it looks more industrial and there ar emore exposed pieces which you could easily cowl over later and you'd have the TV version."
For the complete versions of all these interviews, and more details sketches of Eaves' retro Klingon battlecruiser, purchase issue 136 of the Star Trek Communicator at your nearest newsstand!
See Also: STENTERPRISE.com Mission Logs