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First Season 3 News: Berman and Braga Penning Historic STAR TREK Musical
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PROMENADE





Posted: 06:53:58 on April 01 2003
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: Enterprise | stenterprise.com
Over the years various personalities have expressed interest in going where no one has gone before--literally, with a musical episode of STAR TREK. Patrick Stewart once said he thought the idea had merit, Robert Picardo sang on VOYAGER, and even the DS9 crew relaxed to the soothing lounge sound of 'Vic Fontaine'. Last season, UPN sister series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER won critical acclaim for its musical edition, "Once More With Feeling." According to sources speaking today with TrekWeb, ENTERPRISE producers hope a similar event can spark the series' sagging ratings as it embarks upon a new direction for the third season.

Reports indicate that the NX-01 will interact with a strange sentient lifeform, which communicates via the language of music. The non-corporeal entity will borrow a staple of the STAR TREK plot barrel and travel from crewmember to crewmember, bringing song and dance to each character in an effort to make communication. While the musical genre is traditionally characterized by song routines that seem a natural part of the narrative universe, ENTERPRISE will attempt to push the envelope by having the alien influence provide the impetus for choreographed numbers all over the ship, and the characters very much aware of the phenomenon.

Reached for comment, co-creator and executive producer Brannon Braga told TrekWeb that the episode is being penned by himself and co-creator Rick Berman over the show's normal writing hiatus, to allow for an early summer shoot and the necessary post-production.

"Well, Rick and I are working on, literally, a radical departure for STAR TREK," Braga said. "We're sticking around while the rest of the staff takes a few weeks off to pen a special episode that will brilliantly characterize our new direction for season three. We're going to open the year with a STAR TREK musical, which will be a ground-breaking blend of the sci-fi and musical genres that we think will be a first in television history."

Braga says it worked for BUFFY, why not TREK?

"You know, I've never understood why so many people like BUFFY, but we figure at this point we can't lose," he admitted in a somber tone. "They had a good thing with their musical episode and if that's what it takes for ENTERPRISE to get the critical notice it deserves, then we're willing to take that plunge."

Berman agrees, saying a deal with the devil over whether STAR TREK NEMESIS would break box office records didn't pan out, so unfortunately the franchise has to own up with this musical installment.

"It's very difficult to understand exactly what happened with NEMESIS, honestly," Rick explained while sipping a Mai Tai from his office at Paramount Studios. "We thought the Devil was way off base, betting against the feature, but then it's unpredictable when dealing with Satan. We never thought we'd have to do this episode, but the Devil is hard to argue with and a deal is a deal. Besides, I think Gene Roddenberry would be pleased with what we're doing, it's truly going to reduce the barriers between sci-fi and Broadway in ways Gene couldn't possibly have imagined."

A high point for the episode is expected to be star Scott Bakula, a seasoned stage musical performer, singing a duet with Jolene Blalock about the sexual tension that's been present ever since 2002's "A Night in Sickbay."

Says Braga, "We're going to get into sensual territory that you just can't touch in the normal format. When you see these two characters--one whose emotions are utterly repressed--singing this romantic piece you'll really get to the heart of their feelings."

That sensuality will also stretch into another corner of TREKdom, which many fans have clamored for over the years.

"'Stigma' was supposed to be our gay episode, but we sort of copped out," Berman says. "So we're taking this opportunity to let feelings amongst our characters out into the open in a way that wouldn't be possible normally. When you see the chemistry that Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating have together during an intimate tap dance number, you'll be amazed."

The producers really wanted to delve into alien musical traditions in the episode, but Braga told us that continuity prevented a foray into Klingon opera.

"We so much wanted to have someone singing Klingon opera, but then we figured at this time in STAR TREK history our relations with the Klingons aren't very solid and our knowledge of their culture is too limited to allow someone to know Klingon opera," he reasons. "So instead, we've taken the opportunity to right a wrong that's long been a part of TREK--the lack of rock 'n roll. We want to elevate rock 'n roll to to its rightful place in history, as a major cultural influence on human society. So we're trying to license a Van Halen song to have Phlox sing in his segment--Phlox is the natural person to have become an aficiando on 80's metal. I think it'll be pretty funny to have him singing 'Somebody Get Me a Doctor', and as an added bonus, we're getting David Lee Roth to guest as the alien at the end of the show; we figure he can just show up and the make-up and costume departments can take the day off."

Berman says he believes Braga knows what he's doing.

"I thought I was in tune with pop culture in the 80's, I mean, I was in my thirties, but I don't know who this 'Van Halen' is. Brannon assures me they were a pretty big rock group. I suggested getting Elvis, but apparently he's dead, so obviously that wouldn't work."

According to Braga, the episode isn't named yet but several possibilities abound.

"We're throwing around ideas, yeah," the exec says. "We've thought of 'Deus Ex Melody'--that's latin, you know, for God from music, which sort of plays into this whole notion of spontaneous song and dance routines caused by an alien force. Another idea is 'New Chicago', which we think might be a cool continuity nod to an Earth colony while tying in with the Oscar-winning film."

TrekWeb wishes all our readers, even the much-maligned Rick and Brannon, a festive April Fool's Day!

React to this story below and see what others are saying at the STAR TREK BBS.
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Season Two (2002-2003)
Prod #Title Airdate
128 Shockwave, Part II 9/18/02
127 Carbon Creek9/25/02
129 Minefield10/02/02
131 Dead Stop10/09/02
130 A Night In Sickbay10/16/02
132 Marauders10/30/02
133 The Seventh11/06/02
134 The Communicator11/13/02
135 Singularity11/20/02
136 Vanishing Point11/27/02
137 Precious Cargo12/11/02
138 The Catwalk12/18/02
139 Dawn1/08/03
140 Stigma2/05/03
141 Cease Fire2/12/03
142 Future Tense2/19/03
143 Canamar2/26/03
144 The Crossing4/2/03
145 Judgment4/9/03
146 Horizon4/16/03
147 The Breach4/23/03
148 Cogenitor4/30/03
149 Regeneration5/7/03
150 First Flight5/14/03
151 Bounty5/14/03
152 The Expanse5/21/03
Season One (2001-2002)
TREKWEB TALKBACK
(57 comments)
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LOL
By PsychoAggie ( christianc@tamu.edu) at 01:31:51 on April 02 2003
URL: http://obi-wan.resnet.tamu.edu | User Info
Yeah, good one. My roommate and I were completely befuddled and horrified. I think it was the whole "deal with the Devil" bit that really clued me in. The fact that today is April 1st totally slipped my mind, which is unusual, considering all the prank planning I did for today. (Gotta love life in a college dorm!) Hope that I won't get so bamboozled by you guys next year. ;)

---

Christian D. Clem,
Fightin' Texas Aggie
Class of 2001

==============================
http://www.jestertrek.com/coro2400

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Porker
By Defiant ( ) at 18:23:49 on April 01 2003
URL: http:// | User Info
Did any of you guys see the picture on startrek.com's main page?!

This is sooo funny!

Next on Enterprise
8/7c PORKER

When a transporter accident merges Porthos and Tucker, Archer must decide whether to keep his new Canine Engineer or return them both to their original state

Wednesday at 8/7c only on UPN

!!!!

-Defiant

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

  • RE: Porker by starbaseops @ 20:19:52 ET on 1 Apr
Glad to read that everyone had fun with this.

---

-Steve Krutzler
==V/-/== Rocks

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

  • Doh! by Snaggleweasel @ 20:10:56 ET on 1 Apr
GOOD ONE!!!
By DUPDUP69 ( DUPDUP@psu.edu) at 17:27:10 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

I actually, incredulously believed this, completely forgetting it was April Fools Day!!! Part of me was like, "Oh, my God, how dumb is this!", but the other part of me was like, "Man, I wonder what it will be like? Can they really pull this off??"

When I got to the "sold my soul to the Devil" part of Nemesis, I started to get suspicious, and as soon as I saw Berman was sipping a "Mai Tai", I realized that it *MUST* be a joke. From then on, it just got more ridiculous.

Still, *VERY* well done. You had me (and from what I see, a LOT of others) going there...

S-C-A-R-Y!!!!

Yours,
The `DUP!'-ster

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Mother-F**king Christ!!
By giventofly462 ( ) at 14:42:02 on April 01 2003
URL: www.joeburdette.com | User Info
I actually fell for this!!!

I was staring at this with my jaw on the ground. But it was hilarious when I read the last line. Funny, no-one played an April Fools prank on me at school today, I guess I'm still a little vulnerable.

Hell, I even believed it when you said they wanted a Van Halen song. Christ... I'm gonna sleep the rest of this sad, sad day away.

---

----/\===
"I'll see you on the dark side of the moon."

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Just What the Doctor Ordered...
By Willieboy65 ( ) at 14:37:31 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
Great job Steve. This was a welcome break from all the stuff going on in the world. You had me until the end. Everything sounded soooo authentic. Berman would be stupid enough to sell his soul for a box office dud.

---

"If the Apocalypse comes, beep me"- Buffy


"Break off a switch son, there's gonna be a whuppin'"- Faith to Connor just before she kicks his ass

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

That was GREAT!!!
By Jean-Luc T. Lafayette Archer ( ) at 13:19:57 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
Ha ha haaaahaaa!!! I'm laughing like Data in Generations, I swear!!!

Unfortunately, I knew it was a joke when I read the headline, only because I've visited a few other sites, and they had April fools jokes, and I came to Trekweb wondering if you had done anything similar. You did, but better!!! Very well done Steve, I laughed like there was no tomorrow! God, can you imagine? The Archer/T'Pol had me cringing, because it's just the sort of thing B&B might do. *shudder* Well, again, great job, extremely funny! "Sipping a mai-tai..." HA HA HAAA!!!

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Call me SUCKAH!!!
By Cinepixel ( cinepixel@mail.ev1.net) at 12:54:27 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
Got me...I fell for it...but, it DID sound like something they would do -- especially after that wrestling episode of Voyager.

Cinepixel

---

"See this? This is my BOOMSTICK!!!"
Ash from ARMY OF DARKNESS

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

The Horror...the Horror
By Cinepixel ( cinepixel@mail.ev1.net) at 12:52:09 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
Yeah! This is a great way to save Enterprise isn't it?

Kind of like the way the wrestling episode of Voyager save it.

Van Halen aside, this is a terrible idea.

Ugh.

Cinepixel

---

"See this? This is my BOOMSTICK!!!"
Ash from ARMY OF DARKNESS

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

shooting down the competition
By cooper2000 ( ) at 12:43:57 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
Ok, Braga says he doesnt understand what people see in Buffy, yet he is copying their idea?

"You know, I've never understood why so many people like BUFFY, but we figure at this point we can't lose," he admitted in a somber tone. "They had a good thing with their musical episode and if that's what it takes for ENTERPRISE to get the critical notice it deserves, then we're willing to take that plunge."
Well, Braga, we like good writing, thats what we like about it. These characters have evolved over seven seasons. Unfortunately we cant say the same about Voyager and thus far about Enterprise. Your characters are cardboard, something we have never seen on Buffy.

This idea sounds horrible.
They going to get the same actor to play the alien who communicates through song?




[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

You got me!
By space cadet ( ) at 12:32:31 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
I feel like such a sucker! I saw the headline, was surprised, but believed it because well this is Trekweb, and also a musical is something the desperate Star Trek producers would really try at this point. Then I was nearing the end of the story and I remembered what day it was! Congratulations, you got me! Hehe.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

It's a shame this is an April fools joke....
By Blok_Narpin ( philly_guy_pa@yahoo.com.yahoo.com) at 11:58:18 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
I would love to see this episode.


Sure, it's not breaking new ground cause Buffy did it first, but it would still be cool to see.

---

"New Jersey Girl, New Jersey Girl
Come on and rock my world
New Jersey Girl, New Jersey Girl
I wanna love you
New Jersey Girl, New Jersey Girl
With your crazy f**ked up hair
New Jersey Girl, New Jersey Girl
Your wicked awesome!"
-Nerf Herder

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

DISCOVERED!! Steve's musical fantasy
By Mattman65 ( matt44974@yahoo.com) at 11:43:40 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
Picture this --

T'Pol has to train the NX-01s command staff on Vulcan Diplomacy, or some other nonsense, and then right in the middle of it Trip walks in, gets scolded for being tardy, he responds:
"That's funny, I don't feel tardy"
cue drums and guitar
and Trip, Malcolm, Mayweather and Archer all bust out into a rendition of ---
"Hot For Teacher" (by you know who)
-
Dude, you know you would love it!!

---

"Alright brain, you don't like me, and I don't like you. But lets just do this, and I can get back to killing you with beer." -- Homer J. Simpson

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Got Me
By Beefies ( ) at 11:41:35 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
The funny thing is I'm reading, reading, reading, simultaneously thinking "this is insane" but also "y'know, they might just be able to pull this off..." I'm ashamed to admit you got me for a minute. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if we see this story 'round about Season 5. Be sure you get full story credit, Steve.

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

  • RE: Got Me by Steve Krutzler @ 11:42:36 ET on 1 Apr
That was great!
By HotStove ( ) at 11:34:26 on April 01 2003
URL: www.cascobay.net | User Info
Wow, had me going there, ALL THE WAY! :)



---

"Dammit, I'm a doctor, not a... oh, yeah, right..."
--Phil Hartman as McCoy, Saturday Night Live

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

LOL, nice one man!



---


0==|::::::::>

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

O My God.
By iam ( ) at 10:59:18 on April 01 2003
URL: http:// | User Info
STEVE! that was too much. You really actually had me going there. I thought "That's it. That is really it! Star Trek is truly doomed. We are done. B&B have officially gone over the edge and down into the pit. If it worked for BUFFY?!?! what the......."
Excellent. The sad part is, is that we as the fans would not put it past them to do somthing like that.
I have this picture of Rick in his office reading this thinking... "How did he know?"

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

truth stranger than fiction?
By sky ( ) at 10:30:35 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
Steve, You really had me going for a minute! But don't give B&B any ideas!

---

"When I was your age, I didn't watch television! I LIVED! So... move out of your parent's basements!"

-- William Shatner on SNL, 1986

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

You Got Me!
By Edzo ( lordedzo@hotmail.com) at 10:28:59 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
Steve, I was sitting here *sweating freaking bullets* as I read this story.

But you know what finally clued me in?

Rick Berman "sipping a Mai Tai." Never! Can't see it.

Still, I tip my hat to you! Great scam!

---

Lord Edzo!

"The Imperious Leader and I are of the same series, the IL Group. Why he was chosen over me, I'll never understand!"

--Lucifer, "Battlestar Galactica"

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Instead of the too often done alien entity...
By tom_in_pa ( ) at 09:30:08 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
theme, why not have the NX-01 intervene in a battle between rival factions of this alien race. One will be led by David Lee Roth, the other by Sammy Hagar. In the end of the episode, Eddie Van Halen will banish them both to the second stage of next years Oz fest!

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

U got me.
By Hbasm ( ) at 09:00:15 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
When I got to read about the devil, I knew this couldn't be a real interview. :o)

A musical? That idea is OK, except it wouldn't be creative to rip off an idea from Buffy. Don't imitate, innovate!

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Nice!!
By Mattman65 ( matt44974@yahoo.com) at 08:43:57 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
BWAAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAAA !!!!
-
You really had me until I just about got to the bottom.
-
Kudos!!


---

"Alright brain, you don't like me, and I don't like you. But lets just do this, and I can get back to killing you with beer." -- Homer J. Simpson

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

Great!
By AntonyF ( ) at 07:54:33 on April 01 2003
URL: http://www.b5tv.com | User Info
:) Great stuff Steve.

Am I warped in thinking this'd actually be a good episode? Do we have to resort to April Fools to have a story that sounds really different and good? Then again, if it's Joss Whedon-inspired, it would be good. :)


---

Lydia: "I've never lost at mortal combat yet."
Diana: "Idiot. If you had, you'd be dead." -- V, "The Champion"

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

  • RE: Great! by Steve Krutzler @ 08:05:15 ET on 1 Apr
April Fool's?
By John ( ) at 07:16:38 on April 01 2003
URL: | User Info
You had me going there for a bit Steve. What made me catch on to your ruse was you saying Braga talked to you. TrekWeb may be getting more recognition but unless you are the Official Fan Club or StarTrek.com B & B wouldn't give you the time of day (not that they shouldn't though).

[ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]