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TWILIGHT Scribe Brent Friedman Beams Aboard, Berman/Braga Talk in New Interviews

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Posted: 14:41:13 on June 30 2003
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: Enterprise | stenterprise.com
ENTERPRISE executive producer Rick Berman updates the STAR TREK Communicator for its latest issue (#145), available on newsstands soon, revealing that at least one new writer has come aboard for the third season, with more on the way.

"We are in the process of putting some deals together for some new writers," Berman says in his latest STAR TREK Update with Dan Madsen. "Brent Friedman, who had been on THE TWILIGHT ZONE last year, is a terrific writer that we have brought on. We have some others who are going to be coming onboard in the next few weeks."

Friedman was a staff writer and co-executive producer on UPN's THE TWILIGHT ZONE last season, which was executive produced by DEEP SPACE NINE producer Ira Steven Behr. Friedman wrote "The Executions of Grady Finch" for the show, according to the Internet Movie Database. Friedman is also credited with the screenplay for the MORTAL KOMBAT sequel in 1997, as well as the television series DARK SKIES (1996), which he co-created.

Berman quells rumors that the series's opening title sequence or theme song will undergo any changes this season, and he says the first few episodes will delve into the unique peculiarities of the Delphic Expanse.

"Well, we have talked about the fact that the laws of physics don't necessarily apply in certain areas of the Delphic Expanse," he says. "In the first handful of episodes we're going to start learning why. We're going to start finding out that some of the chaos that exists inside this area of space is perhaps not as random as it may appear."

He reiterates that Jolene Blalock's 'T'Pol' will "experiment" with emotions in addition to donning a new costume and hairstyle, and that Connor Trinneer's 'Trip Tucker' will have to deal with the feelings of anger about the loss of his sister in "The Expanse." He also says that the group of "marines" that have been assigned to the NX-01 will "add a lot of color and a little tension to the ship."

Berman also answers some fan questions in this issue. Elsewhere in the mag, executive producer Brannon Braga talks about seasons two and three.

"The ratings are what they are," he says frankly. "Every STAR TREK series in recent years starts big and falls off to its core audience. We just try to stay focused on the creative elements."

Braga reflects on some of last season's episode, like the season premiere, "Shockwave, Part II," which he says took a unique bent on a time travel story.

"So, I'm going to do an entire act of techno-babble to sell how Daniels built this device?" he says when asked about criticism of the story on those grounds. "That's not what ENTERPRISE is. We're trying to get away from that kind of storytelling. I think about some of the stuff we did on THE NEXT GENERATION, where we had to explain everything, versus 'slingshotting around the Sun' in STAR TREK IV. Which would you prefer? ENTERPRISE is much more of a slingshotting-around-the-Sun kind of TV show."

Braga talks about each of last year's episodes in the issue, including the Borg installment "Regeneration."

"Continuity was inherently altered by events in FIRST CONTACT, because the Borg traveled back in time and started interfering," he says. "The second that piece of sphere crash landed in the Arctic, the timeline was altered. Then, at the very end of this episode, we learn that a transmission was sent by this Borg ship to the Delta Quadrant. What you end up with is a scrumptuous little paradox where this could have been the incident that informed the Borg of our existence."

Braga says the changes in store for the upcoming season were creatively motivated.

"We certainly didn't do this just to grab ratings. We didn't do this to say 'How can we save the show?' We did this primarily for creative reasons," he says. "I'd be lying if I said we weren't also trying to generate some excitement for the new season, but we wanted to try something new and to continue experimenting."

The exec promises that the new Xindi aliens will be more than just the usual STAR TREK species.

"We really want to push the envelope with the aliens we depict, to stop getting guys with just bumpy foreheads all the time. With the Xindi, it's not going to be business as usual."

The ENTERPRISE head writer says Scott Bakula's 'Jonathan Archer' will undergo a crucial evolution.

"One of the things we definitely plan to do is test Archer's moral compass," he says. "When he tells Trip in 'The Expanse,' 'We're going to do what it takes,' that's very ambiguous. That's all part of the reason for doing this. The way in which they get through this adventure is going to define them as a crew."

Braga touches on the military characters, revealing that they will answer to 'Reed' (Dominic Keating), but not necessarily share the same "agenda" of the rest of the Enterprise crew. He says that the rift between Earth and the Klingons will also continue to widen as a result of events in the new season, foreshadowing the war-torn future the two space powers will eventually share.

"This doesn't bode well for humanity's relations with the Klingons. The are not happy. In fact, the prosecutor in 'Judgment' says that we're lucky they didn't hold our planet responsible for Archer's 'crimes.' I always felt that was an ominous hint at larger things to come," Braga says.

Issue 145 of the Communicator also features interviews with Scott Bakula, Keith Carradine, Vaughn Armstrong, Robert O'Reilly, Daniel Riordan, songwriter Diane Warren, and Kate Mulgrew.

React to this story below and see what others are saying at the STAR TREK BBS.
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Season Three (2003-2004)
Prod #Title Airdate
153 The Xindi 9/24/03
154 Anomaly 10/01/03
155 Extinction 10/08/03
Season Two (2002-2003)
Season One (2001-2002)
TREKWEB TALKBACK
(26 comments)
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Braga still in denial after all these years..
By cooper2000 ( ) at 08:36:38 on July 02 2003
URL: | User Info
or just maybe hes an idiot.

"The ratings are what they are," he says frankly. "Every STAR TREK series in recent years starts big and falls off to its core audience. We just try to stay focused on the creative elements."
The fall off is due us not liking what you are giving us which is Crappy Sci Fi.
I doubt any new writers will do anygood because as History has prooved, he keeps such a tight creative reign on them that they arent allowed to surpass his limited vision.
Braga...for the Summer you should be watching repeats on DVD of B5 and Farscape to see how a Real Sci Fi show is written.
Character archs, tension and Drama are what these shows have that Braga cant seem to grasp these ideas.
As TV Gides Matt Roush mentioned this week in his column, there isnt much hope for the new season if they keep up the way they have and up against Smallville Enterprise may finally get whats coming to it.

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Just as I always said Please!
By Batman2020 ( BatmanNcharge@hotmail.com) at 18:20:46 on July 01 2003
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"We certainly didn't do this just to grab ratings. We didn't do this to say 'How can we save the show?' We did this primarily for creative reasons,"

Ok like the Biscuit said on Ally McBeal to the jury "Ok say it with me, and all 12 did in unison,” PLEASE!" It just makes you want too, no short cuts here, LAUGH OUT LOUD! Almost all here at one time or another have said "so what, continuity isn’t all that important it's just entertainment." Well you get what you blindly follow and bash the ones who try to make you see. This is Star Trek, not Firefly, or any of the other failed shows that we've seen over the years. This show has been given a history, a family, a life and a bible in a since. That's the difference from your average just Sci-Fi. Star Trek was Science Fiction not Sci-Fi what’s the difference you ask?

Well Sci-Fi really is just flash and boom no real thought behind it just entertainment. Easily explained away or overlooked, etc Independence Day, Starship Troopers (the movie), Space Invaders and so on and such. They’re really one-shot deals that just are meant to make you go wow that was cool. Science Fiction however is usually a well thought out story that makes you think! Either about what just happened or the events in the story and what it represents. It makes you say wow not just at the effects but what the STORY is trying to say and how it makes you FEEL about either the characters or the events or themes of the story. If you, are you lessening, IF YOU have to make an excuse for what you just saw or explain away what you didn’t see then that is poor and sloppy writing that is relying on your knowledge of character or story to get over.

I’m sorry but that’s all ENT is, that’s what sci-fi is, a quick fix instead of a well thought out shot to the mind that just makes you say dam that was deep. TOS, TNG, and the bashed for not having all the boom DS9, all had that. Now at the end with DS9 you saw the cop outs with the Dominion war with the Dominion fleet disappearing in the wormhole and all. The self-replicating mines were nice but unlike Babylon 5 it went for broke you saw real losses the real ugliness of war and how even if you liked the character thy still died. That show was real Science Fiction it started slow but it was so well thought out! Stuff from the beginning of the show that you barely thought about came back episodes later that just made you say “man so that’s why he did that,” this is the effect of that decision you know like “Space Seed” and Wraith of Khan.

Trek is dying all because the stopped writing stories and started the short cut to the boom and a laugh. The laugh is fine trek constantly poked fun at itself. It stopped following its own rules to tell what B&B wanted to tell just to be creative, we wanted to go in a new direction. Then they shouldn’t have put this show before Kirk in a ship named Enterprise! If this same show had been just after Kirk’s five-year mission and the ship was just under another name B&B would have been SCOTT FREE. All these years are unknown no continuity problems as long as he kept the Ferengi and Borg out of it. We could have had our Gorn, still had the Andorians and just about ANYTHING! The Enterprise was not the only ship in the fleet it could have been a cool STORY to see what another captain contributed to the trek universe. However B&B wanted to rewrite trek lore in their image. Why else did they put this show “100 years before Kirk” and really nonresistant NX-01 Enterprise before now ship, and drop the Star Trek in the title. There’s just all kinds of land mines and headaches you would have to go through for no good reason.


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techno head
By W Epemenundus Edrastus Blab ( justin52240@msn.com) at 10:24:27 on July 01 2003
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The trick is to write stories that do not require an act of technobable in order for teh story to make to make sense. At least all that annoying explaining that Braga laments about TNG was 1) usually interesting and 2) the pay off was worth it.

If Braga justifies quantum dating his way through convoluted time travel plots becasue he doesnt want to write technobable then he shouldnt do techy stories at all and learn from Ira Bher who wrote a series about characters and ideas instead.

All Braga is saying is that he has no problem writing technobable but instead of writng a lot of it to explain whats going on, he'll throw out a few glitzy tech words and let the audience assume or guess at the actual explination.

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"The Army is not out to make any social reform. The Army will not put men of different races in the same companies. It will change that policy when the nation as a whole changes it." Gen. Bradley, Army Chief of Staff, 1948

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The Xindi and the "Bumpy Forehead" Syndrome
By SirTrekker ( shauenstein@wi.rr.com) at 21:43:26 on June 30 2003
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"We really want to push the envelope with the aliens we depict, to stop getting guys with just bumpy foreheads all the time. With the Xindi, it's not going to be business as usual."

You know, that has got to be one of the first times I was ever pleased with something Brannon Braga had to say. I really hope they follow through on this, because I'll tell you this much: I am SICK and DAMN TIRED of these so-called aliens the Enterprise crew run into that not only look remarkably like humans, they happen to speak perfect English. Sure, they may have a goofy nose ridge, or oddly shaped ears, or a sculptured forehead, or maybe even some elaborate painted-on designs, but all that says to me is "despite the fact that we have this wonderful make-up department, we're going to slum it this week". Come on, guys, you've got all this advanced CGI technology, and a make-up department that could really do a damn fine job, given the right ideas. Give us ALIENS...ones that captivate, fascinate, and intimidate our heroes, as well as the viewers.

And, don't hand me that garbage about the Universal Translator being able to figure out their languages, okay? I want to see the crew struggling to understand the aliens they meet, trying their damndest not to say the wrong things. I mean, come on, already, some of these races have never seen another human being before, nor have the humans on the Enterprise seen them; yet, the UT can perfectly pick up their dialects and allow them to converse without any trouble? We're not asking for another Klingon language here, just something that doesn't sound like standard English. Or, at the very least, if you've got to make them easier to understand, don't start it out that way. Make it a learning experience for the crew and the aliens.

I really want to believe Berman and Braga have the right ideas, and that they really want to make a change to Enterprise that could make it a show worth tuning in for. After all, when you look at Seasons 1 and 2 of TNG, sorry to say, they were pretty lousy, save for maybe 2 or 3 episodes. DS9's first two years almost made me give up on the show entirely, they were so bad...again, save for 2 or 3 episodes. Season 3 usually was a turning point, a time when the creators and the actors had no excuses, no "we're just starting out" lines to hide behind. They had to start opening their minds, working from their hearts and souls, to make something that their devoted fans could show others as a reason for their levels of devotion. Mr. Berman, Mr. Braga, the shakedown is over...time to get serious. Give us hope for something better, something that is worthy of the Star Trek universe. The Xindi are just a start...but it'd be a damn good one.

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Alas, poor Star Trek, I knew it well.
By Deslok ( hammond_ecks@hotmail.com) at 21:12:47 on June 30 2003
URL: http://40eridani.bravepages.com/welcome.html | User Info
Gee, I had high hopes for ENT but those hopes seem dashed when I read the comments made by B&B in the article above. It's like they have no respect for the fact that the fans who have stuck by Star Trek for all these years expect a few things to make sense, instead we get bad surprises, what appears to be a crucial misunderstanding of the franchise and the genre of science fiction and a disregard for the viewer's intelligence, Star Trek used to be a smart show, I guess those days are gone.

Brannon's comments are a bit silly
"The ratings are what they are," he says frankly. "Every STAR TREK series in recent years starts big and falls off to its core audience. We just try to stay focused on the creative elements."

...well, I don't think that was the case with TOS. TOS started off rather modestly, got no respect from the network before they were cancelled and actually grew into what we have today. If Brannon Braga can't respect the genesis of Trek, how can he possibly respect ENT, or the fans? The answer is simple, he doesn't.

Braga goes on to say:
The exec promises that the new Xindi aliens will be more than just the usual STAR TREK species.

Well, that's a part of the problem right there. The fact that there is even an idea of "the usual STAR TREK species is a major indicator to the fact that the producers are wearing blinders. TOS didn't rely on bumpy foreheads, it's become a bad joke now. Back on TOS, they did things like the aliens who were black on one side and white on the other. Admittedly that looks dumb by today's standards and probably looked dumb in the sixties too, but it told a timely story. Anyone who tunes into Star Trek to see stupid looking aliens and spacecraft and nothing more are missing the boat, or the shuttle as it were.

I'm beginning to wonder if Star Trek can truly be saved. Rick Berman should pass the torch the way Gene Roddenberry did.

Season three should be a vast improvement over the past two, but that doesn't mean they're out of the woods yet. I think many of us still watch ENTERPRISE because we're hoping that it will somehow magically become a show that is actually based on Star Trek and not mangled and misappropriated story elements.

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Great!
By Hbasm ( ) at 18:15:26 on June 30 2003
URL: http://home3.inet.tele.dk/huas/st_enterprise/ENT-page1.htm | User Info
I just love these kind of articles. I wish, I could read the whole thing but I've never seen a real issue of that magazine.

The producers have their friends and enemies. It reminds me of the RIAA and their attempts to shut down filesharing. The hardcore users of p2p software lives in another world than everybody "in the business" of creating and selling art. When people don't like the morality behind the law of copyright, they find all kinds of excuses for ignoring it. Certainly filesharing offer some good possibilities. But RIAA and users of P2P software have become enemies, and they won't listen to each other.

There is a similar war going on here. The current Star Trek and the "fans" are enemies. It's just strange. Even more strange! I can't see that the producers are trying to fight the fans. They try to make the best show, they can.

It seems, people expect divine philosophies wrapped into a new story for every 14 days. That time is gone, folks. We've seen it all already, so episodes that seems "clever" will simply become more and more rare, as time goes by.

But lets not forget the producers are working hard to come up with entertaining ideas and visuals. To fight against them will not help.

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They've made the perfect show
By Hober Mallow ( ) at 16:22:33 on June 30 2003
URL: | User Info
A bit of the interview that was left out:

*************
Braga explains why it was important to throw the laws of physics out the window. "As a writer, I can't be chained down by things like the "laws of physics". I mean, who thought of these laws anyway? It's important that we be able to do whatever we want. When we decided to do a prequel, it was because we felt contrained by the perfect 24th century, but I've felt the same way for the last two years on the new show because of those strange laws. We need to be free as writers. It's just the right thing to do."

********************

Seriously, though, they now have two excuses for continuity errors (temporal cold war, Borg altering timeline) and now this "Delphic Expanse" excuse for completely ignoring real world science. Add a bimbo in a catsuit and Braga has turned ENTERPRISE into a series perfectly suited to him as a writer.




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Technobable
By HybridStatement ( HybridStatement@ec.rr.Com) at 16:07:43 on June 30 2003
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"Technobable", this term makes no sense to me, it's SciFi, & SciFi is based heavily on technology & usually, more advanced technology than we currently have, so, in some form, "Technobable" is required.

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...:::Trek Quote Of The Week:::...
- "I Shall Have To Have A Little Talk With Mr.Barclay"
- "Star Trek:TNG - A Fistful' Of Data's"

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i don't get it
By sliny ( ) at 16:00:45 on June 30 2003
URL: | User Info
Ok, so let me get this straight.

"Continuity was inherently altered by events in FIRST CONTACT, because the Borg traveled back in time and started interfering," he says. "The second that piece of sphere crash landed in the Arctic, the timeline was altered."

So ENT exists in a different timeline than the rest of the pre-FC Star Trek. Ok...

"Then, at the very end of this episode, we learn that a transmission was sent by this Borg ship to the Delta Quadrant. What you end up with is a scrumptuous little paradox where this could have been the incident that informed the Borg of our existence."

Wait, now you're saying the timeline wasn't altered? That Regen was the first contact all along? He needs to make up his mind, or someone needs to explain his logic to me.


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You don't produce a television show by having a committee of fans dictate what you do. - Rick Berman

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"I think about some of the stuff we did on THE NEXT GENERATION, where we had to explain everything, versus 'slingshotting around the Sun' in STAR TREK IV. Which would you prefer? ENTERPRISE is much more of a slingshotting-around-the-Sun kind of TV show."

Well, if he asked, I actually MUCH prefer the TNG route. I like things to be based in as much scientific fact as possible. I think lots of us would agree, maybe I am wrong.

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-- Winston Churchill

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Neat!
By Xenoclone ( chris@xenoclone.com) at 15:04:01 on June 30 2003
URL: http://www.xenoclone.com | User Info
This all sounds great to me. ;)

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"Unless we learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] we will die together as fools." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

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