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.