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Questions for the STAR TREK experts (1 Viewer)

Rob Gardiner

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A few questions for all of you:

Why does Gene Roddenberry consider the animated series, plus parts of movies V and VI non-canon? I understand that his objection with V had to do with Spock's brother, but otherwise I do not know what material is non-canon or why. Did GR object to the aliens M'Ress and Arex on the cartoon? Are the Kzinti part of this problem? And what would he object to about Star Trek VI?

If Rick Berman shares the "blame" for Voyager and Enterprise, it seems fair that he should share the credit for TNG and DS9 as well. What exactly was his contribution to these two shows? The supplements to one of the early TNG boxes mentions that GR, Berman, and Maurice Hurley would "arc" out each season, then assign scripts to individual writers. I know that the Executive Producer approves every aspect of production, every line of every script, etc. What was Berman's CREATIVE contribution, if any? Did he simply have more talent in the early years, and run out of ideas later on? Does his success depend upon the talents of the people he surrounds himself with? Would it be fair to say that his greatest contribution was hiring Michael Piller and Ron Moore in season 3?

Did GR rewrite scripts on TNG as he did on the original series? Or did anyone else, for that matter? I understand Michael Piller would do an uncredited rewrite on later TNG scripts. How prevalent was this practice? And when did Roddenberry stop working on TNG?

What happened between 1980 and 1986 to change Paramount's attitude towards Roddenberry? In 1980 the film series was taken away from him, but of course he was given the reins to a new series 6 years later. There must have been a regime change at Paramount in the intervening years. I belive Michael Eisner was in charge in 1980, and by 86 he would have been at Disney. Did the new Paramount regime have more respect for GR than the old one?

What led to the introduction of the Romulans on TNG? I understand Roddenberry wanted to avoid Vulcans, Klingons, and Romulans in order to explore new species and new ideas. (Of course Bob Justman talked Gene into putting Worf on the show.) What led GR to reverse this decision re: the Romulans? I believe the Borg were intended to be the replacement for the failed Ferrengi.

This last one enters into "rumor" territory. It was mentioned on another board that when Ron Moore joined the Voyager staff, Berman & Braga "forced" him out because the saw him as a threat to their position as top dogs. Does anyone know anything about this?

I'd appreciate any input on the above from all you TV gurus and space cowboys.
 
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Jeff Kleist

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Berman was the showrunner, you'll see his name throughout in the "story by" sections. Only the animated series is non-canon, as it was not done by Roddenberry or his people.

when Ron Moore joined the Voyager staff, Berman & Braga "forced" him out because the saw him as a threat to their position as top dogs. Does anyone know anything about this?
I've read Moore's official word on this. He left the show because of the sheer apathy of the writers around him. He was watching some eps trying to figure out how to write for Torres and another writer came in. He asked for some input and the guy basically said "They all sound the same anyway". That was the last straw and he quit a few days later.

And went on to royally screw up Battlestar Galactica. The end ;)
 

Jason Seaver

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when Ron Moore joined the Voyager staff, Berman & Braga "forced" him out because the saw him as a threat to their position as top dogs. Does anyone know anything about this?
Do a google search on "Ron Moore Voyager" and you'll find out more - basically, it's as Jeff described - he did not enjoy his time on Voyager at all; where TNG and DS9 had been creative, fun (though professional) places to work, Voyager was a factory. He also has alluded to the Paramount brass having promised him the chance to create and show-run the next series, only to have Brannon Braga meet with them and wind up with Moore's dream job.

I also get the impression that it was personal - that he and Braga had been good friends and writing partners until the Voyager experience, but Moore couldn't deal with Braga after that.
 

Rex Bachmann

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Rob Gardiner wrote (post #1):

A "leader's" success always depends in part on the talents and, especially, the performances of those by whom he is surrounded. Hiring Mr. Moore was, indeed, a good stroke. (Wasn't he originally a "fan" contributor?) I've never much liked Mr. Piller's work. It's sort of "Roddenberry-esque", by which I mean it emphasizes some of Roddenberry's worst attributes, so I wouldn't call his addition to the show "positive".
 

Rex Bachmann

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Rob Gardiner wrote (post #1):

We may find out more next month when (and if) The Star Trek Voyager Companion, the publication of which has been delayed for several years now, finally comes out.

Of course, it's a "house-publication" of Paramount/Viacom/S&S, so how frank it will be in discussing such matters is in doubt. But at least it may give enough of a picture from third parties, rather than from the principals involved, to make some sense of the true nature of the dispute or problem.
 

Rex Bachmann

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(post #4):

I've never much liked Mr. Piller's work. It's sort of "Roddenberry-esque", by which I mean it emphasizes some of Roddenberry's worst attributes, so I wouldn't call his addition to the show "positive".
He did, as I had forgotten, head the writing staff in the couple of years after the beginning of TNG, to some good effect. If you're interested in finding out about what the writing process was on the show and some details of who did what, you should consult Larry Nemecek's informative The Star Trek The Next Generation Companion, which is now in its 3rd edition and also covers all TNG films. On pages 136-137, in particular, Mr. Piller goes into some detail about how the writing got done.
 

Bryan Tuck

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The only question I can comment on is the 2nd one, and it's mostly opinion.

I think Rick Berman actually did a lot of good on TNG. He and the team of 3rd season writers really did help the series find a sure footing, finding a balance between the characters, philosophical ideas and the scientific aspects of the show. Even Brannon Braga wrote some of the better episodes of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th seasons. So, B&B have definitely done their bit for king and country.

For DS9, Berman deserves a little credit for helping to create the series, whose setup allowed for the more character-oriented stories and arcs, and a darker tone. He really didn't have much active involvement with its development after Voyager started, but he did help get it off the ground. Of course, Ira Steven Behr and his team were responsible for it really taking off.

The comments regarding Ron Moore's exit from Voyager pretty much sum up my feelings about the show. It just seemed apathetic towards the characters. I just felt that B&B were losing their edge.

This suspicion was confirmed with Enterprise. To be fair, I haven't watched it much this season, but just some of the comments made by Berman make me wonder if he really understands what he's doing now. The idea of the Borg on Enterprise just floors me. I'm not that worried about the continuity, but this idea just points to the lack of creativity on the show. B&B might as well just stand up and say, "We're out of ideas!"

That having been said, I'll probably give the show another chance, as they're talking about this "nature-of-their-mission-changing" bit. I'm just curious.

So basically, I feel that Rick Berman has done a lot of good for the franchise. But after all these years, I just think he may really be out of ideas. I don't know what can be done about that, but that's my opinion.
 

Joel Fontenot

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Only the animated series is non-canon, as it was not done by Roddenberry or his people.
Wait a minute...

As I understood it, Roddenberry had a lot to do with it - and especially D.C. Fontana who basically ran the thing.

At the time, it was the only way for Roddenberry to keep Trek alive after he finally realized syndication had already brought it out cancellation hell.

It was a way to tell even bigger stories because they no longer had the limit of network budgets and earthly physics.

Only much later was the animated series decried to be non-canon by Roddenberry, mostly because he was embarrassed by it more than anything. He did allow for a few episodes though, like (I think) "Yesteryear".

Some episodes were written by past Trek writers including a few from David Gerrald and one from Walter Koenig who did not return to do Chekov for TAS.

Roddenberry also basically pushed Paramount to do TNG even after he was, for all practical purposes, banned from the movie series. Even so, he was handed his hat from TNG after 2 years. Sure, he "publicly" announced that Berman was hand-picked by him to continue on, but we all know that GR was basically told what to do by that point. Paramount saw to it by the time "Conspiracy" aired.

AFAIK, Roddenberry never called Star Trek: VI non-cannon. It was said at the time that he saw it and was okay with it, but he was also very sick by that time so who knows.

Joel
 

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