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Feature: Star Trek

Berman’s Babies

Trek voyages continue He’s co-created, executive produced, written; in fact, he pretty much is
Star Trek.

Rick Berman explains where the franchise is boldly going next

Rick Berman is the guy at the top of the Trek pyramid and, as Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s hand-picked successor, he has been for years. Berman executive produces and frequently co-writes episodes of Enterprise, and he executive-produced and co-wrote the story for Nemesis. “I think it fits into the ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’ category,” Berman muses of Enterprise’s ratings climb. “I think that people, after the rush to check out the season’s new shows, are settling back into Enterprise. And because there’s not necessarily a lot of promotion other than on-air promotion, I think a lot of our fans who don’t watch UPN regularly have taken a little time to realize that the show is back and where it is. Either way, we’re pleased to see the numbers shoot up. And I’ve been very pleased with the shows we’ve done so far. I’m probably most pleased with two shows that haven’t aired yet. One is called The Seventh and the other is called Vanishing Point. I think that both Minefield and Dead Stop were good action shows and that from a suspense point of view Vanishing Point and The Seventh are terrific. And I think that from another point of view A Night in Sickbay was a lot of fun.”

Berman, it should be noted, has spent more time actually writing Enterprise than he had on Next Generation, Deep Space Nine or Voyager. And the Enterprise scripts he’s penned he’s done in tandem with co-executive producer Brannon Braga. “Writing and producing tend to go hand-in-hand, especially on a television show,” Berman explains. “Prior to Enterprise my name wasn’t on that many scripts, but I was still very involved in the re-writing process on them. What I’ve been able to do since we completed [Nemesis] is to carve enough time, at least three hours a day, to do some writing. I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from it. It’s a frustrating creative process, but it’s a wonderful process. Brannon and I are halfway through the 11th episode that we’ve written for Enterprise and we plan to continue at it.”

Though there are many similarities and differences between Enterprise and its predecessors, one aspect that stands out is its sex drive. Things are often hot and heavy on Enterprise. Berman doesn’t deny that he and Braga, in crafting a new Trek series, considered it part of their mission to ratchet up the sex quotient. “We’d like to think of Enterprise as being a much more character-driven series,” he says. “We’re dealing with more contemporary Humans who are experiencing Space travel for the first time. When you’re doing a character-driven show with contemporary characters, you’re going to deal with the kinds of things that are dealt with in most contemporary television series, and sexuality is one of them.”

by Damien Monaghan

Rick Berman reveals more about what's in store for Trek in
Cult Times #87

Star Trek © Paramount, Image © Visual Imagination
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #87
December 2002
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