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The Braga Saga
The man who makes all the new Star Trek, Brannon Braga. Twelve years ago, he was the new kid on the block when he was hired for a summer writing internship with Star Trek: The Next Generation.
His first assignment was to work on the script for the fourth-season episode Reunion with the show’s executive story editor Ronald D Moore. Today, Braga is a veteran writer and producer with hundreds of hours of TV and feature film experience. In addition to The Next Generation, he also wrote/produced Star Trek: Voyager as well as co-wrote the Trek movies Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact. Currently, he is serving as writer/executive producer on the latest Trek spin-off Enterprise. For Braga, it’s like being a kid in a candy store all over again.
“I’m constantly amazed by the fact I never get tired of it [Trek]. I always find something new in it,” says Braga. “It’s funny, when I left Voyager prior to its final season I thought, ‘Well, I guess I’ve done all I can. That’s it for me as far as Star Trek is concerned.’ Then this new show called Enterprise came down the pike. Suddenly, I’m helping Rick Berman [series creator and executive producer] write the pilot while all the time thinking, ‘This is a totally new experience.’ So I feel like one very lucky Star Trek guy.”
It was Berman who created the premise for Enterprise, which is set in the mid-22nd Century and 100 years before the classic Star Trek series. Braga came onboard shortly after to work along with him to turn the concept into an actual TV show. “The first thing we had to do was flesh out our main characters, who we wanted to be very much like you and me,” notes the writer/executive producer. “They’re astronauts. So they’ve gone through zero-G training as well as diplomatic, tactical and psychological training. These are certainly the types of things that astronauts in the near future will have to go through. However, when it comes to dealing with aliens and strange situations, they’re actually no different from the ordinary person. Therefore, they’re much more contemporary. So, for example, they talk in a more naturalistic fashion.
“Basically, we just wanted Enterprise to have a more realistic vibe to it. I mean, aliens and space-time rifts are nothing to the Captain Picards and Captain Janeways. They’ve been there and seen it all. With this new series, we hoped to recapture the excitement of Space exploration through the eyes of characters that were more primordial. It was a gamble, though. The fans could have easily turned around and said, ‘Why are these people acting so surprised. This is nothing new. We’ve seen it all before.’ Happily, it didn’t work out that way. From the feedback we’ve received, audiences are enjoying themselves right along with our heroes, which was our intention from the beginning.
by Steven Eramo
There's much more from Brannon Braga and co-star Linda Park (Hoshi Sato) on Enterprise as well as many other series for 2002-2003 in:
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