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Brannon Braga Says He Takes Full Responsibility for Decisions that Hurt the Star Trek Franchise

In a continuation of his recent interview, Brannon Braga discussed working on Star Trek: Enterprise, the factors that led to the show’s early cancellation, being blamed for the it’s death and a look back at his 15 years with the Star Trek franchise.

“I will take full responsibility for any flawed or downright bad storytelling or creative decisions that hurt the franchise. I don’t think, looking back, that that’s the main reason it went away. So I don’t think Rick and I killed the franchise. That’s absurd.” Braga said.

“there just are some real haters out there.”

“Did I stay on the franchise too long? Was the storytelling feeling feeble and familiar? I’m going to say no. I look at season three of Enterprise and say the whole Xindi species concept was really cool. That’s a science fiction concept I’d never seen before. You had insects and aquatics with intelligence and culture. I thought that was a fascinating idea and we turned it into a season-long arc that I thought was super-fresh. I thought Manny Coto came in and breathed fresh air into season four. So I thought, creatively, the show was not on life support in season four, very far from it. But I do think there comes a point, whether it’s Star Trek, Gunsmoke, I Love Lucy, when a show has run its course. One day, even Law & Order will be off the air. Whether you want to call it franchise fatigue or whatever, it’s not always just about the show.”

“Also, there just are some real haters out there. There are some people who will go back and says, “Well, look at Braga’s work on TNG. If you really look at it, that sucked, too.” That’s when I feel like I just can’t win. There are just contingents of people who didn’t like the work I did on the shows. They also need to keep in mind that Rick Berman and Brannon Braga were not the only two people making Star Trek. There were hundreds of people involved with the shows, including other writers and producers.” noted Braga.

“We may have been at the top, but we were not the only ones. However, having said all that, I can’t dispute that what J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Kurtzman and Orci did with the new Star Trek movie was pretty fabulous and modern. So I have to look at that and think, “Well, given some time passing and a hunger developing and fresh brains coming in with a really modern, snazzy, sexy take on the franchise, it was a really good thing.” Sorry about the long, rambling answer. And I’m sure that when you post this I’m going to get more hate mail. It’ll just fan the flames.” he continued.

“Do you think I would have spent 15 years on something if it wasn’t in my blood and wasn’t the most passionate thing in my life?”

Braga went on to discuss his 15 years with the Star Trek franchise. When asked if he would trade that time for anything, he said “No, never. That’s one of the things that really stings about some of the fan criticism.”

“Also, by the way, there are also fans who are really kind and supportive, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate those people. Those are the fans that kept me going for 15 years. Do you think I would have spent 15 years on something if it wasn’t in my blood and wasn’t the most passionate thing in my life? Some fans accuse me of not knowing Star Trek or (say) “He didn’t watch TOS’ or “He didn’t see all the episodes of TOS. How dare he work on Star Trek.” I wrote more episodes of Star Trek than anybody. Now, some people might say that’s a bad thing, but why does everybody forget the good things? We referenced “Rick and Brannon killed the franchise,” but Rick and Brannon were around at the heyday, too. It kind of reached an apex Kirk and Picard were on the cover of Time Magazine. TNG was ending. The movie was coming and Voyager had been announced. It hit this fever pitch and was at the top of the world, and it never really reached that peak again, though I think the J.J. Abrams has reintroduced Star Trek in a great way. ”

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  1. Miguelito1701

    September 24, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Ok, apologies accepted 🙂 Now, introducing the is perhaps a good sci-fi-idea, but not in a prequel. That killed the franchise, I think. What was popular in ENT? The 1950-Vulcan story, the Awakening-arc, the terra prime episode. Basically everything, that is know through the canon, but has been screened. if the would have eliminated the xindi-thing and would have concentrated on the those things, we would have had a 7 season ENT.

  2. Librarysifu

    September 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I have to agree. The Xindi storyline was interesting from a science fiction standpoint, but to me it wasn’t Star Trek. For me Star Trek is about exploration. The Xindi storyline seemed too much like a 9/11 response.

  3. John Mattos

    September 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I’ll say the same thing I put on Brannon’s Facebook Page

    Hey dude. I certainly cant
    speak for everyone who likes Star Trek, all I can speak for is me, and
    may I just say… Fuck the Haters. You have given us a TON of great Star
    Trek, and you need to acknowledge that and believe it.

    I know also, that when I see your name attached to a project, I say “oh hell yeah, I’m going to watch that”. Anyway, peace and go easier on yourself. You have a whole hell of a lot of fans out there.

    • NCC1971

      September 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      I agree. I wish Brannon all the best with Terra Nova.

    • Dak Ralter

      March 12, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Your statement illustrates what HL Mencken meant by “No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public”. Some people will take whatever is shat into their mouths and not only like it, but defend it to the death. Braga was counting on that.

      VOY/ENT fans are one such example. Voyager and Enterprise were shit. Pure shit. None of it was great. Braga didnt give one shit about continuity or Roddenberry’s noble dream. He figured just half-ass it, slap the STAR TREK name on it and fans would be stupid enough to take it without question.

      I suppose you illustrate that there are moments that he was right.

      • David Brown

        August 22, 2019 at 8:31 pm

        You are out of your freaking hater mind!!!

  4. Lynn

    September 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I think Brannon did a lot for Star Trek. He was at the helm for it’s highest peak in the mid 90’s Congrats to him for saying this and congrats to him on his new show!

  5. James Wright

    January 14, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Brannon sucks!

  6. Fish Fast

    March 11, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    I love how he starts by saying he takes full responsibility for the show’s quality and then lets out with a thousand words or so full of evasion and passing the buck.

  7. J Tyler

    May 18, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    ENT was excellent . Voyager was excellent. The further away we gather the more and more I appreciate them. Would I have done somethings different here and there ? Yes …But Braga has nothing to apologize for …well..somebody can apologize for the entire film franchise after 6 …and that DEF includes Abrams comic booking superhero treatment of Trek …but Abrams has the taste of a child.
    Anyway …thank you Berman and Braga.

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