Today, StarTrek.com continues our conversation with Brannon Braga, longtime Star Trek writer-producer-creator, who has been revisiting the Star Trek universe with the IDW Publishing comic book series Hive. Yesterday, Braga talked in detail about the four-part Hive saga, and today StarTrek.com picks his brain about the 25th anniversary of The Next Generation, his upcoming appearance at Destination Star Trek London, his in-the-works projects and more.
How hard is it to wrap your head around the idea that it’s the 25th anniversary of TNG?
Braga: It’s funny; it feels still kind of like it’s yesterday, yet not. It’s one of those weird things. Most people don’t have a television show they worked on to mark the passage of time. So it’s an odd experience. That new book (Star Trek: The Next Generation 365) that Paula (M. Block) and Terry (J. Erdmann) did is really fascinating. If you’re a Next Gen fan you have to have this book. I worked on the show and I sat down and read that thing from cover to cover. It’s quite a large book, and it was not only a walk down memory lane… I learned things.
Braga: I learned a little bit more about the making of an episode I really liked called ‘Darmok.’ At that time I kind of had my nose in my own things, and just reading the making of how that whole thing came to be was interesting. It’s interesting to read about the making of episodes I did as well. You know what? What’s great about TNG is how popular it continues to be. I just walked out of a meeting, just now, before getting on the phone to talk to you. I was meeting with a major video game company about doing a movie, and at the end of the meeting one of the executives walked up to me and said, “I just wanted to tell you that the final episode of The Next Generation was my favorite television of all time.” That aired a long time ago. 1994, right? That’s what strikes me the most, how the show is still so amazingly popular. Also, I’m struck by how formative it was. I knew people who grew up watching the show, which also makes me feel old, but it’s nice to see that it was – and is – appreciated.
How excited are you to get out to England for Destination Star Trek London? You’ll be sharing the stage with Ron Moore, Ira Steven Behr and Lolito Fatjo.
Braga: This is a big one. Five captains. This will be probably the last time you’ll get those people on a stage. It’s going to be fun. The last London convention I went to was in 1994. It was a big one, for Generations, and it was a lot of fun. I can only imagine this will be even bigger.
Your most recent project was Terra Nova. Fox did not, unfortunately, pick it up for a second season. To your thinking, what went right and what went wrong with the show?
Braga: I think Terra Nova turned out very well and I’m very proud of the work we did. I think it took too long to get made. I was shocked that it didn’t do better, but I was also shocked that it got canceled because it seemed to me that it was doing well enough and deserved a second season. But it was a very expensive show. I think, creatively, it found its voice in the latter half of the season. I think the pilot and the final episode turned out great, and those were the two most important episodes. But there were some struggles early on and, when you have so much at stake in a show, there’s really very little margin for error, and there were enough errors made that it took it down.
You are attached to a couple of upcoming projects, namely Malice and Cosmos. What will people see with those, and how far along are they?
Braga: I’m a producer on Cosmos, along with Ann Druyan and Seth MacFarlane. We’re re-crafting the original and re-imagining it, and it’s been an amazing experience. It’s a great honor to be a part of it. I don’t really want to say too much, except that if you’re a fan of the original, you’re going to love it, and if you’ve never seen Cosmos, it’s going to be a really memorable experience. You’ll have to ask someone at Fox when they intend to put it on. I think it’s sometime in 2014 is what they’re saying. We’re supposed to start shooting early next year. We’re in the scripting stage right now. Malice is a supernatural thriller that takes place during the Salem witch trials, and it’s about a sleeper cell of witches bent on destroying America before it can be born. That’s a pilot I’m working on for Fox 21 and FX. That’s way off. I’m still writing the pilot off right now.
Click HERE to read part one of our interview with Braga. And for details about Destination Star Trek London, click HERE.