Thursday, March 10, 2011

In Defense of Rick Berman

Go to any Star Trek website and mention former Trek producer Rick Berman's name and you will get angry Trekkers accusing him of everything from global warming to destroying the franchise of Star Trek. And I concede the man was not perfect. His firing of composer Ron Jones was just wrong. Jones wrote wonderful scores that were some of the most melodic, harmonic and soulful of any Trek composer. But I digress.

Rick Berman took control of Star Trek: The Next Generation around the third season. Under his watch, we were blessed with TNG's "The Best of Both Worlds", "The Nth Degree", "The Inner Light", "Tapestry", "The Chase", "Parallels", to name a few. He helped to create two more successful Star Trek shows, Voyager and Deep Space Nine which had some great shows like "The Visitor." Deep Space Nine was creatively different than the other Star Trek shows. Darker, but it was still Star trek. Whereas Voyager took the franchise back to its roots of space exploration.

Yes, there was the failures. With the exception of Star Trek: First Contact, the films were not entirely successful at the box office or with critics. Enterprise suffered for being on the UPN not readily available in every television market. And perhaps, franchise fatigue was setting in. But no one can ever accuse them of not being Star Trek.

Brent Spiner who played Date said it best. "Rick more than anybody else protected Gene Roddenberry’s vision. There were times we wanted to do things in an episode, and Rick would be, ‘No, no, no. Gene wouldn’t want that and that’s not what Star Trek is about.’ (Interview with SyFy radio; from Look, you can slap any space adventure movie with the name Star Trek but it won't be Star Trek unless it adhered to creator Gene Roddenberry's vision. Adventure, heart and intelligence. Rick Berman knew the vision and should be praised for honoring it.

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