Brannon Braga at the Las Vegas Convention
To see Lenore's photos of Brannon Braga's appearance, click
Last weekend, August 1-5, I traveled from the Seattle area to Las Vegas to meet up with other Dominic Keating fans, who I had met online, to attend the Star Trek Convention being held at the Las Vegas Hilton. This was the largest convention I have ever attended as well as my first trip to Vegas. It was quite overwhelming in many ways. I was looking forward to seeing many of the stars who would be making appearances and I was also looking forward to seeing and hearing from Executive Producer Brannon Braga.
I did take notes knowing that I would be writing this report, however I do not have direct quotes from Mr. Braga on most questions. Therefore, it is not my intent to quote his answers to the questions, but to merely give my impressions of his appearance.
Mr. Braga came onto the stage and almost immediately went into the Q & A time. There was limited time so I expected there would not be time for many questions. I had one I wanted to ask so I made my way up to the front right away. In hindsight I should have taken my camera up with me to have some nice photos from close up.
There were the typical questions and comments that I am sure are heard at every appearance Mr. Braga makes. The “we want a gay character on the show” comments, the “why use the Temporal Cold War” issue, the “Is there going to be a Voyager movie” question, and the ever popular “I’m jealous because you are dating Jeri Ryan and I am not” comment.
I felt Mr. Braga answered these questions honestly and sincerely. Some of these have been pretty controversial on message boards all across the internet and the subject of much discussion. I was impressed with his sense of humor and calm demeanor when faced with some difficult questions.
Someone asked him how it felt to kill Captain Kirk. He explained to the audience how controversial that was when “Generations” came out and I was surprised to hear about how upset people had been over it.
When asked which episode he was most proud of, Mr. Braga named the final episode of The Next Generation.
When someone questioned the “dim lighting and gray colors” on Enterprise Mr. Braga joked that there is some color on the show…..Porthos is brown. That received a nice chuckle from the audience. By the way, I love that dog!
While discussing the Temporal Cold War I was pleased to hear that we would likely see more of Daniels. I had just met the actor who portrays him (Matt Winston) and he is a charming and friendly man. He spoke with a couple of us for several minutes before signing an autograph and posing for pictures with us. On my photo he printed, “Don’t mess with the timeline.”
I know there were other questions asked but I was so nervous standing in front of all those people and waiting for my turn that I had some trouble deciphering my own handwriting when I returned home.
I ended up getting the last question for Mr. Braga. I first told him I loved his writing both for Star Trek and for the movie, “Mission Impossible II”, (the man does do other things you know) and then wished him an early Happy Birthday. My question was, “If you could travel back in time, what advice would Executive Producer Brannon Braga give to intern Brannon Braga?” His answer? “Don’t kill Kirk.” This brought a good laugh from the audience as the subject had been discussed earlier in the session.
In thinking back on his appearance at the convention I am impressed with what an amazing career this man has had and that he is still a young man with years ahead of him.
Many of my favorite episodes of Next Generation and some of my favorite Trek movies were written or co-written by him. I will admit that I was not a big fan or regular viewer of Voyager but fell in love with Enterprise right from the start. I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this talented man, not just in the Star Trek universe, but in other productions as well.
Thank you Brannon Braga for coming to the convention and speaking to the fans. Thank you for the stories and characters you continue to bring to us for our enjoyment.
March 26, 2002
Grand Slam Report 2: Sneak Peeks
PASADENA, March 23, 2002 Once again Brannon took the stage before the fans at Creation Entertainment's Grand Slam Star Trek convention. But what a difference a year makes. At last year's Grand Slam, he wasn't able to reveal even the smallest of details concerning the fifth Star Trek series, but this year he was brimming with information about all things Enterprise. Brannon spoke a bit about the upcoming season finale, revealing that it will be a cliffhanger revolving around the mysterious Temporal Cold War. "The final episode will deal a lot with that, as will the first episode of next year, and you'll learn a lot more about it," he said.
Brannon also spoke to some of the larger themes of Enterprise, such as the early evolution of the Federation. "Over the course of the seasons, we definitely want to get into, how did it all come to be? How did this thing called the Federation happen? How did they become part of the intergalactic neighborhood? How did they earn respect? That's all going to be part of the show, for sure. We will be hinting at it early next season."
And what about popular, well-established alien races, such as the Romulans? Any chance we'll be seeing them on the show? "I don't think you're going to be seeing the Romulans this season," Brannon said. "In the Original Series, it was established that no one had actually seen the Romulans. So, it's tricky, because you want to see them. You don't want to just see a bunch of ships and not know what's going on. But we're thinking about ways we might do it."
As for the Romulans' logical distant cousins, Brannon acknowledged that the Vulcans on Enterprise are a bit different than the ones we've seen before. He explained that because the show takes place in an era where humans are still very flawed, the writers thought it would be interesting if the Vulcans were also less than perfect. "Though they are light-years beyond humanity, they've got their own problems," he said. "They're a paradoxical species in that they're incredibly intelligent, but they're also somewhat insulated and provincial in their attitudes toward other species, and somewhat judgmental. We thought that would be good conflict in the show, that T'Pol and Archer could be a microcosm of that conflict and we could see how these two species came to be so close."
As for the much-requested storyline of T'Pol experiencing the Vulcan mating ritual known as pon farr, Brannon commented wryly, "We have talked about it. We want to wait until the time is right — when we really need the ratings!"