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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old September 4 2014, 01:08 AM   #1
billcosby
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Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

This premiered in Canada August 25th on HBO. I had no idea it existed and caught it by accident but I did see The Captains and I thought that was fantastic. It's remarkable after how much time has passed that Shatner is now peeling back the layers on Star Trek shows he wasn't a part of (fine, except the egg scrambling scene in Generations) and really digging deep to uncover long buried truths about the trouble getting this show on the air.

http://www.treknews.net/2014/08/08/s...ridge-details/

So I will try and remain spoiler-free here but ultimately I was totally floored by how much crazy shit went down as TNG was being made. I know there was a writers strike in season two and that meant less episodes (of very mixed quality) and I know that something shitty must have happened to allow the departure of both Gates and Crosby. But my jaw was on the floor for much of this documentary and Gene Roddenbery was at the centre of this shitstorm - totally fascinating!

Gene's lawyer sounds absolutely nuts. I wish they'd interviewed him!

Great interviews with all the TNG heavy hitters - Berman, DC, Braga, Ira, Moore, etc. However I think that Gene Roddenbery should have been in the title as the story more or less focuses on him and the influence he had over the show - good and bad. The man was slipping in health but seemed to spend the last few years of his life fighting to make TNG the best it could be. And then after he dies, TNG really came into it's own.

Moore states that after Gene died the writers were directed to switch over to character stories instead of plot stories (season three) and it's near universally accepted that's when TNG takes off and becomes truly awesome.

Anyway, this is a must watch for all you TNGers out there whether curious about the show or maybe you were like me and bought every single magazine available at the time to read about the production. The rosy pictures they painted at the time were not what really took place - and although they often said that the cast got along, there was a lot of crazy stuff going down between all the executives and decision makers behind the scenes... and Gene at the centre of it all. With his wacky-doodle ideas.
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Old September 4 2014, 01:21 AM   #2
bbailey861
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

I have it on the PVR and hope to get to it on the weekend. "Shitstorm". Now you really have me interested.
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Old September 4 2014, 01:27 AM   #3
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

I always interpreted Gene's position as a bargain chip: He knew he wouldnt get 100%, so he went to the extreme end, so the compromise would be about what he had in mind.
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Old September 4 2014, 07:05 AM   #4
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

That sounds good! I've always heard about Gene really being off the wall with his ideas at times.
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Old September 4 2014, 07:44 AM   #5
Maxwell Everett
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

billcosby wrote: View Post
Gene's lawyer sounds absolutely nuts. I wish they'd interviewed him!
That would be Leonard Maizlish. As David Gerrold put it, "Gene Roddenberry's Iago." He died not long after Roddenberry, I believe. This is the guy who re-wrote early TNG scripts in Gene's name (violating WGA rules), caused a mass writer/producer exodus from the show and was eventually fired and banned from the Paramount lot. He nearly destroyed TNG before it ever got off the ground!

Here's what Rick Berman wrote on Twitter last year:

season one, Leonard Maizlish, Gene's lawyer, would hand me a script saying these were Gene notes. I'm pretty sure they were Leonard's notes.
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Old September 4 2014, 06:25 PM   #6
Doug Otte
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

billcosby wrote: View Post
Moore states that after Gene died the writers were directed to switch over to character stories instead of plot stories (season three) and it's near universally accepted that's when TNG takes off and becomes truly awesome.
Thanks for the review, and I'm eager to see it.

However, based upon reading posts here at Trektoday, I get the impression most people thought the high point of the show was Seasons 3-4, and it declined afterward. That's also my opinion.
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Old September 4 2014, 06:31 PM   #7
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

billcosby wrote: View Post
Moore states that after Gene died the writers were directed to switch over to character stories instead of plot stories (season three) and it's near universally accepted that's when TNG takes off and becomes truly awesome.
The greater focus on character development came with Michael Piller's addition to the series at the beginning of season three. Gene Roddenberry died during the production of season five.
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Old September 4 2014, 07:12 PM   #8
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

billcosby wrote: View Post
Moore states that after Gene died the writers were directed to switch over to character stories instead of plot stories (season three) and it's near universally accepted that's when TNG takes off and becomes truly awesome.
Gene Roddenberry passed away in 1991, during season 5. "Unification" opens with a dedication to him.

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Old September 5 2014, 02:11 PM   #9
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

Watched it and loved it. It's refreshing to see such candid thoughts and this is probably the best documentary that Shatner has done to date. This is the kind of work I'd like to see repeated, especially with the anniversary coming up in a couple of years. I also really enjoyed the style it was done in. Too bad it wasn't 90 minutes or 2 hours long and more cast and crew thoughts included. Perhaps it was a budget thing or some people didn't want to participate. In any event, I'd like to see more of these with the other series. I didn't erase the PVR since I'll probably watch it again in a few more days to see if there is anything I missed.
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Old September 5 2014, 06:44 PM   #10
Doug Otte
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

Any idea when HBO will show it in the USA? I searched yesterday, but nothing is upcoming.
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Old September 5 2014, 07:45 PM   #11
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

Where would one see this in the UK?
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Old September 6 2014, 04:49 PM   #12
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

Very much looking forward to this one -- have seen some clips, and it seems like a juicy dive into all the craziness that went on back in the early TNG days (plus having Shatner making this only makes it more awesome). Hoping this airs soon in the States.
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Old September 8 2014, 03:57 PM   #13
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

I'm in the US and I can't find so much as a short clip from this documentary. Does anyone know of a website that would have a video promo or something? I'd love to even just see a teaser for it.
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Old September 9 2014, 02:02 PM   #14
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

extremedalek wrote: View Post
Where would one see this in the UK?
I also want to know!
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Old September 9 2014, 03:07 PM   #15
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Re: Chaos on the Bridge - Shatner's HBO doc about TNG

did Shat interview Greg Stone for this?
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