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Old December 10 2008, 10:13 PM   #1
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Spiner Defends Berman

Criticism of Rick Berman is "short-sighted," says Brent Spiner.

As reported by SyFy Portal, Spiner challenged fans to match Berman's work record. "It think it's really short-sighted of people to give Rick grief," said Spiner. "I just say to any of them, 'You go produce a television show and produce hundreds of hours of television shows,' which these people have watched more than once."

Berman tried hard to do what Roddenberry would have wanted. "I don't know where these ideas come from," said Spiner. "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.' Nobody sets out to do anything that people aren't going to like. You're doing the best you can, and I think he did pretty well. Paramount Pictures thought so. They revered him for a number of years, as well they should have."

Spiner has nothing but respect for Berman, ranging from admiration of his hard work to gratitude for his professional attitude towards those with whom he worked. "Trying to get a single episode of television on the air on time is such a daunting task, and this guy did it week after week, year after year," said Spiner. "And he did it in the most graceful manner. If you ever worked for Rick, he never yelled, was never angry, always was even-tempered and reasonable. It's just preposterous for a lot of people commenting on something they know nothing about."

To read more, head to the article located here.

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Old December 10 2008, 10:48 PM   #2
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

TrekToday wrote: View Post
Criticism of <font color=yellow>Rick Berman</font> is "short-sighted," says <font color=yellow>Brent Spiner</font>.<p>As reported by <A class="link" HREF="http://www.syfyportal.com">SyFy Portal</A>, Spiner challenged fans to match Berman's work record. "It think it's really short-sighted of people to give Rick grief," said Spiner. "I just say to any of them, 'You go produce a television show and produce hundreds of hours of television shows,' which these people have watched more than once." <p>Berman tried hard to do what Roddenberry would have wanted. "I don't know where these ideas come from," said Spiner. "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.' Nobody sets out to do anything that people aren't going to like. You're doing the best you can, and I think he did pretty well. Paramount Pictures thought so. They revered him for a number of years, as well they should have."<p>Spiner has nothing but respect for Berman, ranging from admiration of his hard work to gratitude for his professional attitude towards those with whom he worked. "Trying to get a single episode of television on the air on time is such a daunting task, and this guy did it week after week, year after year," said Spiner. "And he did it in the most graceful manner. If you ever worked for Rick, he never yelled, was never angry, always was even-tempered and reasonable. It's just preposterous for a lot of people commenting on something they know nothing about."<p>To read more, head to the article located <A class="link" HREF="http://www.syfyportal.com/pagetogether.php?id=5647&page=1">here</A>.<center></center>
That's good to hear. And he's right -- Berman's record does deserve respect. His time in charge produced some of the best and most definitive Trek stories, from "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "The Best of Both Worlds" to "The Drumhead" to "Emissary," to "In the Pale Moonlight" to the Dominion War to....

I do think that Berman's work deserves some criticism, too, though. I think that as time went on, he became more and more burnt out and less and less creative. I think that he was not willing to take creative risks on VOY at a time when Star Trek really needed to take risks, to evolve, in order to stay competitive on TV -- at the same time that Behr was managing to override him and take some of those risks on DS9. And I think that by the time he was willing to start breaking with formula (ENT S3), it was too late.

But, by the same token, this guy produced 25 seasons' worth of episodes for 18 years, hiring and working with some of the best writers in the biz (Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor, Ronald D. Moore, Joe Menosky, Brian Taylor, Ira Steven Behr, Peter Allen Fields, etc.). That's an accomplishment, no matter how you put it.

Clearly the writers always found Berman to be creatively stifling, if Ronald D. Moore's blog is to be taken as accurate, but that doesn't mean that he's a bad guy, or that he was a bad boss, either.
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Old December 10 2008, 11:02 PM   #3
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

Berman made mistakes, like any human being. But he kept compounding his own mistakes by making worse ones as time went on. TNG went fine, but he made a few mistakes there. Then with DS9, he made a whole host of them, and the great show that it turned out to be occurred mostly in spite of him. Some of the best facets of DS9, Berman was against. The dominion war story arc, loosing DS9 to them, was opposed by Berman. The episode "In the Pale Moonlight" he felt was anti-Roddenberry, which normally makes it bad, but in this case, the episode was brilliance. He was too short-sighted to see his own errors. In Voyager, they just kept getting worse. His greatest mistake of all was in promoting people like Brannon Braga, who really holds a lot of the blame bag for the final years of Trek's errors.

Spiner's defense of Berman is based totally on what Berman did with TNG and it's films. And if you where Spiner, what Berman did with TNG and it's films was fine and dandy, especially the films which gave so much more amplified focus on Spiner and Stewart and very much ignored the rest of the cast in contradiction to the form and theme of TNG. So of course Spiner thinks Berman did a good job. He, likes those he's critisising for being critical of Berman, doesn't know what he's talking about. All Spiner knows about in any detail is TNG and the TNG films. The problems and errors of Rick Berman as time went on in through DS9, VGR, ENT, and the problems many of us found with the TNG films, all don't exist in Spiner's mind.

Pot, Kettle, Black, Brent. Sorry, bud. You missed the boat on this one.

As to...

But, by the same token, this guy produced 25 seasons' worth of episodes for 18 years, hiring and working with some of the best writers in the biz (Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor, Ronald D. Moore, Joe Menosky, Brian Taylor, Ira Steven Behr, Peter Allen Fields, etc.). That's an accomplishment, no matter how you put it.
And he also alienated all of them. Or did you miss how they all quit while Berman stuck around with his worst mistake, Braga, gaining more and more power and influence, eventually leading to the demise of the Trek we knew?

Berman isn't the villain. I'll give him that. Berman is the ignorant short-sighted fool, responsible for loosing all the above listed talent and replacing it with Brannon Braga.
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Old December 10 2008, 11:19 PM   #4
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

Frontier wrote: View Post
But, by the same token, this guy produced 25 seasons' worth of episodes for 18 years, hiring and working with some of the best writers in the biz (Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor, Ronald D. Moore, Joe Menosky, Brian Taylor, Ira Steven Behr, Peter Allen Fields, etc.). That's an accomplishment, no matter how you put it.
And he also alienated all of them. Or did you miss how they all quit while Berman stuck around with his worst mistake, Braga, gaining more and more power and influence, eventually leading to the demise of the Trek we knew?
Michael Pillar left VOY, by all accounts, because he wanted to move on to new challenges after having been at Trek for years. Jeri Taylor retired. So did Peter Allen Fields. Ronald D. Joe Menosky and Brian Taylor never quit, nor did Behr.

Of those, the only one that quit because -- possibly -- of Berman was Moore. Moore has always said that he quit because of the attitudes of the people in charge, though he never specified if he was talking primarily about Berman or Braga. Behr was apparently creatively alienated from Berman, but he never quit.

I'm not saying Berman was a good artist. Clearly he wasn't. But by the same token, I think that his mistakes were ones made in good faith as he tried to preserve the essence of Star Trek and to do what Gene Roddenberry would have wanted them to do, as he understood it. He made a lot of major missteps and ultimately produced two series that had no souls of their own (ENT and VOY sans Coto and Pillar, respectively) because he got burnt out.

But he's not a villain. No one was. This isn't a Victorian melodrama.
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Old December 10 2008, 11:38 PM   #5
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

If people want to criticise Berman's work that's fine, but some people get way too personal and try to demonize the man. It's ridiculous.

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Old December 11 2008, 12:09 AM   #6
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

Sci, I agree with what you are saying. Although, I wouldn't go as far and say Voyager had no soul. But appart from that I too believe Berman did a good job and there is much we can thank him for. As long as he left the creative work to the writers and he sticked to producing all was fine.

Things started to go awry when he began to take over the actual story development (or lack there of), instead of finding replacements for the people who had left or retired. He probably had a very good idea of what Star Trek was not to be rather than knowing what it could be. This put him in a good position to shoot down lame ideas and approve good ones, but he lacked the capacity to generate new ideas of quality all by himself.
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Old December 11 2008, 12:10 AM   #7
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

Good words fro Brent Spiner. Berman did a good job, except for the theme music to Star Trek - Enterprise
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Old December 11 2008, 03:12 AM   #8
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

For some reason I figured it would be Spiner.

"Protecting Gene's vision" does not mean the restriction of creativity
based on the assumed wishes of a dead man(rest his energies).

"Risk is our business. That's what this starship is all about. That's why we're aboard her." - Captain Kirk.

Berman may have produced alot of good Trek
(most of the credit for the good should be given to the writers),
but far too often he played "Safe Trek" and that's what I don't appreciate.
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Old December 11 2008, 03:55 AM   #9
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

trekkerguy wrote: View Post
For some reason I figured it would be Spiner.

"Protecting Gene's vision" does not mean the restriction of creativity
based on the assumed wishes of a dead man(rest his energies).

"Risk is our business. That's what this starship is all about. That's why we're aboard her." - Captain Kirk.

Berman may have produced alot of good Trek
(most of the credit for the good should be given to the writers),
but far too often he played "Safe Trek" and that's what I don't appreciate.
jj abrahams will screw it up even more....wait he already has
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Old December 11 2008, 04:18 AM   #10
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

Siwilliams wrote: View Post
trekkerguy wrote: View Post
For some reason I figured it would be Spiner.

"Protecting Gene's vision" does not mean the restriction of creativity
based on the assumed wishes of a dead man(rest his energies).

"Risk is our business. That's what this starship is all about. That's why we're aboard her." - Captain Kirk.

Berman may have produced alot of good Trek
(most of the credit for the good should be given to the writers),
but far too often he played "Safe Trek" and that's what I don't appreciate.
jj abrahams will screw it up even more....wait he already has

JJ Abrams* has done nothing of the sort, and seems to me to be
making Trek as it was meant to be for the first time in a decade or more.
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Old December 11 2008, 04:29 AM   #11
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

trekkerguy wrote: View Post
For some reason I figured it would be Spiner.

"Protecting Gene's vision" does not mean the restriction of creativity
based on the assumed wishes of a dead man(rest his energies).

"Risk is our business. That's what this starship is all about. That's why we're aboard her." - Captain Kirk.

Berman may have produced alot of good Trek
(most of the credit for the good should be given to the writers),
but far too often he played "Safe Trek" and that's what I don't appreciate.
QFT
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Old December 11 2008, 04:42 AM   #12
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

Berman simply got stale. In 2001 Enterprise was using the exact same storylines and feel of Trek from 1991. Trek, much like the model-T, began to suffer from a certain lack of variety after a while.

Oh yes, and he tried writing scripts himself, which usually just meant stealing from earlier stories and making them bland.
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Old December 11 2008, 05:00 AM   #13
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

trekkerguy wrote: View Post
JJ Abrams* has done nothing of the sort, and seems to me to be
making Trek as it was meant to be for the first time in a decade or more.
Yeah I know StarTransformWarsTrek is gonna be totally sick, brah.
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Old December 11 2008, 05:18 AM   #14
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

i loved spiner's role in Enterprise. what a performance
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Old December 11 2008, 05:24 AM   #15
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Re: Spiner Defends Berman

Dasher'n'Dancer32 wrote: View Post
i loved spiner's role in Enterprise. what a performance
Agreed, some of the best of ENT.


Tyson wrote: View Post
trekkerguy wrote: View Post
JJ Abrams* has done nothing of the sort, and seems to me to be
making Trek as it was meant to be for the first time in a decade or more.
Yeah I know StarTransformWarsTrek is gonna be totally sick, brah.
See it then talk to me. Until you actually see the film, you know nothing beyond the trailers and interviews we have seen.

And it looks like it could be the best of Trek in my opinion. So until you have facts to back up your statement, my door is shut.

Julan Tru.
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