What would/does Rick Berman think of Picard?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Damian, Dec 30, 2020.

  1. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I just started watching Picard and I started wondering what does Rick Berman think of Picard? Last I heard anything from him was just wishing Discovery luck before that show started. He's kept a pretty low profile the last several years. I suppose part of that is he just wants to stay out of the way and let the current show runners take the show wherever they see fit. He's a former show runner guy so he probably figures they don't need him opining about their work.

    But arguably TNG improved once Rick Berman took over day to day control of the show as Roddenberry's health failed. Berman has his faults, but TNG did see a considerable improvement once he took over (I find his faults lie mostly in staying on too long and taking too long to bring in new blood).

    Picard is probably most closely related to his own work. I wonder what he'd think of it. This show is a bit more thoughtful than Discovery, less action oriented. To me it feels like it fits with the existing continuity of TNG era shows (Discovery for me does not really fit too well in my eyes to its era--though I like it for other reasons).
     
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  2. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We'll never find out from Rick Berman himself what he thinks of Picard because he probably won't comment on or criticize his successor's work in public.

    I imagine what he really thinks is a combination of "There are some things I'd do differently" and "I'm glad someone else is in the hot seat now and not me!" Just look at his Twitter post when he asked everyone what they thought of Picard. (link) Slightly better than a YouTube Comments Section. He didn't weigh in one way or the other. One thing Rick Berman knows how to do is play the political game.
     
  3. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm sure he loves it. Berman was all about the production qualities, and he is under no illusions that any new series need to follow his examples.
     
  4. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    He's gonna love season 2 when Elnor explores his sexuality!
     
  5. Scionz

    Scionz Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    He problably loves it.

    Berman got a bad rap at the end of his tenure. Yeah by the time of late Enterprise he was clearly burned out, creatively exhausted and doing things that were almost cynical in nature (all hallmarks of someone who just needed a change). But much of what we know of as Star Trek in the TNG->Enterprise era finds its uttermost source in him and the standing team of of writers, directors, cineametographers and creative personnel. He was chef overseeing a resturant, in a sense. He had his problems, and the infighting at various points we all knew about, but Star Trek benefited greatly from his steady hand for so many years. The consistency in world building, in characterization, in art and design. He was a micromanager, and the we've seen with the Alternate Reality movies and the first two seasons of Discovery what happens when someone like him is not around. Fortunately Star Trek finally seems to be getting that with Alex Kurtzman in a sense, but Kurtzman will never be a "career Star Trek man" the way Berman was.

    But Berman was something else - aware that Star Trek needed to change. And it happened subtly. TNG changed about three time - Season 1-2, Season 3-5 creative high point, and the more "self aware' Season 6-7. DS9 and Voyager both changed about three times. Enterprise changed about once per season. He knew that production values, the way shows were shot and characters were handled was changing as he was producing these works, and Star Trek changed with it. Fans were not always on board.

    Enterprise is perhaps the most telling example of this. It was designed to be a radical departure from Voyager. Not just in time period and setting, but also in production values, plotting, music, and storytelling approach. And fans just did not go along with it at all. But Enterprise was manifestly a much more "Modern" show in 2001/2002 than Voyager was in 2000. That was Berman trying to keep the franchise going for another 7 years. It ultimately didn't work (in large part due to UPN).

    Everything about the shift in his approach to storytelling in Enterprise makes me think he'd like Picard very much. Because Picard's storytelling approach is modern. It's production values are modern. It takes a character he crafted and nutured and sets him in a modern series, done a modern way, rather than just remake the "feel" of late TNG, or even Star Trek Nemesis.

    I'm sure there would be things he wouldn't like. La Sirena just does not look like a Star Trek ship, and that's something he was notoriously protective of. He probably would have done something very different for the motivations of the Zhat Vash (or just used the Tal Shiar) for doing what they did other than "robotic aliens from another dimension". But Picard is closer to the direction he wanted to take Star Trek via Enterprise, than perhaps anything else.

    But I think most of all, he'd realize that however it harkens back to "his" Star Trek, it needs to do its own thing. We didn't think of it like this at the time, but Discovery is essentially TNG 2.0 - the franchise TV restart 20 years later that, though it has a echo of what came before emphatically tries to do its own thing and not simply rehash what others had done. His professional experience in taking over Trek from Gene Roddenberry was in making sure TNG was its own thing, and not being a show about Vulcans every week with cameos by the TOS bridge crew. He played it fast and loose with continuity and visual consistency with TOS and the movies to service his own creation. Essentially, he personally orchestrated the type of creative approach that Discovery and even Picard has done to his own creation, 20 years later. We may be annoyed that Picard Replicators look oddly less advanced that TNG replicators (and putting them in real life 3d printers is a weird expense for a show), but he probably wouldn't care.
     
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  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    World building and characterization in Star Trek during the Berman era has always been among the weakest points, while the "consistent art and design" had more to do with them recycling everything for budgetary expedience than it did any attempt at creative integrity or whatever.
    Huh? In what way is Picard a character "crafted and nurtured" by Berman? Berman had very little to do on the writing side of things during time running Trek, and indeed there are only two episodes in the entire franchise in which he has a solo writing credit on, TNG's Brothers and A Matter of Time. He has story developing credit on a bunch of TNG and Voyager episodes, as well as the TNG movies and he's credited as a co-writer on several Enterprise episodes, though in that case I was always under the impression it was in fact Brannon Braga who did the "heavy lifting" on writing those episodes and Berman was only listed as a co-writer due to contractual obligations.

    Berman wasn't much of a creative force during his time on Star Trek. Indeed, the creative side of things is something he largely avoided. He was strictly an executive first, foremost, and solely speaking.
     
  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    I don't think that's giving people like Mike Okuda and Rick Sternbach enough credit.
     
  8. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I acknowledge that did sound harsher than I intended, I just meant that because so much stuff from the Berman era was recycled and redressed of things that had been around since in some cases TMP, that ended up leading to the things having a shared look more than it being any kind of intentional actions on anyone's part.
     
  9. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    “Less music. More catsuits.”
     
  10. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I tend to agree about Berman on the writing side of things. He was more of a CEO. Overseeing things and making sure things fit with what he thought was Roddenberry's vision (of course we can argue whether that's a good thing or not as well as whether he was successful at that or not--but in any event, it was always something he highlighted).

    I agree with @Scionz in some areas as well. Berman sometimes is accused of being a bit too static, but there are examples of Star Trek pushing the envelope during his tenure. He may have been resistant but there are times he relented. For instance he wasn't a fan of an ongoing Dominion War in DS9, but obviously he got on board. And Enterprise was the first Star Trek series to experiment with a season long story arc with the Xindi.

    As a continuity and production design junkie I'll admit I liked the consistency presented in Berman Trek. Yes, it's true much of that was controlling costs. But as an executive producer in charge of Star Trek it was his job to control costs as much as possible. If they had been given a bigger budget I'm not really sure what Berman would have done. But I give the production team like Herman Zimmerman, Sternbach, Okuda, Eaves and the rest credit for their creative designs and not just designing things because they looked cool, but making sure there was some in story purpose for everything. And I like recycling. If you can find multiple uses for the same set pieces, have at it. Nowadays with computer designs they probably can do a lot more with less and make things seem even more changing. Back in the 90s and early 2000s you pretty much had to have a physical set for everything.

    But I'm not sure if we'll ever hear what Berman thinks himself. He opined once about Star Trek (2009) being a great movie, but lacking a little heart and he got a lot of blowback from that. I imagine he probably figures he just doesn't need the hassle at this point and he'll just keep his opinions to himself. And part of it is probably some professional courtesy. Let the current showrunners do their thing without any perceived interference from him.

    I do think Rick Berman appreciated his time as a Star Trek showrunner for so many years and part of him is probably happy to see the franchise continuing again on TV and thriving once again. And Picard in many ways built off a lot of the work he oversaw on TNG so perhaps he feels a bit of pride that something he worked on now lives on once again.
     
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  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think that had more to do with the fact that Berman reportedly had a very minimal involvement with DS9.
    Voyager wanted to do season-long arcs, they were forbidden by UPN, so the fact that Enterprise did get to do a season long arc had more to do with UPN consenting than it did anything on Berman's part. Also, UPN consenting to Enterprise having an arc for its third season was likely motivated by the fact that this was the time when season arc were becoming en vogue, due primarily to this being the time when 24 had become one of the more popular TV shows of the time.
     
  12. StarMan

    StarMan Custom Title Pending Premium Member

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    I believe a lot of credit for TNG's noticeable uptick in quality season 3 is owed to Michael Piller.

    As for Picard, I'm sure he's ... very pleased.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  13. daedalus5

    daedalus5 Rear Admiral Moderator

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    Berman probably doesn’t watch it and will be enjoying retirement(?) in a luxury villa somewhere, with his millions of dollars in the bank. I’m not at all jealous of that. :) To his credit, he did a great job overseeing Trek and gave us some brilliant shows. The politics still need a ‘tell all’ book, and the closest was the ENT DVD commentaries with Braga having a go at the studio executives, which, I didn’t even think about when I complained about the Killer Bs all those years ago.
    He should continue to be respectful and not slag new Trek off.

    Id also like a ‘tell all’ book on Discovery as their churn of Producers has been to the detriment of the show and I’m sorry Brian Fuller isn’t still in charge.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Who cares? He hasn't been involved in Star Trek for fifteen years now.
     
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  15. StarMan

    StarMan Custom Title Pending Premium Member

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    I would have loved to have seen Fuller's original vision for Discovery (ditto American Gods - <sigh>) . In particular, his character arc for Michael.

    As for Braga ... well, I'll have to get my hands on those DVD commentaries. Braga took a huge amount of heat from fans during Voyager and Enterprise's run. Fair play if he wants to set (some) of the record straight.

    But yes, as for Berman - I doubt he has a strong opinion one way or the other about Picard.
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's actually an interview done on the Blu-ray release for Enterprise. For the most part it is just (deserved) mud-slinging at UPN, along with a few catty comments directed at Manny Coto, such as Berman (I think) sneering when Coto was brought up "Right, because Manny Coto never wrote a bad episode, did he?"
     
  17. Cyrus

    Cyrus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On his twitter account Berman was very complimentary of Picard before the show premiered. After the show started he hasn't said anything about it but one time asked how his followers liked it. Here are some of his twitter posts:
    Michael Chabon is one of America’s greatest writers. Having him involved with Star Trek is beyond amazing!

    Picard series should be incredible. Lots of first-class talent behind it.

    Watch @AkivaGoldsman’s A BEAUTIFUL MIND, and you’ll see an example of the amazing talent that has been brought to Star Trek.

    Picard show with @SirPatStew looks remarkably thought provoking. I, for one, am anxiously looking forward to it.

    Stewart, Spiner, Frakes, Ryan, Chabon, Goldsman....what else could we ask for? Im holding my breath. Watch!!
     
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  18. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

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    Coto deserves that. He brought a lot of fan service, but nothing brilliant.
     
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  19. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    He was a forerunner for the times coming when all that matters is fan service.
     
  20. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Fan service was the only reason I went back to ENT in S4...the show was dull as dishwater.
     
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