I saw a new article on Trekdom that would have me believe that I've been vilifying the wrong men for the last fifteen years. Seems that Berman would have us believe that he and Braga are innocent after all. He says it was all UPN's idea - a good scapegoat, the dead network whose parent company has just been bought out and all the suits replaced. He's working on his memoirs.
I wonder if we'll ever know the truth.
The truth is, Berman's got to want to save face. This is the man handpicked by Gene Roddenberry himself to lead Star Trek into a new era... and he lost it. Ouch.
Also, let's have a review of the facts.
Berman could have quit. He could have shown an ounce of Gene's strength from the third season of TOS. What's so important about the third season of TOS, you ask? Didn't it get the show cancelled?
Yes, we answer, it did. Because Gene moved off the lot. NBC promised a good timeslot, the show that had that timeslot threw a fit, Star Trek got exiled to Friday nights at ten, and Gene said, "Give the time slot back or I quit." And the network called his bluff. And so he quit, moved off the lot, and the show lost big time.
The important thing was that he had the integrity not just to keep fighting but to stop fighting. There was call for more Trek later. So he answered the call, and we got movies. There was call for a series and he agreed - so long as the series would never be under network control again.
The funny thing is that TNG and DS9 were never under network control. That honor fell to Voyager, and Enterprise - the two shows that let us down time after time after time. Berman says he objected to Boob of Nine wearing the catsuit, he says he objected and argued over the sexy decontamination scenes, he says he fought the suits over everything the fans hate...
But he didn't fight like Gene would have fought. He could have said, "Fine. I won't do this to Star Trek. I won't do this to Gene, who left me his legacy and trusted me and chose me to do this over his own wife..." He could have quit. He could have walked out the door of the soundstage one day and straight into the crowd of people you know are just hanging around waiting for autographs and told us what was happening. He could have gone to a newspaper. He could have called one of the fanzine writers and begged for an interview. He would have gotten it and we all know it.
Sure, he would have been out of a job. Like Gene would have let that stop him. You're in Hollywood, Berman! Unemployment happens!
And if this is the truth, how do you explain the nasty comments he sent our way about how the fans read way too much into everything and pay too much attention. How do you pay too much attention to something you love that much? If Brannon Braga objected so strongly as Berman says, why was he screwing the woman in the catsuit who got all the screen time?
No, something is definitely off here. I never saw UPN as innocent, but I don't think Berman's as innocent as he would have us believe either.