The Star Trek The Next Generation Companion

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9780671883409: The Star Trek The Next Generation Companion
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"The Star Trek: The Next Generation (R) Companion" is the complete guide to the series that brought " "Star Trek" (R)" (R) back to television for seven extremely successful seasons. Episode-by-episode summaries, credits, and behind-the-scenes notes that shed intriguing light on the production of the show. This edition is updated to include information on the film "Star Trek Generations." Indexed by episode number, by writer, guest stars, and directors, it's the one book that brings all this information together between two covers.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Larry Nemecek is a widely respected expert on Star Trek who was for several years the editor of the US magazine Star Trek: Communicator. He is a consultant on the Star Trek Fact Files and is known to UK Star Trek fans for his regular column in Star Trek: Monthly in which he answers readers' questions on all aspects of Star Trek.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Star Trek: First Contact

In February 1995, word arrived from the studio to ready a new Star Trek feature for a 1996 holiday release. "We were standing outside on the Hart Building steps," Moore recalls. "Rick had just come back from that studio meeting, and Brannon and I were on our way out and Rick stopped us and he said, 'I really want you guys to think about it -- you don't have to -- I want to do a time-travel piece.' Brannon and I added, 'We want to do something with the Borg.' And right on the spot, we said maybe we can do both, the Borg and time travel."

Why the Borg? Moore felt that the Borg deserved the scope a feature-film budget would allow. "The Borg were really liked by the fans, and we liked them. They were fearsome. They were unstoppable. Perfect foils for a feature story."

Immediately it became clear that the time-travel element could play out as the Borg try to prevent humanity from ever reaching space. But when? Berman suggested the Renaissance: the Borg would prevent the dawning of modern European civilization.

In a story draft called Star Trek: Renaissance, the Borg are tracked by our crew to a castle basement and their colonizing hive. Moore explains, "And you would have sword fights and phaser fights mixed together, in fifteenth-century Europe." The Data story would have him signing on as the apprentice to Leonardo da Vinci. Of Renaissance Moore said, "It risked becoming really campy and over-the-top."

"The one image that I brought to the table," recalled Braga, "is the image of the Vulcans coming out of the ship. I wanted to see the birth of Star Trek. We ended up coming back to that moment. That, to me, is what made the time-travel story fresh. We get to see what happened, when humans shook hands with their first aliens."

As Star Trek: Resurrection took form it told the story of time travel, provided an encounter with the Borg, and centered around the discovery of warp drive by Dr. Zefram Cochrane. Taking cues from several TNG stories, it was decided to place Cochrane in the mid-twenty-first century, in a non-urban site. Montana fit with continuity, and happens to be Braga's home state. This first script has the Borg attacking Cochrane's lab, which leaves the scientist comatose; that forces Picard to assume Cochrane's place and launch the warp ship Phoenix. A local photographer and X-ray tech named Ruby becomes the key to rebuilding a destroyed warp component. Dr. Crusher battles to save Cochrane, while admiration blossoms into romance between Ruby and Picard. However, it is Riker who leads the defense of the Enterprise against the Borg.

To underline the ever-increasing horror of how fast the Borg were assimilating the Enterprise and its crew, the writers added a new insidious step to the process. Borg drones would inject a captured crew member, instantly making them part of the collective. However, early attempts to keep the collective faceless proved frustrating. "It always sounded better in concept than it was in trying to execute it dramatically," Moore recalled. After struggling to represent the Borg as a true collective, the writers knew they needed a single Borg character -- the hive needed a queen -- to serve as the focal point for dramatic interaction.

Taking an objective look, the trio knew their story required work. "The things that worked through both drafts were the Borg action stuff, Cochrane, the Vulcan landing, Data and the queen," Braga recalled. "It just didn't make sense to us," Moore said, "that Picard, the one guy who has a history with the Borg, never meets them. He was on the surface during this whole thing while the Borg are upstairs fighting Riker, et al." A simple swap of the two heroes was called for; Picard's story moved to the ship, and the planet-based story was trimmed and told with a different tone. "Let's get simple. Bring Cochrane into the story," Moore explained. "Let's make him an interesting fellow, and it could say something about the birth of the Federation. The future that Gene Roddenberry envisioned is born out of this very flawed man, who is not larger than life but an ordinary flawed human being."

The idea of Borg set against period costumes was moved to the holodeck in what was dubbed "the cocktail party." At Rick Berman's suggestion, it became a Dixon Hill scenario. All these changes coalesced in the second draft, which still carried the title Star Trek: Resurrection. This would be the script that the production team -- headed by Marty Hornstein and Peter Lauritson -- would use for a budget.

The first order of business was the creation of a new starship. That job was entrusted to production designer Herman Zimmerman. "The script says, 'The new Enterprise sleekly comes out of the nebula.' And that's about the only thing we had to go from," illustrator John Eaves explained. For Eaves, a longtime fan, it was a dream assignment. He combined the script's description with the mandate that this new Enterprise be larger than her predecessor and created a sleek, faster-looking ship with an oval saucer. "The Enterprise-E has only twenty-four decks, so it is smaller mass-wise than the 'D' but it's longer," he pointed out.

The new bridge reflected another description from the script: a single captain's chair, with all stations facing toward it. A slightly larger and much less spartan ready room was also created. Elements were carried over from the series: the Shakespeare volume and the captain's Mintakan tapestry draped over his ready-room chair ("Who Watches the Watchers?"/152).

However, the single set that carried over most of its grace notes from the series was the observation lounge. Its windows were the same ones that were used on the television show. Zimmerman returned to a look of the earlier seasons of the show, and placed a display of Enterprise vessels on the inner wall. Now the models were gold, three-dimensional, and encased in glass. Main engineering got a massive, three-story set, with corridors, a lobby, and the biggest warp core to date. Sickbay was a redress of Voyager's set, saving time and money. Worf's appearance on the Defiant bridge was filmed on the Deep Space Nine standing set.

The choice of director was one with "family" connections. Having tossed his hat in the ring with other directors, Jonathan Frakes won the assignment. "Not having directed a major motion picture before, I'm told I got the job about a month later than would have been ideal," Frakes commented. He named TNG and Voyager veteran Jerry Fleck as his first assistant director, Matt Leonetti as director of photography, and Jack Wheeler as film editor. Among the returning feature vets were set decorator John Dwyer, art director Ron Wilkinson, sound mixer Tom Causey, and live effects master Terry Frazee. Doubling up with their television work were casting directors Junie Lowry-Johnson and Ron Surma, construction coordinator Tom Arp, and script coordinator Lolita Fatjo. ILM would again tackle the bulk of visual effects under producer John Knoll. While some of the opticals went to local FX houses, this was headed by series visual effects coordinator David Takemura.

Bob Blackman, longtime costume designer for the series, would redesign the Starfleet uniform. To ease Blackman's workload -- he had two television series and now a feature -- non-Starfleet design was given to Deborah Everton. "I think I met them on a Thursday and that Monday I was at work!" Everton recalled. The burden for upgrading the Borg would fall jointly to her and veteran makeup designer Michael Westmore. The old pasty-white skin and salvaged costumes were largely unchanged since Season 2 ("Q Who?"/142). "I wanted it to look like they were Borgified from the inside out rather than the outside in," Everton said. The queen was their most difficult challenge. She had to be unique among Borg, but still retain human qualities. "It was very difficult," notes Westmore. "We didn't want somebody to come along and say, 'Oh, that looks like Alien.'"

With the April 8 start date rapidly closing in, Berman and Frakes turned at last to casting. For Zefram Cochrane, Frakes chose James Cromwell. "In spite of having been nominated for an Academy Award, he actually came in and read for the part," Frakes said. "He nailed it. He left Berman and me with our jaws in our laps." For Lily Sloane, the choice was easy, Frakes recalled: "The first time we got through the script, I think everyone's first words were 'Alfre Woodard.'" Oscar nominated for Cross Creek, Woodard also had Emmys for guest-starring on Hill Street Blues and the LA Law pilot. Frakes revealed that the hardest to cast was the Borg queen. A London-trained South African native, Alice Krige, of Chariots of Fire and Dream West, would go on to create one of the Star Trek features' great villains.

Finally, the third-draft script added three surprises to the cast. A cameo by Dwight Schultz as Barclay, Robert Picardo as the Enterprise-E's Emergency Medical Hologram, and Voyager castmate Ethan Phillips in human guise as the maitre d' of the Dixon Hill holoprogram.

Weeks earlier, Resurrection had been abandoned as a title when Fox announced it as the name of their fourth Alien film. For a while the feature was called Star Trek: Borg and even Star Trek: Generations II. It was not until May 3 that the script appeared with its final title: Star Trek: First Contact.

With so many new sets to build, plans called for filming to start with location shooting. Four days were planned at the Titan Missile Museum, south of Tucson, Arizona. The disarmed nuclear missile and subterranean silo would stand in for Cochrane's recycled Phoenix booster. "That was a challenge," recalls Frakes of filming in the silo. "It was incredible. It also was a set we couldn't have afforded to build." A fiberglass capsule shell -- the Phoenix's command module -- was fitted over the top of the rocket.

Two weeks of nighttime shooting in the Angeles National F...

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780743457989: The Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion: Revised Edition

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ISBN 10:  0743457986 ISBN 13:  9780743457989
Publisher: Star Trek, 2003
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9780671794606: The Star Trek, The Next Generation Companion

Pocket..., 1992
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