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GustavoLeao

Brannon Braga Comments on VOY/ENT

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I don't think the word "great work" and Braga really belong in the same sentence.

Here's a question--a real one--what episodes of Braga's on TNG did you like?

Cause and Effect, Power Play, Timescape, Phantasms, Frame of Minds, Schisms, Realm of Fear.  And those are just solo on TNG.  He also co-wrote the fantastic finale of "All Good Things..." and he co-wrote "Reunion," another personal favorite of mine.  Even on Voyager he co-wrote some decent episodes like the "Scorpion" two-oarter with Joe Menosky.  I would consider all of these things (even the Voyager two-parter I mentioned, and I say this as a non-Voyager fan).  So I guess...plenty of great ones?

Braga was IMO a really amazing writer on TNG, he created some of the most memorable "weird anomaly" type of episodes.

Together with Moore, he was a great team: Braga was talented about the weird SF stuff, Moore about characters.

But IMO VOY showed that when Moore is not around? Braga has no talent for writing characters, even when he's good at space anomalies.

I'm not really a VGR fan either, but he did write "Drone" (my favorite VGR), "Dark Frontier" and "Timeless" (two other exceptional episodes of the series).  The man has chops, no question.

 

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Cause and Effect was basically rewriting the same scene several times.  Good episode, but not exactly brilliant.  I'd have to rewatch a lot of those episodes to really comment on the rest.  Braga and the word "great" don't really go together, and I think that holds true for Moore as well, who also never had an original idea that succeeded.  Ultimately, that's the true test of a writer--what he does outside of Trek.  Braga's constant failures pretty much says it all. 

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Cause and Effect was basically rewriting the same scene several times.  Good episode, but not exactly brilliant.  I'd have to rewatch a lot of those episodes to really comment on the rest.  Braga and the word "great" don't really go together, and I think that holds true for Moore as well, who also never had an original idea that succeeded.  Ultimately, that's the true test of a writer--what he does outside of Trek.  Braga's constant failures pretty much says it all. 

This is ridiculous. "Cause and Effect" is a brilliant piece of writing, and is bot merely "rewriting the same scene severeal times." Before it a time loop concept wasn't really explored that much, if at all...he was exploring a whole new type of storytelling. But if you are just mad that star trek ended under his reign, or that Voyager wasn't quite up to your standards, then I guess it is okay to discount all the great work he did before that. 

As for Moore, I think that is utter nonsense as well. He had plenty of original ideas and wrote many great episodes and was highly successful within Trek, and beyond. 

For all your talk of "great writers" and how to make a successful show or movie by only having the writing be absolutely brilliant...I am starting to wonder if you'd know good writing if was sitting on your Television set for 18 years.  

Edited by kenman

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Cause and Effect was basically rewriting the same scene several times.  Good episode, but not exactly brilliant.  I'd have to rewatch a lot of those episodes to really comment on the rest.  Braga and the word "great" don't really go together, and I think that holds true for Moore as well, who also never had an original idea that succeeded.  Ultimately, that's the true test of a writer--what he does outside of Trek.  Braga's constant failures pretty much says it all. 

So do Gene Roddenberry's, for that matter.

"Genesis II" "Planet Earth" "Spectre" "Questor Tapes", even "The Lieutenant" (his only other 'successful' non-ST series).     Even the ST episodes Roddenberry wrote weren't exactly stellar; it took others like Gene Coon and Dorothy Fontana to really make his show work

Cause and Effect was basically rewriting the same scene several times.  Good episode, but not exactly brilliant.  I'd have to rewatch a lot of those episodes to really comment on the rest.  Braga and the word "great" don't really go together, and I think that holds true for Moore as well, who also never had an original idea that succeeded.  Ultimately, that's the true test of a writer--what he does outside of Trek.  Braga's constant failures pretty much says it all. 

This is ridiculous. "Cause and Effect" is a brilliant piece of writing, and is bot merely "rewriting the same scene severeal times." Before it a time loop concept wasn't really explored that much, if at all...he was exploring a whole new type of storytelling. But if you are just mad that star trek ended under his reign, or that Voyager wasn't quite up to your standards, then I guess it is okay to discount all the great work he did before that. 

As for Moore, I think that is utter nonsense as well. He had plenty of original ideas and wrote many great episodes and was highly successful within Trek, and beyond. 

For all your talk of "great writers" and how to make a successful show or movie by only having the writing be absolutely brilliant...I am starting to wonder if you'd know good writing if was sitting on your Television set for 18 years.  

^  No need for insults, Kenman.

We can debate opinions, but let's not insult tastes. 

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Cause and Effect was basically rewriting the same scene several times.  Good episode, but not exactly brilliant.  I'd have to rewatch a lot of those episodes to really comment on the rest.  Braga and the word "great" don't really go together, and I think that holds true for Moore as well, who also never had an original idea that succeeded.  Ultimately, that's the true test of a writer--what he does outside of Trek.  Braga's constant failures pretty much says it all. 

So do Gene Roddenberry's, for that matter.

"Genesis II" "Planet Earth" "Spectre" "Questor Tapes", even "The Lieutenant" (his only other 'successful' non-ST series).     Even the ST episodes Roddenberry wrote weren't exactly stellar; it took others like Gene Coon and Dorothy Fontana to really make his show work

Cause and Effect was basically rewriting the same scene several times.  Good episode, but not exactly brilliant.  I'd have to rewatch a lot of those episodes to really comment on the rest.  Braga and the word "great" don't really go together, and I think that holds true for Moore as well, who also never had an original idea that succeeded.  Ultimately, that's the true test of a writer--what he does outside of Trek.  Braga's constant failures pretty much says it all. 

This is ridiculous. "Cause and Effect" is a brilliant piece of writing, and is bot merely "rewriting the same scene severeal times." Before it a time loop concept wasn't really explored that much, if at all...he was exploring a whole new type of storytelling. But if you are just mad that star trek ended under his reign, or that Voyager wasn't quite up to your standards, then I guess it is okay to discount all the great work he did before that. 

As for Moore, I think that is utter nonsense as well. He had plenty of original ideas and wrote many great episodes and was highly successful within Trek, and beyond. 

For all your talk of "great writers" and how to make a successful show or movie by only having the writing be absolutely brilliant...I am starting to wonder if you'd know good writing if was sitting on your Television set for 18 years.  

^  No need for insults, Kenman.

We can debate opinions, but let's not insult tastes. 

It's not an insult. It is a comment on his opinion. He has stated on many occasions in this thread and others, that in his opinion, "good writing" makes or breaks a success. But my comment is merely "who is to say what is good writing." His opinion on the matter clearly differs from mine.  But that is NOT an insult. 

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The difference between Braga and Roddenberry is Roddenberry created Star Trek.  That's a worldwide phenomenon that he created from scratch, that survives 50 years later, and outlived him.  It continues to survive.  What did Braga do except leech off that creation and nearly destroy it?  Where is Braga's original hit?

And I do know brilliant writing.  I know I didn't see it from Braga, who couldn't write his name without screwing it up and making it boring.  The evidence is that lack of an original success, and Braga's taking his franchise destruction talents to make 24 suck too.

What original hit did Moore have? 

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The difference between Braga and Roddenberry is Roddenberry created Star Trek.  That's a worldwide phenomenon that he created from scratch, that survives 50 years later, and outlived him.  It continues to survive.  What did Braga do except leech off that creation and nearly destroy it?  Where is Braga's original hit?

And I do know brilliant writing.  I know I didn't see it from Braga, who couldn't write his name without screwing it up and making it boring.  The evidence is that lack of an original success, and Braga's taking his franchise destruction talents to make 24 suck too.

What original hit did Moore have? 

Battlestar Galactica's most successful elements were the new things, not the the variations from the original...he also helped CREATE plenty of the things we now know and assume about the Klingons. Many things didn't exist before Moore.  We will have to agree to disagree on Braga.  I think there is plenty of evidence to suggest he could be a brilliant young writer. Maybe not the best showrunner...but he was a good writer.  I've recently watched the candid documentaries on the Enterprise blu-rays, and I think Braga makes a decent case for himself and the show...and where things went wrong...and I think he makes a good case for why the show wasn't entirely successful...and you can choose to believe it or not, but there was more to the failures of this show than just "Brannon Braga and/or Rick Berman suck!" 

And if writing for a show created by another person is just "leeching" then I guess Steven Moffat and Russel T. Davies are just major leeches in your opinion? 

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And if writing for a show created by another person is just "leeching" then I guess Steven Moffat and Russel T. Davies are just major leeches in your opinion? 

This. 

 

And I'd certainly call Outlander an "original' hit given the fact that fans sincerely didn't believe it could be translated. Whether anyone likes it or not, it takes skill and, yes, original thought to figure out how to properly do it. 

Edited by prometheus59650

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The difference between Braga and Roddenberry is Roddenberry created Star Trek.  That's a worldwide phenomenon that he created from scratch, that survives 50 years later, and outlived him.  It continues to survive.  What did Braga do except leech off that creation and nearly destroy it?  Where is Braga's original hit?

And I do know brilliant writing.  I know I didn't see it from Braga, who couldn't write his name without screwing it up and making it boring.  The evidence is that lack of an original success, and Braga's taking his franchise destruction talents to make 24 suck too.

What original hit did Moore have? 

Who cares?   No one else here is grounded in the idea that only writers who create a franchise are any good.  

That's YOUR measuring stick, no one else's. 

Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica only shares a few names with Glen Larson's original, and the barest skeleton of a story idea.  All of the 'meat' of it is new.   And Braga cowrote/produced COSMOS, which was exceptional.   One of the best programs of its year, IMO.

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Taking a good idea and fleshing it out can take just as much skill as creating something new from scratch. I've been reading science fiction for almost 50 years and when I was a kid I bought almost all of my books used. So I've read a lot of SF short stories and novels going back 70 or 80 years. Every time some SF story that is brilliant and truly original comes along, I almost always remember some short story I read 30 or 40 years ago that somewhat like it. There is really nothing that is absolutely original anymore. What counts is how you tell the story. Most show creators are taking one idea from this story and another idea from that story and putting them together in an unusual way. 

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The difference between Braga and Roddenberry is Roddenberry created Star Trek.  That's a worldwide phenomenon that he created from scratch, that survives 50 years later, and outlived him.  It continues to survive.  What did Braga do except leech off that creation and nearly destroy it?  Where is Braga's original hit?

And I do know brilliant writing.  I know I didn't see it from Braga, who couldn't write his name without screwing it up and making it boring.  The evidence is that lack of an original success, and Braga's taking his franchise destruction talents to make 24 suck too.

What original hit did Moore have? 

Who cares?   No one else here is grounded in the idea that only writers who create a franchise are any good.  

That's YOUR measuring stick, no one else's. 

Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica only shares a few names with Glen Larson's original, and the barest skeleton of a story idea.  All of the 'meat' of it is new.   And Braga cowrote/produced COSMOS, which was exceptional.   One of the best programs of its year, IMO.

^  This.

It's totally absurd to assume that just because a writer takes inspiration somewhere, he can't be any good. If it was like that, there would be no good writers whatsoever.

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I'm re-watching Ron Moore's "Battlestar Galactica" right now (I'm up to S2) and it has almost NO relationship to the old show.  The old show and the new show are distant cousins at best.   Their look, their characters (tons of NEW characters in Ron Moore's version; Tyrol, Cally, Roslin, Helo, etc), and the story itself are so wildly different than its predecessor that it's truly "GINO" (Galactica In Name Only), except that I mean that as a sincere compliment. 

I'd really like to put to bed this notion that one has to create a franchise to be considered a 'good' writer; that's utter NONSENSE.   Plenty of bad 'original' franchises created out there ("Twilight" anyone??).  

And there are plenty of would-be bad franchises that were saved by good writers who worked in other's sandboxes and made sand castles in them.   Doctor Who/Sherlock writer/producer Steven Moffat is one such talent, as is Russell T. Davies and Mark Gatiss.  

Gene Coon and Dorothy Fontana were two other such writers for Star Trek, and they (along with others) saved Star Trek from mediocrity.   I'd add Ron Moore and Brannon Braga to that list as well.   Both did some terrific writing in their careers, and I'm sick and tired of this already disproven notion that they'll never be adequate because they didn't create a new franchise themselves.    

Let's put this one to bed, please.  It's really tiresome.

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Battlestar Galactica was something created in the 1970s and always had a following.  No matter what happened in that show, RDM still was playing in someone else's universe, and leeched off someone else's franchise. 

He didn't create it, and was not responsible for the name recognition it had.  He did a good job running that show, but he didn't create something from scratch, and never has.  He's a decent writer in someone else's world, but hardly has the talent to actually create something on his own.

As for Braga's talent, and in his case, I use that term very loosely, his record speaks for itself.  He ran Star Trek into the ground, and then did the same for 24, and everything he tried outside of an established show, failed.  Brannon Braga did not save Star Trek from mediocrity--he brought it to below mediocrity.  The more power he got, the worse the franchise became. 

Gene Coon and DC Fontana were involved in creating Star Trek--arguably as much as Roddenberry. Star Trek wasn't a phenomenon when they got to it--they were part of the team responsible for making that phenomenon.  Coon also died very young, so there's no telling what he might have done had he lived. 

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Battlestar Galactica was something created in the 1970s and always had a following.  No matter what happened in that show, RDM still was playing in someone else's universe, and leeched off someone else's franchise. 

He didn't create it, and was not responsible for the name recognition it had.  He did a good job running that show, but he didn't create something from scratch, and never has.  He's a decent writer in someone else's world, but hardly has the talent to actually create something on his own.

Again, he created far more new in that show than just leeching off the original. That is utter nonsense.  Yes, the show was created in the 70s, but let's not act like that was a hot property people really cared about. A small group of 70s sci-fi fans...but not it was a small following when Moore CREATED the revamp.  And he built a whole new world that had little to do with the original, and did so because he liked certain elements of the premise, but wanted to do something fresh and new with it, and use it as an allegory for the post-9/11 world we were living in.  You discount it as creation because he used someone elses old name, and I think that is silly.  He built more of that universe than Larson ever did.  And you are the only one here still using this metric...that in order to be considered a brilliant writer, you must create your own franchise or something. I think that is ridiculous. 

 

As for Braga's talent, and in his case, I use that term very loosely, his record speaks for itself.  He ran Star Trek into the ground, and then did the same for 24, and everything he tried outside of an established show, failed.  Brannon Braga did not save Star Trek from mediocrity--he brought it to below mediocrity.  The more power he got, the worse the franchise became. 

Again...you are looking at the tail end of that record.  And I think you are only seeing one man who got a bunch of power ran a show into the ground, when things in showbusiness are rarely that cut and dry.  I don't think Enterprise was ever truly successful, personally, but there were way more factors than Braga being some lousy writer. He was a burnt out writer (who I will defend as having written some of the best episodes of TNG, period), but I don't think he was lousy.  I can't speak for 24...as it was a show that always stunk in my opinion...but I can say that he had the fairly successful "Cosmos" which he was heavily involved in both the writing AND directing of...and that show was a great watch.  Trek became mediocre...but it isn't entirely Braga's fault. I think a few of  Voyager's better episodes happened to be written by Braga and Menosky.  You are just seeing half of the record in my opinion.  There were plenty of behind the scenes issues, especially on Enterprise.  But as much as Enterprise is declared a failure...it had some good stuff in there, particularly it's final season...and it was still UPN's highest rated show even when canceled. But UPN was a mess beyond Trek and even with higher ratings than anything else...Enterprise cost money to produce. True failures of TV tend not to last four years.  Hell my wif and I loved a sitcom called "Marry Me" and NBC didn't even air the last few episodes of the first season.

Gene Coon and DC Fontana were involved in creating Star Trek--arguably as much as Roddenberry. Star Trek wasn't a phenomenon when they got to it--they were part of the team responsible for making that phenomenon.  Coon also died very young, so there's no telling what he might have done had he lived. 

TNG wasn't much of a phenomenon when it began...but writers like Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga were responsible for helping turn that reputation around.  They were such key elements to what made the show step out of the shadow of that original show, that they were offered not only the finale but the first two films based on the series as well.  They created as much Trek lore as Fontana did.  Your metric just seems to be how early they got in on the thing.  Coon got in the ground floor! Well, maybe if Moore and Braga had been born three decades earlier they might've had a chance to prove to you that they could write good TV.  Unfortunately they didn't get their start til the 90s and only have a trail of good work to show for it. 

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Battlestar Galactica was something created in the 1970s and always had a following.  No matter what happened in that show, RDM still was playing in someone else's universe, and leeched off someone else's franchise. 

He didn't create it, and was not responsible for the name recognition it had.  He did a good job running that show, but he didn't create something from scratch, and never has.  He's a decent writer in someone else's world, but hardly has the talent to actually create something on his own.

As for Braga's talent, and in his case, I use that term very loosely, his record speaks for itself.  He ran Star Trek into the ground, and then did the same for 24, and everything he tried outside of an established show, failed.  Brannon Braga did not save Star Trek from mediocrity--he brought it to below mediocrity.  The more power he got, the worse the franchise became. 

Gene Coon and DC Fontana were involved in creating Star Trek--arguably as much as Roddenberry. Star Trek wasn't a phenomenon when they got to it--they were part of the team responsible for making that phenomenon.  Coon also died very young, so there's no telling what he might have done had he lived. 

Re: Moore & Braga.

SO WHAT.

No one else cares.  The BSG remake was about as different conceptually and in execution as a remake can be.  The fact that the idea didn't 'originate' with Moore DOESN'T MATTER.  He turned a crappy nursery rhyme into Handel's Messiah. 

I'm going to say this but once:  I'm really getting tired of you using this unnatural and artificial standard of 'If they didn't create it, they're not good writers.'   It's irrelevant and forgive me, but it's getting repetitive as hell.  We've wasted too many threads on it.   NO MORE.

It's also offensive to those on this forum who write fan fiction and produce fan art.  Just because one works in aother's venue doesn't mean they're not 'good enough'; that is just pure NONSENSE.   It's your measuring stick, no one else's.


If you want to pursue this one further in the KM threads?  Please do so.   Create a thread on 'what makes a writer good' (please, enlighten us all). 

 But no more derailing of ANY thread that has to do with post-TOS writers whom you label as 'not good' because they didn't 'create' Star Trek.   Roddenberry himself ripped off "Forbidden Planet" (which itself was a remake of Shakespeare's "The Tempest").   

So for the last time (or until you open your own thread on the matter), NO MORE DERAILS on whether a writer is only good if they make a franchise or not.   DO NOT REPLY using this same tired non-argument in this thread (it's your personal judgment, not a valid argument).   Unless of course, you wish to start your own thread about it in the KM section.  If anyone wishes to go there?  They can.  But not here.   It's pointless, borderline offensive to would-be writers on this thread and it always ends in a derailing stalemate.  For the sake of the board community, I'm putting an end to this line of derailing here and now.

 

-- End of rant. 

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