Burnett, Lay Jr & Braga talk “Inside the Writers’ Room”

Inside the Writers RoomThere was plenty of Trek talk at the recent Wondercon Convention in Anaheim, California as Robert Meyer Burnett hosted the HD Trek panel with Roger Lay, Jr., Mike and Denise Okuda and Brannon Braga. The team took the opportunity to discuss the upcoming release of Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Three, remastered in high definition on Blu-ray.

One of the stand-out features on this set is "Inside the Writers' Room", a relaxed, candid and often humorous 70 minute piece featuring TNG writers Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga, Naren Shankar and Rene Echevarria. The feature is hosted by Seth MacFarlane who went to great trouble to come prepared with pages of notes leaving us in no doubt about his deep appreciation for the show.

TrekCore's Tom Bateman was at the scene and captured some great video of the discussion.

When asked about the feature, Brannon Braga recalled:

We hadn't all been in the same room together since Next Generation ended. So that was an interesting reunion for us. I think what would be interesting to me if I was watching it was talking about how certain episodes came about. Episodes that went awry, like "what were we thinking".

Roger Lay, Jr. quickly suggested "Sub Rosa", an episode mocked by many fans which Braga seems to agree was "terrible". Robert Meyer Burnett (like many of us) is keen to have Braga and the writers do a commentary on this episode, an idea which Braga seems to be in favor of too:

I would love to do a commentary on a crappy episode! It would be more interesting.

The Season Three Blu-ray set comes bursting at the seams with new content, also containing a fantastic three-part documentary, a tribute to the late Michael Piller, new audio commentaries, deleted footage from David Rappaport's appearance in "The Most Toys" and a new gag reel! Stay tuned to TrekCore as we'll be bringing you a lot more news on the set in the coming days and further footage from Wondercon!

If you've not secured your order already - what are you waiting for!? Season 3 hits shelves in under 3 weeks time along with "The Best of Both Worlds" - available as a separate feature length Blu-ray. Pre-order both below!

Order TNG - "The Best of Both Worlds" Feature Blu-Ray today!


Order Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 3 Blu-Ray today!



  • Lenonn

    I hope we get “Threshold” commentary when Voyager season two comes around.

    Also, I assume you meant the David Rappaport footage was from “The Most Toys”, not “Tin Man”.

    • trekcore

      Thanks Lenonn! Typo on our part! Fixed.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=28300131 Scott Black

        While you’re at it, this piece is riddled with several other typos. Apparently this piece leaves us with now doubt of Seth McFarlane’s appreciation for the show.

        And there’s a new uncovered episode never before seen called the Bets of Both Worlds.

        • Progenitor

          What are you talking about?? It’s not “riddled” with typos at all. Did you read a different article?!

        • hypnotoad72

          So Seth “American Dad” McFarlane appreciated the show because of what Beverly did in “Sub Rosa”?

          Figures…

  • Cerberus

    Can’t wait! Would love to see a commentary track for “Sub Rosa!” Lol

    • Mike D

      Definitely! I think, though, to be fitting the commentary would have to include Gates McFadden. The entire time she was reading the script she was probably shaking her head in disbelief … like “what in the hell do they want me to do?!?!”

      • hypnotoad72

        Pretty much the same thing that Marcy Rhoades/D’Arcy did (twice) but in space… by the early/mid-90s, exploiting women like that was the fad, since the target market is still adolescent heterosexual males in the way it always was.

  • beatrice1

    TNG had very few bad episodes in Season 4 and even 5 (although I hate “Imaginary Friend”). But there are plenty of contenders in Season 6 and 7!

    • hypnotoad72

      Season 5 was TNG’s turning point and I saw it back then as well. More secondary characters of which only Ro was interesting (but then she disappeared), replacing an orchestra with a swamp full of frogs passing gas, and turning from sci-fi to soap opera did not help.

      Season 6 was the worst, from the western wannabe, and to the 8000th rewrite of “The Measure of a Man” with Data and his stupid exocomps, complete with preachy drivel — and backing music making us feel emotional because there is no way that the plot and characters would be able to make us feel that way on its own (in other words, it’s bad writing)… Also, why didn’t Picard disassemble Data at the end of that “story”?!!

      Season 7 was an improvement since more new ideas and adventure were re-incorporated, but one could tell the budget cuts were really starting to kick in (like they weren’t before; season 5 is the first to recycle previously-made TNG footage and if often sticks out like a sore thumb.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/justin.olson.3388 Justin Olson

        Can you give an example of recycled footage used in season 5? Are you talking about viewscreen plates (both closer and wider ones with conn and ops in the foreground) or something else?

      • archer9234

        I don’t get how you can complain from recycled footage. It happened every episode, since the pilot. And lower budget… The show had 20 million viewers. There was absolutely no reason to reduce the budget. And I never saw any skimping out in set quality or effects.

  • New Horizon

    Just curious. So, is this more of a discussion or are they going to be going through the act of breaking a new episode? Perhaps I misunderstood the description of this piece when I read it a few months ago. My understanding was that they would break the first new story idea in 25 years for a Next Gen episode.

    • http://www.randomtuesday.com/ Aatrek

      Think of it like the TNG S2 Cast Reunion, with a moderator tossing out questions to lead a freeform discussion.

    • trekcore

      No, it’s not breaking a new story idea. It’s guiding you through the process of how a story was broken, but also revisiting some of the famous and infamous episodes that were created along with a lot of wonderful behind-the-scenes talk that I’d never heard before!

  • pittrek

    Why do so many people seem to hate Sub Rosa ? It’s a great horror episode, I love it !

    • oddbox83

      I love it too! Always been one of my favourites.

    • archer9234

      I hate it. I think it came down to the fact it was a cliche episode for Beverly. She barely ever gets to do anything. And most of her major focus episodes end up as love stories. This could of been a great piece if it was a flash back for Jack. But no, we get a stupid ghost that just loves having sex with certain women.

      We don’t really even get any family back story. Except some heritage information. Why don’t we see Picard’s mission that gets Jack killed etc? Missed opportunity.

      • Mike

        I will agree with you 100% on this one. Gates McFadden was the most underused actor on Next Gen. There wasn’t one single episode dedicated to Crusher in Season Five (unless you count “Cause and Effect,” and Data gets credit for figuring out the time loop even though it’s Beverly who figures it out), she gets one in Season Six and one solely dedicated to her in Season Seven (“Sub Rosa”). I can only imagine the outrage Gates must have felt at this script, she always fought to make Crusher a strong female character. Not only did we never get to see any Beverly/Jack/Picard back story, the scenes where Beverly and Wesley discussed Jack felt glossed over.

        Also, Beverly Crusher held the rank of full commander, in addition to being chief medical officer. Why was this so rarely used? She technically out-ranked everyone on the ship except Picard and Riker (she even out-ranked Data) and she even outranked Picard in medical emergencies. She did get to command the Enterprise when Lore corrupted the Borg, but that was never followed up on. And teaming up Crusher and Pulaski could have served up some great conflict and allowed the two women to really expand their characters.

        Oh, and don’t even get me started on the films. I realize “Generations” was about Picard and Kirk, but “First Contact” had some real opportunity for Crusher and they wasted it. Instead we got to see Troi get drunk. Woo hoo. “Insurrection” was also a waste for her character. We get some shots of Gates tumbling behind rocks and firing phaser rifles, but the fact that she discovers the genetic link is almost missed. “Nemesis” was a complete waste of the character. Not only is there not one interaction between mother and son, her scenes with Picard feel cut short. Again, it feels like the director overused Troi (no disrespect to Marina Sirtis) and swept Crusher under the rug.

        • archer9234

          Yes, this bugged me. There where times Data was temp promoted over her all the damn time. Even Troi held LT CMDR. But Data still superseded here. I get it. He is the more obvious choice. But come on. Beverly had to undergo field training and command level tactics. That was the whole point of Troi becoming a Commander. And they never ever suggest her as a fitting replacement officer in a crisis. “I seriously considered you Mr. Data as first officer. But I choose CMDR Shelby.” Riker, Bev’s right there too you know…

  • hypnotoad72

    “I would love to do a commentary on a crappy episode! It would be more interesting.”

    I agree!

    Everybody loves the popular episodes, but only fans and others that care are going to bother with ANY extra in the first place. It’s awesome if the people involved discussed what went wrong, and/or right, with less-popular episodes or even the terrible ones.

    • kadajawi

      How about season 1 commentaries? And Wil Wheaton needs to be on them.