We’re back with the final part of our look back at 2013, covering our favorite exclusive interview and video features only found at TrekCore!
We had the opportunity to interview three of the most influential members of the 24th Century: TNG writer and Voyager/Enterprise executive producer Brannon Braga, and TNG/DS9 writer/producers Ronald D. Moore and Ira Steven Behr.
While the conversation with Moore and Behr focused predominately on their tenure on the Next Generation team in the wake of the show’s second and third seasons, it offers a great deal of insight into the stressful world of the series at that time.
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Brannon Braga’s interview — while covering things like the overuse of the Borg in Voyager and fan criticism of his writing talents — is perhaps best known as the source of the “Enterprise on Netflix” campaign.
Braga idly speculated that if Netflix streaming viewership numbers were impressive enough, the cancelled series might be revived… but some Internet sites took his hypothetical scenario as gospel, starting unlikely-to-succeed Facebook campaigns and running attention-grabbing headlines. Braga himself eventually responded, attempting to quell the fires:
RE: New ENTERPRISE on NETFLIX, there are currently no plans. And almost everyone involved is on to other things. Just blurays for now.
— Brannon Braga (@BrannonBraga) May 15, 2013
Our biggest contribution to the Trek world this year — and perhaps ever — was the discovery of a set of early, uncut episodes of The Next Generation which featured dozens of minutes of never-before-seen footage. Friend of the site Cyril Paciullo generously shared copies of several production-era VHS tapes he purchased at auction, and we worked hard to present the recovered cut scenes to the world for the first time.
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While the footage we found was uncovered too late to be included on the Season Two or Season Three Blu-ray releases, our efforts did not go unrecognized: because of TrekCore’s video series, the TNG remastering team at CBS began working tirelessly to review the remaining seasons of the show… and began including fully-restored, high-definition deleted scenes on the Blu-rays for Season Four, Five, and beyond.
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And because we couldn’t help ourselves, we also wanted to highlight several scenes that we want to see someday restored from the film vaults in our Scenes Worth Saving series: the often-teased Wesley Crusher’s 16th birthday party, the living space jellyfish in “Encounter at Farpoint,” and more.
2013 was a big year for TrekCore’s growing collection of meticulously researched, highly original feature interviews — things that we’ve always wanted to know about, but have never seen covered anywhere! From decades-old cereal boxes to weapons-grade marketing promotions, we went where (pardon the pun) no other Trek publication has gone before!
In October, we tracked down former Boole & Babbage marketing director Pat Letsos, who finally gave us the inside scoop on 1994’s The Vision, a six-minute promotional video starring Jonathan Frakes (in character as Commander Riker) advertising the company’s line of computer networking solutions. This infomercial had been making the rounds on YouTube for several years, and we were excited to finally share the story behind the viral video!
Interview: Inside Boole & Babbage’s Trek “Vision”
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In September, we connected with Trek collector Marc Derro, a North Carolina resident in possession of one of the few remaining Star Trek: Voyager photon torpedo media kits distributed to local television stations in 1999.
After Marc was kind enough to share photographs and video of his priceless Trek artifact, we managed to get in touch with Susan J. Sullivan, a longtime marketing executive who actually supervised the design of the torpedo kit in the first place! Sullivan took the time to explain the entire genesis of the Voyager torpedo, from initial concept ideas, to manufacturing problems, to final execution.
After we published this article, one of our readers in the UK surprised us by
showing off her torpedo, which made it all the way across the Atlantic!
— Madeleine (@madzilla) September 17, 2013
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We followed that up with one of the year’s most popular features, a giant three-part interview with Galoob toy designers Jim Fong and Bob DiGiacomo, two artists who were instrumental in the production of the first wave of Next Generation toys. In this twenty-fifth anniversary retrospective, we covered everything from the initial visits to the TNG sets to aborted toy concepts to New York City’s annual Toy Fair trade show — a one-of-a-kind release that will should not be missed!
Interview: Galoob 25: The First Generation of TNG Toys
As we head into the new year, we want to once again thank all of our loyal readers for sharing our stories, photos, and video features, for chatting with us on Twitter and Facebook, and for helping to support our site by purchasing your Trek toys, books, and Blu-rays through our links.
There’s still plenty of news, original reporting, and archival research yet to come in 2014, so stick around — and see you next year!