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Brannon Braga Makes a Deal with Fox; Star Trek Fans Lose Their Sh*t

Any science fiction news site that needs an overactive comments board need only type two words: Brannon Braga.

Braga, a 14-year veteran Star Trek writer and producer, may be the most divisive individual to ever emerge from a science fiction franchise.  After co-writing 1994’s Star Trek: Generations movie with Ronald Moore, Trekkies labeled Braga as the guy who “killed Kirk” (if you haven’t seen the movie, um, Kirk dies).  Then, when Braga went on to produce Star Trek Voyager, creating Jeri Ryan‘s catsuit-clad character “7 of 9” and eventually developing an off-screen relationship with her (they’ve long since split), fans were up in arms (read: jealous) and questioned whether Braga was really looking out for the Trek franchise, or himself.

So what, exactly, has Braga done now?

The latest Braga-bashing comes on the heels of Fox’s announcement that they’ve struck a “seven-figure” deal with Braga (who currently produces “24”) to develop new shows for the network: According to Variety, Braga hinted that there was a possibility he might return to the science fiction genre after his “terrestrial experience” on “24”.

After the fansite picked up the Variety story, the crazed fan mob sharpened their pitchforks and went to town.  The first commenter opens with “NO MORE BRAGA” before proceeding to blame him for ruining “24”.  From there, the thread quickly becomes a re-hashing of all the reasons why Trek fans think Braga sucks, and all the reasons why Trek fans think Trek fans who think Braga sucks, suck.  In total, 103 people weighed in on why they either love or hate Brannon Braga.

When Sci Fi Wire wrote up Braga’s deal with Fox a day later, the story prompted even more name calling and angry responses, including these:

“Wow Fox must be desperate to dig up this hack!”

“Has Brannon Braga ever done anything that is worth watching? He killed 24. Trashed Enterprise which was a great concept. Wrote some really bad Voyager episodes. Yet he keeps getting employed?!?”

“Braga is one of the worst TV writers/producers in history. He completely murdered the Star Trek franchise, and don’t even get me started on TrashForward. How the f*** does he still keep getting work?”

“Braga is a No-talent Hack, and to watch him keep getting these seven-figure deals for prime-time network television is about as sickening as it gets.”

Braga, who has been known to occasionally respond to the rantings and ravings of passionate fans, decided to put in his two cents at the comments board:

Brannon here. Always fascinating to read all of your comments, good and bad. This is a superb website, and one of the best for fan feedback. To the haters: your comments are welcome and observed and never disregarded (no matter how brutal). To the lovers: loving you back. I’m not making television just for me, or a studio, but for you you guys too. Really it is for you, because if you ain’t watching, then what’s the point? I guess I’m saying thanks for even taking the time to even comment on this story.
– b.

And though Braga has repeatedly justified his direction with Star Trek in interviews for over a decade, he explains himself at for the record, again:

Wow. Great comments. Thank you for taking the time. Yes, you’re right: I wrote some raging stinkers, and perhaps some good ones too. But over the course of 14 years, I guess that’s to be expected. Wish they could all have been top-notch. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. Never once did I set out to write or co-write a lazy or crappy episode of Trek. I was passionate about the show, the franchise, Gene’s remarkable vision, and I always worked my ass off to put out the very best. But they don’t always turn out that way. For that, my humble apologies. Trek is in great hands now. I look forward to more of it with the rest of you…
– Brannon

My verdict?  Braga wins this round.  Ever the diplomat, Braga’s had years of practice talking down angry Trekkies, and knows that a little flattery and a lot of humility goes a long way with fans.  And that seven-figure deal with Fox can’t hurt either.

One thing in the Bragaverse remains certain: All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.

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