Recently, I have become aware that Star Trek in its production only employed the best people to “pull it off.” As I read the many Star Trek publications that are on my bookshelf such as Star Trek Action! and The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I have come to understand how much Star Trek has not only grown but also the professionalism of the people who have made it grow.
If you look at the producers for Star Trek TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise they are all accomplished and very good at their jobs. This is not intended as a compliment from a fan perspective but as an analysis of the results. Seldom have I seen a television programme that is delivered with such technique. This is probably one of the reasons that in the early 1990’s Star Trek TNG was the highest rated show on television. Producers like the late Michael Piller who put everything into the show, adding their voice but maintaining the perspective that Roddenberry put into the show are few and far between. I would also like to point out Rick Berman who is so often blamed for the downfall of Star Trek. Berman put almost 20 years of his professional life into Star Trek and as blasphemous as this is, Star Trek TNG got better when he became Executive Producer. It was also around that time that Michael Piller took over the writing staff so their work in concert made what we all remember as the best episodes of the modern Star Treks.
The design and effects teams that worked behind the scenes whenever a script called for a new starship, alien or type of phaser blast designers and producers of the likes of Dan Curry, Michael Okuda and Rick Sternbach were brought in. These pros seemed to be able to come up with solutions to any technical requirements of the script. They are the best at what they do and it is obvious in their work both on Star Trek and other assignments. Others like Michael Westmore the award winning Trek Makeup Supervisor and Herman Zimmerman the Production Designer also represent the best of the industry, you just have to watch the TV show.
When Star Trek the Next Generation was started in 1987 Gene Roddenberry and Robert Justman put together this team that I have never seen matched on another television series or film. As Star Trek XI is on the horizon of Pre-Production I can only hope they can build a team that can do justice to Star Trek as much as these guys and all the others who I didn’t mention did. JJ Abrams has his work cut out for him!!