CJAD: There are several books out there right now as STAR TREK celebrates it's 30th anniversary on television. Two of them, THE STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA: A REFERENCE GUIDE TO THE FUTURE, published by Pocket Books, written by Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda and Debbie Mirek and also THE STAR TREK CHRONOLOGY: THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda it's published by Pocket Books also. On the phone lines from California are Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda. If you have any questions about the STAR TREK galaxy. If you ever wanted to know what all that techno-babble means, or how it's even created, or who's related to whom.....I mean, STAR TREK now has a 30 year history and of course there is a back history written to that, which explains all kinds of things and if you ever had a question about the history of STAR TREK, these are the two people you want to discuss your questions with because they know it all. They know it all because they create a lot of it. Do we have Michael and Denise?
DENISE: Yes, hi there.
CJAD: We lost you.
MICHAEL: There was some space interference.
CJAD: How are you guys?
DENISE: Just great, thank you.
CJAD: Thanks for joining us. These two books are absolutely a STAR TREK fan's....a Trekker's dream, basically. It's fantastic for anybody who is a STAR TREK fan. Let's talk a little bit first of all before we get to the book, the job that you have working on the show.
MICHAEL: Well basically, both of us work in the STAR TREK art department. I'm in overall charge of the graphics which is the control panels and readouts and funny alien languages and little details on props. Denise is in charge of the live video playback on set.
DENISE: I'm also graphic designer on STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, but I'm video coordinator on DEEP SPACE NINE and on STAR TREK: VOYAGER, and I'm basically....I coordinate the video. Find out what we should put on the various screens and that's what you see on the TV.
CJAD: How long have the two of you been doing that?
DENISE: Well, we've been doing DEEP SPACE NINE for five years, but Michael has been actually with STAR TREK since STAR TREK IV.
MICHAEL: Yeah, I've been on the show for about eleven years now.
CJAD: You must be the envy of your friends.
MICHAEL: Well, I think most of my friends are pretty much blasť about it, but we still have a good time.
CJAD: Okay so these two books have come out. THE STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA: REFERENCE GUIDE TO THE FUTURE and STAR TREK CHRONOLOGY: THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE. How do they differ?
MICHAEL: Basically the CHRONOLOGY is every data point we know about in the STAR TREK universe, indexed according to time, so it's sort of the grand story of the STAR TREK saga. But the ENCYCLOPEDIA, on the other hand, is theoretically the same information organized alphabetically, so if you want to look something up, it's much easier to look it up in the ENCYCLOPEDIA. In actual fact, there's a lot more minutia in the ENCYCLOPEDIA, but if you want to follow the story of say the Romulans, or the Klingons or Captain Kirk, or Captain Picard, the CHRONOLOGY of the books is designed to do that.
CJAD: What possessed you guys to put these out, and by the way we can't thank you enough.
MICHAEL: Insanity comes to mind, (laughter).
DENISE: Actually, many years ago, Gene Roddenberry came to Michael and asked Michael if he could just jot down a simple time line, because there are a lot of people wanted to keep things straight and there wasn`t anything concrete, so Michael did that, but very quickly realized that it was a puzzle. So we treated it like a research project, like you would with any other research project where we established a set of rules and we went in and we watched the various episodes with those rules and came out with a time line. And much to our surprise, it fit pretty well together.
CJAD: So basically, what you've done is you've chronicled the history of what is STAR TREK's world. What about the things on the show itself, because I've always been curious to know when I watch any of the episodes of any of the shows, particularly the newer ones, when certain things are figured out....dilemmas and situations that the crew of the Enterprise or Voyager or Deep Space Nine get themselves into....the plausibility of how they are followed through considering we are talking about science fiction. Is there somebody who says on the show, "well you really can't do that."
MICHAEL: Well, there are several people who contribute to that. I' m one of the technical consultants on the show. What we do is we review the scripts and we make suggestions like, "well, you know, that wouldn't make a lot of sense scientifically, but what if you just put a line that says 'that's a sub-space phenomenon'. That would at least make it more scientifically plausible." And so, our writers will take that and say, "well okay, why don't we do that?" or they'll say, "we recognize the problem. Here's what we want to do dramatically. Let's come up with another solution."
CJAD: You must be aware of the fact that the STAR TREK fans out there are pretty rabid fans indeed. I'm sure these books are meant for people like them and me. Do you hear from fans saying, "you can't do this" or checking into history and saying, "this didn't happen", or whatever the case may be.
MICHAEL: Well the STAR TREK fans.....we're incredibly lucky to have such a large devoted group of fans which certainly keep up employed. We like that part of course. But also they are our harshest critics. That is occasionally, yeah, we do forget things, or contradict ourselves and absolutely they let us know. Part of the reason we came up with the original CHRONOLOGY and later on the ENCYCLOPEDIA was to help us internally keep track of these things. There is so much material being generated for STAR TREK. Right now there's almost 400 hours of STAR TREK in existence. If you want to find out what does a verteron particle do? Well, what episode was that in? What year was that? I don't remember. Odds are you might not remember, so it's good to have it all down in one place to look it up, because part of the charm of STAR TREK is that there's this wonderful, fun cohesive universe that from the very beginning Gene Roddenberry and Dorothy Fontana made a real effort to keep the thing internally consistent, so we're trying to keep up and follow in their footstep.
CJAD: You guys have been on the show for quite awhile. Michael, you've been on a little longer then Denise. At what point when you were working on the show did you come to the realization that this is just more then a television show as far as the fans are concerned.
MICHAEL: Well both of us came to the show in large part because we enjoyed when we were kids. So we count ourselves amongst the people who always felt this was a very special product. I think if you talk to virtually everyone in the cast, everyone on the crew, everyone in the production office, whether or not they are actual fans of the show, we are all aware that this is something special and it deserves our very best.
CJAD: Let's go to the lines. Tony in Laval, hi, you're on CJAD with Michael and Denise Okuda.
CALLER: I'd like to ask them two questions. How come STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION was called off? And also, I heard when they did the last STAR TREK movie, I don't know if it's true that William Shatner and Patrick Stewart had arguments on the set. Is it true or not?
MICHAEL: Well as far as STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION being cancelled....as far as we know, the basic reason that Paramount took STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION off the air is they simply wanted to get on with making STAR TREK movies. And as you probably know when you make a movie, you have a bigger budget and you have more time. You get to do more cool stuff.
CJAD: Was it also a possibility that since the show was already on for so many years and gaining in popularity and being on for a long period of time, that the salaries were escalating and the cost of the show was escalating too.
MICHAEL: I'm sure that factored into it. We're not privy to those calculations, but I'm sure that was absolutely part of the calculation. As far as Bill and Patrick goes, I don't know the details of their relationship. All I can tell you is whenever we saw them on set, they were very friendly, very cordial to each other and to everyone else for that matter.
CALLER: Also, I hated a little bit STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, because there wasn't any action. It was all talk, talk, talk and no action. Also I found out in certain episodes......Dr. McCoy came on and they didn't do anything about him when he was on. Also when Scotty was on. I thought when he came on the episode, they would make an episode about him and his exploits, which it wasn't. Can you tell me why?
DENISE: I hear what you're saying, but the cameo that DeForrest Kelly did back in the pilot, FARPOINT, I thought was a very lovely touch and that was about launching THE NEXT GENERATION. Also with RELICS, I was frankly thrilled that we were able to see a little bit of the original series bridge and bring Scotty back, but this series, THE NEXT GENERATION, is about that ship and that crew and I just found it to be a bonus that we were able to DeForrest and also Leonard.....Leonard Nimoy was guest cast.
CJAD: I thank you for the call Tony......With so many shows out, and with movies come out at the same time, especially now with the new film coming out, is there a problem in the time line? Because what takes place in the movie can somehow affect what takes place on the television shows in the future.
MICHAEL: You would think it's a problem, but in actual fact our writers and producers are very aware of how important it is and they make a real effort to keep track of these things. They don't necessarily always succeed, but Denise and I are proud that these guys refer to the CHRONOLOGY and the ENCYCLOPEDIA with fair regularity. In fact we have an updated edition of the CHRONOLOGY coming out in November and already we've gotten requests from our writing staff saying, "when can we get it? When can we get it!?"
CJAD: It sounds like it's a daunting job to be a writer on the show, because there's so many things to back check?
DENISE: Well we have on both DEEP SPACE NINE and on VOYAGER, we have, I think, a very talented group of writers. They do try to keep track of it, but most importantly they're trying to tell an entertaining story in the STAR TREK universe, and I think they pull that off pretty well.
MICHAEL: And to tell the truth, they have an incredibly hard job. I'm not sure I would want their job.
CJAD: Okay, I've got a knock on VOYAGER. Are you ready for this one?
MICHAEL: We'll hang on.
CJAD: The show has been on how many years now?
DENISE: This is the third season.
CJAD: Third season. And Neelix has been on board basically to help them get back home, right?
CJAD: Okay, he's the moral officer and the cook.
CJAD: But it's been travelling, I would assume, more or less in a straight line, trying to get back home, which is supposed to take 75 years. Correct?
MICHAEL: Something like that.
CJAD: Yet, here we are in year two and we're still in Neelix's backyard. There's nobody he doesn't know yet.
MICHAEL: Well, there was an episode about halfway or three quarters of the way through year two where in fact we established where we had gone past what Neelix knew. Jeri Taylor has said that she felt we stayed in Neelix's backyard for too long. So I think you're not going to find someone to disagree with you on that one.
CJAD: Do you find that whatever you do, good, bad or indifferent, especially know with things like the Internet, you've got the fans out there who are ready to jump on anything.
MICHAEL: Well that fact that they are that interested is, like I said, a real blessing. And whenever you have someone who says, "gee, that episode was really awful", you're going to get someone who's going to say, "gee, that was a terrific episode." I'm not saying that we disregard what the fans say, because certainly, they are our lifeblood, but ultimately you have to do what you believe in. If you think this is cool, you've gotta go for it. Sometimes you're right and sometimes you're wrong and fortunately the fans have been willing to stick with us and let us take some chances. I think we've done some very good work as a result.
CJAD: In taking that big leap and the real big leap I'm referring to is the leap from the original series to THE NEXT GENERATION series, there's a whole set of technology that was added to the second show. Was that in your estimation easier then creating the original show? Like for instance, replictors didn't exist in the previous show. There are a lot of other things that didn't exist in the previous show. Was that hard to come up with?
MICHAEL: Well we had the huge benefit that we had Gene Roddenberry with us. We had Bob Justman with us. We had Eddie Milkis with us. A lot of veterans from the original STAR TREK series. They really helped us get started on the right foot. Also even after those people had left the series, we had the benefit that we could look at what they did on the first STAR TREK and we could build from that. So I think we had a huge advantage that the original TREK didn't have. That is, we could look at a completed STAR TREK episode. It's really hard to start from scratch. I can't imagine how hard it was for those guys back in 64 and 66 to start with a blank piece of paper and design a starship. I've got such respect for how tough that is. The fact that we could look.....even where we changed things, at least we had somewhere to start from.
CJAD: Let's go back to the lines. Frank, you're on CJAD.
CALLER: STAR TREK, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION or STAR TREK: VOYAGER. They're all fantastic. I just have two questions. Neelix on VOYAGER. What happens if they find a way to go home? Is Neelix going to go into the future for him?
MICHAEL: That's a good question. I don't think anyone has an answer to that, but I think that would certainly be worth an episode or two.
CALLER: And second question. Captain Janeway. Is she ever going to get romantically involved, really involved, besides with Chakotay?
DENISE: We don't know. There certainly hasn't been anything this season. We're in our third season now. There hasn't been anything so far, but.....
CJAD: Well, you're leaving out that lizard mating.
DENISE: (Laughter) Wasn't that makeup fantastic in the end.
CALLER: Beautiful, it was really good. And the third question, this ENCYCLOPEDIA that you have. Is it available on CD-ROM.
CJAD: Good question.
DENISE: Yes, there is a product from Simon & Schuster Interactive called THE OMNIPEDIA and it is the CHRONOLOGY and the ENCYCLODEDIA in electronic form. You can jump between.....you know look up something and click on something...a bolded item, and it will take you back to that episode. It will take you back to that time. So yes, it is out there.
CJAD: In Montreal, because I called everywhere and nobody seems to have anything.
DENISE: Oh, I don't know.
MICHAEL: What kind of computer do you have.
CALLER: I have a Pentium 133.
MICHAEL: The Windows version you should be able to get it through basically any of the mail order discount houses.
CALLER: Mail order, eh
MICHAEL: Why don't you go to your local store. I would be very surprised if they couldn't order it for you.
CALLER: I did. I went to Future Shop and they didn't have it at all and I don't think they can order it.
CJAD: Go to a specialized computer store. Try that.
CALLER: Okay, I appreciate it.
CJAD: Thanks for the call.....Jamie in D.D.O.
CALLER: (young boy) Hello, I've got two questions about VOYAGER. Number one Voyager, the Starship. Isn't it near the Borg Collective?
MICHAEL: It's in the same Quadrant as the Borg Collective, but a Quadrant is an incredibly huge amount of space. Nevertheless, you may be on to something. Stay tuned!
CALLER: Because the Borg, they can go into the Alpha Quadrant. Q zapped the Enterprise into the Delta Quadrant. Wouldn't the Borg be able to reach Voyager in a couple of months?
MICHAEL: If they wanted to they probably could.
CALLER: Those were my two questions. Thank you.
MICHAEL: Those were very good questions and as I said, stay tuned. Stay tuned next February.
CJAD: It sounds like you're a very, very big STAR TREK fan.
CJAD: Do you watch all the episodes.
CALLER: Most of them.
CJAD: Do you have a favourite show of the three?
CALLER: Yeah, THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS.
MICHAEL: That was a very popular episode.
DENISE: You sound like you're a fan of the Borg.
DENISE: Well wait until the next feature comes out.
CALLER: Yeah, in November.
DENISE: I think it's going to be a lot of fun.
MICHAEL: We did a lot of cool stuff of that one.
CJAD: Jamie, do you have a copy of THE STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA? Because you sound like the kind of person who would really enjoy this book.
CALLER: Yeah I do.
CJAD: You have it already?
CALLER: Yeah and I already have the STAR TREK CHRONOLOGY, and I have about ten other STAR TREK BOOKS.
CJAD: Good for you. Thank you for the call Jamie
DENISE: Bye Jamie.
CJAD: Denise, Michael, can you tell us anything about the movie coming out in November that hasn't already been on the Internet.
MICHAEL: Well probably everything has been on the Internet except for the budget numbers or something. The movie is the second adventure of Captain Picard and company. The second feature film adventure. It involves an attack by the evil Borg and this time, if you thought they were bad in the TV show, this time they' re really mean. There is some time travel involved. Beyond that you'll have to either check the Internet or go to your theatres in November.
CJAD: Getting back to that time line thing with the various shows and the movies coming out and all that stuff, I think that's what I was eluding to earlier. If I'm not mistaken, isn't Worf in this movie?
MICHAEL: Yes he is.
CJAD: And Worf is on DEEP SPACE NINE.
CJAD: Isn't the Defiant in this movie?
MICHAEL: We have very clever writers who are in fact very good at dancing a very delicate ballet to make sure these things pretty much stay in proper sync. Every once in awhile there's something where we go, "oh we missed that" but they made a valiant effort and I think it's going to work.
DENISE: Yeah, I think it works.
CJAD: And the movie comes out when?
MICHAEL: I believe November 22nd.
CJAD: For the real STAR TREK fans, there is always the supposed curse of the films. So I'm trying to keep track. Is this an even or odd numbered film.
MICHAEL: This is an even numbered picture, but I've got to tell you, I've worked on about five STAR TREK movies so far and I understand what people talk about when they talk about the odd numbered curse, but whether it's an odd numbered picture or even numbered picture, you work your tail off and you do your darnedest and whatever the number is, you do your best.
CJAD: When you're doing the show and you do those films, going into them, you know how they've been received and how they've done at the box office over the last several years. Do you know when you're doing the film that you've got lightning in a bottle or you may have a harder time getting this story through, when you have the script in your hands and you're working on the sets and the characterization and the like?
DENISE: Well certainly you get a feeling for if you like the story or didn't like the story. The ultimate product that's going to come out on the screen, whether it's on the television or on the big screen, it's really, really difficult to say. I can say for myself and I think Michael that this was such a delightful film to work on Jonathan Frakes is the director and he was enthusiastic. The crew, we worked very long hours but everybody seemed to be having a good time and it's really hard to sustain that through the weeks. It was a good experience.
CJAD: I'm noticing on the television show, the current show, that there seems to be a greater reference to history. Is that something that is a conscience effort?
MICHAEL: I think....actually, I don't know.
DENISE: I don't either. Are you specifically speaking of DEEP SPACE NINE?
CJAD: Well I'm hearing references about history in DEEP SPACE NINE. Certainly references of history in VOYAGER when Sulu was on, for instance. They brought back plot lines that took place in some of the films, some of the television shows.
MICHAEL: Well, we would love to take credit for it and we would love to say the writers checked with the CHRONOLOGY, and I believe in many cases that they did, but whether or not they specifically did in say, the Sulu case, I don't know. I will tell you though, that as soon as we got the script for the Sulu episode, we had already finished the CHRONOLOGY, but they had already established so many things about Tuvok's past and about Sulu's mission that we actually went back and made some changes in the CHRONOLOGY at the last minute, in the second edition of the CHRONOLOGY. So when it comes out this November it will have as much of the latest information as it possibly can.
CJAD: Let's go back to the phones. Adam on the North Shore.
CALLER: Hello, live long and prosper, all.
DENISE: Thank you.
CALLER: I'm just wondering. In the book FEDERATION, where (unknown character name) dies. Is he dying forever?
MICHAEL: Well the book FEDERATION......Mind you, FEDERATION is one of our favourite STAR TREK novels. But whether or not Gar and Judith Reeves-Stevens pick up on that, we don't know. As far as the TV shows and the movies go, the producers of the TV show don't really know follow the novels.
CALLER: Has DEEP SPACE NINE been cancelled? So far up here we haven't been able to pick it up?
CJAD: No, it has not been cancelled. It's still on the FOX network though up here in our area. It's just not being picked up by the local....as you know the show is syndicated, Adam, so not ever channel has to pick it up and CFCF-12 chose to drop it this year. But it will be still on FOX and also the ABC affiliate that it's on.
MICHAEL: In fact we are in production of our fifth season and we're going great guns. We're doing some cool stuff.
CALLER: Okay thank you.
CJAD: Suzanne in Verdun, you're on CJAD.
CALLER: Hi, I'm extremely thrilled to be talking with you tonight. You've made a big difference in the world and you've done a great job. Now my mind goes blank, but I will ask one question. For the CHRONOLOGY, is everything repeated that I've read before.
MICHAEL: I'm not sure I understand the question.
DENISE: In the second edition.
CALLER: Yes, I've read the CHRONOLOGY. I have the Captain's logs. I have everything and it seems to me that I'm just getting a repeat of everything I have read before.
MICHAEL: Oh, I see what you're saying. We started, certainly, with the original for the first edition, but the actual word count of the second edition is approximately double what we had in the first edition. So I suppose Peter is right in that there have been more data points established in the past few seasons then there were in the previous seasons. So we actually didn't want to do an update to the CHRONOLOGY for quite awhile because it was so much work. But there was so much new information that we felt it was time.
CALLER: Sounds great to me.
CJAD: Sounds like you have quite a few books already.
CALLER: I do.
CJAD: Do you have either the STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA or the STAR TREK CHRONOLOGY?
CALLER: I have the CHRONOLOGY. I don't have the ENCYCLOPEDIA.
CJAD: You do now.
CALLER: Cool. I love it. (laughter)
MICHAEL: Thank you for calling.
CJAD: Chris. Hi, you're on CJAD.
CALLER: A comment I have. I really do enjoy all of these STAR TREK series. One comment is, when you do have an actor that does a good job at being a Klingon for example, I've noticed you have used the same actor or actress under different races. Do you do that a lot, or do you plan to continue doing that. That's one little thing I don't like about it.
CJAD: Adding to that, wasn't the actor who plays Quark also the very first Ferengi?
MICHAEL: The actor who plays Quark, Armin Shimerman, he was in fact one of the first Ferengi from an episode called THE LAST OUTPOST. Our producers realized that one of the toughest things to produce a TV show is casting. They like anybody else develop a repertoire of people that they feel comfortable working with. They do occasionally cast.....like some of the Klingons this week, six months from now, he or she might come back as a Cardassian......
CALLER: That's right. That's the ones I've noticed mostly. Klingons and Cardassians. It's kind of funny seeing one go from one race to the other.
MICHAEL: Well possibly part of it is because people notice what they are looking for. If you look for it, yeah, you'll probably notice it. For example you hopefully don't notice that our visual effects department will occasionally say, "gee we haven't seen that space ship in about five years", and they'll recycle that. They do that for very solid financial reasons and hopefully not too many people notice it.
CALLER: Space ships aren't as bad because you can improve on a space ship and keep the same base, but people, that's different. A person cannot be a Klingon and a Cardassian. That's the only little bug that I find.
MICHAEL: Well they change the appearance and usually the actor finds a slightly different acting style.
CALLER: Well, I've been picking up a few of them.
CJAD: Okay, I thank you for the call.
CALLER: Thank you.
CJAD: Take care, bye-bye.....In working on the STAR TREK series over the years and since it has a legend of its own, are there some myths that are out there that are rolling around in rumours and urban legends that are worth debunking at this moment.
MICHAEL: Urban legends.....
CJAD: Like for instance, one for rumours going around is that people have been talking about Morn at the bar. That's actually Norm from CHEERS.
MICHAEL: Well it's certainly not the same actor......
MICHAEL: But, I believe Rick Berman, who is our Executive Producer picked that name because he is a George Wendt fan.
CJAD: And it spells Norm backwards.
MICHAEL: Well sort of sideways.
CJAD: Sort of sideways, yeah. So there is some truth to that, although it's not the same actor, obviously.
MICHAEL: Yeah, I think it was intended as an homage. Not a blatant one, hopefully. STAR TREK is something you can have fun with from time to time.
CJAD: Have you had guest stars, not necessarily uncredited, but people who showed up as aliens that you really couldn't tell who they were? I know for instance John Tesh was a Klingon.
MICHAEL: John Tesh was a Klingon. Mick Fleetwood was this weird fish creature. That poor guy, they had him so slathered in makeup, but I guess he had a good time.
CJAD: Do you get people, especially on the Paramount lot who say, "gee, I'd love to be on the show in any way shape or form. Just hide me somewhere in the corner.
MICHAEL: We had that with Professor Stephen Hawking, who's one of the most brilliant people on the face of the planet. He was in fact touring the Paramount lot and he just said, "gee I'd love to be on STAR TREK." Rick Berman and Michael Pillar were so tickled they had a scene written where our people, actually Data, had met a holographic creation of Professor Hawking, which of course was the real Professor Hawking.
CJAD: Weren't they playing poker?
MICHAEL: They were playing poker. Data was playing poker with Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Stephen Hawking. If you're into science, into physics, there are a couple of subtle jokes built into it that Hawking himself wrote. Albert Einstein makes a very small mistake in figuring something out and Hawking says, "wrong again, Albert" which is a reference to the fact that Hawking has been building upon Einstein's work.
CJAD: Since you guys do the technical work on the show, there is stuff that since we're watching on television we can't read or see that are on the set. I understand there are certain sayings. Like, what do those panels actually say that we can't see? And the plaques?
DENISE: Most of the panels and the plaques that you can't see say real things. We'll make things up in the STAR TREK universe. Once in awhile we will put things down to amuse our crew that you're not supposed to see on the TV and there's no way you really can. But most of the stuff is appropriate to DEEP SPACE NINE or STAR TREK: VOYAGER or Starship Enterprise.
MICHAEL: But if you look real closely at the buttons. Much more closely then you ever seen on television, you would see these peculiar code letters....code numbers, which are in fact the initials of almost all of the people who work in the production crew. And if you look at our dedication plaques for the ships in the control of each Starship bridge is what they call a commissioning plate, which gives the name of the ship, its class, its home port, date of launch and also various Starfleet Admirals who were responsible for it being launched. If you look real closely, you might see Admiral Gene Roddenberry. You might see Admiral Rick Berman or Admiral Jeri Taylor or Michael Piller or people from the production company.
CJAD: No Admiral Okudas yet?
MICHAEL. We might sneak ourselves in once in awhile.
CJAD: Let's go back to the phones. James in D.D.O.
CALLER: Hi, I just have one or two quick questions. I work in a bookstore and I saw recently they put out the blueprints for the 1701-D. I was wondering, since it has been blown up are they going to put out one for the new ship?
MICHAEL: Well, the STAR TREK Enterprise-D blueprints were put together by a colleague of ours, Rick Sternbach, who is one of the people who actually designed the Enterprise. I understand that the blueprints have been doing very well, so Pocket Books in fact has expressed interest in doing other projects of that kind. I don't know specifically what they want to do, but I'm pretty sure something will come of it.
CALLER: I also have one question for DS9 and for VOYAGER. TV Guide had mentioned that if there was a possibility, if they could sign the actress on, that they would be having Sisko marrying Cassidy this season. Is there any further word on that?
DENISE: We haven't heard that at all. I know Cassidy is in jail right now. Or she was going off to jail....
CALLER: Oh, well it might just be a rumour.
DENISE: Let's put it that way. We haven't heard anything. That doesn't mean that it's not percolating over in the production office.
MICHAEL: And also there are any number of times when we'll read things on the Internet, and we'll go, "oh that's ridiculous", then we'll find out, "oh, it's going to happen. George Takei appearing as Captain Sulu. Oh yeah, right, sure! The Internet knew it before we did.
CALLER: One last question about Kes. Given that she's got a limited life span there, is that something they are going to try and work in over the next few seasons? Show her aging?
MICHAEL: We certainly hope that VOYAGER lasts long enough to tell that story. How they are going to tell it or what they are going to tell, you'd have to ask Jeri Taylor and Rick Berman, but I think Kes is a cool character and I hope they tell that story.
CALLER: Okay great.
CJAD: Thank you for the call. Bye-bye......We had George Takei on the program a couple of years ago when he was in town for a book signing and he was pushing very hard to get the story of Sulu told and to get a spinoff series, and suddenly we have this episode of VOYAGER, which was on a couple of weeks ago. Could that be the beginning of something? Is that possible?
MICHAEL: We haven't heard anything about a Captain Sulu series. I know George has been actively pushing it. I will say that we were just excited as all get out about the Captain Sulu episode. We rebuilt the bridge of his Starship. We recreated it very accurately. They actually had to build a new miniature. And George Takei as Sulu was just terrific.
CJAD: Is it difficult, because I'm just wondering if it's hard for the fans to back in time and stay there. By that I mean, if there were a Sulu series, it's basically several generations before the technology, and would that be an added burden to you. To not be as technically advanced as the other series and movies that are out there?
MICHAEL: All STAR TREKs are in a sense, period pieces. If you do a civil war series and the writers and producers and everybody has to get around the fact that, "guess what, we have no airplanes." And if you're doing a STAR TREK series set in Sulu's time or Picard's time or Kirk's time or whatever, you just work within that and that's just part of the landscape.
CJAD: We go back to the lines. Let's go to Norm in N.D.G.
CALLER: It's funny that you mentioned earlier the Federation book. I'm about halfway through it right now. I find it's a great book, but a lot of filler in it. It could have been shortened down a little bit. Peter, you stole my question.
CJAD: Let me guess.....
DENISE: We really enjoyed that book.
MICHAEL: We loved all those little side things and filler material because it's fun.
CJAD: Let me guess, Norm, was your question about Morn?
CALLER: No it was about George Takei. (laughter). Was that a possibility for a series? Because I enjoyed that. I would like to know more about the Excelsior.
MICHAEL: So would we.
CALLER: It's a fascinating shipand we don't really know all that much about it, unless you follow the Internet.
DENISE: We very much enjoyed working on that particular episode. I gotta tell you, each department gave 200%. The bridge did not exsist basically. Or pieces had been removed and recycled. We had to rebuild that bridge. As far as my little corner of the universe being video coordinator, I had to beg, borrow and steal monitors from DS9, for the feature that was gearing up that I was coordinating video for. I had to go back into the archives and I was able to retrieve the original twenty four frame three quarter inch video tapes that we could use. Michael and I sat home on a Sunday and freeze framed, frame by frame on our lazer disc in order to match all the images that we saw on the bridge.
CALLER: Because you really didn't use much from the movie. Most of that was recreated, right?
MICHAEL: Yes, but to recreate it basically in about a week and a half was an immense task. Richard James who is our production designer on VOYAGER, basically went back to the original blueprints and within the limitations of time and money simply pulled a rabbit out of his hat.
CALLER: I thought it was extraordinarily done. It was really, really fabulous.
MICHAEL: The original version of the Excelsior bridge I think took something like twelve weeks to design and build. Richard had less then twelve days.
DENISE: And Michael and I both worked on STAR TREK VI, and a lot of our pictures that we took of the bridge just for our own reference, suddenly became gold. I know Michael.....we went home, got one of our photo albums out, took it to work, put the photos on Richard's desk and many different department heads grabbed the photos and just ran down to their prespective areas because that was gold. It was reference material.
MICHAEL: They'd say, "oh that's how that chair looked", "oh, that's how that console was build", "oh, that's the colour of that fabric", "oh, that's where that light was installed."
CALLER: Incredible piece of work. Very well done.
CJAD: The other thing I found interesting about that episode is, as you say, STAR TREK in a sense is a period piece. Even though it takes place in the future, having watched all the series that have taken off after the movies and after the original STAR TREK, those costumes that they were wearing, even though they were more modern then the original series, did look old.
DENISE: But you ain't seen nothing yet. Wait until November. STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE is doing an absolutely remarkable episode.....
CJAD: Oh, the Tribbles episode?
DENISE: Yes, we are jumping up and down excited about it. It was absolutely fantastic to go back and to recreate some of the sets from the original series and it was just unbelievable.
CALLER: I think any of these crossovers are some of the best of the series. Some of the best ones. I love the intereaction between different groups. I was surprised that NEXT GENERATION didn't visit DS9 more often.
MICHAEL: Well they like to do those things very sparingly, because they don't want to get to derivative of each other, but on occasion when they do do it, it's a lot of fun. For the Tribbles episode....it was written by Ron Moore, Rene Echevarria and.....basically everyone on the writing staff. Those people have great affection for the original STAR TREK series and you can tell. David Gerrold who wrote the original TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES went up to Ron Moore and said, "this is better then anything I could have ever imagined." He said that. I was there. We recreated parts of the original Enterprise, much more then we did for RELICS.
CALLER: That must have been difficult?
MICHAEL: It was an enormous about of work, because even worse then Excelsior, there are no surviving drawings. No surviving props. Almost no surviving costumes. Basically almost everything had to be done off of reference from video tape.
CALLER: One more quick question. I've heard rumour....I don't know if you've heard or not, that Stephen Hawking has abandoned transporter theory and is now working on warp drive technology. Is there any truth to that that you know of?
MICHAEL: You'd have to ask Professor Hawking on that one.
CALLER: Okay, I just wanted to know if when he was on the show if any rumours floated around on that.
MICHAEL: Professor Hawking was there not really to discuss scientific theory, although he did speak a little bit about STAR TREK's science. There is a book called THE PHYSICS OF STAR TREK written by a Professor Krause, which Hawking wrote an intro for that. If you see that, you might see what he says about STAR TREK science.
CJAD: Norm, do you have the STAR TREK CHRONOLOGY?
CJAD: You do now.
CALLER: Okay, thanks.
CJAD: We have Kevin on the line. Go ahead, you're on the air.
CALLER: (young boy) I have a question. In the fourth season in THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR....
CALLER:I'd just like to know. When the Klingons....they broke the Federation-Klingon Alliance. Is it going to be rebuilt again or is the crew of DS9 going to expose Gowron?
MICHAEL: Well as far as we know, the Alliance has not been mended. The consequences of that breaking away are in fact very heavily dealt with in the opening episode of this coming season. It's called APOCALYPSE RISING and it has a lot to do with Gowron and the changelings.
CJAD: Okay, Kevin I thank you for the question. We're just about out of time. I've got one quick question since the movie is coming out. The Enterprise was destroyed in the last film. Is the new one much different?
MICHAEL: Yeah. You will definately be able to see a family liniage. But we had seven years of experience, or however many years to draw from and we made a lot of improvements and we did a lot of things that we learned in the past few years.
CJAD: Michael and Denise, I thank you for talking with us.
DENISE: Our pleasure.
CJAD: This has been a lot of fun. The two books are THE STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA: REFERENCE GUIDE TO THE FUTURE by Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda and Debbie Mirek. It's published by Pocket Books. And also THE STAR TREK CHRONOLOGY: THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda also published by Pocket Books......
MICHAEL: And we have a revised edition this November.
CJAD: .....and coming out in a revised edition this November. I gotta say what one of our last callers did say earlier. Live long and prosper.
MICHAEL: Ah, thank you very much.
CJAD: Take care.
DENISE: Thank you.