How 'Star Trek: The Next Generation's Writer Broke Roddenberry's Rules

Star Trek: The Next Generation is regarded by many as the best output of the franchise - even if they had to break a few rules along the way.

During a panel at last month's Star Trek Las Vegas convention, veteran Trek writer/producer Brannon Braga spoke about his first turn at the series. As he explained, a few Next Generation storylines required some bending of creator Gene Roddenberry's "rules" for the Trek franchise.

"There were some rules that you weren't allowed to do certain things on the show, no dream sequences, no time travel, and several others." Braga revealed. "I broke all the rules."

But even then, there was one Trek trope the series deliberately didn't dive into - a mirror universe episode. According to Braga, this was largely due to the writing staff being intimidated by the complex concept.

"We were a little frightened at doing it, and doing it badly." Braga explained. "And maybe never really figured out what the Next Generation take would have been on it."

This intimidation was apparently a running theme in the writers room for the series, with Braga calling the experience a fifteen-year internship.

"The writers' room was young guys all terrified that they were going to be fired at any given moment." Braga added. "Ron [Moore], and myself and René [Echevarria] kind of stuck it out….To be placed on a show as incredible as the Next Generation, was the best learning experience anyone could hope for. It's still my favorite Star Trek."


The Next Generation isn't the only series to actively go against Roddenberry's mandates, with Star Trek: Discovery including character-based conflicts in its plot. And judging by a recent spoiler revealed by Jonathan Frakes, the series will be going above and beyond what Next Generation did before it.

[h/t: TrekMovie]