Famous Star Trek Producer’s Biggest Regret Is A Voyager Episode

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Brannon Braga is one of the greatest architects of Star Trek’s success, serving as a writer and producer of The Next Generation and its spinoffs. He won an Emmy and many other awards for his contributions, and this talented creator can certainly look back on his contributions with pride. Because of that, we were surprised to discover that his biggest regret was not showing Harry Kim’s trip through a kind of alien afterlife in the Voyager episode “Emanations.”

The Mind Behind The TNG Finale

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In order to understand Brannon Braga’s regret about “Emanations,” you need to know more about his work on the franchise as well as the episode in question. He began his career in film and television with his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation, a show he joined as a 25-year-old writer. He eventually became a producer, too, and was responsible for writing some of the best episodes, including the series finale “All Good Things.”

Also Blamed For Enterprise

In fact, it was Brannon Braga’s desire to see The Next Generation all the way to the end that caused him to miss out on writing for Deep Space Nine. However, he later wrote for both Voyager and Enterprise, and the latter show ended up causing him no shortage of headaches. When it became apparent that Enterprise was a failure and it was prematurely canceled, Braga caught much of the flak for the show’s bad writing.

The Death Of Harry Kim

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Because of that flak, we always assumed his biggest Star Trek regrets would be related to Enterprise. However, the biggest regret centers around the Voyager episode “Emanations.” This was the episode where Harry Kim died (the first episode, that is), and he was shocked to discover that he was transported to an alien equivalent world, one who views “our” world as their afterlife, and Kim would ultimately have to die again in this world in order to escape to his own.

The Episode Has Braga’s Fingerprints All Over It

When working on Star Trek episodes, Brannon Braga was infamous for two things among other writers: being overly philosophical and being a bit morbid. Both of these qualities were in full display in “Emanations,” an episode Braga wrote to explore heady concepts about death, the afterlife, and euthanasia.

He actually fought with showrunner Michael Piller to make this episode as philosophical as it was and was generally pleased with the final cut, calling it one of his “best concepts,” one that made for “a catchy, high-concept SF idea.”

A Great Episode With One Exception

“Emanations” may have been one of his best episodes, but it is also the source of his “biggest regret.” He claims that he wanted to have a sequence in the episode that visualized Kim’s death after he willingly dies in order to leave this alien world and return to reality. The show couldn’t make that happen due to budgetary concerns, and Braga described this as a “devastating” decision that “crippled” the episode as he envisioned it.

A Cool Sci-Fi Concept

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For long-term Star Trek fans, this revelation from Brannon Braga about “Emanations” provides invaluable insight into the mind of this prolific writer. The episode, as filmed, was a great success, and it is built on a concept that really is one of sci-fi’s coolest ideas.

However, like many creators, this visionary writer will always regret the gap between the vision in his mind and the vision of the final cut, and unlike Kim, his dead vision can never be truly brought back to life.