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Production Information

Director -
Jonathan Frakes returns.

Executive Producer -
Martin Hornstein and Rick Berman.

Unit Production Manager -
Martin Hornstein.

Writers -
Michael Piller and Rick Berman with input from Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes.

Associate Producer -
Patrick Stewart.

Production Designer -
Herman Zimmerman.

Plot:

Captain Picard's effort to save Lt. Commander Data leads him to the Ba'ku planet,
where the Federation and their Son'a allies are conducting a cultural survey.

The Ba'ku seem at first to be a simple race of only six hundred people, living in one
village on their isolated world. But when Picard meets a Ba'ku woman, Anij
(Donna Murphy), he gradually learns that there is more to her people than meets
the eye: She, like most of her fellow Ba'ku, is more than three hundred years old.

Picard also learns that the survey is only a cover -- for a plot to kidnap the Ba'ku en
masse and exile them from their world. Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham), the Son'a leader,
has discovered that the planet is bathed in metaphasic radiation that reverses aging.

What the Ba'ku have, the Son'a -- an aged, dying race -- want desperately
for themselves. Picard confronts his superior officer, Admiral Dougherty
(Anthony Zerbe) with what he has learned ... only to find that Dougherty and the
top leaders of the Federation are part of the scheme. After all, says the admiral,
there are only six hundred Ba'ku.

Why should they stand in the way of progress? Captain Picard objects:
If a planetful of people can be forcibly removed from their world, destroying their way
of life, where does it end? There may be only six hundred Ba'ku, but how many would
it take to become wrong? A thousand? Fifty thousand? A million? But Admiral
Dougherty will hear no protests: He gives Picard a direct order to withdraw and return
to his previous mission. For Jean-Luc Picard, it is the time of decision. If he obeys Dougherty's order, he would violate the principles of his Starfleet oath. Instead, he
takes action. By the time he is done, Picard will have risked everything -- and left
behind his crew, his career and ship to help the Ba'ku.

The battle for Paradise has just begun ...

Rick Berman in the Feb/Mar -98 Issue
of the Star Trek Communicator!

Rick, what's the latest update on the next feature film?

Michael Piller, Jonathan Frakes and I are still working on the script.
We're now dealing with revisions and preparations for the second draft.
Patrick Stewart is involved in this process as well.
We have Martin Hornstein back on board as our executive producer/unit
production manager. He was a member of the team for Star Trek: First Contact.
We are starting the process of getting location managers and location scouts to work.
But preliminarily, out focus now is on the rewrite.

Have you begun the design process yet?

Yes, we have.
We have very preliminary areas of design work beginning with Herman Zimmerman.

What will set this film apart from the last one?

Well, it has a lot more humor and romance that the last film.
I also believe that this film will be more character-driven than the last one.

It sounds like you will be doing some location shooting for this film?

Yes, a great deal of this picture is going to take place on-location.
A lot of this film is planet-based. In fact, it is a planet that we've never seen before.

When are you scheduled to start shooting?

Late March.

Are there any major guest-starring roles in the picture?

There are three major guest-starring roles all yet to be cast- two male and one female.

Out of the whole process of making a feature film, which area is the ost enjoyable to you?

It's a multi-facetted process which takes a year-and-a-half.
There are different highlights to the job and it's hard to say that one is better than
the other; they all have their ups and downs.
The initial creative process of coming up with the story and working with the writers
is the most rewarding creatively, it is also the most difficult.
The rewriting process and the preproduction process have good points and bad points.
The casting process is always a lot of fun.
All of the finishing stages- the opticals, editing & sound work are very rewarding
because you have what amounts to almost two years of work all coming together.
But I would have to say, that if I picked the one thing that I get the most enjoyment
out of it would be the initial writing stages.

What is Jonathan Frakes working on now?

He's just come onboard and is now attending story and script meetings with
Michael and I. We're starting to work on design elements and location elements
and he is involved in that. We're in the very early stages of this picture.

Was it easy to give the directing nod to Jonathan on this film after the success of Star Trek: First Contact?

Even if First Contact had not been successful, I would have still felt very
strongly about Jonathan. He is a very talented guy. he did a wonderful job and
we have a great working relationship. He is a big part of what makes this whole
process enjoyable for me!