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Chaos on the Bridge (2014)

The story of the struggle to create the television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).

Director:

William Shatner

Writer:

William Shatner
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Cast

Credited cast:
Richard Arnold ... Himself
Ira Steven Behr Ira Steven Behr ... Himself
Rick Berman ... Himself
Brannon Braga Brannon Braga ... Himself
Denise Crosby ... Herself
John de Lancie ... Himself
Lolita Fatjo Lolita Fatjo ... Herself
D.C. Fontana D.C. Fontana ... Herself
Jonathan Frakes ... Himself
David Gerrold David Gerrold ... Himself
Maurice Hurley Maurice Hurley ... Himself
Jeffrey Katzenberg ... Himself
David Livingston David Livingston ... Himself
Gates McFadden ... Herself
Leslie Moonves ... Himself (as Les Moonves)
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Storyline

Canadian acting legend William Shatner takes viewers inside the creation of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the bold attempt in 1986 to recreate the success of the original television series, in which Shatner played Captain James T. Kirk. The documentary, directed, written and presented by Shatner reveals the drama, chaos and controversy behind the scenes as producers tried to make lighting strike twice. Not only were the beloved original characters of Kirk, Spock and McCoy excluded from the new series, the studio also attempted to block the involvement of the creator of the original series - Gene Roddenberry. Few believed it would work including those closest to the production. Yet Star Trek: The Next Generation went on to enormous success lasting seven seasons and spawning the multi-billion dollar Star Trek franchise, which continues to the present day. Now, more than 25 years later, William Shatner brings together the cast, crew and fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation to present...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Untold Story Behind an Iconic Sci-Fi Franchise


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 2014 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to an interview with Larry King, William Shatner's original title for this documentary was "Wacky Doodle". He heard the phrase used by one of the show's writer-producers, to describe the intensity of the conflicts that occurred during the making of "Star Trek: The Next Generation". See more »

Quotes

William Shatner: Did you realize that the Next Generation it possible to characterize it as Gene Roddenberry's dream of Heaven?
Brannon Braga: I would never have thought that at the time, but now that we're talking, with his conception of the future and human beings in the future and Q, Q is GOD. Just look at the character, look at everything about the character
See more »

Connections

References Cheers (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"We hate Roddenberry!"
27 November 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I was very surprised when I saw "Chaos on the Bridge". After all, for decades there has been a mystical sort of image of Gene Roddenberry as an avuncular sort of guru whose vision was THE basis for everything great about "Star Trek". Well, here this is NOT the sort of guy you hear about...that's for sure. It's a shame the guy is dead, as I'd love to see his reactions to so much hostility. But, according to the documentary, everything that was wrong with "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was due to Roddenberry and his unwillingness to create any sort of tension within the show. Instead, he insisted on a perfect, Utopian future where all the humans got along and loved each other....which is just fine except it created a rather bland package. Almost no one defended this apart, at times, aside from Maurice Hurley--who alternated between saying how much he hated Roddenberry but how he tried to stay loyal to his image. Some were nice but insisted Roddenberry was a poor addition to the show but others were quite blunt. I was frankly quite shocked to hear all this. While I could see that the show VASTLY improved in the later seasons, why was something I'd never heard anyone talk about before or so candidly.

Overall, this is very revealing and well made. However, it did have one problem--the pace was too quick and it seems stretching it out to 90 minutes or so would have made the film a bit stronger...though it still is very well done and I urge Trek fans to see it with an open mind.


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