Against Technical Advice

By Capn Frances

Rating: G

Genres: au drama episode rewrites missing scene

Keywords:

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Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek Enterprise or its characters, and no profit was made or will be made by the creation of this work.

Summary: A finale fix from a unique perspective.

Author’s note: Many thanks to Distracted for being a terrific beta!

 


 

Jason McMillan slouched at his office desk. It was covered with PADDs and empty coffee cups. How could they possibly get this holonovel series done before the deadline? When his small production company had won this commission, it had seemed like a dream come true. Now it seemed like a nightmare.

They had been commissioned to create a series of holonovels on the missions of the original starship Enterprise, NX01. The first 14 segments had seemed to go beautifully. A little bit behind the timeline here, a little bit over budget there, but the episodes were works of art. But now as they approached the final episode, all of those little problems had snowballed. They were in serious trouble.

Jason heard a knock on his door. “Come in.”

Andy Cousins, Jason’s assistant producer, head writer, and fixer of everything, walked in. “Hey, Jason, how are we doing?”

“How do you think? We’re 15K credits over budget, and if we don’t get this in the can soon, we may not get paid at all.”

“Hey, you’re worrying too much about this. The first 14 episodes will knock their socks off. We just need to get this last one done. If we can get it done by next Tuesday, I think we have a real chance at getting a Holly.”

“Getting a Holly would really make a name for us, but I don’t see how we can do it.”

“Look, this series has it all. Great characters, amazing scenes, action, adventure, romance. All we have to do is meet the deadlines.”

“But can we do it? One of the guys in programming quit last Tuesday, and Morrie is in the hospital after he crashed that hovercar. I don’t see how we can make it.”

“Those guys want to see this done as bad as we do. All we have to do is give them the material to work with. They may have to work all night, but they’ll get it done.”

“OK, so what do we need to do to give them the material?”

“We just need to get that last segment finalized so they can…”

Before Jason could complete that thought, there was a loud knock on the door. Jason sighed. It was going to be a long night.

“Come in.”

Winston J. Halverson the Third made his entrance. With his gray hair and his tweed jacket with the suede patches, he looked like a Harvard professor from years gone by. Maybe that was the appropriate image for a Harvard professor who specialized in the origins of the Federation.

Jason wasn’t sure about that. All he knew was that Winston J. Halverson III was a royal pain in the ass. Unfortunately, he was a required pain in the ass. The contract required a historical consultant, and Halverson was the one the client had demanded. Jason had always tried to live by the rule that the client was always right, but this time he had serious doubts.

“I looked at the script, and I have serious concerns. From a historical point of view, the problems are practically innumerable. But I wanted to discuss the three issues that I think absolutely must be addressed.”

Jason sighed. “Look, Professor. I know you have concerns, but we’ve been over and over the script. We have to get this in the can this week, or we’ll miss our contract deadlines.”

“I don’t see any value in rushing to make a deadline if the product is inaccurate. We need to give our viewers an accurate understanding of these crucial events in Federation history.”

“It’s really too late to make changes, but what bothers you the most?”

“My biggest concerns are with three issues. The first is the idea that Commander Tucker never went to college. That’s patently absurd.”

Jason sighed. “Look, we’ve been over this. One of the biggest problems with this series is that we could easily make the NX-01 crew seem so much larger than life that the audience would never identify with them. If they think that Tucker never went to college, he’ll seem much more approachable. And there is some truth in that. He never did finish his bachelor’s degree.”

“I would think that two graduate…”

“What was your second point?” Andy interrupted.

“We are giving the audience the impression that Commander Tucker and Commander T’Pol saw themselves as simply colleagues. Their relationship was historic. They were the first openly bonded Human-Vulcan couple and the first to have Human-Vulcan hybrid children.”

Jason said, “I thought we agreed that we’d give the audience the same view of the Enterprise crew that a new crewman or a visitor would have had. During that period of time, the commanders were being very discreet about their relationship. A visitor would have simply seen them as colleagues.  I know that the Trip-T’Pol love story would be a great romance, but it doesn’t fit in this project.”

Professor Halverson grimaced at the informal way Jason referred to Charles Tucker III.

“My biggest concern is that we give the audience the impression that Commander Tucker died from the injuries he incurred fighting those alien intruders. Clearly that was not the case.”

“If you look closely at the script, we never say that Tucker died. I admit we did imply that he did. But this series ends with the signing of the Federation charter. At that point, everyone thought Tucker was going to die. His recovery was totally unexpected. If we try to address all of that in this episode, we’ll dilute the major historical point - the birth of the Federation.”

That gave Professor Halverson pause. Andy jumped in. “Maybe we can get another contract to do more stories. You’ve identified some great opportunities.”

Jason shuddered inwardly at the prospect of doing another project with Professor Winston J. Halverson III. He said, “I don’t know if we’ll be able to get another contract any time soon. Footnotes that would give the interested viewer additional information about these issues and then refer them to your definitive text on the NX program might be the best solution.”

Professor Halverson thought for a moment and then nodded. “That would be agreeable. Good evening, gentlemen.”

As he left, Jason and Andy sank into their chairs in relief. Andy said, “I didn’t know that holonovels had footnotes.”

“They don’t.” said Jason.

 

The END


Comments:

73Bruin

Great story!   It sounds spot based upon everything that I have heard about Hollywood and what drives production.   Are you in the industry?

Cap'n Frances

Many thanks for the welcomes and the postive comments! I'm glad you  enjoyed the story. I'm working on a couple of other stories but they are coming along slowly. Getting positive comments on this one definitely encourages me to keep working on those.

Cap'n Frances

Many thanks for the welcomes and the postive comments! I'm glad you  enjoyed the story. I'm working on a couple of other stories but they are coming along slowly. Getting positive comments on this one definitely encourages me to keep working on those.

panyasan

Welcome to TRiS! I enjoyed the tone of your story and an interesting take on that episode of the holonovels that never should have been made. :)

Weeble

big grin!

Linda

LOL, distort history to get a project in on time.  Has this ever happened before?  Naw...LOL.   Original and enjoyable story!

Lt. Zoe Jebkanto

First:  Welcome to TriS!  It's intriguing  to find a new voice telling Enterprise stories!

Second:  This was just great!  I loved it!  Any finale-fix gets quite a few points from me for pure intention.  This gets even more.  Anyone who's ever been to a business or academic meeting can already feel the familiar stress mounting and recognize the sort of "so what if we throw the baby out with the bathwater, we're in a hurry!" tone of the conversation.  And the way you led us to that last line....!!

Grin!

Third:  Well done!

Asso

Well, if it is not original this one, then it does not exist nothing original.
Really intriguing, for Mefistofele's goatee.:D

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