Before becoming synonymous with Star Trek, Brannon Braga studied Theater Arts and Filmmaking at Kent State University & the Santa Cruz campus of the University of California, where he eventually went on to receive the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Writing Internship in his senior year in 1990. As a result of the internship, Braga was able to work in a writing/producing post on "Star Trek: The Next Generation". One of Braga's first projects was co-writing a teleplay for the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "Reunion" (aired 5 November 1990) with then executive story editor Ronald D. Moore.
Born in Bozeman, Montana, Braga has never forgotten his roots, and has even gone so far as to include subtle references to his birthplace within the Star Trek universe. Some notable references include:
* An episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" made reference to a character referred to as "the butcher of Bozeman".
* Episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and the films "Star Trek: Generations" & "Star Trek: First Contact" all make various references to a U.S.S. Bozeman.
* The film "Star Trek: First Contact," featuring humanity's first contact with alien life, takes place in central Montana (later, an episode of "Star Trek: Enterprise" would establish the specific site as being in Bozeman, Montana).
* In the movie "Star Trek: Insurrection", the character Gallatin was named after Gallatin County, Montana, where the town of Bozeman is located.
While working as a writer/producer on "Star Trek: The Next Generation", Braga made a name for himself by writing scripts & teleplays to many episodes considered popular by fans, including the series finale "All Good Things..." which earned him the Hugo award for Excellence In Science Fiction Writing in 1994.
With the impending demise and syndication of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" looming over his head, Braga co-wrote the movie "Star Trek Generations" with friend & Trek editor/producer Ronald D. Moore in 1994, in which the two of them united two of the most popular Trek captains, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) & Captain Kirk (William Shatner). Two years later in 1996 he and Moore also co-wrote the screenplay for "Star Trek: First Contact". The latter film became the highest grossing of the nine Star Trek films, tallying more than $149,000,000 worldwide.
After "Star Trek: The Next Generation" officially ended, Paramount executives greenlit a new Star Trek series called "Star Trek: Voyager" and hired Braga on as Producer for the show in 1995. He received a promotion to Co-Producer in 1997 and then another promotion to Co-Executive Producer, one of the highest positions on staff, during the show's fifth season.
During production of "Voyager" Braga tried to bring friend Moore on as a writer/producer/consultant. However, Moore eventually resigned, citing creative differences between him and Braga and concern for continuity between scripts. As a result of Moore's resignation, in 1996 Braga removed himself several places in leadership to put a greater focus on continuity and improving the quality of writing for "Voyager." Several months later, when pre-production began on "Star Trek: Enterprise," Braga stepped down in an official capacity to allow Trek producer/director Kenneth Biller to take over Braga's position as Executive Producer for "Star Trek: Voyager". Braga then began working with Trek guru and 'first-in-command' of the Trek franchise Rick Berman on the teleplay & creation of "Enterprise."
Both Berman & Braga saw "Enterprise" as a chance to do something new, with new characters, new sets, new battles, & new worlds to explore. "Star Trek: Enterprise" was seen as a prequel to the original "Star Trek" series, which was set in the 23rd century and followed the adventures of a spacecraft whose five-year mission included the exploration of distant worlds and the shipment of supplies to Earth colonies in space. After numerous rewrites & character analysis, "Enterprise" finally premiered on the UPN Network on September 26, 2001, just fifteen days after the World Trade Center attacks. In early 2005, Brannon Braga was officially listed as Co-Creator and Executive Producer on "Star Trek Enterprise"; however, he stepped back as head writer on "Enterprise" and transfered some duties to new showrunner Manny Coto in 2004 starting with season four.
Sadly, Berman & Braga's attempts to breathe new life into the Star Trek genre eventually proved unsuccessful. On February 3, 2005, UPN, the home of "Enterprise," officially announced the cancellation of "Star Trek: Enterprise" due to low ratings. The last first-run episode, the network announced, would be scheduled to air on Friday, May 13, 2005, making the first time in 18 years that the "Star Trek" franchise will be absent from prime-time network television.
For now, Braga is credited by many as being the 'second-in-command' for the entire Trek franchise, overseeing everything from production of televised episodes to character decisions & movie rights. However, this brings with it great responsibility -- Both Braga & Rick Berman have been attacked for what many fans view as a decline of the quality of the Star Trek product both televised & on-screen since the mid 1990s.
Braga has been credited with writing over 108 "Star Trek" episodes in his 14 years with Star Trek and has won or been nominated for numerous awards for his work. Braga and Berman are now believed to be working on an eleventh Star Trek feature film, and a new, non-Star Trek science fiction series.
SOURCES: brannonbraga.com, cnn.com, google.com, imdb.com, memory-alpha.org, startrek.com, tvtome.com.