I came back to Rick [Berman] with a premise I called “Heart of Lightness.” I told him we’d be using a structure based on Heart of Darkness, but that the trip “up the river” would lead Picard and his crew on a very different kind of adventure. “We open at Starfleet Academy in Picard’s youth,” I told him, “Establishing Picard as a curly-haired, high-spirited cadet. We give him a best friend, another cadet who is as close to Picard as any man has ever been and ever will be.From "Old Soldiers" (pg 62) in which producer Rick Berman doubts that Patrick Stewart will approve of the treatment:
“Flash forward to the present day and find adult Picard being given a mission by Starfleet Command. His old friend is now a wanted man -- he’s been attacking ships in an unexplored region of space and no one knows why. Picard has to track him down and if necessary, kill him. “The Enterprise sets off through this mysterious region and the crew begins to act in unusual ways. We don’t know why yet. After several curious incidents, they finally find the hiding place of Picard’s old friend. Picard transports down to the planet and discovers that he looks exactly the same as he did at the Academy! We ultimately learn that this is a fountain of youth and somebody is trying to steal it from the people who live there. Picard’s friend has been defending the natives on the planet.”
I waited a beat and tried to gauge his reaction. If he’d hated it, his mouth would have twisted into a frown by now. It wasn’t twisted at all. Not up. Not down. Even. He just looked at me and nodded. “I love it,” he said.
[Rick] read from page 35 of the document: “We begin to realize that Picard is getting younger, first psychologically and then gradually physically as well. We see that swashbuckling spirit of an earlier era revived in his heart.” He looked at me. “In other words, Picard’s an old man who doesn’t get to buckle his swash until the planet makes him young again. But he’s our hero. When the movie’s over and he’s back to normal again, he needs to be a vital man of action. Patrick will hate this. He’ll never do it.”From "Patrick" (pg 98) in which Patrick Stewart offers his negative criticisms of the revised treatment:
“But he didn’t have a problem with a fountain of youth concept,” I said.
“He will when he reads this,” said Rick. “You’re telling our star he’s an old man!”
I sputtered looking for words to argue but I couldn’t find them. “If it’s a fountain of youth story, he’s got to get younger,” I finally said.
“Then maybe it shouldn’t be a fountain of youth story. I won’t be able to sell this to Patrick.”
I let out a deep breath. It was hard to disagree with Rick’s prediction of Patrick’s reaction. For the moment, I couldn’t find a way around it. “I have an idea” said Rick, pulling me out of my despair. “What if the guy Picard finds on the planet... is Data.”
In the story I have been reading this weekend we are enmeshed in a context of Federation politics, fine interpretations of The Prime Directive and ancient history - as ancient as Star Trek - of conflict between two members of The Federation. In the middle of all this there is a vaguely defined, characterless, uninteresting civilization who seem to have attended too many performances of Siegfried and Roy. [..] what I have read would have hardly composed a moderately interesting episode somewhere in the middle of season five of TNG.From "Brent" (pg 130) in which Brent Spiner asks for Data to be killed off:
Brent was unhappy about Data malfunctioning early in the picture. He
had behaved abnormally in the last two movies. He was afraid it was beginning to seem like Data was an untrustworthy officer. Beyond the malfunction, Data seemed to him like an after-thought. Discouraged, he offered up a solution: kill Data off in this movie. We declined and tried to assure him that we would continue to develop Data’s story on the Ba’ku planet. As for the story itself, Brent liked the notions of the rag-tag army, the elements from Heart of Darkness, Magnificent Seven, The Alamo and Lost Horizon. But he had a lot of questions. I mean a lot of questions. Like hundreds of them.
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