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Phil Pirrello

More from Phil Pirrello

“Is This a Joke?” How a Classic ‘Star Trek’ Episode Broke the Rules of the Franchise

“I thought Brannon was fucking with me.” It’s easy to see why Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Jonathan Frakes had that reaction when he first read writer Brannon Braga’s script for “Cause and Effect” 30 years ago. Neither the series nor television in general had ever attempted something like it before. Frakes had the […]

How ‘Star Trek’ Pulled Off One of Its More Disturbing Episodes

Star Trek has spent nearly six decades building science fiction stories on the backs of contemporary issues. From racism to eugenics, the Final Frontier has found significant success winding its space-based adventures and action around socially relevant themes. But rarely has it tackled a subject as dark as terrorism, and with such unflinching conviction, as […]

‘Star Trek: First Contact’ Co-Writer Ron Moore Recalls Story Clash With Patrick Stewart

For fans, there was life before and life after Star Trek: First Contact. Twenty-five years ago, on Nov. 22, 1996, the second film featuring Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the rest of the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew promised an action-packed adventure, pitting the Starfleet officers against their most lethal adversary: the Borg, a […]

‘Transformers: The Movie’ at 35: Why Optimus Prime’s Death Still Resonates

The birth of the Transformers’ big-screen adventures began with the death of its most iconic hero. 35 years ago this week, Transformers: The Movie (now on disc in 4K from Shout! Factory) blasted into theaters full of stadium rock needle drops (Stan Bush!) and a production budget that allowed for some truly epic — and […]

‘Star Trek’ Writer Ron Moore Reveals Fight Behind Classic ‘Next Generation’ Episode

“When I started at Star Trek, the Klingons were already part and parcel of the franchise. But when you really broke it down, you didn’t know that much about them.” Star Trek fans can thank writer Ronald D. Moore for helping us get to know more about the franchise’s iconic villains, as he was “the […]

Abandoned ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ Finale Ideas Could Have Given the Sendoff It Deserved

“The biggest decision was whether or not we actually wanted them to get home. That was a decision that really came down to the wire.” That was the creative challenge facing Star Trek: Voyager’s series finale, according to former Voyager showrunner Brannon Braga in a 2001 interview from Star Trek Monthly. Whether or not “Endgame, […]

How J.J. Abrams’ ‘Mission: Impossible III’ Saved the Franchise

For a minute there, it looked like Mission: Impossible III would never get out of development hell. Following the release of John Woo’s dove-filled Mission: Impossible II in 2000, Paramount and producer-star Tom Cruise struggled to find the right story and director for the third installment in their venerable franchise. From 2002 to ’04, directors David […]

How James Bond Inspired This Underrated ‘Star Trek’ Episode

'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' writer Ron Moore looks back at "Our Man Bashir," which earned a stern letter from 007 studio MGM 25 years ago.

The Classic ‘Star Trek’ Episode Gene Roddenberry “Hated”

'Star Trek' writer Ron Moore looks back at the groundbreaking episode "Family," 30 years later.

How ‘Best of Both Worlds’ Saved ‘Star Trek’

Blame the Borg for why Star Trek: The Next Generation became what it is today.

How ‘Enterprise’ Finale Almost Put ‘Star Trek’ on Ice

The finale for 'Star Trek: Enterprise' — which aired 15 years ago this month — was the worst-received sendoff in the franchise's history.

How ‘Back to the Future III’ Got Better With Age

'Back to the Future Part III' is significantly better than many '90s kids let on.