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Mike Sussman

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Mike Sussman
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Mike Sussman

Birth name: Michael David Sussman
Gender: Male
Date of birth: 22 June 1967
Place of birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Roles: Writer, Story Editor, Producer, ENT Performer,
Character(s): Unnamed Defiant crew member
Mike Sussman at a viewer.jpg

...at T'Pol's Science Station on the USS Defiant...

...at T'Pol's Science Station on the USS Defiant...
Mike Sussman as a redshirt.jpg

...and as a soon-to-be dead Defiant crewman

...and as a soon-to-be dead Defiant crewman

Michael "Mike" David Sussman (born 22 June 1967; age 47), often credited as "Mike Sussman", was a writer and producer of many Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise episodes.

By 1975, at the age of eight, Sussman was already a huge Trekkie and had begun writing fan fiction stories set within the Star Trek universe. As a teenager in the early 1980s, he petitioned his local UHF station to resume airing syndicated episodes of the original Star Trek series.

Sussman made his first professional sale to the Star Trek franchise in 1995 when he wrote the story for the acclaimed Star Trek: Voyager episode "Meld". He contributed three more episodes as a freelance writer before joining the writing staff as a story editor for Voyager's seventh and final season in 2000. When Voyager wrapped the following year, Sussman was hired as a writer and Executive Story Editor on Enterprise, and was eventually promoted to Co-Producer. During that show's third season, Sussman was promoted to Producer, a position he held until the series was canceled in 2005.

Sussman's opportunity to shine came when Enterprise's fourth season started its production. Until then, the series had been under the auspices of producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, but by the time the series concluded its third season, it arguably had become the most controversial of the television series, subject to inspired and vehement criticism of fans – and, as it turned out after-the-fact, by production staffers as well – for its perceived violations in established continuity. With both producers held responsible for the quick loss of viewer-ship, Paramount and UPN indicated its cancellation and the apparent end of Berman's tenure as the overseer of Star Trek productions with the approach of the end of the third season. Though remaining credited, Berman and Braga were indeed essentially relegated to the role of figurehead by the franchise at the end of the third season, relinquishing the reins, with their places therefore de facto filled for the last season by Manny Coto and Sussman (who had been responsible for some of the more favorably received episodes of the otherwise reviled previous seasons), under whose tenure much of the perceived continuity violations was ultimately redressed. Knowing full well the monstrous task ahead, both men solicited the help of writers such as Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, who, like them, had an equally thorough understanding of Star Trek lore. While their season as a whole was generally and ultimately very well received – though it did not save the series, as its cancellation was already decided upon –, both Berman and Braga yet again took firmly hold of the reigns when it came to producing the last episode, also turning out to be the very last of the whole television franchise, "These Are the Voyages...". Intended to be "a valentine to all the Star Trek shows", as Braga had put it [1], the well-meant intention was again met with intense criticism, creating yet another violent backlash from production staffers and fans alike, causing Berman to concede years later, "I would have never done it if I had known how people were going to react." [2]

Aside from fulfilling his producer duties for the season, Sussman also wrote several of its episodes, and his most popular episodes were arguably, "In a Mirror, Darkly" and "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", the first Star Trek episodes to take place entirely in the mirror universe without any cross-overs from the prime universe. Sussman showed his affection and knowledge of the original Star Trek series by canonically tying these episodes in with the Original Series episodes "Mirror, Mirror" and "The Tholian Web". Sussman even made a cameo appearance in Part II, as a dead crewman aboard the USS Defiant.

Despite the success of "In a Mirror, Darkly," the ultimate cancellation of Enterprise ended every chance of seeing Sussman's story continue in future canon episodes. However, he has followed up his "Mirror, Darkly" episodes by writing the story for Age of the Empress, the first novel in the Pocket Books compilation, Glass Empires. "Twilight"," written by Sussman, was broadcast on 8 April 2005 as the "#1 Fan Favorite Episode" of the series, chosen in a Viewer's Choice poll at UPN.com. The readers of Star Trek Magazine chose Sussman's "In a Mirror, Darkly" as the best episode of Enterprise in their 40th anniversary reader poll, published in January 2006. He was credited as a writer on both the 600th live action episode of Star Trek, VOY: "Author, Author", as well as the 700th episode of the franchise, ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly".

M. Sussman, a name on the dedication plaque of Enterprise NX-01, was named after him as well as the Vulcan fight technique Suus Mahna in the episode "Marauders". Together with Phyllis Strong he recorded audio commentaries for the episode "Dead Stop" and "Regeneration" on the ENT Season 2 DVD and with Tim Gaskill commentaries for the episodes "In a Mirror, Darkly" and "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" on the ENT Season 4 DVD. Additionally, for all his work on the franchise, Sussman's most endearing contribution, at least where the fan community is concerned, were his (co-)efforts to firmly ground Enterprise, so close to becoming disavowed as being Star Trek altogether, within the Star Trek prime universe framework, and he has been featured in interviews for several magazines on his work, some of them headed with meaningful titles as "The Write Stuff" or "Renaissance Sussman", clearly reflecting this contribution.

Career outside Star Trek Edit

Mike Sussman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but spent most of his youth in the Gulf Coast resort town of Sarasota, Florida. After studying film and screenwriting at Florida State University, Sussman began his television career as a newscast producer for Sarasota's ABC affiliate, WWSB-TV. While there, he produced the station's eleven o'clock news, as well as their 1992 Presidential Election coverage. Soon after relocating to Los Angeles he began writing for KCAL-TV's Emmy Award-winning Prime 9 News.

After Enterprise, Sussman was hired as a writer and Supervising Producer on Brannon Braga's short-lived CBS alien-invasion drama series, Threshold. Among the regular actors on this series was Star Trek: The Next Generation star Brent Spiner. Sussman wrote two of the episodes of this series, "Pulse" (episode six) and "Vigilante" (episode twelve, guest-starring Jacqueline Kim) before the series was pulled from the CBS schedule.

He was also a writer and Co-Executive Producer on Sam Raimi's Legend of the Seeker, the syndicated fantasy/adventure series from Disney-ABC Domestic Television and ABC Studios, based on Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series of novels. This series was executive produced by Kenneth Biller.

Sussman is a Creator and Executive Producer of Perception, a one-hour drama series for TNT and ABC Studios that premiered in 2012, starring Emmy-winner Eric McCormack as a crime-solving neurology professor. The series also features LeVar Burton in a recurring role as Paul Haley, McCormack's supervisor at the fictional Chicago-Lake Michigan University. Perception has been renewed for a fifteen-episode third season, premiering in the summer of 2014.

Star Trek credits Edit

As Writer
As Actor
As Producer
  • ENT:
    • Co-producer (season 2 and episodes 3.1-3.10)
    • Producer (episodes 3.11-4.22)
As Story Editor/ Executive Story Editor

Star Trek interviewsEdit

See also Edit

External links Edit

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