There are two sides to this. On the one hand, no one person makes a TV show, so yes, blaming it all on one person is a bit unfair. But on the other hand, when the same name comes up again and again in conjunction with shows or episodes you dislike, there has to be more than a trivial correlation. When I see Jane Espenson's name on a show I know I'm going to like it, and when I see Marti Noxon's name on a show I know it's going to have some powerful emotional moments but painful lapses in continuity and plausibility. So it's kind of a fair shorthand to say Braga makes this show suck, because I see many of the same flaws that drove me nuts about his other shows, even though he isn't personally making every mistake and misjudgement.
That. Yes, Braga did not create Terra Nova, and probably has to deal with multiple different agendas and expectations on a daily basis, which can't be easy... But still, his track record speaks for itself.
Braga was a writer on Next Gen. His work there was quite good, esp. when paired with Ronald D. Moore.
Braga was EP on Star Trek Voyager, and lead showrunner for the last three seasons. His work as a writer ranged from dreadful (Threshold) to decent (often when writing with a partner). When Ronald D. Moore came onboard after DS9 (which was excellent, and proved that under creative & inspired showrunners, Trek could still be great), he ended up leaving the show because Braga & him couldn't agree on creative matters. Seven Of Nine, IIRC, ended up being more of a Jeri Taylor pet project, as far as writing went, and most of the character development way planned by Taylor during season 4, before Braga officially took over.
Enterprise was Berman & Braga's pet project, on which they virtually had carte blanche, wrote a good 2/3 of the episodes, and claimed to reinvent Trek. It sucked. Big time. It was full of plot holes, it was sub-par writing, and it has no cohesive vision. When Braga gave up on the show, and left, suddenly, it became much better (except for the series finale, which was very bad, & written by Braga & Berman).
Threshold was Braga's baby, with David Goyer. The cast was interesting... but the writing wasn't (alien ! conspiracy !), and the show was uninspired.
Haven't watched the two seasons of 24 he showran, so I won't comment on those.
Flashforward, another Goyer/Braga venture, crashed quickly.
And then Terra Nova. Where Braga was hired due to his history as a writer/EP in the Sci-fi genre, and his two years as a showrunner on Fox's 24.
His mission : make a family show with dinosaurs. Production begins, the pilot is written... and Braga fires his entire writing staff, citing creative differences. And then the other co-shorunner, Angel's David Fury, leaves the boat too, citing... creative differences.
The result : a bland, all-over-the-place sci-fi mess, with really tired plots and characters, weak sfx, but an okay cast.
I mean, i'm willing to cut Braga some slack, since a lot of players are involved in TN, but still, I can't help to notice that the show, once again, fails where most Braga show have failed : the creative side. I have no doubt that Braga is a competent EP, as far as running the production side of the show goes, but I have yet to see something good, or even above average, come out of his various stints as an EP/showrunner.
And that's where the problem is. It's sci-fi, where what matters most is the writing/creativity/world building (and the sfx). Where a showrunner needs to have a vision, a direction to steer his ship in. And it's precisely where Braga struggles as a showrunner. Maybe he should stick to writing. With a partner.
Edited by Kaoteek, Feb 24, 2012 @ 9:03 PM.