Date: 2/17/98 11:46:36 AM Pacific Standard Time
<<All this discussion of Shakespeare and his modern-day equals brings up the
question, Why do we not hear much about post-20th century Earth culture?
One would think, in a Federation where people are encouraged to better
themselves and the human race, there must be many outstanding artists,
novelists, playwrights, musicians, etc. Yet, the names that are
consistantly invoked in the 24th century are those of Shakespeare, DaVinci,
Mozart,... the only exception in 30 years may be Buck Bokai. >>
We usually try to throw in the name of a post-20th person whenever we
discuss historical events or people on DS9, but you're right in that I can't
think of an author or playwright that we've specifically identified from the
post-20th era. Then again, we've made so many off-hand references to people
and events over the years that there might be a few mixed in there
<<When did constrution start for the Enterprise-E?>>
We never addressed this point, but my working assumption was that the E-E
had her keel laid sometime during TNG's last season and was probably going
to be given another name. When the E-D was destroyed, that Sovereign-class
ship was nearing completion and was then christened Enterprise. This same
sort of thing happened during WWII. After the carrier Yorktown was sunk at
Midway, the US Navy decided to rename a carrier then under construction
in honor of the fallen ship.
<<Will Tom Riker ever be rescued or will he rot away in a Cardassian Prison
The question that will not go away...
No word on any future Tom Riker episode.
<<My first question is: will the Odo/Kira relationship be resolved by the
end of the final season?>>
Possibly. We've only just begun discussions on the final season.
<<Also, if and when DS9 comes to an end, will another series be created to
replace it? >>
There are no plans to do so at the moment.
<<Ron, when DS9 did the Improbable Cause/Die is Cast 2 parter in season 3,
did you intend for the Tal Shiar to have been completely obliterated after
Not completely. We intended that both the Tal'Shiar and the Obsidian Order
would be devastated, but not totally wiped out by the failed attack on the
Founders' homeworld. By now, the Tal'Shiar has been rebuilt, if not to its
<<Will Kai Winn's sins (blowing up the school, assassination plot, etc)
return to haunt her like Dukat's are, or should we just learn to forgive and
We still have some things in store for the Kai...
<<While I've loved almost every episode of this current season, the one
thing still not sitting right with me is Odo. His "betrayal" during the
occupation of DS9 was practically unforgivable! Why has no proper
explanation been given for his deciding to link with the other shapeshifter
after he *promised* the woman he supposedly loves he wouldn't? Why was the
allure of the link so strong this time?>>
It seemed to me that we laid in a lot of motivation for Odo within the six-
arc: his growing involvement with the Dominion, his gradual indentification
with the Founders, the divergence of his goals from that of Kira and the
others, etc. It also seemed that we'd established that Odo had felt a
powerful tug toward the Link in previous episodes, so I'd say that the
foundation for his behavior was firmly established.
Date: 2/17/98 12:28:01 PM Pacific Standard Time
<<In this same vein, why has the issue of Odo and trust been swept under
the rug? Kira seemed to forgive him pretty quickly and easily in "You Are
Cordially Invited," and, from what I can see Rom, Leeta, Jake and Quark have
apparently forgiven him too. I'm not sure *I* trust him anymore, so why do
While I wish we'd spent more time dealing with the fallout from Odo's
think it's important to remember that Odo *did* come through for Kira and
the others in "Sacrifice". He *did* change sides and he *did* rally his
deputies at a crucial moment to save Kira and Rom. I don't think there's a
question about his trustworthiness on the station. The real question is
what he'll do when confronted with the Female Shapeshifter again. As for
the Odo/Kira relationship post-"Sacrifice", I agree that we could've spent
time more time dealing with it, but I also think that Kira of all people
understands what it's like to be torn between your people and your duty, and
it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that she found a way to handle
what happened. And although I never intended the closet scene in
"Cordially" to be the one beat of reconciliation between them, I'm glad
it's there now since it at least acknowledges that there were issues to be
settled between Kira & Odo and it *implies* that other discussions took
place. However, in the final analysis, this is an area in which we
could've done better.
We haven't dropped Kira & Odo, however, and in episode #20, "His Way" their
relationship will be front and center.
<<Were you worried about running new DS9s against the Olympics?>>
Sure, but we had no choice in the matter.
<<Do ya think Ira or Hans would swing around to the "Far Beyound the Stars"
board to give us some insight into the episode? There were questions about
the ending. And there was a statement about Paramont being desperate for a
story where the actors could go makeupless. How the concept and story were
developed. How much input Avery had on the story. >>
I doubt that Ira & Hans will be posting. I can tell you that there was no
from Paramount for a story featuring the actors sans makeup -- although that
was something that the writing staff had wanted to do for a long time.
Avery worked very closely with Ira & Hans during the rewrites of the script
and throughout the prep, filming, and post-production of the show.
The show came from a pitch by Marc Scott Zicree that I can't entirely
recall, but the basic idea was that our characters find themselves working
as science fiction writers in the 1950s, and that they're working on
something called DS9. The premise was one that Ira especially loved and it
was kicking around here for a full year before we focused in on it and
committed to doing the episode.
Marc has written for the show before and has several other series credits to
his name, including "Beyond Reality" and "TekWar." He's also the author
of a book on "The Twilight Zone."
Date: 2/17/98 12:46:15 PM Pacific Standard Time
<<Vader, Dukat, and Evil>>
My objection to the "redemption" of Vader in "Jedi" was that it seemed so
unmotivated. He wasn't struggling with some kind of moral quandry in
"Empire" he just wanted his son to join him so that they could "rule the
galaxy and father and son." The sudden pangs of conscience in "Jedi" rang
false to me and seemed like an easy way of getting to a happy ending (pass
Vader's black hat to the really, really, oh-boy-you-better-believe-it,
baaaaad guy, the Emperor and then have Vader kill *him*). Even if you
accept the final turn toward the light by Vader at the end, doesn't it seem
a bit much that he shows up in the same post-card shot as Kenobi
& Yoda? Doesn't it seem like their moral choices were of a different
character than his? Is this (dramatic) justice?
As for Dukat, while I find him an interesting and complex character, I'm not
particularly drawn to taking him down the path of redemption. I rather like
the fact that his motives are a swirling brew of self-interest, noble
rhetoric, ambition, flawed heroism, and dark hatreds. He's interesting.
He's fun to write for. Yes, we could take him down the redemptive path,
and yes, that's a valid way to go with the character. But I like Dukat
precisely because he's so deeply flawed and unable to grapple with himself
and what he's done.
<<Mr. Moore which is the writers' motivation for making Terry Farrell's
character a "silly ditz"? >>
She came off a little more ditzy than we intended on the page. In fact,
her character reads a lot and was rather impressed with "The Puppet
Masters." Although I didn't visualize it that way, I like the way Terry
played her, giving Darlene the front of a ditz with something more behind
<<Why is "Far Beyond The Stars" set in the 1950's?>>
The original pitch centered around the idea of science fiction writers
working at one of the famous magazines of that era.
<<Do you think racial harmony has improved since the 1950s/1960s? >>
As I think I said before, I do believe race relations have improved
since the 50s & 60s, but that there's still a long way to go.
<<In FBTS, was O'brien's character an allusion to Isaac Asimov?>>
Not solely, but Asimov was definitely one of the inspirations.
<<Why the weak "are we the dreamer or the dream" coda? It seems to me that
that was the perfect opportunity for Ben to reflect on the similarities of
his vision and his current situation bringing the story full circle and
ending it on a more powerful note.>>
My own opinion is that this is one of the best things about the episode. I
always liked the idea that all of DS9 may be nothing more than the fevered
imaginings of Benny Russell. I still get a kick out of the ending and think
it is one of the key ingredients to elevating the show to something very
<<Is there still an episode coming up entitled "Patriots"? Or has the title
to something else?>>
This was the working title for what is now called, "In the Pale Moonlight."
<<Did you (and Ira and Hans) intend to foreshadow any upcoming events or
themes with this episode ["Far Beyond the Stars"]? A lot of this had the
feel of setup (something that only added to the power of the story).>>
There are definitely pieces of foreshadowing in this one.
<<Ira Behr mentioned that Avery Brooks really campaigned to make this a two-
parter. Can you tell us why you decided not to go this way? (I would guess
it was, at least in part, a monetary decision.)>>
The story was never intended to be larger than a single part episode and
there wasn't enough story there to justify stretching it out.
<<As someone who worked on the episode (but didn't write the teleplay), can
you give us your impressions on "Far Beyond the Stars"?>>
In my humble opinion, I think it's one of the best episodes in the entire
franchise. (And I wish I was the one who wrote it!) Ira & Hans have
written a true classic and when this show is long gone, I hope that people
will still remember this one.
Date: 2/17/98 1:01:16 PM Pacific Standard Time
<<The dialog [in "Far Beyond the Stars"] mentioned Heinlein, Sturgeon, and
Bradbury...Was there any thought given to mentioning a young G.
We did mention this once in our story discussions, but it seemed wrong. Not
only would mentioning Gene be out of context in the magazine world we'd
created, but it would also break the fourth wall in a fundamental way that
would do more harm than good.
<<My question is this: was this epsiode written for, or scheduled to
coincide with Black History Month? >>
Just a happy coincidence.
No. We came up with this and then told them about it.
<<When we see control panel displays are they really there? I thought
maybe the actors are just moving their hands over blank displays that are
digitally added later.>>
Most of the time the control panels are simply back-lit graphics that are
actually on the set.
<<should we read anything into the fact that Rene, who plays the CHANGELING,
also played one of Benny's nemesises, who hides his racism under a thin
veneer of platitudes and mutterings of "it's nothing personal"?>>
I don't know. What do you think?
<<When this story was being written, did you have the regular actors slated
for characters as you were writing them? That is to say, was Colm always
going to be the slow, thoughtful pipe-chewer, and Armin the obnoxious,
insulting leftist? Could we have seen Nana as the giggling secretary
instead of the "tough cookie" writer?>>
We played around with several variations on all the characters before
settling on the ones seen in the final draft.
<<Speaking of Nana... it seems to me you could have played up the parallels
between K.C.'s situation and Benny's. Was there any particular reason the
issue of the sexism during this period was given only a brief mention and
The issue of sexism was something we wanted to touch on, but it wasn't
really what the show was about. We tried to bring it up to show that Benny
wasn't the only one feeling the sting of discrimination in those days, but
we couldn't really develop it as a full-blown subplot in an already full
<<How much of the writers' characters were created by the episode writers,
and how much by the actors?>>
As always, this was a collaborative effort, and it's hard to say where one
ends and the other begins.
<<Was there any point during the story break when you and the staff looked
around and each other and it struck you, "Hey.... we're all a bunch of white
guys! What exactly are we doing here?">>
Well, since Rene Echevarria is Cuban, and Hans Beimler is Mexican/German
those weren't precisely the words we used, but yes, we were certainly aware
of our own ethnicity during this show.