Date: 4/29/97 1:56:28 AM
<<Will we ever see some of the First Contact Star Ships on DS9?>>
It's possible, but many of the FC ships were CGI that were made specifically
for the battle sequence and can't be easily recomposited for TV.
<<Where's the Enterprise-E during this movement into the Alpha Quadrant by
the Dominion? >>
We presume that the E-E was called into service by Starfleet as well (we
might throw in a reference to her at some point).
<<In A Simple Investigation, Odo was taking the woman to see the man who had
info on her daughter. During the transition from Odo's office to the guy's
quarters there was a shot of the station. In the background there was a
Voyager style ship with a third nacelle hanging below the hull. Is there a
name or class of this ship? Is this the first time you have used this
We have used this model before and I'm not sure what the name or class is.
<<I thought adding the Romulans to In the Darkness and the Light was a great
idea. Is there still a Romulan Presence like the Klingons and Starfleet?>>
The Romulans are still around, but not playing a large role in DS9 at the
<<Whatever happened to that Romulan Lady who was introduced in The Search?>>
She returned to the Rom Empire. We had considered keeping her around to care
for the cloaking device, but this was rejected early on.
<<Is there a name for the Season Finale of DS9?>>
It's called "A Call to Arms" and all I can tell you is that we're going to
pay off a lot of things we've been setting up over the course of the last two
<<Are there any other people involved with Star Trek that answer questions
like yourself? Such as on Voyager.>>
Not that I know of. Robert Wolfe was answering questions on Usenet, but now
that he's left the show, I doubt he'll continue to to that.
<<Rick Berman talks about the next Trek Movie and the IMAX project in the
Communicator magazine. Are you involed with either project?>>
I'm not involved in either project, and I have no information about them.
<<I have seen several things in All Good Things' future come true. Data's
emotions, Geordi's eyes, and the Klingon ships are examples. It is now also
plausible for the Klingons to invade Romulan space. Is this done
Not consciously. I think it's more a case of serendipity.
<<Any chance we will see the lovely and talented Felicia Bell reprise the
role of Jennifer Sisko?>>
We have no plans to reprise Jennifer.
<<I still feel that too often the DS9 is being compromised because the
producers have one eye on audience demographics - so we have to have some
mindless action and tacky T&A for the teenage males, and the endless 'lovable
ferengi' scenes for the children, and the comedy to lighten things up because
the TNG audience might find it too dark.>>
I'd like to clear up this misperception. Whatever you may think of the
series and the choices we've made, don't blame it on an obsession with
"demographics." They don't exist in this office. Contrary to popular
belief, the Producers of this show do not comb through the demographics on
DS9 and then decide to make creative decisions. It just doesn't happen.
That's not to say that Paramount doesn't collect demo information and
analyze it; they do. But they don't lean on us to change things one way or
the other in order to grab another demo point -- even the introduction of
Worf was suggested by us (although in response to a studio request to do
something dramatic to shake up the show and boost the ratings). Paramount
trusts us. And that means that credit AND blame for the creative decisions
belong right here, in these offices. You see, WE like the Ferengi shows, we
like the comedy, and we even like throwing a little sex in now and again.
Those are OUR choices, not the mind-numbing dictates of some demographic
bean-counter. So criticize all you want, but at least focus your
disatisfaction on the right targets -- the writers.
Date: 4/29/97 1:57:33 AM
<<In "Generations", when Picard was in the Nexus and his wife asked him if he
would like a cup of Earl Grey, the next thing was saw was him sipping some
sort of aperitif. What happened to the tea?>>
This is a continuity error caused by a reshoot. We reshot a section of the
entire Christmas sequence, and somehow the tea turned into an aperitif.
<<Also, if he were in the Nexus and could have anything he wanted, wouldn't
he have put himself into an admiral's uniform, or even the clothes of an
ambassador, instead of just a captain?>>
You're probably right, but we wanted Kirk and Picard to meet in uniform so we
decided to hedge this notion and just keep them in their clothes. That is a
good example of what went wrong in Generations -- we let our wants and
desires dictate too much of the story instead of letting the story take its
natural course. We wanted to include both casts; we didn't want to do a
"traditional" time-travel story; we wanted Kirk & Picard to meet; we wanted
to crash the Enterprise; we wanted to introduce the TNG characters to the big
screen; we wanted to use Guinan; we wanted to have a Data B-story; and we
wanted the Captains to meet in uniform. Given this "wish list" of plot
elements I think we did a good job, however, the creative process on FC was
much better and we let the story come first.
<<On DS9, is it really necessary to have Kira cry in every single episode?>>
This seems like an unfair overstatement. The choice of when to cry is
usually left to the actor, and I don't think Nana has gone too far with it.
<<Nana held up production for two hours [in "Ties of Blood & Water"] so she
could try to *really* kill Dukat. And she throws a teacup at him? What was
the original scene that she objected to? Was she supposed to massage him to
death with a powder puff?>>
I wasn't directly involved with this episode, which was handled by Ira &
Robert, so I can't really speak to Nana's point of view on this scene. I do
know that it went through several revisions, all with the purpose of addressin
g the "I'm going to kill him the next time I see him" line from "Inferno's
Light" without radically changing the episode. The problem was that a
direct, no-holds-barred attempt on Dukat's life had to fail and would've then
made Kira either look like an incompetent former terrorist who couldn't kill
a man right in front of her, or made Sisko & station security look like fools
for letting Kira get close enough to seriously injure Dukat, or would've
caused a major interstellar incident when DS9's XO nearly assassinated the
ruler of the Cardassian Empire.
<<It's obvious in the scene in Quark's that Dukat is hurt when Sisko makes
that crack about Cardassians being poison. One of the best thing about the
series has been the evolving relationship of these two powerful leaders.
Will we ever see them working together again, albeit reluctantly, as in "The
Not in the immediate future.
<<Will there ever be another episode like "Indiscretion" and "Return to
Grace" where he and Kira team up, or is that gone forever?>>
Hard to say at the moment.
<<How long before Dukat gets fed up and throws the Dominion out?>>
Same answer as above.
<<If I remember correctly, Ron, you mentioned something in passing that
seemed to indicate your own...frustrations?..I'm trying to find the word
here...maybe--reservations about the growing multiplicity of arcs that have
begun to litter Deep Space Nine's run. Am I making this up in my own head?
Are there plans, final season or no, to either wrap up a few threads, "if
the story is right!" of course, or is this *way* too early to be asking?>>
It is a little early at this point, but if this is the final season, we'll be
looking to wrapping up some of the plot threads. I don't recall expressing
frustration at the multiplicity of threads, but certainly we have to be
careful and not let them get out of hand.
Date: 4/29/97 1:58:58 AM
<<How long is the spec review process currently taking from submission to
rejec--I mean notifying the author about your decision?>>
This process can take anywhere from four to nine months and you just have to
<<I've wanted to know...It's been awhile since i've been on. Will there be
any more apperances of Grilka?...kinda just wondering since weve seen them
get married...or did i miss something??>>
There's a chance that Grilka might be back next year, but we don't have
anything planned at the moment.
<<Robert H. Wolfe announced on alt.tv.star-trek.ds9 today that
he's leaving DS9 after this season, citing "burn out" as the reason...
Wolfe says that filling his slot... will be the writing team of Bradley
Thompson and David Weddle, who co-wrote "The Assignment" and "Business As
Usual" this season. I wonder if you have any thoughts about this, Ron.>>
We're all going to miss Robert very much. He brought a unique and valuable
voice to the show and it won't be quite the same without him. However, we're
also looking forward to working with Bradley and David, who have proven
themselves to be good writers who are in tune with DS9. The comings and
goings of writers happens quite a bit in this business, and in the time I've
spent in these halls I've seen a LOT of writers come and go, but I will say
that the last two years have been the most enjoyable and most creative years
of my Trek experience and Robert was a big part of that. I'll miss him and I
wish him all the best.
<<Is it true that Michael Piller will be writing Star Trek IX and it is due
for a 1998 release date. It was in the Trek Scoop newsletter. Do you read
Star Trek Communicator? There is a letter someone wrote (Issue 111) saying
all these terrible things about the design of the Enterprise-E. If you read
it, I couldn't disagree more.>>
Michael is writing Trek 9 and I think he's a great choice for this next
script. He's been away from the Trek universe for a while (although keeping
close tabs on it) and he'll be able to devote more time and energy to the
movie than either Brannon or I could. He also just happens to be a good
writer. I do read the Communicator and I did see the comments about the E-E
design. To each his own... I like the E-E design.
<<whatever happened to the bold statements various folks on the DS9
production team were supposedly making about finally getting a woman (or
women) on the writing staff?>>
I don't recall any of us saying that we were going to hire a woman for the
sake of hiring a woman. We hired Bradley and David because they were the
best freelance writers we'd worked with. Period.
<<You... assured Dukat fans that you were not going to wipe away five years
of characer development, so when do we see the Dukat who gave up everything
for his daughter?... He's so much more than the murdering monster you seem
determined to deconstruct him into--please don't do this to us. I know, I
know, I know...he's a villain with a capital "V". But right now it seems
like you're indulging in a trick politicians know all too well: just slam
the opposition, over and over again, whether it's truth, lies or mere
innuendo, just keep yelling it, and pretty soon everyone will begin to
believe what you say.>>
Karla, weren't you just praising our portrayal of Dukat a few postings ago?
Nothing has changed. Dukat is a Villain (still with capitalization) but he
hasn't lost the shadings of character you're so eager to see. Relax, and
watch where we take him next year.
Date: 4/29/97 1:59:55 AM
<<The Enterprise D demanded Respect, the Enterprise E just looks like any
other ship in the fleet. THe Flag ship should be large, and shold say
"Flagship" when you look at it. Lets hope when it come time for NCC-1701-F
the designers go back to the more proud Enterprise design of the past.>>
In my humble opinion, the E-E looks better on film than the E-D. To me, the
E-D only photographed well from a couple of angles and looked awkward and
inelegant from most vantages. (No, that's not why we crashed it in
Generations.) My personal favorite of all the Enterprises is the TMP version
which took the classic design from TOS and made it even more graceful and
<<Are we ever going find out what was your first Star Trek experience?>>
I don't recall a single crystallizing moment when I first became aware of
Trek. I do remember watching a lot of 60's era shows in syndication during
the early seventies. Coming home from the 1st & 2nd grades, I watched "Wild,
Wild, West" "Gomer Pyle" "Andy Griffith" "F-Troop" and many other shows and
my first exposure to science fiction was actually "Lost in Space". My
interest in sci-fi was an outgrowth of my interest in space, which I had
acquired at a very early age (5) when my parents insisted that I watch the
first moon landing. From that moment, I was obsessed with the manned space
program and watched the launches, moon walks, and recoveries whenever
possible. I wrote letters to NASA and collected astronaut picutures and
"Lost in Space" was the first show that tapped into my interest in space, but
even as a kid I never really took it seriously. Trek entered my
consciousness somewhere in the 3rd grade and it just sort of took over from
"Lost" and so I stopped watching the kid and the robot. Like many of you, I
felt that I was the only one watching TOS, and I was quite shocked to find a
Trek book in my Weekly Reader book list (Star Trek 3, by James Blish). I
just kept watching them over and over again throughout the seventies and by
the time I went off to college in '83, I had a Kirk poster in one hand and a
suitcase in the other.
<<Ron, what are your thoughts about this general issue of respect for alien
cultures? What kind of discussions do the writers have about this? Would
more tolerance be shown to the Cardassians and Ferengi (and even the
Bajorans) if they were Federation members?>>
I think we've always tried to be aware of how we phrase criticisms of alien
races and/or cultures. When Quark bashed Sisko in "The Jem'Hadar" about his
attitudes toward the Ferengi, it was intended to point out how easily we can
equate the venal actions of a few individuals with their entire race.
However, in Sisko's defense, I think you can say that many the basic tenets
of Ferengi society are repellent to Human Beings and so there are criticisms
that can be leveled at the entire race (profit over compassion, profit over
decency, profit over family, etc.) Likewise, the basic belief system of the
Klingon Empire exhalts certain values that Humanity in the 24th century find
objectionable (the glorification of war, the eagerness for violence,
expansion of the Empire by conquest, the rigidity of the honor system at the
expense of the individual, etc.) and so we can say that Klingons are violent
without it being a racially charged epithet -- it's an observation of fact
that even the Klingons wouldn't deny.
Date: 4/29/97 2:01:13 AM
<<Why was the Enterprise D blown up. There was no need for it. It was not
needed to keep the story going. SO why?>>
The separation of the saucer and its subsequent crash on a planet was
something that we'd been wanting to do for a while. It was an idea born out
of a diagram I saw in Mike Okuda's Technical Manual which showed how a saucer
would actually try to land. I thought it was a really cool idea and so
Brannon and I first suggested doing this for the Season 6 finale of TNG. In
an episode called "All Good Things..." (sound familiar?) we had the
Enterprise-D called home. Picard was going to get promoted, the crew was
going to be split up, and the Enterprise herself was going to be turned into
a museum/diplomatic conference center in permanent orbit around Earth. We
wanted to play with how the characters would deal with the imminent breakup
of the family on their way back to Earth. However, before the ship got home,
there was a battle with the Klingons that caused the ship to separate and the
saucer to begin plunging toward the surface of an unknown world -- TO BE
The idea was shelved because it was felt that there was no way to properly do
the crash of the Enterprise on a TV budget. When the movie came up, this
idea was still floating around in our heads, and now we had the budget to do
it with, so it joined the "list" of things we wanted to accomplish in the
movie. To be fair, I think the crash of the Enterprise is one of the better
decisions we made in Generations and I think it's the highlight of the film.
<<WHy on all starships in the Bridge on deck 1. Is this not stupid?>>
You can certainly make that argument, but the Bridge on Deck 1 is a legacy
from TOS that we're not going to abandon.
<<The Enterprise D under Picard WAS the Federation flagship.>>
There is precedent for this notion of a fleetwide flagship -- the USS
Constellation CV-64, currently styles herself as "America's Flagship" because
of the lineage of her name. One could make the argument that the
Enterprise-D was given the honorific of "Federation Flagship" as a salute to
the proud lineage of that name in Starfleet.
<<Have we ever heard anything about Kira's mother? Was she also actively
involved in the resistance? I can't recall if we've ever heard what happened
to her. Is anything planned to deal with Kira's mom?>>
There are no plans to fill in this part of Kira's backstory at the moment.
<<Any plans to find Ghemor's daughter on Bajor?>>
<<It should probably be mentioned that three different Babylon 5 episodes
received enough votes to be nominated [for a Hugo]; Michael S turned down two
First of all, I am very grateful that I've been honored with two more Hugo
nominations. It's a singular honor since it comes from the fans and I
couldn't be prouder.
Second of all, I doubt that Michael's removal of two Hugo nominations from
consideration was done out of kindness or modesty. Having three B-5
nominations would've split the vote among B-5 supporters and having only one
increases the likelihood that they'll win. Trek on the other hand, now has
two entries vying against each other -- note that this is NOT a criticism of
Michael S., and he's certainly entitled to withdraw his own episodes. I
would say that it's a bit unfair to put TV and Film into the same category
especially since there's a plethora of Sci-fi on TV these days. Putting FC
against "Trials & Tribbles" seems very apples vs. oranges to me.
<<I noticed in the new TV Guide that Moogie isn't being played by Andrea
Martin this time? Why? It won't be the same!>>
We tried very hard to get Andrea for this episode, but coordinating her
schedule with Wallace Shawn's schedule just didn't work out.
Date: 4/29/97 2:02:55 AM
<<PEOPLE THIS IS NOT A FORUM TO EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS...IT IS TO POST QUESTIONS.
PLEASE KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELVES UNLESS THERE IS A QUESTION
SOMEWHERE...OTHER WISE THERE ARE BOARDS TO EXPRESS YOURSELVES.>>
Ahem. This is actually my folder and it's whatever I say it is. And I say
it is a forum for fans to ask questions of me, to complain about what they
dislike, to praise what they appreciate, or to express whatever they feel
like expressing. The only rules I have are no story pitches or ideas and
that no one else gets to make the rules.
<<are you the sort of writer who likes to just let it unfold as you go? Or
do you prefer to have an outline or road map to work from? Are you surprised
at the cohesiveness of the series' plotline? Or do you think it would have
been better if you had some sort of outline from the start like Babylon 5?>>
On specific episodes, I like having a roadmap of where I'm going in a script
and then give myself a lot of freedom on how I choose to get there. On the
series overall, I think it's good to have a few broad objectives, but not to
plan the season out in too much detail. I personally like to discover things
along the way and to make radical changes on the fly, and that would be
difficult with a detailed overall structure.
<<Do you think we will see Doc Zimmerman again?>>
<<Well we ever see a Dominion/Federation war, or will you keep teasing us
<<Will we see Gowron again?>>
Yes, next year.
<<Will the Romulins play a bigger role next season, maybe team up with the
Federation against the Dominion?>>
<<Why did sisko get to like DS9 so fast. First episdoe he hates it, next he
loves it (1st Season)>>
It's the drugs Quark put in his drinks.
<<Why did Bashier come out of the acadmey with the lt (jg) rank?>>
This conforms to current military practice where certain specialities like
Doctors are entered into the military with advanced rank. Bashir went to
Medical School after the Academy, and the Lieutenant rank would let him keep
pace with his Academy classmates.
<<Will we see Dr. Mora again?>>
<<Can I be in a Episode?>>
Yes. Report to work tomorrow in full make-up and wardrobe. Oops. We've
stopped production. Sorry.
<<Will we see the President of the Federation again? How about Earth? Or
Grampa sisko? OR Sisko's sister?>>
<<Just how far is DS9 from earth?>>
<<"DEEP SPACE" nine. Deep from what. "FARPOINT" station. Far from what?>>
The space/time continuum around the station is particularly deep. The
Farpoint Station was far away from the A-story involving Q.
<<Is Nike still around in the 24th?>>
They're trying to sell new clothing to the Romulans with limited success.
<<Why do people pay for food/drink at Quarks when they can get it for free in
They haven't figured this out yet, so please don't tell them.
<<I caught a repeat of "Homefront" tonight. In (I believe) the first act, as
Odo is getting ready to leave for Earth, O'Brien asks him to look up his
folks in Dublin. Odo then asks Bashir if he wants him to check on the Bashir
family. Julian practically blanches at the suggestion of initiating contact
with his family. And this a full year before "Dr. Bashir, I Presume"! Had
the genetic enhancement backstory been devised at this point? Did the staff
decide Julian's relationship with his parents was strained, for some
It was just something that Ira & Robert threw in to give Bashir a bit of
character and mystery. When I was first thinking about "Dr. Bashir I
Presume" this line was still rolling around in my head and I wanted to play
off it for Julian's relationship with his parents.
Date: 4/29/97 2:03:17 AM
<<I realize that some of this question relates to the "style": of DS9 as a
show, but why aren't there more episodes which show the whole crew
functioning as a team? When there is a Quark show, for example, all the other
characters suddenly seem to be reduced to cameo status or when Kira takes the
spotlight, etc... I understand that, from a dramatic standpoint, focusing on
one or two characters at a time strengthens the impact of the theme being
explored, but why is this nearly always the case?>>
It's not a conscious decision, but it has definitely turned out that way.
Sometimes the story we're telling just doesn't lend itself to the
interaction of the entire "team" -- there was very little room for the rest
of the characters in "Ferengi Love Songs" for example. We're aware of this
tendency on our part, however, and we're trying to do more "team" shows as
well as the single-character oriented stories.