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Date: 10/20/97 6:57:27 PM
<<What can be divulged about the "Favor the Bold/Sacrifice of Angels"
two-parter? And is Garak in both parts?>>
Very little and yes.
<<Ron, (or anyone else) do you know why Brian Bonsall did not reprise his
role as Alexander?>>
Brian was too young to play Alexander at the apparent age (as opposed to the
actual age of the character) we wanted him to be in "Sons and Daughters" and
we wanted a different take on the character anyway.
<<In the first season, it seemed that Rom's voice was totally different than
it is now. It seemed almost like upper-class Ferengi, rather than the current
goofy dumb guy voice that he uses now (which I like much better). I was
wondering if this was something that Max Grodenchek decided to do, or if you
guys wanted ROM to go in a different direction, or if it just sort of
happened that way.>>
Rom's voice has evolved over the course of time from a combination of Max's
experimentation and the writing staff becoming more familiar with the
<<Just curious about how your writers plan on torturing O'Brien this season,
do you have any clues on his ep., or is he kind of involved in alot of the
other ep.???????????????And will we be seeing a return of Rosalind Chao?>>
We haven't got our yearly "O'Brien Must Suffer" episode yet. He'll be
featured in a lot of shows, but we haven't decided when to reunite him with
<<What is the deal with the uniforms? The Admiral in the opener wore the old
red/black style. What is the breakdown? Is anyone in the fleet still
wearing TNG. Is anyone, besides VOY, still wearing old DS9? Is the change
We didn't have a FC Admiral's uniform and so we used an old one. Over the
course of the next few shows, you'll see us make more changes to the
Admirals' costumes, so the last TNG uniforms should be on the way out.
There's a chance you'll still see them as well as the old DS9 outfits when
we need to outfit a large number of cast members and don't have enough FC unif
orms to go around.
<< I have noticed that there are an incredible number of actors with the most
wonderful voices among all the Trek shows, for instance, the Jem'Hadar (sp?)
in 'Rocks and Shoals.' Do you know if the voice quality is a prerequisite
for a role?>>
While we seldom cast someone based solely on their vocal chords, the voice of
an actor is obviously a key part of how they're going to play the role. With
Chris Shea (Keevan), his voice was suitably disturbing and helped land him
the role. With Remata'Klan, we had already worked with Phil Morris, and it
was more of a question of getting him to alter his voice to make it different
from his portrayal of the Klingon in "par'Mach".
<<I know the third ep, Sons and Daughters, is a big Worf show... but where
the heck was he in the first two shows? Did Michael have a committment and
ask to be written out or did you just have no lines for him (gave them to
Once we'd decided to put Worf on the Rotarran at the end of last season, it
became very difficult to bring him back into the storyline outside of a quick
pop here and there or a stand alone show like "Sons and Daughters."
Date: 10/20/97 7:33:55 PM
<<On a lark, I turned my TV's captioning on during "Rocks and Shoals" and a
stardate of 51096.2 came up during Sisko's "supplemental" log entry, which
didn't actually have a stardate in the voiceover. Is this an accurate
stardate, and where would the captioning people get this info if it's not
part of the actual show?... Finally, why didn't *you* slip a stardate into
the log? I hate those stand-alone supplemental logs when there aren't any
others to establish a time frame.>>
There was a stardate originally written into this script. When the show was
finally locked, and it came time to do the post-production voice-over work,
they discovered that the log as written was a few seconds too long. This
happens a lot and for a variety of reasons. In this case, the final version
of the opening shot was trimmed by a couple of seconds in order to save
money. In order to make the log fit the new cut, I had to rewrite it several
times and one of the tricks of making a log shorter is to insert the word
"supplemental" for an actual stardate. I believe the people who do the
closed-captioning are working from both the script and the picture, so they
still had the original stardate in their script.
<<Ron, how much conscious thought do you put into what might be called
thematic structure? R & S seems exquisitely balanced in that regard. Sisko,
in the role of a soldier, is forced by circumstances, to take the advantage a
soldier would normally be expected to take, but has to swallow his more
humanistic impulses to do the right, but bitter, thing. Kira has to
*suppress* her soldier's instinct, because *her* circumstances demand
reasoned restraint, and she's choking on *that*. Both have their consciences
pricked by intermediaries (the Vedek and the Third) who are playing out
*their* expected roles without question.>>
I was aware of the thematic ties in both storylines, but not consciously
trying to play parallel chords. For instance, I never really thought about
the Third and the Vedek as taking parallel actions by pricking the
consciences of Sisko and Kira. I was just trying to make both situations as
difficult as possible for our heroes and to push the characters into
directions we'd never seen them. I find that a lot of writing is intuitive
-- I often don't know *why* I think something works or *why* I make certain
choices, I just know that it seems to be the right way to go.
<<Why is Deep Space Nine so underdefended? from the first episode we're told
how important the station is to the federation, how close it is it Cardassian
Space, and they're left with only a few runabouts to protect it?>>
I think that especially after the Borg incident in FC and the brief conflict
with the Klingons, that Starfleet was spread pretty thin by the time of "Call
to Arms". With continuing losses, you'll see Federation resources get even
<<Could you list the episode titles that don't give away more about the
episode that we want know? I know you didn't want to mention the mirror
universe episode title, but could you please list any others? Speaking of
episode titles, I know this may seem strange but, of all the titles that you
have made for Star Trek, which one do you like best? Also, do you try to
make the title slightly complicated. Rather than calling an episode "The
Run" when someone is on the run in an episode, do you purposely try to come
up with something more complex?>>
Episode # 6 - "Sacrifice of Angels", # 7 (last gasp of secrecy...), # 8 "You
are Cordially Invited...", # 9 "Statistical Probabilities", # 10 "The
Magnificent Ferengi", # 11"Waltz".
I think my three favorite titles are "All Good Things..." "Our Man Bashir"
and "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places". All three seemed to
perfectly reflect the episodes they were attached to and I also thought they
had a certain wit to them. I really got sick of the one word TNG titles so
I've made a conscious effort to get a little more creative on DS9. ("Waltz"
Date: 10/20/97 7:59:33 PM
<<I thought that Rocks and Shoals was outstanding. One question: Where did
they film the scenes on the planet?>>
They were shot in a rock quarry out in Sun Valley, CA. Although the quarry
contained a fair amount of water, ALL of the shots with the ocean and the
shoreline were digitally created by our VFX crew. I think that this is one
of the best examples of the high quality work that our VFX people do week in
and week out. It was all the more impressive to me because it's the kind of
work that doesn't call attention to itself, but immeasurably aided the drama
of the episode.
<< If Sisko and co, or the Jem Hadar were hiding behind rocks, why didn't the
phaser disintegrate the rocks? >>
It's a fair question. As I've pointed out before, the phasers are *way* too
powerful for the way we normally protray them. Given that a real knock-down,
drag-out, phaser fight would not only chew up a huge chunk of real estate,
but also force our characters to be far, far away from each other and in
general be unproducable, we have to make some concessions to dramatic
license. The story was about soldiers in a difficult situation and the
decisions they were forced to make, not an exploration of the realities of
24th century ground combat. So I bent the rules on phasers and how powerful
they're really supposed to be in order to tell a better story. You bring up
a valid point and I concede that the phaser fight wasn't that realistic given
the nature of the technology invoved, but I also think I made the right
decision and I wouldn't change it.
<<Any chance that we'll see a return visit of either Keevan or Lt. Neeley?
Keevan in particular was true slime, and I'd love to see him return.>>
Keevan will definitely be back. Lt. Neely is less likely, but possible.
<<Was there a real world reason why Dax had to be injured in this episode? >>
Terry has a skin condition that prevents her exposure to direct sunlight.
We've worked around it in the past, but the large number of exterior scenes
in "Rocks and Shoals" made it impossible this time. (The days we went on
location this year were also some of the very hottest and most miserable days
of the year, BTW, and the entire crew was suffering in that airless, baking
rock quarry, not to mention the actors forced to work in already stifling
makeup and appliances.)
<< Were you as pleased with this episode as everybody else seems to be?>>
I am very pleased with it and I'm happy to see that it's been so well
received. Thank you and all of you for your very kind comments and I hope
you enjoy the rest of the season.
<<Did it ever cross your mind when you wrote R&S to have Sisko blow the Vorta
No. In fact, it was Avery's choice to raise the phaser rifle as if he wanted
to shoot Keevan in the final scene -- a great choice, BTW.
<<Also, do you guys over there have a plan on how you would like to end the
war, or is it something you will come up with as we go along?>>
We're starting to talk about the end of the war, but we haven't made any
definite plans yet.
<<Is it my imagination or has the FX budgets (all the budgets) gotten a
little bit larger during the start of this season?? Has the studio set aside
extra funds for the special story arc or is DS9 taking from Peter (later this
season) to pay Paul(start of this season)?? >>
We haven't gotten any new money. We have to plan in some cheaper shows along
the way in order to make every thing work out at the end of the season.
<<if Sisko wasn't too keen on slaughtering the Jem'Hadar troops, why not have
the phasers set on STUN?>>
The stun setting has no effect on the Jem'Hadar.
Date: 10/20/97 8:16:45 PM
<< I was just wondering why nobody seemed to notice when Kira's hair color
changed...So, why did it change? I know the real reason was because Nana was
pregnant and didn't want to dye it while carrying a child...but what I'm
wondering is the official reason that Kira's hair color changed...>>
The official reason? Uh... well, I guess red is all the fashion on Bajor
<<There is a lively debate over on the "R&S" board about Kiras reaction to
the Vedeks suicide and her apparent intention to begin a new resistance. Some
feel that this is an appropriate response to the evil of the
Dominion/Cardassians, while others feel she is selfishly indulging her
feelings at the expense of her duty. I am strongly in the latter camp.
Without divulging anything yet to come, can you comment on this and whether
or not this conflict will be a continuing aspect of the show?>>
My take on Kira is that she could do nothing else under the circumstances.
That's her character. She could not stand idly by while others suffered and
died for her freedom and let herself become (in her mind) an accomplice to
evil even if it meant going against the Emissary/Sisko. You can argue about
what she should or should not from a moral standpoint, but I firmly believe
that this is was Kira *would* do. The conflict of what resistance to offer
to the Dominion occupation and what form it should take will be developed in
"Behind the Lines."
<<What bothered me, Ron, was that Kira was violating the words of the
emissary-- as was the Vedek. The Vedek didn't believe the Emmisary? Isn't
there a faith problem here? How does Kira reconcile her starting a resistance
with her belief that Sisko is the emmissary?>>
I don't think Kira (or anyone else on Bajor) treats the Emissary as the
literal "Son of God" or something, whose every utterance must be obeyed lest
dammnation follow. If that were the case, Sisko would be running Bajor
single-handedly by now. Yes, there is a conflict between what Sisko wanted
and what Kira chose to do and she may not be able to reconcile them in her
mind, but she had to do what she felt was right.
Personally, I'm glad people are arguing about it. The ability to push the
characters into uncomfortable decisions and ambiguous moral choices is one of
the things I like most about DS9.
<<One question we have about the Vedek's suicide is that we immediately
thought of Jan Palach lighting himself on fire in Prague in 1969. Now we
know that this event, while perhaps one of the most famous events in
Czechoslovak history, is not really well known in the US. Did you have this
event in mind when you wrote the episode? >>
I was thinking more of the Buddhist monks who immolated themselves in Vietnam
in the 1960s. The analogy isn't perfect (so don't look to link up the two
political situations) but the dramatic political statement of a religious
leader committing suicide in a public place was definitely one of the sources
of inspiration for this episode.
Date: 10/20/97 10:24:34 PM
<< I think in the last postings #30 you sounded like you were appologizing
for the "Rascals" episode. I thought that was a great episode. Very funny
and a favorite of both me and my children. >>
Thank you. I am continually amazed by how many people love that episode.
The premise of "They all beam back..... AS CHILDREN!!!" made me cringe when
I first heard it. All that season I was bagging on the idea and praying we'd
never actually do it. Which meant, of course, that I would end up having to
do the rewrite. But part of staff work is occasionally having to write
something that you're not in love with, so I threw myself into the show and
tried to do the best I could with it. Happily, most people seem to have
enjoyed it, but I still look back on it with a shudder.
<< The tragedy of the ending [of "Rocks and Shoals"] reminded me of the film
"A Midnight Clear"- a similar theme of enemies who come maddeningly close to
putting their differences aside in order to help each other- and yet in the
end, tragically, circumstances intervene. Knowing your love of history, have
you seen the film and if so, did it have any influence on the story?>>
I do vaguely remember "Midnight Clear" but it wasn't a direct inspiration for
<< <Kira's first loyalty is to Bajor. She is acting on that loyalty. In her
eyes, she is betraying nothing. Her character is still one of strength.>
No, her first loyalty is to her duty. If she finds that she cannot obey her
orders, she should resign. Anything else is dishonorable.>>
Kira is not a Klingon and her value system is much different. It's a mistake
to think of Kira as someone born and bred to be a serving line officer --
remember she's a terrorist who was given a rank at the end of the Occupation.
I think Kira's first guide is her conscience, not her "duty", at least not
in the same way that Worf or Sisko think of their "duty."
<<Why did the Jem Hadar advance without the use of their invisibility screens
[in "Rocks and Shoals"]?>>
The lack of White weakened them and made them lose their shrouding abilities.
(I think there's a line in there somewhere that says this.)
<< The one question you left unanswered last time was about naming shuttles
or ships after Sarek and Carl Sagan. Any chance of seeing this
It's possible, but we don't have any plans to do so.
<<Was the actor who played Ensign Gordon in R & S Siddig's stand-in?>>
<<What's up with Our Man Spock on Romulus? With people clamoring for a
Romulan return to DS9 could this be a possibility, or is Spock's
and Romulus' fate being
saved for a future movie? >>
As I've said before, Leonard has indicated to us that he does not want to
reprise the character, regardless of what he may have written in his book.
More to the point, we have no interest in returning to the Spock/Romulan
plotline at this time.
<<Speaking of movies, is there any truth to the AP story I read months ago
about some DS9 characters appearing in ST 9?>>
I don't know. The script isn't finished as far as I know.
<<What is Kira's current status on DS9? Is she still First Officer?>>
She is still the Bajoran Liason Officer under the Dominion's continuing
occupation of the station, but does not figure into the operational chain of
<<Now that he is dictator of Cardassia, Dukat seems to spend an awful lot of
time at DS9. Who is running the show back home? >>
Dukat is running everything from DS9, but don't underestimate the extent to
which the Dominion is now controlling all of Cardassia.
<<Are there any plans to focus an episode on Jadzia this year?>>
We would like to do a show that focuses solely on Jadzia later this year, but
we don't have one as yet.
Date: 10/20/97 10:36:09 PM
<<You stated that in the "Favor the Bold", the Federation fleet which protect
the earth is 3rd fleet. Is it safe to say that Enterprise-E is in that
You're welcome to believe that if you wish.
<<-A person on USENET recently claimed that the reason behind Paramount
reevaluating its open submissions policy for Voyager and DS9 scripts is *not*
the legal hassles Paramount has to deal with regarding submitters who claim
their ideas were stolen, but rather the high volume of low-quality,
amateurish scripts the readers have to pore through. To your knowledge, is
this person correct?>>
I was told this was a result of legal problems.
<<Have there been any episodes of DS9 that have been produced from submitted
spec scripts, or staff writers that were hired as a result of a spec script
(produced or not)?>>
Lisa Klink's DS9 spec script earned her an invitation to pitch, then an
internship, and finally a staff job on Voyager.
<<I was watching my copy of "Vortex" again the other day and Croden talks
about the legend of the Changelings that once lived on his planet of Rakhar
but fled due to persecution. Are these the same Changelings who went on to
found the Dominion or is there another race of Changelings hanging out in the
I believe so.
<<Why were those two Jem'Hadar fighters [in "Rocks and Shoals"] firing on
Sisko's ship in the first place!? Do they make a habit of destroying
crippled ships, or did they catch on to Sisko's secret? If so, how?>>
I think they caught on to the ruse, but I don't know how. I wanted to
jump-start the episode and just take it as read that the Jem'Hadar had
figured out the deception somehow and get right into the story.
<<I just read on TrekWeb that DS9 is indeed getting a seventh season... Can
you confirm this!?>>
There's still no official word.
<<As you envision the impact of the Dominion War on the Alpha Quadrant,
what's your take on the Romulan response? How're they doing? Supposing for a
moment that the J'em H'dar and the Cardassians cross the Neutral Zone, what
would be likely to happen? Or has that incursion already happened?>>
There are a lot of ways to go with the Romulans, and as I've said, we've
working on some notions to bring them into the story. I don't want to go
into it because we haven't made any firm decisions yet.