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Date: Tue, Jun 2, 1998 19:35 EDT
Hello again to one and all!
Vacation is over and the entire staff has returned to the glorious halls of
the crumbling Hart building to begin assembling the the seventh and final
season of DS9.
My hiatus was spent on a roadtrip through the lovely state of Arizona, which
neither Ruby nor I had ever visited. Saw the Diamondbacks play (and saw not
one, but two, count'em two bats thrown into the stands by a single Brewer),
ate a lot, was awestruck by the Grand Canyon, made another sojourn through
the cultural Mecca that is Las Vegas, and much fun was had by all.
Waaaay too many postings to even attempt sift through them all, but here's a
grab-bag of answers for your dining and dancing pleasure:
<<We know that you are a *ST* fan. However, when you were growing up, what
primarily comedic influences did you consider appealed to your particular
sense of humor?>>
I'd say MASH, I Love Lucy, Saturday Night Live, All in the Family, SCTV,
Monty Python, MAD Magazine, Johnny Carson, Richard Pryor, and the great
George Carlin were big influences on my sense of comedy when I was growing
<<And, if you have time, what do you consider to be the essence of humor?>>
Gee, I think I'll try not to tackle that one.
<<What is your theory of knowledge insofar as the development of the human
intellect? Do you believe that, had the destruction of the Alexandria not
occurred, the history of knowledge might have been substantially different?>
I often wonder if there is a practical upper limit to what our brains can
comprehend and/or retain. I know the cliche is that there is nothing that
human beings cannot do or cannot learn, but is that true? Are we limited by
the very nature of our biological hardware? Are there greater truths that
simply cannot be fathomed by our particular brand of cranial circuitry?
As for Alexandria, while I am not well-versed in this story (and my
apologies to anyone out there who is and is about to tell me just how ill-
informed I am), I've generally viewed the legends of vast knowledge lost
forever as just that -- legends. Who knows what was really lost? I think
we've always been titillated by stories of lost civilizations and lost
treasures and the tales of unbelievable breakthroughs in science and
medicine that were destroyed in the library of Alexandria have always seemed
to be tinged with more than a touch of romanticism.
<<I was wonder: In writing a screenplay, do you have a sense of the
directorial style that would best suit your story, and if so, if the story
is accepted, as co-executive producer, do you try to ensure that a director
known for that style is asked to direct the story?>>
In a perfect world, we would be able to match a specific story with a
specific director every week. Unfortunately, the directors' schedule must
be drawn up well in advance of the completion of our scripts. We line up
the directors with what we hope will be the order of stories, but scripts
are inevitably shuffled around and sometimes material best suited for one
director will wind up with someone else.
<<Joe Menosky gets the story credit [on "Time's Orphan"], but he is one of
"Voyager's" producers. Was "Time's Orphan" originally conceived as a
"Voyager" story? >>
Joe orginally pitched this story for TNG. He wanted to do a show where
Alexander fell through the time portal and was whisked off to a harsh and
brutal planet for ten years. He eventually finds his way back to the portal
and returns to the present. From Worf's point of view, his son has been
gone for only the blink of an eye, but his little boy is now a scarred and
troubled teenager. In that version, Alexander would've stayed a teenager fo
the rest of the series. The entire writing staff absolutely loved the story
but Michael Piller absolutely hated it and refused to put it into developmen
no matter how many times we tried to sell him on it. Years later, during a
discussion about the O'Briens, Rene brought up the old Alexander story as a
possible tale for little Molly and Ira decided to go for it.
<<Speaking of the Time Portal, I immediately thought of the Guardian of
Forever. Why no mention of the Guardian when an homage would have worked
pretty well here? Is the Guardian so top secret nobody but Section 31 knows
about it? Was this portal built by the same people as the Guardian?>>
We've avoided the Guardian of Forever for years and probably will continue
to do so until and unless there's a really great reason to bring it up. I
don't know who does and does not know about it in Starfleet.
<<Was the gateway found in Time's Orphan from the Iconian civilization? Or
from some other civilization that we have yet to hear about?>>
We did discuss the Iconians during this episode, but decided that we didn't
want to know much about how the portal worked so we ruled them out as the
<<I think it would have been a terriffic idea if the writers had not gone
for the quick fix and left Molly as an 18 year old. Talk about some great
Obrien family moments in episodes to come, bringing her back into a
civilized world after ten years.>>
This was the subject of a long and rancorous argument both within the
writing staff and with Rick and Mike. I won't bore you with the details of
who supported what and why, but I can assure you we did consider it and
debated it at length.
<<When Sisko unmasked Eris the Vorta as being a Dominion spy, she touched a
button on her wrist band that initiated what appeared to be a transport
beam... MY QUESTIONS: Where did she transport?>>
We have left this deliberately ambiguous.