Date: Friday Jun 12, 1998 15:00 EDT
<<I have a question about "Statistical Probabilities": did the Federation
give up the Cobral system or didn't it?>>
Since the entire set of negotiations broke down, I doubt that any
territorial concessions were actually made.
<<I'm curious what your opinion is of the multiple Ferengi episodes that the
show does (not including episodes that just center around Quark, which
aren't necessarily "Ferengi episodes.") I'll be the first to tell you that
the staff should write the shows that it wants to write instead of bowing to
the will of the fans (as if even the fans can agree), but I've noticed that
the Ferengi episodes are generally the lower regarded episodes every season,
with the latest, "Profit and Lace," receiving criticism of a sort I haven't
seen since "Let He Who is Without Sin.">>
Why do we write them? We like doing them -- it's that simple. I think the
Ferengi shows are (usually) a nice change of pace and a fun running gag.
Not all of them have worked, but several have and I think many of the fans
are way too harsh on them. I've noticed over the years that there's an
element of fandom that hates and loathes the very idea of comedy on Trek,
no matter how well done it might be. One need look no farther than "Trials
and Tribble-ations" to see vitriolic commentary coming from this group about
what was arguably one of the best shows in the entire franchise. The
Ferengi shows are broader and campier than the rest of the series and should
be viewed and enjoyed as such.
<<How big a part do the writers play in the casting process? Have you ever
pushed to get a particular actor or actress to play a certain part?>>
The writer is usually in on the casting session along with the director, the
casting director, Steve Oster and Ira. I've pushed for various "name"
actors over the years, but often found that scheduling problems, money, or
lack of interest prevented us from using them.
<<Enjoyed Times Orphan very much and why not I am a big O'Brien fan! And it
was nice to see Keiko, Yoshi and Molly and even Chester! Are you going to
try in Season 7 to bring Keiko and family in near the last eps.? If Miles
leaves the station it would be nice to see him depart with his family and
the cat! And why does Keiko hate Chester????>>
I'm not sure how much we'll be seeing Keiko & Company this season. I guess
she just doesn't like cats.
<<Now that females are starting to get some more rights on Ferenginar, are
we going to see a return of Bel, the female who helped Quark develop
business relations with the Dominion in season 2?>>
We have no plans to bring back Bel.
<<And also, are we ever going to see Letek from the Ferengi military visit
his "cousin" Quark?!?>>
<<Any hope of seeing these two (Kira vs Dukat) in an upcoming episode? A
real tension filled, hate spewing, dark and dirty, blood and guts, its you
or me (and were at the O.K. Corral) episode?>>
<<My question pertains to Terry Farrell. First off, with "Tears of the
Prophets" being her last DS9 episode, was the filming and cast solemn and
melacoly, or was it business as usual? Also, if you had known at the
beginning of Season 6 that Terry Farrell would not be returning for season7,
would you have married her and Worf?>>
It was a little sad. Terry gave a farewell lunch for the cast and crew
which was definitely melancholy, but after that it was all business. I
don't think we would've married them if we knew for sure that Terry was
<<We have often seen that Lwaxana Troi seems to be quite attached to Odo.
She came for his help in "the muse" because she couldn`t think of anybody
else but him that might be able to help her. With Betazed captured will we
see her again coming to the station for before the show ends?>>
I'm not sure if we'll see Lwaxana again or not.
<Given the fact that the Founders (1) so desperately want to have Odo return
to the link, (2) feel Odo is more important than the whole Alpha Quadrant,
(3) know the major reason he stays is because of one specific bajoran...how
come the Founders have not taken action to rid the quadrant of our one and
only Major Kira? >>
This is under discussion right now.
<<I just finished watching "Emissary", the DS9 pilot, and was thinking about
the Saratoga crew. Any chance that we might see a "prequel" episode with
the Vulcan captain?...If not, have you considered an ep where we find out
what happened to the bolian lieutenant who pulled Ben out of his destroyed
cabin and away from his dead wife? I always wondered what became of him.>>
This comes up all the time and I don't know if we'll revist the Saratoga
backstory or not before the series is over. It's always been an interesting
area to explore, but we've never found the right story.
<<While I believe that Season Six is definitely the best season of Deep
Space Nine, and perhaps in history of ALL Star Trek. I am wondering if the
tone changes from episode to episode are deliberate. Sometimes its a bit
confusing where we go from one episode that is deadly serious one week, to
humorous slapstick the next. (i.e. In the Pale Moonlight ------> His Way,
Valiant ----> Profit and Lace). >>
We like changing the tone of the series and varying the our storytelling
methodology as often as possible. We simply don't want to do the same show
week after week -- and unfortunately this often works against us with the
audience. By and large, TV viewers like to tune into the same show every
and they dislike not knowing what's in store for them. On the other hand,
this is the very thing we love about the series and so we're willing to take
<<The latest net-rumor mentions "major upheavals" amongst the DS9 writing
staff. Are any of the writers not coming back for the final season?>>
We're all back for year seven.
<<Would you happen to know why the Star Trek movies have a November release
date and not a summer or spring release date? Do you think First contact
would have gone over th 100 million mark if it had - say a spring release?>>
I'm not sure why, but Paramount seems to think this is the best slot for
Trek movies. I don't know what would've happened to First Contact in the
spring since a film's boxoffice has a lot to do with the competition it's
up against and I can't recall off-hand who the competitors would've been
at that time.
<<Every time we have seen Red Squad, they have been involved in something
unsavory. First, we saw them with Wesley, trying to cover up an accidental
death; then, we saw them supporting Admiral Leighton's attempted coup (and
wasn't Nog a member then?); now, we see them in "The Valiant" following a
meglomaniac. If this is Starfleet's Best and Brightest, what does this say
I'm not sure there's a broader comment about Starfleet in this, after all
we're only talking about two appearances (Red Squad had nothing to do with
Wesley's Nova Squad experience) and presumably Red Squad wasn't out there
killing babies between the episodes.
<<More generally, does this reflect some ambivalence in the writing staff
about Starfleet and the Federation? This goes back to the episodes about the
Maquis, which represented a sort of anti-Starfleet, and more recently to the
episode about the shadowy Section 31 or whatever. >>
We like pushing the concept of Starfleet and the Federation itself into
uncharted territory. We like to question the ideals and beliefs of the Trek
universe and put our characters into difficult situations that may not have
easy answers. To be sure, we like Trek and enjoy working in this universe,
but we're not satisfied with just painting the UFP as a happy-go-lucky place
where everyone gets along and the Prime Directive is always right.
<<I was wondering if you could enlighten us about a couple portions of the
DS9 writing process. First, during these first few days back from vacation,
before the cast has returned to the set and all, what, exactly, do your days
consist of? Is the staff pretty much just in day-long meetings now as to
the direction of season seven, or are actual scripts now being written?>>
The cast and crew won't be here until we begin prep on the first episode
(seven days before actual filming). Every day since our return, the writing
staff has gathered and worked on the opening episodes of season seven, but
one's actually writing a first draft teleplay yet.
<<Second, I've heard a lot over the years about writers working on episodes
on which their name does not appear. You mentioned recently that Rene
helped Bradley and David on a few of their scripts, and I believe I read
once that Rene did a re-write of "The Visitor." You also mentioned once
that you did a re-write of "In the Pale Moonlight"; in fact, you mentioned
that it was
you who came up with the whole concept of the episode being told through
Sisko's personal log. Since this seems a pretty substantial part of the
episode, why wasn't your name on it? I'm not really asking about that
episode in particular, but rather what factors keep a writer's name off a
he did considerable work on? Is it a Guild rules thing?>>
Taking credit on a rewrite is always a personal decision left up to the
writer in question. There can be many reasons why you may or may not want
credit on a rewrite and it's hard to generalize about what usually happens.
<<I've heard about Terry Ferrell leaving the show, but why is she? All the
info I have heard is that she wanted to get into a pilot for the one of the
new T.V. shows this fall. Is there a clear answer why? >>
Terry and Paramount were unable to come to terms on a contract for the
seventh year of the series and so she decided to move on. She has since
landed a role on the new Ted Danson sitcom "Beckett" (?) and we wish her
all the best.
<<Hello Ron...I have a question on The Reckoning. Seems like a silly
point...but I couldn't understand why there was such a bother made about
bringing the relic back to the planet. Why couldn't they just snap a
picture of it...or some holographic image...if I remeber correctly they were
just interested in decoding the lettering. They didn't need it physically
in front of them.>>
Since it was a relic with religious significance, everyone involved wanted
the actual relic not simply a photocopy since it was presumed that the stone
itself was significant.
<<Has there ever been a proposal for a "Star Trek Musical" episode? What
are your opinions on such an episode: is it too corny to even try, or could
it work if done just right? Is "His Way" the closest you'd want to get to
such an episode?>>
I've been agitating for this since year 5 of TNG. It's a completely insane
idea. Which is exactly why I love it.