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Title: Deep Space Nine: Star Trek's Next Generation
Author(s): Rich Brown and Mike Freeman
Source: Broadcasting. 122.28 (July 6, 1992): p29.
Document Type: Article
Copyright: COPYRIGHT 1992 NewBay Media LLC
Paramount Domestic Television's eagerly awaited syndicated Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, details of
which have been kept close to the vest, may boldly go where the previous trend-setting Star Treks
have yet to tread. BROADCASTING has learned some plotline and character information that
suggests DS9 will have more of an "edge" than the current incarnation, Star Trek: The Next
Generation, or the original network series (NBC, 1966-69).
The 24th Century setting of Deep Space Nine is a sort of galactic way station that will allow for the
introduction of a vast number of alien creatures and crossover appearances from Next Generation
cast members, yet also allow its inhabitants to venture on patrols in search of rogue space pirates and
Word also has it that Paramount may take a progressive leap beyond the other two Star Trek series by
possibly casting a black or other minority actor as the space station's top-ranked commander, in
addition to expanded roles for women and teens.
At least, those are some of the sketchy details that Eric Stillwell, a script coordinator during the first
five years of Star Trek: TNG, outlined to Star Trek fans at Creation Entertainment's Star Trek
convention in New York last week.
Production is not slated to begin on the series until late August, but Rick Berman, who shares the co-
executive producer title for Deep Space Nine with Michael Piller (both held the same titles on Next
Generation), confirmed many of the preliminary storyline and character decisions. Deep Space Nine
will debut in January with a two-hour telefilm featuring a guest appearance by Patrick Stewart, who
plays Captain Jean-Luc Picard on The Next Generation. Borrowing a story arc from the end of the
third and beginning of the fourth season on TNG, Captain Picard falls under the control of alien
creatures known as the Borg, who are bent on the destruction of the U.S.S. Saratoga and Captain
Benjamin Sisko. The old plotline now serves as the bridge for the story bible on Deep Space Nine:
Surviving the attack, though possibly still holding Picard to blame, Sisko is chosen for the command of
an alien-constructed space station to be run under the auspices of the Federation.
Casting has not yet begun, but Stillwell said the Sisko character will be a single father who may be
portrayed by a black actor. Berman says they are doing "multi-racial readings" for the part, "and that
applies to all other parts under consideration as well," he said.
Others in the new cast of characters include "Odo," an alien security officer who is a "shape shifter," as
Berman describes him. Employing the kind of "morphing" special effect used in the hit movie
"Terminator 2," the producers are giving Odo the ability to alter his physical composition to assume the
likeness of anyone else on the space station or elsewhere.
Like Whoopi Goldberg's Guinan on TNG, who runs a bar on the U.S.S. Enterprise, a Ferengi creature
(an alien with big ears) named Quark will be the bartender of an alien speakeasy. In fact, Stillwell had
screened at the convention Paramount's short videotape presentation to stations teasing Deep Space
Nine, which promises "a world where exotic pleasures are sold."
"There will be a little more of an edge to this series [Deep Space Nine]," Berman said. "There will be
conflicts that arise out of the Federation crew members' interaction with the aliens who work and visit
the space station. It won't be the wholesomeness of an enclosed environment of a starship [such as
TNG's Enterprise]. We're going to have a lot of fun putting our characters in weird situations, but I'm
not going to give away the storyline anymore than that."
Other characters filling out the regular cast include a 28-year-old female science officer who is half
humanoid and half alien (she is the host body for a 300-year-old worm that lives inside her); a male
doctor, and two male children -- a Ferengi teenager and a 12-year-old human. Stillwell also suggested
that women will have a bigger role in the series than in previous Star Trek projects.
Berman also confirmed Stillwell's speculation that Irish-born actor Colm Meaney, who plays
transporter chief Miles O'Brien, as well as his television wife, Keiko (played by Rosalind Chao), will be
the only regulars moving from Next Generation to join the Deep Space Nine cast permanently.
While Stillwell suggested Deep Space Nine will have a budget comparable to the $1.6 million spent on
each episode of TNG, he stressed that the cost will be kept down because there will not be a need to
create various planets for the show. Instead, he said, the show will take place on the alien space
station. Berman disagreed, countering that DS9 will have the "same degree of special effects" as Next
Generation by embarking upon similar "outside missions,"
Interest in Deep Space Nine is running high, with just over 100 markets, representing 80% of the U.S.
sold (BROADCASTING, Nov. 25, 1991, Jan. 13, Feb. 17). Nearly every station will piggyback the
spinoff with the highly successful five-year-old Next Generation, although in at least one market,
Oklahoma City, Deep Space Nine and TNG are being carried by two different stations, KOKH-TV and
There have been reports that TNG would end after a seventh season, but Stillwell said the producers
are talking about pushing for an eighth. Berman said he had no knowledge of any such push.
'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' co-producer Rick Berman says that the new science fiction series,
scheduled to debut in Jan 1993, will be more incisive than its sister, 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'
('TNG'). Because most scenes take place aboard a space station, there will be marvelous
opportunities for conflict between the Federation and aliens. The series has already been sold in 100
markets across the US, and many stations plan to run it back-to-back with 'TNG.'
Source Citation (MLA 7th
Freeman, Mike and Brown, Rich. "Deep Space Nine: Star Trek's next generation." Broadcasting 6 July
1992: 29+. General Reference Center GOLD. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.
Gale Document Number: GALE|A12438773
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