And who says Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the “overlooked” Star Trek?
When some of the former writers of the space-station series that brought political intrigue and massive story arcs to the franchise decided they wanted to put together a rather unique documentary, fans didn’t hesitate to open their wallets.
Within a single day of opening up crowdfunding, former Deep Space Nine showrunner Ira Steven Behr exceeded his fundraising goal of nearly $150,000, and already is pushing toward financial goals that would expand the documentary from For the Love of Spock director Adam Nimoy even more.
As of Saturday afternoon, What We Left Behind – Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, has raised just over $221,000. The documentary not only explores the world of Deep Space Nine, which ran between 1993 and 1999, but also why it’s been the outcast over the years and what has slowly brought it back into the spotlight.
Even more, Behr brings together some of the people who made up the writers room – like Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore, The 4400‘s Rene Echevarria and The Dresden Files’ Hans Beimler – to map out what an eighth season of the show could have been like.
The concept, Behr told The Hollywood Reporter‘s Aaron Couch, was inspired by a conversation he had with series star Avery Brooks.
“Avery kept saying, ‘Don’t make it talking heads only.’ It got me thinking, what would be something you’ve never seen before?
“There were ground rules, which was everyone had to watch the final episode of Season 7, so everyone remembered where everyone was on the playing field, or at least read the Wikipedia page. We weren’t going to have any cheat sheets. We are going in there with nothing for one day to see if we could get through a pilot episode of the show.
“And we did. Obviously, as with any show, you don’t break a show in a day – and if you do, you still go back the next day and refine. This is the raw material, but it’s a fascinating process.”
Television back then also was a different time. A standard season of Deep Space Nine, for example, was 26 episodes. Many shows, especially ones at the caliber of what the Star Trek show offered in the 1990s, are closer to just half that today.
Even Star Trek: Discovery has abandoned the long season approach for just 13 episodes. And nowadays, Behr says he can’t imagine it ever being any other way.
Yet, despite having so many episodes, the format of linking stories together – including an eight-part series finale – is quite reminiscent of today’s binge-watching society. And it could be one reason why Deep Space Nine is seeing that resurgence, Behr said.
“We set out to do something different, and we held to that course no matter what. That’s what we thought the franchise needed. Yes at the time, it was different, and different doesn’t necessarily take off immediately. People are suspicious of different.”
“I always believed the audience would catch up. If I had any idea how the delivery system was going to change over the years, if I had any idea that there would be binging, I would have been even more definitive in my belief. But I had no idea about that. I just thought it would be a slow word of mouth.”
Fundraising continues for the next month with a hope to hit $425,000. Reaching that level would increase the length of the documentary from 60 minutes to 90, allow for an original score, and help the producers secure rights to show various scenes from Deep Space Nine over the years.
For more on the crowdfunding project, click here.
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