Interview: DS9’s Ira Steven Behr Sees Something Familiar About ‘Star Trek Discovery’

A few weeks back we shared our interview with Ira Steven Behr discussing the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary What We Left Behind. After covering the documentary, Ira said he had more time so we started talking about my and his favorite Star Trek show: Deep Space Nine. As this was extra time it was less of a traditional interview with prepared questions, and more of a conversation which is why it includes some colorful adult language, such as Ira calling me a doofus and me comparing him to Rodney Dangerfield.  We discussed DS9’s similarities with Star Trek: Discovery, Ira joining DS9, the Ferengi, the legacy of the show, episodes he regretted making, and whether DS9 will be released in HD.

Ira Steven Behr at Star Trek Las Vegas 2017 earlier this month

There is something familiar about Discovery

Anthony Pascale: How much have you been following the development of Star Trek: Discovery?

Ira Steven Behr: Virtually not at all.

Anthony: Well the people behind the show talk about how it is a different kind of Star Trek show and specifically because it has a diverse cast lead by an African-American, it is heavily serialized with the a major war that involves the Klingons as a backdrop, and it breaks the Roddenberry rule of no conflict within the characters. So, I was just wondering, does that sound familiar to you?

Ira: You know, this might sound shocking, but it does. It does sound familiar. But history is – well as we started with this discussion – what is truth? Recently there was a documentary about 90s TV [CNN’s The Nineties] where it said that Homicide – that great TV show – was the only series in the 90s that dared to have scenes with only black actors. Now this is not true. This is blatantly false. But that is how history is written, which is why I constantly tell people, “Only the work matters.” If your work is out there, that is all that matters. People will find it or not find it, but the mere doing of it is a positive thing in this world. It doesn’t matter if CNN gets it right or wrong, the truth is out there.

Something familiar about Discovery

Anthony: No respect for DS9? Are you the Rodney Dangerfield of Star Trek?

Ira: Personally, I have never for a second thought of that. I just think of the work that we did and it is something. We were muzzled by Army brass like in Plan 9 from Outer Space. We were muzzled by forces greater than ourselves every time. We had to fight for the right to party, let me put it that way. Everything we wanted to do, the serialization, the war, every goddamn good thing that we wanted to do to move the franchise along was a fight! And you know what? We fought that battle. Sometimes we won and sometimes we lost, but we fought that battle.

Anthony: When the show was cast, was Sisko always going to be an African-American, or did you guys just like Avery?

Ira: When [co-creator] Michal Piller started his insidious plan to bring me back into the fold – so sitting together at baseball games, when he mentioned it to me, he mentioned to me as an African-American captain. Some people say that is too specific and that it was definitely going to be a brown person, definitely not a Caucasian. They hadn’t necessarily locked in to that person being African-American.

I actually have some of the auditions and some were sent in from England from some very good British actors. So they were covering on all fronts, but I think that was all just due diligence. It was always going to be a brown captain.

Avery Brooks as Benjamin Sisko

Anthony: You mentioned how you are even talking to “non-fans” for the doc. There is a significant segment of Star Trek fans that just don’t like DS9. Some feel it doesn’t fit with Roddenberry’s vision or they don’t like the war stuff. How do you deal with those critiques?

Ira: I don’t like the term “hater,” but that buzzword is being used too easily and I don’t think that is a good word for a frickin’ TV show, so let’s just say non-fans. But, yes because DS9 was and remains different, it was not embraced by everyone. Some people didn’t like it and came up with reasons why. No one sets out to be disliked or ignored so that is not great, but what has happened is that where in the past I always said the show had Star Trek fans who also Deep Space Nine fans, but they were basically Star Trek fans. I am now meeting a lot of fans who are Deep Space Nine fans first and Star Trek fans second. They feel that DS9 is what sustains them as fans and that to me is really interesting and really different and really positive. So yeah, we are not for everyone, but time has caught up with us in a very very good way.

“The Changing Face of Evil” is an example of how DS9 dealt with war and dark issues in the 90s

Fixing the Ferengi

Anthony: The Ferengi were a failed attempt to create a big bad adversary in Star Trek: The Next Generation and were mostly abandoned. Yet when [Michael] Piller and [Rick] Berman created DS9 they made Quark a major character, therefore making the Ferengi a big part of the show. It turned out you guys rehabilitated the Ferengi and really fleshed them out, but at the time of creation did you feel it was a risk?

Ira: When Michael told me about it I went “Ewwwuggh” and other weird sounds. I was not a fan and I thought it was a mistake. The moment it clicked for for me was when I did the pass on “Babel,” which was the first real episode I wrote on DS9. We started out with Rom being the hard-core Ferengi who didn’t want his son to go to “HU-mon School” and frankly I thought that did not work for me. I didn’t like the Ferengi being the nasty hard-line guy.

What I had was a scene with Quark with O’Brien or Odo and Quark said, “My brother couldn’t fix a straw that was bent,” and that line just started me thinking what if this was a show about brothers, about these two brothers. You have the successful brother and the loser brother. And I started to think of the Ferengi in human terms, 20th century human terms. And that nailed them for me. And that became my push. Not that they were so much comedic – although they were comedic – but more importantly they were 20th century human beings and we could write their relationship as such.

Rom and Quark in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Anthony: Do you feel that the Ferengi became possibly too comedic? Did the Ferengi episodes become comedic filler to lighten things up between the dark and heavy war episodes?

Ira: Obviously we were doing lighter shows that had nothing to do with the Ferengi. “Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang,” “Take Me Out to the Holosuite,” “Our Man Bashir,” there were other comedic shows that were not Ferengi-specific.

Anthony: So you reject the premise of my question?

Ira: I am just trying to figure it out.

Anthony: Well I guess for me I grew to love the Ferengi in DS9. You guys really turned them from a failed attempt to create a new Star Trek enemy into a fully-realized and sympathetic culture, but sometimes I felt they were treated too comically.

Ira: Yes, well what I was going to say is a lot of what we were trying to do at the time was to keep the show different. We wore our freak status like a fucking flag in the writing room. You don’t like us? We are not going to win you over. We are going to do more of what we do. On the whole I think that was an excellent strategy. I feel that was the right. I do feel at times the shows got a little too comical.

Rick [Berman] often would call me up and say, “This script is so funny, but you know it is not going to be as funny on the stage. We have very few directors who understand comedy. It is going to get heavy-handed or it won’t be done with the same finesse or tone that you are expecting based on the script.” And often he was right. He was right. And maybe if we had less of a struggle to keep the Dominion story forward, maybe we would have done a few less Ferengi shows. This is all stuff that we would need a time machine to go back and I would have to like to have to look at myself and talk to myself to remind myself exactly what was going on.

But, yes. The simple answer is, yes. Did we go to the Ferengi well sometimes too often? Yes.

Quark as Lumba in “Profit and Lace”

The one episode he would take back

Anthony: So here is one of those annoying hypotheticals. Let’s say you did have that time machine and it can only do one thing. You can go back and stop one episode from being made. Which one do you stop, or not any?

Ira: Oh man that is such a doofus question. Everyone has the episode they don’t like and what you want to hear from me is an episode that I don’t like. Which I understand is better than the “What’s your favorite episode?” question. But not much better.

Anthony: Hey, you are the one that brought up that time machine.

Ira: So obviously Quark as a woman was a total failure from the launch. So if I could take that one back, but it is not number one. It is actually number two. You know when we wrote that script [for “Profit and Lace“] we thought it could work given some changes it could have worked.  But the one that was a fucking disaster in the making was “Let He Who Is Without Sin…” That was a compromised show to begin with. There was no way we could do the sexuality of Risa to make it work, there would be a backlash. So while we were writing it Robert Hewitt Wolfe – god bless him – said, “Let’s dump it, this isn’t going to work. Rick and the whole system is going to be against it being any good. Let’s not do it. It is not going to work. We are straining to get to an issue that we are going to fall short of.”

At that point my command style was to charge to the sound of the guns and don’t retreat and just keep going and push the fucking envelope as far as we can. And when you do that over 26 episodes a season you are going to fail. You are goddamn right you are going to fail sometimes, but luckily you have 26 so you move on. But that show really should have been killed in the script stage.   

Anthony: I recently talked to Morgan Gendel about something similar where he said he knew when he handed you guys the script for “The Passenger” it was in his words a “dog,” but with the production schedule there really isn’t any way to stop it. Sometimes you just have to keep going with episodes you know aren’t going to work.

Ira: Yes, if Robert and I said “Yes, OK, let’s dump this show” what is the timeline we would have had to come up with a whole new episode with a whole new story and get it approved. It wouldn’t have been this cavalier “let’s toss this puppy” and sit down in the writers room and crack open some soft drinks and coffee and get an intern to stand at the white board and let’s break a new show. It is not as simple as that, so maybe that has something to do with my decision. It wasn’t just, “Oh, we are going to prove even ourselves wrong and this is going to work.” Time is a player in television, there is no doubt about it. Once the cameras start rolling you are going baby, and you better have something to film every week.   

“Let He Who Is Without Sin…” is the one episode Behr regrets

Will we see DS9 in HD?

Anthony: Let’s wrap up with returning to the subject of HD. Do you know if there has been any talk at CBS of following up the project to redo Star Trek: The Next Generation in HD with one for Deep Space Nine? Or do the figures not add up for doing it with DS9?

Ira: I am only able to comment on what has been told to me. I have not been to any of those discussions if they have been held. What I have been told is that TNG underperformed expectations. So, I have no clue if that is true, but I know DS9 has a lot of technical issues with regards to the effects and stuff. And it is not cheap and that is the bottom line. These big corporations don’t like to pay money unless they see a payoff down the line. I imagine they don’t see a payoff as of yet.

On the positive side, CBS has been much more supportive of this documentary. The Indigogo campaign really woke up a lot of people and the fans should feel really good. The fans that contributed to the campaign did a great service – not just to documentary – but to the standing of the show within this corporate environment. So kudos to them.

This HD image from Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Birthright” shows what we’re missing

What We Left Behind

The Deep Space Nine documentary is due to arrive for the show’s 25th anniversary in 2018. You can learn more and pre-order it on Blu-ray at the official site.


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DS9 needs to be remastered in HD. Many people refuse to watch SD shows nowadays. They look so poor quality on a 50inch screen. If not, then the series will fade into obscurity.

DS9 and (as little love as it gets from many fans), Voyager. It’s just plain wrong to have a gap in HD Star Trek (when it doesn’t need to be that way) just because both shows came out at the wrong time in history, when shows before AND after them have gotten the HD release. This is the frickin’ Star Trek franchise, for crying out loud; it deserves not to have any of its entries fade into obscurity due to format not keeping up with the times.

I agree. They deserve the HD upgrade, but doubtful they’ll slip into obscurity if they don’t. They still have the Star Trek name on them. Voyager is currently being broadcast on BBC America. It’s still here.

And for that matter so is I Love Lucy, in all its black-and-white, square picture glory. So fear not, these shows won’t disappear; they just won’t look as good as modern shows.

I Love Lucy was remastered in HD.

I wouldn’t be too offended if DS9 was done in HD AFTER STAR TREK Voyager, as all STAR TREK series should be done before they do any generic Sci-Fi Series. DS9 is not Star Trek it is a Generic Sfi-Fi War series. It started off as as Star Trek but degraded into a single minded serisalised pro- war series that spat in the face of Gene’s vision & doesnt really need to be seen by the next generation of HD viewers. I don’t think it would be much of a loss to loose it to the SD television Graveyard.

The only saving grace for DS9 is at least Ira admits he hated STAR TREK & deliberately tried to destroy Star Trek with his Anti-Next Gen Star Trek show.

It’s funny it didn’t bother e as much when I was younger & it came out but I hate it more over time.



This thread should be about the article not a place to write tired 20 year old views tenuously linked to the article. If you don’t like, don’t watch don’t comment.

Each for their own. The richness of storytelling and adventure in DS9 is what made it true star trek for me and really the only series that still stands up today

DS9 is very much Star Trek. Its scripts are far more intelligent than Voyager’s and as a result it often dealt with the contemporary themes and moral questions that TOS and TNG did so well at their best. In fact I’d argue it was the last of the Trek shows to truly do that. Voyager was the chance to reset the clock and take the blank slate that TOS had and run with it. It failed. If you sit down and consider the best and most intelligent allegorical episodes, dramas or morality plays, it’s very hard to put any Voyager in your list. I’m not saying that as some sort of hater of Voyager. But the fact is for the premise it had it’s the show that ultimately came up short, especially given that it had the benefit of 7 seasons.

DS9 seemed forever stuck on that predictable space station 🙄and that

dreary 😴wormhole. It was more enjoyable imagining their exploits with

the TV off then the real show.

*rolling eyes*

Trekboi – you should watch it before being critical. And its clear you didnt watch it.

Clearly Captain Whino hasn’t actually viewed DS9. Which was a show that dealt with many social issues on several levels. It was more Trek than TNG or Voyager in that regard, by a milestone. It was grown-up storytelling with a compelling narrative that span over 9 seasons, instead of the reboot button. And it was decidedly anti-war, again it clearly shows that you did not even watch the show, that dealt with the horrors of war in many episodes. The only one ‘spitting’ in Gene’s face is Gene himself, by producing the utter trite that was TNG for at least two seasons.

Bert Beukema,

Re: …hasn’t actually viewed DS9.

I believe the same could be claimed for those who think DS9 spanned 9 seasons. No? But you got the “… grown-up storytelling with a compelling narrative…” part right. The writing is where DS9 excelled and honored what Roddenberry sought for the first series even as his love of writing it went too far and kept him from preventing himself from getting in the way.

I know what you mean. Behr is always trying to make himself sound like he was a victim. “Hey look, wasn’t I brave, I made Star Trek into just another (albeit passably entertaining) sci-fi show”. Being truly brave though is being prepared to see the merits of a (to some) unfashionable format and stick to them, no matter how many endless self styled ‘arty’ and ‘adult’ types are leaning on your shoulder ànd telling you to darken and miserabilise everything.

Someday a future generation will rediscover TNG, and be so thoroughly disillusioned with the all these cheap copy cat tricks being peddled to them they’ll say STOP. And then once again Star Trek will be made as a thing with morality, poinancy and heart. A truly unique proposition in sci-fi.

I might not be here to see it, but it will happen.

At this stage I’d even just settle for a remaster where they clean up the picture and upscale it. It wouldn’t look perfect, but it would still be a vast improvement over the murky DVD transfers.

While I badly want DS9 remastered, and am more optimistic than some about the prospects for it, I also find it sad that people are unwilling to watch stuff that conforms to an older standard of production quality or transmission quality. Far too many people miss out on the great silent films or foreign films or even older TV shows made a just couple of decades before their birth.

As much as I’d like to see DS9 remastered, I’d also like to see people free themselves from such a temporal prejudice.

Meh, if you spend money on a large HD screen and surround sound, you certainly gravitate to programs that looks as good as possible.

I watched some TNG before its remaster but its an easier watch after.

I would suspect that DS9 eventually gets remastered because CBS is likely to see diminishing returns on syndication if its not available.

I suggested they make a deal with Netflix to see if that service would be willing to provide funds for a remastering in exchange for a specified period of licensing. They might. Similarly, if CBS said “if we remaster this, will you agree to an X year deal to stream it?” same difference.

Barring that, perhaps CBS can roll Trek into one project and provide funds to be allocated to ensure all the series’ are up to snuff, corrected, re mastered etc. Maybe they can reduce costs by doing multiple projects at once, I dont know.

I hope so, but I just mean that I’ll want to watch old shows in the best condition available at the time. Whether or not I’d want to own the show if I thought there might be a remastered version coming some day…that’s a different story.

I hope and pray they will decide to do DS9 in HD. I would definitely buy this series. Personally myself I didn’t really like TNG that much, so that’s why I never bought it. But DS9 another story all together. It became my favorite series out of all of them, so I’d definitely spend my money on it. Just like I donated to the documentary. One more thing I believe Ira Steven Berh is amazing the way he did such a great series as DS9 and I can’t wait for the documentary.

I have always thought; Why not get the HD team back together for a Best Of’ Collevtion of say 5 episodes, to check the waters, so to speak.

Wasnt that exactly what they did for TNG, loved the results and then were disappointed in the sales when they did the entire series? Of course, they priced it too high (or so I have heard). But I doubt CBS is losing money once they factor in the syndication rights etc.

When All Access is truly up and running and streaming in 4K eventually, to not have Star Trek in HD will look pretty cheap.

Yep. They did the TNG Taster. But I think the entire project had already been greenlit and funded anyway…

Forget HD. Go ahead and redo it for 4k and future proof it for the next ten years. If they only do HD at this point they’re already behind the power curve.

I honestly don’t think spending the extra cash for a 4k transfer is worthwhile. Now, regrading it for HDR on the other hand would be great.

Never understood what TNG numbers have to do with it. It’s not like Star Trek fans (or TV fans in general) are a homogenous crowd. I know lots of Trek fans who skipped TNG HD but would definitely buy DS9. Same with Voyager.
Second, this is not a one-off thing. DS9 will be watched in decades to come, just like any other Trek show, while other shows, no matter how good, fade to obscurity (talk about Babylon 5 Blurays… :/ ). The franchise needs to stay fresh. Imagine there’s only VHS copys of TOS available because someone in the 80s thought it’s not profitable to keep the film negatives.
And third, I really hope someone like Netflix comes to the rescue, co-financing the remastering. With technological developments, SD will soon turn of viewers and they would need to have their content in HD. Eventually, they have to fill in the blanks, especially if it is back-catalogue shows that are high in demand.

Um, DS9 is far less popular than Star Trek TNG so if Star Trek TNG was not profitable enough why would anyone think more people would buy DS9? Unless they thought that because they like it everyone else must like it too. No.

But this isn’t the 90s. It doesn’t matter how popular it was then, but how popular it is now. Even if they don’t want to spend money on entire seasons, they could remaster Way of the Warrior or Voyager’s Year of Hell as standalone TV movies and see how profitable it will be. Or even do stuff like the Dominion War 7-parter as a miniseries.

The issue is not how popular the shows were when they aired; the issue is how much they can expect to sell today. The sales for the remastered TNG DVDs and BluRays were disappointing and fell below expectations. Of course that was partially due to Paramount always slapping a premium price on them. I know they want to recoup the costs of the remastering project but in the longrun it’s always better to have a lower profit margin and high volume of sales.
Regardless, I’m sure Paramount’s thinking is that if fans would not pay a premium for a remastered TNG, then they’ll be hesitant to shell out for a remastered DS9. Whether that’s accurate or not is irrelevant; the bean counters and accountants only care about what they think the bottom line will be.

All that said, I never cared for DS9 at all. It struck me as being a little too self-important and full of itself and I freely admit to being turned off by its many attempts at deconstructing classic Trek tropes. None of the characters resonated with me at all when it all came to an end I can’t say I really cared for any of them.

I’m sure it has a very loyal following. I’m sure that audience is very vocal in its support. I’m also pretty sure it is relatively small relative to fans of TOS and TNG. I think Paramount shares this view and that is why a remastered DS9 is unlikely in my opinion.

To pick up on that, you wouldn’t remaster something in HD that’s part of a 50 years old franchise and do the math based on initial BR sales alone. They make truckloads of money re-releasing this stuff and licensing it to streaming platforms (who, without a doubt, have to pay extra for HD content), but without HD, they limit those returns. I guess DS9/VOY in HD a question of ‘when’, not ‘if’. I’m sure with Netflix and Amazon running remastered TOS and TNG (and payling CBS for it), they already got their initial BR losses covered.

If they really think it’s a slam dunk profit maker, why wouldn’t they have just moved right on to DS9 after TNG? Or, started it back up again a year or two later? Corporations don’t tend to leave money on the table.

Corporations don’t tend to leave money on the table.

And yet, when fans are reminded of realistic aspect of life like this, they insist on something else.

I do think its a Short Sighted idea (like doing the TMP Directors edition in SD) The Star Trek name attatched to DS9 no matter how misleading it is will help it survive over time

Great interview. And for a “doofus question,” he ended up giving an interesting answer. (Plus how does a guy with a blue Van Dyke get off calling anyone a doofus?? :-P )

Ahh Anthony Pascale is a DS9 fan. So he is not a Star Trek fan in the Purist sense.
This explains alot, like promoting DS9, the JJ Verse & Discovery with no criticism.
Is there no Star Trek websit run by a real Star Trek fan?
I miss being able to talk to Star Trek fans about Star Trek.

Way to go accusing the owner of this website of not being a Star Trek fan. Whether you personally like it or not DS9, the JJ movies and Discovery are all part of the Star Trek universe. By the way, it’s false to claim that Anthony has just praised all of those without any criticism. However, there is a difference between being critical of certain aspects and outright hating on stuff.
If you don’t like how this site is run you are free to open your own Star Trek website. You should probably put a definition of whatever it is you consider “real Star Trek” on the front page to avoid the wrong people signing up.

Many people have. The article view count has dropped significantly, and comments pointing any such things out are moderated before even hitting the site.
You should look at the screen grabs collating on reddit. This site lost it’s sparkle to the whim of an idiot long ago. Credibility went out the window a long, long time ago.

I totally hear you on this and this is why there needs to be a Trek Defense League of people who are more inspired by the underside of the U.S.S. Enterprise in spacedock than about how exciting and punk rock it supposedly was for Ira to turn Star Trek into a boring war show like Space, Above and Beyond.

Yes, Discovery looks like its trying to be another Deep Space Nine.
I don’t think this is a good sign but who cares what I think. I’m just a Star Trek fan.

Discovery is going to be serialised. The writers have confirmed this. That is why this show will share common traits with Ds9.

But the key difference this time, is Discovery will be serialised PROPER. DS9 was experimenting with it.

I kind of like the balance DS9 struck, whether intentional or not, to move the arcs forward, but still have room for stand-alone episodes that could veer off on a tangent to delve deeper into character relationships, or play with different tones. While I know that DSC will be heavily serialized, I hope they find some time to do that.

This is what I hope for as well. I loved the balance of serious and playful that DS9 brought to Star Trek.

True story. No one cares about you. You’re pissing on this post since comment one. If anyone cared about you, you would have been blocked already…

Umm… you’re a Star Trek fan??? I couldn’t tell by the comments you make.

Captain Whino here is a prime example of an “anti-fan”. They shout, they throw around their hate, they piss on everything with asinine vinegar. But they never really explain why, it is like these people who say that the transformers movies ‘raped their childhood’. The troll behind these posts has shown time and again that he doesn’t really understand what Star Trek is about. He says ‘I am just a fan’ but what is he a fan of? He doesn’t like well-rounded drama, he doesn’t like mature storytelling and the exploration of difficult issues, such as war and social problems. Essentially, he is against everything that is at the core of Star Trek. A Fan? Don’t make me laugh.

If people like you are what “Star Trek fans” are all about, then I am more than happy to say I am NOT a “Star Trek fan”.

Star Trek was about open-mindedness and tolerance, things this person has completely failed to demonstrate with his rants, then avoids the backlash he clearly deserves.

That’s the only troll-feeding I’m going to do.

Great interview, for a great STAR TREK series that is DS9.

Star Trek is my favorite entertainment franchise of all (Game of Thrones is a close second; nothing else is remotely close).

TOS is my favorite series, with DS9 second.

I loved the serialization and the darker aspects.

Regarding that, I think a perfect solution and a good balance was achieved.
The solution to introducing dark aspects, while retaining the cooperative and “do gooder” aspects of Star Fleet personnel was to utilize regular non Star Fleet characters (Quark was brilliant).
A balance between “dark” and “upbeat” episodes could be maintained by allowing as many “stand alone” episodes as desired to be “upbeat”.
The “arc” episodes, generally associated with war, were almost all dark (though sometimes “victorious”).
I really liked the longer arcs in DSN.
As for having a black commander/captain, that was a minor plus for me.
The diversity of Star Trek is one of the reasons I was drawn to TOS.
However, I don’t like deciding that a particular role is to be played by an actor of a particular race.
If we were really beyond racism, casting would be color-blind – race would be as irrelevant as hair color.
I have mixed feelings regarding specifically insuring diversity – though I’m inclined to support it.
On the one hand, it seems absurd that race is still an issue today.
On the other hand, it still is.
There are still viewers (of all races) who “need” to see people of all races working together in harmony and brotherhood, and “minorities” in positions of rank, responsibility, and knowledge (engineers, doctors).

Back in 2011 when all of Star Trek came to Netflix I took about a year of my time and watched all 700+ episodes starting with TOS and ended with ENT.

Bar none Deep Space Nine is the best series out of them all. Much like TNG it did not really start to pick up until the 3rd of 4th seasons, but from there it was all cylinders running until the series finale.

If it was ever redone in HD I’d watch the series again in a heartbeat.

I watched them all in real time, and feel the same way as you, about DS9. I like rewatching episodes of it on Netflix, some TOS too, and the Andorians on ENT (I liked that Andorian-Vulcan thing, that passionate vs dispassionate thing, with Vulcans being the coldly calculating “bad guys”). Don’t really bother much with TNG or VOY, not that I dislike them. Just don’t care as much to revisit them.

I stood in line to buy the DS9 videotapes. It wasn’t broadcast in my country, but every two weeks a new tape was released. And each time my girlfriend (now my wife) would watch with sheer delight. Such depth and broad story telling, it was unique. It was human, it was riveting and a breath of fresh air after TNG. The only time we were that engaged was when Babylon 5 skyrocketed in Season 3 and 4. I also bought the Voyager tapes, but that was essentially really really bland. Stopped buying them after season 4.

I actually just watched the DS9 Premiere again. And while it has elements of Encounter at Farpoint, it was by far the best, richest, deepest premiere of any of the series. The cast was better, the characters more interesting, the over-arcing story more interesting.

It needed to find its voice of course. As they all do. But it was head & shoulders above TNG as a premiere.

CNN got its facts wrong? Shocked! Shocked am I!

Will the documentation come out in Germany or with German Subtitles?

Will be region-free, so you can import it. And subtitles should be included. I think it was announced somewhere, but I’m not sure.

Don’t care much about HD. Never did
I’m watching reruns of Voyager and loving it.
Voyager was an amazing show. Do you have one bad thing to say about it.
And so was DS9.
TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY all four are sublime. Nothing after though…

I thought voyager was bland, really bland. Some excellent episodes, just like TNG. But most of the time just very bland and tiresome. In that regard, I thought Enterprise delivered about the same quality. Both are essentially a TNG ripoff with the same stories, just remixed. Spacial anomaly of the week.

A lot of TNG could be bland if we all are honest. But as a fan, I find it mostly OK because I love the characters!

When it was broadcast I watched every episode, every week. Stayed home for it. But i’ve never actually had the feeling that I should rewatch it. It was good enough then in my memory, but I know that many episodes were really just duds. I’d rather keep my fondness than spoil it ;-).

Unfortunately, for those that do like HD and 4K, CBS will have to deal with this if they intend to do anything with DS9 and Voyager in the near future.

The only definitive breakdown of the sales numbers I’ve seen for TNG is from over two years ago (source: a post in a Blu Ray forum here: ) My commentary will appear after the *:

Here are the first week North American sales figures that are publicly available
(mostly via

Next Level: 22,820 units / $342,066
Season 1: 36,110 units / $2,712,563
Season 2: N/A
Season 3: 16,060 units / $963,439
The Best of Both Worlds: 16,254 units / $245,594*
Season 4: 12,405 units / $755,850
Redemption: 9,428 units / $127,183
Season 5: 7,235 units / $434,028*
Unification: N/A
Season 6: 9,183 units / $568,705
Chain of Command: N/A
Season 7: N/A
All Good Things: N/A
TOTAL: $6,149,428


Season 5: 13,152 units / $802,104 (after 18 weeks)
The Best of Both Worlds: $547,342 (after unknown number of weeks)

TOTAL: $6,819,252

* These numbers are up against an estimated budget of $12.5 million, just for the remastering. So, that would mean that they’d have to have about double these numbers to break even. But what this doesn’t factor in are the sales for the remaining seasons, the complete series box set, and all the sales since January 2015.

Additionally, it’s possible that the costs have been streamlined since then. They’d need to be. DS9 would probably not sell nearly as well as TNG, but maybe TNG has broken even in the more than two-and-a-half years since the entire series was initially released.

The thing that provides the most hope is whether or not the documentary can remaster some actual footage from the show. Perhaps doing so will serve as a pilot for a streamlining of the process that will make it cheaper to produce.

I don’t assume the remastering will happen, but I also don’t think it’s entirely impossible.

Maybe CBS are actually playing a game of “wait and wait and got you”. Its all about the profit. The longer the wait, the more the fans will be gagging for it…

Even that would be better than nothing. It’s not ideal, but as long as it happens, I’d like to support it.

I will say that with the TNG project, I waited, and bought The Full Journey British region-free set in December 2014. If DS9 gets the remastering treatment, then I won’t wait. I’ll try to buy each season at full price to help keep the project going for the duration.

Look at Star Wars. Endless re-releases and repackaging of the Lucas-made films. Only SIX movies! Star Trek has tons more material!

Well Star Wars has a larger fanbase. Plus seven main story movies, is a smaller commitment than buying even one season of a TV series. It would be probably be a closer analogy to track the sales of one of the Star Wars TV series to the projections of a DS9, VOY, or ENT release.

Plus instead of the asinine vinegar pissing anti-fans, their fans actually grasp at anything Star Wars and rejoice it. It is the happy crowd versus the sour ‘fans’.

@ Bert: Well, there are quite a number of Star Wars fans bitching about the 2nd trilogy or all the changes that have been made to the original movies over the years. So to use your term, Star Wars definitely also has the “asinine vinegar pissing anti-fans”. But they may be a smaller fraction of the overall fanbase compared to Star Trek. Then again, I’m not sure how big the number of TREK fans who selectively love specific parts of the franchise while hating the rest actually is. The vast majority of comments on this site is by a small number of people so it’s not really a representative sample.

That’s the main big difference.

“I actually have some of the auditions and some were sent in from England from some very good British actors. So they were covering on all fronts, but I think that was all just due diligence. It was always going to be a brown captain.”

Does Ira think England and Britain don’t have any black or brown people? lol

I assume he meant in the Patrick Stewart vein

I feel like the reason TOS remaster was more successful was because they worked out deals with TV markets to broadcast the “NEW” episodes as they came out one by one. Local stations in my market actually played the new episodes weekly and it was something many watched. TNG was just dumped out on BluRay and we were expected to go buy it. It was never a weekly event with advertising revenue coming in too.

Aaron (Naysayers are gonna nay),

Re: “NEW” episodes

And yet, I’m unaware of any that actually broadcast those “NEW” episodes in HD at the time which (MeTV and Heroes & Icons are still in SD in my market.) seemed to defeat the whoe purpose of the exercise. In fact, I believe no one as gotten CBS to confirm that they are even making HD servers of that content available to their syndicated reruns clients?

DS9 will never be released in HD. It’s 7 seasons of television and would require redoing all the effects shots, many of which were never shot on film. They were originally composited on SD video. With TOS and TNG the effects had original film elements (models, miniatures, etc) and could be remastered without tremendous difficulty. That’s not the case with DS9 when especially in the later seasons entire scenes and space battles were computer-generated as 640×480 images. These would have to be re-created in their entirety from scratch, not just remastered, and the budget doesn’t exist for something like this when there’s so little demand and next to no chance or recovering the money spent.
Read this:

Am I correct in saying the TNG remaster cost $12 million? I thought I saw that in one of these threads. That doesnt sound like a lot to me. To maintain the integrity of your film catalog. At some point your syndication money will dry up if you cant offer the content in HD.

Lt Cmdr Lore,

Plenty of internet startups went bust betting tech wouldn’t get cheaper which is tantamount to what your “never” declaration is.

Besides, if prohibitive cost of 7 years of content is the only factor as you’ve estimated, then why have they NOT upgraded ENTERPRISE’s first few years of SD FX which would be far cheaper to do as you suggest and far less jarring then when the later more cost effective digital was employed.

Besides, if prohibitive cost of 7 years of content is the only factor as you’ve estimated, then why have they NOT upgraded ENTERPRISE’s first few years of SD FX which would be far cheaper to do as you suggest and far less jarring then when the later more cost effective digital was employed.

Enterprise was completely done in CGI and shot in HD from jump; it was never a SD show.


You misunderstood what I was talking about and I probably could have explained it better.

As this site’s Matt wright explains:

“Actually, S1 and S2 were rendered mostly in 480p to save time, it [CG and VFX sequences] was only rendered at 720p if absolutely necessary. S2 seemed to have more 720p scenes than S1 though.
TrekCore and I both independently verified this. I sent an e-mail to Doug Drexler to verify when S1 came out.

New CGI for S3 and S4 was rendered at 720p, as computing power started to get significantly cheaper right about then. However, stock shots of Enterprise at warp, etc. were reused from S1 throughout all seasons, so when you get a cut to the stock shot it becomes increasingly obvious in the later seasons that use high resolution rendering for new shots.” — Matt Wright

They might as well jump up and over 4K to do it

it in 8K since it’s on the horizon. Do the job right

or just forget it. A 1/2 ass job is a waste of resources

It doesn’t really make sense to go 8K if the quality isn’t there in the original film negatives. Yes, technically you can scan film at ever increasingly high resolutions, but all you get is more noise/grain that needs to be cleaned up. You don’t get more information. TREK probably didn’t use the highest quality film stock to shoot on, let alone high-resolution lenses. It just wasn’t intended to be processed at such high resolutions.

Gotta admit I like the Trek ship shows best, but DS9 was waaaaay ahead of its time with the terrorism episodes, especially when Starfleet garrisoned Earth against invaders and they debated the cost of safety. Didn’t much like the war arc but Brooks as Sisko always kept a “trek” perpective. Good interview.

“Ira Steven Behr: Virtually not at all.”
So this is a non article with somebody who knows less than us. Ok. move along.