Editing Completed For ‘What We Left Behind,’ Star Trek: DS9 Documentary Expected To Be Released This Year

The team behind What We left Behind has provided us with an update on their much-anticipated Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary, including the release of a new video announcing the latest milestone.

Picture is locked

In a new video announcement, producer, and former DS9 showrunner, Ira Steven Behr announced that the doc is now “picture locked,” which he said mean it was “basically done,” meaning that filming and editing for the doc have now been completed. However, the video (below) also made it clear there are still many post-production tasks that need to be completed, including licensing and approval of Star Trek clips, sound design, graphics and color correction.

The release date is still pending, however the team is committed to having the film out to Indiegogo supporters later in 2018, which is the 25th anniversary year of DS9.

Details on HD remastering elements of DS9

One of the more exciting elements of the doc will be the remastering of some footage of Deep Space Nine into HD, as noted in the update video above. The team have been able to scan a select handful of reels from the original DS9 film negatives, which will allow presenting elements of DS9 in high-definition for the first time. Speaking to TrekMovie, producer Kai de Mello-Folsom adds more context to the including of HD footage from DS9, saying “As these sequences are part of a larger film, it is important to note they are generally edited to serving a broader narrative purpose.”

Just like with the remastering of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the process is very time-intensive and expensive. According to de Mello-Folsom, they have been focusing on using the more easily-accessible scenes with limited (or no) VFX requirements. The team have been working closely with CBS on post-production and consulting with original DS9 creative team members like Mike and Denise Okuda, Jonathan West, and Doug Drexler.

Expressing enthusiasm for the HD process, de Mello-Folsom said:

We have been truly excited to see the detailed sets, lighting design and makeup work come to life in a new and more vibrant way, and hope to work with CBS Home Entertainment to scan additional content in the coming months, license and budget pending.

Headed to STLV for panel and dinner with Vic

The What We Left Behind team is again headed to the big Star Trek Las Vegas convention for a panel which will share new details and never-before-seen content from the documentary. They are also promising to reveal never-before-seen content from Deep Space Nine.

DS9 doc panel from Star Trek Las Vegas 2017

There will also be a special dinner “Night with Vic Fontaine & Friends” event. Here is a description:

Be part of a special night with the best holographic lounge singer in the quadrant — Vic Fontaine (Jimmy Darren!) — along with Ira Steven Behr and the team behind the DS9 Documentary and a host of special surprise guests in a private dinner event during the 2018 Star Trek Las Vegas Convention. Guests will be treated to homestyle Italian cuisine selected by ‘Vic’ himself, opportunities to meet-and-greet with all our celebrity guests before, during, and after dinner, and walk away with a special #DS9Doc swag-bag and digital access to an online photo-album to remember the evening by!

Tickets for the event are $500 and available at www.ds9documentary.com (while tickets last).

Get dinner with James Darren at STLV

Last chance to get your name into the doc

For a donation of $50 you can get your name in the credits of What We left Behind. There are just two more weeks to take advantage of this opportunity. To be part of the doc, visit www.ds9documentary.com. 

All proceeds from items sold directly fund post-production & publicity of the documentary.


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Great news! 😁

Can’t wait for the LA premiere event!

I hope that the Las Vegas panels will go up on YouTube again like last year. Really enjoyable listens while I settle down in the evenings with my Hot Chocolate!

I’m just hoping the doc will be easily accessible. I don’t mind paying a bit to see it, either.

Great but $500 for the dinner? I mean come on, are they really that hard up for money?

Agreed, That’s ridiculous.

What are the chances it will be on Netflix? I really hope so.

It’s very possible. They have other Star Trek docs on there.

This wonderful news and this wonderful article has made my week! I really can’t wait to purchase it. Still a little butt sore Avery didn’t appreciate the nature of this project and contribute in some way (would happily trade his appearance in Shatner’s Captains documentary!). I PRAY that Ira’s grand plan works and this documentary, the support it garners, will convince the powers that be to give us DS9 on Bluray. The CGI files still exist, copyright can be purchased, nothing was lost, nothing is impossible. My life would truly be complete with a DS9 boxset – I promise to never complain about the reductive prequels and reboots and reinvisionings of Trek… burn canon for all I care… urinate on the 50 year tapestry that was the Trek I so loved… do what you want with it, spores, cone headed klingons, take it, it’s yours. Just give me my DS9 in HD.

What is Avery Brooks up to lately?


Recent-ish video:

Avery Brooks Thanks us fans and talks about what he has been doing

That’s a con appearance from 2013, not as recent as we’re made to believe…

I actually appreciate Avery more for not appearing. However I think there are two reasons why…

1) He has plenty of opportunity to make more money, appear in doc’s and events but he’s chosen not to because he’s “Said all he has to say about it”. Now, that doesn’t mean that he is poo-pooing DS9, he’s said many times that he is proud of it, he just has nothing further to add and I for one commend that.

2) Word on the street is that he is very ill. We saw him in ‘Captains’ acting very strangely and he had a DUI a few years back. Something is not right, and I read a rumour, and it is only a rumour, that he has been very ill for some time.

“copyright can be purchased”

What do you mean by this? Purchased by and from whom? Who are you imagining would release DS9 aside from the current rights-holders?

Go Ira!

You’re on the home stretch, Ira. Maximum warp!

Sorry, but Vic Fontaine is Exhibit A for why DS9, though enjoyable, is hardly the TNG-surpassing piece de resistance that some make it out to be. We have a series about strange new worlds and new civilizations and we get…snivelling Ferengi and a 1970s Vegas lounge lizard-cum-singer. That’s not why I’m into Trek. Give me Guinan any day.

I agree. It’s my least favorite Trek series not named Discovery.

That said, I do like it quite a bit, and I love that so many people rank it #1.

watch ds9’s ‘his way’ and ‘its only a paper moon’, a powerful ep centred around nog, and you see what was so good about vic’s addition to the show.

That was my initial take on Vic too, and it was years before I actually watched many of the episodes featuring him. Some of those are among my faves now (and the Ferengi occasionally turn out to be genuine heroes instead of just opportunistic types, so there’s another stereotype spun in an engaging way.)

If TNG had done THE CHASE and YESTERDAY’S E. as feature films instead of episodes, and done them in place of FC and GEN, I MIGHT have a higher opinion of it overall. But TNG remains for me a barely watchable show with almost no rewatchability, because it just seems seriously uncinematic in how most of it is lensed and because the storytelling is often so simplistic, while the characters are only occasionally engaging. For every THE OUTCAST, Q WHO or MEASURE OF A MAN, it seems like there are more than a dozen NIGHT TERRORS/REALM OF FEAR/MASKS ship wakes up and acts like you’re on an old train shows (never got through that last one at all), and that percentage is just way too high. Plus, when TNG did high-concept SF, it was usually only as a throwaway, like the way that Dyson Sphere was wasted in RELICS. And then when they did finally try to do space environmentalism with the warp-drive-damages-universe stuff (three years AFTER I pitched them on replication being bad for space-time, so they’d have to junk replicators and go back to being able to run out of supplies), they immediately had to try to forget about it.

By comparison, DS9 remains the only post-TOS show I seriously enjoy, or have even managed to see all the way through (and multiple times at that, except for some s1/s2 dogs that probably shouldn’t have even been shot in the first place.)

Not going to go into as much detail, kmart, but I am forced to agree that TNG was overrated. They did have a handful of standout episodes. But the VAST majority ranged from pedestrian to just plain awful. And why I, too, cannot rewatch the series apart from those few really good episodes. DS9, on the other hand, is amazingly rewatchable. Especially once they got on their season long story arcs.

If you’re watching Star Trek for the aliens and outer space stuff, then you really don’t understand Star Trek. It’s always been about exploring the human condition through science fiction, and Vic Fontaine, a self aware Hologram in the 24th century, was just as valid (and in my opinion far more interesting) than most random aliens-of-the-week.

Guinan had her moments, but she did little beyond spout Cookie Fortune Wisdom.

The thing that bothered me about Fontaine were the musical numbers. The same complaint I have about Luke Cage.

“If you’re watching Star Trek for the aliens and outer space stuff, then you really don’t understand Star Trek”

I’d vociferously disagree with this statement, precisely because the “aliens and outer space stuff” is often a foil for the human condition. Take the Children of Tama, for example; they speak to the power of myth in our own society, as Picard recognized when he pulled out the Homeric hymns after encountering them. There are dozens of similar examples.

As for Vic Fontaine, pally, I’m struggling to see what he says about the human condition, beyond “some people just can’t sing and shouldn’t try their hand at karaoke.” (Yes, PAPER MOON is a bit of an exception, but that leaves all his other appearances to prove the rule, not to mention Ash Tyler in DISCO.)

Goddammit This is the most infuriating site on mobile. Slow and glitchy and after I typed out three paragraphs of a response, it randomly reloaded the page. I’m going to submit this as is and edit it later.

Okay, so what I wanted to say is that Vic, as a recurring character, doesn’t need to be justified in his existence. He acts as a foil and a catalyst, and someone for the cast to play off of. No different than Guinan, except that Guinan never did much beyond spout a few lines of wisdom whenever the actress happened to be available..

Vic does have something to say though: he’s a character who has a deep understanding of what it means to be human, and an appreciation for life, despite being artificial (much like Data).

My larger point was that characters don’t need to be aliens, environments don’t have to be other planets. You can tell a Trek story on earth on a farm with all humans and it could be some of the best Trek ever (remember “Family”?)

I think Guinan was misused a lot on TNG; she should have been referring Picard to Troi and reminded him that a bartender’s job is just to tell the customers what they want to hear.

Since you brought her up, I never understood why the ship’s shrink had a station on the bridge.

Maybe to keep an eye on all those potential Lt. Baileys (CORBOMITE navigator) before things get out of hand.

Then I guess they need to be stationed in engineering and other vital areas as well? Because security can’t just grab them and take them to sick bay, right? Or perhaps 80 years later Starfleet psychoanalyzers still can’t get a read on people before allowing them to be in such responsible positions?

It was the ’80s.

Afterburn, I will agree with you regarding Guinan. A very poor character indeed who’s presence always felt like a way to force Whoopi into the show.

Vic not withstanding, DS9 was still the best of the sequel shows, IMHO. But I do agree that the Vic Fontaine stuff was not a great idea. And I think they used him too often. However, I think it fair to point out that I was never fully on board with holodeck characters who live and think like sentient beings. But I am also forced to admit that the Voyage Doctor did test that attitude. (In that, I did not detest the character and even found him a little interesting)

I was not a fan of Vic. I wasn’t fond of the actor and I felt like musical numbers were incredibly out of place.

If I didn’t know better I’d think it was a network mandate to promote another network show or musical act.

That said, I disagree with the OP that he wasn’t a valid character just because he wasn’t an alien or based on a strange new world.

The bulk of the casts of these shows are human after all, and he is a sentient hologram, a science fiction concept. He was certainly more than a program, more like The Doctor, and in that sense he certainly constitutes “new life.”

Whether you liked the character is an entirely different discussion. I think there were two episodes he worked well in, where his presence propelled a story with something to say, but I’ll agree he was used far too often.

That said, I hated the character of Neelix, and often hated Quark (two characters who really should have been recurring guest stars like Barclay or Garak). Such pointless characters, the series’ were consistently forced to try to find ways to make them useful.

Regarding the episodes he worked well in, I would say that his character could have easily been replaced by someone else with the exact same effect. Or even a less sentient hologram could have done the trick, too. Man made sentience is indeed a sci-fi trope. I’m just not on board with the concept. I honestly do not see a reason to create a sentient hologram even if it were possible. Even the best case scenario is fraught with problems and issues.

Sure but you can say that about a lot of characters in a lot of episodes. Some roles are just interchangeable within a given episode.

But I also disagree. It’s Only A Paper Moon would not have worked as well with a random hologram, or another character serving the same function. A big part of that episode was the concept of a an artificial life form/hologram teaching Nog the value of life.

I think many people just can’t separate “I didn’t like what they *did* with that concept” from “I didn’t like that concept.”

Vic left a whole lot to be desired (and I hate to say it but a lot of it falls on Darren’s weak performance). But I think it was an interesting concept.

OK, I give you that it has been some time since I’ve seen the episode. So I was just making a general statement regarding it could have been filled by another character. At any rate… What can I say? Not a fan of man made sentience. It’s a recipe for disaster. And many a writer has used it to create disaster in other works. For good reason.

and the whole idea of nog wanting to disappear into the nostalgia of 60s vegas.

and then the show has sisko rejecting the vegas era as it does not acknowledge the racism of the time, legacy of his time as benny russell.


Funny how DS9 was my least favorite series during its seven year run. I missed so many seasons of the show, so with no Trek on TV between Enterprise and Disco, watching DS9 in syndication was like watching a brand new series. Over the years, it has really grown on me – mainly because of the writing, interesting plots and character development. I know there were only limited “new worlds and new civilizations”, the show really became a serialization over much of the last 2-3 years, there was lots of conflict in Starfleet and they introduced more “dark” stories with Section 31, the Dominion war and the mirror universe. That said, even though it was so different than the idealized world of TOS and TNG, today I probably like it as much as I liked TNG. Looking forward to seeing the documentary.

Spike tv was always playing DS9, the first network for men

Been looking forward to this for so long, can’t wait to finally see it!

I really hope there are some HD SFX shots included in that restored footage.

I never got the whole “Vic Fontaine rise to celebrity status deal” in Trek fandom for James Darren?