This weekend the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary What We Left Behind will have its world premiere in the UK, but last weekend there was a special backers screening, attended by much of the cast and crew of DS9. TrekMovie asked Paula Block and Terry Erdmann, authors of multiple Star Trek books including the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion to share their thoughts on the event, the doc, and to share some of their photos as well.
The return to Paramount
We came, we saw, we enjoyed ourselves to the nth degree!
What We Left Behind, the brand new Deep Space Nine documentary, plays as funny, touching, and heartfelt as the TV show it reflects. It just may be, in our joint opinion, the best Star Trek behind-the-scenes documentary yet.
The first screening of the doc, on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, was a miracle in itself. After months of fevered planning, the grand event came off without a hitch. The attending fans, who’d made the production possible (with their hard-earned $$$), enjoyed a much-deserved opportunity to talk to the men and women who’d entertained them for seven seasons (and a couple of dozen years since). The pre-screening gathering could have been stiff and awkward, or embarrassing and silly. Instead, the fans, actors, and filmmakers mingled, conversing and cajoling, as everyone shot photographs and selfies for over an hour. It was—and here’s that word again—heartfelt.
The honesty of What We Left Behind
What impressed us most about “What We Left Behind” is the raw honesty. The truth is there: why actor Avery Brooks wasn’t allowed to shave his head until the show’s third season; how the producers regret that cultural retrospectives on television breakthroughs never note that Deep Space Nine was one of the first shows to extensively feature black actors, showing them not only in positions of power, but also in solid family relationships. For the first time, we hear directly from actress Terry Farrell why she felt she had to leave the series Season Six. And if you’ve ever wondered whether Armin Shimerman (Quark), Casey Biggs (Damar), Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun), and Max Grodenchik (Rom) can carry a tune, you’re in for a real treat.
One last observation: Co-Creator Michael Piller’s presence was sorely missed by the reunited group of actors and crew. His photo held a special place of honor in the Paramount Theatre’s lobby—but how nice it would have been for the late writer/producer to hear how deeply people still love his show after twenty-five years.
As for the rest of the documentary, we don’t want to spoil all the secrets! What we can say is, whether you catch it at a screening or buy the DVD: Don’t miss “What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”
The celebration of Deep Space Nine
We’re so proud, and happy, and grateful to have been included in the celebration! We didn’t work on the series, but while hanging around the set collecting information for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, we did our damndest to document the effort that everyone involved put into the series each week. And seeing so many of those people again, all gathered in that one beautiful theatre, laughing and hugging and eating stale popcorn together, inspired a feeling of warmth that is unlikely to be forgotten.
And all of this before the screening itself actually started!
More photos from DS9 Doc LA screening
Exactly who was there? Well, pictures speak louder than words, so take a peek!
Paula Block and Terry Erdmann are also authors of three well-received Deep Space Nine eBook novellas: Lust’s Latinum Lost (and Found), Rules of Accusation, and I, The Constable. Their excellent Deep Space Nine Companion is currently out of print, so let Pockets Books know if you want a reprint, which could also be a handy companion for the documentary.
All great pictures, but I especially love the last one of the incredible Marc Alaimo who played Gul Dukat. The man deserved an Emmy.
Marc Alaimo is forever Gul Dukat !! DS9 wouldn’t be what is was without him. 👍🏼
Totally underrated as the main villain of DS9 and he looks great for his 76 Springs.
I never thought Alaimos Dukat was underrated? He’s a fan favourite.
Stale popcorn. They sure know how to throw a party! Love that second pic
My favorite Star Trek series
So no Colm Meaney,Alexander Siddig,or Michael Dorn there? Can’t see Terry Farrell there either. Looking forward to seeing it though.
A lot of them will be at the big world premiere in Birmingham, UK.
Looking at them and how they aged makes me feel so old…
“how the producers regret that cultural retrospectives on television breakthroughs never note that Deep Space Nine was one of the first shows to extensively feature black actors, showing them not only in positions of power, but also in solid family relationships”
I mean, at the risk of starting a flamewar, THE JEFFERSONS and THE COSBY SHOW, not to mention Brooks’ own A MAN CALLED HAWK all predated DS9. I am not saying there are enough shows featuring black actors, of course. But to say that DS9 was the first is just another “OMG OMG OMG DS9 IS THE BEST SHOW EVAH” argument.
No flamewar haha – one thing I would remind you of, the Jeffersons and the Cosby Show featured many black actors and in the case of the Cosby Show it was primarily a black cast and it largely targeted the black community. Meanwhile DS9 was an interracial cast of mostly white actors but the lead and command position was in the hands of a black actor. Off the top of my head I can’t think of another show that used a black actor in the command position – actually I just thought of one Starsky and Hutch. All that said, you are right but in the end DS9 IMO is still one of the best series in the Star Trek universe and I do like how they handled racial issues, especially in episodes like Far Beyond the Stars and Badda Bing, Badda Bang! And there is no question that black actors whether it was Nichols in TOS or Brooks in DS9 had positive role model impacts on some black youth and that is a great thing.
Also, it should be noted that in context, the documentary is relating it to one hour dramas, not sitcoms which are a different genre. It’s also refuting claims by CNN’s “The 90’s” that no show did it before “Homicide: Life On The Streets.” So not meant as a pat on the back, but more that it always gets overlooked.
You’re splitting hairs, they did say ‘among the first’. To the broader point, even thirty years ago, outside of sitcoms there was little work for actors of color outside of playing thugs and gangsters. All you need to do is look at the success of Black Panther in front of and behind the camera to understand that productions predominantly featuring people of color are still extremely rare today.
That is very much not right.
If you’re going to credit DS9, how about also crediting TOS (Uhura, plus characters like M’Benga), the TOS films (Admirals Morrow and Cartwright), and TNG (LaForge, Guinan, Worf, etc.). And “Badda Bing” is kind of Exhibit A to “why DS9 didn’t surpass TNG.”
I’m surprised Rick Berman wasn’t there. He’s the only still living who created the thing. But still the best Star Trek show in my opinion. I would love the day we get a show this original, thoughtful and interesting again.
Is it too late to get a Garak spinoff?
We already have one. After DS9, Garak did some interdimensional time-travelling, disguised his appearance, and is now known as “Lord Varys” on Game of Thrones ;)
Ha! What an awesome idea. :)
“A Stitch in Time” (2000) (ISBN 0-671-03885-0), written by Andrew Robinson himself?
I’ve wanted a copy for years but haven’t been able to bring myself to drop $60 on an old paperback.
Getting it in a digital copy is much cheaper. It’s $8.99 in Kindle format. There’s a Kindle reader app for Android and iOS in addition to the Kindle hardware itself. Probably your best bet for getting to read it.
maybe not worth $60, but definitely worth the kindle download. it was a fun read.
2nd hand stores still get it in occasionally, my last copy (which was mint when I bought it but has already fallen into three pieces) only cost 99cents from an out-of-town Goodwill store.
Terrific novel, top five or seven all-time in Trek listing for me, and probably the only great one from after the early 90s.
I suggest trying Powell’s Books, the countries largest second hand book store. I live in Portland Oregon where the store is located, and they have a whole wall of star trek books. I’ve seen Stitch in Time there before, and I’m sure its for less then $10.
This is what Kai De Mello-Folsom said on the documentary’s Facebook page, in response to a question about the release of the film on streaming and blu ray:
“We will be working on this after Destination Star Trek and will let backers know updated estimates. Please remember there are still a number of steps being finished – including our HD remastering, finishing graphics, licenses, captioning, special features for the disks. So it’s still a lot happening! The digital stream will go out first, before Blu-Rays with the special features ship (still a couple months out). Stay tuned!”
Regarding a wider theatrical release, he said this:
“This has indeed been many years in the making. Films take a while! Our primary focus right now is completing the film (HD remasters, etc.) and getting our supports to see it. No public release date is set because we are an independent company, not a CBS or Paramount it with the resources in place, and therefore rely on a larger distributor to buy and get the film out for us. These details are still being settled, so stay tuned!”
I’m thinking there is a very strong liklihood that I will be buying this disc. Thinking it will be worth it to actually own.
Glad we were able to back this. Looking forward to seeing the documentary.
So glad to see Herman Zimmerman there, I always thought his production design work on Trek was underrated. Also wasn’t J.G Hertzler in attendance? No party can be full without Martok.
I hope it comes to Netflix, or even the CBS AA.
Anyone here go to the screenings? I couldn’t make it to the NYC one, sadly. Want to hear some more fan reviews!
It was an awesome documentary, and Ira was great! Well worth backing it. However, the NYC had none of these actors and that was disappointing, we had Martok & Neelix who did not stay very long but were very nice to the fans. I was really looking forward to the after party because I envisioned it would be like the article above… it was not.
Damn, that’s a pity about the party. But thank you for the review, I’m very happy to have backed this one!
I had an awesome time at the premiere. The actors, as always, were fantastic, to say nothing of people like Ira Steven Behr and Kai De Mello-Folsom who made this possible. The documentary itself was great. And when they announced they were having the premiere AT the Paramount theater, I was just in awe.
Bonus: I now have my first picture with a celebrity (Aron Eisenberg) taken by ANOTHER celebrity (Nicole de Boer!)
¿Donde esta el Albino Grande?
I suppose Avery Brooks is still in the wormhole somewhere. Would of been the icing on the cake if he attended.
It seems to me that Avery Brooks has become a little strange in the last years.
Watch Shatner’s docu “The Captains” to get your own picture.
He’s kind of an eccentric professor now. I like it!
I am looking forward to the DVD.
Block! Erdmann! Deep Space Nine Companion! Best book ever, man!
“For the first time, we hear directly from actress Terry Farrell why she felt she had to leave the series Season Six.” I’m sure she’s done like four interviews on this.
Looks cool. Can’t wait for the doc!