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.