Star Trek: DS9 Documentary ‘What We Left Behind’ To Screen In Theaters For One Night In May

The long-anticipated Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary What We Left Behind is headed to theaters for a one-night event in May.

On the big screen May 13

Last month it was announced that producers of What We Left Behind had signed a distribution deal with Shout! Factory which would include a theatrical release in addition to the previously planned streaming and Blu-ray releases. We now know that this theatrical release component will be a one-night event on Monday, May 13th, at theaters across the USA.

Born from a crowdfunding campaign that exceeded expectations, What We Left Behind is now a 2 hour and 10 minute documentary complete with extensive interviews with the cast and creatives of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which broke new ground for the franchise in many ways with a darker, edgier take on Star Trek told through more serialized storytelling. The show wrapped its seventh and final season in 1999, but has found a new audience in the last decades on home video and especially via streaming.

An image capture of DS9 remastered in HD from What We Left Behind

What We Left Behind was directed by DS9 showrunner Ira Steven Behr and produced by David Zappone (The Captains, For the Love of Spock). It will offer an in-depth view of the making of Deep Space Nine as well as including brand-new animated storyboards “showing what could have been and what still might be” based on concepts created by reconvening the writers’ room to envision an eighth season for the series. Much of the final work over the last months for the documentary has been focused on remastering clips from the original show into high definition.

Image of Ezri Dax from animated concepts in What We Left Behind

Tickets on sale April 12

The theatrical release of What We Left Behind is being handled by Fathom Events, the same company who put together the 35th-anniversary screenings of Star Trek II in 2017. The one-night event has not yet been officially announced, so more details should be coming shortly and some of the details reported here may change. According to the Fathom website, those attending the screening will receive an exclusive two-sided poster (11×17, limited quantities), there’s also bonus content: the screening will include a roundtable discussion on the making of the documentary.

Tickets go on sale on April 12th at the Fathom Website. You may also be able to pre-order tickets at Fandango, which has listings for the 7:00 PM May 13th events, priced at $12.

Fandango poster for What We Left Behind event (giveaway poster may be different)

Awaiting details for the home release

Of course, the theatrical release of the documentary was a bit of a surprise bonus, with the focus on the Blu-ray and streaming releases. Details on those—for both backers and the general public—are still forthcoming, but when the Shout! deal was announced last month, the official Indigogo page update for backers stated: “Plans are in place to stream the film for you sooner than you might expect.”

This is a developing story, so check back later this week for more news about the release of What We Left Behind.

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Hat Rick

I do hope to attend if I can.

John Chilton

I’d really just like to receive my copy of the documentary ASAP! Being an Indiegogo backer of the project,I – we’ve been waiting a number of years for it’s delivery. Possibly feeling a tad disappointed that it’s receiving a theatrical release before we supporters receive our copies, this was never in the original plan!!

Darkwater

I’m with you on this one. I did the Blu-Ray / digital early access tier and while I’m happy this is getting a wide release, I’d like them to keep their original commitments.

DIGINON

You will get digital early access before the theatrical release. They have confirmed it now.

Fred Javelina

I’m guessing this is so the documentary can be eligible for awards. Movies that go straight to video are often overlooked, and Spielberg’s making noises about trying to exclude works released on streaming services from consideration for the Academy Awards.

Daniel

I’m guessing this is so they can make more money. It’s really hilarious. These wealthy producers use your money to make a documentary they can already afford to make, and then they leave donors hanging by releasing years behind schedule and first in theaters. Donors have been screwed.

GLHShelby

Despite what you seem to think, not everyone who works in Hollywood is wealthy. And producing niche documentaries isn’t something anyone does because they want to “make more money”. Lol

Daniel

If your suggestion that Ira Steven Behr couldn’t afford to make this himself without giving it a thought, that’s worth laughing about. Check out his estimated net worth.

Tiger2

The only thing I found is that he’s worth around a million dollars. That’s chump change for most producers in Hollywood (its nothing to sneeze at either though). But its no way he could’ve fund this documentary entirely on his own (although I’m sure he put some of his own money in). Especially when you don’t know his personal finances. Yes he may BE a millionaire, it doesn’t mean he has the money to fund it if that money is tied into other things. And I don’t think the guy has had a regular Hollywood job in years now so he’s living off what he made from the shows and of course royalties.

GLHShelby

Exactly. The MEDIAN home price in LA is almost $700K, so if you’re worth a million dollars that basically just means you can afford your mortgage and taxes. It ain’t Beyonce money.

noraa

Posted below…but will post again here:

That’s like saying all the actors and producers and directors and what not in Hollywood are already rich enough, why should we pay to see their movies when they can afford to just do it all on their own dime?

Stephen Nygren

I’m an Indiegogo backer as well, but absolutely thrilled to be able to see the project on the big screen – already have my tickets purchased. Sure, I’d like to receive the bluray asap too, but the theatrical release brings much more attention to our cause than just a direct-to-video release. Maybe CBS will realize they would be able to pull profit from remastering not only DS9, but Voyager as well.

Anduinel

I’m also a backer and thrilled to see this coming to the big screen. Moreso because I just finished up multi-series Trek watch with a friend curious about the franchise, and we wrapped with DS9 a couple of months ago. It’s awesome that we’ll get to see this retrospective on the big screen together.

Professor Spock

Awesome. CBS needs to make their own Star Trek documentary. Official Canon Star Trek documentary on every Star Trek TV show and movie ever made.

Tezna

They would never be able to be impartial. Thats why most good documentaries are done by external people as they don’t get caught up in the internal politics and face saving.

Theoden_of_ODU

That’s why almost all behind-the-scenes and other related featurettes are pretty much useless. They’re “fun” if we’re just getting a slice-of-life look into a show or movie, but they can easily become puff pieces full of lame back-patting (i.e. “look how great we are for doing _____”).

Tiger2

If you look at some of the Enterprise behind the scenes specials for their season blu rays, I’m actually surprised how candid a lot of the producers and actors were about the problems on the show, especially the behind the scenes stuff with UPN. Thats where I learned how they wanted a very different show at the beginning but was shot down by the network executives. And some of the actors said how they weren’t happy with some of the earlier decisions as well. Maybe because it was the first show prematurely cancelled since TOS they didn’t feel the need to sugar-coat things as much but I was surprised how honest they were about things.

It wasn’t just all the lovey-dovey stuff you get like we CONSTANTLY get every time someone on the cast or a producer discuss Discovery for example. That sadly does feel like total puff pieces anyone someone talks for that show while we know the first season probably can get its own Chaos on the Bridge documentary with all the hang ups and firings.

DIGINON

@Tiger2: The big difference between ENT blu-rays and Discovery is that the blu-rays were released several years after the show had been off the air, and most of the people working on ENT were no longer involved with Star Trek.
In contrast, when you hear a producer and cast member of Discovery talking about the show it is almost always an occasion where they promote the show. So of course they won’t talk bad about it. Braga and Co were also full of praise while Enterprise was still on the air.

Tiger2

But that’s what I’m saying though. Its not that they can’t say what’s really on their mind through official channels, its simply easier to do once the show is off the air and people have moved far enough away from it just like Chaos on the Bridge.

kmart

More than the passage of time is required in a lot of instances. Look at how the great RETURN TO TOMORROW making-of was denied images — ANY images! — unless the author agreed to the studio cuts, and that was with a book being published 36 years after TMP came out! And less than 15 years earlier, the original documentary accompanying the TMP director version release had to be heavily recut (I think mainly removing a lot of Katzenberg’s candid comments), delaying the release of that disc for about eight months from the original intended jan 7 2001 (1-7-01) release.

DataMat

Which is why newly released movies for example tend to be very light on Special Features. Its only 15 and 20 years later that the people both in front and behind the camera are ready and able to offer opinions and retrospectives on their experience both positive and negative.
The passage of time is required

DIGINON

The DS9 documentary is made by Ira Steven Behr, the DS9 showrunner. So while this will probably be different from something CBS would have done there’s no guarantee it will be impartial. In fact, given Ira’s emotional attachment to DS9 I would say it’s almost guaranteed not to be impartial. I don’t mean this as an attack. I really enjoyed DS9 and I hope to see the documentary at some point.

kmart

Ds9 Companion seemed VERY honest to me, especially on my current reread. I’m kind of amazed it is an authorized account, it is so honest. Then again, the heavily rewritten making of TREK 5 shows a lot of behind the scenes flaws too, but I guess not nearly as many as the unpublished version, for which the author was paid off before the mess got dumped in the lap of a Shatner daughter.

Pete O.

I found the Star Wars documentary Empire of Dreams to be excellent. It could be seen as still a bit PR-ish but there’s still a lot of good substance there. Probably one of the best documentaries about a movie’s creation I’ve seen. Edith Becker and Kevin Burns did a fantastic job.

Tiger2

I AM THERE!!!! Will definitely be seeing this. It’s playing in several theaters near me including one of my favorites. This is pretty exciting. DS9 is my favorite Trek show by far!! And to FINALLY see that station on the big screen will feel glorious. It’s not a feature film but close enough for me!

Legate Damar

I doubt I’ll go see this in theatres, but I’ll probably check it out once its on streaming services. I’m not super excited for it, but it should be neat.

Víctor

May 13th is my birthdate!! too bad i’m from Chile (southamerica). Watch this on the big screen would be incredible! I’m happy for this film, congrats to all the people that make this possible!!

alphantrion

So with reunion shows all the rage these days, I wonder if they can get a brief 8 to 10 episodes reunion miniseries with all the willing participants of DS9. Yes most of the actors got older but I think it is quite possible to achieve.

Hat Rick

If this takes off, we might have a reunion “Movie of the Week,” but I think that’s about it. Anything else is too much to hope for.

Avery Brooks was rather reclusive but it is my impression that he has become more open to returning to Trek-related things, although I am anything but sure of this. My other favorites — Nana Visitor, Terry Farrell, Armin Shimerman, Penny Johnson (whom some in the younger generations may know only from “The Orville”), Michael Dorn, Cirroc Lofton — and others, are seemingly well-poised for a reunion show. Michael Dorn is a perennial favorite at conventions, the last time I looked. I can see myself willing to contribute to a fund to promote this, if such fund is reputable in my sole judgment and backed by others as well.

I would like to see a reunion show. Yes, I would.

The framework of this show could revolve around the recollections of times past, splicing in restored footage as framed by an overall story of Sisko’s current status as a quasi-alien entity. Yes, it would be a “bottle show,” but even a bottle DS9 show would be superior to most things we see on television.

I could see this potentially happening, if “What We Left Behind” is a success.

Here’s to its success.

Tiger2

I think at this point ANYTHING is possible when it comes to Trek of old and new. If the Picard show really is a big success as CBS is hoping I think it will open the door to other projects with past actors and characters.

I’m not exactly holding my breath for a new DS9 project but you can never say never at this point anymore either. People were seriously convinced we would never see that era again and now it feels its coming back full force.

Hat Rick

Thank you for your response. All I want is more DS9, and whatever that contributes toward that would be quite welcomed.

DS9, to me, is art, which I think lasts forever.

Tiger2

I would love more DS9 too!

I’m pretty practical when it comes to these things though. You see fans clamoring for everything, from an Enterprise fifth season to now a Pike show, not everything will happen just because you keep writing it on a message board. But then you look at the history of Star Trek itself and how the original show was dumped so early and yet 50+ years later its still going, so its always premature to say never when it comes to Star Trek. Especially with such loyal and devoted fans.

DS9 was an amazing show. I still hope with all these new shows coming we get something like that on that level again someday if we never get the original show back in some form outside this documentary. But maybe if the documentary really does sell it might tell people in CBS that show still has a big enough following to put something together. Would be amazing if that really happened.

DIGINON

From a practical standpoint, bringing back DS9 without actually bringing back the station would lose a lot of its appeal, I guess. I mean I have no idea what the season 8 outline they developed for this documentary entails but I’d be surprised if none if it was set on DS9. However, rebuilding the station would be quite expensive because of the large sets. Plus, as they have seen with Discovery, fans can get quite angry when they start redesigning stuff.

Tiger2

Of course I agree. But if they did a TV movie or something then that wouldn’t be a huge problem. And of course CGI has come a LONG way since the show was originally on so a lot of the station would probably be a lot more green screened today anyway.

But yes I agree, DS9 is a different monster than the others because you just can’t put a bridge and a couple of cooridors together like the other shows. Fans would want to see the station again so it would have to be something big enough to justify the costs in bringing it back.

Rick Fague

Awesome! I’ve recently been watching DS9 for the first time since it went off the air and have been very pleasantly surprised at how good the show was.

NoSurrender

Any chance of screening it in cinemas outside of the USA? I’m from the UK and would truly love to see this on the bigger screen.

Trek fan

Ds9 was a pretty amazing version of Trek. I wish they had gotten some of the writers for Discovery. I know some big names from the Trek universe are involved with Discovery but it seems like in name only to give it trek cred with fans (excluding directing duty).

Garak, Odo, Quark, Sisco, and others were some of the best characters from the Star Trek universe. For comparison sake, I think only Pike will be remembered fondly once Discovery ends by the majority of fans, and even that is questionable if they don’t continue to use him past this season.

VZX

I might go. But I’d rather just watch it on TV. Here’s hoping it’s on Netflix or CBSAA.

DIGINON

They will release it on blu-ray and streaming so you will be able to watch it on your TV. Whether it’s going to be through Netflix, CBS All Access or some other means is an open question.

Anduinel

Just bought my tickets. This is going to be awesome!

Jefferies Tuber

Ira putting himself on the poster, larger that the station itself and with the suggestion that he’s the author/creator of Deep Space Nine, takes a lot of nerve.

kmart

A lot of talent, too. Would love to see a doc on TOS with Gene Coon’s visage in a similar poster. Could make as good an argument for him as for Behr in terms of creative plusses.

Tiger2

LOL, sometimes you do forget he didn’t actually create the show but he did give it its biggest creative strive though. I do wonder why isn’t Rick Berman more involved in the documentary (save your scorn people). Is he at least interviewed in it? I don’t think I heard a single peep from him about it and there would be no DS9 without him so I would love to hear his input on it. But then maybe its like an Avery Brooks situation and he’s said all he can about it in the past and left it at that.

alphantrion

I personally think Rick Berman is intentionally taking a back seat to everything Trek related because of all the flak he took from Trekkies over the years. I also don’t think he would be too honest or impartial in his interviews if he were to be interviewed. Think of his situation a bit like George Lucas, just leaving the property and taking a back seat.

Tiger2

That’s really a shame if true. DS9 is the reason why I’m such a big Rick Berman fan now. He created the single biggest jolt to Star Trek ever IMO and for that I will always be grateful. DS9 was the show that proved Star Trek can be more than just another Enterprise visiting another planet every week. And I am certainly critical of the things he did like everyone, he still created some of the best Trek today (and yes some of the worst for others).

But I probably agree, he’s basically become what George Lucas has done and just taken more of a backseat as others have taken over the franchise. I think like Lucas, he’s always said polite things with all the new stuff and left it at that. And they both probably sit back and just watch the new guys get all the scorn now and boy are they getting it lol.

DIGINON

If you look at Berman’s twitter he does comment on Trek from time to time, even on current Trek.
I’d be surprised if he doesn’t appear in the DS9 documentary at all unless there is bad blood between him and Ira.

DIGINON

Adding to my previous post: If you scroll through Berman’s twitter he actually mentioned filming an interview for the DS9 doc in 2017.

Tiger2

OK great to know! Just be nice to hear his thoughts on it. There would be no DS9 or characters like Sisko and Odo without the guy no matter how many of his dissenters want to pretend otherwise.

I like the guy’s work, mostly; but if I never had to see that silly dyed goatee again, I’d be cool with that.

Soren

Or arrogance. DS9 ended up being a watchable and well made piece of TV. It was never Star Trek though. From day one he disdained most of Trek’s core principles and made no secret of it, whatever fandom’s tastes were.

Tiger2

It was Star Trek through and through.

The Weekend Slice

Sigh, I wish this were on the big screen in my country as well. I would have loved to have seen the station on the big screen…
Realistically though, I do hope to see this show up on Netflix for us international audience members.

Soren

Having seen it at the laughable ‘world premiere’ screening at DST in the UK last year (hard seats, no q&a, not a premiere, sky high ticket prices) I can confirm it is fun and entertaining. There are no great insights though and it’s over pretty quickly.

Daniel

So these wealthy individuals go to Indiegogo to take your money to make a documentary they can already afford to make. Then, instead of delivering on time they plan to make even more money by releasing it in theaters.

Silvereyes

I agree. I don’t understand why people even contribute to these public funding projects, but it’s their choice… Are there going to be profits from this? Are they going to pay back dividends to those who contributed or are they going to keep it all? If you can’t fund your project the normal usual way, don’t take advantage of social media to try to get through the back door. Or give back a share of the profits. If this is a non-profit kind of project then I’m fine with public funding though…

Theoden_of_ODU

I used to contribute to a number of Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, and I’ve been burned by almost every single one of them in one way or another.

I’ve probably contributed to about fourty of these things (that actually met their goals and were), and can probably count on two hands the times I’ve been even remotely satisfied with the results. The best two were my first two things I ever contributed to, which is probably why I went so hard on so many other projects over about a 2 year span. Then stopped when I wised up.

I’ve contributed to about 4 since Summer of 2014 (one being the DS9 doc). Three of them were for local businesses and didn’t care at all about the “rewards” that were being given out, I was going to give them money no matter what and would probably do it again if they created a new campaign.

I’ll give the DS9 one the benefit of the doubt, even if the people behind it could have paid for it out of pocket. If What We Left Behind had only scraped together $6.4K instead of $640K, maybe interest just wouldn’t have been there for the thing. I would hazard a guess that if the interest was low, we would have gotten a doc on the cheap, without any remastered footage and it would be released and quietly forgotten.

Man, logging in and looking at the list of backed campaigns is making me pretty sad.

Didn’t you already say all of that above? Do you really think your viewpoint on this is so important that you have to drop it in multiple places? These “wealty individuals” took nobody’s money who didn’t willingly give it; move along, nothing more to see.

noraa

That’s like saying all the actors and producers and directors and what not in Hollywood are already rich enough, why should we pay to see their movies when they can afford to just do it all on their own dime?

Fabio

I hope to download it soon from the Internet. And if not, I’ll wait to have it on Netflix.

PEB

Hmmm, for $12, I think I’ll actually go!

Make The Federation Great Again

So disappointing! This is the weekend my little brother is getting married! I am so bummed! I was really wanting to go, I hope he has a really great weekend.

Tiger2

OK, I just got the joke lol.