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Hewitt: Creating The World Of Deep Space Nine

Posted by T'Bonz - 03/07/12 at 11:07 am


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Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe shared memories of his time on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine including setting up long term storylines, actor influence on storylines and lack of interference by the studio.

The writers of Deep Space Nine had more freedom than they found on some shows due to that lack of studio interference. “On Deep Space Nine, we got virtually no studio notes ever,” said Wolfe. “They largely just let us do what we wanted. Things went very smoothly.”

One thing that the writers realized rather quickly was that having the characters on a stationary space station as opposed to being on a traveling starship freed up the writers to create more serialized stories. “We very rapidly realized that being on a space station meant not ending stories every week,” said Wolfe. “If you’re on a starship, you leave the planet where the adventure is happening every week, and therefore…there isn’t a narrative pull towards revisiting those stories or it’s rarer. On our show, we never left, and the people we were dealing with didn’t either a lot of the time, so very quickly…we built towards more serialized storytelling. I think it’s something that was just a natural outgrowth of the premise.”

Some story elements had a longer lead time, and began their build up early in the series. According to Wolfe, these included the Bajoran religion and politics and the Dominion, which was set up beginning in the second season.

Other story elements developed as a result of the actors themselves, including the Odo-Kira romance. Odo’s scenes were played with “this admiration and longing for her that we picked up on very quickly,” said Wolfe, “and [we] thought, ‘Well, OK, that’s a great relationship too…we’ll run with that.’”

More can be heard on the podcast, located here, including Wolfe’s thoughts on working with Michael Piller and Ira Steven Behr, for which characters the writers most enjoyed writing, how Nog went from Ferengi son to Federation cadet and Wolfe’s most recent work, Alphas.

Source: IGN

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  • Zeorangerix

    Good interview. Wish it were longer… I could hear DS9 production stories all day.

  • Epf

    i recently finished watching the entire DS9 series on netflix. i used it as my incentive to go to the gym every day for cardio. it allowed for healthy 40-45 minutes of excercise that flew by. DSP has always been my favorite Trek, specifically becuase of the long story arcs.

  • http://twitter.com/robtclements Robert Clements

    I’m just wondering: in 15 years time – Wolfie left DS9 after season 5 – will anyone want to hear Kurtzman et al tell stories about the writing of ST XI & XII? Will anyone care about all of the marketing decisions that were made? & how the relentless drive for pace prevented any need for storytelling & soul? I’m sure there will be – not

  • hostile_17

    I would have said yes… there’s always an appetite for Trek, and probably will be. They have created a brilliant chunk of Trek lore and reinvigorated a franchise. If they’re not continuing big careers there’d always be space for them in the convention circuit.

  • Ireland

    Your post made me think of this image: http://www.lolroflmao.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/startrek-captains-gym.jpg

    DS9 wil always be a close second for me right after TNG. I grew up watching TNG with my dad so none of the other series’ will ever top it but I did love the story arcs and character development unique to DS9 :)

  • Seventhbeacon

    I think Trek will persist and carry them farther than they might otherwise have been. I remember thinking how much better the 2009 movie would have been if, when those character moments were reached, to slow the eff down and actually explore those moments, relationships, without rushing past them to get back to the action.

    It’s, I think, a flaw in the style of Abrams, Kurtzman, Orci, Lindelof and the rest of that particular camp of movie/tv makers that their style is so ADD (and i’m pretty ADD) and post-MTV generation that substance gets sacrificed for attention span. I do hope that with the ‘origin’ out of the way, this next Trek movie 1) explores interesting themes like the best of Trek, and 2) Finds a better pace that actually respects the ‘beats’ of film-making grammar, rather than shoots past things in a frenzy again.

  • http://twitter.com/robtclements Robert Clements

    I’m curious: what in the track record of any of these people would suggest to you that ST XII will be any different to its predecessor (ie, a torrent of CGI with a token gesture of Mr Nimoy)? These hacks specialise in high-volume vacuity, offering relentless nothingness as though it were storytelling (as you yourself put it, the advanced Attention Deficit Disorder school of filmmaking). They have consistently aimed for the lowest common denominator; & – when they’ve been lucky – have hit it. Their work lacks heart & soul & intelligence, which real Star Trek had in abundance

    If the franchise isn’t seized back from these people – & in a weird sense, it has been, by the people who continue to watch the reruns & New Voyages & Star Trek Continues – Star Trek as a living genre won’t exist in 5 years let alone 15

  • http://twitter.com/robtclements Robert Clements

    That image reminds me that Ms Mulgrew once begged Mr Stewart not to leave her alone with the Shat. Was this photo taken that night?

    (Where IS his hand, precisely?)

    I’m a Niner. Doesn’t mean that i don’t appreciate what TNG, Voy, etc, did; but DS9 is the purest expression of the literary SF i grew up on (Asimov, ACClarke, Tiptree/Sheldon, Smith/Linebarger, Ballard, Moorcock & Delany (aka the real Benny Russell)). I miss its uncompromising pretentiousness; & i’m borderline p.ed off by people who want me to like bad comic book films simply be they look vaguely like SF to people who don’t give a holosuite

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    We have to have hope. Or, failing that, we have to have rope.
    For the pin~atas.

  • Dub

    I recently watched all of DS9 for the first time on Netflix. The show started when I was a teenager. I tried to watch it, but I couldn’t get into it at the time. Now years later, I’m amazed. I believe this is the best Trek series. What a beautiful story. As I watched the finale, I kept thinking…man, I wish there were more episodes to watch. This is brilliant.

  • BlueThunder

    Seems to me DS9 was the beginning of the end. They took so much from Babylon 5, it wasn’t funny!

  • MAlk

    DSN is the best they every made on SciFi ever imho.