Robinson On Why He Couldn't Leave Garak BehindBy Caillan
June 1, 2002 - 4:57 PM
Andrew J. Robinson grew so attached to the character of Garak over Deep Space Nine's seven-year run that he ended up writing a book about the Cardassian tailor when the series ended.
"I loved Garak," Robinson said during a chat at StarTrek.com. "When the series ended, I found myself still writing about Garak. The book started as an acting exercise, creating a history for the character. But from the exercise, it became an obsession. The more I played Garak, the more information I gained about him. And the more pleasure I got from writing these diaries. At one convention, David George, the writer who co-wrote a novel with Armin [Shimerman], 'The 34th Rule,' suggested I approach Pocket Books and see if they'd be interested in having this diary turned into a novel."
And so 'A Stitch In Time' was born. Robinson drew on his own past to flesh out Garak's tale, which is told in the form of journal entries. "I tried to stay away from the series as much as possible," he said. "The whole opening section of the book when Garak is at the school was emotionally similar to my early school experience. Obviously, I'm not a Cardassian, so the experience I drew upon for the book was the psychic, emotional, intellectual stuff."
The actor is unsure whether he'll pen another novel. "The book was a work of love for me. I know I have said that I would never write another Garak book, but when I started to write material in case I showed up at a convention, I got sucked into a great idea for another book. Now I really don't know what to do."
One chat attendee asked for Robinson's take on why Deep Space Nine didn't seem to be the most popular Trek series. "It's not the most popular because it's the most morally ambiguous," he replied. "Whenever you have characters who are gray rather than black and white ... Although they are more interesting, they are more difficult for people to get a handle on. I loved DS9 because they were gray, because the characters were not easily definable, but that's not for everybody."
Nevertheless, Robinson couldn't be happier about his association with the Trek franchise. "This was more than just a job. I'm really grateful it gave me seven years with this wonderful character, but it also allowed me to expand other career options. My first directing was with Trek. The first novel that I've written, and I've tried writing others, was about Garak. And the fact that I'm sitting here now, answering these questions, is enough of a change."
The actor added he was also grateful for support from the fans over the years. "I'm not aware of the attention from the fans unless I'm in a chat room or at a convention. Other than that, nobody recognizes me from Garak, but I enjoy especially going to conventions and meeting people. You see, nowhere else as an actor do you get this chance to meet the people who essentially support your career. So Trek is indeed unique in that respect."
To read the full transcript, head over to StarTrek.com.