Behr's Sci-Fi Career Continues Past DS9By Michelle
November 10, 2004 - 5:00 PM
Since leaving Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Ira Steven Behr has not lost his interest in aliens; quite the opposite. After working on UPN's short-lived revival of The Twilight Zone and on Fox's cult favourite Dark Angel, he became executive producer of the Sci Fi Channel miniseries The 4400, the success of which has led to discussions of its becoming a regular series.
"We certainly set the stage for the future...my understanding is that it will now get a pick-up," Behr told Dreamwatch (via Sci Fi Pulse). "They're in the midst of sorting all of that." The show, which focuses on alien abductees who make an unexpected return, tells the story of the 4400 people whose lives have been disrupted and of their friends, society and government trying to decide how to deal with the implications of their presence.
Of his work on DS9, Behr said he thought the series had "told a pretty compelling story over seven seasons" and created very full characters. "By the end of the show, whether you liked them or not, you really did know who Odo was, who Sisko was, who Nerys was, and I'm proud of that," he noted. "The other thing is that Martok, Brunt, Weyoun and other supporting players have more development than most of the lead characters in the other series."
Behr was even more pleased with how the series pulled together over seven seasons, despite some drastic changes like the arrival of Worf and the departure of Jadzia Dax when Terry Farrell left the show. "I guess the thing I'm most proud of is the idea that when all is said and done and you look at the show in its totality, you do see a story with a beginning, middle and an end. It really does hang together despite all of the curveballs we were thrown," he observed. Developing the religious-themed stories pleased the executive producer as well: "When we were told that Paramount was getting tired of political/Bajor stories, we came up with religion, and for some reason that didn't bother them. We were able to take problems and turn them into virtues."
Behr was invited by Star Trek: Enterprise executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga to a meeting to give professional input on why the show was not achieving as well as previous Star Trek series, but he does not believe his contributions were incorporated into the show, which he has not watched since. "I'm sure that as soon as they left the meeting they stabbed my picture with a knife!" he joked. "From what I understand, Brannon assembled the writing staff the following day and said, 'You know what? We have a pretty damn good show here and it doesn't matter what people say! We're going to stay the course here.' Of course, I'm hearing this second or third hand." However, he said he and Berman remain on cordial terms socially.
The 4400 will premiere in the UK on Sunday, November 21st on Sky One. The Behr interview is in the new issue of Dreamwatch on newsstands in the UK; these excerpts are courtesy Sci Fi Pulse.