Brooks Would Have Liked More Benny Russell EpisodesBy Christian
August 14, 2005 - 11:35 PM
During a rare convention appearance in Seattle last week, former DS9 star Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko) revealed that if his show had gone beyond seven seasons, he would most have liked to revisit the character of Benny Russell.
According to a convention report posted on the official Star Trek site by Amy Ulen, Brooks told the assembled crowd at the Doubletree Hotel Bellevue that his favorite DS9 episode was "Far Beyond The Stars," in which Sisko hallucinated that he was an oppressed science fiction writer in the 20th century -- only to then end up wondering whether he really was an oppressed science fiction writer hallucinating that he's a Starfleet captain. Brooks said he appreciated the multi-layered character of Benny Russell, who was fighting against racism, but also being influenced by great literature. The actor returned to this latter topic later on during his talk. "The notion of reading is never going to go away," he said. "There is no reason why kids can't quote Chaucer as well as Mos Def. Truth and the beholding of beauty is a clear indication that you are alive!"
Brooks said he is currently doing a lot of music, and is rehearsing Shakespeare's "Othello" in Washington D.C. Although he also still is an associate professor of drama at Rutgers University, he said he misses teaching, because he enjoys the freedom the classroom provides. "Children will always tell you the truth," Brooks said, then paused, only to add, "eventually! It is the seeking of truth I'm particularly interested in."
Appearing the day after Brooks was Brent Spiner (Data), who attended the convention in between filming for his new series Threshold -- although he said the show wasn't keeping him that busy so far. ""I hope it stays that way," Spiner said. "It's a sweet job if I only have to work a couple days a week." The former TNG actor described his new character Nigel Fenway as a doctor who has to search for a vaccine to prevent a worldwide alien-induced epidemic, and said that Threshold will be a "great show if CBS will leave it alone."
Spiner also looked back on Star Trek: Nemesis, answering a fan question on why Data was killed in the film. Spiner, who also co-wrote the story for the film, said that they eventually realised someone had to die in the film. By making it his character, this "completed Data's journey of humanity. By sacrificing himself for his friends, he became the most human."
For more quotes from Brooks and Spiner, as well as a report of the appearances by Trek historian Richard Arnold and Kristine M. Smith, the former caretaker of DeForest Kelley (Leonard 'Bones' McCoy), head over to StarTrek.com.