Beimler: Ferengi Episodes Not Very FunnyBy Christian
June 15, 2002 - 10:59 PM
Former Deep Space Nine writer Hans Beimler recently admitted what many fans had already said during DS9's initial run: that many of its Ferengi episodes simply weren't very funny.
"I think the funny Ferengi shows weren't very successful. We never really executed comedy well," Beimler told the Star Trek Magazine (via TrekWeb). "I'm not sure where the responsibility for that lies. 'The Magnificent Ferengi' was as close to successful as we ever did, but there were some other things that should have been funnier. There are some that have very funny moments in them like 'The Little Green Men' but even then they never fulfilled the potential of the scripts. You might say that's just writers laughing at their own jokes, but I don't think it's true. I think the scripts really were much funnier that the shows. I can't quite tell you why."
According to Beimler, one of the difficulties with Ferengi comedy episodes was the character of Quark, played differently by Armin Shimerman than how the writers imagined him. "To be honest, sometimes Armin's interpretation of Quark was a lot different than the way we saw the character. Rom was more the way we saw Ferengi, and it was funny. We all gravitated to this funny part of that character. Quark was the bigger star of the show, the more central role, but we all really liked the way Max [Grondenchik] played Rom."
Quark wasn't the only DS9 character who turned out to be different than the writers expected, something that initially surprised former TNG writer Beimler. "By the time I joined the staff it was clearly a different show; this was not TNG. I had an idea what to expect though; Ira had warned me that this was not your father's Star Trek, Knowing him, I knew that, once he'd gotten his hands on things, they had probably changed radically. But I was surprised as to the extent of it. We had entered a complicated universe, with very complicated characters; Ira has a penchant for developing the kind of dark and mysterious characters that do things you don't really expect them to do. They were much more sophisticated characters than those on TNG, and I really got fond of them over the years."
More from Beimler, including his thoughts on why he originally came back to write for the Star Trek franchise after leaving TNG, as well as on working with Rene Echevarria, can be found in the new issue of the Star Trek Magazine. Alternatively, further excerpts are available on TrekWeb.