Bole: Getting Piller On Board


Star Trek Director Cliff Bole didn’t start working right away on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine due to philosophical differences between Michael Piller and him.

Piller believed that Bole was not creative enough. “Mr. Piller and I were not in sync,” said Bole. “He thought I was a studio man and not creative, and I’d keep telling him, ‘Go back and look at The Best of Both Worlds.'”

Bole’s working hours were also an issue with Piller, who seemed to think that Bole wasn’t putting in enough effort. “He said, ‘Well, you don’t work late,'” said Bole.” I said, ‘I do my best not to because I don’t want to burn out the crew or my actors and, by the way, I know what I’m doing and I come in prepared.’ I was trained as a script clerk and an assistant. I’m a set rat, and have been on sets my whole life. When I was a kid I lived in the San Fernando Valley, and on Saturdays we’d go sneak onto all the back lots, roll around and watch what they were doing. So all that added up to I was very, very prepared. I’d had a couple of directors that I’d worked with over the years that I admired – John Huston and people like that – and I picked up a lot of experience. Michael Piller thought just because I wasn’t there for fourteen and fifteen hours a day that I was ducking creativity.”

Obviously, Bole’s work proved to be acceptable to Piller as Bole returned to direct more Deep Space Nine episodes, including Cardassians, The Collaborator, Equilibrium, Defiant, Explorers and Facets.

Bole went on to direct ten episodes of Star Trek: Voyager after his work on Deep Space Nine.


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