Director James L. Conway worked on four Star Trek television series, but his favorite experience might come as a surprise to fans.
Conway directed Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise and some of the episodes he directed, such as Frame of Mind, Duet, The Way of the Warrior, Death Wish, Broken Bow and In a Mirror Darkly were highly regarded by fans.
Duet was one of the top-rated Deep Space Nine episodes and Conway spoke about working on it and his love for Deep Space Nine. “That was a fantastic script and it was really dark,” he said. “That’s the thing I loved about DS9; it didn’t have happy endings, everything wasn’t resolved at the end, and it was dark. The lighting was dark. The tone of it was dark. It was sort of an alternate universe in terms of Star Trek, and I loved that about it. It was really a fun show.
Duet was “…was one of those shows that, until it was edited, I didn’t realize how good it was,” said Conway.
Another beloved Deep Space Nine show directed by Conway was Little Green Men. “I loved Little Green Men for a couple of reasons,” he said. “One, in my low-budget independent film days, I did a movie called Hangar 18, which is basically a version of Little Green Men. It’s the other side of it. Aliens had crash-landed and the government was hiding their spacecraft for that reason. It ended up that the government had to blow up the hangar and the people inside it. And Little Green Men was just a very funny telling of the Hangar 18 story. It was so clever and so much fun.”
As much as he liked Deep Space Nine, Conway’s best Trek experience came courtesy of Star Trek: Enterprise. “Rick [Berman] calls to say that they’re going to do Enterprise,” explained Conway, “would I like to direct the pilot? I read the script and I flipped. It was such a fantastic script. I went to Aaron [Spelling] and Duke [Vincent] (for whom Conway worked at the time) and said, ‘I’ve been offered the chance to direct this pilot. Will you let me go and do it?’ They immediately said yes. I’d been at Spelling, I think, for four years, and I took a leave from Spelling to go back and do Enterprise.”
“It was the best experience I ever had doing a television show,” said Conway. “In fact, sitting in this big Paramount theater as we screened the pilot on the big screen to a whole audience filled with people was a great moment. I had my wife and daughter sitting next to me and it was one of those great moments in your life that you always remember.
“It was just a great experience.”