Behr Offered Berman And Braga AdviceBy Kristine
July 14, 2004 - 7:56 PM
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine producer and writer Ira Steven Behr revealed that he spoke "bluntly" when Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, the executive producers of Star Trek: Enterprise called him in before the third season to ask his opinion on the direction of the show.
"They sent me the three [episodes of Enterprise], I went in, had a two hour meeting with Rick and Brannon," Behr told TrekWeb. "It was a very cordial meeting, but everything I said I am sure they did not like hearing. I would not liked to have heard it if someone came into my office and talked as bluntly as I was talking to them. Though again, it was done all cordially. After it was over I am sure they were uncomfortable, I was very uncomfortable, we shook hands, Rick said, 'well, all interesting stuff, we’ll think it over,' and I never heard from him again."
Ultimately, Behr does not regard the meeting as one of any real importance. "That's the whole story and it's barely a blip in anyone's lives, it has no impact whatsoever on the franchise. It's just something that happened."
What Behr does hold in high regard is his work as a writer and executive producer on Deep Space Nine. He believes that Deep Space Nine did a superior job of developing its many characters, and also presented a universe that was much more realistic than the utopias of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. "I think the series as a whole was [DS9's] greatest contribution [to the Star Trek universe]," he said. "Getting back to telling character-oriented stories, getting back to having conflict between human beings; plot at the service of character....I think we created a much more complete universe in which you can have all these characters with all these backstories, all these races, all these supporting characters. You knew more about 'Garak' or 'Gul Dukat', ultimately, than you knew about 'Riker'. So that to me is the contribution."
When asked about how Deep Space Nine would be received by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Behr points out that there's no way to determine that. "Everyone speaks for Gene Roddenberry, who’s gone, and I would not speak for Gene Roddenberry or be so quick to speak about what Gene would want or not want," Behr said. "The Gene Roddenberry of 1966 was a hell of a lot different than the Gene Roddenberry of 1989 and I'm sure had he been around in 1997 he would’ve been different from the Gene Roddenberry of 1989."
Behr doesn't predict a break in Trek so long as there's money to be made, but he is aware of how Deep Space Nine's reputation hinges upon that of the franchise as a whole. "[The franchise is] a cash cow, so look here’s the bottom line from my tiny little view: whatever is good for the franchise is good for Deep Space Nine," he noted. "If the franchise is considered a joke and loses touch with the genre fans and the creative zeitgeist, it’s bad for Deep Space because it’s just another lumpy Star Trek series. If the franchise is considered viable and entertaining and interesting and a flagship in pop culture, people will be drawn to check it out and they'll look at Deep Space Nine and I think they'll be intrigued. I want the franchise to do well, that’s beyond any personal feelings about anything else."
To read the entire interview, in which Behr also discusses his love of Vegas and being consulted on Insurrection, please visit TrekWeb.