Piller On Lessons Learned From Star Trek

By Lisa
March 23, 2002 - 7:43 PM

Deep Space Nine and Voyager co-creator Michael Piller explained today his latest series The Dead Zone makes use of the lessons he learned from Star Trek.

"We always like to start to develop a story with a simple question: what's it about? Not the plot, the theme," Piller wrote at the Dead Zone official web site. "That's what makes a story worth telling to me - when the characters are exploring some aspect of their (and our) lives. It's a lesson I learned from Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry."

Filming on the third episode of The Dead Zone was going on this week, and Piller had lots to say about it. "The story is about Johnny's attempt to return to teaching, and Chris is one of his students, a hockey player," Piller explained. "Johnny has an incredible vision that suggests the player might have a serious heart condition but there's no medical evidence to support him. So, in one sense, it's a story of Johnny's powers versus modern medicine. In another, it's about Johnny's hope of reclaiming some part of the life he lost before the accident that sent him into a coma."

"You may remember from the book a chapter in which Johnny is invited back to his school to teach by his old principal. We like using the book as inspiration for episodes. It's part of our commitment to treat the source material with respect."

Piller also spoke of his excitement that another familiar face from Star Trek has joined the cast. "I'm very excited that David Ogden Stiers [Dr. Timicin in 'Half a Life'] has joined the cast as Reverend Gene Purdy - he shot his first scenes this past Monday with our other new regular, the lovely Kristen Dalton ['Surviving Gilligan's Island'] who plays Dana Bright, a reporter who will be a potential rival to Sarah for Johnny's affections."

More from Michael Piller on The Dead Zone, including location, writing and a Joe Menosky script, can be found here at the official Dead Zone web site.

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