Berman Reflects On 'Deep Space Nine'

By Michelle
May 30, 2006 - 8:34 PM

Executive producer Rick Berman and co-writer Michael Piller chose to make Deep Space Nine a darker, edgier show to differentiate it from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they agreed that the Starfleet officers could not be shown with the same flaws as the aliens, Berman said in a recent interview.

Speaking to Star Trek Magazine (via Sci Fi Pulse), Berman said that the show was set on a space station to allow for regular characters who were not Starfleet officers. "The whole purpose of the environment that we chose and the anger you saw in certain characters was to make it darker and differentiate it from The Next Generation," he explained. "There were no flawed characters in The Next Generation, like Quark or an Odo or a Kira."

It was impossible to generate the same conflict on the earlier Star Trek shows, Berman added, because they were set on starships staffed by Starfleet personnel. "That was something that Gene [Roddenberry] felt very strongly about, that it would be too petty for humans." Non-starfleet people, they decided, "could add a darker, edgier feel to the show."

Berman added that he and Piller wanted to cast an African American actor as Commander Sisko, "but we wanted the right actor and if we couldnít find an actor we felt was right for the character of Benjamin Sisko, we would have gone Hispanic, white or whatever." They auditioned actors from India as well as Europe and Latin America, "but we were hoping we could find somebody who was African American who would work, and we felt we did when we met Avery Brooks." Tony Todd, who later played Sisko's son Jake as an adult, was also considered for the role.

Deep Space Nine was voted the best Star Trek series in a reader poll at Star Trek Magazine. "It did definitely stand out and it holds was, to a lot of the fans, a unique and special look at Star Trek," said Berman.

Thanks to Sci Fi Pulse for the interview excerpts.

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