Date: 2/27/97 6:43:01 PM
<< Is there any chance of a brief cameo of the Enterprise E in the
I really doubt it.
<<Why is it that in this episode and last season's "Homefront"/"Paradise
Lost" everyone assumes that the Dominion doesn't possess cloaking technology
or if they do that they must have salvaged it from the downed
We've never established the Dominion as possessing cloaking technology.
Although they are certainly technically sophisticated enough to have such
devices, they don't use them aboard their vessels at this moment.
<<Do the writers edit their own works or is there an editing staff for each
of the ST series?>>
Each writer is responsible for his/her own script, but we all give extensive
notes on each script, so the entire writing staff pitches in and "edits" the
<<What was the format of the writer's workshop that you and Lolita Fatjo ran
together? Would there be any way of holding a similar seminar on the net?
Would such a net-shop be feasible? Practical? Would you want to do one?>>
The workshop was actually run by myself, Brannon, Eric Stillwell and Lolita.
Brannon and I used to discuss the process of writing a typical Trek episode,
taking the audience from the initial pitch through the story outline and on
to the final teleplay. The idea was to give attendees a structural framework
in which to develop their own stories -- this is a story outline, this is a
beat sheet, this is a teleplay, some talk about scene work, character arcs,
subtext in dialog, etc. It was kind of loose-limbed and we tried not to give
out "how to write" advice so much as steer people into a disciplined way of
working toward the goal of a finished teleplay. I don't think we could do
the same thing over the net, and we haven't done the workshop in a few years
<< What is included in the body of your average spec coverage? What is a
typical page count on coverage? Does coverage contain any critical notes
that might be useful to a writer? If so, why isn't coverage included with
The "coverage" of a spec script is done by our official "Readers" whose only
job is to read Star Trek specs every day. They then write out a brief
synopsis -- a page at the most, single-spaced -- and a paragraph of comments
on the overall quality of both the story and the writing itself. Because of
the need for the Readers to be completely honest, we do not include the
coverage with returned material because this would tend to make the Reader
slant his/her comments in a way to "spare" the feelings of the writer. I
also think that the union (yes, the Readers do belong to a union, Virginia)
has rules that specifically prohibit us from giving out the coverage or
revealing the identity of the Readers.
<<What does the staff look for in a pitch? How fleshed out should a story
be? Just the "It is a story about X who wants Y?" Beat outlines? How many
stories should one have prepared? What characters receive the most treatments
? What *don't* you want to hear?>>
We like pitches to be short and clear. A good pitch would probably run two
to two and a half pages double-spaced if written out. We want to hear the
beginning middle and end of the story and know what the character arcs are as
well as what the show is really about (a tale about friendship, an
examination of medical ethics, etc.) Just tell us a good story and don't get
bogged down in technical detail (certain to make our eyes glaze over) or in
describing every single scene in the story (certain to irritate us).
Typically, we like to hear between 3 and 5 pitches in a session, but that
can vary depending on the length. A good pitch session for me is around 30
Date: 2/27/97 7:00:39 PM
<<If First Contact takes place at Stardate 50895.3 then how can sisko mention
the borg attack before stardate 50564 (By inferno's light stardate)? Just a
mistake I guess?>>
A MISTAKE? Are you serious? Everything we do is for a reason and in the
service of a master plan that is hidden in a mayonnaise jar on Funk and
Wagnal's front porch. I am not at liberty to reveal the secret messages
contained within the seeming "mistaken" stardates, but rest assured that it
is another brilliantly conceived and skilfully executed Star Trek moment
brought to you by the people who wrote Meridian.
<<How many runabouts does DS9 have now?>>
As many as we need. Seriously, I don't think we've ever established a firm
number of Runabouts assigned to the station and I don't think we want to lock
ourselves into a number.
<<Why does gowron say it is a dark day for the aplha quadrent only, I thought
the Klingon empire was in the Bata quadrent also, and that the federation is
little bit in the Beta quadrent?>>
My map of the galaxy is missing, but I don't think we've really spelled out
all the cartographic boundaries of the 24th century.
<<Since the Dominion presumably came through the Wormhole bent on conquest,
can we assume that it felt the "Combined Fleet" would have been strong enough
to stop the Dominion ships that did make it through?>>
Whether or not the Combined Fleet could've beated the Dominion is an open
question, but the Dominion has proven time and again that they prefer to
conquer by stealth and by cunning rather than in a stand-up fight and that is
why they did not want to fight it out ship to ship in the Bajor system.
<<I truly enjoyed the character of Ikat'Ika (sp?) as played by James Horan.
He has played other Trek characters and I was wondering...do you all say
James Horan would be great in this part, call his agent. Or does he audition?
I wasn't involved in that particular casting session, so I'm not certain how
James was cast. However, we do sometimes simply offer a guest star role
without a formal reading depending on the actor, but we prefer to hear
everyone read if possible.
<<Was Picard court martialed after Generations?>>
Probably and it would've cleared him most honorably. Probably sent Troi to
prison (she was at the helm after all).
<<Does the Federation councle (I REALLY can't spell), vote on promotions, or
is it strictly handled by starfleet?>>
I think Starfleet does it's own promotions, which explains the high
percentage of insanity at flag rank.
<<why is Dr. Zimmerman [in Dr. Bashir I Presume] wearing a Starfleet uniform
without rank insignia?>>
This is a mistake, but an understandable one. Dr. Zimmerman's appearance was
guided by his appearance on the Voyager episode in which he was recreated on
the Holodeck. In that episode, he didn't wear a rank insignia either, and
our costumers simply followed that choice in doing our episode. Why he
didn't have one on Voyager is a good question.
<<Also, if I am not mistaken, the JAG was refered to as "Rear Admiral", but
was clearly wearing the rank pins of a full Admiral(four pips). >>
No excuse for this one, it's just a goof.
<<do we have firm confirmation that we will be blessed with Season Six>>
Not officially, but it's pretty much in the bag.
<<I heard a rumor a couple of weeks ago that the cast had been signed up for
3 more years...>>
<<True? False? Unfounded Rumor? You gave up a scheduled increase so Cirroc
could buy a BMW?>>
Hey look, we talked him down from a Porsche okay?
<<If Bashir was replaced before Rapture, does that mean a changeling
performed life-threatening brain surgery on Sisko?>>
That's what it means.
Date: 2/27/97 7:10:26 PM
<<Do you feel that there are founders that feel that domineering other
lifeforms is wrong? If so might this work its way into an e.p.? >>
I think if there are any Founders who disagree with the Dominion policy, they
are not in the Great Link. Everyone knows what everyone else is thinking in
the Link and the only time there was any real disagreement was in the debate
about what to do with Odo in last year's season finale.
<<I have heard that for the DS9 finale, Paramount is trying to negotiate a
deal with Next Generation cast members to appear on DS9's 4-part finale/next
season opener, to deal with Dominion invasion>>
Your source is very wrong. There is no such plan and never has been.
<<What are the chances that Captain Scott might show up on DS9 in that
I don't think so. We've done our tribute to Scotty and TOS and I don't think
we'll do another.
<< Is there any reason for the large number of starships that appear to be
It's a good model that photographs well, but I agree that we've used it too
often and I plan to push for more starship variety from now on.
<<Do you ever have any concerns that you may be starting your own cult? >>
Kneel when you say that.
<<Sometimes I am surprised when the usually very inquisitive Trek characters
don't ask the obvious questions. Namely, if the Federation decided to make me
immortal as the permanent-doctor-holodeck-person, I would probably ask "how
did you happen to choose me?" But Bashir never asked.>>
I had this in an earlier draft, but the episode was long and I cut it for
time. Seemed like the youngest man every nominated for the Carrington Award
had enough credit to his name to sound plausible.