Date: 8/1/97 6:35:36 PM
I see that my responses on "The First Duty" and the roles of Kira & Dax have
produced quite a bit of commentary. Let's take them one at a time:
First, I think I should have made clear in my posting about Wesley in "First
Duty" that my argument with Michael was based on changing several aspects of
the show, not just the ending. The aired episode that you've all seen is
deliberately constructed to make the question of coming forth and telling the
truth the paramount (no pun intended) decision to be made in the story.
However, that's just a writer's choice. Remember that there are no
"objective facts" or circumstances in this work of fiction, only the
narrative that I choose to present to you, the audience. Changing certain
key aspects of the narrative could've completely changed the story.
In the aired version of events, Wesley steps forward even though the court of
inquiry is about to let them all off the hook. In so doing, Wes commits an
act of moral courage by standing up for the truth and being punished when to
remain silent would've allowed him to go scot free. Now, let's assume the
circumstances had been constructed so that the Nova Squadron was going to be
kicked out of the Academy by the court if they kept silent about what really
happened. Say that the team had made a decision not to finger the one among
them who came up with the idea on the "we all hang together" philosophy. In
that scenario, Wesley coming forward to tell the truth is suddenly an act of
moral cowardice because it appears that he's only trying to save his own skin
at the expense of one of his teammates.
If that had been the story (which is more or less what Naren and I were
advocating) then Picard's impassioned speech to Wesley about the morality of
coming forward to tell the truth is suddenly a scene where the Captain tries
to convince a young man not to throw away his own career in order to protect
one of his friends. In the end, Locarno (the true culprit) comes forward on
his own in order to save the rest of the team. As you can see, it's a very
different kind of tale even though the essential "plot" is relatively
As I said before, both stories are valid and interesting, but I prefered the
story about a young man willing to stand with his friends rather than a
morality tale about telling the truth. Don't get me wrong -- I like "The
First Duty," and I think it works pretty well just as it is, I just wanted to
tell a different story.
Date: 8/1/97 7:13:27 PM
Now onto Kira & Dax:
<<No woman in Kira's position with her background would have turned into the
passive flounce she was the fourth season. Yes, aside from all of that
offensiveness, Kira has changed in many ways, and I like those changes. I
still cannot abide what she turned into; it made no sense given who she was
before. What is worse, she was completely un-credible as a first officer of
a doghouse, much less a military space station. The sex kitten routine, the
inappropriate smiles, the wretched sexist holosuite routines, were a slap in
the face of female viewers. >>
Okay, I've looked back at the "infamous" fourth season and without making a
complete, episode by episode analysis, I found the following:
"Way of the Warrior" -- Kira gives into Dax wanting her to loosen up and
enjoy herself and plays in holosuite. Wears silly costume in Quark's.
Dialog makes it clear that Kira hit holocharacter because she thought he was
acting in an inappropriate way. Kira in command of DS9 during Sisko's
absence. Kira kicks Klingon butt during attack on the station and is
"Indescretion" -- Kira goes off on dangerous mission with man she distrusts
(Dukat) because there's a chance of finding a missing friend of hers. She
comes to new appreciation of old enemy (Dukat). She participates in military
assault against heavily defended target.
"Starship Down" -- Kira has to keep Sisko conscious to keep him alive. She
reveals to him that she wishes they were closer as friends. Show ends with
Sisko responding positively to her and inviting her to baseball game.
"Crossfire" -- Kira grapples with feelings she has for old friend from her
Resistance days (Shakaar) and struggles to deal with budding romance.
"Return to Grace" -- Kira can't resist impulse to get involved in fighting
aboard Dukat's ship as they engage the Klingons, even though she has no
personal stake in the Klingon/Cardassian conflict. Kira agrees to take care
"Sons of Mogh" -- Kira commands the Defiant and faces down the Klingons when
they attempt to mine the Bajoran system.
"Ascession" -- Kira struggles with her faith when "true" Emissary shows up
and tries to return Bajoran society to a caste system. Kira willing to give
up her job because of her devotion to her religious beliefs.
"Body Parts" -- Kira agrees to carry the O'Brien baby when Keiko is severely
Now, I find it hard to believe that any of those story arcs weakens,
denigrates, or dilutes in any way Major Kira. Each one is a strong arc which
added rather than subtracted to her character. Granted, this isn't a
complete record of her activities in year four, but even if you could find me
eight other stories that did portray her in a weak or soft light -- which I
doubt -- at the *worst* you could say that we were contradictory with the
character. But there's just no way that I can see where we turned her into a
"passive flounce." All year? "Sex kitten?" You've got to be kidding. The
sexiest thing she did that whole season was in "Our Man Bashir" and that
WASN'T EVEN KIRA.
And if you're about to come at me with the "the sexist heels" argument, I put
it to you that there's something even more sexiest about the idea that a
woman is completely defined by her wardrobe to the exclusion of everything
Date: 8/1/97 7:13:41 PM
As for Dax: << It IS possible for a woman to remain strong, interesting,
independant and capable of performing her job even though she's in a
relationship, but through most of the fifth season, one wouldn't know that
with Dax. And the foulness that was the presentation of their sexual
relationship I still hate (and yeah, I know all about how it's not about
humans, yatta yatta yatta, so please don't dump that one on me, either; I'm
sorta tired of that argument). >>
Well, we're so far apart on this one I'm not sure we can ever see eye to eye.
Yes, the relationship with Worf dominates her storylines through the fifth
season, but you can say the same thing about Worf's storylines and no one
seems to complain. (And I'm sorta tired of the "it's abuse even though she
may say not think so and it'll send a bad message to people that aren't smart
enough to know the difference, yatta, yatta, yatta," argument myself, so
we'll just avoid that one altogether.)
I'm not trying to say that you don't know what you're talking about when you
say what you *like*, but I am saying that it's hard to see where comments
like "...the women being turned into babes with no minds and no existence
outside their sexual involvements... women turning into people they never
were and never would be had they been born and walked the earth," have a
relationship to something that actually happened in the aired episodes. If
you can find those heinous examples, I'd be interested to hear them.
Date: 8/1/97 7:35:39 PM
<<do you listen to music when you write? If not, do you have a practice that
I've begun listening to music recently as I write, and find it an interesting
change. The only real habit I've kept over the years is to always have a
book on my desk when I'm writing. I find that I write in bursts and need to
turn away and read something for a few minutes before turning back to the
keyboard. At the moment, I'm reading "If They Move, Kill 'Em -- The Life and
Times of Sam Peckinpah" by David Weddle, who just happens to be one of our
new writers this year. It's an excellent biography and I highly recommend it
to anyone interested in this talented and fascinating director ("The Wild
Bunch" "Ride the High Country" "Straw Dogs", etc.)
<<we have some interesting storylines concerning like if o'briens baby will
be part bajoran? >>
I don't think so.
<<will we see more of keiko and yoshi and molly?>>
Probably, but nothing planned yet.
<<Has there ever been a conscious effort by the writing staff not to have
relationships between people of the same race, or has it just always worked
out that way? Whether it be between different species- Worf/Troi,
Garak/Ziyal, Worf/Dax, Odo/Kira or different races- O'Bren/Keiko, it
seems that all relationships have to be interracial or interspecial. Why
does this occur?>>
I've never really looked at it that way. (I should point out that Sisko and
Kasidy are both human blacks, and Kira and Shakaar were both Bajoran whites,
as were Kira and Bareil.) I think we've always just looked for interesting
pairings, and dramatically speaking, the inter-species relationships have
always given us more things to play in an episode, so we've tended to go that
way. But it's certainly not a conscious effort by any means.
<<Ron, in past posts, you mentioned something about station upgrades for the
new season. Any hints as to what they might be? Could you at least say if
they will be Dominion upgrades, or will they happen after Sisko gets the
station back (probably after a big battle and lots of damage)?>>
This was a passing notion that we're not going to do.
<<I heard about [a Kahn story] before DS9 was even announced. It was also
before Montalban's back surgery, and subsequent confinement to a wheelchair,
so we are talking about a few years back. Like Khavis said, it was detailed
in a Starlog special edition.>>
Well, then it must've been in the first two seasons of TNG, but I'm pretty
sure it never happened while I was aboard.
<<Why did you decide to kill [K'Ehleyr]? Did Ms. Suzy Plakson not want to
play Kay'larr any more?>>
I am happy to pass the buck on this one to Michael Piller. It was his idea
to kill K'Ehleyr during the story break because it would be a great dramatic
turn and would provide Worf with ample reason to go stick a bat'leth into
<<Is there any way you can bring her back?>>
It's come up a number of times, but we have no current plans to do so.
<<Can you get more Klingon Females on DS9? >>
Yes, and we will this season.
<<I hate the way Klingon Females have no equal rights in the Klingon empire
If you look back in the archives, you'll find an extensive answer I gave on
this subject. Suffice it to say that I have plans to work on the role of
Klingon women this season and will spell out their own special place in the
<<If you could put together a box set for release, what theme would you
choose and which episodes would you use?>>
I think I'd put together the first few shows of Season 6!! They're going to
be telling a story unlike any other in Trek -- the War Against the Dominion.
<<Did the Federation fleet in "A Call to Arms" have cloak technology? >>
At the moment, we're not giving the Federation widespread cloaking abilities
and we haven't decided how many (if any) Starfleet vessels do have this