Date: 8/6/97 9:04:06 PM
<<"Call to Arms" ended with the crew scattered across the Alpha quadrant -
some on the Defiant, some on the station, etc. Has that made life difficult
for the writers in the opening episodes of season 6? In terms of juggling the
characters, and so on? Or is it easy because the interaction is already
dictated by the set-up? When did you decide that our heroes would lose the
station - is it something you had planned for a while, or a late twist?>>
Splitting up the crew has both complicated and simplified matters. Usually,
there's a fair amount of freedom given to the individual writer as s/he works
on the teleplay with regard to the way the beat sheet (outline) is
interpreted into actual scenes and dialog. Quite often I find myself
venturing away from the outline as I write, changing the order of scenes,
eliminating sequences that I feel don't work, altering character dynamics,
etc. in order to make the finished draft work for me. Now that the first few
episodes will be tied together more closely than anything we've attempted
before, any changes made by one writer have unavoidable ripple effects
through the other shows in the overall Dominion War arc and that has
certainly complicated everyone's life tremendously. As a result, there's
been a lot of rewriting and rewriting of rewriting, but it's also kept things
fresh and made the sixth season a lot of fun so far.
On the positive side, splitting up the crew and the storylines has simplified
the task of coming up with the basic stories. There's a clear goal that all
the shows have to drive toward, namely getting the station back, and that
makes it easier to keep ourselves focused on delivering the characters and
the situation instead of getting stuck in the "What do we do next?" problem.
We had talked about losing the station to the Dominion for a long time. It
was something that seemed like a great idea, and it was just a question of in
what season we were going to go for it.
<<There were a LOT of comedy episodes and comedy B-plots in season 5. And you
seem to have gone for a broader comedic style, more comic characters, etc.
Was this intentional, and were you happy with the results?>>
We've always been attracted to doing comedic episodes. I think that some
seasons we just have more of them sitting around than others. For me
personally, I find the comedies particularly refreshing because it always
drove me nuts the way TNG took itself soooooo seriously. I was forever
sprinkling humor in my TNG episodes and would usually be forced to take 80%
of the jokes out because of the "There's no humor in jeopardy situations,"
line of thinking.
Overall, I liked the comedies in year 5. I don't think "par'Mach" was as
funny on screen as it was on the page and "For He Who is..." certainly fell
short, but "In the Cards" & "Tribble-ations" seemed to play as did the
humorous aspects of "Dr. Bashir, I Presume" and "Business as Usual."
<<I've just seen part of an interview (from England) in which Ira Behr is
quoted as saying that he would prefer it if season six was DS9s final season.
Does he still think this, and do you agree with him?>>
I think we all want there to be a seventh season, although there was a point
when we all thought it would be better to go out strong at the end of six.
But now we're sure that we could fill a seventh year with quality material
and have fun doing it.
<<Any chance you might come by Fantasticon, which is being held in LA this
Sorry, but I don't have any plans to come by.
<<Will we see more Sisko stories this year? >>
<<Now that we have only two months left to wait for the new episodes, I was
wondering if there were any scraps you could let fall from the table, maybe a
few titles and "who to look for" sort of morsels?>>
I can tell you that the first six shows are called:
A Time to Stand
Rocks and Shoals
Sons and Daughters
Behind the Lines
Favor the Bold
The Sacrifice of Angels
Is that enough for your tummy?