Sunday, May 26, 2019

OT: What We Left Behind Star Trek Deep Space 9 Documentary

Deep Space 9, what I have considered my favorite television show of all-time.

This Documentary was in the works from Showrunner Ira Steven Behr for many years.

I caught it a couple of weeks ago for a special 1-night Cinema screening, and meant to write up a review soon after, but haven't found the time until now.

On the Documentary itself:

Pretty thorough and long (2.5 hours I recall).

A lot of interviews including all the leading Cast. Avery Brooks who plays Sisko was in there, and there was some time talking about him, however for my money given he is the Lead character in the show, I would have liked more. And I plan to pickup the DVD which I'm sure has a lot of extra footage and interviews, with him included.

Not much with Max Grodénchik and some of the other regular guest stars on the show. Although there was a lot with Andrew Robinson who played Garak at least. But people like Salome Jens, Rosalind Chao, Louise Fletcher, Ken Marshall (Eddington), and even say Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn).

But the reunion(s) and meeting with the Writers (aka Writers Room) was fun. Ronald D. Moore, Robert Hewitt Wolfe and some others including Ira Steven Behr, creating on-the-fly for like 1 or 2 days, a hypothetical 8th Season. And they adapted the premise/ideas to STORYBOARDS, was pretty cool.

And seeing the High Definition footage and on the Big Screen added a lot. The clarity and detail does make a lot of difference, so much so, i am with many fans in that to see the whole show remastered and released in this would be something I would pay for.

Now the explanation, especially Post-Credits, explained how much of a chore it was to EDIT so many specific clips to make montages from those original tapes. And I highly applaud those who did all that work (countless hours I imagine). Also those who contributed to the Crowd Sourced campaign for all those extra details and work I applaud.

So, this did mean a lot to me because Star Trek Deep Space 9 means so much to me. Why?

Here's the story (however long or short this might get).

I grew up as a Sports Nerd, but a Nerd none-the-less in a lot of ways. And I always liked Star Wars. But Star Trek? I watched The Original Series, from memory, when I was at my Grandma's and I recall not liking it all that much. The Spock character I remember being scared of, or at least not liking. I thought he was bad or evil and he was stronger than everyone, which I suppose he was.

And I remember when The Next Generation came out, but I rarely watched it. I got the impression TNG was for dorks, and I didn't see myself as a "Trekkie."

So after High School I ended up being even more of a Night Owl than I was in HS, staying up late listening to Sports Radio, playing Sega and for a brief period, Playstation games (like 95% Sports games at that point).

But in being a Night Owl and renting movies and watching some late night TV and/or what I had taped while I was gone during the evening per I worked 2nd Shift hours for awhile there.

What became the local UPN and now FOX affiliate carried both new episodes of DS9 and the previous season episodes, LATE-AT-NIGHT, including on Saturdays 3-hours/episodes. So I stumbled upon it 1 night I recall March or maybe February of 1997. I forget, it might have been earlier than that. But I remember the Spring of 1997 I was totally won over by DS9.

Why? I think a lot of it had to do with how IT WASN'T LIKE STAR TREK. It explored more normal, everyday human(oid) issues. It felt in some ways like seeing human life 350+ or whatever years in the future.

Also I was definitely going through an uneasy time with life. I had stopped going to college and had a job that was supposed to last for many months, that did from September/October 1996, but one day in early April I recall they called me off that job. I was a contract or temp, but it was supposed to be for maybe a year or more and they might hire me on. But for reasons I can best explain as a struggle I had and honestly still have and likely always will have, caught up with me I think.

So, DS9 was like therapy or an escape. It really gave me something to latch onto and not be sad about my current life situation.

And the characters were really well written. Very down-to-earth in a lot of ways. I suppose 2 characters most, the Jadxia Dax character. For one, Terry Farrell was and still is extremely beautiful. But I also found her portrayal of Dax both nerdy/geeky but also warm, kind, and welcoming. She just came across often as someone you loved her presence and felt like seeing and hearing her talk, you felt good. Often better than before that happened.

The other one I find is Odo. Partially given the Changeling species was really cool. The ability to change form was in some ways the kind of Scifi stuff I found fascinating. That and his character, with being an outsider and kind of having his own agenda I really related to in a lot of ways. And like Terry Farrell, I found in many episodes as the series went on, Rene's portrayal was very sympathetic. I at times almost felt more for his position than the Federation's.

So, there's a ton more I could get into about this show and the characters and why it became my favorite television show of all-time, but that may have to be saved for another entry.

"The Visitor" episode though I should include as that 1 episode may have been the biggest 1 to bring me in. I was in tears after seeing it. "The Jake Episode"..both Cirroc Lofton and Tony Todd were so good in that episode. It's so heartbreaking, yet it still ends on a happy note in a lot of ways.

Also the fact being a DS9 fan got me into Star Trek as-a-whole. I enjoy TOS a lot more now and TNG. I like Voyager and even Enterprise, especially since seeing the reruns on H and I.
And also Scifi (television) in general.

Discovery?..nope, but I totally dig The Orville which basically is Star Trek, unlike Discovery which is totally not Star Trek.

So, I may or may not do more on DS9 soon. or even consider start writing about some of my other favorite TV shows. I put DS9 on top, but I kind of place a few others near it; Cheers, Beavis, Psych, Gilmore Girls and some others.

When I enjoy TV, I almost love it as much if  not more than Music. Like movies as well, which is why I would like to start writing about entertainment outside of music (Sports? the Minnesota Twins for example are 36-16 and playing out-of-their-minds right now) in the near future, especially given I finally found 1 million hits.

I suppose at the point I pickup the DVD maybe I'll do another entry on this and maybe DS9 (I could probably do a handful more, including something more about the Babylon 5 comparison thing which was not really brought up, but maybe it will be in the DVD?)