What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 2018.
Directed by Ira Steven Behr and David Zappone.
Featuring Nana Visitor, Rene Auberjonois, Alexander Siddig, Terry Farrell, Michael Dorn, Colm Meaney, Cirroc Lofton, and Armin Shimerman.
It’s not uncommon for Trekkie fans to argue over which Star Trek series is the best. Most of the conversations I’ve been privy to generally compare the original Star Trek with William Shatner and Next Generation with Patrick Stewart as their favorites. Now, with What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary shedding light behind the scenes with the actors and writers, it’s fair to say Deep Space Nine deserves its own recognition for being as innovative, original, trendsetting and revolutionary as any other Star Trek series. However, DS9 oftentimes gets lost in the mix of other Star Trek voyages and is often treated as the underdog out of the franchise with fans and creatives alike.
It’s been 25 years since DS9 aired on television with Benjamin Sisko as the first black captain on the TV series. The executive producers and writers talk about the difficulties they had with making the network embrace actor Avery Brooks especially when they decided to make him bald with facial hair. Who would have thought something as harmless as that would make fans and network executives nervous or even displeased? Ira Steven Behr, who was the co-director and executive producer of DS9 talks about how he had to fight for Brooks’ aesthetic in the DS9 documentary. Behr wanted Brooks looks to standout and be memorable and as the series progressed thus his bald head became symbolic.
DS9 also covered politics, the psychological effects of war, sexuality and gender fluidity. For the 90s, it was considered radical to see two men or women kissing on tv, but the vision Gene Roddenberry had for the future ( and why so many fans love his work) falls in-line with DS9 ethos that unfortunately gets forgotten in a lot of Star Trek conversations. Before DS9, episodes were self-contained stories that were resolved in 42 minutes. DS9 revolutionized what we now appreciate in tv series; an on-going story that encourages binging. Of course, at the time it was preposterous. Fans had limited abilities to record previous or missed episodes and with the inability to stream, fans usually missed episodes which hurt the series when it aired.
Luckily, DS9 has found new, younger fans online who stand for the series more than Next Generation or the original series. That shouldn’t be surprising especially in our political climate now. DS9 was years ahead of inclusivity storytelling and they didn’t need to be forced to do so! Man, I really miss the 90s.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★