Today's the Day for What We Left Behind

Today is the day! What We Left Behind, the hotly-anticipated Deep Space Nine documentary, is premiering in theaters today - for one day only.

The Deep Space Nine Cast and Crew Pick How They Would Introduce Fans to the Show over the weekend published an interview with the cast and crew of the documentary, and one of the questions they asked was: “Many fans are discovering or re-discovering Deep Space Nine now thanks to streaming services. If you had to introduce somebody to the show now, where do  you think they should start?”

Both Ira Steven Behr and Nana Visitor recommended starting at the beginning. Behr said, “So much that developed throughout the years was embedded in that pilot. That pilot covers a lot of ground.” Visitor backed him up, saying “just binge-watch it from start to finish. [...] You really get a sense of what our writers were trying to do when you see it that way.”

Andrew Robinson, who played the enigmatic tailor Garak on the show, emphasised the storytelling, saying, “The storytelling of the series - as far as I’m concerned - evolves, and it evolves to the point where at the end we were doing things no one else was doing with these long narrative arcs that now everyone is doing today. But also there’s the storytelling of each individual episodes. It’s a real mosaic. It’s a feat.”

Jeffrey Combs on the Rashomon-ic Nature of Remembering Deep Space Nine

In another interview, this time with, Jeffrey Combs - who played several characters over the years on Deep Space Nine - talked about how What We Left Behind was different for everyone. He said: “One of the themes I love about the documentary is everybody’s memory of the same event is very – as I think Armin [Shimerman] said – is very Rashomon-ic. Everyone has a different memory of things, and that is very human. I love the specificity and the ambiguity that the documentary brings to everybody.”

Ira Steven Behr on the Passion Project that is What We Left Behind

Of course, it was Ira Steven Behr, executive producer and showrunner for Deep Space Nine, who really drove What We Left Behind. brought us an interview over the weekend, where Behr discussed how the documentary started, and what he learned in the process.

Back in 2012, a convention-floor meeting between Behr and veteran Star Trek documentary producer David Zappone, led to Behr’s involvement. Behr recounted: “I was standing on the convention floor and Dave Zappone came up behind me [...] He asked, how would I like to 'be' Bill Shatner and do a doc on DS9 and interview all the actors. I was quite surprised. [...] I said, ‘What's it about?’ He said, ‘Don't worry. We'll find it was we go along.’”

Later, Behr was asked what he learned about the DS9 experience from making the documentary. He focused on how the actors responded to talking about their experiences on the show. He said, “What I learned is that most people, in this case creative people, are more comfortable probably talking about failures than successes; I think they realized how much the show meant to them as they talked about it. A lot of them got very emotional.”

There are still tickets available at select theaters for tonight’s showing of What We Left Behind. Check for details.

Alison Pitt