Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is considered by many fans to be the most underrated entry in the franchise's television universe. Though it never garnered the attention or rabid devotion of The Original Series or The Next Generation, it's now recognized to have told some of the best Star Trek stories of all time, while also being brave enough to chart its own course and create a world very different from the ones occupied by its predecessors.
Coming up on Deep Space Nine's 25th anniversary, Ira Steven Behr recently revealed his original pitch for the show's ending to a crowd at the Las Vegas Star Trek convention.
Apparently, Behr's plan was to use the show's final episode to call back one of Deep Space Nine's most popular episodes, "Far Beyond the Stars." Comicbook.com describes the plot of that episode:
Series lead [Captain] Sisko finds himself experiencing the life of Benny Russell, a black science fiction writer in 1950s America. Russell imagines Deep Space Nine as a story he's trying to sell, but struggles with the racism of the era. In the end, this is revealed as a vision sent to Sisko from the prophets in the wormhole near Deep Space Nine.
Behr's original plan was to reveal the entire series was, in fact, a story dreamt up by Benny Russell:
I did pitch to [executive producer] Rick Berman that the final episode would end up with Benny Russell on Stage 17 at Paramount, wandering around the soundstages, realizing that this whole construct, this whole series, that we had done for seven years, was just in Benny's head.
Berman ended up shooting down the idea, however, mostly because it would have major implications not just for Deep Space Nine, but the entire Star Trek universe.
That is how I wanted to end the series. And Rick said 'Does this mean The Original Series was in Benny's head? Does this mean Voyager was in Benny's head?' I said 'Hey man, I don't care who is dreaming those shows, I only care about Deep Space Nine and yes, Benny Russell is dreaming Deep Space Nine.' He didn't go for it.
In honor of the show's 25th anniversary, a new partially crowd-funded documentary looking back on Deep Space Nine's legacy called "What We Left Behind," is going to be released!
Perhaps Deep Space Nine's anniversary will attract some fans who never knew there was another great Star Trek series to watch!