"Where Are We Going This Time": The Golden Age of Science Fiction

What should happen with the season summary updates?

  • Continue as is (might delay other updates)

    Votes: 6 75.0%
  • Release them later, as supplementary material

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Cut out the OTL bits, only say what you've changed (might only be a temporary solution)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Stop them completely

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8
  • Poll closed .
Chapter XLII: "Renewal"

Timelordtoe

Monthly Donor
Part II, Chapter XLII: "Renewal"

“Things really did feel different from the seventh season onward. We had a new main set, and both Carla and Christian had left the show. It really did feel like things were beginning to be drawn to a close.”​
- Jonathan Frakes speaking about the seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.


Season Seven of Star Trek: The Next Generation was shaping up to be quite different from any other season. The finale of Season Six had seen the destruction of the Enterprise-D, meaning that the crew were, for the time being, without a ship. The writers had come to the conclusion that they would take this opportunity to allow for any of the cast to leave or transfer over to the new show Deep Space Nine. This resulted in both Carla Gugino and Christian Slater leaving the show, necessitating a slightly revised main cast.

It was decided that instead of writing characters to replace them, other pre-existing characters would take on their duties. To replace Leslie Crusher at the conn, Michelle Forbes would be promoted to a member of the main cast, with Ro Laren taking over the position on the bridge permanently. To cover for the lack of tactical officer, it was decided that Lt. Worf would also be given those duties, in addition to being Chief of Security.


But more important than this was the new ship. The writers chose to leave the crew without a ship for a few episodes, to allow them time to explore the increasing militarisation of Starfleet on Earth. To differentiate the new ship, they would use a new design rather than staying with another Galaxy-class. Many designs would be submitted, but eventually the producers would settle on one that they would dub the Sovereign-Class. [1]

galaxy.jpg
sovereign.png

The Galaxy-class Enterprise-D (left) and the Sovereign-class Enterprise-E (right).​

The ship would be written as being on the cutting edge of Federation technology, developed in response to the growing Borg threat. This, along with the changing attitudes seen in the season, would present an idea of a Starfleet undergoing serious militarisation, something that would trouble much of the crew.

The ship would not be the only thing that was changed this season, as the uniforms would also undergo an alteration. The primary alterations would be the addition of a plain coloured undershirt, and the moving of the division colour to the shoulders. [2]

uniforms-compared.png

Comparison of the mid and late-TNG era uniforms (note: right image is taken from Deep Space Nine)​

These changes would be met with mixed reception from fans, with some unhappy with the direction the show was being taken in. Most, however, were reasonably comfortable with the changes.


The season would see the trend of Original Series actors returning, with Walter Koenig returning for the season finale Forgiveness (Part I). [3]

As the season would be The Next Generation’s second-to-last, plans were being made for what would follow it up, as interest in continuing the franchise beyond Deep Space Nine and the film series built. [4]


Star Trek: The Next Generation’s seventh season began airing in September 1993.


[1] I've kept the Sovereign-class for two reasons. One: it's my second favourite ship class we see, after the Defiant-class. Two: it makes sense given the time period. In-universe in OTL, the class was in-production by this point, and the USS Sovereign was in service.
[2] That's the other major visual change I've made for the season. I considered skipping the middle man and going straight for the First Contact-era uniforms, but decided against it.
[3] As to why Chekov is still alive will be explained in the story. Forgiveness will be based on a script that was never made in OTL, as a few stories this season will.
[4] There will be an update on this after I've done the first season of Deep Space Nine. It will cover a bit of what's coming up for Star Trek, both in terms of films and a television series to replace The Next Generation.
 
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Chapter XLIII: "The More Things Change"

Timelordtoe

Monthly Donor
Part II, Chapter XLIII: "The More Things Change"

“I think that there is some truth to the idea of The Next Generation suffering from seasonal rot. Our last two seasons weren’t bad, but by no means our best work. A lot of our good writers had started doing work on Deep Space Nine, or were beginning to get tired. After season seven, it was clear to us that we needed some new blood to freshen things up.”​
-Rick Berman, on The Next Generation’s seventh season. [1]


The seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was a minor gamble for the show. With a new ship, new uniforms, new interiors and a slightly altered cast, it was clear that the last two seasons of the show would have a distinctly different aesthetic.

While some fans expressed concern over the amount of changes being made so late in the show’s run, there were many things to be excited about for the season. As with the two previous seasons, a member of the Original Series cast would be returning, this time Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov. In addition, Gates McFadden would be returning as Beverly Crusher early in the season. [2]

Midway through the season, Christian Slater’s character of Andrew Kelly would depart, to begin appearing on Deep Space Nine, a move that would also see recurring actor Colm Meaney leave the show.


The seventh season received positive reviews, though many considered it to be a weaker season overall than many of its predecessors. Fans were also divided over the new design for the ship, with some suggesting that the Enterprise-E should have been another vessel of the same class as the Enterprise-D.


List of Episodes of Season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
  1. All Good Things… (Part II)​
  2. Conscientious Objection [3]​
  3. The Departed [4]​
  4. Shakedown [5]​
  5. Phantasms​
  6. Island of Tears [6]​
  7. The Pegasus​
  8. Limits [7]​
  9. Fare Thee Well [8]​
  10. Inheritance​
  11. Force of Nature​
  12. Birthright (Part I)​
  13. Birthright (Part II)​
  14. Reunion [9]​
  15. Prejudices [10]​
  16. Interface​
  17. Homeward​
  18. Lower Decks​
  19. Gambit (Part I)​
  20. Gambit (Part II)​
  21. A Piece of Reaction [11]​
  22. That Which We Manifest [12]​
  23. Dark Page​
  24. To Thine Own Self Be True [13]​
  25. The Mark [14]​
  26. Forgiveness (Part I) [15]​

Cast of Season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
  • Captain Julien Picard – Patrick Stewart​
  • Commander William Riker – Jonathan Frakes​
  • Lt. Cmdr. Data – Brent Spiner​
  • Dr. Amelia Henderson – Stephanie Beacham​
  • Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge – LeVar Burton​
  • Counselor (Lt. Cmdr.) Deanna Troi – Marina Sirtis​
  • Lt. Worf – Michael Dorn​
  • Lt. (j.g.) Ro Laren – Michelle Forbes​
  • Lt. (j.g.) Andrew Kelly – Christian Slater (Main: Episodes 1-9, Guest: Episode 12) [16]​

By the time of the seventh season’s release, an eighth and final season had already been ordered. Plans for the future of the The Next Generation cast now primarily involved a shift to film, the planning for which was now underway.


[1] TTL's TNG is not free of the seasonal rot, but they actually make an effort to do something about it, and are starting to bring in more writers, like they did with Straczynski on DS9.
[2] Hinted at it earlier. Might go back and edit the previous update.
[3] Focusses on much of the crew's objection to Starfleet becoming more military than exploratory, and their clashes with Picard, who is more on board with it.
[4] Return of Dr. Crusher. Focusses on the crew moving on with their losses from the disastrous Breen mission, particularly the apparent death of Leslie Crusher.
[5] The debut of the Enterprise-E, and deals with the crew's adjusting to the new ship.
[6] An overtly environmental story. Undeveloped script from OTL.
[7] One of two stories this season explicitly to do with warp. This one concerns the Warp 10 barrier (don't worry, it's not Threshold, I've taken my own spin on the whole thing).
[8] Departure of Christian Slater as Lt. Kelly
[9] Soft sequel to Tapestry, Picard reunites with Cortin and Marta. Undeveloped script from OTL.
[10] Ro is framed for the murder of a Cardassian official. Undeveloped script from OTL.
[11] The return of Sigma Iotia II from TOS. Undeveloped script from OTL.
[12] Alien planet of the week episode.
[13] Enterprise tries to provide aid to planet in Federation, but cultural boundaries cause issues. Undeveloped script from OTL.
[14] Members of the crew begin being "marked for death".
[15] Return of Chekov. Chekov acts as ambassador to species which tortured him, but begins to act suspiciously. Undeveloped script from OTL.
[16] He's around for a little bit, mainly so that he can be brought onto Deep Space Nine by the Enterprise. Also, he appears in Birthright (Part I) because it sort of wouldn't make sense if he didn't.
 
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Sovereign class bridge set basically the same as for the films then?
I doubt it- the E-D's bridge is designed for TV, narrow and deep, while the E-E's bridge is designed for movies- wide and shallow. If the E-E is on TV you'll have a bridge more like Voyager's compromise design than the canon movie E-E.

Do they salvage any bits from the E-D to be part of the new bridge set like the Arch?
Does Guinan transfer to the new Enterprise?
Any chance of Gates getting an episode spotlight on her? Seen very often, but not given much to do unfortunately.
 
Damn, it would have been so cool to see Picard react to DS9's more military starfleet. Curious to see what you'll do here, hopefully we'll see something similar IOTL this month :winkytongue:
 
Damn, it would have been so cool to see Picard react to DS9's more military starfleet. Curious to see what you'll do here, hopefully we'll see something similar IOTL this month :winkytongue:
A more interesting tale might be have Picard be one of the supporters of the more military star fleet and have him clash with his fellow crew members over it.
(What I thought they were setting up with Captain Lorca in the first half of season one of Star Trek Discovery. I commented that I really wanted to see how Lorca , who the perfect man for a war does when the war ends. I was sure that they were setting up that clash of values. What do you do with the Warrior when the war is over?)
 

Timelordtoe

Monthly Donor
A more interesting tale might be have Picard be one of the supporters of the more military star fleet and have him clash with his fellow crew members over it.
(What I thought they were setting up with Captain Lorca in the first half of season one of Star Trek Discovery. I commented that I really wanted to see how Lorca , who the perfect man for a war does when the war ends. I was sure that they were setting up that clash of values. What do you do with the Warrior when the war is over?)
Actually, I think you're right. With the increasing militarisation being a direct response to the Borg threat, it makes sense that Picard would be a more ardent supporter. I'm going to perform mild retcon surgery on the past couple of updates to reflect that.

I too was disappointed by how Lorca was treated by Discovery. I thought it would be interesting to see a more George Patton-like captain of a vessel, and how they adapt to the exploratory mission. We saw that a little (taken to the extreme) with Edison/Krall in Beyond (which I personally think is the best of the reboot films). It's an idea I'll likely use in the future.
 
Overview of Season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation

Timelordtoe

Monthly Donor
Overview of Season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation


All Good Things… (Part II)
The Breen ship takes the last few survivors on board, providing medical aid. Reuniting with the remainder of the crew, the senior staff find that many are becoming suspicious of the Breen, accusing them of staging the incident in order to take out the Federation flagship with no repercussions.​

Kelly becomes aware of a plan among the other Starfleet crew to take control of the Breen vessel, bringing it to the attention of Captain Picard. Picard informs the Breen commander, who has the offending officers placed under surveillance while en route back to Earth. While it is clear to much of the senior staff that the Breen had no hand in the destruction of the Enterprise, the increased security leads to increased suspicions among the other crew.​

Upon returning to Earth Spacedock, Starfleet is shocked to learn of the destruction of the Enterprise, ordering a full investigation into the events that led to it. Picard also makes Starfleet Command aware of the suspicions of his crew, should an incident arise between the Breen crew and his. The Admiralty makes him aware that much of Starfleet holds the same opinion towards the Breen, as their secretive nature makes it difficult to tell their aims.​

Some of the Breen crew are cornered by disgruntled members of the Enterprise crew, culminating in a fist fight, which the Breen win handily. Upon hearing of this, and the reasons why, the Breen announce that they will be withdrawing from the research mission, as it is clear that the Breen and Federation cultures are too different to allow for proper scientific exchange.​

Picard tries to convince the Breen commander, to no avail. The commander expresses regret that the mission ended this way, but suggests that perhaps the Federation were expecting the Breen to act like them when on the mission, and that secrecy is inherent to the Breen way of life. Returning to Admiral Nechayev, Picard is informed that he will be provided with a new vessel, and that his crew may stay under his command should they wish, but that the vessel will not be completed for another month and a half.​


Conscientious Objection
Picard and the rest of the senior crew are summoned to Starfleet Headquarters, where they will be familiarised with their new vessel’s specifications. There, they find that their new vessel will be Sovereign-class, which has only just entered service, and is one of the most powerful vessels yet. The crew compliment will be reduced, in part due to the almost complete removal of civilians on-board. The senior staff clash as Picard supports the increasing militarisation to combat threats like the Borg, while many of the rest object to Starfleet moving away from its exploratory ideals.​


The Departed
Picard takes his time away from active duty to undergo a routine medical check, to avoid having to do so on the new ship. While at Starfleet Medical, he encounters Dr. Beverly Crusher, the Enterprise-D’s original Chief Medical officer. Picard tries to apologise that Dr. Crusher’s husband and daughter have now both died under his command, while the rest of the crew prepare to hold a service in Leslie’s memory.​
Guest Star: Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher​

Shakedown
Picard and the rest of the crew return to Earth Spacedock, where he is to be given command of the new USS Enterprise-E. Their first mission is to be a routine patrol of some of the Federation’s inner systems, so that the ship’s performance can be tested, and so that the crew can acquaint themselves with the new vessel. However, while on patrol, the Enterprise runs across a black market trade in progress. Attempts to catch the dealers are complicated by the crew’s lack of familiarity with the new vessel, and glitches in the new systems.​


Phantasms
Data begins to experience strange dreams that often end in either him or another member of the crew coming to harm. When the new warp drive refuses to engage, and Data’s begins to hallucinate elements of his dreams and acting erratically, culminating in him attacking Troi, the crew begins to suspect that these events may be related, and that there may be some meaning to Data’s dreams.​


Island of Tears
The Enterprise arrives in orbit of a new colony on a planet with an intelligent, but not sapient native species. The planet is notable for containing large amounts of naturally-occurring dilithium. The large crystal lattices produce an energy field, which is being disturbed by the Federation’s mining efforts. When mutations begin to appear in the natives of the planet, the Enterprise finds a link between the dilithium mining and the mutations.​


The Pegasus
The Enterprise is ordered to the Romulan Neutral Zone after picking up Admiral Pressman. There, they are informed that they are to either recover or destroy the USS Pegasus, a ship that was thought missing. Riker reveals to Picard that when he was aboard the Pegasus, he helped Pressman escape from mutineers, but is under orders not to discuss the matter further. Picard finds his trust with Riker at risk when it becomes clear that Pressman is trying to hide something.​


Limits
The Enterprise is fitted with a new warp core that will supposedly break the Warp 10 barrier, a “speed limit” on the universe. The experimental drive can supposedly reach warp 10.5, a speed that would allow for the Enterprise to cross the Federation’s entire territory in a matter of days, as opposed to months at its previous maximum warp. The drive, however, malfunctions when it approaches Warp 10, causing temporal bleeding effects, where parts of the ship seem to be operating minutes ahead or behind others.​


Fare Thee Well
Ensign Kelly and Transporter Chief O’Brien are offered positions on the Federation administered station Deep Space Nine, as Strategic Operations Officer and Chief of Operations respectively. While O’Brien accepts, as it will allow him to raise his daughter in a single location, Kelly has a harder time coming to a decision. Although it would come with a promotion to Lieutenant (junior grade), he is worried about moving away from the relative luxury of the Enterprise. Eventually, he accepts, hoping that it will help him move on from losing Leslie Crusher.​


Inheritance
The Enterprise arrives at the planet Altrea IV to assist with efforts to stop an environmental disaster. While there, Data encounters a scientist that claims to be his “mother”, the former wife of Dr. Noonien Soong, his creator. Data is able to verify her claims, and begins to spend time with her. However, when he helps her in an emergency, he finds that she is an android, but unaware of it.​


Force of Nature
The Enterprise is sent to investigate the disappearance of the medical ship USS Fleming. While en-route, they encounter a Ferengi vessel that claims to have been attacked by Federation weapons. However, the Enterprise finds that the real attacker were a brother and sister who have disguised mines as navigational buoys. The pair claim that repeated warp travel is damaging space, and that it will eventually destroy their planet. While the crew of the Enterprise disagree with their methods of stopping warp travel, they do find evidence to back up their claims, threatening the future of travel in the galaxy.​


Birthright
Data begins dreaming again after an accident, finding it the result of a previously unknown subroutine in his systems. At the same time, while visiting Deep Space Nine, Worf meets a trader who claims that his father did not die at Khitomer, but was captured and is alive in a Romulan prison camp. When Worf arrives at the camp, he is told that his father was killed at Khitomer, but he is prevented from leaving by the Romulan guards, and must try to escape. Back on Deep Space Nine, the crew catch up with Kelly and O’Brien, learning of how they are getting on with their new positions.​


Reunion
Captain Picard is invited to a his Starfleet Academy class reunion. While there, he catches up with Marta and Cortin, learning that while he has had a greatly successful career, neither of them have made the same rise through the ranks that he has. While Cortin is envious of Picard, Marta congratulates him. Picard contemplates his relationship with his two old friends following the events of Tapestry, where he saw how things might have gone differently for them.​


Prejudices
While visiting a planet near the Cardassian demilitarised zone, a Cardassian officer winds up dead shortly after a confrontation with Lt. Ro. Ro is the only suspect, and her views of Cardassians do not help with the situation. While she is adamant that she has been framed, the Cardassians demand that she be extradited to face trial on Cardassia, where she will certainly be found guilty.​


Interface
La Forge, Data and Henderson test a new interface that would allow La Forge to remotely control a probe, allowing them to observe areas that would be too dangerous for most crewmembers to enter. When the testing is complete, La Forge receives a message that his mother’s ship has gone missing, and his mother is presumed dead. La Forge uses the probe to investigate, but soon finds that it is detrimental to his health.​


Homeward
The Enterprise receives a distress call from Worf’s brother Nikolai, who is an observer on a primitive planet that is about to undergo an extinction event. When Nikolai plans to save the people of the village he observes, he clashes with Picard over the Prime Directive, and whether it is right to save the people in the village while dooming the rest of the civilisation.​


Lower Decks
During personnel evaluations, four junior officers find that their friendships become strained. The evaluations could result in promotions, but two, Lavelle and Sito, find that they are up for the same job. Further strain becomes apparent when all but Lavelle are to be involved with a mission that Levelle is not informed of, and the others refuse to tell him about. Meanwhile, Sito undergoes evaluation, being tested by Worf and Picard.​


Gambit
During an archaeological dig, Picard is seemingly murdered. While most of the crew accept that he was killed in a fight, Riker sets about tracking down who it was that murdered him, stumbling upon a trail that leads him to one of the oldest archaeological sites in the quadrant. Riker is captured by mercenaries, who take him to a man called Baran. Picard is shown to be alive, but is seen to be working with Baran. Picard and Riker work together to take out Baran before he can assemble an ancient Vulcan weapon.​


A Piece of Reaction
The Enterprise is sent to evaluate the progress of Sigma Iotia II in adopting a more ethical form of government, instead finding that they are now dressing and acting like the crew of the original USS Enterprise, having reverse engineered technology from the tricorder Dr McCoy accidentally left behind. The crew battles as to whether they should change the Iotians, or if the Federation’s interference has done enough damage that they risk increasing by further interference with their culture.​


That Which We Manifest
The Enterprise receives a request for asylum by a member of the Alderan species, Halvera. She claims to be a renegade scientist that chose to go against her “regimen”. She reveals that on her planet, the everybody is given a state mandated “regimen”, which dictates what they are to do in life. An Alderan ship arrives, demanding that the Enterprise hand Halvera over. The Alderan species are still pre-warp, but have begun colonising their system. Refusing to hand Halvera over may constitute a breach of the Prime Directive, but most of the crew is opposed to her being refused asylum​


Dark Page
Lwaxana Troi returns to the Enterprise, as she is to act as a teacher to a race of telepathic aliens who wish to learn how to speak. When the Ambassador’s daughter falls into a pond on the holodeck, Lwaxana falls into a coma, and Deanna must travel into her mothers mind to rescue her. However, Lwaxana proves resistant, and is clearly trying to hide something from Deanna.​


To Thine Own Self Be True
An old friend of Riker and Troi’s, Derrick, comes aboard the ship to help in the provision of aid to his home planet. His planet is a Federation member, and is undergoing an environmental catastrophe, but refuses to accept aid. As Derrick explains the nuances of his culture, the Enterprise tries desperately to help the planet before it is destroyed.​


The Mark
After surveying a seemingly barren planet, members of the away team find themselves marked with a strange tattoo. When one of them dies, and the others begin to experience hallucinations and pains, they believe that they have been “marked for death”, and that they must have encountered something on the planet that they did not detect. Stakes are raised when other members of the crew, that were not part of the away team, find the tattoo on them.​


Forgiveness (Part I)
The Enterprise is asked to transport Ambassador Chekov to Starbase 315 where he is to oversee the opening of diplomatic relations between the Federation and the Gorvek, a people that he was prisoner of for thirty years.​

When he first arrives on the Enterprise, he soon strikes up a friendship with Worf, with them bonding over their Russian heritage and Worf’s admiration of Chekov. On arrival at Starbase 315, things seem to be going well with the Gorvek, and Chekov bears them no enmity over his imprisonment, as he had broken their laws.​

However, as the conference continues, things deteriorate when Chekov makes a series of faux pas. At first, these seem innocuous, but Picard begins to suspect that Chekov may be intentionally sabotaging the conference. Picard goes to confront Chekov, but is unable to find him on the station. He then receives an alert that the Enterprise is leaving the station without permission.​

Upon hailing the Enterprise, they find that Chekov has commandeered the ship, and is intending to wage a one-man war on the Gorvek as revenge for his imprisonment and torture. Unbeknownst to him, Worf and Ro remain on board the ship, and set about stopping Chekov before he can devastate the Gorvek capital.​
Guest Star: Walter Koenig as Ambassador Pavel Chekov​
 
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Timelordtoe

Monthly Donor
Whew.

I wanted to get an update out today, and that just qualified. One minute to midnight. I had a bit of a hard time explaining some of the ideas, and I don't think it's my best work by any means. In time, I may come back and give it another look. I want you to know that I'm not prioritising quantity over quality though. I want this to be the best it can be, but I want to keep the story going on it. I'd rather avoid the big gaps between updates I've done in the past.

If any of you have any questions about any of the stories, I'd be more than happy to answer them, but for the moment, I'm off to bed. See you in the morrow, with (hopefully) our first proper Deep Space Nine update, one I'm really looking forward to. Now, time to fall asleep to the Deep Space Nine of OTL.
 
Like what you're doing to the Breen and Chekov. IOTL Worf is from Minsk, not Russia. Is this different here or is it just "close enough" (the two cultures are very similar from what I understand).

I get the feeling I would have really liked TTLs final few seasons of TNG. Much more character development and fewer presses of the reset button.
 

Timelordtoe

Monthly Donor
Like what you're doing to the Breen and Chekov. IOTL Worf is from Minsk, not Russia. Is this different here or is it just "close enough" (the two cultures are very similar from what I understand).

I get the feeling I would have really liked TTLs final few seasons of TNG. Much more character development and fewer presses of the reset button.
With regards to Worf's nationality, I'm mainly following what little I could find on the planned story that was never made, and it explicitly mention's Worf and Chekov both being Russian, and I sort of forgot that Worf was from what is currently Belarus. Worf is still from Minsk, as per OTL. However, as canon is hazy as to whether the USSR is still a political entity by the 24th century, I'm saying that in TTL's canon, it is. Russian may be used as a sort of "catch-all" term for the inhabitants of the Soviet Union, as it sometimes was in OTL. Alternatively, while residing in Belarus, Worf's family may be of Russian heritage, and may identify more strongly as Russian than Belarussian. It will likely be something that fans in TTL discuss as a potential "plot hole".

I really dislike the "reset button" that's prevalent in a lot of similar shows, that's one of the reasons that Deep Space Nine is my favourite show of the franchise. To be honest, I wasn't actually making a real effort to include a lot of character development, it's just sort of happened, becuase I'm putting the crew through the wringer more. The show is still focussed primarily on Picard, Riker and Data as per OTL, but everybody gets their time in the limelight.

As for the Breen and Chekov, both of those stories are based off of scripts that weren't fully produced in OTL. However, as there's very little information available on either, I've done my own spin on them. So I've kept the Breen's secretive nature from DS9 and Star Trek Online, but Chekov going rogue was in the story outline I read. Both the Breen and Chekov are elements I will bring back in Deep Space Nine. As I've said in the past, I'm planting seeds that will flower a few years down the line.
 

Timelordtoe

Monthly Donor
Hopefully we'll learn what the Breen are up to instead of them just being a plot device as they were in OTL's DS9
The Breen are going to be major players from here. Not as major as the Cardassians or Bajorans, but they'll be important to the plot. There is more to the Breen and the events of All Good Things... than I've disclosed, and you'll find out in due course. I understand that this is a timeline focussed on the production side, but I still want to make the stories of the franchises interesting to you as readers. Someday down the line I may try my hand at a more traditional storytelling format and adapt some of these in-timeline stories over in the Fandom forum.
 
Chapter XLIV: "Spinning Off"

Timelordtoe

Monthly Donor
Part II, Chapter XLIV: "Spinning Off"

“For me, Deep Space Nine was an undertaking I’d never done before. Being on set every day for however many months it was back then was unfamiliar to me. The closest thing I’d done to that before was Pee Wee’s Playhouse, of all things. Thankfully, I had the rest of the cast there to help me. Especially Sid [Siddig El-Fadil] and Christian [Slater], who had both been on shows like it. I don’t think I’d have made it through without them.”​
- Laurence Fishburne on his role as Benjamin Sisko on the show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. [1]


Deep Space Nine was to take Star Trek in a direction it had not gone before. Firstly, having the primary setting being a space station, as opposed to a starship, meant that there would be an opportunity for there to be a larger recurring cast, with opportunity for all characters to undergo a large amount of character development. Secondly, the decision had been made for the show to have a larger underlying story that would be built on over the course of multiple seasons, should the show last that long.

In addition, the show would present matters with more “realism”, showing that things were not always black and white, with a cast of characters with flaws, as opposed to the idealism that was more prevalent in The Next Generation. While some would criticise this move as being unfaithful to Roddenberry’s vision for the franchise, it would largely be praised. [2]


The announcement of who would be starring in the show would help to build up the hype, as Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne was announced as Commander Benjamin Sisko. He would be joined by Eighth Doctor actor Siddig El-Fadil, and Remington Steele star Pierce Brosnan. [3]


The story of the show would be kicked off with the first story, “Emissary”, where Commander Sisko would be informed that he was “the Emissary of the Prophets”, the gods of the Bajorans, and that as such he was “a Bajoran not born of Bajor”. Following his discovery of a stable wormhole to the uncharted Gamma Quadrant near Bajor, he would find that the station, thought to be of little importance, was now a key strategic port for the Federation’s exploratory efforts.

Though the show would lack a “hero ship”, the Excelsior-class ship USS Lakota and it’s crew would appear at multiple points throughout the show, as they patrol the Badlands, a region of space near Bajor. Its captain, John Sheridan, portrayed by Peter Capaldi, would strike up a friendship with Sisko as they find that they share many experiences, notably being veterans of the Battle of Wolf 359. [4]


Actors Christian Slater and Colm Meaney would both reprise roles from The Next Generation, following their departure from that show in “Fare Thee Well”. While O’Brien would be used as the lovable “everyman” character, with a wife and child, Lt. Kelly would be, at times, a stand-in for the audience, as he adjusts from the luxuries he experienced on the Enterprise. Kelly’s apprehension towards his new environment would be contrasted by Siddig El-Fadil’s character, Dr. Julian Amoros, who would be fresh out of Starfleet Medical, and eager to be working away from the comforts of the inner systems. [5]

The main cast would be rounded out by Nana Visitor, Famke Janssen, Rene Auberjonois, and Cirroc Lofton, who would play Major Kira Nerys, Lt. Jadzia Dax, Constable Odo and Jake Sisko respectively. They would be joined by many recurring characters, creating a far larger overall cast. [6]


Expectations for the show would be high, as The Next Generation continued to receive praise. Promises that the show would take the franchise in a “new and bold direction” only served to raise them. In addition, Paramount was eyeing the show up to help it launch its upcoming network the following year, should it continue to perform well. Further, the commissioning of a follow-up series to The Next Generation was greatly dependent on how Deep Space Nine fared with retaining the audience of that show. [7]

Needless to say, as the first season prepared to enter syndication, the pressure was on.


[1] As with the DS9 of OTL and other shows of the franchise, I see the cast of the show remaining close, even after they leave or the show finishes/is cancelled.
[2] Roddenberry actually greenlit the show before his death, just didn't want to have to have as great a level of control over it as he did with TNG.
[3] The latter isn't part of the main cast, but his appearing will draw some people in.
[4] These two paragraphs do have some overt Babylon 5 references. Capaldi isn't in the main cast, but expect him to appear a fair bit. The Lakota isn't just there as it's a ship that exists in OTL, but it's a name with a bit of signifigance to me. I'll be doing some stuff like that occasionally.
[5] Interpersonal relationships will be important for the show, as OTL. In contrast to O'Brien's initial hostility towards Amoros(Bashir), Kelly will sort of be fascinated by him and his attitude to being so far away from the comforts of the Federation's inner systems.
[6] A cast I won't get into in this update, but you'll see more of it in the next update, including a name that may be a surprise to many of you.
[7] While it's still a year early for the launch of UPN, as Voyager's equivalent in TTL won't be out until 1996 at the earliest, they're looking at DS9's second season as a way to kick-start the new network.
 
Interesting season there.

Does the Pegasus still have the multi-phase cloak in or some other McGuffin? Be interesting if its never called a cloak and therefore Picard never reveals its existence, but Pressman is taken down anyway for causing the mutiny/deaths. Oh and destroy the ship with its still (mostly) intact logs...

With Birthright I thought it might be a good touch not to have Worf return to Enterprise for a couple of shows, leaving his fate a mystery until he turns up at a House Mogh holding (not on Qon'nos, the Klingons Houses should have more holdings multiple planets!) in an TOS Movie era shuttle with a few of the teens who want to leave and join his House. Name them all too so they can be brought back later in other stories.

Sigma Iotia II is going to need more than a communicator to reverse-engineer TOS era tech. Perhaps a tri-coder or a shuttle? Also given Starfleet kinda caused the mess, then I think the Prime Directive is already shot, but I could see Picard leaving a probe ready to call in the UFP after their first Warp flight.

Forgiveness (Part I) sounds excellent, looking forward to PTII.
 

Timelordtoe

Monthly Donor
Interesting season there.

Does the Pegasus still have the multi-phase cloak in or some other McGuffin? Be interesting if its never called a cloak and therefore Picard never reveals its existence, but Pressman is taken down anyway for causing the mutiny/deaths. Oh and destroy the ship with its still (mostly) intact logs...

With Birthright I thought it might be a good touch not to have Worf return to Enterprise for a couple of shows, leaving his fate a mystery until he turns up at a House Mogh holding (not on Qon'nos, the Klingons Houses should have more holdings multiple planets!) in an TOS Movie era shuttle with a few of the teens who want to leave and join his House. Name them all too so they can be brought back later in other stories.

Sigma Iotia II is going to need more than a communicator to reverse-engineer TOS era tech. Perhaps a tri-coder or a shuttle? Also given Starfleet kinda caused the mess, then I think the Prime Directive is already shot, but I could see Picard leaving a probe ready to call in the UFP after their first Warp flight.

Forgiveness (Part I) sounds excellent, looking forward to PTII.
I really liked the idea of the multi-phasic cloak. I thought The Pegasus was a pretty good story. As far as things like that go, I'm more than happy for all of you to take Death of the Author into account, and interpret it how you wish. The interphasic cloak, or its TTL equivalent, is not something I intent to return to right now, so read the stories as you like, as close or as far from OTL as you want. The only way I'd ever give a definitive answer for a lot of these is if I was to start writing these up in a manner more like what goes on over in Fandom AH (which I'm not ruling out, as I'd quite like to do this with some of the stories I've come up with).

I don't mean to sound dismissive of your suggestions or ideas, just that I don't plan on giving every story a full write-up like I do for season openers and closers.

As for Impressions, I've updated the story to your suggestions. My original justification for the communicator as opposed to another piece of equipment was that McCoy mentions that he thought he might have left it on the planet at the end of "A Piece of the Action". Your ending is similar to the one I was headcanoning.

I enjoyed writing Forgiveness, and I hope Part II lives up to your expectations. I do enjoy it when I go into something like that in more detail, but due to how long it takes me to write just one of those stories, there's no way I'm doing it for the entire season, let alone eight just for that show.

Can't wait to see what you do with Capaldi.
I have plans for him. He's one of my favourite actors.
 
Chapter XLV: "Into Deep Space"

Timelordtoe

Monthly Donor
Part II, Chapter XLV: "Into Deep Space"

“The fans consider the early seasons to be a lot weaker than out later stuff, and that’s down to a few things. First, the cast hadn’t quite had that time to figure out how well they gelled, so some of the relationships were still in the “beta stages”, and of course, not all of the final cast was there yet. But more importantly, from a writing perspective, we just couldn’t agree on what direction we wanted to take it. So some of the stories could seem out of place.”​
- J. Michael Straczynski on the early seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


The fans awaited the release of the first season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with bated breath. The hype that had built up around the new series was of some reassurance to the producers, who were concerned that many would not make the move over to the show. However, the presence of some relatively high-profile actors would help to bring fans over not only from The Next Generation, but also Doctor Who.

The opening story, “The Emissary”, would initially be aired as a two-hour special, in the hopes that providing a big story for an opener would help to draw audiences in. The presence of computer-generated imagery would assist in this, as it allowed for bigger and more exciting space battle scenes, at a reduced cost over the models used for The Next Generation.

The “soft-crossover” that took place during “Birthright” in The Next Generation’s seventh season would see a slight boost in ratings for the show, though it consistently performed slightly worse than that show, having an average 7% viewership share, as opposed to The Next Generation’s 11%. [1]


The show’s first season would receive primarily positive reviews, with the actors praised for their characters, though certain stories, “Move Along Home” in particular, would be criticised for their writing. Fans however, were, for the most part, reassured by the solid performance of the season. [2]


List of Episodes of Season 1 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
  1. Emissary (Part I)​
  2. Emissary (Part II)​
  3. Lakota [3]​
  4. Past Prologue​
  5. A Man Alone​
  6. Command Decisions [4]​
  7. Babel​
  8. Captive Pursuit​
  9. Q-Less​
  10. First Aid [5]​
  11. Dax​
  12. The Passenger​
  13. Move Along Home​
  14. Disparate Parts [6]​
  15. The Nagus​
  16. Vortex​
  17. Battle Lines​
  18. The Storyteller​
  19. Progress​
  20. If Wishes Were Horses​
  21. The Forsaken​
  22. The Leftovers [7]​
  23. Dramatis Personae​
  24. Duet​
  25. In the Hands of the Prophets​

Main Cast of Season 1 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: [8]
  • Commander Benjamin Sisko – Laurence Fishburne​
  • Constable Odo – René Auberjonois​
  • Dr. (Lt. j.g.) Julian Amoros – Siddig El-Fadil​
  • Lt. Jadzia Dax – Famke Janssen​
  • Jake Sisko – Cirroc Lofton​
  • Chief Miles O’Brien – Colm Meaney​
  • Quark – Armin Shimerman​
  • Lt (j.g.) Andrew Kelly – Christian Slater​
  • Major Kira Nerys – Nana Visitor​
Recurring Cast of Season 1 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: [9]
  • Captain John Sheridan – Peter Capaldi​
  • Anna Sheridan – Kirsten Dunst [10]​
  • Admiral David Gardener – Pierce Brosnan​
  • Keiko O’Brien – Rosalind Chao​
  • Rom – Max Grodénchik​
  • Nog – Aron Eisenberg​
  • Elim Garak – Andrew Robinson [11]​
  • Gul Dukat – Marc Alaimo​
  • Vedek Winn – Louise Fletcher​
  • Vedek Bareil – Phillip Anglim​
  • Grand Nagus Zek – Wallace Shawn​

A second season would be ordered by Paramount, with the intention for the second season premiere to open their new television network, UPN. That it had retained so much of the audience of The Next Generation while maintaining distinct from it was a sign that the show could be a real success. [12]


[1] A slight increase over OTL's 6%. I'm attributing this to the cast being slightly more well known overall, and science fiction being more popular than OTL. Of course, at some point the market may saturate.
[2] You can pry "Move Along Home" out of my cold dead hands. It's really one of DS9's worst episodes, but god, do I love it. The cast suffered in OTL for the "Allamaraine" scene, and so they must also here.
[3] Introduction of the USS Lakota and the Sheridans. Sisko and Sheridan strike up a friendship over shared experiences, including being single parents. Anna Sheridan is John's daughter, but she ends up spending a lot of time on the station while the Lakota is in the Gamma Quadrant.
[4] First time we properly see Brosnan's Admiral Gardener. Story will focus around Starfleet's issues with Odo as Head of Security.
[5] Dr Bashir begins instructing Kelly as a first responder and emergency nurse, The story will focus mainly on their relationship.
[6] Jadzia and Dax have to be separated briefly when they fall ill with a rare disease. We get to see a bit of what Jadzia was like before her joining, and she begins to fall for Bashir, but they know she will be uninterested when rejoined.
[7] Kelly finally decides to deal with his grief, asking his colleagues for advice. We get to see a little of everyone's past, but it's primarily a "moving on" story for Kelly.
[8] After Laurence Fishburne, they're arranged alphabetically by surname, as in the opening credits. I may move to a table in the near future, to give more order to it.
[9] Yep, recurring cast get one too for this show. Someone is only listed here if they appear in more than one season. They may only appear once in this season, but they'll be back.
[10] Rather than her small role in "Dark Page" for TNG, she takes this recurring role. The film Interview with the Vampire is butterflied, for reasons I'll be getting into in a few updates time.
[11] As the attitude towards overtly non-heterosexual characters in Trek is more open, Robinson gets to portray Garak as omnisexual as he intended.
[12] Butterflies are flapping their wings here. DS9 Season 1 will be the only to be syndicated. It, rather than TTL's version of Voyager, will be the flagship show for the network. This will change a lot of things, mainly with whatever Voyager ends up being.
 
Hope Garak's characterization isn't turned too dark--Robinson fought that hard, given that his typecasting after he played Scorpio (one of the scariest villains in a movie) in the first Dirty Harry; IRL, Robinson was a pacifist who flinched every time he fired the gun, IIRC (and he got numerous death threats after the movie came out)...
 
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