DEEP SPACE NINE’S “What We Left Behind” takes in $170,000 in donations in just 24 hours!

If you’re like me, whenever someone asks you, “What’s your favorite Star Trek series?” you don’t even hesitate before answering with a confident smile, “Deep Space Nine.”  And then you usually get one of the following three responses: 1) “Really?  I never got into that one and didn’t even watch most of the episodes…”; 2) “Are you kidding?  That show was so dark!  Next Gen/Voyager/TOS was sooooo much better!” (they never seem to say Enterprise); or 3) they immediately get it because they agree completely.

(And usually when we encounter a member of the first response group, we beg them to binge-watch the series in episode order!)

People like me find it inconceivable and frustrating that DS9 is so often seen as the “bastard stepchild” of Star Trek…the series that, instead of boldly going, boldly stayed in one place.  But that was the point.  By not having to constantly introduce and explain a new culture and/or alien threat or spatial anomaly each week, it left much more time to fully develop certain key races like the Bajorans, Cardassians, Ferengi, Kligons, Vorta, Jem’Hadar, and Founders.  And of course, it made room for so many more intriguing characters who got to develop slowly and compellingly over time.  And hey, if you just want to see space battles…just wait’ll those last three seasons!

Despite its critical success among reviewers and a growing appreciation from the fans, as the years have gone by, DS9 seemed to be fading from the Star Trek totem pole.  TOS and TNG each got remastered special edition DVD/Blu-ray sets with new VFX and all sorts of wonderful extras.  But with DS9 next on the list, no remastered addition was ever announced, and it seemed the love-fest was finally over.

Would Ds9 ever get the credit and recognition that it deserved?

Well, not from CBS or Paramount.  But as 50 years of fan films have proven, if you want something decent from Star Trek, sometimes you just have to do it yourself!

WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND isn’t a fan film in the strictest sense of the word.  It’s more of a fan documentary, and the “fan” is actually the executive producer of Deep Space Nine, IRA STEVEN BEHR.  But the point is that CBS wasn’t planning to make any documentary about DS9, and neither was Paramount.  So if Ira didn’t do it, who would?

Many in the cast were all too happy to help out–they really LOVED the show!–and there are interviews a’ plenty ready to be edited to together!  In fact, take a look at who’s already involved:

Directing this documentary is a man who is no stranger to Star Trek or Star Trek documentaries: ADAM NIMOY, son of the late Leonard “Spock” Nimoy.  Hot off the success of his critically-acclaimed FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK biopic on the life and legacy of his famous father, Adam is now applying his new expertise in creating Trek documentaries to finally doing justice to Deep Space Nine…just in time for the 25th anniversary of that show’s debut back in 1993.

During the summer of 2015, Adam Nimoy raised $662,000 from Trek fans via Kickstarter, and most of this went toward licensing fees for clips from Star Trek.  Now he and Ira are doing the same for What We Left Behind.  They’ve set their donation goal much lower than that…only $150,000 to cover licensing of clips plus traveling for additional interviews, and of course, the time-consuming and critically important task of post-production.

Of course, that $150,000 is only a starting point.  With more money, they can get more clips, do more interviews, add-in more extras, and make an even better documentary.  And one of the things fans are most intrigued about seeing is a segment where the writers of the series reconvene in a meeting room and try to figure out ideas for an imagined EIGHTH season of Deep Space Nine.  What would have happened to Benjamin Sisko?  How would Garak rebuild Cardassia?  Could Odo really stay away from Kira?  What would Jake do without his father?  Would Ferenginar be ready for Grand Nagus Rom?  (Okay, forget the novels, kids.  This is a hypothetical, imaginary season eight!)

And it’s looking very much like they will have that chance to make the finished product even better because $150,000 was raised in LESS THAN A SINGLE DAY!!!  It’s now Day 2, and they have just crossed $170,000…and word is only just now beginning to spread!  How much will they raise in 30 days, I wonder???

Now, you might be wondering how this all jibes with the fan film guidelines.  Well, technically, this isn’t a fan film; it’s a professional documentary created by the former executive producer of the television series.  They are also purchasing a license…at least for the clips that will be used.  So the fan film guideline rules about a $50,000 crowd-funding cap, a 15-minute time limit, no perks, no paying people, and no featuring anyone who worked on Star Trek professionally in the past (which would be, like, everyone!) won’t apply here.

By the way, one of the perks was a 10-minute phone conversation with Ira Behr for a $150 donation.  I grabbed one of the twenty slots available, and–if he’ll let me–I want to spend my ten minutes asking Ira about Star Trek fan films and does he think the door is now cracked open just a little for well-funded Trek fans with professional capabilities to license Star Trek…even if just in a very limited way?  We’ll see what he says.

In the meantime, you’ve still got 29 days to make a donation of your own…and yes, they have perks (apparently licensed ones)!  Here is a link to their Indiegogo page:

The pitch video alone is worth the price of admission…


13 thoughts on “DEEP SPACE NINE’S “What We Left Behind” takes in $170,000 in donations in just 24 hours!”

  1. Glad to see they hit their target so soon.

    I will donate when I get my taxes done at the end of the month. Can’t spare the $50 cad right now. I plan on getting the digital copy.

  2. “3) they immediately get it because they agree completely.”

    Indeed. Probably explains why my youngest son is named Benjamin and my youngest daughter is named Jadzia (which is also the Polish word for “princess”, by the way, but we aren’t Polish).

      1. No, but we did have a great weekend with Rene at a Starbase Indy back in the day. I even bought him a comic book that Odo was on the cover of because he just had to know what they had him doing in it! That started with me having him sign my comic book and he was fascinated by it. I still have that along with an autographed photo and a promo trading card.

        Two other priceless things from that convention… when he was shocked we knew about him being Colonel West in Star Trek VI since his part had been cut out of the movie (but unbeknownst to him had been added back into the video release) and when he shocked all the little kids in the audience during his talk by suddenly singing the “little fishes” song from the little mermaid (he played Chef Louie, the cook that tried so hard to chop up poor Sebastian).

  3. Jonathan,

    Thanks for posting this. I read about it yesterday and was thrilled. Of all the post TOS series, I found DS9 to be the best. I absolutely loved it and would never miss an episode if I could possibly not do so. It was an unspoken law in my household that when DS9 was on, No one interrupted me for fear of my wrath! Lol… it soon became a family event. I was devastated when it went off the air. It felt like the loss of a dear family member. I own the the entire DS9 series on DVD. I can only wonder how long that they will last, given my penchant for binging so often. My favorite episode being “The Visitor”.

    Even though most Trek lovers might have found the series to be dark and too cerebral, I loved the character development and interaction. You believed the story and the hopeful embrace the actors gave their characters made the world they lived in to be real and enviable. I was disheartened to hear that a Blue Ray edition was not likely to ever be. Such a shame too! If only a Indiegogo campaign could be brought about to raise money to actually purchase the rights to the Star Trek IP form the hands of those who care nothing for it itself, but only the cash that it brought in to their greedy little bank accounts. I think Alec has proven that the fans can, and now could, do so much better than the suits in bringing quality material to the masses at costs of amll percentages that they spend on the drivel they “think” we should enjoy.

    Well, time to break out the DS9 DVDs for another binge!

  4. I completely agree DS9 is the best star trek. I couldn’t see myself staying away from Kira so i don’t know how Odo could. But it’s good to see that you can license star trek outside of the big studios so maybe their hope for us yet.

  5. I am confused (not too unusual these days). How does this differ from a Star Trek fan film, while it is a film about DS9 in the Star Trek universe made by fans? Oh, and you used 2105 again instead of 2015.

    1. “Oh, and you used 2105 again instead of 2015.”

      Geez…dyslexics of the world untie! I’ve gotta watch that. (Thanks for the catch…again!)

      As for you other question, well, that’s a little more open for interpretation. The producer of this “fan” film is Ira Steven Behr, who was the show-runner of Deep Space Nine for most of its run. So he has a little more clout with the studios than, say, Gurn Blanston of East Cowdung, Pennsyltucky, who made a bridge set out of cardboard and styrofoam in his garage and wants to tell the story of the USS Piggly Wiggly. Also, remember that this will be mostly a documentary (not even a mockumentary) and not Star Trek fiction…other than the writers conceptualizing a hypothetical season eight.

      That said, does this open up the door to some of the more “connected” fans to be able to purchase a license to make a fan film? It’s an intriguing thought!

  6. “Would Ds9 ever get the credit and recognition that it deserved? Well, not from CBS or Paramount.” – What a non-surprise to read that (snark snark).

    I was really shocked to see this campaign – I had no idea it was going on. And I’m thrilled with the money raised so far and am going to add my latinum to the pile.

    Right now I’m watching the H&I rerun of the series focusing on my favorite episodes. Tonight I watch the one with the aged Kor with growing memory problems reflecting on the bitterness of old age. At 71 I’m not bitter but my friends are I are resembling Kor just a little bit with a couple much more than a little. DS9 has aged very well for me in more ways than one.

    I also remember back to the Babylon 5 vs DS9 controversies when both were on the air. I loved both shows because they did not have the weekly “character reset” button so common at least in those days with some notable exceptions. And in rewatching episodes now, I’m reminded of the depth of character exhibited.

    And for what it’s worth, I never did consider the series “dark”. The same optimism was there but expressed in a more realistic manner. Apropos of this, I just loved what I took as a metaphor and funny besides ‘Quark remarked to Garak that root beer was “so bubbly and cloying, and happy… just like the Federation”, also noting that “if you drink enough of it, you begin to like it – just like the Federation.”‘

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