June 13 2024


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Dorn: The Next Generation Versus Deep Space Nine Set

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Michael Dorn found working on the set of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to be rather different than working on the Star Trek: The Next Generation set.

Dorn thought that when The Next Generation wrapped, he was done with Worf, but then he received a phone call from Rick Berman asking him to join the cast of Deep Space Nine. “I was surprised, very surprised,” he said.

“Maybe surprised is not the right word for it,” said Dorn. “I was so OK with it after I’d said I’d never get in the makeup again. I make a joke about saying, ‘Oh God, I’d never do it’ and then they told me how much money I was going to make and I said, ‘Oh, OK. No problem.’ But, really, the money never really entered into it. Rick just called and said, ‘Would you consider coming back?’ I just said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ And I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just because I’d already set myself up that we were just going to do the  movies and there wouldn’t be any more makeup days. I already had my mind set that it was gone. When Rick called… I guess I was surprised that I said ‘Yes.’ But it wasn’t like, ‘Oh my God, what am I doing?’ It was more like, ‘Yeah, that sounds great. Let’s talk about it.’

Dorn found the atmosphere on set to be very different on Deep Space Nine than it had been on The Next Generation. “Deep Space Nine was more of what a set is usually like,” he said. “The TNG set was totally different. For some reason, we just really bonded with each other. I think it was our personalities just meshed. It’s not like we took each other’s personality. It was nothing like that, but the way that we were worked for us as a cast, definitely, and as people, too.

Deep Space Nine, although each of the individuals are really cool people, as a cast there were definite separations. Certain actors didn’t hang out with certain actors. Other actors were bonded with this person or that person. Individually they were great and I got along with everybody. I still do. But it was a very serious and quiet set when I got there. Who knows what that came from? Probably that was from the captain. The stars usually dictate the way the set is. Avery [Brooks] is a very serious guy, and so I think they just took that [tone].

“When I got over there, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, no. I can’t do this.’ I was like, ‘If you guys want to be quiet, that’s fine when I’m not around. But when I’m around, let’s have some fun.’ It wasn’t like we were joking and doing practical jokes, but you just liked each other and you just laughed, and you made the experience a lot easier to do, especially with the long hours.”

Dorn is currently raising funds via Kickstarter for a romantic comedy Through the Fire. Through the Fire will feature some familiar Star Trek names; Armin Shimerman and his wife Kitty Swink, Nana Visitor, Robert Pine (father of Star Trek 2‘s Chris Pine) and Marina Sirtis. To contribute to Through the Fire, head to the link located here.

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4 thoughts on “Dorn: The Next Generation Versus Deep Space Nine Set

  1. Regardless of what it was like behind the scenes, I’ve recently discovered DS9 for the first time on Netflix — and to me, it’s the best Trek series! I honestly can’t believe I feel this way, but I actually think it’s better than TNG — and I love TNG! I didn’t really give it a chance when it first came on. If there are any Trek fans out there who were like me, it’s definitely worth a short subscription to Netflix to really watch it and give it a chance. So many episodes would end where I found myself saying, “what a great show!” And while I feel the war arc and the Pah-wraiths arc could have been extended into a few more episodes to wrap them up properly, I was so thrilled with the amount of time the writers chose to spend wrapping up the character arcs in the final shows. And the scenes in the finale were so touching. I found myself wishing there were more episodes, but very happy with the way they ended it. Again, “what a great show!”

  2. Odd, as the comments about on-set atmosphere always seem to have been positive. It’s just Dorn comparing to TNG found it quite different.

    While Dorn’s comments were very tactful, I do wonder (as he’s trying to get $750k) if he’s trying to be a bit controversial.

  3. Probably not. DS9 – on set & on screen – was a very different show to TNG (& just about everything in production nowadays). It was uncompromisingly serious & almost contemptuous to TV common sense. I miss it

  4. But if you read interviews with DS9 actors the often say (much like TNG cast did at the time) that the on set atmosphere was great, guests were welcomed, the mood wasn’t like other TV sets. So externally it sounded like TNG and DS9 had similar chemistries, but Dorn indicates otherwise.

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