Showcasing the concept art behind the Deep Space 9 station itself, the U.S.S. Defiant and dozens more ships from the award winning Star Trek series. Deep Space 9 is considered by some as the best Star Trek series. The fifth in the series of Star Trek Designing Starships is built around original production art and extensive interviews with the station and ships' designers, explaining exactly how the ships came into being. The award-winning series Deep Space Nine ran for seven seasons and 176 episodes, from January 1993 to June 1999.
Ben Robinson has been involved with Star Trek for 20 years. Ben was the launch editor of the huge Star Trek Fact Files, went on to edit the US Star Trek: The Magazine , which ran between 1999 and 2003. He has co-written two Haynes Manuals, the first featuring all seven Enterprises, and the second focusing on the Klingon bird-of-prey. Ben created the Starfleet shipyards line of books and co-authored Star Trek Voyager: A Celebration .
From the moment work began on STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE in 1992, the goal was to create something different. This was never going to be just another starship- based show, it was to be set on an alien space station at the edge of Federation space. Co-creators Rick Berman and Michael Piller wanted it to feature a different kind of storytelling and, as they told production designer Herman Zimmerman, they wanted it to have a very different look. Fortunately, Zimmerman remembers, he was given the time to come up with new approaches: work began three months before the cameras turned over. "Most shows give you a couple of weeks or maybe a month," he says. "This was an enormous gift in terms of creative noodling. We had a chance to try things that didn't work and try things that eventually did work." Zimmerman had left STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION four years earlier at the end of season one. He was delighted to be back at Paramount and to be given a blank slate for the new show. He set up a new art department to work alongside the TNG team, but several key members of his staff worked on both shows, in particular concept artist Rick Sternbach and graphic designer Mike Okuda. "Mike, Rick and I were among the first hired," he recalls. "Mike and Rick had a lot to do with the look of the exterior of DS9, and we had a wonderful sketch artist, Ricardo Delgado." While Sternbach and Okuda were working on the exterior of the station, Zimmerman's new art department started work on the sets that would be found within. "We had a couple of really good set designers who added a great deal to the look of the show: Nathan Crowley and Joe Hodges, both of them English." Hodges had worked on TNG's third season under Richard James before departing. In the interim he'd worked on two massive films: 'Hook' and 'Dracula,' where he'd met Crowley, who he brought with him to STAR TREK. As Hodges remembers, they were both young and massively ambitious. "We terrorized Herman," he laughs. "We had just come off 'Dracula,' this huge movie and it seemed as if we were beating him up every day about things we wanted to do. We were totally into building things and making molds of them, knowing that we'd be able to repeat them. That's how we achieved all those big windows. "Herman used to say, 'This is a TV show. There's no way we can afford it.' I said, 'I know it's going to take two weeks to build that mold, but once we have it, we can vacuform it, and we can cut it in half and it will be the doorways, or the light fittings, anything we want for seven years.' Herman would shake his head but then he'd come back half an hour later and say, 'You know what, we'll do it.' I apologized years later, but he said, 'If it wasn't for you, we would never have been nominated for all those Emmys.'"
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