Batten the hatches and hold fast this week as we try to survive “Starship Down”!
New York Times bestselling author David Mack returns to the show to discuss one of two DS9 episodes he co-wrote with writing partner John J. Ordover. The Defiant is attacked by Jem’Hadar warships while on a trade mission and is critically disabled. Now, Chief O’Brien and a crew of enlisted men must keep the ship afloat in the atmosphere of a deadly gas giant . . . all while Sisko lies close to death, Bashir and Dax are trapped below decks, Quark and Farmer Hoggett have to disarm a torpedo, and the Jem’Hadar are still out there!
In the TNG/DS9/VOY days of Trek, many freelancers and young writers tried selling scripts to Paramount and they made them attractive by presenting brisk, money-saving “bottle show” concepts. This is NOT one of those scripts. Starship Down starts with a bang and continues with a series of bangs, exposing the crew to mortal peril and forcing our heroes to confront their inadequacies in order to save the day. During our discussion, we talk about the process of writing for Trek and for the small screen, how Dave met John and how they honed their process, the episode’s roots in “Das Boot”, creating enlisted character and following them into the Pocket novels, giving Sisko a “Kirk” moment, teaching Worf how to lead, doing it all over again only bloodier in “Wildfire”, and how Dave got the nickname “The Angel of Death!”
Dave also shares some anecdotes about his time working on Trek TV, the benefit of lunch networking, burning your old drafts, wanting liquid metal but getting gas, writing Tyler in and out, working in Jesus’s carpentry shop, Disco season 2 running Mack’s Greatest Hits, whether Star Trek: Picard will torpedo the Trek lit universe, what it takes to defeat Section 31, and the lost “Cheers” Quark episode!
Murder, blackmail, war crimes . . . fun!
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Listen to “Season 4, Episode 11 “Starship Down” (DS9) with David Mack” on Spreaker.