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Ira Steven Behr (born 23 October 1953; age 70) was executive producer of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well as a writer of several episodes. He was also a producer on Star Trek: The Next Generation from 1989 to 1990. With writing partners Robert Hewitt Wolfe and, later, Hans Beimler, he possibly deserves the most credit for the Deep Space Nine Dominion War story arc and the series' approach to characterization and story.

Behr's latest work, What We Left Behind, is a documentary about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The documentary, released in April 2019, consists of Behr reuniting the writing staff, actors, and production staff while discussing the impact and influence of the series, as well as developing the story for the first episode of the "eighth season". [1]

James Darren commented on Behr, "Ira Behr is a bloody genius. He made this work. He chose almost all of the songs, actually. He loved the Rat Pack. And on top of that, he’s a bloody genius as a writer and an incredibly wonderful Human being." [2]

Behr and Star Trek[]

Star Trek: The Next Generation[]

Behr first joined the Star Trek franchise early in the production of Season 3 of Star Trek: The Next Generation after Michael Piller asked him to come on board and help supervise the writing staff, with his first job being to perform a major rewrite on "The Hunted". Behr recalled that the atmosphere in the writing room was frequently very tense, as the existing writers (including Hans Beimler, Richard Manning, and Melinda M. Snodgrass) were still mostly loyal to former showrunner Maurice Hurley and did not particularly like working under Piller, with interference from Gene Roddenberry also exacerbating the situation. Matters nearly came to a head midway through the season after Piller circulated a note about basic writing practices, which outraged Beimler, Manning, and Snodgrass, with Behr's intervention being the only thing that prevented the trio from immediately quitting the show. From then until the end of the season, Behr had to act as a go-between to Piller and the rest of the writing staff, and while Piller had actually suggested that Behr replace him as showrunner for the following season, he turned the offer down and left the show altogether, though he did return to write the episode "Qpid" in a freelance capacity. (TNG Season 3 Blu-ray special features)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine[]

A few years later, Behr was once again approached by Piller and Rick Berman to be a writer and producer on a new show, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Intrigued by the opportunity to work on a new type of Star Trek show with a fixed setting, Behr accepted the offer. He subsequently played an important part in developing the show's main recurring adversary, the Dominion, and with Piller moving over to another new show, Star Trek: Voyager, Behr was the obvious choice to succeed him. Behr therefore became co-showrunner with Piller at the start of the third season, before taking over as the sole showrunner as of "The Die is Cast", a position he held until the end of the show's run.

Behr can be seen sitting at a table in Vic Fontaine's lounge in DS9's finale, "What You Leave Behind", along with other series writers and producers, presumably as part of the holographic audience.

In pieces of some background signage (such as the USS Defiant (NX-74205) dedication plaque), there is a listing of Behr's name, meaning that in a literal interpretation, there is a Starfleet officer named "Ira Steven Behr".

Among the episodes he has a "special fondness for" are "The Nagus", "Past Tense, Part I"/"Past Tense, Part II", "Call to Arms", and "Duet". (AOL chat, 1997)

In 1995, Rick Berman praised Behr's work on the fourth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, saying, "I cannot begin to relate the importance of the work that Ira Behr has put into all of this. The quality of the shows is a tribute to Ira. He is truly pushing his writers to produce above and beyond their already high quality work. He is getting a certain creative element out of his writers. He has become a real inspiration to them and they are all writing beautiful stuff. He's doing a great job." ("Star Trek Update with Rick Berman", Star Trek: Communicator issue 105, p. 12)

Morgan Gendel also commended Behr's work on DS9. "Ira's great," Gendel remarked. "He's so straightforward and very direct with writers and to Michael, so you really get a sense of exactly where you stand." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 47)

Other Star Trek involvement[]

In 1998, Behr was asked by Michael Piller for his opinion on an early draft of Star Trek: Insurrection. Piller agreed with many of the suggestions Behr made about the weaknesses in the draft. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion? ed., p. ?)

Around 2003, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga asked Behr for his opinion on Star Trek: Enterprise and to offer suggestions on how to improve that series. Behr commented, "Rick called me up, it was his initiative. He asked me had I seen Enterprise, I told him no. He asked if I could look at it – they were thinking maybe of stepping back and that 'this be another DS9 experience,' whatever that meant. I didn't really think it over in terms of what were the chances of that reality happening again. They sent me the three shows, I went in, had a two hour meeting with Rick and Brannon. It was a very cordial meeting, but everything I said I am sure they did not like hearing. I would not liked to have heard it if someone came into my office and talked as bluntly as I was talking to them. Though again, it was done all cordially. After it was over I am sure they were uncomfortable, I was very uncomfortable, we shook hands, Rick said, 'well, all interesting stuff, we'll think it over,' and I never heard from him again. That's the whole story and it's barely a blip in anyone's lives, it has no impact whatsoever on the franchise. It's just something that happened." [3](X) Ten years later, in 2013, Brannon Braga bluntly recalled that he thought Behr "shit all over the show" during the meeting and that Behr "hated the concept, hated the characters." (ENT Season 2 Blu-ray "Course Correction" special feature)

In 2009, Behr participated in an audio commentary on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, with Larry Nemecek.

Career outside Star Trek[]

Behr was born in New York City, and graduated from Lehman College there. Subsequently, he studied Mass Communications and Theater at Brandeis University where he was offered a playwriting scholarship. However he moved to Los Angeles instead to pursue a career in writing comedies for television and film. But instead of comedy, Behr became known for his television dramas. His first breakthrough was on the James Garner television series Bret Maverick. He later served as story editor for the series Jessica Novack. Behr was also writer/producer of the series Fame, Once a Hero and Bronx Zoo.

After Deep Space Nine ended its run, he was involved in many other successful television shows. He was a consulting producer on Dark Angel and was an executive producer on The Twilight Zone (2002-2003). After that, he was the executive producer and writer on René Echevarria's The 4400.

It was during the writing of The 4400 miniseries that Behr first dyed his beard blue. He commented "There is a story. When we did the first season, it was a miniseries. And they were, let's say, trying to save money, and they would not put us in a studio. They would not get us offices anywhere, as it turned out. So, well, where the hell are we gonna go? You know, we gotta write six episodes... So they put us in Viacom Productions on Wilshire and Westwood, and so suddenly you have this writing staff with all the corporate suits. And it pissed me off, it really did. And we'd be sitting in the offices, and there was a window on my office, and it was frosted, but there was a little bar of clear glass, and every day I'd look up and there'd be eyes staring at me, looking in, I swear to God, and people would come in and go, 'How's it going? How's the scripts going?' I'm going, 'It was going great, until you just interrupted me!' So, I got more and more unhappy with the conditions that we were working under, and I came home one day and I talked to my wife and kids and said, 'You know, I gotta remember, I'm not them and they're not me. How do I keep remembering that?' And my wife said, 'Blue your beard.' And my daughter said, 'Yes yes yes yes yes!' Of course, I had once met Billy Connolly, the comedian, and he had these long ringlets of hair and this little imperial beard; he was like Wild Bill Hickok, and I said, "'Boy, you look awesome, you look great!' And he said, 'I used to want to be the most famous comedian on the planet, now I just want to be the coolest dad at The Oakwood School.' And I said, 'Wow, that's something I have to remember.' And then I decided, hey, Campbell Hall, where my kids go, is even less cool than the Oakwood School, so I could probably be the coolest parent there easily! And at the beginning when I walked in the first time to Jeff [Combs] and all these people, it was like, 'What is going on!?" And it just could not have been better. Now of course they're used to it, and it's a big joke, and it's lost its impact. But my kids like it..." [4]

In December 2010, it was announced that Behr would be the showrunner of a new Syfy series, Alphas. [5] In 2014, Behr joined the staff of Outlander with Ronald D. Moore. Behr was also an associate producer on the documentary That Guy Dick Miller.

He currently lives in the Hollywood Hills, California. He and his wife Laura Behr have two children, Roxanne and Jesse.

Behr is a fan of The Lord of the Rings movies, as well as The Office, 30 Rock, The Venture Brothers, Deadwood, The Sopranos and Rome. [6]

Writing credits[]


Producing credits[]

Star Trek interviews[]

See also[]

External links[]