<<Now that we have a confirmed Seventh Season, do you guys have any inklings to move things back into the Gamma Quadrant a bit for season seven? >> We don't know yet. <<Do you suppose there are any worlds on the other side of the wormhole that the Prophets value in the way they value Bajor?>> Possibly. We've discussed this many times but haven't made any firm decisions. <<What do you suppose ever became of Kai Opaka? Do you think we'll ever see her again?>> Presumably she's still waking up and getting killed on a daily basis on that planet we left her on. We might see her again before the end of the series, but not this year. <<Great show with "Far Beyond the Stars" Just one question. Was there a debate among the staff as if or if not the word "Nigger" would be used in the show. I know that it was. The first time it has been used in any trek. Also was there a debate as to who would use it, a white or black character, and what context it would be used.>> There were several discussions among the staff and with the studio about this. We felt that it would be a lie to tell that story in that time period and not use the word. In the end, it seemed that having it come out of Cirroc's character would have the most impact in that it said something about his point of view and the way he saw the world. <<Was the character in "Far Beyond the Stars" portrayed by the actor who plays Martok originally written for Andrew Robinson (Garak)? It seemed odd to me that the General's alter ego would want to draw a picture of Cardassians rather than Klingons.>> In early discussions, the illustrator was orginally going to be Odo and the editor was going to be Martok. But as the story developed, the role of the editor became more and more important and we felt that Odo would be a better choice. There was discussion of using Rom as the illustrator, but then we decided to go with Martok. The fact that the illustrator wanted to draw a Cardassian instead of a Klingon was a deliberate choice, which told the audience that these people weren't simply "alter egos" of our characters. They were the inspirations for the characters that Bennie created in his stories. <<Wondered if you knew--was K.C. Hunter (Kira) in FBTS a tribute to D.C. Fontana?>> No. I believe that Ira & Hans came up with the name as a tribute to another woman who wrote during this time period and had to pretend to be a man -- her name escapes me at the moment, but I've seen her mentioned on these boards before and she was also married to another sci-fi writer. <<Do you have an opinion regarding the Nielsen ratings system?>> I think it's a crock. The sample is small and the methodology is pretty questionable. Does anyone remember the way that "Soundscan" (I think that's the system) revolutionized the music industry? For years, they'd been relying on individual record store owners to report their own sales figures as a way of guaging the most popular artist(s). The system was pretty subjective and relied on the owners giving accurate information to the record companies. When they changed over to Soundscan, each purchase was logged electronically and the true sales data was actually reported for the first time. The result was a shock to the entire industry. Big name artists were kicked off the top of the charts by artists with far less prestige. The Nielson system is a sample of viewership, not a true head count. I suspect that if we really knew exactly what people were watching out there, we'd all be surprised.
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