1178. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion
PUBLICATION: Pocket Books, August 2000
CREATORS: Terry J. Erdmann
STARDATE: Covers DS9's 7 seasons.
TOPIC: An episode guide that covers every episode of Deep Space Nine, plus information on the genesis of the show and the issues associated with each season. Each episode has a list of characters and the actors who play them, a synopsis and interviews with cast and crew that give an insider's look into the production. Black and white photography is supplied for each, and many also feature production design sketches, models and other illustrations of interest. Ideas that unfold across multiple episodes (Rom's role, Vic Fontaine's genesis, the title sequence, etc.) get their own pieces.
CONTINUITY: Each episode gets a medium-sized synopsis. We get a closer look at various design elements, from the map of Bajor used by series makers to the children's books read by Molly.
DIVERGENCES: Alternate dialogue is sometimes given to show how a script might have evolved. It's the closest we'll ever get to seeing deleted/alternate scenes for DS9. Unused designs for the Founder homeworld and other places and objects could also be considered divergences.
ILLUSTRATION OF THE WEEK - The all-Star Trek issue of Incredible Tales (Far Beyond the Stars).
REVIEW: The best of the Companions, to be sure. DS9's production story is told through interviews with everyone and anyone connected to the show, and if it takes more than 700 pages to do so, so be it. Trek nerds may miss the attention to trivia the other Companions had, but other books (the Encyclopedia, for example) can give them what they need. This book is more like a huge DVD extra in which you get the information from the horse's mouth, a look at design sketches, and even deleted scenes (printing unused dialog) The Star Trek DVDs are uniformly overpriced and under-extra-ed, and could have taken their cue from work like this. Compared to previous efforts, the DS9C is printed on glossier paper, and though it's still in black and white, it more than makes up for it with loads of sketches, mostly by John Eaves, and briefly seen design elements. It's a great resource about the show, at once an episode guide and a "tell-all".