EXCLUSIVE: Adam Nimoy Offers Thoughts On Directing DS9 Documentary

Director Adam Nimoy talks DS9 documentary “What We Left Behind”

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s funding campaign kickoff for What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, TrekNews.net caught up with Adam Nimoy, son of Leonard Nimoy and director of the documentary for an exclusive interview. Nimoy is no stranger to documentaries, as he previously helmed the touching and well-reviewed remembrance of his father, For the Love of Spock. Nimoy joins former DS9 showrunner Ira Steven Behr in a quest to paint an informative retrospective about the third live-action Star Trek show, and investigate why Deep Space Nine took a darker, complex spin on Gene Roddenberry’s vision.

TrekNews.Net: When were you approached to direct this documentary? What was your reaction?

Adam Nimoy: This documentary had been in the works from some time through 455 Films (the company that produced For The Love Of Spock). As they didn’t have full funding for the DS9 doc, the project was put on the back burner while we delved into the Spock doc. Over the last year I’ve been made more aware of the DS9 doc and started to look at what they had produced thus far. About four months ago, producer David Zappone asked if I would be interested in coming on board to direct and I jumped at the chance.

David Zappone and Adam Nimoy at Star Trek Mission: New York, September 2016 (photo: TrekNews.net)
(L) David Zappone and (R) Adam Nimoy at Star Trek Mission: New York, September 2016 (photo: TrekNews.net)

TrekNews.Net: What is your exposure to Deep Space Nine? Did you watch it during first-run? What was your overall impression of the show when you first saw it?

Adam Nimoy: I was just starting my directing career with TNG when my mentor, David Carson, went off to direct the pilot episode of DS9. I watched him direct some of that pilot and I was stunned by the incredible sets created by Herman Zimmerman and the wide array of talent cast to play those parts. I started watching the show during its first run and saw the tremendous potential ahead. But then I was distracted by my newfound directing career, which took me away from the Star Trek camp. Catching up now with many of the episodes I missed has, often times, been nothing short of mind-blowing.

TrekNews.Net: Why do you think you are the right person to direct this documentary? What do you think you bring to the table?

Adam Nimoy: Having just completed the Spock doc, and having lived with Star Trek since I was nine and having begun my directing career on TNG, I think I have a fairly unique perspective on what’s going on in the Trek universe. Plus, I’ve been binge watching this show the last couple of months and have a real desire to explore with showrunner Ira Steven Behr what this show is all about and why it’s had such a tremendous impact on Trek fandom.

TrekNews.Net: What is exciting about this project for you?

Adam Nimoy: I have been so impressed by the caliber of talent on DS9 and look forward to speaking with them more about their perspective and experience on the show. As I’ve travelled all over with my Spock doc, I’ve crossed paths with DS9 cast members who have been incredibly generous in welcoming me into the extended Star Trek family.

TrekNews.Net: What do you hope fans gain from watching this documentary?

Adam Nimoy: We’re going to certainly show them some things they already know but we’re also going to take a good hard look at what was going on behind the scenes on the show and some of the politics involved with its successes and challenges.

The cast of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The cast of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (photo: CBS Home Entertainment)

TrekNews.Net: Why do you think DS9 has endured in popularity, especially since it is sometimes seen as an outsider in the Star Trek franchise?

Adam Nimoy: I believe the character relationships were a key part of the allure of the show. Enough said on that front for now.

TrekNews.Net: As of this writing, the documentary is almost fully funded, in its first day. What do you have to say to the fans who have contributed? What do you have to say to those that are still pondering whether to contribute?

(Editor’s Note: The documentary has since achieved its initial fundraising goal in less than 24 hours)

Adam Nimoy: As I travelled around the world with the Spock doc I was blown away by the intense interest in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I had no idea there was such a hard core following for the show. The amazing response to our Indiegogo campaign is more proof of the dedication and love of the Trek fans for an incredible show with a phenomenal ensemble cast. For those who have yet to contribute I would say your financial support is absolutely essential for us to pursue more interviews, pay for licensing of clips, and sustain us through a long and complicated process of post-production as we edit the film, add visual effects, hire a composer, begin the post- production sound and picture work of a quality that this documentary so clearly deserves.

Visit the documentary’s Indiegogo page to learn more or to make a contribution.

With nearly a month to go, the campaign has smashed its $149,000 goal thanks to more than 2,100 backers.

Stay tuned to TrekNews.net for the latest on What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Kyle Hadyniak has been a lifelong Star Trek fan. A graduate student at the University of Maine, Kyle spends his time either doing school work, playing music, reading history, or immersing himself in a good video game.

You can follow Kyle on Twitter @khady93.

2 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Mike Schmidt

    Great interview! Can’t wait to see the screening in LA!!

    Mark Allen Shepherd needs to be added to the list of people involved. His story about getting the Morn role inspired me to be persistent in pursuing my goals in life!

  • Lee Henderson

    I can’t wait to see this. DS9’s success for me was it’s diffferent array of characters and engrossing double edged stories. But it’s writers were second to none; And the unsung heroes of the show.
    Unfortunately, during its run, it was either considered the inferior sibling to TNG or an inferior Space station show next to Babylon 5.
    For me, DS9 had everything. Drama, humour, moral quandry and adventure.
    Shows really are one note these days. And drown in their own self importance. DS9 was my show. I consider myself a Niner more than a Trekkie (or Trekker, depending on who your’re arguing with). I hope this is released on Blu-Ray.