Lolita Fatjo and Max Grodénchik

Lolita Fatjo Lolita Fatjo works on the pre-production of Voyager and she has worked on six seasons of 'The Next Generation', as well as DS9.  

A question was put to her if there are any plans to integrate characters from 'The Next Generation' and 'Deep Space Nine' into one feature movie.

Lolita Fatjo
This is my personal opinion: I think what will happen is that there will never be a 'Deep Space Nine' movie by itself.  But I think that they will continue to do 'The Next Generation' movies and hopefully they will integrate people. 

I think that Rick Berman has been quoted as saying in a trade paper that he hopes that he will be able to bring in characters from all the series into one of the next movies.  So hopefully that's the way that we see some of these characters come back.

On the State of Trek

Lolita Fatjo:
I think the franchise itself is as strong as it's ever been.  I thing that there has been very much change over the past twelve years.  Everybody loved 'The Next Generation'.  And then it took people years to warm up to 'Deep Space Nine'.   And then 'Deep Space Nine' was so good in the last few years.  It was the same thing with 'Voyager'.  It took people a while to get into 'Voyager'.  Now they are starting to really like 'Voyager'.  And I think 'Voyager' has got a lot better.  

There's a lot of people that think that we should not do another series right away.  They'd rather wait and have it a couple of years from now.  And there's also a lot of people that want two shows back on air.  And they want us to make another movie right away. 

I understand both sides of the coin but I do think that the franchise is stronger then it's ever been. 

The seven year itch?

Was it a conscious effort that 'The Next Generation', 'Deep Space Nine' and 'Voyager' all end after a seven year run?

Lolita Fatjo:
Seven seems to be the number that we have done in the past.  There are many reasons for those decisions.  A lot of people don't realize that some of the actors in both 'The Next Generation' and 'Deep Space Nine' were ready to move on.   Especially in the case of 'The Next Generation'.  And I think the fear is that you don't want the show to start loosing characters.  Then it's kind of like ridiculous: how do you explain that all of a sudden Captain Picard is not there, whatever?  

We have a lot of shows in America that have just gotten so bad because they lasted too long.  And the writing gets bad, they bring in all those new actors.  And I think Star Trek and Rick Berman and Paramount just want these shows to be so good that they don't want to risk having the quality go down. 

So I think that's a lot of the reasons for the seven year period.  The truth of the matter is that most shows don't get past one or two years.  So we are really lucky that we've had this last thirteen years of these shows.  And I think it will keep going. 

How do the producers react to unexpected pregnancies?

It happens all the time.  I don't think they can put in your contract that you can't get pregnant.  It was the writers idea to incorporate Nana Visitor's (DS9) pregnancy into the show.  When Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher) was pregnant we obviously didn't do this.  Just Gate's dresses kept getting bigger and bigger. 

Everybody knew she was pregnant, and we were trying to cover it up.  But I think to not cover up the pregnancy of Nana Visitor and to incorporate it into the show was a great idea.  So it was a combination of Rick Berman and the writing staff and I'm sure they talked to Nana about it to see how she felt about that. 

Would it be better to have story arcs in Voyager?

Deep Space Nine was very strong because of the way we kept the stories going.  I think that the last two seasons of DS9 were incredible.  With Voyager, although we are now very nearly at the end of the series, they are still trying to find the best way to go.  I'm not sure it was a mistake to stop the long story arcs.  I don't really know how I feel about that yet. 

I think that you'll see at the end of the fifth season and into the sixth season that there is a little bit more of an ongoing story now.  The stories are going a little bit forward and people are forming more relationships.  I hope you'll like it. 

Why are the Races of Star Trek so humanoid in appearance?

It's much easier to get a human and put them in make-up and costume.  Computer images are very expensive to create.  People used to say 'Why doesn't Odo morph more?'

And I used to say 'Do you know how expensive it is every time he gets into that bucket?'  It's true, all of those things are very expensive.  So, it's a lot cheaper to create Races that just require heads, some make-up on their hands and that kind of thing.


How close are the new Star Trek series to the original concept of Gene Roddenberry?

Lolita Fatjo
I think that Rick Berman has always tried to keep Gene's focus going throughout all those years since Gene passed away.  But I think they are trying to do new things.  

So I'm sure that there are some things that Gene would have done differently.  But who knows?  Gene may have changed with the times, too.  But I really do know that Rick pays very very much attention to what Gene had laid out for us. 

Max Grodénchik
As in the case with the Klingons, an enemy is an enemy only until you get to know him a bit better.  Once you give that enemy some things to say and you start shooting close-ups you learn about the enemy. 

You understand more where they are coming from and you have empathy with them.  I think that happens a lot on our shows.  With the Ferengi, the Klingons, the Cardassians.  I'm a 'Next Generation' fan, but one thing I love about 'Deep Space Nine' is the way they wove all the characters together and they are not afraid to feature any of the recurring characters on the show. 

I also think that part of what Roddenberry was about is that he had this idea for a journey into the Galaxy but there was also a journey within a character.  The ship went on a journey and the character went on a journey at the same time. 

So someone like Rom (my character) has developed incredibly over the years.  I think that was the point of the show.  To see both an outward exploration of the Galaxy and an inward exploration of the character.  To see the character fulfill the potential that the character has.  


An  introduction to the 'wisdom' of Armin Shimerman, by Max Grodénchik

hen I first met Armin Shimerman it was 1993 or 1992.  We were at the audition for Deep Space Nine and I read for the role of Quark.  There where a lot of people there.  I was very nervous and didn't think I read very well.  And I didn't think I'd ever hear from them again after my reading, yet they called me back. 

I went back to read again, also very badly.  There were very few people there.  You could tell they were beginning to make their choices.  They had to finalize everything.  So I went out to the steps of the studio feeling very badly.  And then Armin came out. 

And I had never seen him before.   But he said 'What's up?'.  And I said 'I just read for this television show and Star Trek and I really screwed it up!'  And he said 'I know!  I saw you in there!  But here is the good news:  it's between you and me for the role of Quark.'

I was thinking of how he could possibly know that.   Because he must know the producer or the director or something, so I said 'How do you know that?'.  He said 'We were the only two short people there!'


Any parallels between the 'Cheers' bar and Quark's bar?

Morn (57181 Byte)I think that 'Morn' was named after 'Norm' from Cheers.

They turned the letters around.  And aside from that I always wanted Morn to have the last word:  at the end of the series Quark would turn the bar over to Morn.

And Quark would say: 'Don't you have anything to say?'  And Morn would open his mouth and then they'd cut to the next scene.

But you would never hear him speak.   That was my idea.  They didn't like it.


Three Ferengi In A Jeep 

t's that Aaron Eisenberg song we did in an episode called 'Little Green Men'.

In it we had to do one shot in this Jeep.   Four of us, Armin, Aaron, Rene Auberjonois and myself were in this Jeep and the camera was on a track.  So the camera was moving like this on the track and the Jeep comes around the corner, and we had no lines. 

So, we had nothing to rehearse and nothing to really  to worry about.  We just had this scene in the Jeep.  But the camera couldn't get the move right.  Sometimes the track is not perfectly smooth and there were other problems for example the light not being right. 


So we did it over and over and over and over again.  And finally Aaron just started to hum to himself...
Under his breath he was singing:

startquote.gif (163 bytes)
Three Ferengi in a Jeep
Man, we are in trouble deep

Gotta get back to Deep Space Nine
Gotta get back to our own time

Sound off one two three...
endquote.gif (161 bytes)

streaming RealAudio, 00:17.1  listen to 'Three Ferengi...'

I can do it clean, that was cut from the show!


 A cut scene from 'The House Of Quark'


Ron Moore wrote it, and I think it's a wonderful scene. 
The scene explained where Quark was and what he did while he was kidnapped by that Bruckner Klingon.

On the Klingon Homeworld:

streaming RealAudioclick here to listen




Lolita Fatjo and Max Grodénchik singing...
Admittedly this looks odd by itself, but I'm working on a
recording of the song that Lolita sang with Max...


fatjo2.jpg (48700 bytes)  


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to be continued...