It seems that Berman and Roddenberry did get to talk about “Deep Space Nine” at least a little bit, as it became a matter of record that Roddenberry hated the idea. Note immediately that the show is called “Star Trek,” not “Star Stay in One Place.” According to actress Marina Sirtis from “Next Generation,” Roddenberry was explicit. She said:
“The truth is that if Gene was alive, ‘DS9’ would have never been made, because he absolutely said no to it when it was presented to him. He said ‘Star Trek’ is about exploring space, it’s not about a hotel in space. So it would never have happened.”
Rod Roddenberry, Gene’s son, admitted that he never really got into “Deep Space Nine,” even though he admired what Berman and Piller had created. He liked the general Roddenberryian messages but felt that “DS9,” in being so conflict-forward, resembled “Star Wars” more than “NextGen.” Trek was meant to be ideal. “DS9” was about struggle and conflict. A Trek archivist defined the tonal shift perfectly for Rod, who quoted him:
“Richard Arnold said one thing that stuck with me, which was, [‘Star Trek’] and, especially, ‘Next Generation’ had a humanity that was a better humanity. And in ‘Deep Space Nine,’ specifically, that was us today. They were dealing with the same sort of issues we were dealing with today, our petty issues of selfishness, and so it wasn’t necessarily that intellectually evolved humanity.’ Not as much as ‘Next Generation’ was. ‘Next Generation,’ we were already better than we are now. With ‘Deep Space Nine,’ we had taken a step back to our little petty squabbles and things like that.”
“Deep Space Nine” was a sociopolitical drama that descended into war. Gene, who ached for a post-war future, may not have been happy.