Ira Steven Behr

Summary

Ira Steven Behr (born October 23, 1953) is an American screenwriter and television producer, best known for his work on Star Trek, especially Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, on which he served as showrunner and executive producer. He was the executive producer and showrunner on Crash, executive producer on Syfy's Alphas, and a writer and co-executive producer on Outlander.

Ira Steven Behr
Ira Steven Behr.jpg
Born (1953-10-23) October 23, 1953 (age 68)
New York, New York
OccupationTelevision screenwriter and producer
Known forStar Trek: Deep Space Nine
Spouse(s)Laura Behr

BiographyEdit

Behr was born in New York City to a Jewish family.[1] He studied at Lehman College in New York City. After graduating, Behr moved to Los Angeles to pursue a screenwriting career. He intended to pursue a career writing comedies for television and film.[2]

Behr married Laura Feder. Laura Feder Behr is credited as choreographer on three episodes of Deep Space Nine and one episode of Voyager.[3][4][5]

CareerEdit

Early workEdit

Behr's first writing job was on the dramatic series Bret Maverick.[2] Behr continued to work on television dramas, throughout the 1980s, among them:

Star TrekEdit

After several years writing and producing television, and while still a staff writer at Beyond Reality, Behr was hired as a producer during Star Trek: The Next Generation's third season.

Behr felt there were too many rules and regulations and felt creatively trapped, so he left The Next Generation after a year.[6] He remained good friends with Michael Piller and wrote the season 4 episode Qpid as a freelance writer. Piller persuade him to join the new series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a supervising producer.[6] At the start of the second season, Behr was promoted to co-executive producer. The following year, co-creator Michael Piller left to produce the next Star Trek series, Star Trek: Voyager and Behr replaced him as showrunner and executive producer. As showrunner, Behr reported to head executive producer and franchise chief Rick Berman. Although they would disagree on many things, Behr said they had a good working relationship.[7]

Behr went on to write a total of 53 out 176 Deep Space Nine episodes, more than any other writer.

As executive producer, Behr was largely responsible for the story arc of the show, from Bajoran politics to the Dominion War. This complex serialized story was a departure from the traditional Star Trek episodic format, and the war narrative was a break from the typically hopeful Star Trek vision of the future.[7]

Behr wrote or co-wrote some of the most important episodes in the Dominion arc, including "The Jem'Hadar", "The Search", "The Way of the Warrior", "Broken Link", "Apocalypse Rising", "In Purgatory's Shadow", "By Inferno's Light", "Call to Arms", "Sacrifice of Angels", "Tears of the Prophets" and the final episode, "What You Leave Behind".

Developing the FerengiEdit

Behr also had a significant role in the development of the Ferengi alien race during his work on Deep Space Nine.[2] Although the Ferengi were first introduced in the first season of The Next Generation as a potential major antagonist, they proved unsuccessful, and in subsequent seasons became an occasional source of comic relief. But it was not until Deep Space Nine, which included a Ferengi character in its regular cast, that the Ferengi were truly explored in any depth. Behr was involved with most of the early Ferengi-related episodes, and introduced the concept of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition and wrote most of the rules which appeared on the show. These rules were later published as The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, by Quark as told to Ira Steven Behr (ISBN 0-671-52936-6). Along with fellow Deep Space Nine producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Behr also co-wrote Legends of the Ferengi, a collection of short stories involving the Rules of Acquisition.(ISBN 0-671-57901-0)

DocumentaryEdit

Behr is the driving force behind the documentary What We Left Behind.[8][9]

Post-Star TrekEdit

Behr left Star Trek following the completion of Deep Space Nine's seven season run in 1999. He again worked with René Echevarria on season two of Dark Angel (2000) as a consulting producer. Behr served as writer and executive producer on the short lived series Bob Patterson (2001) which was created by and starred Jason Alexander.[10] He returned to Paramount for the revival of The Twilight Zone (2002) as writer and executive producer. It aired on UPN directly after Star Trek: Enterprise,[11] and ran for a single season of 42 episodes. Behr described the fast production turnaround as insane but despite the difficulty he found the camaraderie and the dedication in the writer's room rewarding and said that almost all of the writers would have been willing to do it again for another season if they had been given the chance. He thought UPN did not really want the show, and that it was not a good fit for the network.[7] He also worked as writer and consulting producer on the series Dr. Vegas (2004). René Echevarria created the series The 4400 (2004–2007) which Behr joined as a writer and took over as executive producer. The series ran for four seasons, and Behr enjoyed the experience and thought "we did some really good episodes."[7][12]

In 2017 Behr produced the feature film Lucky starring Harry Dean Stanton.[9]

Crash: Season 2Edit

In February 2009, Behr was named head writer for the Starz TV series Crash (based on the Paul Haggis film) as it headed into Season 2, which aired in the fall of 2009.[13][14] After his disappointment at the cancellation of "The 4400" people were surprised that Behr chose to join the struggling show. He saw it as an opportunity as that they would be more open and willing to do things differently than if it had been a more successful show.[15] Lead actor Dennis Hopper died in May 2010 and the series was not renewed for a third season.[16][7]

AlphasEdit

In December 2010, Behr was appointed head writer, show runner, and executive producer for Syfy Channel's Alphas, for which a pilot, written by Zak Penn and Michael Karnow and directed by Jack Bender, had been produced. Behr oversaw the remaining 10 episodes of the 11 episode first season order.[17]

OutlanderEdit

From 2014 to 2016 Behr served as writer and co-executive producer on Outlander, alongside fellow Deep Space 9 contributor Ronald D. Moore.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Gershom, Yonassan (March 13, 2013). Jewish Themes in Star Trek. ISBN 9781458397683.
  2. ^ a b c "Behr". Star Trek.com.
  3. ^ Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes: "Statistical Probabilities", "His Way", and "Badda-Bing Badda-Bang". Star Trek: Voyager episode "Someone to Watch Over Me".
  4. ^ Erdmann (2000) page 514 "Laura Behr is a fabulous choreographer"
  5. ^ Erdmann (2000) page 666 "His wife, Laura, once again served as choreographer"
  6. ^ a b Ira Behr (July 5, 2011). "Ira Steven Behr Remembers DS9, Previews Alphas, Part 1". StarTrek.com (Interview).
  7. ^ a b c d e Ira Behr (July 6, 2011). "Ira Steven Behr Remembers DS9, Part 2". StarTrek.com (Interview).
  8. ^ "Ira Steven Behr on Passion Project That Dominated Six Years of His Life". StarTrek.com. May 9, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Brad Gullickson (July 13, 2019). "Ira Steven Behr Confronts His Legacy and Fandom in 'What We Left Behind'". Film School Rejects.
  10. ^ "ABC Takes 'Patterson' Off Lineup". Los Angeles Times. November 3, 2001.
  11. ^ Susan King (September 23, 2002). "UPN Hoping It Can Revive the Magic of 'Twilight Zone' Series". Los Angeles Times. pitching Twilight Zone as a companion piece to the UPN series Star Trek: Enterprise
  12. ^ Pascale, Anthony (May 30, 2007). "Behr on Voyager, Trek XI & Future of 4400". TrekMovie.com. The 4400 has more Trek connections beyond Behr. The show was created by DS9 writer/producer René Echevarria.
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 23, 2009). "Starz's 'Crash' getting retooled". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  14. ^ Goldman, Eric (February 24, 2009). "4400 Executive Producer Will Crash". IGN.com. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  15. ^ Jim Halterman (TFC) (September 18, 2009). "Interview: "Crash" Executive Producer Ira Steven Behr". The Futon Critic.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 13, 2010). "Starz mulling future of 'Crash'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 20, 2010). "Ira Steven Behr To Run SyFy Series 'Alphas'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  18. ^ Blake Larsen (July 14, 2015). "Outlander Cast Chats w/ Outlander Executive Producer/Writer Ira Steven Behr - Episode 30". OutlanderCast.com (Podcast).
  • Erdmann, Terry J.; Block, Paula M. (2000). Deep Space Nine Companion. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-50106-8 – via Google Books.

External linksEdit

  • Ira Steven Behr at Startrek.com, the official Star Trek site
  • Ira Steven Behr at IMDb
  • Ira Steven Behr interviewed by IF Magazine, 2009-10-10
  • Ira Steven Behr interviewed by Tomorrow Will Be Televised, 2009-09-09 (includes audio podcast)