Lemming of Discord
- Jun 4, 2006
Tallman was in a relationship with JMS around ten years ago for a couple of years. They broke up in 2010, so it was quite some time ago.Tallman wasn't just a major cast member, but also remains in a long-term relationship with JMS. I would think that gives her a special insight into the matter.
Also, whether JMS had the authority of not to bring legal action has no bearing on whether people within Paramount consciously or unconsciously sourced material from JMS for inspiration.
The problem with the conspiracy theory is that we know where Deep Space Nine came from: Brandon Tartikoff (generally regarded as one of Hollywood's straightest operators in an industry of sharks) developed the idea when he decided to leave NBC and move to Paramount in 1991. His brief at Paramount was to make the TV division more profitable as the only show Paramount had that was successful was ST:TNG so his first thought was simply "ST:TNG spinoff", because it was a no-brainer. When he arrived at Paramount, in his first week on the job, he called in Rick Berman and Michael Piller and told them to develop a spin-off on the spot, to air in 18 months, which they were completely unprepared for. The idea he gave them was "make The Rifleman to TNG's Wagon Train to the stars" (Roddenberry pitched TOS and TNG as "Wagon Train to the stars". Wagon Train was a Western about travellers constantly on the move and The Rifleman was about an ex-soldier turned sheriff of a frontier town who just wanted to raise his son in peace). Berman and Piller took this a bit more literally than he thought they would, with a show set on a starbase on the surface of a new planet with a Starfleet commander with his son.
They started turning that into DS9 almost immediately, writing and producing the Ensign Ro episode as a backdoor pilot literally within weeks of that meeting. It was only when the budget costings came back and cheerfully told the producers that the show would cost three times what TNG did if they set it on a planetary surface (unless they had every other episode take place indoors and never ventured outside, which was a bit pointless), so that's when they moved it to a space station (originally called Deep Space IX but they had to change it because journalists kept calling it Deep Space Ix and suggesting that Ix was the name of a planet or something).
The idea of the head of Paramount's TV division rooting around old dusty storerooms at Paramount looking at script ideas someone had presented three years earlier so he could steal their ideas has always been a bit tinfoily, not to mention also extraordinarily legally dangerous: the pitch documents Straczynski and the team at Clare Craft sent to Paramount were presented on a non-copy basis, so when Paramount formally passed on the B5 idea in 1989, they had to physically return all of the materials. Copying them would be illegal and leave Paramount open to massive liability, especially given that Warner Brothers were one of the few entities in Hollywood capable of taking them on and beating them in court.