Star Trek has had a lot of interesting productions in their life. The pilot saw the entire cast replaced with only Spock (Leonard Nimoy) being retained, the long-rumored four Kelvin film is still up in the air with not much known about it; or if it’ll even stay in the Kelvin universe and there’s the time that Garrett Wang got sick while filming due to the chemicals used to create the steam and gas on set. Yet, most productions go according to plan but one Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode’s production forced the showrunners to change the opening of season six.
In the fifth season finale of Deep Space Nine, “Call to Arms”, the episode ends with the Defiant and Rotarran joining up with a joint Starfleet and Klingon armada that is presumably going to meet the Dominion forces.
This wasn’t what was supposed to happen. With the fleet heading towards the screen, it implied to the audience that the war was on, but that wasn’t what was supposed to be conveyed. The original plan was to have the grouping of ships flying away from the screen, with the Defiant and Rotarran joining up from the rear.
Because of this change, the writers felt like they had to deliver. So they did with the first episode of the sixth season, “A Time to Stand”.
In that episode, the fleet that was seen advancing on the Dominion was returning in shambles, easily two-thirds the ships gone, and most that remained heavily damaged. Without intending it, the end of the fifth season set up the best way to start the Dominion War, and it all started when a production house decided to do their own thing and not follow the plans laid out by executive producer and scriptwriter Ira Steven Behr.
The mistake ended up working, and the Dominion War gave Deep Space Nine the best two seasons of its run while establishing Star Trek as the top dogs in all of ’90s science fiction.