Jadzia Dax, played by actress Terry Farrell, was a major part of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” from the very first episode. The character was in almost every episode of the show up until the end of the sixth season.
Dax was abruptly killed off in the finale of the show’s sixth season. Fans were shocked, though rumors about Farrell leaving the show had been circulating as the sixth season aired. The circumstances around Farrell’s departure were kept quiet for many years.
However, Farrell has since revealed that leaving the show was not her decision.
Farrell Says She Wanted to Stay on DS9
Farrell told StarTrek.com in 2011 that her contract was set to expire at the end of the sixth season, so she started the process of renegotiating with the producers. As part of those negotiations, she asked to appear in fewer episodes. Farrell said that after six years of being in nearly every episode, she was “really tired” and that the schedule was very difficult. She wanted to come back as a recurring character in the seventh season rather than a member of the main cast. However, that’s not what the producers and the studio had in mind.
Farrell spoke out about her exit from DS9 in the book “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years.” She said that producer Rick Berman told her she had to come back as a main cast member for the seventh season or she’d be written off the show.
“The problems with my leaving were with Rick Berman. In my opinion, he’s just very misogynistic… Basically he was trying to bully me into saying yes [to signing a new contract]. Rick said I was hardballing him and I said ‘I’m not. I just want to have a conversation. You’re giving me a take-it-or-leave-it offer and I’m not okay with that.’ So, finally I did have a conversation with him and asked to cut down my number of episodes or just let me out.”
Farrell never reached an agreement with the producers and the studios. She didn’t sign a contract for the seventh season, and her character was killed off.
Berman’s Side of the Story
Berman also spoke to the authors of “The Fifty-Year Mission.” He told a very different story.
“To say that this woman was let go is absolutely ridiculous. She was not fired… She wanted to be a recurring character. You can’t be in a situation on our shows where somebody is just going to seven out of thirteen. I love that people, including some of these actors, love to think that I had all this power. The studio basically said, ‘No way. She’s a regular character and she does all 26 episodes or nothing.'”
Berman continued, saying that the studio ended up in a big legal battle with Farrell about the contract.
He also told the authors that he had a great working relationship with Farrell.
“Terry and I got along perfectly and, for some reason, she departed. Years after she departed, she started saying that I had something to do with her departure, which I can tell you is absolutely untrue.”
He insisted that he had nothing to do with her departure and it was out of his hands.
Farrell Didn’t Tell Her Side of the Story For Many Years
Farrell kept her side of the story quiet for several years after her departure. She didn’t reveal the details until she spoke to the authors of “The Fifty-Year Mission.” Even then, she withheld some of the details. The first time she told the whole story was for the DS9 documentary “What We Left Behind.”
Farrell told the documentary’s host, DS9 producer Ira Steven Behr, that her “heart was broken” when she decided to leave the show. In another scene, Farrell sat with her former costars and passionately told them that she felt like she wasn’t being listened to and she didn’t feel valued on the show. Then, she told them her side of the story for the very first time.
At a GalaxyCon virtual event in March 2021, Farrell said that though she’d talked to some of the DS9 team about her departure over the years, most of them heard about it for the first time while they were filming for the documentary. Farrell also said that, in the end, she’s happy with the way things turned out. Though leaving DS9 was awful, if she hadn’t stood up for herself and left, she wouldn’t have gotten the opportunities that came to her later.
In “What We Leave Behind,” Michael Dorn, who played Worf said, “Only the people involved know the facts. We just know what people want to tell us.”
Only Farrell, Berman, and the studio execs know the real circumstances that led to Farrell’s departure. That being said, Farrell’s version of events has never wavered.
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