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Terry Farrell Departs DS9

Links to Character Tributes
Covert Ops: Jadzia Dax Memorial

Terry Farrell's Comments About Dax's Death in TV Guide:

ST:DS9 fans were no doubt shocked when Jadzia, played by popular series regular Terry Farrell, was murdered in the show's season finale. Farrell was taken aback, too. Though it was her choice not to return for a seventh season, she says:"I begged the producers not to kill me. They thought I was just being this neurotic little actress hoping to have a part to come back to, but I really meant it. I didn't want to see six great years end that way." Don't feel too bad for Farrell: Mere hours before she wrapped her last DS9 episode, she was cast in CBS's mid-season comedy Becker, as a Bronx diner owner who spars with a curmundgeonly doctor played by Ted Danson. Yes, yet another example of an aging heartthrob teamed with a hot young babe, but Farrell's ready for the flack:"This isn't so unrealistic," she claims. "Danson is very funny and very attractive. Hell, if he wasn't married, I'd go out with him in a minute." -Michael Logan TV Guide

Why is Terry Farrell leaving the series?

No one is precisely sure, however rumors that DS9 is an unhappy set have been around for years. Most of the cast members acknowledge that the actors on the set are mainly professional towards each other, and Armin Shimerman in particular has pointed out bitterness between some of the cast.

In November, when the characters and Dax and Worf were married, Farrell commented to TV Guide in their twin "Solar Sisters" cover story on Farrell and Jeri Ryan that she was thinking about leaving the show.

She later said during an appearance on the Howard Stern Show in March that she was leaving because Paramount's financial offer was too weak. (It's also always been long rumored that the DS9 cast is underpaid, or at least, was until Season Seven contract negotiations.)
A transcript of the Stern interview can be found here. (A word of note, this interview is pretty raunchy. By following this link, you'll read more about Farrell's sex life than you really want to know.)

In a pair of chats the week of April 12th, Hans Beimler and Ira Steven Behr confirmed that Terry Farrell was leaving the show but shed little details about how she would go.

Said Hans Beimler in his Star Trek Continuum chat:
Ira and I have just finished writing the season-ender, "Tears of the Prophets". In which, yes, Jadzia dies... ... or does she???"

Ira Steven Behr, in his TrekWeb chat, said:
"There won't be a dry eye in the house. [...] I do believe that Jadzia's death will make the 7th season that much more interesting."

Regarding whay Farrell left: "I can't look into her heart, but from my conversations with her, it wasn't about screen time."

Additionally, he said: "There will be another Dax... more details to follow."
Soon after leaving the show, Farrell got a new job, suggesting she won't go the way of Denise Crosby immediately:

Former model Terry Farrell, who starred opposite Morgan Fairchild and Lloyd Bridges on the ABC series "Paper Dolls," has been cast as the female lead in the new Ted Danson sitcom "Becker" on CBS.

She will play the owner of the local diner that is frequented by Danson's character. The sitcom has a 13-episode commitment from CBS.

Farrell's other credits include the NBC TV movie "L.A. Madame" opposite Faye Dunaway, Danielle Steel's NBC miniseries "Star" and the USA Network film "Reasons of the Heart."

"Becker", which has not been slated for CBS's fall schedule will likely appear at mid-season, assuming the series continues past the Pilot-stage.

In an interview on Entertainment Tonight airing Wednesday, June 17, Farrell said that she never realized the extent of the reaction... "I was really surprised by how many people I'd touched... and that makes me feel really good."

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From Another Site:

Meanwhile, back in the 20th century ...

    One week after shooting her death scene as Dax on "DS9," she landed a lead role opposite Ted Danson on "Becker," the CBS sitcom that debuted last week on CBS.

    "It felt too good to be true," says Farrell of the show, which is produced by Paramount Network Television and films just a few sound stages away from "DS9." "The biggest compliment in the world was that people who knew me for six years as Dax saw me as this other character. "So, even if (CBS programming head) Leslie Moonves didn't like me, I at least had that much affirmation."

    Everyone liked Farrell, and she won the part of Reggie, new owner of a Bronx, N.Y., diner where John Becker (Danson), a skilled but overly opinionated doctor, chooses to eat and rant on a regular basis. "I think Reggie finds John a little irritating, but she likes him overall," the effusive Farrell says by telephone from her home in L.A. "It will probably build to a romance, but I think they want to take it really slow.

    "Doing a sitcom is different from doing a big, sci-fi action-adventure. 'Becker' is a half-hour show, the dialogue changes every day, and it's a comedy. "The focus is so intense, and though you have a week off every month, you're working every day of the three weeks, which wasn't the case on 'DS9.' But Ted's great, I'm just getting to know the character and, hopefully, all the people who watch 'Everybody Loves Raymond' (on Monday nights) will stick around to watch us." And no, Farrell admits, she doesn't miss "DS9."

    "I don't," she says. "I miss the people, but I don't miss getting up so early, and I don't miss the dialogue. But I've gone by the set to say "Hi," and I talk to my ("DS9") friends by phone. "I haven't met Nicole DeBoer yet, but I wish her luck. I loved Dax, and I'd love to come back and do a cameo. "I'm around if they want me." (Transwarp c. Ian Spelling)

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Another Ian Spelling Bit:

4:24 PM 6/12/1998

Dax must die -- `DS9' actress Farrell wants to move on


Yes, the rumors are true: Jadzia Dax, DS9's beloved Trill, will perish in "Tears of the Prophets," the DS9 sixth-season finale, which airs the week of June 15. "I just needed to do new things," explains the always effusive Terry Farrell by telephone from her home in Los Angeles. "I thought it was very important to finish my obligation, so I did, and I worked all six years of my contract.

"We never really negotiated," says Farrell, who has played Dax since day one. "Paramount said, `Here's the offer. We'd love to have you for a seventh season if you say yes to this.' In my heart, I couldn't say yes."

Recent DS9 episodes focused primarily on the Federation/Dominion war, but paused long enough to reveal that newlyweds Dax and Worf (Michael Dorn) intended to start a family.

"Tears" finds Sisko (Avery Brooks) leading an invasion force into Cardassia, despite warnings from the Bajoran Prophets, while Dax assumes command of the space station and an evil Pah-wraith overtakes Gul Dukat's (Marc Alaimo) body.

What else happens?

"It was such an emotionally charged few days shooting the episode, just so bizarre to go through, that I concentrated on Dax's story line, not the Dominion aspects," Farrell says. "I can tell you Dax dies, but I can't tell you who kills me or how.

"Anyone who doesn't know what happens already from seeing it on the Internet is going to feel like they got a punch to the stomach. I can also tell you that Worf and I have a good goodbye before I bite the big one."

Farrell, now 34, reports that most of her co-stars and the show's crew were surprised that she chose to leave, but supported her decision. She adds that she wanted Dax to survive, but that the producers felt a clean break would best serve the series.

Reflecting on her years with DS9, Farrell calls the experience "amazing" and offers a few highlights:

Best episode: "I have a bunch," she says, citing "Blood Oath," "Invasive Procedures," "Rejoined" and "You Are Cordially Invited," among others.

Best guest star: John Glover.

Biggest missed opportunity: No one ever saw Dax's family.

Most Trekkers respect Farrell's decision to depart, feeling she gave her all as an actress, attended plenty of conventions and made herself available to the media. Others believe she's abandoning them, the show and her co-stars.

"I thank the fans who've supported me so much for getting my character and enjoying her," Farrell says. "For the people who don't understand why I'm leaving, I'm sorry they don't understand.

"As much as I love Dax, it's easier for me to separate it because it was my job to play her. For the fans, DS9 is a fantasy they walk into.

"I'm not Dax. I play Dax," Farrell says. "In a way, it's a compliment. It means they got lost enough in the show, in Dax, and loved her enough that they're angry with me."

"It's still a compliment, and that's the only way I can look at it."

As Farrell shot "Tears," she did so knowing that her next job awaited. She co-stars with Ted Danson in Becker, a sitcom being readied as a midseason replacement by CBS.

Farrell will work saner hours and sport no Trill spots. So much for the Trek curse.

"I'm so excited," Farrell enthuses. "Ted is great, so supportive and funny. He plays a doctor who says whatever is on his mind. He's rough around the edges, but is a brilliant doctor and has a big heart.

"My character is Reggie. She's broke, but she's just inherited this diner. Becker spends a lot of time there, and I don't put up with his guff.

"It's going to be great."

New York Times Special Features

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