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Star Trek is a franchise that primarily deals in the world of sci-fi, but it's not unheard of for the franchise to attempt parody other genres every so often. Such was the case in the Deep Space Nine episode "Our Man Bashir," in which an accident in the Holosuite traps the crew in Bashir's spy fantasy program. The episode is a fun nod to the genre of '60s spy films but apparently was not well-received by James Bond studio MGM.
MGM sent us a letter. I don’t recall [Bond producers] the Broccolis being on it or having signed it, but I remember after the episode aired, the studio sent us a very stern letter. And it even got back to some of the higher-ups at Paramount. It seems [MGM was] not very flattered by our ‘homage,’ but it wasn’t like we got in any serious trouble or anything.
The backlash from MGM wasn't so large, though, that Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was actually able to do another spy-genre episode the following season. This time though, it was said the crew made a much larger effort to scale back the obvious nods to James Bond, likely in an effort to prevent another angry letter or perhaps more from MGM.
Luckily, both episodes came and went without further retribution from the studio and have gone on to hold a special place in the hearts of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fans. They're the equivalent of the holodeck adventure stories so frequently done on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which Ronald D. Moore said initially gave producers some hesitation on doing yet another episode rooted in the premise of a "malfunctioning holodeck." The workaround for that was that the Holosuite was used to keep the crew's bodies in a holding pattern, while the team worked out a glitch that occurred while the crew was beaming up.
What's most interesting about the story is that MGM sent a letter to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine when several shows have paid homage to James Bond in various ways over the decades. Perhaps it was more a case of how closely the scenes resembled the franchise and the fact that Star Trek is owned by Paramount, who also owns the rights to the Mission: Impossible franchise. I can only speculate of course, though I would love to know the reason that letter was sent considering how ingrained some Bond tendencies are in pop culture.
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