Ron Moore Talks JJ’s Star Trek And Returning Trek To TV Roots

In a new Q&A Star Trek TNG and DS9 writer/producer (and co-writer of two feature films) talked about his thoughts on JJ Abrams Star Trek and why he thinks Star Trek belongs on television. He also said that if it did end up on TV again, he is willing to be part of it. Excerpts below.


Ron Moore talks JJ Trek and returning Trek to TV roots

In a Q&A with, Star Trek TNG and DS9 writer/producer (and Battlestar Galactica re-imagineer) Ronald Moore covered a lot of topics. Of particular interest were his thoughts on the state of Star Trek today and possibly in the future.

Moore weighed in on JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek:

The bottom line was, it really worked. I enjoyed it. I think most people enjoyed it. And I think it opened the door to a new generation of fans, because the franchise up to that point, as I said earlier, was so encumbered by its own continuity and its own back stories that I think it was really, really difficult to get new people to try Star Trek, because there was just such a huge learning curve they had to go through. Now, with the re-imagining of it, people could just start over and enjoy it and then go discover all the various permutations and spin-offs later on. It has to be inviting for people to sample it for the first time, and it did.

But more also said he felt Star Trek is best on TV:

I think that Star Trek, in its DNA, is a television show. The features are great. They’re a lot of fun and they’ve certainly opened it up to a lot of different audiences, but the features all are basically atypical episodes, if you think about it. The features are very big action-adventure movies, lots of spectacle, run and jump, shoot-em-up and blowing things up. The fate of the Earth, or the universe itself, is always at stake. It’s always about the captain, and one other character has a strong B-story, and everyone else sort of has very small roles beyond that. But Star Trek, as originally conceived, and as you saw play out in all the other series, was really a morality play every week, and it was about an ensemble of players. They were exploring science fiction ideas, sociological ideas and moral ideas. That’s really what the shows are about, and the movies are just pitched in a different way and at a different audience.

Moore also said that if Trek did return to its TV roots, he could be interested in being part of it…

I would love to do another Star Trek show. It would all depend on timing and who’s involved and what the auspices are and concepts, but sure. I have tremendous fondness for the franchise and I would love to do something with it again someday.

Much more from Moore at (Part 1 and Part 2)

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April 5, 2013 3:38 am

Was TOS an ensemble show?

April 5, 2013 4:10 am

Moore is so right. Having the save the planet Earth in every film gets boring after a while. Insurrection deviated from this and that’s one reason I like it. Star Trek really does belong on TV as a weekly series, exploring smaller scale stories. Of course, a movie every few years is also welcome.

April 5, 2013 4:14 am

I’d have to say no… The first Star Trek ensemble was TNG. However, Moore’s comments above, except for the ensemble bit, still apply to the best of the TOS episodes as well.

Jim Nightshade
April 5, 2013 4:18 am

no….not really….at times it seemed more like it could be but mostly kirk/spock stories with some dr mccoy thrown in…..once in a while a story came along with bigger plots for scotty,sulu,chekov, etc but these were rare indeed….tng n deep space…all the newer shows were much better at plots involving the whole family even tho stories were mostly captain specific….
have to agree that trek works best on small screen…moore knows his trek for sure…

April 5, 2013 4:20 am

Not really! All Kirk, a few times Spock gets a chance to shine, with Mc Coy chiming in. Scotty IMHO was fourth in the pecking order then Uhura/Sulu were usually seen and not heard. Chekov entered in the second and penultimate season and had a decent run alongside Sulu.

TNG IMHO had a better balance for the main and side charaters.

April 5, 2013 4:56 am

I’d like to see a complete reboot of TOS (from both this movie version and the earlier Star Trek franchise) on TV – no time travel shenanigans, just a clean slate. With some new ideas and changes thrown in.

Kind of like how Ronald D. Moore did Battlestar Galactica and I believe I’ve seen a pitch for a new Star Trek that went just like this.

April 5, 2013 5:07 am

I’d really like it if they could see their way clear to doing a quality show with the actors from these movies, say, 10 shows a year so they could do plays and movies. I’d even settle for fewer shows, but I WANT THIS CAST they’re so great together.

Elias Javalis
April 5, 2013 5:09 am

Great guy! Always liked his style.

April 5, 2013 5:26 am

The other problem is that if it’s only action-adventure, then to me it doesn’t really feel like ‘Star Trek’.

They could have fun with the sort of plots we’ve seen in ‘Star Trek’ and it looks like ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ when they also had other episodes to do other things like explore, or follow social and political allegories. ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ is how good action-adventure trek can be. They also had the TV show freedom of getting to write the captain out of much of the two-parter because it helped the plot.

The problem with having it as solely a movie franchise is that they haven’t got the same opportunity to vary things. The temptation is to play it safe with the action-adventure. At the same time I’m not sure they can do $150m movies and NOT do that. Perhaps if Trek is to be on TV and not interfere with a lucrative film franchise the continuities will be separated?

April 5, 2013 5:56 am

This guy gets Star Trek, I always enjoyed his work!

KevinA Melbourne Australia
April 5, 2013 6:17 am

I loved Moore’s work on TNG but hated Battlestar. I don’t want a reimanination to the level of Battlestar. I mean in the original series Starbuck was a man and Cylons were robots! He lost me with his interpretaion of BS.

I think Moore is a great story teller and I would like him to be involved again in the Star Trek universe but in a new incarnation not a reimagination.

April 5, 2013 6:29 am

I would like to see a JJ universe version of TNG. What differences do ya’ll think there could be??? :D

Mad Mann
April 5, 2013 8:16 am

I say get Ron Moore to do a show about Deep Space Station K-7 set in the Abrams universe. It’d sorta be like DS9 where Moore (and Ira Behr and others) really shined.

April 5, 2013 8:24 am

I have to agree with Moore mostly. Star Trek is best on TV. There is nothing wrong with films in conjunction with that. One of the most popular points in Star Trek history was when First Contact came out. Deep Space Nine had also come into it’s own and Voyager still had a decent sized audience.

No Star Trek wasn’t an ensemble show per se. But having a weekly show did allow them to focus at times on different characters. You got to see the secondary characters in greater roles at times (admittedly in conjunction with a main character). For example, you go to see more Uhura in “The Gamesters of Triskelion” more of Sulu in “That Which Survives” and so on. You couldn’t really do that in the movies.

April 5, 2013 8:54 am

Nooooooooo! Moore killed Kirk.

April 5, 2013 8:59 am

11, I didn’t mind changing Starbuck’s gender or the form of the Cylons, but I felt that BSG didn’t work because so many of the episodes were very weak as self-contained stories and really only functioned to advance the larger underlying story. (And to add insult to injury, the larger underlying story ultimately didn’t resolve very well. But if more of the individual episodes had been stronger on their own, that wouldn’t have mattered much.)

April 5, 2013 9:03 am

and p.s. — Moore had a hand in many of the very best TNG episodes. About as consistently as Brannon Braga had a hand in the worst. So if I had to pick one to get involved with a new TV franchise, I’d gamble on giving Moore another shot, despite BSG.

April 5, 2013 9:13 am

I will defend to my dying day the end of BSG: exactly what it should have been. I am so adamant about that, I wrote this:

Hopefully the link posted.

Commodore Redshirt
April 5, 2013 9:56 am

No. Stay away from Trek Mr. Moore.
You had your time, but I think as your work progressed over the years it drifted further and further from the ideas and mentality of the original Trek. Gone were the “Earth colonies” and their experiments with humans living on “strange new worlds” and “in” was the “forehead of the week”.
The original Star Trek had almost as many episodes where humans were involved versus episodes with aliens. In the first season more than half of the episodes featured a colony, outpost, “Earth ship”, or some other HUMAN place in our galaxy.
The further the Trek franchise drifted from that idea of our “journey to the stars” the less interested I became.

Emperor Mike of the Alternate Empire
April 5, 2013 10:05 am

I would love to see Ron More and Bob Orci team up and make a Star Trek Series. That would be my Dream team.

April 5, 2013 10:19 am

20. This. That would be one good team

April 5, 2013 10:42 am

TOS already did THE ENEMY WITHIN, I don’t want to see mirror- or Evil-Moore in combat with the real McCoy.

Can’t believe Moore gave AbramsTrek a passing grade, was expecting a little more Robert Meyer Burnette from the guy.

April 5, 2013 10:57 am

It’s about deftness, IMO.

“It’s wrong to create a race of men to be used as slaves.”

“Above all else a god needs compassion.”

They started from those statements and built SF stories around those statements. JJTrek film1 seemslight in that area.

Third Remata'Klan
April 5, 2013 10:57 am

I would love to see Moore back in Trek. Of course, the writers were always a team, but many of my favorite episodes credited Moore as writer or co-writer.

April 5, 2013 10:59 am

I’d like trek to return to TV and the best part is the “morality play” as well as pushing what we know about science. I find straight up action to be for lazy folk that don’t want to think. That’s OK as long as there is something for the rest of us. If you have more than 3 main characters, it gets the feeling of a soap opera. Those are the reasons I liked TOS better than the sequels.

April 5, 2013 11:14 am

@6: Please NO. They should never just start from scratch. This is what I loved about ST09 and the new movies. They opened it up for a complete new run, but still acknowledged the original timeline that came before. Had they just rebooted TOS without any explanation, I would have hated it, no matter how good it had been.

This is what I hate about comic book films. They just start anew, reboot everything and thereby flush the entire mythology down the toilet. Yeah, it worked with the new Batman trilogy, because basically the original four movies had been turds (yeah, even the Burton ones), but I hated the Spider-Man reboot just for being a reboot. It was totally unnecessary. I hope something like that will never happen to Trek. I am so grateful for these “timetravel shenanigans”, I can’t tell you. It’s both a sequel and a reboot and that I cherrish the most…

The Sinfonian
April 5, 2013 11:39 am

Deep Space 9 in the JJverse, would have played out almost exactly the same, I imagine! At least that’s the conceit I prefer now. That TNG, DS9, and VOY in the JJverse future… that Bob Orci’s interpretation of MWI and QM that the ‘wave functions’ recombine to produce a similar universe whenever possible.

But there’s no reason that after the threequel, that Michael Weatherly (post NCIS) as an older Kirk, TMP to TWOK age, and other similar continuation casting or recasting…. couldn’t advance to a TV series that would be set around 2278, twenty years after the defeat of Nero.

Now that could be a great “Phase 2” of the real kind. Get Ron Moore involved, and Manny Coto as a show runner…. and involve K/O Paper Products…. there could be great morality plays, an ensemble of known and unknown characters put to use.

April 5, 2013 12:25 pm

Yeah, Ron Moore would work. Just keep him far away from the fan productions…

April 5, 2013 12:39 pm

Ron Moore ought to reunite with his First Contact writing partner, and produce a fifth season of Enterprise.

April 5, 2013 12:55 pm

Ron Moore is one of the best TV writers around, it would be great if CBS give him the chance to run a new Star Trek series.

And I can’t wait to see his new series “Helix”.

April 5, 2013 12:57 pm

Let Moore lead the HBO TV return of Trek in 2016. 10-episode story arcs every year with near movie production values.

That I would pay to see!

April 5, 2013 1:25 pm


“Let Moore lead the HBO TV return of Trek in 2016. 10-episode story arcs every year with near movie production values”

I doubt the suites at CBS will give HBO the rights to do that. All they doing is siting on their collective backs & not doing anything to bring Trek back on TV.

Bring it as a series or miniseries or even DVDs movies, just bring it back!

April 5, 2013 1:40 pm

20–That would be an interesting combination, Orci and Moore. I doubt you’d ever see it though.

26–Agree. The beauty of Star Trek (2009) was that it wasn’t a straight reboot, sequel or prequel, but all 3 rolled up in one. I think a straight reboot would have been like a screw you to those of us who were fans right up to Nemesis and Enterprise. But instead, they creatively came up with a way to “reboot” the movie series, yet in a way to allow you to view this simply as a continuation of existing Star Trek. They also used theories in their story already proposed in episodes like “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and inparticular “Parallels”.

22–I’m not seeing any critique of Abrams Trek, In fact, it looks to me like Moore was saying it was exactly what Star Trek needed, sort of a fresh start. THe main point he was trying to get across was that Star Trek always has worked best on TV, something many here even have noted.

April 5, 2013 2:05 pm

@32 — Okay so it would be Showtime (since that’s a CBS network) not HBO, but same idea….

April 5, 2013 2:09 pm

I liked Moore. But as Trek writing goes, I preferred the episodes penned by Taylor and/or Piller (insert “Insurrection” hate here… though I still maintain that wasn’t entirely Piller’s fault, the story he wanted to tell and what Berman strong armed him into telling? Two entirely different things, i.e. It’s really unfornate that one is retired and the other passed. :(

As for Moore, I admit that part of my ambivalence stems from “Generations”, which I did not like.

#15. enterprise1965:


A) There was no reason to even have Kirk in that film – the passing the baton thing was unnecessary and cliche and, in my opinion, poorly executed.

B) The death scene sucked. I’m not going to pull punches on this. I love Kirk, as one who grew up with such an iconic character does. I left the theater that day rightly pissed off.

C) Overall storyarch? Not that engrossing. Bit slow, actually. And it was disappointing to get so few lines from the supporting players, i.e. Riker, LaForge, Worf, Troi, Crusher, etc.

… having said all of that, he made some great points and I would love to see another Star Trek television series, and it would be nice to have someone with Trek experience consulting on such a project.

April 5, 2013 3:22 pm

Moore’s comments are spot on.

Though, I would add that if Trek does return to TV, the new series should try not to involve yet another war in which the Earth hangs in the balance. I think we’ve had enough of the Earth being in peril.

April 5, 2013 3:55 pm

Yes also agree with Moore comments!

I mean movies by nature have to BIG, life changing and action adventure. I mean thats fine and all and it gives us a big story, but Trek was just as much about the small morality stories as well. Or the ship is in trouble kinds of stories, not Earth or the galaxy every week. The show can be about one character or all of them. And more importantly we got a story every week vs every few years! And if the story sucked one week, there was a chance it could be great the next week. With a film, not only if it suck we waited years for nothing or have to wait more years, but one bad film can sink the entire franchise.

So I do hope we get another show in the future and would love Moore back at the helm. I’ve only seen litterally the first episode of of BSG but I seen all his Trek episodes and what he did with DS9 was amazing. Its my favorite show in fact.

But I want something new. I dont want another rehash of TOS or a rebooted TNG. Trek is bigger than one show as been proven countless times now. Something new please. They can even make a show in JJ universe, 23rd century and all. Just a new ship and crew with completely new stories and characters.

April 5, 2013 4:11 pm

Moore’s would be great, but there will not be another TV series for many years to come, if ever. Budget will be too prohibited. A mini series perhaps. 16 episodes max.

April 5, 2013 4:15 pm

Give Moore the opportunity to do a reboot of the TNG, but set in the JJ-Verse. In fact, my challenge would be that a reboot TNG would be a straight sci-fi movie, something that was promised when “Prometheus” was released.

John from Cincinnati
April 5, 2013 4:18 pm

I agree 100% with Moore about Star Trek belonging as a television show.

April 5, 2013 4:22 pm

Someone needs to let this man make a new Star Trek show.

April 5, 2013 5:26 pm

#6. I kind of agree with you on this matter. I want 100% rebooted Star Trek series and go smillier root as BSG. We really need visonary tv producer that can create bold new Trek series inspired by Roddenberry vision.

April 5, 2013 5:31 pm

Star Trek always SUCKED on TV! The only good show was Star Trek from 1966!


April 5, 2013 5:47 pm

@ 43. JohnRambo – April 5, 2013

“Star Trek always SUCKED on TV! The only good show was Star Trek from 1966!

No one forcing you to watch, dude!

Hotchkiss Gould Executive
April 5, 2013 5:55 pm

43. JohnRambo:

Star Trek is best on TV. In fact, it’s probably one of the best concepts ever devised for a TV show. The setting is “the universe.” You can tell just about any story and create just about any situation you can dream up.

But more importantly, you can tell smaller stories in television than you can in movies. It seems Star Trek movies have to have big plots or big villains instead of telling stories about the human condition.

April 5, 2013 6:07 pm

20 That would be fun!

Hotchkiss Gould Executive
April 5, 2013 6:11 pm

I agree on the Ron Moore/Bob Orci combinatino. They both rebooted shows that I loved and made them better. BSG and Hawaii 5-0 turned out better than the originals.

Lt. Dakin
April 5, 2013 7:46 pm

It would be interesting to do a Star Trek series with two leads ala Shatner and Nimoy in season one or Mulder and Scully in the X-Files instead of the modern era bloated casts who are only featured one episode a year.

April 5, 2013 8:10 pm

43. JohnRambo = obvious troll.

April 5, 2013 8:11 pm

@49 Desstruxion

obvious not