Star Trek’s heart is in television, says Ron D. Moore

The web site Digital Spy recently caught up with Ron D. Moore to interview him about his new SyFy Channel show Helix, they couldn’t help but talk a little Trek with him.

I think its home and its heart is really in television. That’s really what Star Trek is – the core concept is really a TV show.

I think the features are good and I really admire what JJ Abrams has done with the last two films – I think it’s great – but the heart and soul of that franchise demands a return to television.

The kinds of stories that you’ll tell in the features space are not the kinds of stories that made that show so popular. The features all have to be action-oriented.

The TV shows were morality plays, they were more thematic, they were examining society in different ways. Sometimes the stakes were just one crew member’s life, sometimes the stakes were just one alien world or the Enterprise.

On bringing Trek back to TV:

The TV show is really what Star Trek is to me. I think the features are great, but I think it has to return to TV if it’s going to remain an ongoing franchise.

On being the one to re-launch Trek on TV:

I’d love to do Star Trek again, in all honesty, but I also don’t have a great new Star Trek idea. I’m not saying I know exactly how to do a new [Star Trek] TV show – I don’t. Maybe I shouldn’t do it until I have that great epiphany!

–Source: Digital Spy

Sort by:   newest | oldest

I completely agree with him. I love some of the movies but they are more about spectacle over story. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

Even something as awesome and story based as say Wrath of Khan would probably be less action and more story if done on TV.

I, personally, did not like STID, but I loved Star Trek ’09. However, I do want a TV show back and one not set i the JJ Verse.

I’d really like to see something more like Renegades get picked up.

I agree with him. I wouldn’t mind RM taking over Trek for TV. Particularly in this golden age of Television when we’re capable of doing such great story arcs and drama.

I loved his take on BSG… though my one gripe with that series was that it was entirely humorless. Trek requires (and BSG should have too) that the characters can occasionally laugh at themselves and each other to lighten the crisis from time to time.

He said at Comic-Con that Star Trek will not return to the old canon, but it might return to tv if the movies continue to do well.

I too completely agree he said, star trek stories are meant for tv, but he cant think of a series he wants to tell, i too would kind of strugle for inspiration for star trek that hasnt been run into the ground.. something will happen though there is no chance cbs will sit on the franchise.

But I do think there are new directional, and productive ways to tell a story about star trek (or planet trek lol) it wont take allot to get the ball going, but it will take allot for it to remain faithful to gene’s vision.

I like Ron Moore, but the sad fact is that he last several sf shows have pretty much stunk. And this Helix show is un-watchable and a gross-out for my tastes.

BSG was his last and only real hit in shows that he led.

So great guy, but I think his opinion is a bit suspect given that he is kind of a one-hit wonder.

He needs to demonstrate to me that he can do more than one successful TV show, plus do a couple of movies, before I would consider him an expert on TV versus movies for Trek.

@TerranGuy93 I couldn’t have said it better.

I agree. It is time for a new Star Trek tv series. The time frame between the original STAR TREK (196-69), Star Trek animated tv series (1973-74) and Star Trek; The Next Generation, I believe is available.

a Star Trek show of some type, needs to come back to TV,
and BSG needs a reboot for the big screen !!!

I agree very strongly with Mr. Moore; I think Star Trek works much better as television. Big-budget movies are usually action pictures, but it was the CHARACTERS and the IDEAS that made Star Trek so beloved. Movies usually have a frenetic pace, but the characters work best when they have a chance to breathe.

I’d love to see the original series characters in a new TV show. (Not with the original actors, obviously — half of them are dead, and the rest are not up to the strain of a weekly series.) But you don’t have to blow up Vulcan or make Kirk a captain before he’s ready, the way Abrams did….

Get real science fiction authors to write stories for you. Everyone THINKS they can write, and most actors, directors, and producers are wrong about that. :-) Get Robert J. Sawyer, Lois McMaster Bujold, and similar folks to write the stories. Spend a lot of time focusing on exploration and a lot of time developing the characters. Show us some alien cultures, give us some interesting moral dilemmas, provide main characters we can care about, and Star Trek fans will reward you with legendary loyalty. ;-)

I think they could do Romulan War and the founding of the Federation series even though they already have done Enterprise. Enterprise ended right before the RW and the Federation was going to start. That could have a lot of character driven stories and action. I think a lot of time has passed since DS9’s Dominion War that it wouldn’t be been their done that. Or would it?

Aaron (Naysayers are gonna nay)

I would be okay with Moore or even Jane Epstein being show runner. Moore at the very least seems to get the pulse of the Trek universe.

Aaron (Naysayers are gonna nay)

**** Jane Espenson sorry auto correct

I’ll give him credit for admitting he doesn’t have a great new idea for a Star Trek show, and that maybe he shouldn’t be involved until he had a great idea.

I liked his work on Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation. Deep Space Nine certainly pushed the envelope for Star Trek. I admit, I didn’t think it was going to fly when it started. A Star Trek show on a space station and no Enterprise. But it worked, and worked well. I think it also helped that they didn’t use a select few writers, but they had a ton of writers. That helped keep it fresh. Ira Steven Behr also had a big part of Deep Space Nine’s success, and of course Mike Piller and Rick Berman for pushing the idea forward in the first place.

I also agree with Moore on his opinion of Voyager, that it was missing something. I did end up liking Voyager in the end, but I can’t help thinking they missed some opportunities. I loved the fact that it was all new aliens and it was the ultimate exploration show. But Voyager should have faced more adversity. A bit more like what we saw on the Equinox, and less the Enterprise. Maybe not as severe as the Equinox, I mean, 3/4 of the crew would probably be dead. But more adversity, energy shortages, having to improvise more, those are things they could have explored a bit more.

@5. MJ

“So great guy, but I think his opinion is a bit suspect given that he is kind of a one-hit wonder.
He needs to demonstrate to me that he can do more than one successful TV show, plus do a couple of movies, before I would consider him an expert on TV versus movies for Trek”

You sound so full of yourself here, MJ. Ron Moore doesn’t needs to demonstrate anything to you. He is one of the best TV writers in Hollywood & a better writer than your friend Bob.

Go back & watch BSG or any of Star Trek episodes that he wrote & then come back & give us a meaningful opinion about him.

And the article is about bringing Trek back to TV, not about Moore. But of course as a true nuTrek, you don’t want that. All you really want is your two hours of relentless dumb action movies that you like so much.

“I think (Star Trek’s) home and its heart is really in television.”

Hard to disagree with that. But everything he said poses the question – What will it take to bring Star Trek back to television, its voyage home if you will?

We’re barely a dozen posts in and already there are enough ideas in this thread to justify a production meeting.

YES, ST needs to return to TV where it thrives. Frankly, if all we’re ever going to get from a movie ticket is a nominally new villain doing a Khan impression and a lot of explosions, then the hell with it. Trek has IDEAS and characters and real conflict. I’d like to see the producers open the doors to sci-fi writers… even fans… for story ideas… and pass those to staff writers and the producers to polish.

I’d love to see a real Star Trek re-invigoration.

Wow Ahmed. 14 posts and phaser fire. Here we go…

And here I go. Bye-bye.

IDIC

While I’ve always thought TNG was the best Trek, DS9 did have better writing that allowed for more character and relationship development, which I’ve always attributed to RDM’s influence. These attributes drew me to BSG as well, which was better than both of the aforementioned Trek shows. High praise, indeed. Give RDM a bit of time to develop a plan and then hand him the reigns to Trek TV.

Oh, and hire Bear McCreary for the music. His work on BSG was nothing short of genius.

I know how to write it back, been writing it for seven years. biggest part will be selling it to paramount but it will be amazing.

@ 19. T’cal – February 5, 2014

“Oh, and hire Bear McCreary for the music. His work on BSG was nothing short of genius.”

I second that.

@17. crazydaystrom

When someone suggest that Ron Moore “needs to demonstrate to me that he can do more than one successful TV show, plus do a couple of movies, before I would consider him an expert on TV versus movies for Trek.” while giving a free pass to the Transformers writers, then I do have an issue with that.

he is spot on,start trek is best on TV,yes its nice to have a movie every so often and if done right,sorry not a big fan of the jj films,they are fun take your brain and enjoy the ride,however once you start to think about the plot then it all fall apart,i am just glad they are not set in the prime timeline,honest the shat your better off not being in them

Moore: “The kinds of stories that you’ll tell in the features space are not the kinds of stories that made that show so popular. The features all have to be action-oriented. The TV shows were morality plays, they were more thematic, they were examining society in different ways. Sometimes the stakes were just one crew member’s life, sometimes the stakes were just one alien world or the Enterprise.”

Agreed with his assessment. There is no escaping the fact that the movies will be geared to appease to mainstream audience & the focus will be mostly on action & adventure, not philosophical or social issues.

Perhaps what Trek need is to return to TV but on cable rather than a network. Cable shows these days come with better writings & well developed characters, unlike the case with networks shows.

I can appreciate the intricate chess game plot style of both BSG and DS9. But, they were slow as all hell, too much boring development time. DS9 was too serial for Star Trek. I did like it, but I have to be honest. For that reason, I prefer VOY over DS9. It had the episodic rhythm that I love from Trek, and didn’t have repulsive Ferengi episodes like DS9.

crazydaystrom the grand return! lol!

22. Ahmed
@17. crazydaystrom

When someone suggest that Ron Moore “needs to demonstrate to me that he can do more than one successful TV show, plus do a couple of movies, before I would consider him an expert on TV versus movies for Trek.” while giving a free pass to the Transformers writers, then I do have an issue with that.

I hear ya

@ 26. crazydaystrom – February 5, 2014

“crazydaystrom the grand return!”

LOL

I understand what Moore is getting at, and basically agree with his notion, but I disagree that the features can not match the depth of character or thematic morality plays.

They can, quite easily, but Paramount has deliberately chosen not to. Studio interference has always opted for an action-adventure, with only the fourth film eschewing a traditional protagonist/antagonist melodramatic structure. Several of the features are quite well executed, but on the balance, all are rather conventional in structure and content in an effort to reach a four-quadrant boxoffice audience.

Paramount will NEVER fork over $150 million dollars to produce a “City on the Edge of Forever”, “Chain of Command” or “In the Pale Moonlight” – each is too much of a downer, despite being exceptional works of drama.

What needs to be examined is WHY feature films can’t take the risks of television nowadays? Studio produced cinema is now the playground of remakes, re-treads, and re-boots; originality does not guaranteed profitability in the Hollywood mindset – which explains the continued employment of Orci & Kurtzman.

Love to see Moore helm a new Trek series. They should also totally get him to write the next movie.

Frankly, I wouldn’t trust Ronald D. Moore with anything Star Trek related.

He was part of the franchise fatigue period that both Rick Berman and Brannon Braga caused during the mid-1990’s to the early 2000’s. And in all honesty, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise were not all that hot in the Star Trek realm.

After his desecration of the original Battlestar Galactica with that remake, I wouldn’t let him near anything science fiction related, period.

30–

Moore had nothing to do with Voyager (except for writing 2 episodes) or Enterprise.

He had some involvement with TNG and a lot of involvement with Deep Space Nine.

Also, I would argue the mid 90’s Star Trek was at the top of it’s game. Not only was there a blockbuster movie, First Contact, but Deep Space Nine had come into its own and was well regarded at the time. So I disagree with franchise fatigue at that time.

But he was long gone by the early 2000’s.

BTW, if you didn’t like DS9, that’s fine.

But I don’t think you can argue Star Trek was unpopular in the mid 90’s. Quite the opposite. That was a period of heightened interest in Star Trek, much like today with Star Trek (2009) and STID, and there happened to be a TV show at the time. DS9 was the top rated syndicated show after TNG went off the air.

@30. Blue Thunder

“After his desecration of the original Battlestar Galactica with that remake, I wouldn’t let him near anything science fiction related, period.”

Are you kidding me ? The original BSG was just a show for kids that was made to cash in on the success of Star Wars. Ron Moore rebooted that old series & created one of the most sophisticated and original sci-fi shows ever.

Saying nuBSG was a desecration of the original Battlestar is like saying Nolan’s Batman was a desecration of the 1966 Batman.

I sense a Dirk Benedict fan in the midst.

@14. Easy there – I agree that Ron Moore is a bit more then a one hit wonder, and he was responsible for a lot of great Trek. On the other hand, he was also responsible for that abomination known as Generations – the writing effort on that movie makes Bob’s efforts look downright Shakespearian. In so much that Mr. Moore admits his Trek well is dry, that may be a de-facto admission that any format beyond ‘captain and six side kicks’ is probably dead on arrival.

@ 35. Phil – February 5, 2014

“In so much that Mr. Moore admits his Trek well is dry, that may be a de-facto admission that any format beyond ‘captain and six side kicks’ is probably dead on arrival.”

Well, at least he has the courage to admit that, unlike Bob & co who never even hinted that they made any mistake at all in the new movies.

Why the secrecy around Khan before the movie is out ? Blame it on Abrams or Urban. Why bring Khan back first place? It was Lindelof’s idea & so on

Right on, CmdrR.

Right on.

Bob Orci and Co. dont have to admit they made any mistakes as far as I am concerened .
I just want a good third movie .

@ 38. Gary 8.5 – February 5, 2014

“Bob Orci and Co. dont have to admit they made any mistakes as far as I am concerened .
I just want a good third movie”

And how do you expect to get a good third movie if the writers don’t acknowledge that there were issues in the previous movie ?

If the writers believed that all was well & sound in the last one, then there is no reason for them to improve anything & you will end up getting a 3rd movie with same issues.

If on the other hand, you think that the last one was great & amazing, then have no worry, the writers share that opinion & you will get what you got last time.

35–Yet on the other hand again, he was one of the writers of First Contact, and most would agree that was a huge hit.

“Go back & watch BSG or any of Star Trek episodes that he wrote & then come back & give us a meaningful opinion about him.”

Star Trek wasn’t his franchise. And he’s had 3 flops since BSG. He’s a good writer, for sure, but not someone who I think would be credible in being Trek back to TV. Until he produces a 2nd great TV series, I will maintain that he is a one hit wonder.

And regarding movies, the one movie experience he had was on MI-2, which was a rather disappointing film.

But nevertheless, what he did on DS9 and BSG is timeless, and I love the guy for it. I just don’t want to “bet the Star Trek farm” that lightening is going to strike a 3rd time for him in his career given the stream of very disappointing attempts at scifi from him over the last five years.

Here’s what he should do — he should go back to being on the writing team of a sf tv show and write episodes. That is his first, best, destiny.

@35

“He was also responsible for that abomination known as Generations – the writing effort on that movie makes Bob’s efforts look downright Shakespearian.”

Yep!

Don’t let it get to you, crazydaystrom. We all over-react at times here, myself included.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

17. crazydaystrom – February 5, 2014
Wow Ahmed. 14 posts and phaser fire. Here we go…

And here I go. Bye-bye.

IDIC

“crazydaystrom the grand return! lol!”

LOL — cool !

I know I’m in the minority, but I lost interest in BSG after the early part of the second season. The pilot and first season were great, but then it went off the rails.

I want Star Trek back on TV, but I want it set in the prime universe, 50-75 years after the TNG/DS9/VOY era. Leave the Vulcan-less and Romulus-less Abramsverse in the movie theaters, please.

At the risk of seeming masturbatory, I’ll quote myself here: It would have to make some sort of economic sense to all parties involved in order to promote the idea of a new series. Problems: 1. It has to feel like Trek, because the die-hard fans would be the base audience, i.e. white men in their 40s and beyond. Maybe Geritol could get behind it as a special sponsor the way cigarette companies used to do back in the 50s. 2. It can’t feel too much like Trek if it wants to attract a broader audience. Therefore, you risk “raping the childhood” of the aforementioned Viagra crowd (oh, maybe they could sponsor it, too, with a “set it on STUN” campaign!). 3. It would have to NOT run on SyFy as one of those embarrassingly cheap shark/snake/mutant spider movies with the Commodore 64-level CGI effects. So, the challenge is to make it familiar, but not stale, yet also pitch it to the 40-plus crowd with the most disposable income while making the mindless millennials happy at the same time. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll hold my breath for that. Nor is anyone going to fulfill some fanboy’s pipe dream of having one of the fan films picked up for production by Paramount or CBS. Get your heads out of the clouds. Paramount will devote its Star Trek resources solely to the next movie; CBS is largely SOL. All they could conceivably do is another Classic Trek series which would be… Read more »

Would love to see a new Star Trek TV series!

But I’m afraid for those that want something like TRW or Captain Picards great, great grandson/daughter flying a quantum star ship in the year 8044 prime universe, I doubt that will happen.

I mean I might watch it and you might watch it. But for every group of us that would, there’d be about 5000+ other viewers that would skip it and tune in Game of Thrones or something.

I would guess the studio would go with whats hot, and thats something based on the new films. I for sure would gladly watch this new crew (even re-cast) each week! :] (And likely a lot of other viewers would as well).

#45

Unfortunately, Romulus was destroyed in the Prime Universe. But it’s still got Vulcan!

I agree with you about BSG. I lost interest about halfway through its run. Got too depressing to watch. For me anyway.

As much as I like Ron Moore (he did some great work on TNG and DS9), I think Trek needs new blood with, most importantly, new ideas. And if STID is any indication, that eliminates the most recent group of writers as well.

The two new guys—not a long resume for either, so who knows what they’ll bring to the next movie?

39 Ahmed, Frankly I don’t give a tinker’s fart if the writers ADMIT their mistakes before writing the next movie.

All I care about is that they write the next movie and DO A GOOD JOB — with a logical storyline that’s not truncated or buried due to too much zippyzip action.

That’d make up for the past boo-boos, more than any words spoken or written by way of apology for them.

wpDiscuz