There was a Battlestar Galactica special screening in Hollywood on Wednesday and TrekMovie.com was there. BSG co-creator and executive producer Ron Moore had a quick moment to chat about the next season of BSG and Star Trek. On the subject of the new Trek film Moore tells TrekMovie.com that he is a fan of JJ Abrams. "He is tremendously talented and I think he is going to do a really good job," said the veteran Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine writer/producer. I also had a chance to ask the man who killed James T. Kirk (Moore co-wrote Generations) about the the the plans to bring Kirk back in the new film.
TrekMovie.com: Last week your old DS9 comrade Ira Behr told me that he thought the plans to return to the era of Kirk and Spock was the safe bet, but that it was also ‘marching backwards to the future’, do you agree with that assessment?
Ron Moore: I understand Ira’s point and there is a lot of validity to saying they are stepping backwards, but at the same time I think it is the smart move to do it. I think the Star Trek universe has grown beyond what you can get your arms around. You can no longer truly enjoy it for what it is because it is so big and it has so many cross sections and so much continuity that it is maddening. I think only the truly hard core fans can keep all that together. So I think it is time to brush all that stuff over and say ‘what were the roots of all this again? , what was this really about?’ It was about the 5 year mission with these guys on this ship and let’s start over and tell a new set of tales. So I support them I think it is a really good move.
TrekMovie.com: Beyond the film, there are a lot of new genre TV shows getting the greenlight these days. Do you think that a genre show like Star Trek and it’s kind of futuristic space based sci-fi can work on network television today?
Ron Moore: I don’t know I think that is tough. It hasn’t been done and they have given it a try over the years, even the original Star Trek didn’t make it on network TV. The broadcast networks needs such a large general audience and science fiction on TV has been such a narrower appeal. It is a strange equation of which I have never understood because if you look at the top ten feature films of all time it is almost all genre stuff…look at Star Wars. Why it doesn’t work on TV I don’t know.
During the event Moore was asked if he felt hampered during his time at Trek and if there were storylines that he still couldnt do even with Battlestar Galactica.
Ron Moore: Trek was very very good to me I have to say. I enjoyed my stint at Star Trek and I was there a very long time. It gave me my career. I was on two of the series and I loved what I was doing. But there came a point where I started feeling that I wanted to just be more dangerous with the characters. I wanted to go more and more into to ambiguous territory and make it more natural and real. I just started bumping up places I couldn’t go with Trek. But with Galactica I don’t know that I can say I have not been able to go places where I wanted to go which is in large measure is attributed to the network.[jokingly] They just love torture and rape and killing babies [laughter]. I have been allowed to do the show I want to do.
The Galactica Cast at the event
Ron also had the time to talk to others at the show. Links Collider and IESB.
More of my interview with Ron (on BSG) as well as other BSG cast and crew will be available at GeekMonthly.com later this morning.
Photos by Al Ortega (the coolest photographer around)
Keep Trek Alive!!!!
Ron Moore has his moments of brilliance and failure, like all “artists.” I do, however, agree with him about what he said about the Trek franchise vs. what Behr said.
It still makes me mad that he and Braga killed off Kirk so stupidly, though.
I’m first – wow this is amazing!
Is it Ron Moore whjo is banging Seven of Nine or the other one (Branga)?
whichever it is he must thank his lucky stars that he was a trekkie at night when he’s lying in bed with Jeri Ryan
Braga WAS dating Jeri Ryan…but no more.
And Braga has stated many times he never was a Trek “fan”….
Braga WAS dating Jeri Ryan…but no more.
And Braga has stated many times he never was a Trek “fan”….
hope i wasnt too rude in my previous post –
apoloigies if so.
Anyway regarding Mr Moores statements – I agree with him when he says “So I think it is time to brush all that stuff over and say ‘what were the roots of all this again? , what was this really about?’ It was about the 5 year mission with these guys on this ship and let’s start over and tell a new set of tales”
Its Kirk, Spock etc that are part of pop culture the same way Bond, Batman etc are…Picard Riker etc – no where near…TNG feels like just a long gone fad these days..for hard core Trek fans only…its time is over…whenever i see Patrick Stewart in interviews and he gets asked about Trek he gives off the same vibe now..
TNG films were always a bit iffy when they were out anyway – as it was TNG, not the original guys in them…actually if you look at TNGs films there was really only 3 as Generations had Kirk in it for a good bit….First Contact was a great film and hence succcesful at the BO…9 and 10 just fell flat on their face though as they were poor and focused on characters no one really gave a crap about (seriously – who gives a shit that Riker and Troi finally get married) Also people were just loosing patenience with the whole of trek by that time..(thanks to DS9 and Voyager)
what the hell kind of a name is “Brannon” anyway?
nice job killing off Kirk. it had about as much guts as the weakest TNG episode which he produced. (they couldn’t even fix it in the re-shot sequence.)
Now that Moore has made his own mark with DS9 and BSG, we see where the talent was on that team.
damn – you cant edit on this board!
any way i wanted to add in regard to TNG – It was really only Patrick Stewart that held the whole thing together anyway – his acting and stature in the role helped TNG enormosly… ultimatly I think people were only going to see the TNG films for him actually…
oh and another thing – The reason First Contact was so succesfull is because it gave what alot of people wanted – hard core bad ass Trek – Star Trek does Aliens with a dash of The Terminator.
That really hadnt been done before (closest was probably Wrath of Khan)
That and it had Patrick Stewart in full on mode
Ron Moore: “I think the Star Trek universe has grown beyond what you can get your arms around. You can no longer truly enjoy it for what it is because it is so big and it has so many cross sections and so much continuity that it is maddening.”
I don’t find it maddening at all. I love the continuity that exists through the different installments of Star Trek. It’s one of the reasons I became a fan.
Snake Plissken, welcome to our not so little club. I enjoy BSG a great deal and did like DS9 but have always loathed TNG. It would appear that once the Berman shackles came off, Moore (and his Renaissance Fair Hair and Beard) really flourished as a sci-fi creator. In fact I think both DS9 and BSG are both much more in tune with the Original Series than TNG or the other spinoffs. The Original series was extremely edgy for it’s day and is still fairly so today. Just look at the controversy regarding the Christain alogory in Bread and Circuses, Sexuality of Spock’s Brain ect. TNG and Voyager were bland, non controversial and very sanitary, very PC. It would have been interesting to see what the Ron Moore of today would have done with TNG had he been able to do so.
I disagree with Ron Moore. Star trek has great continuity. Forget that, will be very bad.
Star trek is different show than Battlestar galactica ( and that is a good thing ).
First Contact was hardly hardcore badass Trek. It was the TNG movie that sucked the least, but comparatively speaking, it was not the big hit people like to make it out to be. Adjusting for inflation, it’s right in the middle. Plus, it had the largest budget at the time. It was an ok movie and was nothing more than a glorified TNG episode.
Even Ron Moore, who will forever be the idiot who killed Kirk, has acknowledged that.
I thought First Contact was the best Trek movie. I actually went to see it twice at the theater, and I can’t say that for most movies.
I get what Ron Moore is talking about, but the fact that he wanted to take Star Trek to more darker and edgier places and released he couldn’t, demonstrates that Star Trek cannot be like Battlestar Galactica without betraying its roots and ideology. And I respect Ron for that.
However, I still feel that some of the things Ron managed to do on Star Trek were not in keeping with the series. And I glad he recognised that and left without trying to change the franchise fundamentaly. In Battlestar he has found something which he can use to speak to the audience on his terms.
Whether or not he or Ira Behr feel Star Trek is going in the right direction is almost irrelevant. When Ron started on TNG, he was a huge fan of TOS, and loved Star Trek in general. I don’t think he could say the same now. I doubt even JJ has send every single episode of Star Trek like we ordinary fans have. So, I think I’ll take the views and opinions of people on this site and others as more powerful and faithful.
Interesting interview. As a big fan of the new BSG, I’ve come to respect Moore and his skills as a writer a lot. I agree that Kirk’s death was a misstep, but I also think it may have worked better on the page than it played on the screen, where it just came off as abrupt and flat. Could better direction have made it more substantive, and the whole film more satisfying? Hard to say.
Ron Moore is a genuine fan and I think he’s a talented guy who has done amazing things with a property like BSG that was perceived as so corny and mired in the 70s. Still, I can’t get over the fact that he thought shooting Captain Kirk in the back and then pushing him off a rusty bridge were good ideas, even at the time. At least he owns up to his mistakes, which is very unHollywood and very refreshing.
Oh, and Ron? Get a haircut! lol
I assume most everyone knows that when Moore and Braga were writing the script for Generations, they did so while in Hawaii together. How much you wanna bet they were smoking some of the local killer weed while brainstorming the plotline! That would go a long way to explaining how they came up with the lame head-up-your-ass premise for the demise of Kirk! What a couple of unprofessional ass-wipes!!! It kills me that, at the time, if any writer from OUTSIDE came in and pitched horseshit like that, they’d be laughed out of the room, but by these two bone-heads being on the production end, they get to run with it! Life isn’t just unfair, sometimes it sticks you up the ass and breaks it off!!!
I love Ron Moore, but killing off Kirk in the manner they did was not a highlight of his career.
Do the right thing. Bring back Shatner/Kirk in ST XI and right the wrong that has in effect killed ST.
BRING BACK KIRK!!!
I disagree with Moore and agree with Ira Steven Behr. If DS9 hadn’t come along, and the progression went from TOS to TNG and then Voyager and Enterprise, people would say nothing could be done to make the show better and blame it all on the franchise. The fact that DS9 DID do something amazing — in fact, it’s created the essence of what BSG is now in terms of political insight and in depicting human nature with moral ambiguity — proves that Star Trek can be great with the right people behind it. Star Trek failed creatively under Berman/Braga. It succeeded under Behr and he could generate great movies, too.
I’m sceptical about Abrams because he’s a superficial hack, relying on the nostalgia of the crappy original series to get audience members. Lost has largely succeeded because of Lindeloff; Abrams has barely written anything, though he may have some decent instincts for settings. Has anyone seen “Alias” — biggest pile of crap ever! Awful stories, terrlbe acting by lousy actress Jennifer Garner. Even Mission Impossible 3 was just a decent action flick — nothing deeper and hardly a departure for the guy, since it was basically Alias with Tom Cruise instead of Garner, who’s just as bad an actor.
Star Trek was largely worthwhile during the Motion Picture through Star Trek IV, some episodes of Next Gen and especially in DS9; that’s it. The rest was crap and it’s not going to get any better because people like Abrams don’t write politically insightful stuff. He just brings in the ratings. Paramount has screwed this up.
I don’t think Abrams said he was “starting Star Trek over”, did he? I thought it wasn’t going to be a reboot.
Harcourt Fenton Muldfeld…YOU’VE BEEN WHINING AGAIN!
Can we get any more of this “E” style reporting on anyone that is close to, or admires J.J. Abrams?. Next we’ll get a report from his gardener ,or his diaper service man, as to what direction they think Abrams will take the new film. Are we that starved for information???
” … relying on the nostalgia of the crappy original series …”
and that’s where I stopped reading.
So does this mean their wont be new Trek series at all? Or just a new Trek series on a network and their should be on in syndication? Or is Paramount waiting to see how Trek XI does before they think about doing a new series?
CBS Corporation own the rights to Star Trek TV series, not Paramount. Paramount only has the movie rights. They were divided up when Viacom split.
Paramount wants a new movie. CBS doesn’t want a new series.
It means nothing. Nothing.
If the hardcore fans can keep up with the continuity, why not hire on a couple of people (maybe actual fans) to do just that. A good writer could make the story appealing while standing on its own (for non-fans, casuals, etc.) but still keeping the wonderfully rich and enjoyable continuity of the Trek universe together (for hardcores, etc.). It wouldn’t be that hard and all of the past/future would just open up that many more rich ideas for stories!
For instance, my Dad and I wanted Voyager to end with a wormhole connecting the DQ to the AQ so that the universes could connect. And, Series V to be a Relativity (the time-travel ship from the emponymous Season 5 episode) series. A Star Trek time-travel series would offer so much! Still, Enterprise was a great show (especially the transcendent Season 4). Bring back Coto, Sussman, and the Reeves-Stevens! :D
Trek’s amassed continutity is great for fans who enjoy all the connections and history, but Moore is right to call it maddening because it can force writers to be contortionists. Respecting “canon” to the extent that doing it no harm takes precedence over drama may appeal to a certain audience who finds it soothing and reassuring, but a larger audience would rather be thrilled by joy or terror in a setting that isn’t quite so overdeveloped and institutionalized.
Starting over doesn’t mean doing a bad show or doing things for the sake of difference. A new show would keep the core ingredients of its predecessor’s success and establish its own background and continuity. If it lives long and prospers enough, eventually it too might be crushed under the weight of its own synthesized history and need another reboot.
#30: “Enterprise was a great show (especially the transcendent Season 4). Bring back Coto, Sussman, and the Reeves-Stevens!”
Couldn’t agree more. But it seems that you and me are the only two people on this site that think that.
#32: Enterprise got better. The problem commercially was not enough viewers were left by then. I blame Voyager for Trek’s poor health, not Enterprise. Voyager, by promising a difficult premise then retreating into Trek Lite mode, created the feeling that Star Trek was tired. Both Voyager and Enterprise had some great episodes (and I admit Voyager in its later, faster-paced seasons became a guilty pleasure of sorts) but the overall trend was downward, and it was a nose dive that Enterprise didn’t pull up from fast enough.
peope have already commented on this qoute but i think i have to as well
“I think the Star Trek universe has grown beyond what you can get your arms around. You can no longer truly enjoy it for what it is because it is so big and it has so many cross sections and so much continuity that it is maddening.”
oh yes that makes sense , since large universes are a bad thing *cough* star trek , lord of the rings and star wars ,stargate. lol . i mean its set in space , i would have thought having a big universe was important. The guy does not seem to know what hes talking about .
I mean going back to kirk and the gang is great, but if they piss all over star trek history and do a complete reimage , then they might as well tell the fans to start digging a grave , couse star trek will be dead.
I do agree its time to go back to the roots. I am for rebooting with an open mind. Look at the success of recent reboots such as Dr. Who and BSG. Looking forward to the film when it comes out next year.
12# Lord Garth:
Agreed. The edginess just wasn’t there in most of TNG or Voyager. Funny how these shows have not aged well, with few exceptions. “The Best of Both Worlds” one of them…a great two parter.
On the other hand TOS took risks, as did DS9. I’m hooked to BSG now(regretting the new season will be the last-the acting in the last few episodes of the recent season was fantastic!)
Risk is our business
BSG can be seen as Moore’s personal commentary on ST: Voyager. BSG is how Moore would have dealt with the story of a bunch of humans stuck in the middle of nowhere in deep space struggling to survive. BSG, for me is perhaps the best scifi TV show since TOS ended!!
Moore is also correct about Trek’s continuity being too sprawled and messy. Let’s face it, we have TOS, which Roddenberry himself was happy to contradict at times with TNG. We have the animated show which was canon until 1987 and might now partly or completely be again.
We have DS9, Voyager and Enterprise (which, for all their merits and de-merits had fewer and fewer viewers) adding continuity most of a potential film audience will be unaware of.
Then there are Trek movies II-VI, which Roddenberry also didn’t particularly recognise as ‘canon’ after his own TMP. And what about the spin-off novels and comic books, most of which contradict each other as well as the series on which they’re based?
Star Trek is a franchise that started on TV, with many contributors, that branched out into other media. It’s not a Lord of the RIngs where one man (and his son) pretty much determine what is and isn’t ‘canon!’
JJ Abrams is also not, as one person put it ‘a hack.’ You can dislike his stuff, but to describe his work as that of ‘a hack’ is plain ignorant. Alias, which admittedly suffered in later years as Abrams moved on to other projects, was one of the slickest, best made shows on TV at the time. No wonder Paramount jumped at the chance to get him on board for MI:III! Lost, similarly, in its early days was compelling TV.
If anything, when these shows suffer, it usually coincides with Abrams’ diminished involvement.
As for Trek’s outside-of-cinema future, I suspect Paramount will be considering straight to DVD Trek projects, given they’ve established a direct-to-DVD division.
Look at the new Get Smart movie. There’s a direct-to-DVD spin-off film with secondary castmembers coming out within days of the actual film’s release. It makes good financial sense to make a direct-to-DVD film simultaneously, as there are available standing sets and stock FX available from the main film.
Say, that characters like Sulu, Chekov and Uhura ***maybe*** were in the feature film (of which none of us has any idea.) A story about them would be easy enough to produce while the ‘big three’ are off-duty or away on a mission elsewhere.
My suspicion is that any new Trek projects outside of the cinema will be based on the ‘rebooted’ Trek universe anyway.
I’m glad Ron Moore has backed the new movie project. As the man who reportedly regrets that he killed Kirk, he must be very relieved to see him revived!
I think Ron Moore should go get some help and get over Star Trek. Every interview he does he eithers slams or whines about it. For a guy who slams “chessy” shows from the 1970’s. I guess he is waiting for 1970 to call up and ask for their hair style back.
Comments like this only prove that Moore is NO fan of Trek regardless of what he says. He is nothing more than talking like Rick Berman.
So long Ron!
The Star Trek movies don’t seem to be about the rabid Trekker anymore but about trying to appeal to a mass audience ($$$$$). Joe Movie Fan cares nothing about continuity or the giant world of Star Trek. They just want a good story, effects and characters worth caring about. It should be interesting to see the new movie and whether they cater to the mass audience, the hardcore Trekker or if they can somehow find the balance like ST:WOK did so well.
On a side note, being a relative newbie to this site, it is amazing how angry some of you people are.
“Mr. Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That’s the only planet in the galaxy that can make that claim.”
“The best diplomat that I know is a fully-loaded phaser bank.”
I think Moore was about the only thing that kept Trek running close to properly in later years! His treatment of Galactica shows that he could have done great things in the Trek universe, had he not been restrained by the ‘1980s Big Mac and Fries’ culture of Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.
If Mr Moore discusses his issues with Trek, in part it’s because people ask him about it and also because I suspect he’s frustrated that Trek became such a bland, play-safe show in its later years, a million miles away from TOS’s heyday. Moore recognises that the original Trek was anything but ‘safe.’
The whole ‘Federation as nanny state’ thing that developed in 80s Trek was a perversion of the so-called ‘positive future’ of TOS. The ‘positive future’ was that we put away our major hostilities and started exploring space. It didn’t mean humans became inane, cardboard caricatures of Californian lifestyle gurus.
And where the f*ck does Mr Moore’s hairstyle influence his producing abilities? If that’s the worst insult you can lob at him, clearly he’s doing something right!
Finally, I think the producer of shows such as Battlestar Galactica and Carnivàle has more than ‘got over’ Trek!
Jeff said: ‘The Star Trek movies don’t seem to be about the rabid Trekker anymore but about trying to appeal to a mass audience ($$$$$). Joe Movie Fan cares nothing about continuity or the giant world of Star Trek.’
In fairness, why should they, Jeff? TV and cinema are both about moving pictures, but are otherwise very different media with a different target audience and purpose.
The hardcore Trek fan base isn’t big enough to support a blockbuster-scale movie anymore and, besides, Star Trek was intended to be mass-appeal entertainment, not a niche market. As I said earlier, Trek continuity’s messy enough. Sweeping the board clean is the best way to go for the mainstream audience!
The new Doctor Who is not a reboot. It’s a continuation of the old series. Christopher Eccleston played the 9th Doctor and David Tennant plays the 10th Doctor.
Star Trek can not be a Galactica reimaged.If you want a Blockbuster you need the core audencies to help.I have lost all respect of Ron Moore because of what he did pissing over Galactica.I too was no fan of Casino Royale(I wish the producers would just admit Casino Royale was a total restart) but noone really knows what JJ Abrams IS doing.He says they respect Cannon and IS doing a film for both fans and non fans.And by the way Alias was a great show(season 4 which they had the best ratings wise suffered because they departed too much Into stand alone episodes) and Jennifer Garner Is a fine actress.I have just now started to watch the Lost DVDS for Season 1 through Netflix so I am not totally ready to comment on Lost.
A great interview. Insightful comments, although I’m surprised that he wasn’t more negative about Trek’s tired formula. In some ways, BSG has been his open rejection of that formula.
#44: A lot of us wish Nu-Who **would be** completely separate from the old show we love!
Star trek universe have great continuity, an that is a realy good thing.
Reboot will be a very bad thing ( destroying a 40 years of continuity ).
Reboot is a way for ”going to do cyrcle” thing.
If Star Trek XI turns out to be a reboot, I won’t watch it.
When you think about it, all STXI will need to avoid is contradicting the set continuity in order to keep most of us happy enough to enjoy whatever new story they want to tell us.
I don’t need the new movie to waste time placating my extensive knowledge of the trekverse in order to enjoy it.
Just as long as Klingons don’t hatch from eggs or the Enterprise is unrecognizable, I’ll be willing to sit and enjoy something a little new and different.