In the second part of the exclusive TrekMovie.com interview with Ronald D. Moore [see part 1], we talk about how on TNG he railed against the Trek clichés, how on DS9 he and the team were given more latitude, how he wished it went differently with Voyager and how his time with Trek influenced his new show, Battlestar Galactica.
[AUDIO + Transcript below]
LISTEN: Ron Moore TrekMovie.com Interview – Part 2
(sorry about the buzz)
TrekMovie: A lot of scripts you wrote…when you look at "Data’s Day" in the end the Enterprise loses, it is not a winning situation to get duped. And in "Rejoined" you have the kiss, and "Family" there is no sci-fi story, and [in "Doctor Bashir, I Presume"] you have one of the characters suddenly having this dark past. Did you have a lot of resistance from above to do these kinds of breaking-the-mold notions?
Ron Moore: There was a bit of a fight. I always sort of always fighting to take stories into darker directions or go out on more ambiguous notes or make the Enterprise lose occasionally. A lot of it was in service of doing things differently. I think I was looking at molds to break. We were doing so many episodes a year, twenty six a year which seems unfathomable…
TrekMovie: Well you are doing twenty [with Battlestar Galactica]
Ron Moore: Hey let me tell you, those extra six make a big difference. [laughs] Somewhere around show eighteen your eyes would start rolling into the back of your head on Trek. For me show eighteen was always the backbreaker, you were going ‘oh my god we’ve got eight more to do…how are we going to get eight more?’ It was killing ya.
TrekMovie: Just slap some latex on some foreheads and you’ll figure it out
Ron Moore: Oh yeah it was nuts. You were doing so many episodes. We had this big board that were the Star Trek clichés. After every pitch session, because we were taking endless amounts of writers coming to pitch, the writers would all sort of gleefully go to the cliché board and we would log how many of the Trek clichés we heard that day: Data becomes man, Data becomes god, they discover a planet and the planet is alive…there were just all these categories and we would just tally each one to keep ourselves sane. Because of that and because there were so many Trek clichés and so many patterns doing shows, I was always looking for the show that was different. I was looking for the one we hadn’t done. Well we hadn’t done one where the Enterprise loses, that alone makes me want to do it. We haven’t done the one where we it ends on a darker note. We haven’t done the one where Picard kills the guy instead of saves the guy. I was always the one that wanted to do something different and as a result I was always usually the one getting in the most fights. I was the guy in the room who was always arguing and fighting and kicking cans around trying to do something a little different and trying to take the show in directions where sometimes the show couldn’t go. The showrunners were right sometimes. I was just trying to take us to a place where Star Trek couldn’t comfortably go.
Riker faces a moral dilemma and ends up in the brig in Moore’s 7th season
TNG episode "The Pegasus"
TrekMovie: Do feel that Battlestar [Galactica] is a natural successor to Deep Space Nine?
Ron Moore: I think there is certainly a lineage to it. A lot of the things that I do in Battlestar had their birth in discussions in the writers room in Deep Space. Things we said we couldn’t do. Character turns that we could never really do. We were always try and roughen up and screw up the characters on Deep Space whenever possible and you can only go so far and do so much with their flaws. It got me thinking in terms of flawed characters and being much edgier and much braver in terms of what an audience can tolerate from their main cast and what it meant to write a war series. Our war against The Dominion in Deep Space and limits in how far we can go with that and how ugly it can be and how difficult it could be and how far you can go to deal with the characters in a state of perpetual war like that and ya a lot of my thinking started there.
TrekMovie.com: You guys were kind of just left on your own and kind of the weird people, with Deep Space Nine…
Ron Moore: Yah we kind of prided ourselves on being the bastard stepchildren of the Trek franchise. We were the only one that truly different. Every other series was essentially about a starship boldly going somewhere, and we weren’t. We were proud of that. And we were kind of proud we didn’t get the same publicity and that we were the forgotten ones. It was something we sort of wore as a badge of honor amongst the writers. …. I think they missed an opportunity by not continuing to diversify what the franchise overall meant. You could do a starship show, then you did this radically different space station show. OK then there could have been another version that was even radically different from the previous two. It was unfortunate that they went back to it being just a starship again and sort of doing another riff on The Original Series or Next Gen.
TrekMovie: You mean with Voyager and Enterprise?
Ron Moore: Voyager and Enterprise — they are both essentially the same format. I mean you mix up the crews, you mix up the sort of fundamental mission of it all in each show but you are still getting back to the notion that Star Trek equals a starship going someplace with a big viewscreen and that was what Trek had to be and I felt that we had proved that it didn’t have to be that and that to me implied that it could be many other things too. I always wanted the franchise to try and figure out what those other things might be.
Moore’s 6th season DS9 episode "Waltz", takes place mostly in a cave focusing on the characters of Sisko, Dukat (and Dukat’s inner demons)
TrekMovie: Much has been said about how after Deep Space Nine you moved over, very briefly, to Voyager and then just left, and possibly on unpleasant terms. So what happened between you and Brannon and…
Ron Moore: That’s the past. It is all water under the bridge and I don’t want to talk about it in any great detail. Essentially I went over. I probably shouldn’t have gone over. I probably should have left the nest at that point and made a clean break. I went over with different expectations than that show was prepared to do creatively and internally. And Brannon and I had a falling out and a creative clash and a personal clash and I just decided I didn’t want to work like this. I had always been proud of the fact that I tenure at Star Trek there were only two days I didn’t want to show up at work in the ten years of being there. Then I was at Voyager and found I didn’t want to go into work any day, so I just quit because I didn’t want to work like that.
TrekMovie: You and Brannon are OK now?
Ron Moore: Yah, absolutely. That was a long time ago. We’ve made up over the years. We don’t work together anymore so we don’t have the kind of relationship that we once did, but that is mostly because our career paths have gone in different directions.
TrekMovie: On Voyager and Battlestar, it is a ship on its way to Earth with no infrastructure, there are some parallels. Would ‘Ron Moore’s Voyager’ be like Battlestar, if you were the showrunner?
Ron Moore: Yah…probably…when I was on my brief tenure on Voyager and I was starting to think in terms of what I wanted to do, I remember sitting with the writing staff and saying ‘I really think…that when Voyager gets damaged it should get damaged, we should stop repairing the ship, the ship should be broken down more and devolving a little bit more.’ One of the ideas I had is that they should start developing their own culture within the starship and letting go of Starfleet protocols and stop thinking of themselves as Starfleet people on some level, even though they still wear the uniform and still try to adhere to the regulations. I thought it would be interesting that by the time this ship got back to Earth, that it didn’t even belong at Earth anymore. That it sort of had become its own culture, it had formed its own civilization which was dissimilar to that which they had left behind…Now that you mention this there was somebody, I don’t think it was me, somebody had pitched the notion of them having to guard some alien ships they had encountered. It was a convoy and through some plot I can’t remember that they had agreed to protect and Sheppard through some hostile star systems on their journey. And they were going to be the warship tending the little convey of civilian ships. And I was really taken with it and really liked the idea and thought it would be cool and it was sort of Galactica. We might have even mentioned Galactica….but to your question, If I had been the showrunner from the beginning I probably would have sent it into a darker direction and sent it into a more harrowing journey yes. And made them more on the run and more less of a pretty journey getting back, and at the same time, I probably would have felt compelled to stay within certain boundaries of what Trek was and how Trek had established itself. So I don’t think I could have taken Voyager to the places I have taken Galactica, even if I did have the reins.
Seven reunites with her former unimatrix pals in Ron Moore’s sole Voyager script "Survival Instinct" (Moore also co-wrote the story for "Barge of the Dead")
TrekMovie: Turning that around. On Galactica you guys have the no anomalies no aliens rule. Do you guys ever sit around, I know there are a lot of DS9 guys in the writers room, and think ‘god I just thought of a great anomaly’ or ‘wouldn’t it be great if we ran into this species’? Does that Trek DNA ever come back?
Ron Moore: No I don’t every remember it coming up like that. [laughs] I think what has come up every once in a while is sort of we will have a problem between us and the Cylons and maybe we start talking about a tech solution to get out of it or a tech way of dealing with it. We usually shy away from them, but sometimes we go forward and try and make it as anti-Star Trek as possible. Sort of like when Sharon plugged herself into the CIC computer system [BSG: "Flight of the Phoenix"] as a way of warding off the attack. That was about as techie as we wanted to get and it was sort of a Star Trek-esque way of getting out of a problem, but by and large I don’t remember us ever saying ‘what if we met an alien race’ or ‘what if we ran into a subspace anomaly’ or anything like that. It seems like we have all been freed and are sort of grateful we don’t have to do that anymore.
TrekMovie: We know everything about how the Enterprise and all the various ships work. We know the names of all the components, how the warp drive works, we have seen the schematics, and there really has never really been any explanation about how anything works in Battlestar…for good reason. When you finally went to the engine room of the Pegasus [BSG: "The Captain’s Hand"] it looked like something out of a World War II battleship, almost steam powered. Were you saying ‘this is nothing like the engine room of the Enterprise’ was that a conscious effort?
Ron Moore: Oh yah. We had discussions about it. I said ‘It should not look anything like the engine room of the Enterprise.’ It should not have lots of blinky lights. It should feel very hands on – valves, gauges, lots of things to press and pull. It should be a hot, sweaty place to work. Part of it is justified by the fact that the Colonials had gone with a very retro technology in dealing with how the Cylons had taken advantage of them in the first Cylon War. So that gave us a lot of freedom to sort keep playing with phones with cords on them and things were really hands on. It was a great aesthetic to bring into a spaceship because so many spaceships had just become this flat panels of blinking lights, and they had become very boring and very sterile and I wanted the engine room to feel more like engine rooms that I had been in in the Navy. When you go down into a destroyer’s engine room it was a hot noisy difficult place to work. It wasn’t a pleasant place you wanted to hang out in and talk with Scotty. It was a place you really wanted to get out of as soon as you could and that is how I wanted the Battlestar engine room to feel as well.
No giant glowing warp core in the Battlestar engine room
TrekMovie: You mentioned the Navy. Nick Meyer introduced a lot of Naval feeling into Trek with Star Trek II, which seemed to go away again in the Next Gen era. You have injected a lot of Navy into Battlestar Galactica. Did you try bring some Navy into Next Gen?
Ron Moore: Oh yah all the time…there were all sorts of little protocols and little traditions I would try to inject whenever possible. Like in "Data’s Day" just the fact that the day begins with Riker coming on and relieving Data’s watch and Data has to report to him the state of the ship and then the formality of "I relieve you sir" "I stand relieved" and Data walking off and the sense of a new watch coming on board. I started referring to watches and bridge officers and being certified as a deck officer. Just all those things I wanted to infuse the ship with because that is how Navy ships run and that is the tradition all the way back to the beginning. It was set up as a Navy command structure and Gene [Roddenberry] always mentioned Horatio Hornblower as one of the inspirations for Captain Kirk and I always thought of the Naval lineage as an important component of Star Trek.
Data is relieved in Moore’s TNG episode "Data’s Day"
More Moore coming up
The final part of the interview coming up later this week will discuss Moore’s Trek feature films, the new Star Trek film and Moore’s new TV and film projects
“I think I was looking at molds to break.”
So all those arguing with me in the previous RDM thread may apologize whenever ready.
I won’t slam Voyager, but I think Moore could have added a lot. I’ve heard his comments about keeping the damage and the few times they did that from week to week in Voyager it added a layer of tension to the story. Seeing the BSG in recent eps, and especially the once gorgeous Air Force One, it really makes you wonder how many jumps they have left before the wheels fall off. That’s cool. I also remember a few, not many, eps where they took characters to the dark side. Tuvok disobey’s Starfleet regulations and trades a database for something or other. Neelix tells Tuvok he’s a stuck up ass (‘Rise’.) Better than the gnawingly sacharin eps that end with Janeway literally planning a tea party.
Anyway — I loves me some good BSG. Glad Moore has made his statement. Have no idea what he’s still going to turn out.
I would be very interested to see RDM’s take on Voyager. There definitely would have been a greater sense of danger to the series that voyager never really had. It’s interesting to consider. I look forward to part 3.
That Voyager convoy idea would have been very cool, but very “un-Trek”. Works well for BG, though.
I think I’m of two minds on “darkening” everything. I enjoy Moore’s Galactica up to a point, but at times the somber, doom and gloom theme can be fatiguing. I don’t think the new Bionic Woman series was any better because it was darker than the original. I appreciate the complexity of the more realistic shows where everything doesn’t end on a happy note, but by the same token, sometimes the good guys do win.
I agree that it’s good to explore new directions on trek. But the contenuious notion of Anti- Trek the he has here is just as annoying as the “reset Button” type cliche’s on Voyager.
I like taking a darker feel to some stories, but always taking a “Darker” path in it self seems to me to be a Cilche in and of itself. I totally lost intreast in BSG after the second season. The shakey camera work got old, and the show got too political and too “Dark” for my taste. I know people like it and that’s ok. People like Voyager too.
All I’m saying is that it’s possible to go to far in the other direction too. I tried to watch an episode of BSG a few weeks ago and it just seemed to be a Space Soap Opera.
I’ve always thought DS9 was the best of trek because it was so well rounded. A good mix of charicters v.s Plot, and Light V.S. Dark.
All of my favorite Trek Episodes were written by Ron Moore, but this constant “Dark” “anti-trek” thing is kind of annoying. No alens and no annomalys is just as irritateing as having a new one every week.
Stop hateing on trek already. There’s a reason it’s lasted 40 years.
People like it.
DAMN…What Moore said about Voyager is EXACTLY what I was saying on message boards about Voyager when it was on the air. What a different show it would have been had he been able to get his ideas on film…we might today be talking about a classic series.
“I thought it would be interesting that by the time this ship got back to Earth, that it didn’t even belong at Earth anymore. That it sort of had become its own culture, it had formed its own civilization which was dissimilar to that which they had left behind…”
Interesting. Makes me wonder if ‘Galactica’s headed in this direction, especially since I suspect there are still humans left on Caprica (and/or New Caprica) where for some reason I suspect the show will end.
P.S. I have a real hard time believeing that somethig that has rusty pipes, valves and steam in the engine room can travel faster than light. It’ like building a Nemonic Memory circut using stone knives and bear skins.
Just doing something because “Trek wouldn’t ” isn’t much of a justification for something in my book.
J — Well, you liked steam-driven starships in Trek (TWOK after Khan zaps engineering) and Alien. I think BSG just carries some of the more familiar templates a little further. We’re all conditioned by WWII movies and the like. Think about Star Wars and the amazing ‘banking’ tie-fighters? No air in space; how do they turn like that? I have a friend who is bigtime military and laughs at the poured concrete decks on the TOS Enterprise. Again, that’s familiar. It’s interesting when shows try to make it more plausible, but then you have to be careful not to make it dull.
@11 , i agree with you the battlestar galactica is a bit too retro , but i mean its o.k. i guess its only science fiction , its not like its real like star trek………..i love star trek.
Great thoughts on Voyager. Something as simple as the ship getting more beat up and jury-rigged as it went would have been so cool — and would have made so much sense for the story.
J–no one’s “hating” on Trek; what Moore is saying is that the Trek universe had gotten stale and inured to technobabbly cliches. For example, a show like Voyager, where the ship is tens of thousands of light-years from home with no tech support and what not, *should* have explored the deeper ramifications of being lost. What we got was retreads of TNG episodes, neat, saccharine endings, technobabble that relied far too much on reconfiguring the deflector dish to emit an inverse tachyon burst of polarized anti-neutrinos, and inconsistent character “development.”
Battlestar Galactica, on the other hand, is set in the aftermath of the near-annihilation of the human race: OF COURSE it’s going to be dark. I think it’s a bit disingenuous to argue that this show is too dark–heck, the subject matter isn’t exactly one of sweetness and light! I for one am glad there aren’t latex-covered bumpy headed aliens of the week and spatial anomalies–the focus is where it ought to be: on human drama.
it is worth noting that Moore specifically said he wouldn’t have done VOY exactly like BSG. He wouldn’t go as dark and would have kept Trek conventions.
Always interesting to hear Ron Moore talking, especially as he rarely seems to hold back on being critical, even on himself and his shows. The podcast of a Day in the Life BSG episode was quite startling in it’s honesty and the Generations commentary is quite marked in its lack of fake justifications.
I’d not realised he’d fallen out with Brannon Braga though, they seemed like good friends on the Generations commentary so presumably they’ve made up now.
And the idea that Voyager should finish the run back at Earth and find that they don’t belong there after all…. gosh! I’m sure I saw something just like that recently.. ;-)
Thanks for the interview Anthony.
Totally agree with Moore on Voyager. While I’m not saying it’s a terrible show, I think it definitely had the potential to be so much more. For me, it was ultimately just mediocure rehash of TNG.
Great interview. Looking forward to the next part!
I love BSG. LOVE! I could watch every episode over and over again. I just think it’s an amazing show and I really am going to miss it when it goes off the air. I’ve said this before however and I just really find RDM condesending of Star Trek. It is what it is. They made some terrible mistakes with Voyager and Enterprise I will admit but I think that the franchise had existed for 40 years because it works. Having said that, if a TV show were to return to the air with the name Star Trek attached to it I would be happy to see it going down a different path than perhaps it has before. But I think it isn’t fair to just rag on all the problems Star Trek has had. BSG has done plenty of things wrong this season especially with the reveal of the final four. I think it is a complete character assassination done to further the plot but it doesn’t mean I like it any less and it just seems to me that Moore goes out of his way to rag on Trek and everything that was wrong with it. Just my humble opinion.
Doesn’t seem like anyone would mind if you spilled some hot chocolate in the Pegasus’ engine room, does it?
He pretty well summed up why Voyager left me cold. I watched it and it scratched the Trek itch, but it just didn’t ring true. I’m not saying they should have gone to great lengths to darken the tone- but they should have let it be as dark as the premise naturally suggests. For a bunch of homesick people on a ship decades from a Starbase, they were too damn happy, too well adjusted, and had too few problems. I just never bought it.
I love BSG, but like #19 Tim, think it has stumbled a bit in Season 4. But of course I’ll keep watching to the end ! :)
I keep dreaming of a new trek series, Star Trek Next Next Generation, on a future Enterprise with a new letter. I’d love to see RDM run something like that, but not taking it quite as dark as BSG. Perhaps somewhere halfway between the sterile PC of TNG and the rather bleak BSG.
Perhaps if Trek 2009 is successful it can open the way for a new ST series–preferably 80 years or so after TNG.
I don’t think RDM is being overly-critical of Star Trek necessarily, but like trekee in post # 17 stated, he has a tendency to lean toward self criticism. That would include his approach to the shows and how they were executed. You may also note that he said that he only felt like not going in to work twice in 10 years so I don’t think he was doing it just for the paycheck but because he really enjoyed what he was doing. As a creative person I would imagine that he would naturally want to stir things up and break the mold. As a musician I can relate to this in terms of the improvisations I do. Certainly any soloist would say that we have a vocabulary of riffs and licks that we can rely on to get through a solo but the most satisfaction you can get is when you can rely on the skills you’ve developed like listening to what is going on around you in the band and understanding the chordal harmonics to come up with new and original ideas that are all your own. That is when you know that you are truly creating and not just mimicking. I think in terms of creating stories for Trek and BSG, that’s what RDM is trying to do.
Wasn’t aware of the falling out with Braga either, although the two obviously had some very clashing ideas on the direction of the franchise. Gave the later seasons of TNG in particular a very schizophrenic feel from episode to episode.
Makes me wonder how the “transition” of the Tom Paris character to Voyager from Moore’s TNG “First Duty” episode played into this. Lore has it that Robert Duncan McNeill’s character from “First Duty” was written to move to Voyager with the same name and backstory but was changed (after the actor was already hired) to Tom Paris with a slightly altered backstory to deny Moore writing credit (and $$$) for what would ultimately become 171 episodes of Voyager. I wasn’t aware until now that Moore spent ANY time on Voyager, so now I wonder which came first: Moore’s departure from the show over creative differences and the change in the character to accommodate that, or the change in the character which PO’d Moore so he left (ala Alexander Courage when Roddenberry wrote lyrics to the TOS theme and took 50% of his royalties).
The formation of Voyager (with UPN, Genevieve Bujold, creative differences, etc.) might have been the political nadir of the Trek franchise — rivaling the “revolving door” of writers in the early years of TNG. Perhaps it’s amazing Voyager turned out as well as it did.
10 …Ah, yep..my best guess is that BSG goes back to Caprica by the end of the show next year.Love the Show Ron. Frakin Klingons
Anthony, last week you said you wanted feedback on audio quality. Overall the sound quality was clear and understandable, however the 60mhz cycle hum is a pain.
I would very much like to have more of these interviewes in the future, and video would be awesome!
Thanks for making my favorite Trek writer available to us all.
the g0_obalL fromerly known as Lurker.
I always thought that Voyager looked better when it was fused with Borg tech. If it worked why dump it? Imagine Voyager picking up bits and pieces along the way.
#24, I’m a bit outside my Trek expertise here, but Moore came into VOY AFTER DS9 ended.
At the end of TNG the writing staff was split between VOY and DS9. Bragga and Moore, being the most prolific staff writers were made the head writers of those two shows respectively.
The split you refer to above re: Tom Paris is most likely accurate, however I’ve never heard that before. But it is logical.
I think the split started in the brillient 6th season TNG ep. “Frame of Mind,”
penned by Bragga. Moore came up with the idea of making it about a stage play, which made the whole ep. sing. Moore got ZERO credits on that ep. with all credit going to Bragga. Just a guess on my part.
thanks for the feedback on audio
all the moore audio is from the same source….so the next one will have it.
The audio was originally intended for my notes, I record them all and was not originally intending to make them available so this is a bit of an experiment. I will be looking into a better telephone recording function, but phone interviews will always sound kind of crappy
#27, EXACTLY !!! I never bought that they would dump the borg enhancements, it made no sense.
-Really interesting interview Anthony, really appreciate what you do.
-I never knew of the conflict on Voyager, very intriguing. I like Voyager alright (my least fav trek), BUT it could have been sooooo much better and Ron could have taken us there.
-BSG is an amazing show. My top 3 favs on TV today are Lost, BSG, and Dexter. I’m such a fan I think I’ll check out Carnivale because I never got the chance.
-My dream would be to a talented screenwriter like Mr. Moore. How about an apprenticeship?!?!?
8. Darkness for darkness sake may be bad in and of itself and another cliche (though RDM and his cohorts were trying to break TREK cliches, which in many ways were conventional TV cliches: the solution to all the problems in a half hour or an hour. Re: Kirk and crew chuckling and recounting their heroism and success).
But how can Battlestar NOT be dark? 99.9% of humanity has been destroyed. Umm, that whole premise is just a wee bit dark right there. Think of your reaction if almost everyone you knew was dead. Depression. Revenge. Narcissism. Religious extremism. Political opportunism and disagreement. Rationing and resource shortages and the struggle over them. Sure there are optimistic things like uniting and pulling together (“So say we all,” anyone?) but I think the primary reaction would be “shell shock” and the reactions that naturally follow.
I couldn’t get over how on Voyager they would waste tons of power on the holodeck when they had no idea how long it would take to get home (toss that post-TNG Trek cliche out the window–plus how many times can a holodeck go wrong before StarFleet issues a recall of the bloody things?!). And there was no sense of privation on that ship. It always looked like a day at the Mall of America. Neelix cooking vegetables gathered from some planet, puh-leez! (Look at the BSG episode “Water” for this theme done right).
Anyway, everyone has their aesthetic choices, but BSG any other way would just be a kiddie show (which has already been done). I still say it is the best and smartest show on TV, bar none. Your opinion may vary. . .
I think the idea of DS9 as some mold breaking success is silly. It was terribly dull the first 3 years so they finally needed a ship to fly around in. Then they made it a war show, which is also dull and cliched. Its like DS9 became “Pearl Harbor” of outer space for 4 years. Not to mention the added juvenile love triangles. Feh!
And I always thought the integration between the Starfleet people and Maquis was a bit too pat (except for the token traitor or two). From the beginning of Voyager you have two conflicting groups. Trek is Trek, so ultimately they have to appeal to their better selves, but it was just a bit too easy. And if the point of Trek is overcoming our baser instincts, shouldn’t we get a glimpse at this being done?
Laura Roslin Says “earth” and then silence….in a gray dark background, that sums it all up..
I love the show and I think its the best show on TV, to bad we have to wait 6 months or more to see the end.
Ron, with the much improved ratings on the mid season finale, (DVR numbers not even included) this shows the interest in the show, so please give us up to 3 movies….I will watch them and then buy the DVD’s, hopefully blu ray.
I am going ot hate to see the day when there is no BSG to look forward to, but hopefully your new series Caprica will be a hit and even a little dark.
Ron Moore joined Voyager at the beginning of its sixth season, so his leaving had nothing to do with the Tom Paris character by that point in time.
I believe Ron’s two main episodes on Voyager were Barge of the Dead with a look at the Klingon after life; and the one where previous members of Seven’s Borg collective try to rejoin with her in order to fix brain damage from a forgotten crash landing on a planet years before.
Not sure about the comment about changing the TNG character’s name in order to not have to pay royalties. I’ve never heard that one before. But what I have heard on an interview is that they wanted to have a character and actor “like” the one on First Duty. They said, “We need to find a Robbie McNeal kind of actor to play the role,” and someone finally said, “Well duh, how about getting Robbie McNeil?”
Not sure if that is true, but I think Rick Berman said that in an interview somewhere. For what it’s worth.
“And there was no sense of privation on that ship. It always looked like a day at the Mall of America.”
This and other similar comments underline what, for me, was the biggest problem with a show that had many problems – everything on Voyager flew in the face of what your instinctive perception of what being in that circumstance would be like. Two groups with widely opposed views, but they get along great. A jillion miles from home with no guarantee of ever getting home, but everyone carries on liek business as usual. No reliable repair or resupply stations, but the ship looked like the Mall of America week in and week out. And on and on. It strained credulity past the breaking point, which was already pretty strained starting with the TNG era and the Roddenberry “evolved humanity” notion that dictated nobody had a conflict with anybody and everybody had their emotional and interpersonal acts comopletely together. That was wholly unbelievable but most everyone suspended their disbelief that far, but lump all of Voyager’s issues on top of it, stir in the cliched storylines, technobabble, reset buttons, and mediocre cast, and it was not a recipe for success.
Is he Swedish? Did he say “Oh Yah” or “Oh Yeah” Or maybe I have misinterpreted entirely?? Or maybe it doesn’t matter at all and I am being totatally enebriated at this point??? God, when is the new movie coming out!!
7 & 8 I completely agree with both you. You can’t do bright and cheery all the time and you can’t do doom and gloom all the time either. Ronald Moore’s strong “anti-Trek” stance is one of the reasons I don’t put too much stock in what he has to say about Trek. As you’ve pointed out – there’s a reason it’s lasted 42 years! DS9 did have the perfect mix. Remember the Defiant’s engine room, a simple Trek engine room, the bridge was a classic Trek bridge, and DS9 Ops had a “big viewscreen” as well. Further, a large amount of modern technology, plus technology being researched by both the US (and other) governments, including the DoD (Department of Defense), along with other federal agencies, and private institutions are based on Trek technology. Sorry Moore, you seem to be one of the few “anti-Trek” types out there. As Kate Mulgrew once said “every scientist I’ve ever met loves Star Trek.” (“Beyond the Final Frontier” documentary)
I also have stopped watching BSG. It’s not that great. It got old after the first season. Enough is enough. Stargate is infinitely superior and I continue to watch. I’m looking forward to SG: Atlantis coming back. That show also has it’s share of doom and gloom but there are also plenty of times when the good guys win. Further it’s lasted 15 years and counting and there seem to be plans for yet another spinoff! I think it’s success speaks for itself against BSG.
On a side note, B5 (which lasted 5 seasons, 7 made-for-TV movies) and one 15-episode series (Crusade) is also infinitely superior to BSG. It, like Stargate, had an excellent blend of doom and gloom and bright and cheery. In the end, by the way, the good guys won, and the show had a strong moral message like Trek does. BSG doesn’t seem to have a moral message other than “anything you do in war is okay.” I don’t think that’s a message we should be putting out there. Sorry Moore, in the end, BSG will be another short-lived Sci-Fi show while Trek continues to live on.
P.S. Moore did write many great episodes but I’m glad that the showrunners kept the reins on him. Since he’s “anti-Trek” I think it’s a good thing he no longer has anything to do with Star Trek.
You want to see a great show on TV, try NCIS. That’s the best show on TV (since Trek isn’t on). BSG is not even close. Another great show is The Unit.
By the way, Trek and NASA have strong ties and many astronomers were inspired to go into the field by Trek. NASA and Trek could be described as best friends; can you say that about any other sci-fi show? The answer to that would be no. To put it simply, Trek is the best, most scientifically accurate, quality show on TV and the best movies ever produced.
BSG = a side note
Trek = A 42+ year phenomenon!
I think Enterprise did a better job with continuation and story arc. With the that mini arc starting with Aziti Prime and ending with forgotten. In fact I’m glad to see that damage Enterprise took in Azitii Prime stayed there until the next season.
I have not seen NCIS as I have been in China for three years, so I won’t claim a fully formed opinion. But I will say that I would be surprised if a 10th generation photocopy of Law and Order (Law Order: New Series 15 and CSI: City of Your Choice) merged with JAG is the best show on TV. I could be wrong, maybe it breaks the mold. And while, the original Law and Order was a great show, by the 40th reiteration of itself and its copies, it is getting. Sort of like Trek by the time of Voyager and Enterprise. Let’s hope JJ and crew breathe some life into XI, otherwise I think it is time for the 42+ phenomenon to take a decade or two break (and this from someone who loved Trek since, pre-ST: TMP reruns).
BTW, I would add B5 to BSG as one of the better shows on TV. BSG is almost neck and neck for TV sci fi in my book. B5 also broke the mold in many ways and abandoned a lot of Trek cliches (sounds like I don’t like Trek, which isn’t true: love TOS and TNG, like DS9 mostly, VOY and ENT, no thanks). But BSG has it all over B5 in acting. The principles in B5 were excellent, particularly Jurasik and Katsulas, but sometimes the guests were dreadful. I always wondered if Ron Moore didn’t get some inspiration from B5. Never heard it stated, but there are similar sensibilities, if you exclude B5’s inclusion of aliens. Both are like novels for TV with very definitive arcs, which is refreshing in series TV. I don’t think either is going to fade away anytime soon. And if they do–so what? I’ll still enjoy my old BSG and B5 reruns on DVD (or holocube or whatever umpteenth format change is foisted on us) until my 90s.
40. I don’t agree with the assessment that BSG’s ultimate message is that “anything you do in war is okay.” I would never watch such a show, because I think war is generally a frivolous course that is not decided upon with the due gravity it merits. What it is saying is that in war there are tough choices and morality ultimately comes from ourselves and our interactions with others: contrast the actions of the Battlestar Galactica and the Pegasus. Adama admitted in an episode that he would have veered in a wrong direction if his son Lee and President Roslin hadn’t been there to keep him honest. Immoral things happen on Galactica too, but it highlights the heroism and strength of our characters when they DO make the moral choice. But there are consequences for immoral AND moral actions. It isn’t an easy, perfect world like Star Trek where the moral choice is always rewarded. Sometimes you have to suffer for your morality. Also in BSG morality and the lack thereof comes from religion, a subject that Trek usually avoided.
Plus give Ron Moore a break. He said he loved going to work for 10 years, so obviously he doesn’t hate Trek. He is just honest about the limitations of its format.
Ron Moore is not ‘anti-trek’ that is absurd. He loves Trek and is repsonsible for some of the best Trek of the 90s on both film and TV.
The limitation of BSG is probably its lack of humor. Though I guess the decimation of 99.99% of humanity isn’t a hilarious subject (that is why in one of the most recent eps, seeing Laura and Gaius screaming at the hybrid to get it respond was so refreshing–it was funny in its impotence and usual for BSG; as was the first season Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down).
Okay, I’ll shut up and get back to work. . .
I like Moore and thought he was one of the better Trek writers but I think he is far too critical of Trek. It is what it is and that is why so many people spanning generations have fallen in love with it. Some of the things he complains about were the very things people found appealing.
I enjoyed BSG in its first season and the first half of season two. It was a tightly written serialized storyline with interesting characters and situations. But as the seasons have continued I find my interest waning significantly. I really can’t say BSG is the best show on tv even though a lot of people say that.
Its main villians aren’t nearly as compelling or interesting as DS9’s Founders/Dominion.
The show isn’t nearly as well-plotted as similiar epic dramas like Lost or Heroes or even DS9’s Occupation arc and Final Chapter saga. Lost for instance is a marvel of craftmanship and ambition. It is one thing to create separate independent storylines and break an ensemble down into certain threads but can you imagine the difficulty of writing a serialized drama where everything and everyone is connected and juggling all that to where you don’t give away something too early that interferes with the rest of the storylines while meeting a deadline for production.
Moore seems to have difficulty in being an efficient showrunner. I often hear how a lot has to be cut or edited out and it is apparent in the final episode. And while I like a large cast I think sometimes there are too many BSG characters and some aren’t given the attention they need.
I also don’t think Moore is as creative as or imaginative as Abrams, Lindeloff, Cuse, Kring. That isn’t meant to be harsh criticism. Every writer/producer has their strengths. I think even he would admit he is not as good with the plot side of things as the character side. And I don’t demand both characters and plots to be of equal importance although I prefer both. I like having interesting characters in compelling situations with some nice twists and surprises thrown in.
But the problem I have with BSG is if you are doing a character drama I shouldn’t hate most of the characters. I also find a lot of times that BSG is not very entertaining. It can be quite interesting in an academic sense but as far as enjoyment I rarely find that these days.
New BSG is one of the best things to happen to Sci Fi in a long time, but I really did like RDM on TNG. Great show
46, I said that because he sounds it. I could be wrong, I don’t know the man, but every time he talks about Trek he’s critical. I haven’t heard him say one thing good about Trek (other than “I enjoyed working on the show”). If I’m wrong then I apologize. I would just like for him to say something good about the show he “loves.”
Obviously BSG can’t be exactly like Trek – if it was it wouldn’t be a different show, now would it?
45, “…give Ron Moore a break.” Very well. I will read the rest of his interview and keep an open mind.
P.S. I did enjoy the “Weapons Locker 1701D” moment in BSG. It was a nice touch and greatly appreciated.