Ron Moore: Battlestar Galactica Born From Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek vet Ronald Moore wrote sixty episodes during his tenure with the franchise, half of which were for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Moore went on to create the dark reboot of Battlestar Galactica, which he now says was born in the DS9 writers room. 


DS9 begat BSG

Ron Moore was a guest at the London MCM Expo this past weekend and was interviewed by HeyUGuys, who asked him about the connections between BSG, and his time with Trek and specifically with Deep Space Nine. Here is what Moore said about the parallels between BSG and DS9:

Ron Moore: I think a lot of Battlestar was born at Deep Space Nine in that Deep Space started as much more episodic because of the nature of the show, it became more a continuing serialised structure. I really liked that, and I discovered I really liked that style of storytelling, and also particularly when we got into the later years of Deep Space, and we started telling the Dominion War story (1997-99), we would sit and argue and fight with the powers that be at Trek about making it a more realistic war, about making it grittier, and ugly; adding more ambiguity to the characters, and roughing it up a little bit, and I kept bumping my head against the strictures at Trek. What Star Trek is could not accommodate things that I wanted to do, so I started to have this sort of pent up frustration about ‘well if we were really going to do it right’, these ideas would sit in the back of my head so when Battlestar came along, I could now do all of those things that I was never allowed to do at Deep Space.

BattleTrek Galactica Nine

After co-creating the new Galactica with David Eick, Moore brought a number of other writers in from DS9. Both Bradley Thompson and David Weddle wrote and served as story editors for both shows. In addition Michael Taylor and Jane Espenson wrote for them both.

While not as dark in tone as Galactica, Deep Space Nine is certainly the darkest of the franchise. This mashup of the BSG opening theme with DS9 images shows the two series fit together well.  


POLL: You like both DS9 and BSG?

Our latest poll is trying to see if there is a correlation between fans of Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica and Deep Space Nine. So do you like both or not like both, or is it a mix?



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Excellent! I love both of those shows so it’s great to see that the seeds of one were planted in the other.

Deep Space 9 was both the darkest Trek (occupation, war) and the most offbeat and funny (Ferengi, Jake and Nog, Trials & Tribbleations). It was more balanced than the doom n’ gloom show it is often generalized to be.

That opening is amazing!!!!

I laughed during the opening.

It was great. The BSG style zooms.

I wish they didn’t reuse scenes so much. They could have made the final so much more epic.

In other shocking news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is STILL DEAD!

Seriously, is anyone at all surprised about this? :P But an interview with RDM is always nice to see — he’s an enlightening fellow — and the mashup is a classic.

Interesting but how popular was bsg–wast ds9 a lot moe popular?

My two favorite shows of all time. RDM is amazing.

DS9 was really amazing!

The serialization really strengthened the range of storytelling we expected from Trek & some episodes were down right gritty.

It’s a shame to hear that Moore & company were restricted by the “Bermanators”.

Typical network BS!

i never watched BSG beyond the pilot, the acting was so bad!
But I hear good things so I’ve been saving the DVDs for a rainy day.

Something to watch during the TV Trek void.

That was fantastic!!!! Too bad BSG sucked in the end

I have to say, if Ron Moore teamed up with JJ, Orci, and Kurtzman, that would be one helluva Trek.

Fringe and Alias were both absolutely fantastic shows. There was also Lost, which I was not a big fan of, but I admit to it having some great characters.

I would gladly welcome both a new Trek and a new Battlestar from Moore!

Gosh, I miss BSG… it’s funny, because I like BSG way better than DS9 (my least favorite ST series, including Enterprise), and yet the provenance of BSG with respect to DS9, from the standpoint of its “feel”, is evident. However, BSG never indulged in serious cheesiness, like DS9 did with the ersatz Sinatra character in the Holosuite, the perennial Ferengi clowning, or the constant overacting (no names).

The Trek restrictions on the writers have always been a fascinating yet unexplored subject, at least publicly.

I realize people don’t always want to divulge what might have been for fear of devaluing the work, nor are they likely eager to acknowledge the creative limitations of something they bought into (or paid the bills with).

But as a long-time fan of TNG and DS9, I would welcome a feature or interview on this issue.

I’ve never watched BSG but I might have to check it out because the Dominion War was the only part of DS9 that I really got into.

…why is there a poll about Simon Pegg on a story about DS9 & BSG?

BSG is really awesome. Every episode is stunning. Best show in years. Flame me, but I would really love that kind of reboot for Star Trek: new mood, new characters, new philosophy, new storyline.

I love DS9 and the original BSG, but I’ve never seen the new series so I can’t say whether I like it or not yet.


Do yourself a favor and watch BSG.

DS9 was, in itself, a limited kind of show, in that so much of it took place in the space station (at least in the beginning). I think this forced the writers to really focus on character-driven stories. In that sense, BSG had the advantage, as the writers already knew how to approach the new characters. It has got to be one of the more challenging aspects of doing sci-fi, since there is such a tendency to let the technology and sfx take center stage. Both DS9 and BSG really kept the characters up front — although I felt that once DS9 got the Defiant, it got the characters off the station more, and became a bit more like TNG (not entirely, but…).
I like Ron Moore’s work, and I like his approach to doing sci-fi. I’ll bet his best work is still yet to come.

JJ and crew should do a film adaptation of the turn of the century DS9 trilogy novel MILLENNIUM which frameworked the Apocalypse in a DS9 Prophets/Pah-Wraiths/Dominion context, and would make for a much darker, much more epic, film trilogy…

I liked DS9 and initially loved BSG but I slowly grew to despise it. Ron Moore tends to write expensive melodramatic soap operas, if left to his own devices. On DS9 Ira Steven Behr was able to insist on plot and story having some prominence, but on BSG it was all Moore.

Moore tends to write a story around the characters which normally sounds like a good thing, but for some reason that prevents him from meshing plot and story continuity from episode to episode- e.g. the vaunted Plan that the Cylons had seemed to make no sense episode to episode, in one they want to kill all of the humans, in the next they let them go, etc.

His writing buddy Braga had the opposite side of the problem- he didn’t care about the characters as long as he could write another harebrained plot or story in which he could plug Janeway, Chakotay and Seven into it.

God bless them both, but I hope neither of them ever get a chance to get near Trek ever again.

i hope they do a big BSG movie like ST09 – going back to the original…i know Moores BSG is good but its been done start to finish.

so im hoping theres some news soon about Singers BSG movie getting prepped for about 2012 or 2013

I loved BSG and DS9, but both of them have their own annoying plot threads. IMHO
I hated the whole pah wraiths thing in DS9 it just did not feel like good sci-fi to me, like it was falling into fantasy to fill a need.
And the finale of BSG involving the use of mysticism to explain Starbuck, and the over reaching need to stay true to the original storylines use of religious prophecy etc…

Dark and gritty when needed is cool, but it is spoiled by the use of the “magical” elements etc. . .

There is no way singer…or anyone in my opinion…could top moores BSG.
especially the way singer made a bit of a mess with superman, I was hoping he’d get a shot at the sequel to rectify it but sadly thats not happening.
To bring out a singer bsg movie is just plain unescessary, especially so soon after BSG has finished and while Moores bsg universe is still in production with the albeit inferior caprica.
My love with trek began with Next gen and continued through the following series and movies But galactica gripped me for its 4 seasons in a way that trek never did. Im a lover of all sci fi…especially trek but Bsg was something else, Probably my favourite show of ALL time. If you havent seen it yet put it to the top of your to do list. Bear in mind the first few episodes of any series aint the best ones…look at any of the trek series. That said i would klll for another Tv trek.

Liked em both.

I remember reading about Moore trying to make a scene in one episode that involved Jem Hadar taking hostages. Sisko told a young JO “It’s going to be fine, son” and the Alpha said “No it isn’t” and fried the ensign’s face off with a point blank shot. They wouldn’t let him do it, but it would have been a shocking moment of television that BSG would later become popular for.

Moore’s also the one who wanted “One Tiny Ship” to feature the Pakleds as adversaries but these same powers that be made him use the Dominion instead. It would have been a far cuter episode.

BSG is superior in every way.

I gave up on DS9 when it became too Star Wars-y with all the dogfights in space. But I loved the characters, esp. Odo, and Sisko.

BSG jumped the shark when the focus moved in season 4 from the story of the colonials, to the final five. The writers ran out of story, so they shocked-and-awed us by revealing 5 regulars to be Cylons, then retconned the prior 3 seasons, (apparently the final 5 can age…WTF?????) and shifted away from character driven storylines about Lee and William, to the awful storyline aboard the Demetrius. Oh…and they revealed the Cylons actually had NO PLAN!!! UGH!!! Thanks!! And while I’m at it…cheers to Syfy for separating season 4 and 4.5 by 11 months!!!!!!!

if BSG hadn’t looked like most of it was shot through a dirty windowpane, it’d stand a lot more rewatching. (there’s a difference between ‘gritty’ and ‘grit.)

I really loved most of GALACTICA — there’s a moment in the finale just before Dean Stockwell gives up the ghost that really plays like the great climax of the ‘WW3’ miniseries from the 80s — but DS9 is more rewatchable for me, at least the three dozen or so I really like, mostly from the last four seasons.

I LOVED both of these shows. I was saddened when DS9 ended and even more so when BSG ended last year. I did see alot of similarities btw the 2 shows: characters with moralistic flaws and a sense of paranoia when you have an enemy that blends into the population (the Changelings and Human Cylons).


the whole Dominion war story arc bored the snot out of me. Some people loved it, thought it was the cat’s pajamas, but it really killed DS9 for me.

Maybe I needed to watch more of it, but I really did not like the BSG reboot. It was so dreary and dark. Sort of, “Life sucks and then you die.” And the characters didn’t seem to have many redeeming qualities. Flaws are fine, as long as you are working to overcome them or be a better person.

So it left me feeling empty and I really didn’t see the point of it at all.I t wasn’t optimistic. It wasn’t enriching. It wasn’t inspiring. It just seems like a wallow in self-destruction.

Not my thing at all. Life is horrific enough if you look around a bit. I don’t need a TV show that glorifies what is worst about humanity.

Just my opinion of course.

DS9’s greatest problem was the religious ‘blah-blah’ of the prophets, and the “spiritual” Bajorans who reminded me of some cult hacks from California. Kira was as “spiritual” as Lindsay Lohan.

Trek does better when it exposes the underlying evil of pseudo-religion, such as Vaal or Landru, or calls the unknown a “thing” before truly exploring and discovering its nature. That criticism was reserved for one corrupt priest.

Starfleet, and Sisko in particular should have treated them as aliens. Instead, the prophets were interwoven into the ongoing storyline, and consumed it at the end.

The poll should have had a option for liking one show more than the other.
I like both shows but like DS9 alittle more. NuBSG had a ending that seemed rushed and left some questions unanswered like what happened to Starbuck?

Loved them both- indeed DS9 is my favorite Trek series. I never understood the criticism for DS9. Trek was about examining the good AND bad in humanity, and there’s no better way to do that than seeing how we act in war. Was anything we saw DS9 really worse than Commodore Decker, Captain Garth, Captain Tracey, or Captain Merrick? Even Kirk was quite willing to go to war on Organia, and had to have his desire pointed out to him. You can still present a better future while acknowledging humanity’s problems.

34- sorry for the double post, but I missed MikeTen’s comment- we know exactly what happened to Starbuck. She was a prodigal child with incredible talents and an ambiguous father figure whose mother felt she had a great destiny. People variously believe her to be an angel and a devil. She died, was resurrected, saved her people and ascended. It had all happened before… and would all happen again.

DSN is the far better show IMO. BSG is too dark, too dirty and even the characters are all too human (in the negative way) for me. DSN find the right way between darker story themes and lightwight comedy (Quarck and his ferengi pals).

I guess I’ll have to say it – if BSG was born from DS9, then they were both born from Babylon 5. Credit JMS with being the godfather of both.

Love both shows.

Theres no comparison, Deep Snore 9 was a snoozefest boasting wooden performances, tedious, contrived drama and forced chemistry.

BSG: brilliant writing, acting, hardware and set design, premise, use of historic backstory, etc…

I hated the original BSG series, and I’m all about Trek, but I’ll take Bab5 over DS9 any day of the week.

I don’t know what dark is. There was a more realistic and grittier feel to Star Trek TOS than ANY of the later shows. I think somewhere between a future replete in jump suits, aliens differentiated from one another by increasingly baroque facial prosthetics, and emotionally needy characters who look like the cast from a 1980’s sitcom, it gets hard to believe these guys are in a war or could win a war regardless of the ambiguities or conflict in the story.

I think the cartoonish nature of DS9 and Enterprise is what spiked a stake into the heart of the Star Trek franchise. I would admit that BSG characters also had some of the excessive emotional need but much less and buried between an excellent first season and a series finale that took the show where it could go.

Only that Deep Space Nine is lightyears ahead of crappy nuBSG. It’s a good thing that Moore couldn’t do everything he wanted on DS9.

great video! makes me want to go watch some old DS9 episodes!

My vote goes to DS9.

I have to ask, if Gene Roddenberry and DC Fontana were involved in DS9, whose to say they wouldn’t let it get a little ugly and more gritty.

I think TOS would have gone there. But that regime at the time of TNG and DS9 were afraid to with GR gone.

DS9 is the most underappreciated of the Trek series….IMHO. And it got better as the powers that be loosened the reins. The final 3-4 seasons were outstanding and they took us really interesting chances. “In the Pale Moonlight” may have been one of the best single episodes of Star Trek….EVER. A riveting moral dilemma that isn’t neatly wrapped up with a pretty bow.

Go watch it.

i love how DS9 was able to tell individual stories like tng and voy and create story arcs throughout the history of the entire series. that was my biggest problem with BSG. as the series went on each episode wasnt a single entity. you had to watch the following episodes and the season finale usually was trying to set up the next season. plus all of the spinoffs “razor” . i did watch the series finally but was a little disappointed. like gene roddenberry said “people built the pyramids not aliens.” and the whole ghost thing was confusing to me. but it was a good series. one of the best things about DS9 was the ability to bring religion into the show but always maintain the separation between science and religion. it was a great balance

My son got BSG on DVD last Christmas and watched it in a couple of weeks. On his recommendation, my wife and I watched it together over about three months. What a fantastic show! Excelent writing, direction, and acting. I’m starting to rewatch it now. It’s so interesting knowing what I now know. The ship was spotless, brightly lit, and orderly at first but the change was gradual enough that it was less noticeable. As for the ending, I know there are those who didn’t like it, but we loved it. I wouldn’t change a thing. I look forward to Ron Moore’s next work. I hope he gets reinvolved with Trek. DS9 kicked ass.

All I have to say is look at my name!!!!!!!

I want Ron to be involved in a DS9 made for TV movie!!

That mashup was great! DS9 was my favorite ST series. BSG started off great, but somehow lost the story after the New Caprica arc. It felt like the writers were like…what now?