Earlier today writer/producer Ronald D. Moore participated in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" to promote his upcoming time-travel in Scotland show "Outlander" (premiering on Starz August 9th). While there he answered a number of questions about his time working on Star Trek as well as his thoughts on the future of the franchise (and his possible participation in that future). He also talked about some projects he has considered taking on, including rebooting Space: 1999. See below for some of the most interesting exchanges.
The following excerpts are from the July 29, 2014 Reddit "Ask Me Anything" discussion with Ronald D. Moore. The excerpts of the questions and answers are taken ‘as is’ including any spelling or grammar errors. Note: Above image is of Ron Moore wearing kilt at "Outlander" panel at Comic-Con 2014.
Ron Moore Future Star Trek Show – Spacestation? Netflix? MirrorJJverse?
gjcbs: Any chance you would return to write/produce any new TV series in either the BSG or Trek universe?
Ron-Moore: Probably not BSG, because that’s probably done. Trek would be fun to return to one day, but hard to see how you get form here to there.
FancySack: If you could create your own Star Trek TV series, what would you incorporate in terms of timeline, settings, and characters?
Ron-Moore: If i had that answer, I’d be a very, very rich man.
spankingasupermodel: …What are your thoughts on a potential future Trek series? What mistakes that they made in ENT should they avoid? Do you think they should continue to rely on the past as the recent films have or carve out a new story, perhaps set a couple of hundred years after where we left off in the 24th Century?
Ron-Moore: I think there’s a lot of ways you could take a new series. It’s an incredibly flexible format. Gene created something that could take you anywhere in a variety of styles. I think it would be interesting to do another series that is not based on a starship, like Deep Space Nine. But there’s many possibilities for other ship-based shows as well.
vore9000: A lot of people kick around the idea of the next Star Trek series being delivered via Netflix much like House of Cards and Orange is the new Black. Aside from the obvious issues with CBS. What do you think of this idea for Star Trek. And more broadly how do you see this format for TV developing?
Ron-Moore: I think that would be a great idea. It seems to me that Netflix & networks like that provide a very broad, open way of doing television in a different format. It would be wonderful to see a show like Star Trek cast in that realm where they could literally go where no show has gone before.
Zouch: You’ve mentioned in the past that you were a fan of the new J.J. Trek films. If you were the one writing the third Trek reboot movie, what would you personally like to see from the original series re-imagined for this one?
Ron-Moore: I think it would be fun to go to the Mirror universe in the re-boot. It was always fun to go there again on Deep Space 9, and it’s always a great chance to see familiar beloved characters turn out to be evil.
Ron Moore thinks a new Star Trek series doesn’t need to be based on a ship and that Netflix could be a future home for Trek
Ron Moore talks about his time with Star Trek
xhotxwater: How did you end up writing for Star Trek?
Ron-Moore: I was a Star Trek fan growing up in the 1970’s. I was in Los Angeles trying to be a writer in 1989, got lucky enough to get on a set tour, brought a spec script with me, convinced the guy giving me the tour to read it – I’ll tell you the full story – he turned out to be one of Gene Roddenberry’s assistants, and gave it to my first agent. She submitted it to the show, it sat in the slush pile for 7 months, new executive producer Michael Piller came aboard beginning of the 3rd season, went through the slush pile, found my script, bought it, asked me to do a second one, and then after that brought me on as a staff writer, and I was there the next 10 years. It was an incredibly lucky break, I was in the right place at the right time, and it changed my life.
robinsky1: What is your favourite memory of working on Star Trek : The Next Generation?
Ron-Moore: Hard to pin it down to one particular moment. Off the top of my head, meeting Stephen Hawking, seeing my first episode being shot, watching the last episode get shot, and getting to walk the Corridors of the Enterprise anytime I felt like it.
mcrae_1982: Just for fun, were there any actors you had in mind for a role that didn’t pan out or decided to go in another direction? I know, for example that David Warner was the first choice for Akorem Laan, and Martin Sheen was considered for Sloane.
Ron-Moore: There was an interesting moment in time where Paramount actually pitched us the idea of having Marlon Brando play Soren in Generations (The movie). None of us knew what to make of that idea, but we were more than willing to give it a shot, but it never went anywhere.
Ron Moore says the idea of Marlon Brando playing Soren in "Star Trek: Generations" was pitched by Paramount but didn’t go anywhere
josephgordonreddit: I read that you were chastised by Rick Berman for making DS9 into such a dark show (for lack of a better term, ‘space opera’), though in hindsight, DS9 has turned into a prescient show with regards to terrorism, war, and all the moral gray in between.
BSG was pretty similar in regards to its tone: very heavy emotionally with repercussions for all actions. I guess my question is what motivated you to write about such heavy, often gruesome topics (torture in BSG, terrorism in both DS9 and BSG, war crimes, etc. etc. etc.) in a time when it wasn’t really ‘standard?’
Ron-Moore: I always felt that science fiction was an opportunity to explore important ideas in society, so a lot of those ideas tended to be dark & troubling ones with difficult moral & ethical choices at its heart. I took the opportunity whenever possible to ask hard questions of the characters, to make the audience think about what was right & what was wrong, whether it was on Trek or BSG.
ServerOfJustice: Marc Alaimo brought a lot of charisma to his role as Dukat and many Trek fans began to sympathize with him. As Dukat is a genocidal fascist, it’s understandable why the writers were put off by this and took the character in another direction. After "Sacrifice of Angels" his character seems to become a cartoonish super-villain rather than a complicated villain. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling unsatisfied with how his story played out. I’m not a writer but it seems as though Damar’s redemption was a plot that could have been perfectly laid out for Dukat instead. More than a decade and half removed, are you satisfied with Dukat’s character development over the final season and a half of the series? Is there anything you would change if given the opportunity?
Ron-Moore: I think we were all pleased with where we took Dukat, it felt like it was organic based on where the character began, who he was in the past and in the present, so I don’t think we have any regrets.
JustPlainSimpleGarak: Throughout your career, who was the most challenging character to write for? And who was your favorite character to write for?
Ron-Moore: It’s tricky to write for Q in Star Trek because he was an omnipotent being with complete control of the universe, and figuring out how to make him "Human" was a bit of a challenge. On BSG, I always particular enjoyed writing for Baltar, I thought he was the most human character in the entire series.
Zouch: During your time with Trek, you got a chance to work directly with Ira Behr and Brannon Braga (who, I know, you had a falling out with). How would you say writing with them over the course of three different forms of Trek changed the way you wrote in a sci-fi sense? Were there any ideas that either of them had that you wish you penned first?
Ron-Moore: Ira & Brannon were two VERY different people. Brannon and I were both young and just starting out, and we just got to hang out together and play. And Ira was more of a mentor, and someone who taught me my craft as a writer and as a producer. Brannon always had really out of the box wild ideas that I was always a bit jealous of, and Ira had a deep insight into character that I was always really jealous of, so between the two of them they always inspired me to stretch in different directions.
gjcbs: Do you still stay in touch with Ira and Michael Taylor?
Ron-Moore: I work with Ira currently on Outlander, which has been a treat! And I worked with Michael on BSG.
Ron Moore wrote one of the most memorable TNG Q episodes "Tapestry" – gut says writing for Q was "tricky" and a "challenge"
Moore on other potential/defunct projects
Wallynbp1: I read you were working on a reboot of the movie A Knight’s Tale, as far as I know, there has been further news. Is it still on the table or was it just a good idea whose time has past?
Ron-Moore: It’s still on the table, there’s nothing happening currently but it’s one of those fun kind of projects that could come back at some point.
Shahe_B: Is the BSG movie going to happen? Will you be apart of it?
Ron-Moore: I have nothing to do with that project, which I understand is under the control of Glenn Larson.
[NOTE: Latest news on BSG movie was when writer was hired in April to pen a "complete reimagining"]
gjcbs: What do you have in mind for I, Robot 2?
Ron-Moore: I did a draft of I, Robot 2 YEARS ago, and it’s as far as I know just sitting in a pile someplace, so I don’t really have any ideas for it and I haven’t heard that it’s in active development.
conor_h 5: Would you consider remaking another sci-fi program? I’m think of one of the British sci-fi programs from the 70/80’s (Blakes 7 etc.) or the short lived American program Space: Above and Beyond from the 90’s?
Ron-Moore: I thought about Space:1999 but it was such an insane premise I had no idea what to do with it. But there was something appealing about doing something so outrageous at the same time.
Ron Moore (who successfully rebooted 1970s sci-fi series "Battlestar Galactica") once considered rebooting the 1970s sci-fi series "Space 1999"