Ron D. Moore Q & A from AOL’s Message Boards
Hello again to one and all! Vacation is over and the entire staff has returned to the glorious halls of the crumbling Hart building to begin assembling the the seventh and final season of DS9. My hiatus was spent on a roadtrip through the lovely state of Arizona, which neither Ruby nor I had ever visited. Saw the Diamondbacks play (and saw not one, but two, count’em two bats thrown into the stands by a single Brewer), ate a lot, was awestruck by the Grand Canyon, made another sojourn through the cultural Mecca that is Las Vegas, and much fun was had by all. Waaaay too many postings to even attempt sift through them all, but here’s a grab-bag of answers for your dining and dancing pleasure:
Q: We know that you are a *ST* fan. However, when you were growing up, what primarily comedic influences did you consider appealed to your particular sense of humor?
A: I’d say MASH, I Love Lucy, Saturday Night Live, All in the Family, SCTV, Monty Python, MAD Magazine, Johnny Carson, Richard Pryor, and the great George Carlin were big influences on my sense of comedy when I was growing up.
Q: And, if you have time, what do you consider to be the essence of humor?
A: Gee, I think I’ll try not to tackle that one.
Q: What is your theory of knowledge insofar as the development of the human intellect? Do you believe that, had the destruction of the Alexandria not occurred, the history of knowledge might have been substantially different?
A: I often wonder if there is a practical upper limit to what our brains can comprehend and/or retain. I know the cliche is that there is nothing that human beings cannot do or cannot learn, but is that true? Are we limited by the very nature of our biological hardware? Are there greater truths that simply cannot be fathomed by our particular brand of cranial circuitry? As for Alexandria, while I am not well-versed in this story (and my apologies to anyone out there who is and is about to tell me just how ill-informed I am), I’ve generally viewed the legends of vast knowledge lost forever as just that — legends. Who knows what was really lost? I think we’ve always been titillated by stories of lost civilizations and lost treasures and the tales of unbelievable breakthroughs in science and medicine that were destroyed in the library of Alexandria have always seemed to be tinged with more than a touch of romanticism.
Q: I was wonder: In writing a screenplay, do you have a sense of the directorial style that would best suit your story, and if so, if the story is accepted, as co-executive producer, do you try to ensure that a director known for that style is asked to direct the story?
A: In a perfect world, we would be able to match a specific story with a specific director every week. Unfortunately, the directors’ schedule must be drawn up well in advance of the completion of our scripts. We line up the directors with what we hope will be the order of stories, but scripts are inevitably shuffled around and sometimes material best suited for one director will wind up with someone else.
Q: Joe Menosky gets the story credit [on “Time’s Orphan”], but he is one of “Voyager’s” producers. Was “Time’s Orphan” originally conceived as a “Voyager” story?
A: Joe orginally pitched this story for TNG. He wanted to do a show where Alexander fell through the time portal and was whisked off to a harsh and brutal planet for ten years. He eventually finds his way back to the portal and returns to the present. From Worf’s point of view, his son has been gone for only the blink of an eye, but his little boy is now a scarred and troubled teenager. In that version, Alexander would’ve stayed a teenager for the rest of the series. The entire writing staff absolutely loved the story, but Michael Piller absolutely hated it and refused to put it into development no matter how many times we tried to sell him on it. Years later, during a story discussion about the O’Briens, Rene brought up the old Alexander story as a possible tale for little Molly and Ira decided to go for it.
Q: Speaking of the Time Portal, I immediately thought of the Guardian of Forever. Why no mention of the Guardian when an homage would have worked pretty well here? Is the Guardian so top secret nobody but Section 31 knows about it? Was this portal built by the same people as the Guardian?
A: We’ve avoided the Guardian of Forever for years and probably will continue to do so until and unless there’s a really great reason to bring it up. I don’t know who does and does not know about it in Starfleet.
Q: Was the gateway found in Time’s Orphan from the Iconian civilization? Or from some other civilization that we have yet to hear about?
A: We did discuss the Iconians during this episode, but decided that we didn’t want to know much about how the portal worked so we ruled them out as the engineers.
Q: I think it would have been a terriffic idea if the writers had not gone for the quick fix and left Molly as an 18 year old. Talk about some great Obrien family moments in episodes to come, bringing her back into a civilized world after ten years.
A: This was the subject of a long and rancorous argument both within the writing staff and with Rick and Mike. I won’t bore you with the details of who supported what and why, but I can assure you we did consider it and debated it at length.
Q: When Sisko unmasked Eris the Vorta as being a Dominion spy, she touched a button on her wrist band that initiated what appeared to be a transport beam… MY QUESTIONS: Where did she transport?
A: We have left this deliberately ambiguous.