Ron D. Moore Q & A from AOL’s Message Boards
Q: Yes, the Grand Canyon is a sight to see… Did you walk on any of the trails? When I was there, I walked some of the trails along the rim… The views are simply breathtaking. While you were in the Flagstaff area, did you pay the Sunset Crater a visit?
A: We walked along the Rim Trail for about 6-8 miles, but didn’t venture down into the canyon itself. I have to say that photography does not do justice to the awesome beauty of the Grand Canyon. The sense of SIZE and depth has to be experienced first-hand in order to be believed. We didn’t make it to Sunset Crater or the Painted Desert, but we’ll be back someday I’m sure.
Q: I would like to know in general, what plans as far as expansion and completion of character might we be seeing for Leeta in season 7.
A: We’ll definitely be seeing more of Leeta in season seven, but I can’t relay any details at this point. In fact, you should all be forewarned that I’ll be giving very little information about what we have planned for the last season at this point — after all, the final episode of this season hasn’t even aired yet! I’ll be happy to talk about year six, but you’ll be seeing a lot of maybes, could-bes, possiblies, and you-never-knows in my responses about our future plans.
Q: Did you check out Sedona?
A: We spent three days in Sedona and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I’d say the thing that shocked us the most was just how nice everyone was in Arizona. I mean, people in retail would remember your name if you came into the shop more than once, everyone smiled, used terms like “thank you,” and “you’re welcome.” It was kinda creepy.
Q: Could you please give us some insight into the current state of DS9? Is the seventh season, for the most part, already mapped out?
A: We’re mapping things out right now. We have a general sense of where we’re going over the course of the year and we have a bunch of shows that we know for sure that we’ll do. The rest did us all good and I can happily report that the staff is excited and having a lot of fun.
Q: The conspiracy theory is this: Moore is protecting Berman and Braga. The argument, apparently, is “no fan of the original series would approve of Kirk’s death” and “We’ve seen Moore defend Berman and Braga before.” Therefore, by some form of deductive reasoning, Moore was purposefully keeping the event “vague” and, later, goes as far as lying about his role in the decision in order to take a bullet for his “fallen” comrades. Furthermore, it is suspected that it was Berman’s agenda to “wipe away TOS,” combined with Braga’s alleged contempt for TOS that is the true reason for the Kirk-Killing… Ron, can you respond to these accusations? Can you clarify any “agenda” Berman (or Braga) may have had when developing Generations?
A: The truth can finally be told! It was them!! It was them!!! I was innocent!!!! An innocent pawn in their evil designs!!!!! (Oh, it feels so good to be relieved of this burden…) Okay, okay, back to reality. Killing the Big K was, in fact, my idea. I’ve gone over my reasons and thoughts on this subject several times by now, so I won’t go into the details again, but I will say that the reports of Rick and Brannon’s supposed animosity toward TOS being the source of Kirk’s death are wrong. And if you think about it for a moment, you’ll see that there’s no real reason why they would want to damage or harm TOS or the Trek franchise in any way. We were trying to make a movie, and we were trying to make the best movie we could. Everything we did was in service of that goal. Why on earth would any of us see our first opportunity to create a feature film as a chance to finally settle some kind of score against TOS? It didn’t happen.
Q: I’d still like to know about the reference to the Kelvans in “Time’s Orphan.” Is this the same Kelvans from Andromeda in “By any Other Name.” And if it is, when did they attack the Galaxy again, and why wasn’t this given more story time than a token reference?
A: This reference slipped by me until I watched the final cut of the episode so I’m not sure what Brad and David had in mind here.
Q: I’m wondering if you have any knowledge of who is chosen to score the Trek pictures. With Jerry Goldsmith slated to write the music for ST9, was there ever any talk to your knowledge of getting John Williams to score a Trek film, or trying to get James Horner to do another one?
A: I wasn’t involved in the selection of composers for “Generations” or “First Contact” and I’m not sure if Williams or Horner were considered or not.
Q: Along these lines what do you think of the music of Trek, especially the films you have done?
A: I love the soundtracks to Trek I, II, and VIII, but I was disappointed in the score for VII.
Q: Berman has an agenda. Everyone does. I want Ron to describe the agenda that was set when Berman began developing Generations (and, more generally, since Berman took over Trek). This sounds more insidious than it really is. It’s just, “In what direction has Berman taken trek?” Not Ira Behr, or Jeri Taylor, or Michael Piller, but Berman — the man behind the curtain.
A: This is really a question for Rick. On “Generations” he really only had one agenda that I could discern and that was to successfully make the transition from the original series cast to that of Next Gen in feature films. That’s it. I don’t ever recall him trying to advance any other priorities. As for his overall stewardship of Trek, Rick’s priority is to keep it going, and to preserve the legacy that Gene left to him. Again, that’s it. I’ve known Rick for nine years and I can tell you that he cares very much about Star Trek and is extremely concerned about protecting and nourishing it, as do we all.
Q: as a television producer, do you agree that the escalating fees being paid to actors are a potential problem? When huge chunks of the annual budget is going to stars, what is left for the writing staff, for the crew, for the production staff, for set design, for makeup, etc,on a normal show, let alone on shows like DS9 and VOY and B5 that have to literally create their own worlds every week, not to mention occasionally dole out a little VFX money to show some o’ dem purty spaceships a-flyin’ around?
A: The money goes where the market drives it and there’s very little that you can do about that. Stars that are perceived as being worth big bucks are going to get it as long as they generate that revenue (and sometimes even when they don’t). Also, stars earning big dollars tend to bring bigger budgets along with them for the simple reason that they don’t want to be in low-rent productions when they’re commanding stratospheric salaries — “Seinfeld” wasn’t hurting for costume, sets, music, etc. and I doubt that “E.R” is skimping on anything these days.
Q: In “Valiant” Shouldn’t the actually commissioned Ensign Nog have immediately outranked every single one of the cadets, acting captain or not, the minute he set foot on the ship?
A: That’s the way it would’ve worked in the USN. I decided to go with a somwhat older idea that a lawfully designated commanding officer cannot be removed from command except by someone of flag rank. (I’m over-simplifying this idea, but this is roughly the way that things worked in the 18th-19th century Royal Navy.) Captain Watters was given a valid commission and had held his command for eight months. It didn’t seem like I was stretching things too far to allow him to continue in that role when Nog arrived — and remember that Nog was also commissioned as a young cadet who hadn’t even been at the Academy for as long as Watters.
Q: I’m surprised to discover that Alexander was considered for “random aging” back on TNG. Why do you think this particular TV convention occurs? Are little kids that much of an inconvenience, that hard to write for?
A: We were getting tired of Worf as the single parent on the Enterprise. It just didn’t fit his character very well and we’d been disappointed in the few stories that we did use young Alexander in. Also, the younger the actor, the more limited is the time you can use him on the set, so aging the character would’ve (hopefully) reinvigorated the relationship and allowed us greater freedom to use him at the same time.
Q: Ron, who do we blame for “Profit and Lace”?
A: I don’t answer questions about Voyager, you know that.
Q: I was just wondering if we are going to see Gowron in Season 7 since he was absent all last season after appearing in “By Inferno’s Light” in Season Five?
A: Maybe. Could be. Possibly. You never know.
Q: What happened to Rene Echevarria this season? He only had three onscreen credits that I remember, the last of which was “Honor Among Thieves,” which means he didn’t write any of the last *10* teleplays.
A: Like all of us, Rene often doesn’t take credit for his rewrites. He was instrumental in working with Brad and David on “Inquisition” “The Reckoning” and “Time’s Orphan”.
Q: Can you tell us how “Tears of the Prophets” turned out overall? How about “The Sound of Her Voice?”
A: I’ve only seen rough cuts of both shows at this point. The season finale looks great. I’d compare it to “Call to Arms” in that there’s a lot happening and that it races along like a runaway train. It also sets in motion the events that will influence season seven. To be honest, I’m disappointed in “The Sound of Her Voice.” And the blame is in the script. Sometimes I’m surprised at how much a show will come up after final editing and music, but at the moment I feel that I shot wide of the mark on this one. Can’t really discuss the details until after it airs, but I’ll be curious to see your reaction.
Q: Now that season six is behind you, how would you compare it to DS9’s previous seasons, particularly the fourth and the fifth?
A: I think it was the most ambitious season to date and I’m very happy with it. Not everything worked and there were things I wish we could go back and change, but overall I’m very, very proud of the season and the quality of work we did.
Q: May I ask if you do indeed now have a backstory for the Prophets, and when we’ll get to see more about them?
A: We’re still playing around with the backstory of the Prophets and you will definitely be seeing more of them.
Q: I’ve noticed that you often name ancillary characters after people on the staff of the show. Was Valiant’s “Captain Ramirez” named after DS9 editor David Ramirez?
A: No, Ramirez was a random choice.
Q: If memory serves me correctly (and it *should*. I’m a self-avowed Trekophile) it was stated in the ep Babel that Terok Nor was constructed 16 years before that ep, meaning 2351 and Dukat was prefect in charge of Bajor for 10 years before the beginning of the series
A: The “construction” period of Terok Nor could’ve lasted quite a while and this allowed us to stretch Dukat’s presence on the half-completed station backwards to fit our needs.
Q: If you and Brannon Braga had been asked to write the upcoming movie, what story would you two have come up with?
A: I have no idea and this was one of the central reasons why we turned down the movie.
Q: Do you think it was a mistake to have so many…NON-DOMINION related stories planned for the second half of the season?
A: No. We always intended to put the war in the background for a while and then revisit it when we had the stories to drive it forward.
Q: With UPN expanding its prime time programming, is anyone giving consideration to continuing the DS9 storyline after the 7th season with made-for-TV movies?
A: I don’t think this has ever been under discussion.
Q: What was Avery’s opinions of Sisko’s actions during IN THE PALE MOONLIGHT. Did he offer any input as to this major turning point in the character, was there any resistance or enthusiastic support?
A: I believe Avery liked and supported the show. He seemed to enjoy the acting challenge and was eager to push the character into uncharted territory.