Ron D. Moore Q & A from AOL’s Message Boards
Q: You mentioned that the writing staff is currently focusing on the first several episodes of the season. Does this mean the potential idea of planning out the entire season ahead of time never materialized?
A: We’re working on the actual plotting and scripting of the first few shows. We have a roadmap for almost the whole year and we’re pretty happy with it.
Q: I don’t know if anyone else has asked this question, but perchance was “Inquisition” a trial run to introduce Section 31. Do the PTB have plans for a new series dealing with this branch of the Federation
A: Interesting idea, but there’s no series featuring Section 31 in the works.
Q: Is there any possibility that Leonard Nimoy’s reported desire to return as Mirror Spock could actually happen in, say, a really cool 2-parter that would also wrap up the Alternate Universe plot thread?
A: It’s possible, but not in the works.
Q: And I’m dumbfounded (by your comments) as well. I certainly recall no vitriolic commentary (on “Trials and Tribble-ations”). As far as I can remember everyone here heaped praise on it.
A: What? You guys obviously NEVER visited the B5 vs Trek folder. I’ve heard LOTS of negative commentary about that episode. Most memorable was from a woman who ran the Creation Cons, she thought it was the worst Trek episode ever. Then again, if it wasn’t Voyager or TNG or TOS, she wasn’t interested. The difference between where you sit and where I sit is that I get messages forwarded to my e-mail box from all over the place, not just from the AOL board. And I got some pretty nasty messages about how T&T “ruined” not only TOS, but DS9 as well. The snail-mail had some of the same sentiments from various disgruntled fans. Overall, the response was overwhelmingly positive, and I only used the minority view on T&T as an example that some people will hate anything even remotely funny on Trek.
Q: Mr. Moore, is there any possibility Terry Farrell and Paramount can make an agreement for Dax to return in season 7? Perhaps in flashbacks, or in visions from the Prophets?
A: At this moment, there are no plans for anything like this.
Q: I have a question about tag team writing. My friend and I are writing a Christian Sci-fi novel this summer to give us something to do and to try something that hasn’t been done too much. I am curious as to how you and Mr. Braga co-wrote the two movies you worked on. Did you do the first part, and he the second? Or was it something else entirely?
A: Brannon and I write everything together. One of us works the keyboard (usually Bran), the other paces and talks (usually me). We’ve found that dividing up the script and then stitching it together doesn’t work too well for us although some teams do it that way.
Q: Will DS9 have a 2 hour finale…(I assume yes) and will you also end in May?
A: We hope to have a 2 hour finale and I’m not sure when it will air.
Q: there was a show where the Defiant and crew return to find one of DS9’s docking Pylons mostly blown off by a group of renegade Jem’Hadar. The next week, it looked like nothing had happened. Was there any talk of “capping it off” where it had been destroyed or maybe being rebuilt with starfleet materials so it would be a different color or something?
A: We did talk about doing this, but the problem was that it meant most of our stock shots of the station would be useless and so we’d end up spending $$$$ for a whole new library of stock elements.
Q: Just saw “Sound of Her Voice” for the third time and I’m happy to say that I loved it! I’m just a little confused. Where was Terry Farrel?
A: Terry asked to be let out of most of this episode in order to audition for other projects, one of which turned out to be “Becker” (which she got).
Q: Greetings, Ron…my name is Gabriel C. Koerner, and I’m in a generous portion of Denise Crosby’s fandom documentary, “Trekkies” (filmaker-wannabe computer graphics whiz-kid =), not to mention close friend of Deb Warner, whom idly you know. 😉 I know the film has screened at Paramount many times (one of which I attended), and I am curious if you or other Trek personnel have seen the film, and if so, what is the reaction? I would hope it is positive, as it is a wonderful film. Your two-cents worth? 🙂
A: I haven’t seen Denise’s film, but several of our staffers have and all gave it good reviews.
Q: I read a short science fiction story called “Space Traders” by Derrick Bell, in which Sanctuary Areas” – nearly identical in concept to the Sanctuary Districts of “Past Tense” – were mentioned. Was Gabriel Bell named for the author of this story, and did the DS9 writers draw from this short story at all?
A: I’m not positive since I didn’t write this one, but I don’t think that Robert and Ira drew the name or the inspiration from this short story.
Q: Are there any plans to use any classic series actors in the DS9 final season, maybe to tie up loose ends from Reunification & Relics?
A: We’ve talked about it, but have no plans to follow up either show at this point.
Q: Now that most of us have seen (“The Sound of Her Voice”), I’d be interested to hear where it “went wrong” for you. What did you expect/plan that the finished episode didn’t deliver?
A: After viewing the final cut, I was happier with the episode than I thought I would be, but still feel that it shoots wide of the mark. The A-story became a victim of its own concept — the idea that all these different characters would be talking to Lisa ended up being too unwieldly in my structure. Each of the conversations feels truncated and none were really mined as fully as I had hoped. The B-story worked surprisingly well, but I could’ve done it much faster and simpler and then used the extra time to develop the A-story further. As for the time-travel twist at the end, that was part of the original premise. Pam’s pitch was that Sisko would begin a series of conversations with a woman two hundred years in the past via some subspace doo-wop. She’s in 1950s America on a ham-radio and has no idea that she’s talking to a man in the future. Sisko begins inventing a whole persona for himself as he talks to her — he’s a baseball player from New Orleans, etc. I always liked the premise, but we couldn’t find a way to make it anything other than a one-man stage play. Eventually, we developed a version of the story that expanded the conversations to other members of the crew, turned the woman into an alien (for the first draft) and then a Starfleet Captain, but in every incarnation of the tale, Lisa was always a voice from the past.
Q: In the episode “Valiant”, why were the cadets still wearing cadet uniforms? In the past when we have seen cadets receive field commissions (Wesley Crusher, Nog), they switched immediately to standard Starfleet uniforms. What’s the deal?
A: We decided to keep them in cadet uniforms to visually reinforce the idea that this was a ship manned by teenagers. Putting them in Starfleet uniforms would’ve “matured” them somewhat — even Nog looks a little older now.
Q: What exactly were Picard’s Borg ship target coordinates pointing to in “First Contact”? Data said it wasn’t a vital system..what was it? 🙂
A: Waste extraction. It’ll get you every time.
Q: I heard a rumor that the new Dax host would be Bashir. I find it hard to swallow, but…. Any comment?
A: How did you find out!!!!!
Q: Did you happen to catch the AFI’s choices for 100 Best American Films? If so, what was your take? Were there any that weren’t on the list that you felt should have been present or vice-versa?
A: The 100 “Best” list was greeted with universal boos and catcalls around the Trek offices. My quick take:
Had no business being there:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
The Sound of Music
Silence of the Lambs
Dances with Wolves
My Fair Lady
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Some Like it Hot
This is not to say that these are bad films, as a matter of fact I like almost all of them (with the notable exception of “Fargo” which I loathed), but are they some of the greatest films of all time???? No.
Buster Keaton (not a single film)
The Bride of Frankenstein
(and of course, The Cable Guy, but that goes without saying…)
Listed Way too low: The Searchers — 96 Ninety-six? Are you kidding? Below “Pulp Fiction”????? The mind reels….
Listed Way too high: It’s a Wonderful Life — 11
Oh, come on. Yes, it’s on every Christmas, but so is that Norelco shaving ad with Santa riding the razor over the hills and valleys.