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Ron D. Moore Q & A from AOL’s Message Boards
Dated 9807.09

Q: While having the new season take place months after the end of “TOTP” makes Sisko’s return to the station more plausible, it seems like a major cheat for Worf’s story arc. For a character who has lost just about everyone close to him throughout his life, including his parents, brother(s), K’Ehleyr and even Alexander, I’m more interested in seeing how he’s coping with the sudden vacuum in his life now that his wife has just died, rather than see how he’s dealing with her death two or three months after the fact.

A: We will definitely be dealing with Worf and his reaction to Jadzia’s death in the opening two-parter and other episodes during the year. Worf will not simply forget about her.

Q: As I’m sure you have heard, Gene Roddenberry said shortly before his death that it was time to see a gay character on Star Trek. Since then, gay fans have asked ST producers and writers when we’ll see a gay character, and the response is always something like “Well, we would like to have a gay character, but we don’t see how we can do it right now”. This has been said for over five years, and granted, five years ago, there were no major gay characters on television, and I can see why Star Trek might have been hesitant to be the first, despite Trek’s history as a progressive, cutting edge show. But today, we have shows like Ellen, Spin City, Mad About You, NYPD Blue, etc, that have gone boldly to a place that Star Trek has been afraid to go. In refusing to create gay characters, Star Trek has not only lost its progressive edge – it is actually behind the times. My question is: What do you feel about this?

A: To be completely honest, I think that we’ve dropped the ball on this subject. While virtually all of the writer/producers on TNG, VOY, and DS9 would support having a continuing gay character, none of us has really pushed for it. Why? I’m not sure. I could go on and on about the various reasons why we haven’t done it (the difficulties inherent in defining “gay” in the 24th century, for example), but I doubt you would find any of them very satisfying. I think the explanation may be as simple as realizing that none of us sees it as a priority item on our personal agendas. All of the writers have issues and ideas that we want to explore in our work, but no one has really lobbied to begin writing a continuing gay character in the 24th century. That’s not to say we haven’t had gay and lesbian writers come through our doors or that we haven’t discussed the idea or that we haven’t bandied about various story concepts — we have. But to fight the good fight on this one (and let’s not kid ourselves, given the basic conservatism of TV and the likely affiliate reaction in some regions of the country, this would be a fight) requires more than just a belief in equality or a commitment to the ideals of tolerance and fair play. It would require a passion. A passion that translated itself into a story so good that it got everyone else excited about the idea and made us all rally round to see it happen. For instance, I felt passionate about “Rejoined.” I shared that passion with the rest of the staff and everyone got really excited about doing that show. We presented Rick and the studio with our story and, to their credit, they supported us and the story we wanted to tell. But after “Rejoined” I moved on to other things, other ideas and themes I wanted to explore. It remains to be seen whether anyone will pick up where “Rejoined” left off. Now, I could mouth all kinds of platitudes for you about how much I believe in gay rights, or how I wish that Trek was leading the way on this issue, but the bottom line is that talk is cheap. I’m not doing anything about it, I’m probably not going to do anything about it and I’m as guilty as the rest of us in letting this one slip by.

Q: it’s my suspician that “The Host” and “The Outcast” came as a direct result of Roddenberry’s request to deal with these issues.

A: Actually, these episodes came as a result of the efforts of Jeri Taylor and Rene Echevarria. Gene had no input on either show due to his failing health at the time.

Q: Will the new Dax be apart of Starfleet? And if so will she hold the old rank that Jadzia did?

A: She will be in Starfleet, but will not have Jadzia’s rank. By the way, we have officially cast the role and we’ll be releasing the actress’s name shortly.

Q: Do you know the title of the season premiere and any other episodes?

A: The first episode is called “Image in the Sand”.

Q: Of the summer movies so far what do you think is the best and why???

A: I’ve seen very few of the new releases so far. I did, however, see and love “The Truman Show.”

Q: Any chance of Garak mentioning, in casual conversation, that he finally has a boyfriend?

A: I’d oppose this. It would serve no purpose at all other than to assuage our liberal consciences and provide a cheap way of saying, “See, we’re okay! We made Garak gay!” It wouldn’t expand his character in some meaningful way, it wouldn’t open up new and interesting directions for us, and it would be coming completely out of left field.

Q: Will the opening credit sequence be changed in Season 7? If so, will you consider adding a voice over of Captain Sisko, like the one in TNG?

A: We will not be changing the credit sequence.

Q: Do you, or anyone in the writing staff have any reservations about introducing a new character in the final season of DS9? Some of us are a bit worried that the final season will be focused on this new character like Jeri Ryan and the last season of Voyager. Will you be making a lot of episodes for this new character instead of focusing on the rest of the characters and tying up lose ends before the series over?

A: We felt very strongly that we needed another female regular on the show so that it didn’t become “The Boys and Major Kira.” We also felt excited by the possibilities of exploring the next Dax host and how our characters would deal with her. However, we’re very aware of this being our last season and we’re not going to let this new element swamp everything else.

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