Ron D. Moore Q & A from AOL’s Message Boards
Q: Just wanted to let you know that there is a strong rumor going around that Star Wars will be delayed six months (there was also an article in a British newspaper…). If it does come out on time (or looks like it will), do you think you might include a little “homage” to it?
A: I doubt it.
Q: I watched a repeat last night (didn’t catch the title–the Defiant rushes to save a stranded Captain who is already dead). Regarding Cassidy Yates: was the reference to the convoy (“PQ-1”) an homage to the WWII North Atlantic convoys? If so, is a battle like that for PQ-17 in the offing?
A: It was an homage to the North Atlantic convoys, but we don’t have a massive convoy battle story in the works.
Q: Mr. Moore I noticed that Les Landau is directing the episode “Shadows and Symbols”, and I was wondering why he was chosen to direct that episode. I think Landau is an excellent director, but he seems to excel in personal, quieter episodes like “Family.” Since you mentioned there were going to be a great battle scene in “Shadows and Symbols”, I figure it to be an action episode. IMO Landau’s action episodes come off looking flat to me, and I was wondering why someone such as Kim Freidman, Michael Vejar or David Livingston wasn’t chosen to direct the episode. Do you and other members of the staff take this into consideration when you give assignments to directors, or do you just grab who’s available ?
A: We do try to match directors and stories, but sometimes we’re constrained by their schedules and availability. Also, we sometimes change the order of stories after we’ve already assigned a director to a slot and so the matching of director and story goes out the window. Les, however, has done many different types of episodes for us and we felt that he was well suited to do this show.
Q: Speaking of David Livingston I always believed he was the best director in terms of visuals and angles. I have been disappointed that since season 5 he rarely does DS9 episodes even though he told Sci Fi Universe DS9 was his favorite Trek show to work on. Why is it that VOY has had more opportunities to benefit from Mr. Livingston’s services than DS9 over the last couple of years ? Who makes those decisions ?
A: Again, it becomes a story of availability, producing preferences, and schedule. The final choice on directors is made by Rick, Ira and Steve Oster.
Q: Lastly if you don’t feel you’ll be slighting anyone by giving this answer can you tell me who do you feel has been the best director on Trek since your time on TNG and DS9 ? If you wrote what you considered to be your all-time best Trek script tomorrow, who would you want to direct it ?
A: Although I’ve had good experiences with many directors, I’m a big fan of Mike Vejar’s work.
Q: Mr. Moore I hope you included Morn in the “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” episode. I think with his big build it appears that Morn could be the power hitter for the DS9 crew. I bet he can hit the balls farther than McGwire. Also, will Kasidy Yates be in the episode ? Afterall she knows more about baseball than most people.
A: Morn is not on the team, but Kasidy is.
Q: Do you read and post at home – or the office?
A: I do this at the office. It’s work-related and I try not to work at home unless I absolutely have to.
Q: If at the office can you claim your account activities on an expense report??
A: Uh…. no.
Q: If at home can you claim the expense on your taxes?
A: Are you with the Office of Independent Counsel or something?
Q: In either case – how do you find time to read all the posts/questions?
A: As regular readers of this board have noticed, my participation varies with my work schedule. When I’ve got time, I come here and when I don’t, I don’t.
Q: Given Captain Sisko’s love of baseball, will there be any mention of or allusion to Mark McGuire’s feat in any DS9 episode this year?
A: I don’t think so — especially since Sosa might end up with the record!
Q: I understand from a previous answer that you will be hard pressed to resolve any story lines or issues from TOS or TNG. However, are there any unresolved issues or mysteries that have intrigued you from either of the predecessors? If so, which ones?
A: There’s really nothing that springs to mind.
Q: Would you be willing to make any references to the animated series in order to resolve the issue of it’s canonicity within the canon?
A: Actually, I just slipped in an animated reference into show # 7 “Once More into the Breach” which features the return of Kor. See if you can spot it (if it survives the final cut that is, the episode is running long at the moment).
Q: Mr. Moore, after seeing Quark have feelings for Jadzia Dax, is there any chance he’ll try to hit on Ezri or that they’ll become an item?
A: You’ll see something in this vein…
Q: And if I may ask, whatever happened to the Ferengi Maruaders?
A: “You may ask… That’s a little joke.” The Maruaders are presumably still around, but we haven’t wanted to feature them in an episode.
Q: Will we see the Orion Syndicate, or do you plan some other way to make our favorite Chief suffer?? I cannot think of what else you guys can do to him!
A: We do have some plans for the Syndicate, but they don’t involve the Chief. We have other, more painful plans for O’Brien…
Q: Will we see the cat that lives at the O’Brien residents???
A: I think Keiko has turned the cat into a muffler.
Q: True what I hear that you plan an episode around Bashir and O’Brien????
A: We’d like to do one more story featuring these two.
Q: Which episode will be the first big Kira story of the season? And are there any plans to resurrect the Kira /Garak story which was dropped from TOTP? Seemed like an intriguing pairing…
A: Kira has a story running through the first two episodes, but her first stand-alone show will be in episode # 9, which is untitled at present. We did talk about reviving the Garak/Kira tale from TOTP, but decided to go in another direction.
Q: The Kira/Odo relationship had always been a very deep and complex one until season 6. Why did the writers decide to treat the romance as comedy rather than drama? Will we be seeing a return to depth and angst in the final season?
A: We still see it as a complex relationship and simply decided to lighten up a bit when they finally got together. We’ll still mix in a little angst.
Q: We’ve seen a lot about the darker side of the federation recently, but what about the darker side of the enemy?
A: We’re working on some particularly nasty Dominion episodes — you’ll hate them plenty, don’t worry.
Q: I just noticed something when I watched a recent rerun of TNG. I have a feeling this has been asked before, but O’Brien was a Lieutenant. What’s up with that? Should it simply be dismissed as a simple change of mind? And out of curiosity, why NOT make O’Brien an officer? It was obviously a conscious decision, so I wonder.
A: O’Brien was originally just a day player on TNG and very little, if any, thought went into his rank or background for quite a while. He officially became a Chief Petty Officer in “Family” when I wanted he and Worf’s adoptive father to both be non-coms in contrast to Worf. Making him an enlisted man seemed to give us another color in the show and to open up another window into Starfleet that we hadn’t explored before.
Q: OK, Ron, let’s say that Paramount gives you guys the green light to create a new Star Trek series. It doesn’t have to be next year, it could be any time. Would you set it in the 24th century, or would you try to skip ahead to the 25th century?
A: It’s a good question, but I think it deserves a lot of thought before it’s answered. Anyone considering another Trek series should be given a great deal of time to mull over the various possibilities and from where I’m sitting it’s too soon to know what direction the next show should take.
Q: After rewatching “In Pale Moonlight” I was wondering who decides which aliens are used in which roles the writers, the director, or the make-up people? I understand Romulans, Klingons, or any major race is probably written that way, but the blue guy could have been anybody, so why wasn’t an established alien race used?
A: It’s usually up to the writer. However, I think we’ve seen the blue alien from “Pale Moonlight” in another episode. Anyone remember it? (I don’t.)
Q: Just saw the repeat of “His Way” and I was wondering—was Vic Fontaine, the Sinatra-like character, in any way named after Johnny Fontaine, the Sinatra-like character in the “The Godfather”? If so, could you elaborate on the naming process for Vic.
A: I asked Ira this very question not too long ago, and he said that both “Vic” and “Fontaine” were simply names that he’s always liked and wanted to combine them. He didn’t realize the “Godfather” connection until later.
Q: Did Picard’s fish, Livingston I think was his name, survive the crash in “Generations”?
A: He did, but Spot had to eat something in those long hours before Data found him, so…
Q: Ron, which did you like best– original Star Wars or the new version? What do you think about redoing the TOS treks with better FX?
A: With the exception of the Han Solo/Greedo sequence, I liked the enhancements to Star Wars. I wouldn’t mind seeing TOS tweaked here and there as long as the original versions were still available for viewing.
Q: Ron, I just saw the Vic Fontaine “His Way” episode this week. I really, really tried to watch it again with an open mind after my initial negative reaction. I could almost overlook the sexist terms, I could resign myself to the Las Vegas atmosphere (which I loathe), but I couldn’t stomach seeing Kira smoke. Especially since it seemed to be intended to make her look more sexy and “cool”. This revulsion isn’t from being overly picky or PC. I detest the appearance and smell of cigarettes and watched my father die a painful death from lung cancer caused by smoking. Are cigarettes really necessary in the 24th century? I don’t care if ya’ll are recreating an era when smoking was acceptable. Not everyone smoked in the fifties. Whose decision is it to have a character smoke?
A: It’s up to the writer and the director. I’m sorry about the loss of your father and I certainly understand your reaction to smoking after what must’ve been a very painful experience. However, I don’t subscribe to the current anti-smoking hysteria, and I have no problem with seeing the characters on the holodeck smoke. Yes, smoking can kill you, but so can drinking. They’re both vices and we should be allowed to show them both.
Q: How is Robert Hewitt Wolfe doing ? The last time I saw him he looked to be in bad shape and had to be helped through the airlock to the Defiant. Has he recovered from those nasty injuies ?
A: Robert survived his injuries and is now recuperating on the Planet of the Freelancers.
Q: As a fan of the Romulans, I very much appreciated your work on TNG’s “The Defector.” I was curious, though, about your choices in the teaser – Data’s portrayal of Shakespeare’s HENRY V, and his discussion with Picard about same. He mentions several other portrayals, including Olivier’s – and, to my surprise, Branagh’s. Not so much for the quality of Branagh’s, which I consider a masterpiece, but at the timing – the film had just come out about the same time as the TNG ep aired. Had you seen the film when you wrote the line, and did you have any idea that it would be so accepted as a classic version of HENRY V?
A: The entire Henry V opening was a late addition to the script. Originally, the episode opened with another Sherlock Holmes sequence on the Holodeck, but at the time Paramount and the Conan-Doyle estate were still squabbling over “Elementary Dear Data” so we were told not to do Holmes. I believe the Henry V scene grew out of a conversation between Michael Piller and Patrick Stewart and that one or both of them had just seen the Branagh version.
Q: What do you think about the 30th anniversary of the release of “Planet of the Apes”? What is your opinion of the movie on its impact on subsequent Science Fiction projects over the past three decades?
A: Love it. I just saw the documentary on the making of all the “Apes” movies on AMC and thought they did a great job. Although the first one is clearly a classic, when I was a kid my favorite was “Conquest” and I still like it quite a bit. I’m not sure what the impact has been, other than proving to studios (in the pre-Star Wars era) that science fiction films could make money and that the public would support a series of them. Probably the most lasting impact was the ending of the original film. The image of the Statue of Liberty buried in the sand has become deeply embedded in popular culture and is one of the best “surprise” endings in film.
Q: Ron, there seems to be quite a debate brewing in one of the other boards about the spellings ‘pagh’ and ‘pah-wraith’. Even the Encyclopedia has both spellings. Since you actually see the scripts on a daily basis, is is ‘pagh’ or ‘pah’?
A: Although the correct spelling is actually “pagh” we’ve used both in scripts.
Q: I was a little bit surprised when you stated a while back that you thought giving Garak a homosexual love interest would be an out-of-the-blue development. That’s because I’ve always noticed, even way back in “Past Prologue”, that Garak seems to be sexually attracted to Dr. Bashir. And Andy Robinson has admitted in several interviews that he deliberately played Garak as sexually interested in the good doctor. My question is: did you guys ever consider exploring this aspect of Garak’s personality, perhaps in a subtle way a la Xena’s lesbian subtext?
A: We never really considered this. Although the actor may be playing a certain sexual ambiguity in Garak, the character as written has always been heterosexual. I will admit that many more people have commented on this than we ever anticipated. However, it still seems like it would be a somewhat arbitrary turn for the character to suddenly give him a homosexual love story at this stage of the game.
Q: Can you give us any plot info on “Once More Into the Breach”? Or the upcoming Kira episode?
A: “Once More…” features Kor returning to the station and trying to find a way into the Dominion War. It seems that his influence in the Empire is now non-existant and that he’s a man with many enemies. He comes to DS9 seeking Worf’s help, but finds to his dismay that General Martok is flatly opposed to helping Kor in any way. The Kira show is still being written and could change drastically, so all I’ll say is that it involves………. Dukat.
Q: In “Waltz,” Dukat talked about an assassination attempt that occurred on the station during his early days as Prefect. Is there any chance that he was talking about the bomb Kira planted in the past in “Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night”?
A: It could be, but we weren’t trying to tie the two together.
Q: You said last year that we might learn why Garak was exiled from Cardassia early in season six. Can you tell us anything about the story you were considering, and why it was dropped?
A: We’re still talking about this one.
Q: For that matter, were there any other ideas you were thinking about doing while the Dominion held the station that you can tell us about?
A: I can’t recall anything specific. We had a lot of discussions on the subject, but so many ideas were tossed out that I can’t really remember any coherent storylines.