Moore: Roddenberry, Berman, Piller Sought Conflicting TreksBy Michelle
December 5, 2003 - 10:11 PM
On the eve of the premiere of the revival of Battlestar Galactica, written and produced by Ron Moore, the former Star Trek scribe spoke about his experiences in his many years with The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
Explaining that Michael Piller had found and read a spec script that Moore used a connection through a girlfriend to submit, the writer explained to IGN that he survived the difficult third season as the show found its course with Gene Roddenberry still heading the franchise, Rick Berman in the production building and Piller supervising the writers.
"On a TV show, it's about being able to sit in a room with the writers and talk story and work out problems, and to contribute and listen and be able to argue a point, and bring something to the party but not be difficult. So really there's a group dynamic to sit in a room with other writers," he explained.
"I think Michael wanted Next Generation to become more character oriented in the third season, and it became more about the family of characters, and each of the characters getting defined and redefined. Making the show ultimately about them was a very key and important decision," he added, noting that this contradicted Roddenberry's dictum that the characters be utopian, which Moore felt got in the way of storytelling.
"The original series people were not perfect. My god – Spock and McCoy were at each other's throats for big chunks of time, and sometimes McCoy thought Kirk was an idiot. They were flawed people. Kirk had quite an ego and arrogance to him, and sometime it cuts him short," observed the writer, citing "Errand of Mercy" as an example of an episode where Kirk learns a lesson. Moore said he frequently argued with Piller, as did Brannon Braga, but that neither Piller nor later executive producers Jeri Taylor and Ira Behr held grudges.
Asked whether it became a burden to be identified as the "Klingon Guy", Moore insisted, "I've always enjoyed that. I was always proud of the work that I did with the Klingons, and very happy that I got to do as much as I did with them and explore and expand the culture. I kind of get a kick out of it."
As for the varying successes of the shows in later seasons, "In Deep Space, we had so much going on that we never even tied up all the threads by Year 7," he noted. "In Next Gen you're just dealing within standalone episodes, and you're coming up against, 'Well what haven't we done? Have we done a planet where they're all green?' 'Yeah, we did one of those in Season 2.' 'Aw, s***.'"
Moore added that he longed for a Trek musical long before other shows started doing musical episodes. "It would have been great! In the holodeck or something...that was part of the struggle on Next Gen, too, was to just have fun. 'Can we just do a laugh for an episode? Where it's not so serious, where we have to put the ship in jeopardy every week, where someone's life hangs in the balance. Let's just do a comedy episode.'"
To read about Moore's frustrations with Berman, Wesley Crusher, "The First Duty" and the moral obligations of Roddenberry's Trek, see the original interview here. Tomorrow IGN will post the rest of the interview, in which Moore speaks about Deep Space Nine as well as Battlestar Galactica, which premieres Sunday night at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on Sci-Fi.