Moore Loves Running His Own ShowBy Michelle
November 16, 2005 - 12:38 AM
Ron Moore discussed the development of his revival of Battlestar Galactica and drew some comparisons with Star Trek, taking a few swipes at the franchise of which he grew up a fan and where he worked for close to a decade.
Speaking to Chase Masterson at TheFandom.com, Moore talked about how he relished the opportunity to try different things on the remade Battlestar Galactica, which he feels is very different from other science fiction, space operas and even the series from which it spawned. "It's all about creating your own show and running it, because then it's really what you want it to be," he explained. "I served under other showrunners all my career before, and it was a great experience, but you're always servicing somebody else's idea. You're always trying to emulate somebody else's voice. You're always trying to do the best version of their show. There's such intense pleasure at being able to do that for your own show."
A fan of genre shows, Moore said that he was delighted when he went to work for Star Trek. "I was a fan of the original Star Trek series...so when I got my break at The Next Generation, obviously I was happy. I stayed there for ten years." He noted that while he thinks studios are more likely to listen to a pitch from him if it's science fiction, because that is what he has been best known for writing, he does not consider himself a science fiction writer; he has little science background, does not consider himself a techie and is "not really a futurist."
"I'm interested in characters and people," said Moore, who admitted that he thought about staying away from space operas after Star Trek but was intrigued by the possibilities with Galactica. He finds this season's genre offerings on the networks rather redundant, saying that he was struck by the similarities between Threshold, Invasion and the others were. He had been involved during the development season and found that the networks were all interested in "the simple idea of aliens invading the planet."
Asked about some of the negative fan reaction to Galactica both before it aired and during recent controversial episodes, Moore explained, "The internet is like a big old soapbox. People really like the fact that they can get up on this soapbox and pontificate and be dramatic, 'I will never watch the show again after last night!' It's just ridiculous." He described fans who repeatedly declare that they are going to stop watching, only to come back and complain the next week.
He was also unimpressed by fans who had decided not to watch the revival series before a single episode had ever aired. Not having seen a show did not seem to stop Moore himself from having opinions about it, however; he described what he thought were differences between President Laura Roslin on Battlestar Galactica and President Mackenzie Allen on Commander in Chief, then admitted that he had never watched the ABC series, which was already apparent from his comments.
Moore said that the fact that Galactica has been successful is all he really needs to worry about, though he added that he does enjoy interacting with fans online. "Part of it is about me giving back," he said, but another part is the opportunity to get feedback from an audience. If he worked in film or theatre, he noted, he would be able to stand at the back of the auditorium and watch the viewers react, but with a television series he does not have that opportunity.
Masterson praised Moore's work on Star Trek: First Contact, saying that "it has everything" - comedy, drama, action-adventure, and Marina Sirtis drunk. "It was a fun movie to work on," he told her. "The experience of doing First Contact was much more pleasurable and we were much more ready to do it than Generations."
Although he did not mention Star Trek by name, he made some comments about sexuality that would seem to be applicable to it, noting of Galactica, "Here again was an opportunity to do something different in science fiction because generally what tends to happen in film and television is that sex is just an exercise in fetishization...we will take a sexy woman and put her in leather and then she'll kick someone with her high heels, but there's never any true kind of sexuality to it." He said that the characters do not really make love, "they're not really adults that have any kind of adult sexual intimacy...it's always presented in some kind of sniggering way." The people on Galactica, he added, have "real sex", such as the character Six, who is "using it deliberately to manipulate a vulnerable human being."
The son of an ex-Marine, Moore almost joined the Navy but said that despite his interest in military history and drama, he does not believe that he would do well in such an environment: "I'm not somebody who likes taking orders." He has a pilot in development at NBC this season, said his goal is to create another show that will be commercially and critically embraced. He also invited fans to tune into Galactica when it returns with new episodes in January, saying that catching up with the series should not be any more difficult than picking up ER in its second or third year.
The full interview can be downloaded at TheFandom.com.