Moore On 'Dragonriders'By Amy
March 25, 2001 - 12:42 PM
Ronald D. Moore, a name synonymous with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, recently spoke to his current host network, the WB, on his latest project, a television adaptation of the 'Dragonriders of Pern' novels by Anne McCaffrey.
As he explained in a previous ScFi Wire interview, Morre's interest in the series began back in college. "I read the books in college and they stuck with me through the years. I just sort of always enjoyed them, and they were in the back of my mind," he told the WB. Then, as he approached the end of his stint on Star Trek, he got to thinking about what "[he]wanted to develop on my own and what could be potential science fiction franchises, and Anne McCaffrey's books came to mind."
With that in mind, he tracked the television rights to Eric Weimuller, who was, at the time, spearheading the Alliance Atlantis Entertainment and Zyntopo Teo attempts to develop the series. He says that while he "started talking to them seriously about running the show and doing the pilot [...] the deal just never happened and it kind of went away," and he moved on to Roswell.
"Years later," however, as Moore says, "after I had left Star Trek and I was with Roswell, I spoke with Eric Weimuller again. The original deal had come to an end and they never developed the project further." Together they decided to again attempt to develop the concept, this time meeting with more success - Regency and The WB first ordering a pilot and then giving the green-light for a full series. Weimuller is now one of the show's executive producers.
Of course, one of the obvious questions is how does work on 'Dragonriders' compare with work on his last two projects, 'Deep Space Nine' and 'Roswell'. "They have all been very distinct experiences," he says. "The biggest thing is that you're dealing with different groups of characters because as a writer/producer, I'm telling stories about these distinct group of regulars every week and everything that I do is towards this goal. So, because the characters and the settings and the shows are so different, that's what makes it so unique and exciting."
So, what can fans of the books expect in the tv series? "...It will definitely be an interpretation of Anne's work," Moore says, but adds that "Bringing it to the screen has sort of required changing some elements, translating others, and moving characters around to sort of make it comprehensible to a new television audience."
"In a novel form," he explains, "you have the luxury to have more freedom to sort of play around with things." This led to the biggest challenge when first starting out on the show - which elements from the almost 20 novels (with more on the way) in the series to use? In the end they went with the home of the series, basing it primarily from the events in 'Dragonflight' - with a few differences. "For the fans of the Pern books," Moore says, "it's not going to be the way they envisioned her, but if you watch the series you will recognize it. You'll go, "Yes, that is Pern. It's not exactly the way I envisioned it, but it's recognizable." The heart and soul of what made the book special is definitely there and the characters are there. It's a legitimate translation of the book. "