Moore: Trek Should Lie Fallow For Awhile

By Michelle
December 9, 2003 - 8:00 PM

Ron Moore spoke on the eve of the premiere of his new vision of Battlestar Galactica about his work on that series and others, as well as his reasons for leaving Star Trek: Voyager soon after joining the staff.

Speaking to IGN, Moore said that criticism from Patrick Stewart led to Picard's role as an action hero in Star Trek: First Contact, which Moore co-wrote with Brannon Braga, one of many very successful projects from the former writing team.

Moore noted that he had a good relationship with Braga until he went to work on Voyager. Because he was older and had been working on Star Trek longer, Moore felt that he was the "the more senior writer of the two." On Voyager, however, where Braga was an executive producer, "he was in charge and I was the second banana, and it wasn't a good fit for either one of us...I chafed against it and ultimately just blew up."

The atmosphere, he added, was very tense. "It was just a lot of acrimony, and I think Brannon was just taking it from all sides...Brannon was just in an untenable position, I think." Though Moore said that they have since repaired their friendship, he added that they did not write together any longer.

Speaking about Enterprise, Moore was reluctant to comment on specifics because he said he has not watched the series regularly. But he suggested that the franchise would do well to "go away for a few years so that you have people who are actually saying, 'God, I wish they would bring back Star Trek.' Instead of saying, 'Oh god, another Star Trek series?'"

I think you also just need some time to sort of reevaluate what is Star Trek. What should it be. You need to start over with a new team... If you look at Enterprise – just look at it… forget the story… just look at it visually. It does not look remarkable different from Next Generation, in my opinion. I think it is edited in the same way, the way it's staged, the direction that they're allowed to do, how they tell a story, the lighting scheme – a lot of it is very, very redolent of Next Generation, and I don't think… It has not moved on with television. It's still stuck in a very old groove.
A fan of Battlestar Galactica from childhood, Moore said that even then he had issues with the plotting of the pilot and was rather surprised at the fan uproar when it was learned that the revival would be a remake rather than a continuation: "I thought, 'These guys are going to be grateful that we're doing anything. I mean, this show has been gone for 25 years – they're going to be happy it's coming back at all.'"

The idea to change Starbuck into a woman was not only to address the inequality of gender roles in the original series but because Moore felt that Dirk Benedict's Starbuck was irreplaceable:

He played that role with a wink and a nod and an easy charm, and he's just Dirk Benedict and the audience loves him. Now if you redo that role and you cast another man, what's he gonna do? Is he going to imitate Dirk Benedict? Are we going to try to recreate Dirk Benedict? He will always be compared to not being Dirk Benedict's Starbuck, and it's kind of a losing proposition no matter how you go at it. If you make it a woman, it's sort of "all bets are off," and you're freer to say, "Okay, here's a rogue pilot."
The writer said that he preferred working on television to feature films, where writers are treated in a rather assembly-line manner, despite an unhappy experience trying to make a Dragonriders of Pern project in which Moore and the studio were in opposition to the WB, which wanted the series "in the WB's voice", with dialogue that Moore found intolerable.

Moore said that he "had a ball" working on G vs. E and enjoyed Roswell, which he felt that the WB forced to emphasize science fiction more than its audience would have liked. He was also impressed with Tom Cruise, whom he met while working on the screenplay for Mission Impossible 2. Carnivale, he explained, was a difficult show to work on but it may be back for another season.

The final segment of IGN's interview may be found here.

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