Moore On Escaping 'The Box'

By T'Bonz
June 13, 2008 - 7:39 PM

Gene Roddenberry's vision of an evolved humanity made for good people, but for bad drama and caused the writers no end of grief.

As reported by, Ron Moore, who joined Star Trek: The Next Generation in the third season, he helped to change the tone of the show by adding conflict and real emotions, finding ways to get around what was termed the "Roddenberry box" of rules that made people a bit too perfect and made it harder to write an interesting story.

"I think there was a general consensus in the writers room in every season that we always chaffed at the notion that there were no petty jealousies and greed and all that," said Moore. "We railed against that on a daily basis, found ways to get around that, found ways to get through it with varying degrees of success. It was a constant problem that we just sort of gnashed our teeth about. It never made any logical sense or any dramatic sense."

Furthermore, it was not something that had been in effect during the run of the original series. "I was always saying 'the Original Series was never like this, the Original Series has plenty of problems with humanity, plenty of with jealousies and bickering and even racial prejudices are alive in the 23rd century,'" said Moore. "In 'Balance of Terror', Stiles is overtly prejudiced against Spock just because he is Vulcan. And that isnít the only instance of that. It made for drama and it made for conflict. It made the world work."

According to Moore, Roddenberry became a visionary in place of being a writer. "He started to believe the stuff that he was creating a utopian future and wanted 'The Next Generation' universe to be reflective of the utopian universe that so many people had told him he had been creating for all these years," said Moore. "So it started to become less about the drama, less about making a television show, and more about servicing this idea of what utopianism was going to be and how perfect humanity was going to be in the future as an example of how to live our lives by, as opposed to making a great television series."

But by the time of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the writers were able to bend and work around the limitations. "We were all in league together," Moore explained. "Ira was a big proponent of throwing the box out the door, but he knew we couldnít really throw the box out the door. We could only go so far and find creative ways around it. We couldnít save the Star Trek universe by destroying it. We had to keep things in place because they were the fundamentals that Gene had built in. And so we just found ways around them whenever possible."

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