Ron Moore Remembers Michael Piller

By Michelle
November 17, 2005 - 6:08 PM

Ron Moore, whose Battlestar Galactica has just been renewed for a third season, has posted a remembrance of Michael Piller, the longtime Star Trek executive producer who died at the beginning of this month.

In his blog at Sci Fi, Moore recalled having met Piller in the writers' building for Star Trek: The Next Generation, "with a white pad on my lap filled with my illegible scrawl which contained the seeds of the half-dozen stories I planned to sell...which would no doubt launch my career that very afternoon." That day, said Moore, "I was treated like a professional writer for the first time, and it was Michael Piller who made it happen."

Moore credited Piller with the ability to recognise talent in unknown and inexperienced writers, which led him to begin a spec script submission program that allowed 3,000 scripts per year to be looked over by readers. Moore also credited the producer with being extremely honest, which he feels worked against him in a business which rewards guile and deceit:

"He simply refused to countenance the idea that there was any higher compliment to a professional writer than to take his or her work seriously and critique it not as a first script or a nice try or good effort, but as a legitimate piece of work that deserved serious thought and consideration."

In nearly ten years working for Piller directly and indirectly, admitted Moore, "I cannot say with any honesty that it was easy [but] I've never seen anyone, before or since who was secure enough in his own skills and his own power to sit back and accept the level of argument and dissension that Michael Piller not only tolerated, but encouraged among his staff."

To Piller, added Moore, "the show was bigger than any of us, including him. He wanted the show to be the very best it could be and he pushed all of us to make the scripts better." In addition, "he was uncommonly generous of spirit...I never once thought of him as anything but optimistic about the future, about himself, about the fact that tomorrow is another day and another day is what really counts."

In happier news for Moore, Zap2It posted that the Sci Fi Channel has picked up the Battlestar Galactica revival for a third season, ordering twenty more episodes of the cable drama. "The entire principal cast of 'Battlestar Galactica,' including Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, is set to return for season three,' noted the article.

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