Killing Kirk Prepared Moore For Overhauling BSG

By Michelle
July 19, 2005 - 8:12 PM

Ron Moore revealed that he cried when he wrote the death of Captain Kirk in Star Trek: Generations and gave a reporter a glimpse of the memo he wrote outlining how his new vision for Battlestar Galactica would differ from Star Trek as well as from the original Galactica series.

Speaking to The New York Times at the start of Battlestar Galactica's second season on Sci-Fi, Moore, a lifelong Star Trek fan, said that although he wept while writing Kirk's death scene - "I wanted to do this story about mortality, and how mortality comes to even the greatest hero" - he believes his experience with killing his childhood idol and with the frustrations of Star Trek: Voyager, where none of the other staff members shared his concern about an endless supply of shuttles and the constantly renewable resources of a ship stranded in the Delta Quadrant, contributed to his vision for Galactica, which angered many fans when they initially learned of the changes he intended to make - including original Galactica star Richard Hatch, who had spent many years and thousands of his own dollars to try to revive the franchise.

"When I watched the original pilot, I knew that if you did 'Battlestar Galactica' again, the audience is going to feel a resonance with what happened on 9/11," said Moore. "That's going to touch a chord whether we want it to or not. And it felt like there was an obligation to that." He agreed to do the series so long as he could change the formula from the original, saying, "We take as a given the idea that the traditional space opera, with its stock characters, techno-double-talk, bumpy-headed aliens, thespian histrionics and empty heroics has run its course, and a new approach is it 'naturalistic science fiction." Disavowing the time travel and photon torpedo-driven storylines of Star Trek, he wrote a pilot about terrorism and religious fanaticism.

Writer John Hodgman acknowledges that the starship Enterprise has been "[the] vehicle that has defined the visual and thematic vocabulary of television science fiction for four decades" and discussed the impact of the original BSG, of which Hatch became aware when he attended a Star Trek convention for the first time and met fans who told him what the show had meant to them. He created a web site and filmed a trailer for a Galactica: The Next Generation series, and was upset when he discovered that Moore intended to make a series which was not a sequel but went in a different direction.

However, although he initially declined the offer of a guest role, Hatch defended Moore at a convention where he was booed by fans. "It takes incredible courage to stand there and listen to people express their emotions and feelings, and I just take my hat off to you," Hatch told him in front of the audience. "I can see that you have a bold vision, that you're an incredibly talented man and you have a lot to say." Though some fans still call the executive producer "the MooreRon", Hatch ultimately accepted a recurring role as a former terrorist who leads a band of fleet malcontents seeking rehabilitation.

The original interview is in The New York Times.

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