Weddle Credits Behr For Making 'Galactica' Possible

By Michelle
July 26, 2005 - 8:36 PM

David Weddle's introduction to writing for Star Trek and, now, the revival of Battlestar Galactica came not because he had science fiction television experience, but because he had written a biography of a movie director that was a favourite of producer Ira Steven Behr.

Behr had read Weddle's 1994 book on film director Sam Peckinpah, If They Move...Kill 'Em!, and invited the writer to tour the sets at Paramount. "Being a shameless opportunist, I asked if I could pitch story ideas to his show," admitted Weddle to SyFy Portal. "Ira generously said yes."

That pitch led to the episode "Rules of Engagement", in which Worf was on trial for a potential war crime, and eventually 11 other DS9 episodes by Weddle and writing partner Bradley Thompson. "Ron Moore ended up writing the teleplay based on our story. After he finished, we sent him a thank you note, and Ron sent us all the drafts of the script -- which was another tremendous educational experience," recalled Weddle. "It gave us a window into the evolutionary process of TV writing."

Once Moore left the cast of Star Trek: Voyager, he and Weddle lost touch, but the two met at a Director's Guild screening of the new Battlestar Galactica miniseries which, Weddle said, "blew me away!" He told Moore of his feelings and was invited along with Thompson to become co-producers of the new series, where they wrote first-season episodes "Act of Contrition" and "Hand of God."

"None of it would be possible without Ira Behr, who took a chance on us, taught us the craft of television writing, and showed all of us - Ron included - what could be accomplished when working with the epic canvas of a science-fiction series," Weddle marveled. "Most shows find their second life in DVD box sets, audiences are gravitating to those with continuing storylines. 'Deep Space Nine' was a transitional series. It was supposed to be composed of self-contained episodes, but Ira Behr slyly moved it into an ongoing narrative with continuing storylines."

"This is where Ron and Brad and I learned the craft of the new generation of TV shows, just as 'Sopranos' was hitting the air and transforming television," he added.

The original interview, the first of multiple parts, is at SyFy Portal.

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