Ron Moore's AOL Chats
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Ron Moore's AOL Chats


All future archives will cover 5 folders at a time.  The next one will include posts made in folders 26 through 30.]

Subj:  Answers
Date:  97-07-02 19:45:33 EDT
From:  RonDMoore       

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These are good questions, but the truth is that Robert came up with the notion and I'm not sure what the technical answers are.  Presumably there are technical limitations in the design that prevent the scenarios you're suggesting, but it wasn't necessary to explain them in the episode.

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That's a fun idea, but not one that's being considered at the moment.

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The ratings are unrelated to the budget.  We have both a per episode budget and a budget for the entire year.  We often go "over pattern" on an episode and then have to go "under pattern" on subsequent shows with the understanding that at the end of the year we will still meet our overall budget.  Paramount is very flexible in these matters and they will on occasion authorize additional monies for "event" shows like "Trials & Tribble-ations."

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I haven't yet, because I have a decent amount of military reference material of my own, but I am aware of the various websites and might go there in the future.

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While Odo can have intercourse with a solid by assuming the proper.... forms, it would not be possible to conceive offspring since that would require him to actually fertilize an egg and he clearly doesn't have the authentic... gear to make that possible.

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While anything is possible, none of this is under consideration at this time.

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My favorites were "Trials & Tribble-ations"  "The Assignment" "The Darkness and the Light" and "A Call to Arms".  I wish we could've taken another crack at "Let He Who is..." 

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I think that Season 4 had a higher batting average overall in that there were no real dogs among that group -- a first in all my years at Trek -- but that Season 5 had "higher highs" along with "lower lows".  Personally, I felt that "Our Man Bashir" from Season 4 and "Darkness and the Light" were my two best efforts.

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Ira and Hans are writing the premiere, I'm writing the second episode, the new team of Bradley Thompson & David Weddle will write the third, Rene will do the fourth and then Ira & Hans will do the fifth.


Subj:  Answers
Date:  97-07-02 20:03:45 EDT
From:  RonDMoore       

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It's a delicate balance, but we always strive to deliver the very best quality show we can, every single week and fight like mad to keep the budgetary and time considerations from interfering with the creative process any more than absolutely necessary.

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I don't think the romantic threads got in the way per se, but I would say that our preferences for stories focusing on certain characters and certain plotlines did preclude us from exploring other, equally valid stories.  We try very hard to do a mix of shows, both in tone (comedic and dramatic) and in which of our regular characters are featured.  But each season there are usually one or two characters that get shortchanged and seem "lost" by the end of the year.  This isn't something we like, but it is to a certain extent unavoidable.  We, as writers, tend to write what we like and sometimes our preferences lead us away from some characters for a while and towards others.  We *do* sit down and say "Hey, we really need a good Dax (or whoever) story, she hasn't been well serviced yet," but unless we come up with something we like or hear a pitch that we like and feel comfortable pursuing, we'll tend to go with the good stories in hand and keep hoping that a good (fill-in-the-blank-character) tale will come along.  If possible, we'll even take a story away from one character and give it to another, but you can quickly see the limitations of that approach -- there aren't many Quark stories that can be easily changed into Sisko stories or vice-versa.  In the end, balancing the needs of all the characters is an imperfect science and it's something we continue to struggle with.

<< the Treaty of Algernon seems to be eroding away to nothing.  I thought "The Pegasus" was one of the best episodes of TNG's final season.  When Ron wrote that, he had Picard's sense of honor triumph over Pressman's political pragmatism.  Now, it turns out, Pressman as been vindicated.  How do you feel about this turn of events, Ron?  Is a sequel to "Pegasus," featuring Pressman's reinstatement and return to honor on the horizon?>>

I wouldn't look for any reinstatement of Pressmen in the future, but there has clearly been some kind of amendment made to the cloaking agreement that allowed the Defiant to have a cloak only in the Gamma Quadrant since she now clearly cloaks at will.  I keep forgetting to put in a reference somewhere to this effect, but I'll try to remember this year.

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Yes, and there are now officially other Defiant class ships in Starfleet.

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I believe the children were actually being rushed to their "crash stations" or "emergency stations" or something, not being brought up from the battle section.  The same goes for the patients in Sickbay.

Subj:  Answers
Date:  97-07-02 20:31:21 EDT
From:  RonDMoore       

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This is just a trick of editing.  We cut outside to see only one torpedo while presumable all three were fired.  Why didn't we choose to show all three?  Money.  I know it's hard to believe on a $35 million + movie, but the VFX budget was so tight on Generations that we were literally counting every single torpedo and every single phaser shot and trying to wring every last cent we could to stay within the margins.

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I'd forgotten about this brief scene when Worf and Geordi picked up Picard at the end of the picture.  There was a scene featuring Chekov and Scotty awaiting Kirk's arrival after "orbital skydiving" that was cut at the beginning of the picture, also some reactions to Kirk's "death" on the Enterprise-B bridge, some dialog between Soren and Geordi during Geordi's torture scene, and some other nips and tucks in dialog that I can't recall.  

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That's an interesting analogy, but it wasn't something I was thinking about consciously when writing the scene.  I just... I don't know... wrote it.

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Well, we of course, disagree.  We like Rom & Leeta, think they're valuable members of the DS9 family and we'll continue to use them in the future.  As I've said before, I think the true strength of this series is its variety, but by the same token we don't expect everyone to like everything.

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As far as I know, these characters are limited to the novels and there are no plans to expand them into any other areas, but you might want to ask John Ordover for more information.

Subj:  Answers
Date:  97-07-11 15:20:57 EDT
From:  RonDMoore       

Okay, I know I'm skipping a few questions, but I had to start somewhere and one week ago seems like as good a place as any.  The volume in here gets pretty intimidating, so if I've passed over your particular query, just re-post it and I'll *try* to get to it.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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The fight sequences are sketched out by the writer in the teleplay, then fleshed out and acutally choreographed by the stunt coordinator and the director on the stage.  Remember that the production schedule in TV is much less forgiving than in feature films and there's rarely an opportunity to do in-depth or elaborate planning when designing the stunt work in action scenes.  The more polished action seen in film is a result of more $$$ and more time to plan and shoot everything.  Dennis Mandalone -- our stunt coordinator -- is very good at what he does, but often doesn't have the time or money to do the scene the way he would like.  I think that considering the  all the limitations he struggles under, he does a very good job for us.

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It's a good practical idea, but I think it's too much at odds with Gene's Starfleet.  To see our phasers with bayonets would be too visually aggressive and vicious-looking.

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This is something I do on my own because I believe the time and energy required to keep this conversation with the audience going is ultimately worth it.  But that's just me and it's not really fair to the other writer/producers around here to say that just because I do it, they should too.  They all have access to AOL and/or the internet and if they want to log on they certainly can.

<< 

10 says it was Levar Burton>>

You'd win that bet.  LeVar lobbied long and hard to get rid of the VISOR in Generations and we finally acceded to his request in FC.

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I'm not sure the Bajorans have a "thing" about earlobes just because they all wear earrings.  That's like saying we have a "thing" about fingers because we wear rings.

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We're writing a screenplay based on the video game "Area 51" for New Line Cinema.

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It's not true.

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There aren't any current plans for DS9 or VOY features at the moment.  I think anything's possible, and there's no way to predict the future of either project.

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It's still under review by both Paramount Legal and the production offices of DS9 & Voyager.  Nothing has been decided yet, but I'd get my spec in now if I were you, just in case.

Subj:  Answers
Date:  97-07-11 20:42:49 EDT
From:  RonDMoore       

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I haven't read the story for Trek IX, but I seriously doubt that trashing the station is part of the plot. I think that if anyone's going to destroy DS9, it would have to be in our own series or in our own movie (and there are NO plans to destroy DS9, just to be clear).  

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It's occured to me from time to time, but I think if I ever do actually do a cameo, I want to be a Klingon.

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We began filming Season 6 on Tuesday, July 8.  Infants do indeed have agents and have to be hired just like any other actor (don't ask me what induces parents to agree to smear their baby in fake blood for a birth scene and then hand it over to somewhere wearing a Klingon forehead, I have no idea.)

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I guess they didn't watch that show.  Another valuable lesson for all you would-be galactic conquerors -- tape every episode!  The life you save may be yours!

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It's too bad, but I guess that's Paramount's decision and you can't fault them for trying to position themselves for future profits with Microsoft -- they are in the business of making money, after all.  But since the Microsoft Network doesn't seem to be ringing anyone's bells at the moment, Paramount may be the biggest loser in this equation.

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It's always good to hear from Brannon's mother.

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They will not.

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We have no plans at the moment for Mrs. Troi or her latest progeny.  We'll definitely see more of the O'Brien baby this year.  I hope you're implying that there may be some Bajoran characteristics because of Kira carrying the child and not that Keiko was up to no good when she spent all those MONTHS down there ALONE on BAJOR with NO ONE except OTHER BAJORANS for COMPANY on all those LONELY NIGHTS.  Certainly not.  Perish the thought.  

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Now I can't give everything away, now can I?

<< I heard that a fleet of ships were going back to take back the station. Now my question is will the enterprise be part of the fleet, if the paople are willing?>>

I would not expect the Enterprise to show up on DS9 at any time this season.  The Big E is permanently docked at the Feature Film Starbase and will not be cruising back to the Television Sector anytime soon.

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Paramount Legal and the Writers Guild prevent me from answering this type of question.  Our lawyers will be contacting you shortly.

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We have every intention of continuing to explore the Rom/Leeta relationship.

<< Is Captain Sisko ever going to get married?>>

Not anytime soon -- we have enough matrimony at the moment.

Subj:  Answers
Date:  97-07-11 20:56:22 EDT
From:  RonDMoore       

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Not for a few months.

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Since we won't be wrapping up the War Against the Dominion right away, the first few episodes will definitely have more continuity between them than normal, but we will also be doing stand-alone shows as well.

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I don't recall what our thinking was going into Season 5 at the moment, except that we assumed we'd be playing the Klingon War a bit more than we ultimately did.  That was because we started to see that the more interesting place to go was a full-scale war against the Dominion where we could really devote the time and money to delivering the story instead of playing the Klingon War "out there" every week.  Our interest in the Dominion/Federation conflict was leading us there anyway and we just decided to go for it and so we wrapped up the Klingon conflict and went full-steam for the Dominion.

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No plans for Q on DS9.

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This is news to me.  His son Nick never mentioned it either.  Is there a definitive answer on this? -- I don't have the book someone referenced as the source of his quote.

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The Defiant does not, but I believe the E-E and the Voyager both do.

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I've never felt like I wanted to follow up on Jeremy after "The Bonding".  I'm not against it, but I don't have any interesting stories to tell with that character.

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We'll definitely see him and the ship again, but maybe not the same crew this year.

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You mean in a plane?   Gee, I don't know... all the mess and wreckage...

Subj:  Answers
Date:  97-07-15 20:49:11 EDT
From:  RonDMoore       

<< I wonder if they will have a special episode on either or both shows this year in tribute to TNG's 10th anniversary.>>

There are no plans for a TNG anniversary salute on either show.  Ten years seems like an awfully short time for anniversary salutes in my opinion.

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The Sovereign-class will probably not be making an appearance on DS9.  The ship and its class are definitely part of the feature franchise and not available for series work.

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We haven't forgotten the line.  Our thinking is that the Founders think and plan for the looooong term.  The fate of Cardassia has been probably been sealed as far as their concerned, but the final moves may not play themselves out for quite some time.

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We will see the Rotarran again, but not with the same crew.  The reason is budgetary.  It costs $$$ to use speaking roles in any episode and unless there was some story-driven reason to use those actors again, we would fill the bridge with non-speaking extras (or "background") in a show that took place on the Rotarran, but did not require the appearance of those specific characters in the drama.  It's unfortunate, but it's just one of many concessions that are made in producing an elaborate and expensive show like DS9.

<< I have never seen a picture of you-- what do you look like?>>

Tom Cruise, except completely different.

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You'll never guess.  It's an old family name (Irish, I believe).

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No plans at the moment.

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Possibly.

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All I can say is that Colm was at work, on the set, on Friday and is still a part of the cast.

Subj:  Answers
Date:  97-07-15 21:10:09 EDT
From:  RonDMoore       

<<[The Enterprise is] the most important ship in the fleet.  It would be at the biggest battle with hundreds of amassed ships.>>

Well, no, not really.  First of all, while the Enterprise is certainly a great ship with a proud lineage and has one of the finest crew in the fleet, saying she's *the* most important vessel is taking things a bit too far.  In our view, the Enterprise is one of many ships in Starfleet, all of them crewed by the cream of the Federation and all representing the ideals of Gene's universe.  I've always opposed the "deification" of the Enterprise (A,B,C,D,E, and the original) as some sort of quasi-mystical ship.  (This has nothing to do with the "flagship" designation, by the way -- that's more of an honorific with Starfleet than anything else and is an acknowledgement of the proud tradition of ships named Enterprise in Starfleet.)  The Enterprise is special to US, the viewers, and WE can view it as the most important ship, but extending that to the way it's treated in the series (any of the series) would be a mistake.  It's confusing the audience's identification with the ship and characters with the reality being created on screen.  Yes, it's clearly famous and yes, it's certainly a plum assignment.  But if the Enterprise started being treated as *the* most important vessel in SF, then it would cease to get the dangerous missions and would probably start being treated as more of a "showboat" than a real workhorse -- you don't send *the* most important ship in the Federation out to do hum-drum missions like patrol the border, catalog odd subspace readings or any of the other many things we sent the Big-E out to go do.  I find that saying that the Enterprise
 is only one of many actually increases my respect
 for her and her crew in a funny way.

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Yes.

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Worf:  Curzon's name is an honored one among my people.

Dax:  (in Klingon) Yeah, but I'm a lot better looking than he was.

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No.

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I've never looked... oh, my god!

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We have nothing to do with this.  The video releases are up to Paramount Home Video and they have never solicited our opinions about anything.

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Not true.

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The WGA is here in Los Angeles and the TV Academy is in North Hollywood.  They're both listed and you can call them for information (sorry, but I don't have the numbers at my fingertips.)

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Our reasoning (and it's admittedly thin) is that Picard didn't want to go back any further in time than absolutely necessary since he knows the extreme dangers of unexpected results from any tampering with the timeline.  Okay, it's not much, but there it is.

Subj:  Answers
Date:  97-07-15 21:37:37 EDT
From:  RonDMoore       

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1. Dabo boys ain't gonna be hired by Quark, that's just a Ferengi fact of life. 
2. Sexy male in love with a (to us) ugly female is an interesting idea and is certainly possible.  3. Exploration of the sexuality of a male character seems to imply discovering that one of our regulars is bi or gay and we have no plans to do so, chiefly because dealing with one's sexual orientation in Gene's 24th century is kinda simple:  "Hey, Captain, I think I might be gay."  "Okay.  Now get back to fixing those transtators."  It's not really an issue to these people, so "exploring" it doesn't hold much promise.  I liked "Rejoined" precisely because it did *not* explore Dax's sexuality, it simply presented it in the context of a love story and let the viewer deal with their own feelings about it.  
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