Date: 97-12-04 18:48:20 EST
<<Ron, do you have any ideas in the discussion or planning stage for another
story arc? From what I've heard the Dominion arc went down very well in the
US and it looks set to be a winner here in the UK. A lot of fans I've spoken
to also like the idea of story arcs.>>
We'd love to do another one, but first we have to come up with a concept
that can only be told in several parts and then we have to convince the
studio to let us do it again -- neither one an easy task.
<<Ron, would captain janeway, or any other captain (who doesnt absolutely
need to know) how to travel through time [now]? Would the federation tell
all their captains about the slingshot method, or is it just something that
those who actually used it would know of.>>
I would assume that the precise calculations involved in using the slingshot
method are something of a closely guarded secret.
<<I just saw "Statistical Probabilities" and was wondering if Bashir and the
other four are the only genetically enhanced beings in the Trek universe or
are they only the ones Starfleet knows about.>>
We haven't made this decision yet.
<<If two people who had their genes messed with had a kid, would he/she be
allowed to join Starfleet, practice medicine, etc. even though he/she is of
superior intelligence, or whatever? Or is there a law against their
Interesting question. I'm not sure, but I would think that if the child in
question was genetically "superior" in some demonstrable way that s/he would
also be barred from serving in Starfleet. This would be consistant with the
"firewall" concept that the Judge Advocate General alluded to in "Dr. Bashir,
I Presume?" in which the Federation has a very hardline policy regarding the
genetically enhanced. On the other hand, I doubt that the Federation would
keep the parents from reproducing in the first place.
<<A genetically altered [Richard M. Nixon]? Why tamper with perfection?>>
Why indeed? How much scarier can you make Frankenstein anyway...?
(Oh, it's a joke... put away your "Nixon is a Hep Cat" t-shirts and relax.)
<<The new "Next Generation" book briefly summarizes the original ending of
"Generations", the test screening audience reaction to the manner in which
the character of Kirk dies, and the subsequent reshoot of the movie's
Could you give some insight into the writers' creative process regarding the
original climax and what ultimately became the final version.
Perhaps, along the way, you might specifically address the following:
Originally, was there a preferred ending that was nixed because of budgetary
constraints? Was the rough cut screened with the notion of going back and
reshooting the climax? Did the test screening alone loosen Paramount's
purse strings to completely rebuild the Veridian set and reshoot the scene?
Was there a feeling of personal disappointment that your initial effort was
not favorably received by the test audience? Can you compare and/or
contrast the efforts in writing climactic scenes for "Generations" and
"First Contact" -- where (or how) do you draw the line with regard to
artistic satisfaction, budget consciousness, and pleasing the ticket-buying
Let's see, where to begin...
The sequence(s) in question were not actually the ending of the picture, but
were a) the death of Kirk, and b) the Christmas scene in the Nexus.
As most people know, the first Kirk's death scene had the Captain shot in
the back by Soran up on the mountain top of Veridian Three just after he had
managed to save Picard and decloak the missile launcher which then allowed
Picard to save the day. By the time of the test screening, we knew that
this sequence wasn't working -- we'd already seen dailies, of course, and
had watched several rough cuts of the picture and everyone knew this wasn't
playing the way we thought it would. (cont.)
Date: 97-12-04 18:48:22 EST
Hope springs eternal, however, and we all went into the test screening with
the hope that maybe we were overthinking the problem or maybe we were too
close to the film to really be objective at that point. Unfortunately, he
test audience reaction pretty much confirmed what we all suspected. We were
disappointed that our original vision didn't work, but we were grateful that
the studio was willing to give us the time and money to go back and fix it.
The executives believed in the picture and said basically, "You've got a
good movie here, but you need to fix the ending." So Brannon, Rick, and I
put our heads together and struggled to come up with a workable way to
reshoot the death of Kirk and then to tweak the Christmas sequence and make
it a little more coherent and meaningful. It was a very difficult task
because of the time, money, and set constraints.
Brannon and I talked over many, many different sequence involving various
weapons, devices, hidden underground laboratories that Soran may have hidden
under the mountain, phaser fights, cat and mouse chases, etc. but ultimately
they all proved impractical, uninteresting, prohibitively expensive, or all
of the above. The bridge gag came to us as we watched the footage over and
over and realized that we might be able to use the established set pieces to
our advantage. The studio, the director and the actors all liked the new
version and so that's what we went with.
The "First Contact" experience was much, much different in almost every way.
We knew we had a great picture before the test screening and everyone went
into it with high hopes, which were more than validated by the scores. It
was an immense relief.
<<where (or how) do you draw the line with regard to artistic satisfaction,
budget consciousness, and pleasing the ticket-buying masses? >>
They come in about that order as we're working. We try to write and produce
that which pleases us -- what we find entertaining and satisfying, a picture
we'd like to see. Then enters the budget and the realm of doing what's
possible. Pleasing the audience is a tricky business and it's very hard to
anticipate what an audience will and will not like. There's really no way
to be sure until you sit down in a theater and watch and listen to the
reactions -- and it's always a surprise to see what they like and what you
like. So it's best not to get too wrapped up in trying to anticipate the
audience and second-guessing yourself based on some notion of "what they
really want." No one knows for sure what "they" want and you just have to
trust your own instincts and see what happens.
<< I just rewatched (is that a word- ok, now it's 3 questions) the first
episode of DS9. Is one of the wormhole aliens played by the man who plays
Vorick the Vulcan on Voyager(alliteration-yay!) I was reading my e-mail
while I watched it but I kept hearing this voice, and just as I figured out
who it sounded like the scene ended so I couldn't see if it was him. Do you
I'm sorry, but I don't know.
<<Also, in the recent episod the aliens said that Sisko would take "another
path" than Bajor. Is that true?! >>
Who am I to argue with the Prophets?
<<re there any plans to use Odo's "Deep Throat"-ish informant from
"Improbable Cause" again?>>
We still talk about him from time to time, but have no plans to reprise this
character at the moment.
<<When is Barry Manilow gonna guest star on DS9?>>
Careful, if you say his name three times, you may summon him....
<<And what does the "D" stand for in RonDMoore?>>
Damn near anything you want it to. (By the way, I'm not ashamed of my
middle name or anything, just amused by the fact that I don't know anyone
else with this particular name -- which I believe is of Irish origns --
aside from my late paternal grandfather.)
<<Will anyone on DS9 be promoted in the upcoming episodes (or upcoming
No plans for promotions.
Date: 97-12-04 19:11:23 EST
<<How much influence does the memories of Curzon have on the current Dax
host? Can past host personalities actively assert an extremely strong
influences on a Trill, or does the strong influence of Curzon on Jazdia
stem from their interaction when Curzon was still alive?>>
Jadzia Dax is a combination of all seven of her lifetimes of experience, but
certainly we've seen that the time spent as Curzon has a strong influence on
her current personality. Curzon was the most recent host and was the one
who broke many of the Trill rules and social conventions, so it makes sense
that his presence is in many ways the most strongly felt. However, I don't
think he has any kind of "active" influence on Jadzia. Curzon is dead and
his "influence" is a passive one -- she accesses his memories and his
lifetime of experience, but he's not a "voice" in her head telling her to do
things one way or the other. Jadzia may confuse herself with that last host
from time to time (as she did briefly in the wedding show) because to her
there's an unbroken line in her memory from the first host to the last and
sometimes she can forget the fact that she's not Curzon anymore.
<<The treaty that bans the Federations development of Cloaking technolgy was
referred to as the Treaty of Algernon. Is this a reference to the Classic
story "Flowers for Algernon:">>
I'm not sure. I didn't come up with this name and I'm not sure who did or
<<Secondly (more seriously) the agreement with the Romulans forbade its use
in the Alpha Quadrant. Yet during the war Sisko used it a great deal. Is
there plans for the Romulans to take action agains the Federation's
No. We wanted to throw in a line somewhere explaining that there was a
follow-on agreement with the Roms that allowed us greater freedom with the
cloak, but never found a comfortable place to put it -- and frankly, it's
something we've kinda of forgotten about at this point.
<<Finally are the plans for the Romulans to become a major player in the
Not at present.
<<Ron, I'm curious if more moments between O'Brien and Worf have hit the
cutting room floor than we hear about.>>
Nothing that I can recall.
<<just where the heck is [Keiko]??? Are you EVER going to show us her
lovely face again????>>
We've been talking about her return to the station, but haven't nailed it
<<Did you plan that the good Gul [Dukat] would develop in this way from the
No. The development of Dukat has been an on-going process and we're still
coming up with ideas for his future.
<<Can you give us some background on the history of the Cardi empire? (Or
at least, tell us what life was like in the Empire during the interval
between the Bajoran occupation and the Federation takeover of DS9? If
you're not interested in doing that here, in this forum, can you tell us
if there are any episodes in the works to address the recent history of
Cardassia? (Pre-DS9 time frame?)>>
We don't have this kind of detail worked out and there's nothing in the
works yet that will spell this out. We like to leave this sort of thing
nebulous until we have a need to work out the details.
<<Will we see the "penance" exacted from Sisko by the Prophets in Season 7 (
or even Season 6 ) ?>>
I think it would be in the (yet to be confirmed) seventh season.
<<Will Opaka ever return and cause a religious Bajoran upheaval?>>
<<How do you respond to people(::glances at CRAMBAM:::) who say that it was
dumb to kill off Kirk in "Generations"?>>
I've responded to this ad naseum, actually and most of my responses are in
the archives of this folder. Suffice it to say that I thought it was the
right thing to do at the time and I still do.
Date: 97-12-04 19:35:36 EST
<<What were the first lessons you learned when you joined both the TNG and
the DS9 staffs?>>
The first and most valuable lesson I learned when I came aboard TNG was
Michael Piller's edict: "The show is about the characters." That has
driven my entire experience on both shows.
<<How has the team of David Weddle and Bradley Thompson been getting along
with you all so far?>>
They've been doing very well.
<<Are you friends with any of the actors (both TNG and DS9)?>>
I'd say I'm friendly with all of them. Some like LeVar and Jonathan I've
worked with more than others and know a little better because they've
directed shows I've written, but I like them all.
<<Do you keep funny outtakes or even assemble blooper reels these days?>>
We don't have blooper reels anymore, although the editors might put them
together for a special cast and crew occasion now and then.
<<What would you say have been some of the most underrecognized episodes of
either series you worked on?>>
Hard to say -- there are so many compendiums, episode guides, ratings, etc.
that it's tough to claim that *anything* has escaped notice, good and bad. I
guess I have a fond memory of the A-story in "In Theory" and always felt
people didn't quite give that one it's due, but that's the only one that
springs to mind.