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Another round...
Subj:  Answers
Date:  4/3/97 5:59:37 PM
From:  RonDMoore       

<<How seriously are social issues debated in your story meetings?  Are there
bull sessions where various opinions are tossed around regarding important
and controversial questions such as the nature of the Federation, the
depiction of various minorities, religion, assorted political rights, freedom
of expression, and exactly how explicit sexual liaisons may be?>>

These conversations happen quite often and we can get pretty heated on some
of these topics.  We're a very close-knit group, but we're also very
different people and we don't always agree on our politics or philosophical
points of view, so stories that touch on deeper issues can sometimes provoke
a fairly lively debate.

<<Can you remember any specific instance where, at a story meeting or
informally, fan input significantly guided, influenced, or even reversed an
initial story idea or plot?>>

Nothing specific leaps to mind except for my experience on "Darkness & Light"
where I was aware of some of the criticism (mostly unfounded, in my view)
regarding Kira's character in the 4th season, and therefore focused on
re-emphasizing the character as I saw her for the benefit of the fans who had
those concerns.  Other than that, the viewpoints of the fans are discussed
and brought up during story meetings all the time, but seldom are they the
guiding or dominant motivation for a particular story point or character arc.
 We have to be careful in this area -- while we're interested in what the
fans think, our sampling of opinion is tiny compared to the true viewing
audience.  Even taking into account all the people on AOL & Usenet that
Robert and I see, plus fan mail, plus printed letters in various
publications, we're still only hearing from a miniscule portion of the 5 to 6
million people who tune in every week.  Our own sense of story and drama is
our first and best guide.

<<Are you involved in the Vegas Star Trek attraction that Paramount has been
said to be building out in the City of Sin?  If not, who is involved or might
have information about this possible site?>>

Rene Echevarria and Ken Biller are writing the script for the motion control
ride that is being developed under the supervision of Rick Berman.

<<Exactly when, if ever, will we see an ep that shows the fate of specific
religions in Trek history?>>

I don't think we're going to touch this one.  Gene felt very strongly that
all of our contemporary Earth religions would be gone by the 23rd century,
and while few of us around here actually share that opinion, we feel that we
should leave this part of the Trek universe alone. 

<<can you tell us whether Paramount's Trek division has a full-fledged
technical consultant (whether on staff or on standby), besides the Okudas and
Sternbach, whom you can consult not only for technobabble, but also for plot

Our full-time technical consult is Andre Bormanis who is a real honest to
goodness astrophysicist.

<<Why were the communicators redesigned for "Generations"? Couldn't it have
waited for a change in uniform like in "First Contact.">>

There was a full uniform redesign planned for "Generations" but at the last
minute the new uniforms were scrapped and all that remained were the new

<<Regarding the IMAX Star Trek film (board comments below), I was wondering
if you know if it will ne a "Making of..." documentary style IMAX film or if
it will be total FICTION like a ST episode?>>

I really don't know.

<<Were Picard's brother and nephew, Robert and Rene named for Robert Hewitt
Wolfe and Rene Echevarria or is it just pure coincidence?>>

Coincidence.  They were both named in "Family" and I don't think I named them
after anyone in particular.
Subj:  Answers
Date:  4/3/97 6:26:13 PM
From:  RonDMoore       

<<I hear that "Children of Time" will have a major Dax Arc.  Is this true,
what can you tell us.>>

Dax does have a large role in this show, but there's not much I can tell you
about it at this point without giving it all away.

<<what is a Dax Arc?>>

An "arc" is a term that we use to describe a particular character's storyline
in an episode or film.  A character typically travels along an arc that
begins in one place and ends up somewhere else.  For instance, Sisko's arc in
"Rapture" is of a man who has always been uncomfortable with the Bajoran
religion suddenly getting visions, then believing they're true, then telling
Bajor to stay out of the Federation, then having those visions ripped away
from him against his will and missing them.  The arc goes from discomfort to
acceptance to regret.

<<why didn't you use Vanessa Williams talents better?>>

The role was there before Vanessa.  We had the role already written and the
show was in pre-production when suddenly we learned of her interest in the
show and her willingness to do the part as it was written.

<< I just saw the TNG episode "Lower Decks" and I seem to remember talk of
bringing ensign Sito Jacksa (sp?) back in DS9. Has there been a decision made
on this?>>

We talked about this for quite awhile, but then decided that bringing Sito
back would rob "Lower Decks" of a great ending and so we're not going to
develop this idea.

<<I am curious if you decided from the start to make Eddington a "bad" guy,
or if was just a good story.  The same goes for Kasidy>>

Neither character was developed initially with their Maquis affiliation in
mind.  The Kasidy connection came first and was pitched to us by a free-lance
writer.  During the development of that storyline, we came up with the
Eddington angle.

<<Will you ever write for Voyager, or are you strictly DS9? >>

I'm a station man.

<<Do you get lots of fan(atic)s  who think Star Trek is real?>>

It happens, but it's a (thankfully) tiny portion of fandom.  The audience is
by and large very smart and more than able to tell the difference between
fantasy and reality.  (If you believe than an alien spacecraft is following a
comet and will pick you up if you commit suicide, thinking Captain Kirk may
be a real guy is one of your lesser problems.)

<< DS9 and Voyager seem to have gone from being weekly series (with repeats
primarily in the late spring/summer/early fall) to occasional series with
repeats all year round interspersed with one, maybe two new episodes a month.
 This at a time when DS9 seems to have lost its thematic way and lacks
narrative consistency while Voyager seems to be hanging by ever its ever more
fraying threads.  Result being that the series has begun to tilt the tiniest
bit toward relying on gimmicks: like Odo turning back into a changeling and
Kes and Neelix breaking up for what appears to be the sake of breaking up. >>

( As usual, I won't speak for Voyager.)  

I've never liked nor understood the scheduling of first-run episodes versus
repeats (like why are there always two first-run shows during X-mas and New
Year's, when NO ONE is watching???) but I don't think they've changed the
scheduling.  You'll still find all new episodes during Sweeps months
(November, February, May) and an odd assortment the rest of the time.  As for
DS9 losing its thematic way, we all feel as though we're in a groove around
here and that the show has had consistancy and focus for at least the past
two years.  The "Odo gets his powers back" story was something we had planned
from the beginning -- it may have been a mistake to do it so soon, but it
wasn't a "gimmick." 

<<I saw on the web that ep #522 will be titled "Empok Nor".  Is this right?
 Does this mean that the Cardassians will be regaining control of DS9 (and
Dukat's women rejoice...)?  Am I just spreading idle rumors and gossip?>>

"Empok Nor" is the title, but it refers to another Cardassian-designed
station.  DS9 was formerly known as Terok Nor.
Subj:  Answers
Date:  4/3/97 6:53:13 PM
From:  RonDMoore       

<<any tidbits about the finale for us?>>

Sorry, guys, but I'm going to try to hold back info on the finale as long as

<<Is is true that Gene came up with Noonian Soong as the name for Data's
creatior because that was the name of an old friend of his.>>

This is the first I've heard of this and I can't find anyone around here who
can verify it, so I suspect it's not true.

<<My friend says John Tesh is a "pawn of Satan" but I say he's a "spawn of
Satan". Who's right?>>

I believe that Tesh was established by Dante Alighieri (in "The Divine
Comedy") as being the chief pianist and part time publicist for Satan, but
the exact power relationship (or possible kinship) was not discussed.  It is,
however, well accepted that Tesh's music can be heard throughout the Inferno.

<<I recently read that at the time "Best of Both Worlds, Part 1" was written,
it was not clear that Patrick Stewart would return as Picard during the
fourth season as TNG.>>

Early in the development of the episode this was a possibility, but I think
it was more rumor and agent-posturing than anything else.  Patrick's
involvement in TNG's 4th season was never seriously in jeopardy to my

<<Last year I read an interview with Michael Piller in which he said that
Star Trek had to "tell stories in a more energetic, vigorous fashion" -
essentially to move into the 1990's, along the lines of ER and The X-Files.
Has there been a conscious effort to do this? Shorter scenes, quicker shots,
"mosaics of images" as he puts it. I know Star Trek has a pretty rigourous
set of guidelines to follow in its storytelling .... but do you (or the
staff) find them TOO restricting?>>

We've been trying to loosen up the show and try different styles of
storytelling, but converting to an ER-like directorial style was never really
in the cards.  I don't think you can radically change the entire look and
feel of a show this far into its run without major problems cropping up.  I
don't think we feel too restricted on DS9, in fact, we're kinda digging the
freedom of storytelling we've got these days.  A lot of the shows we're doing
now we NEVER would've gotten away with in the old days -- Our Man Bashir,
Darkness & Light, Hard Times, Purgatory/Inferno, etc.

<<Do casting directors Junie Lowry-Johnson and Ron Surma do all the casting
or can you suggest an actor?  How much involvement do you have casting?  And
who has the final word?>>

Ron Surma is our principal casting contact.  Before each episode, Ira, Steve
Oster (line Producer) the director, the writer, and Ron will sit down and
discuss the roles to be cast.  Often the writer and/or Ira will have an idea
of what type of actor we're looking for or maybe even a specific name.  Ron
then goes out and investigates availabilities of various actors and also
brings in actors to read for the role.  The final decision is a group one
with the director and Ira getting veto power.

<<My understanding is the the role of Cmdr. Shelby (Dennehy {sp?} ) was
created [in Best of Both Worlds] as a possible "new Number One", but Dennehy
didn't want to appear on a weekly basis, so the idea was scrapped in favor of
getting a new Captain altogether, leaving Riker as the First Officer. >>

This is not true.  We never considered bringing Dennehy aboard as a regular
character and the possibility of bringing on a new captain was never
seriously discussed.

<<Has anyone ever bugged story meetings?  Have you ever found out how scripts

The scripts go out to a fairly large number of people on the lot from the
production departments (makeup, hair, wardrobe, visual efx, etc.) to
administrative (legal, payroll, accounting, domestic TV, etc) and there's no
shortage of people with ample opportunity to purloin scripts and give them to
friends and/or sell them to dealers.

<<Do you ever read SCI-Fi Universe.>>

I've read it from time to time, but not regularly.
Subj:  Answers
Date:  4/3/97 7:13:03 PM
From:  RonDMoore       

<<Is it possible that Bajor is rather like Lebannon and the DS9 station a
little like Beirut?  Do conscious thoughts like this run in your mind as a
rough standard, or with attendant issues to deal with?>>

You could make that analogy, but it doesn't hold up throughout the series.
 Depending on the episode, you could also call Bajor Israel, or Iran, or even
America and the Cardassians could be Germans, or Russians or several other
examples.  While these parallels do enter our discussions and sometimes are
more overt than others, we don't really try to make Bajor a direct analogy to
any specific contemporary country or people.  Blending the experiences of
many Earth peoples and races into our storytelling allows us to comment on
these subjects without advocating a particular political point of view, while
at the same time allowing us to view the topics in a different light without
the baggage of contemporary politics.

<< I understand that [the Jem'Hadar] are genetically engineered, and that
they do not reproduce, or procreate in our human fashion.  Do the Founders or
Vorta handle this task?  Is there a certain race of humanoid that is
preferred, or are different races used as a template for each Jem'Hadar?  Or
are the embryos cloned?>>

None of these questions have been firmly settled in our minds.  When we have
a story that will reveal this info, then we'll lay it out.  On the other
hand, Robert and Ira (who created the Jem'Hadar) probably have some thoughts
along these lines already, but we haven't discussed them in detail with the

<<Could you ask Rene if he attended high school on Guam in the early 80's?>>

She did not.

(Yes, that's a joke.  We rib him mercilessly about how many fans think Rene
is a woman's name and that's why his writing is "so sensitive".)

<<Will the Maquis remain a seperate force now that the Cardasians broke the
peace agreement?>>

Yes, and you'll learn more about the fate of the Maquis in episode #23
 "Blaze of Glory."

<<So does that mean that the movie is going to have to be treated like V'GER
around here from now on, or will you still be aware of and update us on its
progress? Ditto for the Imax film?>>

I'm afraid so.  My information about either project would be little beyond
"well-placed rumor" and I'd rather not do that.

<<Did you guys intend to have Guinan appear in FIRST CONTACT, and, if so, in
what capacity?>>

No, we decided fairly early on that Guinan wouldn't be in the movie because
she wasn't part of our storyline and we didn't want to shoehorn the character

<<What do you think of VOYAGER?  Anything you'd do differently? Or is that an
unfair question?>>

It's pretty unfair.  I'm not involved and I'd rather not stand on the
sidelines and throw rocks or say "how I'd do things differently."

<<Any chance of seeing some new cutting edge Federation ships visiting DS9
this season or next?  Or is this something that is increbibly cost
prohibitive because of the model developement cost?>>

We've all talked about seeing a wider variety of Starfleet ships from now on
and I hope we do.

<<I saw some press release information on "Ties of Blood and Water" on the
web and noticed that the name "Weyoun" was in the credits.  I may be wrong,
but wasn't Weyoun the Vorta from "To the Death"?  Wasn't he killed?  You
probably don't want to give anything away, but can you explain this?>>

There is an explanation and no, we haven't brought him back from the dead.
 You'll just have to tune in and see.
Subj:  Answers
Date:  4/3/97 7:34:33 PM
From:  RonDMoore       

<<I found the whole business between Kira and O'Brien [in "par'Mach"]
incredibly unrealistic, not to mention horribly offensive.  Then there was
the true insanity of Keiko not noticing; that's a peculiarly male fantasy
that women don't notice these things, I think.  I may be wrong about that
being a male fantasy, but I'm not wrong about women noticing.  They do.>>

If you think that women ALWAYS notice these things, then I would suggest that
you're indulging in a bit of female fantasy.  They don't.  (Just ask Joe
Esterhous' ex-wife or Robin Williams' ex-wife whether they saw the "live-in
friend" or the "Nanny" as a threat until it was too late.)  I should also
point out that Keiko actually saw very little going on between O'Brien & Kira
in this episode -- just that moment when O'Brien's giving her a massage,
which was completely innocent until both Kira and O'Brien realized they were
both thinking the same thing, and that happened with Keiko out of the room.
 As for it being offensive, I strongly take issue with that.  These two
people felt an attraction to each other they never suspected and may never
have realized if Kira hadn't been carrying Miles' baby and living with them.
 There is nothing wrong with having those feelings, it's more a question of
WHAT YOU DO ABOUT THEM.  Both Kira and O'Brien were tempted, but neither one
was going to cross the line of infidelity and betrayal.  That is a noble and
virtuous response in the face of a very real human situation.

<<I could NOT stand Kira moving in with the O'Briens.  That was really bad
stuff and completely unrealistic.  I mean, Keiko can't walk down the
corridor, she has to invade Kira's privacy completely?  What Kira moving in
with the O'Briens does to everyone's boundaries is very bad news.  If Kira
were an unwed mother of 15 years old giving up her baby to the O'Briens,  I
could have bought that business, but she's an adult woman who had a life of
her own before she moved in with them. >>

Well, Kira is an adult and no one forced her to move in with them.  The
O'Briens' ASKED her and she accepted, so no one was invading anyone else's
privacy.  Kira didn't want to go through the pregnancy alone and the O'Briens
wanted to be near the baby (especially Keiko, who had the child quite
literally ripped out of her and put into someone else) so Kira living with
them for a while seemed like a good solution to both parties.

<<Even worse than Kira and O'Brien becoming sexually interested in each other
was the juvenile way Bashir and O'Brien behaved throughout the episode.  I
could have bought it if THEY had been 15, but they're adult men.  <shudder>

This may make you shudder more, but adult men do, in fact, talk to each other
like this.  Single men rib married men about sex, temptation, and other women
all the time.  

<<What was the last story in which Dax was an important character?  I can't
even think of it.  There have been a couple decent Dax and Sisko scenes this
season, but almost all the Dax stuff has been the kissy poo garbage with
Worf.  And what Dax and Kira friendship?  I don't recall anything of that
since second season.  And Dax and Quark?  No recollection there of anything
recent, either. >>

You're cheating by dismissing anything having to do with Worf as "kissy poo
garbage".  Worf's role in Dax's life is now an important element and we've
been dealing with it and her character.  Dax and Kira continue to crop up in
scenes, but fewer this year, I'll grant you.  As others have pointed out,
Sisko and Dax have had some great scenes already this year.  Dax and Quark
are featured prominently in "Business as Usual".  Dax will have a major part
in "Soldiers of the Empire" which is a Klingon show and also features Worf,
but the focus is not their romantic relationship. 
Subj:  Answers
Date:  4/3/97 7:59:12 PM
From:  RonDMoore       

<<I saw earlier press reports that it would be 3 years until the next picture
comes out.  Does this mean we could see a new Trek movie next year?
Also, has any thought been given to what will happen to the DS9/Voyager
characters when their series end?  I doubt the TNG cast will be ready to step
aside.  Neither am I certain public demand for a 3rd or 4th series of Trek
movie spinoffs is out there.  Could it be possible to continue with those
characters in TV movies?>>

All of the above falls into the large and ever-expanding category of "Things
I Don't Know."

<<I am with your viewing audience and involved with the Vedek Bareil campaign
and noticed your rather terse comment on the subject of seeing Bareil again
in any form, the way you have done with other characters.  Would you care to
elaborate as to why this is so impossible when so many fans have made clear
their desire to see this character again? >>

I'm afraid that the truth is that the writing staff simply isn't interested
in Vedek Bareil.  He served his purpose for a while, and then we felt that the
 character and the relationship had run out of steam.  While I respect your
feelings to the contrary, we can't really bring him back unless we, the
writers, suddenly find a similar passion for the character and I don't think
that's going to happen.  The show is ultimately an expression of our
particular likes and dislikes and unfortunately Bareil is not one of those
"likes."  The show has moved on and so has Kira.

<<I am also experiencing doubts as to whether Ron Moore & Co. are truly
attuned to fan interest.  I asked a specific question within the last two
weeks regarding whether at any time any input from the fans resulted in any
concrete change in plans.  Mr. Moore chose not to answer my question, nor any
other that I posed.>>

Come, come -- I just posted a response today because I just worked my way to
your questions!!  Remember that sometimes I get backlogged and I do make an
effort to get to everyone.  Sometimes I skip a question if I feel I've
answered it recently or sometimes the folder gets too crowded and I have to
skip a bunch of them, but I try not to do that and I'll usually answer them
if you repost the question later.

<<For all the trappings of spirituality on *DS9*, there may not be much
substance behind the fluff.  I've often expressed displeasure over the
religious mumbo-jumbo on *DS9*, but have tempered it with the idea that
perhaps there is genuineness behind the show of religiosity.  I find,
increasingly, that there is absolutely nothing behind this so-called
spirituality on the part of the writers as I interpret the messages on this

If you're talking about our personal religious beliefs, I'm not sure that
I've ever discussed them on this board on behalf of myself or the other
writers so this posting is a little mystifying.  If that's not what you mean,
then I have no idea what you're talking about .

<<Do you know if they take into account different airings of an episode in
the ratings?>>

They do, but exactly how the ratings are calculated is something I'm not
qualified to answer.

<<Mail and even email is almost always over something negitive.  It's much
rarer to write just to say "I really LIKE <blank>.>>

Lori is (unfortunately) absolutely correct.  The majority of the mail (e or
otherwise) has ALWAYS been negative on these shows, and that was true even
during TNG's heyday.  People don't usually take the time to write us about
something positive, it's usually because they're riled up about something.

<<Are we going to see any more of Nog's starfleet training in future

Yes, in fact Nog will have prominent roles in the last three episodes of the

<<Will we be seeing individual Jem'Hadar characters with re-occurring roles
(to be developed further) or will they continue to make one time

There's a good chance of this happening next season.
Subj:  Answers
Date:  4/3/97 8:10:30 PM
From:  RonDMoore       

<<Theres a rumor going around that The Adventures Of Captain Sulu may still
make it to the screen, in the form of animation to be shown with UPN's kid's
shows. Also if Rick Berman goes ahead with this Imax film how do us fans
abroad in England and Europe get to see it?>>

I haven't heard anything about the Sulu animated series and I suspect it's
just another in a long line of rumors about a Capt. Sulu series (started by
George Takei, no doubt).  As for IMAX in Europe, I don't know how they'll
distribute the film there, but I understand they've made other IMAX projects
available on video here in the states, maybe they'll do the same with Trek.

<<Funny thing: Trekkers believe in Infinite Diversity in Infinite
Combinations.  However, apparently there is a little known proviso: "Thou
Shalt Not Criticize A Co-Executive Producer / Writer."  At least for some.>>

I'm here of my own free will and I'm a big boy.  Take your best shot, I can
handle it.

<<I think it was the beginning of last season when we discovered that O'Brien
had secretly been fortifying DS9, making its defenses that much stronger.
Anything else planned for the physical station itself?  Refits, growth,

Nothing at the moment, but I think next season we could see some large
changes in the physical station itself.

<<Armin said a new MIrror Universe story was being filmed.>>

Armin was either very tired or has been filming his very own episodes of DS9
in his spare time.  There will be no Mirror story this season.

<<He also said that a new Odo/Kira story was coming up.>>

Armin was correct this time.  An Odo/Kira storyline is part of "Children of

<<Have the titles for the last three eps been decided yet?>>

The third and second to last are:  "Empok Nor" and "In the Cards."  The
finale hasn't been settled.
Subj:  Answers
Date:  4/3/97 9:46:54 PM
From:  RonDMoore       

<< I remember from my psych class (over 10 years ago) that my instructor used
Star Trek as an example, pointing out that the Kirk, Spock, McCoy Troika was
really analogous with the ID, Ego, and SuperEgo; all three balanced, thus
creating a "healthy" personality.... Who would you place in the roles of ID,
Ego, SuperEgo from DS9?>>

I'm not sure if you combined the entire crew of DS9 that you'd come up with
one healthy person.  But setting that aside, I don't think that there are
three characters that we consistantly play together that would fit this
description and who would usually represent these components of the psyche.
 The closest I come is Worf, Sisko, Dax, but that's not very accurate.  Maybe
I'm wrong... anyone?

<<Would you be willing to tell us whether Dominion activity will now be
focused in the Alpha Quadrant?  Since they have arrived there in force I
wondered how this would affect their overall role on DS9.>>

Big things are afoot.... can't discuss them yet.  Sorry.

<<Most, if not all, of us have noticed, and commented on, the rather
exceptional amount of depth of character evident on DS9.  Was that
intentional when work started on the series, or did that notion occur to you
all later?  And do you have any notion why that amount of character depth
wasn't persued in the other Trek series?>>

The emphasis on character really began with Michael Piller in Season 3 of
TNG.  His take on the Trek universe when he came aboard was to change the
emphasis from story and plot to character and the changes in TNG's 3rd year
reflect that.  He carried that philosophy into DS9 and Ira Behr not only
believed in that philosophy, but expanded on it to the point where now we
think of the show itself as a character piece rather than science fiction.
 That said, we still try to work in a good mix of character, action, mystery,
and science fiction into every season.

<< <A super nova can't move faster then the speed of light.  All they would
need is a ship that could go just a tadd over warp 1.  THat would get them
out of there.>

As we saw in Star Trek VI, as well as other instances, there are
repercussions of an explosion of that magnitude which do exceed the speed of
light, such as subspace shockwaves.  Excelsior felt the explosion of Praxis
clear across the Neutral Zone.  Agreed, Ron?>>

You betcha.

<<I think Keiko is underused, which is a shame, because Rosalind Chao is a
fine actress.  Are you planning on any eps that give her something
substantial to do (*besides* getting possessed)?>>

We like Keiko, but don't have anything else planned for her this year.

<<I'm curious to know if you would prefer us to keep to a strict question
format, or if it IS helpful for you to read people who are responding to one
another's posts.>>

I have no complaints about the folder.  You're free to post what you want and
I'll depend on everyone else to let you know when the posts have travelled
too far afield -- and people WILL let you know!

<<What's the title of the Jake/Nog episode you mentioned that you finished up
last week? When you say you "turned it in" does that mean all the re-writing
is done & it's ready to shoot? Or is there further fine-tuning yet to

The title is "In the Cards."  It's begun shooting today and I'm still working
on some fairly minor revisions.  Each episode is different and sometimes they
sail through production with only a few tweaks here and there (in the script,
that is), and other times we're frantically rewriting the whole thing as
they're shooting.  Thankfully, there's more of the former than the latter
this year.
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