------------------- Subj: Answers Date: 5/8/97 2:28:36 PM From: RonDMoore <<Children of Time>> I'm going to wait until next week to answer questions on this one just to give more people a chance to see it first. Re-post your Odo/Kira questions next week, please. <<Did you expect this backlash [over Kirk's death] when you wrote the story.>> We knew it would be controversial and it has been. I knew that some people would hate his death and others would accept it. But we were the writers and it was something that we believed in. That's how it works -- we put out a script that we like and then hope that others share that appreciation. If they don't, they don't. I may be disappointed that more people don't like the choice we made, but that doesn't change my personal opinion of what we did. And it's not a matter of "sticking to my guns" just for the sake of being obstinate. There are lots of things I've written that I don't like or that in retrospect I felt were mistakes (please don't ask me for a list of Ron's Greatest non-Hits, there's a limit to my interest in self-flagellation) but I honestly don't look back on Kirk's death as a mistake. And also, to be honest, the reaction from the fans has been remarkably even. While the Bring Back Kirkers are certainly vocal, they don't by any stretch of the imagination have a clear and decisive majority among the fan reaction that we've gotten. Some liked it, some didn't. You can dispute that if you wish, but the cold truth is that the people who want to see Vedek Bareil back on DS9 are not only louder, but more persistant, and more numerous. (And we're not bringing him back either.) Now, I do not want to denigrate the passion of those who feel that killing Kirk was a mistake and that he should be brought back, but it is not going to happen on DS9. That is our decision and I'm afraid that nothing is going to change that. I won't tell you to get over it or that you can't express your opinion on this matter, but I will say that this subject is basically closed on DS9. <<In your opinion which episodes of season 5 turned out to be the most satisfying? The least? Which one was the most difficult to produce?>> My two favorites were "Trials & Tribble-ations" and "The Darkness and the Light." I think T&T was able to fulfill all of our expectations for the episode and that it's a unique piece of television that will stand up for a long time. "Darkness" was a show that I felt came together in every department -- writing, acting, directing, music, lighting, etc. -- and I thought it was a bold and provocative hour of TV. T&T was easily the most difficult show to produce on every level and it is a testament to the skills and committment of the entire DS9 production staff that this episode turned out to be not just a good recreation of TOS, but a nearly perfect one. We all wish we had another crack at the Risa show. <<Another silly question, which DS9 set is the most dramatically effective (in terms of staging a scene)?>> The Promenade and Quark's still provide us with the most versatile settings and the widest variety of choices when we're staging a scene. <<Speaking of the Duras sisters...since the Klingons were eventually brought into the fold on DS9, in retrospect are you sorry that you dispatched the sisters in Generations?>> A little bit. They were great and we did keep them alive in an earlier draft of Generations that had an extended sequence with the crew from the crashed saucer section having to fight off and then make an accomodation with the Duras sisters in order to get one shuttlecraft off the planet with some of the Enterprise children aboard before the shock wave hit the planet surface. <<how about bringing back Admiral Nechayev?>> It's possible, but nothing on the boards at present. --------------------- Subj: Answers Date: 5/8/97 2:51:51 PM From: RonDMoore <<I liked Relics, but I never looked at LaForge in quite the same way again. Legends deserve respect.>> Respect should not be confused with blind (no pun intended) adulation. Geordi did respect Scotty, but he also had a job to do and Scotty was definitely getting in the way for a while. By the end of the show, the Geordi/Scotty arc had paid off with each of them having a new-found respect for the other. <<Now that the broadcast networks are able to profit from syndicating programs they own, do you think it's possible that after DS9 ends its run, one of the broadcast networks might air another Star Trek? Or, after Voyager, UPN might? After all, the only reason TNG was syndicated was because the networks couldn't afford to produce it at a deficit for so long.>> I really don't know. Paramount might want another Trek for UPN or they might not, it depends on the financial state of both entities at the time when they decide to make another Trek series (if they do decide to do one). As for TNG, my understanding is that while Barry Diller wanted the series for Fox, Paramount's decision to syndicate the show was really based on an awareness that the then-moribund first-run syndication market had not been successfully exploited yet and they thought they could make a killing without the network intermediary (and they did). <<Does this mean Worf is no longer dishonored? Will he no longer introduce himself as "Worf, son of Mogh"?>> He's still a Son of Mogh, but he's also a member of the House of Martok and as such has all the rights and responsibilities that go along with it. Martok has essentially out-manuevered Gowron's personal grievance. <<Is it true Dax will agree to become Worf's bride in the season finalie ?>> Tune in and find out. <<what are our chances of seeing the following actors before DS9 ends her run as a program? Majel Barret Nichelle Nicoles Walter Kroenig Gates McFadden Brian Bonsal(sp)? Marina Sirtis Whoopi Goldberg Leonard Nimoy>> There are no plans for any of the above people to make an appearance on the show this season. <<what did happen to the rest of the Engineering crew who were transformed into Borg in First Contact? Did they bite the bullet or get rescued? >> They bit the bullet. As far as we know, Picard was the only man to be successfully de-Borgified. (Although I understand that has now changed on Voyager.) Everyone else who was Borgified on the E-E presumably died with the death of the Borg Queen. <<Since you writer-folks have seemingly painted yourself into a corner where you're going to HAVE to deal with the Odo/Kira relationship, can we hope to see some more of it being dealt with this season? (Say, in the finale?) Or are we going to have to wait until -- GASP!!! CHOKE!!!! -- next season?>> There will be more on the Odo/Kira stuff this season and more next season. <<After watching "Soldiers of the Empire", I noticed that the look of the crew was drastically different that what we'd seen in previous films. Was this intentional?>> Yes. My primary concern was that the audience should be able to differentiate between the individual members of the Klingon crew and so we tried to give each of them a different "look." I also wanted the crew of the Rotaran to stand apart from other Klingon ships, to get the sense that these guys had really been through some rough times and that it was becoming apparent to anyone who encountered them. ------------------ Subj: Answers Date: 5/8/97 3:23:19 PM From: RonDMoore <<what did you do when you got to LA? This has probably been asked, but I don't remember if it was. What kind of jobs did you do? Did you try writing for any other shows before TNG?>> My first job was as an animal hospital receptionist. ("So what is Fluffy's little problem today, ma'am? She swallowed your husband's condoms? And you want them back? Let me pull your chart...") After that, I worked as a messenger, a personnel director, a dispatcher, and a manager of "servicing" for New World International (essentially contract administration, I was the gu y who made sure we got the money from foreign film buyers and then sent them prints or tapes of such New World classics as "Slugs" "Hell Comes to Frog Town" and "Dead Again"). I had co-written a spec script for "Cheers" with my roommate, but we never submitted it to the show and it was more of an exercise for us than a serious attempt at breaking in. I also co-wrote a feature spec with him, but the process wasn't fun and the script was incoherent to say the least. I started and stopped numerous other scripts for the next three years, but my first real attempt to write something and get serious about getting someone to buy it was "The Bonding." Yes, I am the recepient of more than my fair share of good fortune and I keep my four-leaf clover locked in a vault for safe-keeping. -------------------- Subj: Answers Date: 5/8/97 3:40:32 PM From: RonDMoore <<Would you care to list your five favorite U.S. Presidents?>> There are a lot of ways to answer this one (and I will, since history is one of my personal interests, and hey, it's my folder). If I had to rank them in terms of importance to the nation and what they contributed in historical terms, I'd say: Lincoln, Washington, FDR, Jefferson, and Wilson. The first three quite literally saved the country from destruction and also left behind a fundamentally different nation than the one they found. Lincoln's determination to save the Union at all costs and his decision to free the slaves ranks the highest in historical import to me, closely followed by Washington's taking the reins of the fledgling Republic and guiding it through those first crucial years. In my opinion, Washington's biggest contributions actually predate his presidency: winning the Revolution and throwing crucial support behind the US Constitution. FDR steered us through both the Depression and WWII, either one of which could've easily destroyed us as a people from either a domestic revolution or the domination of the world by the Axis powers, and also remade the Federal government and the concept of Federalism itself with the New Deal. Jefferson's foreign policy regarding the Barbary Pirates (bringing the US Navy onto the world stage), purchase of the Louisiana territory, and commissioning of the Lewis & Clark expedition land him on the list, but like Washington many of his greatest achievements both in Congress and in Virginia predate his term in office. Woodrow Wilson's internationalism has reverberated throughout the 20th century. His ideas on American diplomacy and our role on the world stage have influenced all those that have come after him. The League of Nations is the direct ancestor to the United Nations and our involvement in WWI leads directly to our involvement in WWII and to the Atlantic Charter and to NATO. In terms of who I am personally interested in as historical figures, I would have to say: FDR, JFK, Nixon, LBJ, and Lincoln. You'll note a heavy slant toward the 20th century on this list because I've always been fascinated with WWII and the post-war era. FDR stands head and shoulders above everyone else this century and I also find him to be a fascinating man on his own terms. From his battle with polio to the fireside chats to the New Deal to his clear-eyed view of Nazi Germany to his vision of the UN, I find him to be a compelling and amazing figure. JFK's life and death have arguably influenced not only the presidents who came after him, but also the entire nation. Even setting aside the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Peace Corps, the Apollo program, and "Ich ein Berliner" (sp?), he's moved into the pantheon of our American legends for what he represents and how his death impacted our world. No amount of personal digs at his character can deny his impact on our country -- just try to understand the world we've lived in since 1960 without refering to JFK. Nixon is simply one of the most fascinating men we've ever elected to the Presidency. Vietnam, Watergate, China, SALT, "the enemies list", taking us off the gold standard -- there's a lot of stuff to digest with this dark and troubled man with a genius for foreign policy and a host of inner demons that ultimately destroyed him. LBJ is another man whose legacy is full of contradictions and whose personality was bigger than the office he held. It's hard to imagine this Texan in the White House today, but while he was there, we got civil rights and race riots, the space program and Vietnam, the Great Society and the near breakdown of society. He was as big as the state from which he hailed, and so were his flaws. I'm interested in Lincoln's ability to see the goal of Union so clearly that he was willing to do anything to achieve it even if it meant freeing the slaves and suspending the right of habeas corpus. He was battered and hated by many, but never wavered from his central goal. ---------------- Subj: Answers Date: 5/9/97 2:12:20 PM From: RonDMoore <<Ron, there's been talk that it's cheaper for studios, syndicators, whatever, to sell reruns of series that have a lifespan of about 7 years. Any truth to this?>> There seem to be varying ideas of what constitutes the "ideal" package of shows for an affiliate to purchase for strip (5 days a week or more) syndication. I *think* the mininum number to even survive as a package is around 75-80 episodes and that a good solid number is 150. The goal is to have enough episodes so that an affiliate can run them for several weeks before having to repeat the package. So with 75 episodes running 5 days a week, the affiliate will have 15 weeks of programming before having to start over again. 150 episodes yield 30 weeks and so on. 30 weeks is a long time and stations feel pretty comfortable in restarting a syndication package after that much time. Now if a series has say, 200 episodes, it will give them an additional 10 weeks, but the real question is whether or not the affiliate is willing to pay X amount for those additional 50 episodes in order to buy themselves 10 extra weeks of programming. I think you can see that at some point you get the law of diminishing returns -- when X exceeds the value of 10 weeks to the affiliate. When that point is reached, the affiliate no longer has an incentive to buy those last two seasons of the series. Everything is relative, of course, and some shows are extremely valuable (Cheers, Seinfeld, Roseanne, etc.) and the fact that they have 10 years+ of episodes available is actually a huge plus, but each show is different and the magic "ideal" number can float from show to show. (That is the most math I've done since college. My head hurts.) <<Despite the changes you've helped introduce into the world of Trek, you maintain your respect for the idealism of Woodrow Wilson and Gene Roddenberry even as you acknlowledge their flaws.>> That's a neat bit of reasoning. I have to say that I'd never quite drawn that correlation, but I think it's pretty accurate. <<I write alone on some projects, and with a collaborator on others, and I find that although we are very strong together, the downside (she cannot meet a deadline to save her life) is so frustrating that I'm considering dumping her--if I can do that and save the friendship. How do you feel about writing with a partner?>> Writing with a partner is a very intimate experience. The level of trust required to sit in a room with someone and say "That stinks," and to know that it's nothing personal and that each of you is just interested in making *the work* better is a rare thing to find in my experience. If you can't trust your partner -- even if it's just about deadlines -- my advice is to dump her and move on. Writing is tough enough. <<I don't think Nixon was "destroyed" by his demons. He was beaten. but never broken. Only his presidency, and his place in history, were ruined>> I'm not sure I can agree with you here. In my view, Nixon definitely destroyed himself in office (his later "rehabilitation" notwithstanding). The Watergate coverup and the various "dirty tricks" he masterminded and carried out were his own undoing. I do have great respect for him as a statesman, but things like breaking into Daniel Ellsberg's (sp?) office, using the IRS to get back at his enemies, obstructing justice, harassing the anti-war protesters, and the Saturday Night Massacre, were self-inflicted wounds that not only hurt him and his legacy, but damaged the office itself. ------------------------- Subj: Answers Date: 5/9/97 2:43:07 PM From: RonDMoore <<Just want to tell you that ["Soldiers of the Empire" is] the greatest story about the Klingons since "Sons of Mogg" (sp??) and the Voy. ep with the B'lanna double. And to thank you personnally for there being several Klingon women on this ep. After that rotten trick that Mr. Rick Berman did against we female viewers in which women's rights were resinded in the Klingon Empire and a woman ca'nt even have her own house or belong on the Council, this was wonderful.>> First of all, thank you and everyone else who's written in to say how much they enjoyed this episode. I like it too. Second of all, I should tell you that I'm the one who changed the status of women in the Empire, not Rick. I co-wrote both "Reunion" (in which K'Ehleyr was offered the Council seat) and "The House of Quark" (in which Grilka was told she could not serve on the Council because she's a woman). The reason for the change was: a) to service a plot element in "House of Quark"; and b) to differentiate the Klingons from the UFP and the Romulans. The idea was that the Klingons were a traditionally patriarchal society and that while many elements of that have disappeared over the years, the Council itself was still the provence of male warriors. This is not an endorsement of that idea, but rather an attempt to make them *different* than us. For example, their government is not a democracy, but rather an oligarchy ruled by powerful Houses, with an Emperor as head of state and we certainly aren't promoting that either! It's an alien society with alien values and we shouldn't be able to identify with all aspects of their culture. That said, I've always tried to treat Klingon men and women with a great deal of respect and have never tried to show the female warriors of the Empire as any less worthy or respected than their male counterparts. No male Klingon would ever question for even a moment the notion of serviving under a woman on a ship, or fighting with them at his side. <<Why was [the additional scenes with the Duras sisters and the crashed saucer section] thrown out of the final draft?? >> The two eternal curses of the screenwriter -- time and money. The script was too long and needed a sizeable cut and the sequence was also very expensive (phaser battles, jungle, exterior ship hull, Klingon extras & stuntmen, many VFX). David Carson suggested the cut and while we all hated to lose it, we also knew that he was right. <<Do you have any regrets about [Generations]?>> Sure. I wish we could've re-thought the whole Nexus idea. That and Soren's character were the two big things that I wish we could've taken another crack at. The timetable did have a lot to do with the script, but I'd be lying if I said I had a better idea at the time and just needed a few more weeks to work on it. It was the best we could do at the time and I wasn't grousing about a need for big re-writes back then. <<I think in season 7 of TNG we found out that one of the Duras sisters (I can't remember which) was expecting to have a child. Did she have this child before she died in Generations? If so was he/she on the ship during it's destruction? If not could there be a future "Wrath of Little Duras" to come?>> We think she did have the child before the movie, but whether or not we'll ever see this baby or mention it again is up in the air. <<Why does DS9 have to have their season finale in the middle of June? Would you prefer an earlier date?.... since you are putting so much in the finale this year, will Paramount be selling it more than usual? >> I have no idea, YES I WOULD, and I FERVENTLY HOPE SO!!!!! <<Have you thought about doing a story set in the years pre-Kirk? Say, just after the formation of Starfleet and the launching of the first Federation vessels?>> This would be one of my personal preferences for the next series, but that's all it is -- a personal preference. I'm not working on anything, and to my knowledge, neither is Paramount. ------------------ Subj: Answers Date: 5/9/97 3:01:30 PM From: RonDMoore <<How come The Federation hasn't come up with a way to scan for changelings with a tri-corder yet?...How come The Federation hasn't come up with a way to scan for changelings with a tri-corder yet?>> Neither of these are abilities we want the Federation to have yet as they would neutralize two of the biggest advantages the Dominion have over us. <<IF at some point in the near future it was decided to utilize the Kirk character, say in a new Trek show dealing with events after the Academy but prior to the 5-year mission, and IF you were involved with such a project, and IF you had any input as to who would play this younger Kirk (all respects to Mr Shatner, but say for the sake of argument he declined), -Do you have any actor in mind who you think you might like to see in this role?>> Personally, I can't see anyone else playing the role until well after William Shatner is no longer with us. He IS Kirk and anyone else would have a very tough time being accepted in the role while Bill is around. And I hope that Bill is with us for a long time yet to come. <<Ron, will the real reason for Garak's exile from Cardassia be revealed?>> This is under discussion right now and could happen early next year. <<What characters would you like to see come back next season to reprise there roles (Non regulers)?>> We have so many recurring characters that it's hard to pick any of them out, but suffice it to say that we plan on seeing A LOT of familiar faces next season. And yes, we do have a plan. <<COuld you tell us a little more about the original "All good things" where the enterprise is blown-up.>> We didn't have much more than the brief story outline I posted in Ask Ron #13. It never got beyond the initial story phase and we never even got around to roughing out part two. <<Why do we see in trek writing an unwillingness to make major changes? >> Part of this is due to the nature of episodic television. The show has to continue and has to bear a close resemblance to the show you saw last week or you'll stop watching. This rule of thumb is less stringent on a "serial" series with many continuing storylines, but Trek is not a serial by decree of Paramount and the affiliates. Serials often put off new viewers since they feel they're so far behind everything and they're a pain for affiliates to rerun because each show must be shown in precisely the order it was originally broadcast. ------------------- Subj: Answers Date: 5/9/97 3:28:53 PM From: RonDMoore <<FDR -- This one is a tough one for me because I disagree with much of what he did, especially on the domestic side. He did give the country hope during the depression, and was a magnificent leader during WWII, at up until the very end. It was probably his health, but his acceptance of Soviet control of eastern Europe, especially Poland, was wrong. I could never understand why he sided with Stalin over Churchill.>> Setting aside his domestic policies (which I admire for both their substance and intent *at the time they were implemented*) I have to disagree with your view of FDR's "acceptance" of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. The Yalta Conference has gotten a bad rap over the years as the moment when FDR "gave away" Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe. But there is very little he could've done to stop the Soviet Union from occupying and consolidating their hold on these nations. The Red Army was there, it wasn't going to leave, and the only way we could've forced the issue was to threaten WWIII, which would've never gone over with an American public screaming for rapid demobilization. Stalin had all the cards, and FDR's hand was pretty weak, so the ony real option was to try and deal with "Uncle Joe" and hope that a policy of what would later be known as "engagement" would modify Soviet behavior. FDR died well before he could see that engagement would never work with Stalin's USSR and our 20/20 hindsight on this matter is a little unfair. There was also the very real issue of getting a Russian committment to enter the war against Japan. Again, using hindsight, we know that Russian entry into the war was unnecessary, but *at the time* no one knew for certain if the atomic bomb would even work and an invasion of the Japanese home islands was a very real possibility. Did FDR trade the freedom of the Poles for an unneeded ally in the war against Japan? Maybe, but I still don't see an alternative for the Americans or the English, Churchill's belligerency notwithstanding (and I am an unabashed admirer of Sir Winston as well) unless we were ready for WWIII. <<Reagan. - Brought the country out of the doldrums of the 60's and 70's. Restored the position of the US in the world, both militarily and economically. Like FDR he changed how Americans thought about themselves and their country. Masterfully handled the "endgame of the Cold War">> I think any assessment of Reagan is premature. His real impact and legacy can't be fairly judged at this point in time. Personally, I credit him with giving the country a real boost of morale and seizing the opportunity to reach out to Gorbachev, but I also found many of his domestic policies loathsome and his economic legacy to have been disastrous (remember that $3 trillion debt he left behind?). I'm glad you credit him with handling the "endgame" of the Cold War and not for "winning" the Cold War as so many others have. I think that the US victory in the Cold War was a result of the policies and strength showed by every President since Truman and that both Republicans and Democrats have a right to be proud of how we defeated the USSR while avoiding the apocalypse of a nuclear exchange. <<I see Wilson as something of a naive innocent trying to impose a set of rules on a world that works on the principle of power and force. >> I'll grant you that Wilson was ahead of his time and miscalculated his support in the Senate for the League of Nations. But as an earlier post said, I think the idealism and goals of Wilson have shaped our conduct of foreign policy throughout this century and that his goals are still worthy ones for us to pursue today even if they cannot be achieved yet in a world still run by force. To me, America's foreign policy should be based neither solely on Wilson's idealism nor Nixon/Kissinger's realpolitik, but should be a blend of the two: a pursuit of our values and ideals tempered by an understanding of the real world and the limited methods available to achieve those ends. -------------------- Subj: Answers Date: 5/9/97 3:35:40 PM From: RonDMoore <<Are you at liberty to tell us what some of you and your families plans are for the break? I know you're a city slicker, but if you're ever in Missouri, let me recommend the Lake of the Ozarks.>> I'd rather not say where we're going at the moment, but I'll tell you about it when we get back. And I ain't no city slicker, bub. My hometown is Chowchilla, CA (population 6,000), both sets of grandparents used to own dairies, and I have spent more time than I care to think about wrangling a milk machine onto the udder of a recalitrant bovine. If I'm ever in the Big Mo, I'll definitely check out the Lake of the Ozarks.
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