Subj: Answers Date: 97-12-04 18:48:20 EST From: RonDMoore <<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 reproducing?>> 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 climax. 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 masses? >> 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.) Subj: Answers Date: 97-12-04 18:48:22 EST From: RonDMoore (cont.) 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 know?>> 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 year)? >> No plans for promotions. Subj: Answers Date: 97-12-04 19:11:23 EST From: RonDMoore <<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 why. <<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 Violations?>> 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 war?>> 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 down yet. <<Did you plan that the good Gul [Dukat] would develop in this way from the start? >> 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?>> Don't know. <<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. Subj: Answers Date: 97-12-04 19:35:36 EST From: RonDMoore <<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.
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