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Ron Moore: Where Voyager Went Wrong
By Don Lipper
Special to SPACE.com
posted: 11:41 am ET
07 December 2000

COLLEGE PLANNING Ronald D. Moore was on the writing staff for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and he wrote two Trek flicks, Generations and First Contact. Along the way he won a Hugo and was nominated for an Emmy.

Although he’s now working on the WB network’s Roswell, Moore tells SPACE.com’s Don Lipper that he has some definite opinions about what Trek has become and where it’s going.

SPACE.com: I wanted to talk to you about the evolution of Trek. You have a unique perspective in that you’ve worked on all three of the new generation shows. Where is it going?


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RDM: I think it’s at a crossroads. They really have some hard decisions to make. They’re going to go ahead and make a new series. It just feels like they’re not ready to do that.

[inset]

I don’t know how they’re going to come up with a whole new series, given the fact that they haven’t really given themselves a breather to let Voyager run its course, take a time out, step back, look at the overall franchise and then say, "let’s play around and see what we can do."

It feels to me that if you’re going to do another Star Trek series after Voyager, you’ve done three series that were based on the premise of a crew on a starship going someplace, and you’ve done one series that was based on a space station.

I think the next one has to be something different. And I’m just afraid that when all is said and done, we’re going to have another group of characters on another bridge, looking at another view screen, falling out of another set of chairs. And that worries me because it feels like there’s a sense out there in the audience that we’ve seen this. All right already.

I think Voyager has come up against that a bit. Voyager had a great premise and a great pilot, and promptly fell back on the familiar and went in a direction that didn’t really say, "wow, look at this, this is not like Next Generation at all, this is something completely different." I think ultimately it became Next Generation by another name.

I just don’t know how are they going to create something brand new. Because I don’t have the vaguest idea of what it would be. Do you make it an aircraft carrier analogy and they’re all off in little ships and come back, and it’s more of a tale of individuals running into situations and then having to come home and get help?

Next: how Moore would have done Voyager differently.

~

SPACE.com: Did you happen to see the Voyager episode "Year of Hell"?

RDM: Yeah, I did.

SPACE.com: That got me very excited because it did exactly what you’re saying that Voyager should have done. Janeway had a limp, she had a pocket watch, she had a scar on her face, and the ship was torn to shreds -- and they reset it.

RDM: I know!! That in a nutshell is the problem. They had the cast, they had the writers, they had the amazing technical crew and post-production people -- who are some of the best in the business -- and they had an ability to push the imagination and say, "wow, look what’s happened to Voyager." Oh my God! Okay, well let’s not do that anymore.

SPACE.com: It’s funny how Voyager comes really close to fulfilling the promise, and then veers away.

RDM: Yeah, there’s a real fear factor. I don’t know why it is, but they’re just afraid of making ongoing change and evolution. There’s just this real need to pull back as soon as they get to someplace really interesting.

I’m getting this reputation as somebody who slams Voyager, and it’s not that. I see the potential and the promise, because a lot of their episodes are really interesting stuff that take them and the characters in a great interesting direction, and you go, wow, that’s amazing, and then they pull it all away from you at the end of the show, and you’re right back to where you started.

SPACE.com: You were there during those early days where you had the Maquis and Starfleet, and they should’ve been at each other’s throats, but they weren’t. What happened there?

[uplink]

RDM: I was only there two months. There was a lot of fighting about it within the staff. But essentially, by the end of the pilot they had stuffed all the Maquis into Starfleet uniforms, which was just a profound mistake. That symbolic gesture really defanged the Maquis permanently on Voyager.

Because once you stick them in Starfleet outfits, even if you give them odd little collar insignias, they’re essentially like everybody else, and expected to obey all the regulations and this and that.

With Seven of Nine, she’s a great character, and a great actress, and I think she was a good, strong addition to the series. But at the same time it’s like, take off the big goofy hand and tone her down a little bit so that the makeup isn’t a six-hour job every day, and you don’t want her to be completely hideous to look at, but why can’t she look like a Borg?

Why does she have to be this supermodel with a couple of pieces of tech on her head? It’s just silly. It just belies the whole function of bringing her aboard. If you’re gonna bring her aboard because she’s a Borg, that’s a threat and an odd thing. You want her to be in the face of the crew. Okay, make her a Borg. Just do it.


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