Date: 8/20/97 7:02:16 PM
<< Several people seem to think Damar could have been attracted to Ziyal in
"Return to Grace." This stems from his eagerness to help her in engineering
and how he was the one who taught her the knife trick. Any chance of
anything like that occuring? Do you think Dukat is grooming Damar to be a
choice for Ziyal, or am I way ahead of myself?>>
Without confirming any of the specifics you've mentioned, I can tell you that
we have some very definite plans for the future of Damar and Ziyal.
<<I just rewatched T&TA and I think it was one of the best episodes of the
season.... You mentioned once that you had some grievances about it, or
things you would have liked to do that you didn't get the chance....etc. If
I'm not totally wrong here, could you share some of these with us?>>
My only real gripe was the music -- I had hoped it would be more like the
orginal score and I thought it hurt the show particularly during the barroom
brawl by changing the tone of the scene. Rene and I also had this idea to
redo the entire end title sequence as an homage to the original series, with
freeze frame shots from various DS9 episodes in the background, the TOS end
credit music and changing the font of our credits to match theirs. That idea
never got very far chiefly because we were the only proponents of it and also
because the show was so far over budget that we couldn't afford to spend any
more money anyway.
<<There are many fans that would say Voyager has fallen off course and the
stories are bland.....despite your personal opinion, if you had chosen to go
to Voyager and not DS9 (Thank God you didn't:), do you have any idea what
changes you would have made to the show that never came across here in
That's kind of an unfair question. I don't know what I would've (or
could've) done differently if I was on Voyager, and to make that kind of
critique now seems like monday morning quarterbacking to me.
<<I know the Federation will be fighting a war this season. Clearly they are
equipped to do so. Do you see them as a military or something different.
Are they a combined force boldly going as Kirk suggested, or are they as
Nick Meyer envisioned(largely for fighting)?>>
I've always felt that Starfleet is the military/exploratory/scientific arm of
the UFP, and that its charter incorporates all three missions.
<<What is your favorite humorous line that you've written, if you have a
The fave of the moment is, "Lions and Giegers and Bears" "Oh, my."
<<And what is the deal with Bashir? First we learn he was being impersonated
by a changeling for part of a season, and then we learn he's been genetically
enhanced. Wow! I'm not sure there have been such dramatic and sudden
revelations made about other characters on DS9 . . . why did you (the
writers) decide to slap us with those?>>
The revelation that Bashir had been a changeling for a few episodes was
something that came up during the story break of "Purgatory's Shadow." We
thought it would be a really cool surprise and a quick check of the
preceeding episodes showed that it wouldn't damage anything in those shows
(although Rene did have reservations about the Changeling-Bashir delivering
Kira's baby). As for the genetic alterations in Bashirs background, I felt
that it was explaining Julian's character rather than changing him. It also
filled in a lot of blanks that were present in the character's backstory.
Date: 8/20/97 7:03:12 PM
<<Well, okay, this is something I just wanted to ask. You made this comment
in a previous posting: <This is a conversation between an artist and (part
of) his audience.>
Now, this brought up my question: It is my belief that a writer is not an
artist, especially a screenwriter. I believe a writer is a craftsman. Was the
use of "artist" a reflection of your opinion on this matter, or not?>>
Personally, I think of myself and other writers as artists. I believe in a
fairly loose definition of "art" as almost any creative form of expression
and that writing (and screenwriting) certainly falls within that category.
<<In a report on a convention appearance by a staffer from Foundation
Imaging, which apparently does a lot of work on Voyager, I read that the USS
Voyager is now 100% computer animation. I don't expect you to be able to
confirm this, but it leads to the natural question about DS9: is
motion-control photography with models still used much on the show? Is the
Defiant now entirely virtual? The runabouts? The station itself?>>
As far as I know, we're still using a mix of models and CGI on the show and
will continue to do so in the future. All the elements you've mentioned are
still filmed using models on occasion.
<<when Gene created TNG and the Enterprise-D, his ideal was to make Starfleet
"family friendly," so servicemen and women wouldn't have to leave their
families behind, and that all could be truly comfortable on a starship and
call it a home. In recent years, though, TPTB have done away with the
"luxury liner" version of starships.... My question: was the concept and
intent of the Galaxy-class ship flawed? Should all Starfleet ships be
lean-and-mean military vessels? Or is it still possible for a Starfleeter to
have a family life and a shipboard career at the same time?>>
I think that the "family friendly" starship notion was an interesting idea,
but one that didn't pan out. There was always something awkward about Picard
ordering the ship into battle situations with kiddies running through the
corridors. And no matter how much lip service we paid to the "our families
are part of our strength" concept, it never seemed very smart or very logical
to bring the spouse and kids along when you're facing down the Borg, or
guarding the Neutral Zone, or plunging the ship into uncharted spatial
<<Ron, I was wondering what your thoughts were on the relationship between
Picard and Nella Darin (the pianist from "Lessons" for those of you who don't
remember.) Do you see this as one of the more promising relationships for
Picard, and possible one that could be explored on film? What about the rest
of the staff, and for that matter, Patrick Stewart? Do you think this
relationship could have had potential should it not have been filmed in the
"lets give the captain a love of the week" episode format?>>
I liked the relationship with Nella and wanted it to continue aboard the
Enterprise, but that view was in the minority. I thought that she matched up
well with Picard and that we should've just played it out over several
episodes. I doubt they'll bring her into the movies.
<< Do you know the history behind the name of the character Dr. Noonien
Soong? I heard that Gene was friends with a Noonien Soong in the army when
he was younger, and he lost contact whit him. I also heard that Gene names
Data's creator Noonien Soong in hopes that the real Soong would see the show
and contact Gene. Is this true?>>
I've heard both these rumors, but to my knowledge they're just rumors. I
don't know the real story behind the name.
<<If a starship leaves DS9 at Warp 4 on a course for Earth, and a at the same
time a starship leaves Earth on a course for DS9 at Warp 8, where will they
I didn't know there was going to be a quiz.
Date: 8/20/97 7:03:59 PM
<<I have a relatively simple question. Are there any plans of bringing Kai
Opaka back to life in the 6th season of DS9?>>
Not at the present time.
<<in the episode where Kurn becomes a part of someone else's ( sorry, can't
remember the name) family, as Kurn is leaving sickbay(?) he asks Worf if Worf
is a part of his family. Worf responds with "I have no family" What about
On one level, Worf was speaking of the fact that he cut his ties to the
family of Mogh when he let Kurn go. On another level, I think that it was a
Freudian slip, and that Worf has psychologically distanced himself from
Alexander (something that we'll be following up on this season).
<<Whatever happened to the Cardassian terrorist group "The True Way"? Any
chance that plot thread will be reintroduced?>>
I think this group was made irrelevant when the Cardassians joined the
Dominion, so there aren't any plans to revisit this plot thread.
<<Assuming the above answer is, "nope"...what were the writers' original
plans for this group? As a sort of Cardassian version of the Maquis? Where
was this plot thread going before it got sidetracked by the Klingon invasion
and the Dominion>??
We hadn't mapped out the future of the True Way before we started thinking
seriously about Cardassia joining the Dominion. I think our initial concepts
were that they were a sort of fundamentalist group dedicated to the return of
the old Cardassian government.
<<I have pitched a few times to Voyager. And though I know that you don't
work that side of the building, you still might have some insight. Each time
I've pitched, I pitched to a different producer. I usually wait about six
months to set up a new pitch date. I prepare the type of material I was told
they were looking for (at the last pitch) and they are looking for something
different or more frequently they just shot one very similar. Do you think
the six months between pitches makes the advise given at the previous pitch
less reliable for my situation? Do you think each producer's style is
different enough that Jeri may like something that Brannon doesn't and so on
and so on.>>
Your experience sounds pretty typical. Each producer is different and
responds to different material and it's really just the luck of the draw to
determine who you're going to see.
<<Could you tell us when the Enterprise E was commissioned (stardate)? Also,
what was the shipyard where she was constructed?>>
The plaque on my wall says she was commissioned on Stardate 49827.5 and was
built in the San Franciso Yards.
<< Any chance of seeing another Temporal Causuality Loop like in the TNG
episode Cause and Effect?>>
I don't think so.
<<I was thinking: If you rearrange the letters of Teroknor you get (drumroll
Trek o' Ron AKA Ron's Trek
Anything to this, or am I just way weird? Well, I am way weird but, anyway,
is this some kind of random in joke that I was just cool enough to figure
Wish I could take credit for this one, but the name Terok Nor was selected
while I was still on TNG.
<<I was in the Romulan/Rihannsu II folder a couple days ago that said that
you MIGHT do a Romulan episode later in the year. Is there even the
slightest chance that they might say their natural name (Rihannsu) or natural
planet names (ch'Rihan or ch'Havran). I mean, as near as I can tell, the
names Romulan, Romulus and Remus to identify their opponents in the war and
rather than giving their enemy even remotely a clue to their homeworld
locations, they decided to adopt it to their own language.>>
All the names you've mentioned are taken from the Trek novels and are not
considered part of the "canon."