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< Memory Alpha:AOL chats | Ronald D. Moore

Subject: Answers
Date: Wed, Jul 22, 1998 15:06 EDT
From: RonDMoore
Message-id: <1998072219062400.PAA24612@ladder03.news.aol.com>

<<This is not directly related to DS9, but what are the most frequent
questions fans have asked you regarding DS9?  Perhaps you could list the top
five?>>

1.  Will we be seeing Tom Riker (or Kai Opaka, Ensign Sito, Mrs. Troi, any 
TNG or TOS character) this season?

2.  How long does it take to write/shoot an episode?

3..Is Kira getting a promotion?

4.  Will this be the last season?  (Asked every season)

5.  What was Worf (or any alien) saying and why didn't you subtitle it?

<<Will we get to see the new Dax do some Klingon fighting with Worf in the
holodeck?>>

I'm not sure if we'll be doing this or not.  At the moment, it's not clear 
how much the new Dax will have to do with Worf at all this year.

<<What you missed then and, I think, miss over the issues being discussed 
this week on this board, is that this isn't a matter of proving this or that
with the strength of one's position.  This is about what a whole lot of 
women *think* about the way you guys are writing women.  This is about how 
we *feel*.  It's not something that we can prove like a mathematical 
theorem.
It's something about perception and emotion; it's about what we know about
women and what we can stand to watch with women we respect and admire.>>

I won't argue with your feelings; you have every right to feel anything you
want.  However, given the fact that I do not share those feelings, I think
that you do, in fact, have to prove your position in order to make any
headway.  You can't debate a feeling or an emotion.  

For example -- some people feel very, very strongly that flag burning should
be outlawed and that this prohibition should be written into the 
Constitution.  I happen to believe that this is an emotional overreaction 
and reflective of a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of free 
speech in a free society.

I can  acknowledge the deep and very real feelings of people who see the 
flag burning as an insult to the memories of those who died in its service
while at the same time demanding that a debate on amending the Constitution
not be reduced to arguing about who is more patriotic or who's a "real" 
American.  

Feelings cannot be denied, but they can sometimes be misguided or even vile.
Who would argue that hatred and racism are based in real feelings and
emotions?  And yet those passions do not, and should not carry the day in
reasoned debate.  So, I'm sorry to keep arguing with you, Catbyte, but I'm 
not going grant your position more credence simply because you feel strongly
about it.  And as far as the "many women on this board feel the same" 
argument, I've said before that I'm not counting heads and the recent 
revelation that four people on this board supporting your view were actually
only one person using four different screen names is only one illustration 
why.

<<I think these things probably also matter to the rest of the writers, but
the question is how much do they matter, and how much are you affected by 
the money powers' insistence on delivering that precious young male 
demographic? If you aren't affected by that necessity, and you all do care 
about how women are portrayed, why, then, do we get stuff like the way Kira
and Dax behave in relationships, which is completely out of the characters 
that you all spent so much time and effort developing?  Or the incredible 
and out of character passivity of Kira fourth season?>>

I've said many times that I have never, ever had a meeting with the studio
about appealing to the "male demographic" of the show.  Nor has anyone else 
on the staff.  The studio has done loads of market research on the show, but
to date, we've never changed an episode or tailored a story to attract more 
men.
I've also explained several times that we do care about how women are
portrayed and that we simply don't agree with your assessment that Kira and
Dax were out character in the 4th season or that they've been behaving
inappropriately in their romantic relationships.  

<<I know that the basic story outline of "Tears of the Prophets" was 
completed before the decision was made to kill off Jadzia Dax. So my 
question is this: what was this original outline? How did it differ from 
the version we saw?>>

In the original outline, we had included a Garak-Kira storyline which had 
them going off to the Badlands in an attempt to find and intercept Dukat.  
Garak had been obsessively looking him for months and then got a lead on his
movements which suggested he was in Dominion territory and might be crossing
back over the border soon.  Garak and Kira go out to the Badlands to lie in
wait for him, but in the end they are tricked into capturing the wrong ship,
allowing Dukat to slip past them and arrive on DS9.  We dropped this story
because ultimately it went nowhere and served only to make our heroes look
bad.  

Another difference was that Dukat was originally going to steal an orb from
the temple on DS9 and use it to kill the Prophets.  A small squad of 
Jem'Hadar soldiers attack the station, causing chaos and giving Dukat time 
to get into the temple.  Dax realizes that the attack is really a diversion 
and she races to the temple, finds Dukat and a few Cardassians attempting to
take the orb. But she's outnumbered and soon disabled.  Dukat executes her 
as retribution for the death of Ziyal, hoping to cause Sisko the kind of 
grief he has already experienced.  

This story was the subject of much wrangling among the staff, Michael, Rick,
the studio, and just about everyone involved.  In the end, we decided that 
the diversionary raid wasn't working and that it was hard to get Dax in 
the Temple by herself or even with only a couple of Starfleet security guys 
-- if she thinks there's something really going on, why not take 20 guards 
with her?  Also, the execution angle was dropped as too brutal and that she 
should at least go down with a phaser in her hand.

<<Will we see Costimojin the Pah'Wraith and his Prophet friend from "The
Reckoning" during season seven?>>

Quite probably.

<<We will be getting an episode that finishes up the Mirror Universe Saga,
though, won't we? >>

We'd like to do one more Mirror Universe story.

<<In "The Maquis", Dukat tells Sisko that he was in command of Terok Nor for
almost ten years. But in "Wrongs Darker than Death or Night", we learn that 
he was Prefect of Bajor for closer to twenty years. Should we assume that 
someone else commanded the station for the first decade of Dukat's 
administration of Bajor, or do you guy have another explanation for 
this seeming contradiction?>>

The point we latched onto was that Dukat could've been Prefect without
technically being in command of Terok Nor.  Also, we theorized that the
construction of the station could've taken a very long time and that would
explain why there was no actual commander before Dukat.

<<Ya don't like Fargo?! How could ya not like Fargo?! Which is to say, why
exactly did you "loathe" such a wonderful film? :)>>

I thought "Fargo" was vile.  To me, it was a mean-spirited film with an ugly
heart.  It did not poke gentle fun at its characters and their foibles, it
mocked them and ridiculed them.  The people in Fargo were held up as stupid,
low-class idiots.  Everything from their accents to their eating habits were
savaged and I felt it was done without any purpose except to get a cheap 
laugh at their expense.   I also thought that the only redeeming quality to 
the film was the perfomance of Frances McDormand, whose innate dignity shown
through even though I don't think it was the intent of the film makers.  
Now, I happen to like and admire the Cohen brothers as a rule, but this film
left a very bad taste in my mouth and I've been somewhat appalled at the 
critical raves its received.

<<I have seen a couple of questions posted about Majel Barret, inquiring
whether she would still be contributing to Star Trek. I am a fan of hers and
would also like to know if you have any news you can share?>>

Majel still performs the voice of all Starfleet computers for us, but that's
about it.  I believe she's also very busy working on "Earth: Final 
Conflict".

<<Any big plans for Kai Winn this year?>>

We've got some ideas...

<<Like Deanna in Next Generation and 7 of 9 or Kes is Voyager, will the new
Dax be focused on having sex appeal, character development, or both?  Or at
least try to have both?>>

Her contribution as a character was our first and primary concern in 
creating the new Dax.  Rom gives us all the sex appeal we need.

<<Dukats inner demons in the episode Waltz are an interesting and  unusual 
way to show the characters inner conflict, Damar serving to  reassure his 
faith in himself but Kira and Weyoun displaying his huge  resources of self 
doubt... I couldn't help but feel however that the use of these voices 
became a  bit heavy handed when Dukat held conversations with them and fired
 phasers at them, as though they were external forces rather than in  his 
head. Was there a reason you made his inner demons so physical to  Dukat 
rather than simply having Dukat talk to Sisko while his demons  whispered 
in his ear. I feel that this may have been more plausible. >>

The first phaser shot at Weyoun was to demonstrate two things to the 
audience: first, that Weyoun wasn't really there; and second, that Dukat was
 dangerous. The second time he used the phaser to shoot at Kira was to 
demonstrate to Sisko that he was dealing with a man who was not only 
delusional, but who might easily kill him at any moment. I agree that having 
him fire at the phantoms was pushing it a bit, but I felt that it injected 
some  jeopardy into
a very talky drama and that it was within the parameters of Dukat's state of
mind.

<<In the episode "Starship Down," Sisko says that the Defiant wasn't built 
for atmospheric flight.  However, when I was looking at the Defiant ship 
schematic in the Captain's Chair CD-ROM, the ship had landing gear! Why such 
a discrepancy?  Also, any plans to see the Defiant land?>>

The Defiant has landing gear?  You have to remember that things like CD-ROMs
and the various "official" manuals put out by Paramount are not done in
conjunction with the writing/producing staffs and that the authors are 
usually simply extrapolating information based on what's actually been seen 
on screen. 

<<I really liked the Akira, Norway, Steamrunner, and Sabre class vessels 
from First Contact. AS I understand it, all but the Akira were CG. Is this
why we haven't seen these new ships in DS9's epic battles?>>

I could be wrong, but I believe all of those CGI ships are currently 
residing in the ILM computers and are generally unavailable to us 
without the expenditure of $$.

<<How do most special guest star appearances work on a series like DS9? Do 
you have many "stars" coming to you asking for parts in Star Trek or do you 
seek out certain guest stars based on the parts in the scripts? Thanks.>>

We hear that so-and-so BIG NAME actor is interested  in doing the show all 
the time, but we've found that when a solid offer to appear on this day for 
this much money is acutally tendered, that either the schedule or the offer 
(or both) won't work.

<<It's time to divulge the biggest secret of all... what is your favorite
Seinfeld episode?>>

I loved the "backwards" show, which was a very interesting concept and a
hilarious show to boot.  But "The Contest" and "The Soup Nazi" are my
favorites.

<<Will the new Dax be as important a character as Jadzia, or will she be 
more of a secondary character like Garak?>>

She's a very important character and she's a regular.

<<Will the whole seventh season be tightly planned, like the war arc, with 
one episode leading into the next, or will there be the usual mix of 
individual shows and arc shows?>>

There'll be a mix, with the later part of the season being more tightly
plotted than the beginning.

<<Now that the Worf and Dax romance is over (I think it has to be over 
because of the reassociation taboo), is there any chance you'll drop the 
Kira and Odo thing too (I'm hoping you will).>>

Odo and Kira are doing just fine, thank you.

<<Have you ever played any of the Star Trek Video games? If so, what do you
think of them? >>

I think the last Trek video game I actually played was the old arcade game
(Starfleet Academy Trainer or something) where you got to sit in the 
captain's chair and shoot Klingons while trying to dock at varios starbases.

<<Would you hesitate use the last three episodes of the season as one big
series ending trilogy?>>

I wouldn't hesitate at all.

<<Any plans to see Gowron or Martok's son Drex this season??>>

We're talking about seeing them both.

<<Is there a reason the shutters on the side windows and the redesign of the
interior of the runabouts from season 5 onwards?>>

The plugs were put in the windows as a money-saving device.  If you can see
out the windows when the Runabout's going at warp speed, we have to put up a
blue-screen and matte in the stars.  It costs a few thousand dollars for 
every shot (I'm not kidding) and so one of the first things to go in our 
production meetings is any unnecessary shot of warp stars.

<<I was one of the many who read the script [of Generations] on the internet
and I was pretty wowed by Soran's character.  I saw him as a very complex
villain, someone I wasn't sure if I could hate.  He had lost so much because
of the borg
and seemed to be a man that did not want to kill anyone in his desire to
get to the nexus and be reunited someway with his family.  Sure, he was
gonna wipe out the people of Veridian 4, which makes him quite bad, but
in the script, he came off as a kind of tragic figure.  Was that where
you and Mr. Braga were coming from when you wrote Soran, and if so, how
come that really doesn't come out all that much in Malcom McDowell's
performance?>>

We did see Soran as a complex, tragic figure, but I'd say that any
deficiencies in this area have more to do with the script than with 
Malcolm's perfomance.  I don't think we gave him enough to play with to 
really bring the character into focus.

<<  Ron, is Brock Peters going to play Sisko's father in the season 
premiere?>>

Yes.

<<In "One Little Ship" you had Nog covering for Worf int he beginning and I
believe in a prior post you said you would explore the relationship between
these two more, do you have any episodes in season 7 planned for them?>>

We're working on a couple of notions for Worf & Nog right now.

<<Also in "One Little Ship" when they were under attack by the Dominion we 
saw one guy fly from a console and nobody noticed and Kira went and took 
over, when Kira flew from the same console, Sisco was right over there to 
help her, I was wondering if you might, just for a sense of realism, have 
some of  the
main charectors help out a minor charector flying around.>>

Good point.  

<<Do you plan of having a future episode, or just casually mentioning,
featuring Bashir's father getting out the prison?>>

I think we're going to mention it at some point.
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