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Date: 5/2/97 7:16:39 PM
<<I was watching a repeat episode of DS9 last night about a
probability-changing device that a dying prisoner on the station gave to
another prisoner who was an El-Aurian, from a race of listeners. This
description, given in the episode, was near identical to what Soran said to
Geordi during the interregation scene in "Generations". Did you know that
this fellow (whose name started with an "M") would turn out to be the same
race as Guinan, and then Soran?>>
I only vaguely remember this episode since it was filmed well before I came
aboard DS9, and we were completely unaware of the Listener connection when we
were writing Generations.
<<John Ordover's classic study, "Analyzing Moore: He Really Liked Armin.">>
John, do I get to see the galleys on this one or not?
<<If you know you've got an entire Seventh season to play with, Season Six
would likely be constructed differently than if you didn't. Is there some
sort of deadline or cut-off point beyond which you'd take the longer-running
plot arcs one way or another? Will the writers have to come up with two
alternate, broad-based arcs entitled "this will happen if we have Six
seasons" and "This will happen if we have Seven"? (Eight, Nine, etc?)>>
This is very much on our minds. We're too far away from knowing about year 7
to make plans one way or the other yet. At the moment, we're planning the
beginning of next season and we won't have to make any decisions about the
wrap-up or continuation of the series for several months. But knowing sooner
would be A LOT nicer.
<<Ron, did you notice the mini-article in the May 3 edition of TV Guide (with
Xena: Warrior Princess) on the cover? It talked about how Xena and Hercules
have been "toppling the Star Trek ratings empire." What do you think of that,
and how do you think this problem can be solved?>>
If you mean the negative publicity, the answer is: nothing. Media coverage
goes in cycles and we've been in a "bash Trek" cycle for some time now -- alth
ough I think that's on the wane now too. As for the ratings, they speak for
themselves. Xena & Hercules have beaten us several times this season and
there's no denying it. More power to them. We're doing the best show we can
and we all feel very good about it. If people want to watch, they will and
if they don't, they won't. Nothing would make me happier than to see our
ratings suddenly skyrocket, but we really do have enough faith in what we're
doing that I'm not losing any sleep over the ratings. We have at least
another year and if it ends, we'll hold our heads high and feel proud of the
work we did.
<<*Professor* O'Brien? >>
I don't remember when we started using this title, but I don't think it's
<<BRING BACK KIRK!>>
You keep a-knocking, but you can't come in...
<< I'm figuring you will at least bring the Dominon and Federation to war.
In that event, Starfleet would launch a major defensive movement, if history
follows suit. BUT, if history DOES follow suit, any major Defensive would be
lead by the Federation Flagship. In that event, would Paramount Exec's
justify bringing back the TNG cast and Enterprise-E just to keep from
insulting the fans intellegence and maybe giving us just a couple of episodes
of what we want?>>
You mean on DS9? No. And I don't see how that's insulting anyone's
<<Picard was court-martialled for the loss of the Stargazer. Was this case
unique, or are all officers that lose ships under their command get
We presume that all Starfleet officers are court-martialled following the
loss of a ship. Most are honorably cleared, as was Picard.
<<Ron, how big is the Star Fleet? I get the feeling it's only a Hundred, when
it should be a couple thousand.>>
This is a question we're never going to answer as we don't want to be pinned
down on a specific number.
Date: 5/2/97 7:44:52 PM
<<Was the idea of having the Worf/Dax relationship something that was
originally planned, or did you guys come up with it later on?>>
This was something we starting thinking about over the course of Season 4 as
we saw the chemistry between Worf and Dax develop. It seemed like they both
enjoyed the by-play and that their characters had a natural affinity for each
<<Is there any interest in bringing Sisko's sister into the loop?>>
Not at the moment.
<<Please tell me and all the other fans that don't want their favorite show
off the air what to do!! A letter writing campain to Paramount would be my
first thought, but if you have any others please share them with us!!>>
As I've said before, if you're going to write to anyone, write FIRST to your
LOCAL AFFILIATE and then to Paramount. Your local station is the one that
orders the show and who needs to hear from its audience -- YOU.
<<Ron, I know Voyager is not your show, but I'll bet real money that you hear
things around the trek office. so..... Is it true that Jen Lein (Kes) will
not be coming back for another season of Star Trek: Voyager?>>
I really can't comment on this kind of stuff regardless of what I may or may
not hear around the offices.
<<What would it take for us to convince you to move on over to Voyager after
DS9 has run its course? Are you considering the possibility of at least
submitting scripts or pitches to them?>>
Well, if you all take up a collection and send cash (in small unmarked
Actually, I really haven't given this much thought, but I doubt I'll be
<<I see from Paramont's website you will be doing an interview on the MSN
network. Do you feel MSN trying to lure you away from AOL?>>
No, I was asked to answer some questions for them and I said sure, since I
usually agree to do interviews if I have the time. I'm staying here.
<<We've seen [Kirk] up against odds much more incredible than this. And yet
he falls down a cliff? That's the end of a great, legendary hero? Granted,
some of history's greatest heroes have died under less than grand
circumstances, but this is Hollywood, and better yet, its Star Trek!!! It's
not meant to be realistic!!! I'd like to close with one comment. I
remember reading an article, can't remember what magazine it was, where
either Ron or Brannon said after writing this scene that they felt some sort
of remorse over Kirk's death. In a word: o-kie.>>
Once more into the breach...
I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's not that I failed to care
about the character or that I had a complete lack of sensitivity to the
impact of Kirk's death that led me to write his death scene the way it was in
Generations. I simply wanted a different death for Kirk than screaming at
the Klingons or Obi-Wan-Kenobi-ing off into the celestial bluescreen. I
thought that the quiet, unexpected death of a legend could be more powerful
than coming up with some over-amped battle sequence and that's what we went
You didn't like it -- fine. But I do get a little tired of people accusing
me of "having no respect for the character" or not caring about Kirk or the
fans or some other nonsense. I wanted Kirk to go out with dignity and have a
moving death. I still think that's what he got, but I've never said that
anyone who disagrees with me is some poltroon who's too dense to see what's
right in front of his face, so I fail to see why those on the other side of
this argument have to ascribe all these negative motivations to Brannon and
I. We wanted the same thing you did and we cared about the character too.
(Yes, even Brannon. Trust me, he wasn't angling to damage one of the the
biggest characters in our first feature film.) Kirk was my hero too.
BTW, what the hell does "o-kie" mean?
Date: 5/2/97 7:59:11 PM
<<Could you please tell us whether you intend to have any episodes where
classical music is featured as it was in, let's say, the *TNG* episode,
It's always possible, but there's nothing on the boards at the moment.
<<will we be seeing any modified or 'souped up' versions of older starships?
<<As a spec. script writer, I'm wondering if the producers are open to
character stories that instill a small change in one of the main characters?
And if so, how do you guage how much of a change the producers are willing to
This is almost impossible to answer. You just have to write it and see what
happens. We're willing to consider changes in the regular characters within
certain limits but those limits are hard to define. Just give it a shot.
<< I truly enjoyed Star Trek: First Contact. My question is this... Why only
one Borg Cube? Why not a whole armada of the cubes trying to conquer The
Federation/Starfleet... Did you ever consider having more than one Borg Cube
in the screenplay? >>
We did think about it, but then decided that a single cube was more in
keeping with the way the Borg had been established before. I too, wish we
could've had a longer and more spectacular space battle up front, but I
wasn't willing to make significant cuts elsewhere in the film for the extra
bang-bang at the beginning.
<< I've been wondering is how are directors chosen for the show? What kind
of imput do they have? Since Trek is basically a same camera moves type of
show. How creative can they get?>>
The directors are chosen by Rick, Ira, and Steve Oster. The input of the
director is very important and we try to work closely with them during
pre-production on every episode. But once they're on the stage, the director
is in charge and you have to let him/her tell the story you've given them in
their own way. There is a definite "look" to Trek and most directors can
pick it up rather quickly since it's not nearly as stylized as, say, NYPD
Blue. Within that context, the directors are free to set up and shoot as
they see fit.
<<It struck me that the point is exactly what someone said a couple of posts
back: death is often banal, trivial, senseless and pointless, and to have a
major character go out in this idiotic fashion simply points up the fact that
death is always the ultimate winner. So live life to the full, don't count
on your death to make it important. It's a sobering realization. I hope
that I'll die doing something I love, active, involved, not whimpering in a
hospital somewhere, but that might not be my choice.
By showing death as something that simply strikes with no warning, giving one
no time to prepare or react, I think it makes it that much more powerful and
mysterious. And I am NOT a fan of all these resurrections, which seem to me
to cheapen the emotion the audience felt when they lost someone, be it Kirk,
Spock or Sito. But that's just MHO.>>
Thank you, Karla. Those are EXACTLY what our feelings were when we were
planning Kirk's death.