July 25 2024


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Moore: Trek’s Future

2 min read


Star Trek Writer/Producer Ronald D. Moore shared his opinion regarding the future of the Star Trek franchise.

According to Moore, Trek rightly belongs on television.

“I think [Trek’s] home and its heart is really in television,” Moore said, when asked about Star Trek while promoting his latest project, Helix. “That’s really what Star Trek is – the core concept is really a TV show.”

Moore has nothing against Star Trek on the big screen though; he just believes that Star Trek would be better served on television. “I think the features are good and I really admire what J.J. Abrams has done with the last two films, he said; I think it’s great; but the heart and soul of that franchise demands a return to television.”

“The kinds of stories that you’ll tell in the features space are not the kinds of stories that made that show so popular. The features all have to be action-oriented.

“They all have to have enormous stakes – the Earth or the Federation or the universe has to be in jeopardy – and the features always have to surround the Captain… and maybe one other character.

“The TV shows were morality plays; they were more thematic; they were examining society in different ways. Sometimes the stakes were just one crew member’s life; sometimes the stakes were just one alien world or the Enterprise.

“The TV show is really what Star Trek is to me. I think the features are great, but I think it has to return to TV if it’s going to remain an ongoing franchise.”

If Trek was to return to television, Moore would like to be part of it. “I’d love to do Star Trek again, in all honesty,” he said.

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88 thoughts on “Moore: Trek’s Future

  1. Very well said, Mr. Moore! For as much as the fanboy Trek webcasts are interesting, there is something about watching it on television that brings Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a Trek universe to light.

  2. I’ve been saying what Moore says above for years. Trek belongs on TV as at its heart it’s not an action show, which the Hollywood film medium demands. Put a new crew on a ship already and explore the universe again, it’s way overdue.

  3. In all honesty, I wouldn’t let Moore anywhere near anything Star Trek related. He, along with Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, nearly sealed Star Trek’s doom with DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise.

    And if that were not bad enough, he tarnished the Greatest Space Epic – the original Battlestar Galactica – with that awful abomination of a remake!

    Fred Freiberger must have been an inspiration of his.

  4. You’ve got it all wrong. In addition to being a successful show financially, DS9 was, creatively, the best Trek since the original. It challenged and expanded the dramatic possibilities of the Trek universe, and Moore — as the supervising producer of the show and writer of some of its best episodes — was largely responsible for its success.

    Moore jumped over to VGR in that show’s sixth season, after DS9 had wrapped. His involvement with VGR lasted all of a few weeks, or maybe a month or two, before he bailed on it. This was a shame, because VGR was, creatively, a disaster throughout its seven years, and in the interview Moore gave to Cinescape not long after his departure he demonstrated that he perfectly understood why.

    Moore never had any involvement with ENT at all. By that time he was doing BSG, which for at least its first couple of years was simply the most brilliant thing on television. It was, in many respects, what VGR should and could have been.

  5. Your opinion that Voyager was a “creative disaster.” It lasted seven full years and is still remembered quite fondly by many Trek fans, with quite a fan base still in places, maybe not the dark and broody Ron Moorites (thank goodness VGR wasn’t like BSG), but those who liked their Trek more like TOS but w/ a woman captain, yay!

  6. It’s my opinion, yes; and certainly a show that ran for seven years can’t be called a commercial failure (though its status as UPN’s flagship show did prop it up). But it was also Moore’s opinion that the show had serious problems — on both sides of the camera, from his observations — and when his Cinescape piece came out in 2000 it echoed the same criticisms that a lot of fans, myself included, had been voicing for years.

    And while VGR probably shouldn’t have gotten as dark as BSG, the latter show did a far better job with the former show’s premise. BSG dealt with the things that VGR so flagrantly ignored — supply issues, energy consumption, crew politics and morale, the deteriorating condition of the ship itself, and many more. “Year of Hell” was what the whole show should have looked like, and Captain Ransom and the Equinox were more realistic glimpses into how Voyager and her crew might have ended up if the ship wasn’t magically repaired and resupplied every week.

  7. It wasn’t Berman or Braga that hurt Trek if the past hurt it it all, it was the studio. All these years later, they still are hurting the brand. Berman has made it very clear that had he not made Voyager or Enterprise, the studio would have dumped him and found someone else that would have. As much as “fans” like the slam Berman, I can’t even image how bad those shows would have been with some JJ Abrams-like hack moved in to replace him even earlier then it happened.

  8. I agree with Moore about Trek belonging on tv and not film, but after Battlestar, I kind of blame him for this darker, edgier sci-fi crap we seem to be feed the last decade. If he gave us more TNG and DS9 and less Battlestar however, I’d be all for his coming back to the Trek fold. He was part of the original 18 year TNG to Enterprise (for more of that time than not anyway) run and I’d rather Trek “stay in the family.”

  9. It would be good to get Star Trek back on TV, but CBS has zero interest in doing so. And it would have to be different from what came before, and filmed in an economical 12-episode season; if that means being dark, then so be it, but the older kinds of Star Trek won’t cut it on TV anymore.

    Meantime, I think that Star Trek is good where it is on the big screen, with a movie every two years, a couple of monthly comic book titles from IDW, some toys and other merch, and all of the novels that are being published.

  10. There’s no guarantee that Moore would ever be asked back for a Star Trek show by CBS, they’d want to capitalize on the new movies instead and make a show based on them.

  11. Eventually, they will, since the audience for older Star Trek is dying off gradually. My feeling is that Moore is yesterday’s man as far as CBS and Paramount are concerned, and that they won’t have him helm a new Star Trek TV show.

  12. What do you suggest? Hiring some hacks a la Abrams & Co. (or maybe even Abrams & Co themselves… a horrifying thought) and creating a TV show titled Idiot’s Guide to Star Trek? Is that what you would like? I don’t think we need that. And I don’t think anyone is “dying off” either. A good idea is not constrained by time and place. I just hope the future Trek writers/creators, possibly veterans like Ron Moore, will bring us some boldly going and intelligent Trek concept with that characteristic optimistic spirit of Star Trek.

  13. True. It was the studio. Many people either don’t recognize that or refuse to acknowledge that fact. It was the dictates of the studio which ultimately led to Trek’s decline. Even in those old days Gene Roddenberry had to fight battles with the studio, which always was keen on dumbing things down. It seems the studio has ultimately succeeded, and the culmination of this success is the work of Abrams & Co. Congratulations.

  14. Good point, in another 60 or 70 years we’ll all be gone and then the fresh blood of the Abramsverse will have to carry things. 😀

  15. “he tarnished the Greatest Space Epic – the original Battlestar Galactica ”
    I knew your were crazy and in need of mental health care, but I didn’t realize you were this stupid. The original Battlestar Galactica was worthless trash. Nothing but stock characters, cheap sets, and barely competent actors. Not to mention the elementary school writing. If it weren’t for Ron Moore, Battlestar Galactica would be nothing more than a joke.

  16. Pretty much what’s going to happen eventually, but maybe a bit closer to that by about a few years. This is inevitable, and everybody knows it; Star Trek needs new younger blood as far as fandom is concerned in order to survive as a franchise. CBS is foolish for just selling only merchandise based on TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager & Enterprise when they should be working with Abrams, Orci, & Kurtzman to make new shows and merchandise to capitalize on the more successful current movies that have brought fresh blood to the franchise; it’s Basic Common Sense Marketing 101.

  17. I suggest going ahead with the new blood in the form of Abrams and company, yes. You and others commenting may not like the new movies, but millions of others-young and old-do. And calling me names and insulting others for liking the new movies isn’t going to change that fact, or the facts I just stated above a few minutes ago. Ron Moore can come back to Star Trek and make a new show (if CBS is willing to do so-current evaluations of their financial status vis-a-vis their current cops’n robbers/sitcoms/sports/reality TV programming suggests they won’t want to do so at all) but I doubt that even his star power is going to make Les Moonves budge on making a Star Trek show-particularly one set in the original universe, which is dead commercially.

    And I`m sorry if I`ve offended you all about the mention of aging fans, but this is a reality that the TV industry is facing now with most TV shows aside from the new classics like Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Survivor, CSI___, NCIS, Modern Family, Sleepy Holow, Grimm, Hawaii Five-O, Supernatural, How I Met Your Mother, Glee, etc.-the audience for TV (particularly TV as shown on CBS) is getting older and older and is dying off, with most young people either downloading TV shows from Bit Torrent, getting Netflix, and watching TV over the Internet (or not watching a lot of TV after all.) A new Star Trek show has to deal with these realities, and it can`t just do (and be) the same thing like it was in the past.

  18. Strange; Star Trek was able to bring in that younger blood over the decades without throwing out the existing Trek universe. See, it used to be run by people competent and imaginative enough to build and expand on what had been established.

    I’m not of the original Trek generation; I wasn’t even close to being born when TOS went off the air. (I know you weren’t, because every post of yours carries the tell-tale the-world-was-waiting-for-my-arrival snottiness paraded by generations of 22-year-olds.) Somehow, I, a child of the ILM age, became a massive fan of this old show with retrograde TV special effects, while you’ve admitted that you don’t find it “relatable” — in fact, you don’t even find the newer shows to be “relatable”. (I’m willing to bet that you don’t find much of anything made before 1995 to be “relatable”, because I know people like you in real life.)

    No, what is apparently “relatable” to you is not stories by the likes of Richard Matheson, Theodore Sturgeon, and Robert Bloch, but a warmed-over rehash of a sci-fi classic from 1982 that lifts entire lines of dialogue from that earlier movie because its lazy authors were in too much of a hurry to move on to the next Spider-Man movie. And that’s fine, if that kind of thing is your speed. But please, don’t make us rupture something laughing by suggesting that they’ll still be making Abramsverse movies with this cast ten years from now, or that the ones that have been made are going to be as well-loved and remembered as The Wrath of Khan will be even then. The new movies are the definition of disposable cinema, from the people who brought you Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

    And don’t try to blame CBS for the lack of Abramsverse merchandising. Blame the fact that nobody bought the Trek ’09 line of toys. There’s a reason you didn’t see any STD junk on the toy shelves, a reason you’ll search in vain for any Abramsverse novels in Pocket’s announced 2014 release schedule, a reason that CBS refused to clear away their line of Prime Universe merchandise to make way for J.J. junk. It’s because the Prime Universe is what actually sells to the people interested enough in Trek to buy stuff.

    But fear not — while you may not have any Abramsverse novels to read, you do have those IDW comic books. I can’t think of a more appropriate statement on nuTrek than that.

  19. Wait a minute — which is it? Is the core audience for TV getting older and older, or should CBS worry about catering to young audiences who aren’t watching TV at all?

    And you do realize that The Sopranos is 15 years old, right? Are its fans exempt from aging? Does Mad Men (vintage 2007) exist in its own special pocket of time? Do you really think any of the shows you mentioned are going to be any more relevant to the average viewer of 2034 than “L.A. Law”, “Moonlighting”, and “Remington Steele” are to the average kid today? Oh, to see the look on your face when some future punk announces that he just doesn’t find The Walking Dead “relatable”. 😀

  20. Hey, it’s not my problem if you can’t see reality. But I guess being butt-hurt and constantly hating on the new movies is more important than seeing what and where TV and the Star Trek franchise is now.

  21. The Star Trek universe may be hibernating, but it’s far from dead. I know you and those like you would probably want that, but I doubt a few popcorn-blockbuster movies carrying the name of the franchise and taking place within a bubble universe of the franchise can do that. A popular franchise almost 50 years old and with countless merchandise items worth billions commercially dead? Unlikely.

  22. It puzzles me how whenever someone makes a rational argument by presenting facts which support their point, and adresses the counterpoints in a similarly rational manner, you always say that they are hating and/or butthurt.

  23. They pushed merchandise from the new movie pretty hard in 2007. Action figures, toys, ships, shirts, keychains, koozies, all manner of branded products. You may have noticed that a lot of that merchandise sat on shelves forever, and last year there were far fewer tie-in products. However merchandise with TOS and TNG branding has undergone a resurgence and I do believe it is because of the new films. Merchandise for the new films is not making them money, merchandise for the old stuff is. More basic common sense marketing 101.
    I’m hoping I’m not misremembering this, but I think it was you who said at one point that the new movies have revitalized Trek in general. Well, they have. So given these things, could we move on?

  24. I think any fan who is still slamming Berman needs to watch the Trek Nation documentary and the extended interview with Rick Berman. The truth shall set this fan community free! 😀

  25. I’m afraid your mental faculties regarding the original Battlestar Galactica are quite defective, if not unbalanced.

    The original Battlestar Galactica is still enjoyed by many. It was among the highest ranked television series in the Nielsen ratings for the 1978-1979 television season. I would hardly qualify that as worthless trash. The characters were anything but stock characters. The sets were anything but cheap(they were quite expensive for its time – a part of the $1 Million dollars per hour or per episode price tag). And the actors were more than competent. They were quite excellent in the roles that they were given. I will admit, there were a couple of episodes that had elementary school writing(the characters of Hector and Vector from the two-part episode ‘Greetings From Earth’ seriously come to mind).

    But overall, the rest of the episodes from the classic 1978 series are brilliant, well-written, and well acted.

    If anything is a joke, it is that godawful and goddamned spinoff Galactica 1980(that was certainly elementary school writing), and the idea of Ron Moore remaking the series.

    If you want worthless trash, you need not look any further than DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Starship Farragut, Star Trek Continues, Star Trek Generations, Insurrection, and Nemesis, Galactica 1980, the second season of Buck Rogers, the Logan’s Run TV series, the second and third seasons of SeaQuest DSV/2032, Highlander 2, Alien 3, Alien-Ressurrection, the second and third seasons of Lost In Space, and the third and fourth seasons of Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.

    Shall I go on?

  26. Yeppers. When the writers and producers began stealing story plots and other ideas from Babylon 5(WB, 1994-1999). Let alone the recycling of the same old story plots.

  27. I don’t know if I would classify a remake of a classic space opera as simply one of the most brilliant things on television. The remake was a complete 180 in terms of what the original was. Especially in regards to story content and adult subject matter.

    Nevertheless, to each his own.

  28. I would absolutely agree with this. The problem with the movies is that once you see it, it is done. Sure, great movie, and often adds to the TV shows where they reference the timeline in their plot. But we have to wait two to three years before we see another only to be disappointed. At least, if a plot on TV fails, they got one next week to make up for it. You can still do movie quality TV shows simply because you don’t have to keep rebuilding the set (ship standard sets) and uniforms. Use the movie sets and and props and go for it! Just start writing good material! If fans can do it, so can Hollywood.

  29. I’m surprised you didn’t put TNG or even TOS (and the movies I-VI) on your ‘worthless trash’ list. I suppose you’re one of those who think Star Trek, or science fiction for that matter, is or should be represented by that Abrams’ dreck, which truly belongs on the worthless trash list.

  30. I would like to ban the word “relatable” — anyone who says it seems to be saying “I can’t be bothered with anything unless all the work is done for me.”

  31. Why would I do that concerning TOS? I happen to be a fan of TOS, TAS, the movies TMP-VI, and to some degree or another the first two Abrams prequel/reboots. As a matter of fact Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country is my personal favorite out of the first six ST films.

    As far as TNG is concerned, I’m not really a fan of the series, but I still respect it for what it is. Or in this era, was.

    Actually, I have never thought it should be represented by Abrams’ films. However, despite its flaws, Abrams’ films are a part of the Star Trek canon. Whether fans like it or not. Granted there were some things I did not like in the first two Star Trek prequel/reboots. However, there were some things that I did like about them.

    Star Trek has often addresses the issues of change. Of how change is the essential process of all things. In some ways, the prequel/reboots(and the plot of the original timeline ceasing to exist, and the creation of a new future)are a mirror of that change. Of how change can be a double edged sword(i.e. both good and bad).

    Judging by the strong negativity from certain portions of the fanbase(obviously those of purist mentalities), I would say that what Jim Kirk pointed out in Star Trek VI was a very accurate one concerning one particular portion of the human equation. That being: people can be very frightened of change.

    That certainly explains a big majority of the hostility toward Abrams on the BBoards since 2009.

  32. Actually no, but I believe my response to trekfan’s inquiry does clarify some things. Even if the inquiries are hostile-themed.

  33. That’s too bad. I never tire of hearing what someone with the aesthetic sense of the averge Let’s Make a Deal contestant thinks about things.

  34. I would love to hear a defender of the original BSG defend the fact that it was sued for plagiarism of Star Wars (and that it’s creature was such a well-known plagiarist that James Garner literally beat him up for ripping off The Rockford Files). And then there’s the “Mormon theology lecture” element of the series…

  35. Not everybody likes Moore but there’s nobody universally liked. Moore can no doubt relax in the knowledge that he created probably the most critically acclaimed science fiction series of all time.

  36. Ten years ago we were over saturated with Trek and wanted it to go away for awhile. It’s been almost 10 years since Enterprise was cancelled. For now, I’m content with a movie every three to four years. Give it five more years to really whet our appetites for TV…..and when it comes back to TV, DON’T have more than one new Trek show on at a time.

  37. Actually, I’m more of a viewer of Jeopardy. All that aside, it never ceases to amaze me how humanity continues to lower itself by attacking what it does not understand, what it is afraid of, and what differences of opinion it has with those of opposing points of view.

  38. Need I remind you that George Lucas also plagiarised other sources in order to create Star Wars. Lucas literally ripped off Flash Gordon(a huge influence), Buck Rogers, The Wizard of Oz, Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars novels, Akira Kurosawa’s Samurai films, various westerns, the Dune saga, Metropolis, and King Arthur in order to create the epic space opera.

    To call the original BSG a Star Wars is just calling the kettle black and just being hypocritical like George Lucas was in the late Seventies.

    Aside from the Mormon themes, there were traces of Egyptian mythology, Greek and Roman mythology, The Holy Bible, and Catholicism in the original.

    But so what? Those elements, along with the ancient astronaut theme, added a unique layer to the space opera classic. If not an extra dimension.

  39. There are already some pretty good fan productions. CBS needs to let productions like Star Trek Phase II, Star Trek Continues, Starship Farragut and so forth to monetize their productions and take a cut. There was already some overlap when Enterprise used parts of the set from Star Trek New Voyages (now Phase II). CBS doesn’t need to develop a new program, just license some of the fan productions.

  40. Even if Trek does come back to television it is now under the control of Bad Robot, so those clowns Kurtzman and Orci will be in charge. Star Trek is dead, and in its place we have a dumbed down, generic action series. Tragic, but that’s the marketplace nowadays.

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