Ron Moore on Why STAR TREK is Better Suited for TV
Even though I've enjoyed what J.J. Abrams has been doing with the Star Trek movies, I do kind of miss Star Trek as a TV series. There's so much more story they can tell in a series.
Battlestar Galactica reboot creator Ronald D. Moore has worked as a writer and producer on several Star Trek series over the years such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. He also worked on the movies Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: First Contact.
In a recent interview with Star Trek.com Moore was asked if he missed the Star Trek TV shows and he went on to talk about why the sci-fi franchise is better suited for TV than for the big screen.
I do. I think that Star Trek, in its DNA, is a television show. The features are great. They’re a lot of fun and they’ve certainly opened it up to a lot of different audiences, but the features all are basically atypical episodes, if you think about it. The features are very big action-adventure movies, lots of spectacle, run and jump, shoot-em-up and blowing things up. The fate of the Earth, or the universe itself, is always at stake. It’s always about the captain, and one other character has a strong B-story, and everyone else sort of has very small roles beyond that. But Star Trek, as originally conceived, and as you saw play out in all the other series, was really a morality play every week, and it was about an ensemble of players. They were exploring science fiction ideas, sociological ideas and moral ideas. That’s really what the shows are about, and the movies are just pitched in a different way and at a different audience.
The movies will do a story where the captain is split in two by a transporter accident and one half is evil and one half is good, and the whole story is about where does the nature of a man’s strength come from? What makes a man a man? Is it his good side? His bad side? Or how the two come together to make something greater than the sum of its parts? The movies will never do that. They’ll never do a day-in-the-life story with Data [the excellent season 4 episode "Data's Day"] or something like “Lower Decks,” where you go explore the other characters. They’ll never do all the things that all of us who are fans fell in love with this franchise for. So I think, at some point, Star Trek will return to television, and that would be great. I’d love to watch the weekly adventures again just because it gives you an opportunity to explore lots of other things besides the action-adventure component.
He makes some strong points, and I think he's right. As fun as the films have been, Trek is meant for TV. Hopefully one day we get to see the franchise get another series. Several people have been trying to make it happen over the years, maybe one day it'll finally happen.
Do you agree with Moore's thoughts on Star Trek being a better TV series?