Ron Moore interview on Wired.com: answers

Discussion in 'Battlestar Galactica & Caprica' started by V, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's the internet. Whatever you got, there's someone to hate it.

    I've bitched about aspects of nuBSG as well but if Moore announced he was doing a new space opera series, I'd be the first one clamoring to see it as soon as humanly possible. i just hope he doesn't keep dabbling in cop show fantasy, that's an overdone genre.

    The former is fair game but talking about real people as though you know them is creepy and stalkery. Also irrelevant. Moore could be a terrible person, but what do I care? As long as his shows are good, I'm happy.

    The reverse is also true. George Lucas is going to give most of his Disney billions to educational causes, but that won't make the prequels suck any less. :D
     
  2. WeAreTheBorg

    WeAreTheBorg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "All this has happened before and all of it will happen again" was first referenced in the sixth episode of the first season. And if you listen to RDM talk about the show you know this is when this idea really started germinating in his mind. So yes, it really was a throughline, leaving aside the very beginning which was all about catastrophe, fallout, and survival. Similarly, flawed characters began on episode 1 and ended in the finale. It's not either-or.
     
  3. V

    V Commodore Commodore

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    Well even I think that's an unfair criticism: many different drama subgenres want to focus on "flawed" people.

    But there's a difference between "realistic portrayal of flawed people" and...."make them generically angsty because we've run out of ideas".

    The first two seasons, the "flawed characters" writing was great.

    Think like...late X-Files, or Buffy Season 6, everyone went full-on emo in Season 3 because the writers couldn't think of WHY they'd be upset.

    I mean what they called "Apollo's existential crisis" they later grudgingly admitted was that they had no idea where to take his character.

    ***But what really annoys me is they didn't even successfully follow through on the "flawed characters" we'd been promised:

    By which I mean, consider the whole "Starbuck is screwed up because her mother beat her as a child, to the point that she had broken bones". Right? First two seasons, they mentioned this but it wasn't blatant.

    Did we get a serious, developed look at realistic psychological damage that children of abuse continue to play out a adults? Heck no.

    The original idea for Starbuck's storyarc in season 3, made in late season 2, was that even though "Kacey" wouldn't really be Starbuck's daughter, she's later find out that the girl was being abused by her mother, and offer to adopt her to save her from that. So it would be a storyline related to the core of Starbuck as a "flawed" character: dealing with parent-child relationships herself. And in the process, it would be an opportunity to give detailed flashbacks about Starbuck's past with her own mother.

    They stated all this in podcasts. They scrapped it at the last minute (when it was kind of too late to start over with weeks to go before filming). I'm not sure why, they felt it wasn't what the character would "do" -- maybe they were worried it would "Feminize" Starbuck too much, worried about the stereotype that a woman is only sympathetic in cliche gender roles like "woman is nurturing". I don't know. This may even have a kernel of valid criticism to them. But you don't throw out that idea so close to the deadline!

    Regardless, consider that either the Kacey subplot *or something like it* would have followed up on the PROMISE of realistic and flawed characters.

    Instead, we barely got a handful of flashback scenes with her mother in "Maelstrom" -- filmed at the LAST minute, they said: because it was on-location filming they only had one day to film it all so they had to rush it through, not film scenes or not have a chance to polish them.

    Ultimately, they barely went into Starbuck's abusive childhood, which would have been a realistic character-analysis of her current mentality.

    That isn't "about the character".

    Tigh being angsty because he's a functional alcoholic? Well, that's "flawed characters". Tigh being angsty because *against all plot logic* he's made a Cylon? Self-admittedly for shock value? That's not even "flawed characters".

    My point is that Season 4 Starbuck's "emo angst" over "am I dead or an Angel?" ....had nothing to do with storytelling about "Flawed characters".

    ****But in many ways it was the "anti-Trek". God help me I said it then, but didn't know the implications.

    Consider that Trek is secular humanist; Moore always wanted religion, or spiritualism.

    Its not just "religion", its the whole "Enlightenment vs Romanticism" debate in the arts. Spiritualism is part of Romanticism, specifically "Mysticism".

    Moore was "the Klingon guy", and that's how "Romanticism" or "Mysticism" was snuck into Trek -- aliens who have their own cultural mythology. Moore was always in touch with that stuff.

    But unlike Trek, BSG went headline into "religion" but in the romanticist sense.

    I was hoping for a realistic analysis of religiously-based cultural conflict. Instead, oops!, turns out the whole reason for the Cylons attacking the humans isn't because of religious beliefs they ACTUALLY have, but because they were duped by the Big Bad Cavil who reprogrammed his fellow Cylons. and Cavil himself is an athiest. In which case, this show was never actually about religiously based violence, WAS IT?
     
  4. V

    V Commodore Commodore

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    Well thanks, Pilot Ace, but I'm just some slob on the internet who paid attention to the DVD commentary.

    Yeah. You covered that more succinctly than I did. Though I was trying to analyze more detailed, underlying causes for these failures.

    I remember that the ham-fisted retcon that "oh...well Nicky wasn't Tyron's baby this whole time" was the point when even io9.com openly lost faith in Ron.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  5. V

    V Commodore Commodore

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    Well, why did *half* the core writing staff of what was being openly hailed as "the best scifi show of the past 20 years", suddenly leave between seasons 2 and 3?

    Who would voluntarily leave such a show? Months after it won a Peabody Award?

    I'm sorry if I took the analysis of how Ron got into Trek too far -- even I tried to stress that was wild speculation -- what I wanted to focus on was "how Ron approached writing the TNG finale, while juggling Movie 7" -- and that this really seems to be a pattern with Ron; juggling multiple projects when that's a really risky thing to do. It worked in the past, to the point that he won a Hugo, so I don't think Ron gained a fear of juggling tasks...if anything, it encouraged him that he COULD do that many projects under pressure.

    I understand that as the years pass, as with any fandom, those still posting about something will increasingly be those that still like it. On a long enough timeline, Star Wars Prequel Trilogy fans will outnumber those criticizing it, because the naysayers already gave up on it and just aren't here anymore.

    I'd actually be interested in seeing other shows that Ron works on as a member of a writer's team, but not the head writer. Not again. I've really been convinced that he can't "make the trains run on time".
     
  6. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    Writers voluntarily leave shows all the time. It's quite common.
     
  7. V

    V Commodore Commodore

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    Yes. But so many?

    And the mystery surrounding it -- they didn't make any mention that they'd left the show, to the point that fansites didn't even know if they worked on the show until season 3 had ended.

    And these weren't just minor writers; Toni Graphia was the third co-executive producer, and Carla Robinson was the Story Editor. Graphia eventually went to Terminator, and later Vlaming went to Reaper (though with enough time lag that I don't know if they left FOR these shows, or got new jobs later). But Robinson didn't leave for another show, she actually hasn't written for any show since.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    (1) Forget how to use the multi-quote button all of a sudden?

    (2) By my count, the series had three writers depart after the second season. That's hardly unusual attrition compared to any other show.
     
  9. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Nothing "went wrong" with BSG. You may not have enjoyed it from beginning to end, but that's just a matter of taste, not a matter of anything being "wrong" with it.
     
  10. The Stig

    The Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Seriously, V. Get help. You don't have the faintest idea what really happened in the writers room and it's time that you stopped pretending otherwise.
     
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly so.
     
  12. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^^
    This has been my issue with nuBSG too as the series went along. This wasn't a case of 'more realistic' characters in that WERE these actually the personalities of people in positions of responsibility in the fleet the Galactica would have been disabled due to utter incompetence in a few weeks and be unable to mount or carry out military operations.
     
  13. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    During the series and after I was frequently chatting with Bradley Thompson's significant other, Peggy Sue Davis, along with Mrs Ron, of course, and oddly enough Ron Moore's next-door neighbor, who became my Farmville neighbor (small world). Pretty early in season 2, as I recall, Bradley and David Weddle (who work as a team) got an offer to write for CSI Las Vegas, which was a major network show and a big step up from something like DS9 or Voyager, as far as Hollywood goes. So with Ron's whole-hearted support they took the offer, finishing season 2 and then starting on CSI. Peggy Sue ended up going to CSI: NY wrap parties where the Lieutenant Dan band played. :)

    There wasn't much of a mystery, although who knows what other elements may have played into their decision, because any such decision would be complicated.
     
  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Thompson and Weddle moved on to CSI during the long hiatus that occurred in the middle of the fourth season, due to the writer's strike, not the second. Their final credit is for writing "Sometimes a Great Notion," which was produced before the hiatus, but aired after it.
     
  15. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Commodore

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    ^ I think SaGN was their penultimate episode, their swansong being Someone To Watch Over Me. Memorable episode, for various reasons. Hadn't actually realised before you'd mentioned it that they'd written SaGN. Got to give them credit for that, I guess.
     
  16. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Well, I seem to have my seasons confused (It's been a while), but I'm pretty sure they knew they were switching to CSI quite some time before they left BSG. They also knew they were doing season 2 of Falling Skies pretty early in the airing of season 1.
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    You're right. For some reason, my eye just saw those two "S" episodes as being the same when I skimmed IMDB, but they're not.

    Looking at IMDB again, it looks as if Thompson and Weddle were supervising producers (and writers) for the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica and the ninth season of CSI concurrently.
     
  18. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Commodore

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    ^ That could explain a lot. :)
     
  19. Samuel T. Cogley

    Samuel T. Cogley Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hold still, Jim.
    "Battlestar Galactica" is currently the third best television show of all time. (According to me, and there is no other source out there that I hold in higher regard.)

    That is all.
     
  20. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Honestly, yes. The best parts of the series were the divided fleet arc, the Pegasus arc and the New Caprica arc. The rest of season three and season four weren't as good, and the ending didn't wrap things up as neatly as I would have liked.

    But they were still great television that kept me coming back every week. The only standard they failed to live up to was the one set by the earlier seasons. By TV standards it was still brilliant television.
     

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