June 8th, 1999

Hello and welcome to the Delta Quadrant.

<<How is that musical Idea coming?>>

I haven't given up on it yet.

<<Actually, do you think it will be difficult to write on a "Every Week Is a New Adventure" Show again??>>

Not at all. Doing episodic adventures is actually much easier than trying to maintain continuity across the season. Writing the final arc of DS9 was a very difficult and taxing experience and while I'd love to try it again (on an even larger level, say, a true sci-fi serial) it's a nice change of pace to get away from it for a while.

<<Okay, Ron, spill it. Did you get a peek at the couple reportedly playing bounce the watermelon on the 4th floor at the wrap party?>>

This incident, which was widely reported and seems to be true, somehow escaped my notice at the wrap party.

<<Did you and/or the writing staff consider letting Worf keep [the Chancellorship] instead of giving it to Martok?>>

No. We always intended to give the Empire to Martok. I didn't think that the Klingons would accept Worf as their leader after all that's happened. BTW, there was a nice scene that got cut for time at the end of the show where Ezri asked Worf what it was like to stand at the pinnacle of the Empire for a moment and Worf said he remembered wishing his father had been there to see it.

<<Why didn't Sisko take the Defiant's dedication plaque before leaving? It seemed he had a few seconds (or did he order one from the Franklin Mint). Also, does DS9 have one (a dedication plaque)? >>

Sisko does receive the commemorative plates, but not the plaques. DS9 does not have a plaque since it was dedicated by the Cardassians, who presumably wouldn't have bothered.

<<Since you hadn't been in the Voyager loop, officially, how did you prepare for writing your first Voyager story? In both TNG and DS9 you came in, as a staff writer, in the 3rd season, I believe. But since Voyager is finishing up its 5th season with over 100 eps in the can, did you watch past episodes (any or all <g>), or did TPTB give you a synopsis of each character's development and the ship's past encounters of interest? Did your preparation for writing this series differ from preparing to write for either TNG or DS9, and if so, how?>>

I've been watching the tapes, but mostly I've been talking to the VOY writers for a couple of months now about the show and the direction they want to take the characters. On all three series, I've pretty much just jumped into the process and learned the show as I worked on it. On DS9, my first script was the season three opener and now my first show will be the second episode of the year. I've found that sitting down and actually writing the character voices and learning what they're all about is the quickest and most rewarding way of discovering the show.

<<Are you and Brannon going to collaborate on any scripts like you did for Generations and First Contact?>>

It's certainly possible, but we don't have anything in the works.

<<In "Tacking Into the Wind" it is stated that Section 31 has been in operation for over 300 years. Since it was established in TNG that the Federation was founded in the year 2161, how is this possible? I remember hearing in a past episode that Section 31 was founded at the same time as the Federation. It should only be about 215 years old now.>>

Chalk this up to my notoriously bad math. It seems like I'm forever screwing up dates in relationship to what's already been established. My apologies.

<<One off topic question: Have you see The Phantom Menace yet and if so what did you think of it? >>

I saw it two weeks ago and while it didn't knock my socks off, I didn't end up loathing it either. I went into the movie with extremely low expectations after hearing so many negative comments, so perhaps that helped, but I didn't think it was nearly as bad as many people are saying. Personally, I think the film is a tragedy that doesn't seem to know it's a tragedy. All the characters that are set up in this movie are doomed in one way or another, from the Jedi Council to the Republic itself, and so viewed in that context I found the movie to be strangely bittersweet. Watching young Obi-Wan, I couldn't help but think of what was eventually going to happen to this character: the loss of the other Jedi, the collapse of the Republic, his failed teaching of young Anakin, the eventual betrayal of their friendship, and finally his death at the hands of his erstwhile student. Likewise, the brave boy will turn into the scourge of the galaxy and the queen will (evidently) fall in love with him but be forced to send their two children into exile. Viewed through the prism of operatic tragedy, the film works as a quasi-historical epic. However, the movie seems blithely unaware of its own tragic overtones and insists that it's only a bubble-gum fantasy even though it ends with the head villain not only winning, but actually becoming even more powerful than he was at the beginning.

<<I read that UPN is going with a 2-hour block of WWF Pro-Wrestling and was wondering if that will lead to some wrestlers appearing on ST: Voyager?>>

Actually we're going the other way. Several of the Voyager characters will be appearing in the WWF ring.

<<Watched "Extreme Measures," but it was kinda unbelievable. >>

Yeah, I wasn't too happy with it either. It's one of those shows that sounded good in the development stage when we were laying out the arc, but just never came into focus when it went into production. Initially, our thought was to have Odo going into Sloan's mind and having a surreal adventure where he eventually ran into Dr. Mora and learned that it was his own "father" who created the changeling disease. Unable to really mine this concept for all it was worth, we junked it and decided to make one final Bashir and O'Brien adventure, but I think maybe we were closer with the original idea.

<<If Molly O'Brien and Naomi Wildman had a fight, who would win?>>

Naomi would head-butt her and it'd be all over.

<<So, who moved into all the extra office space at the Hart Building?>>

As part of my deal, all new office space here will be given over to my large and ever-expanding collection of Klingon erotic sculpture.

<<Any plans to see more of that night-shift helmsperson (Jenkins?) on Voyager (from "Warhead")? >>

It's possible.

<<Who came up with the name for the Defiant's replacement and why did they chose it?>>

I did and the USS Sao Paulo is an homage to the Steve McQueen flick, "The Sand Pebbles." So's the line, "Hello, ship," which is a variation on McQueen's line, "Hello, engines" which he says at the top of the film.

<<A few comments on the Dogs of War: I loved when Quark said that the line must be drawn "HERE"! All he needed was the accent. Did you put that in? It seemed like your wacky (and much-loved) sense of humor.>>

I take great glee at mocking my own work. See also "In the Cards" for a riff on Picard's rather pompous "we don't need money" line.

<<I have seen up to "The Dogs Of War" and I have but one question. Why have y'all excluded Jake from the Storylines?>>

We talked about several possible storylines that involved Jake, but none of them ever gelled for us, so we didn't pursue them.

<<Ron, to your knowledge, is Rick Berman in fact working on a mini-series or TV movie for DS9?>>

No.

<<Why was Jadzia excluded from Worf's Memories of DS9? Is there some animosity between Terry Farrel and the ST Execs?>>

In order to use a clip of someone from a previous episode, you first have to obtain permission from the actor in question. Usually permission is routinely granted and a nominal fee is paid (unlike writers and directors, who receive a flat fee and don't get the option of saying yes or no). In this case, we were unable to obtain permission. And no, we weren't real happy about it.

<<Why didn't the Prophets bring Jake to see his father along with Kasidy?>>

This was under discussion right up until the very end, but we felt that the scene became too unwieldly and lacked focus with three people.