Ronald D. Moore

Ronald D. Moore Headshot

Writer • Producer

Birth Date: July 5, 1964

Age: 60 years old

Birth Place: Chowchilla, California

Combining a life-long fascination with "Star Trek" with a passion and talent for the written word, writer and producer Ronald D. Moore became one of the most prolific and acclaimed practitioners of science fiction on television in the 1990s. After sneaking a script to Gene Roddenberry while touring the sets for "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (Syndicated, 1987-1994), Moore launched a writing career that allowed him engage the characters and themes he grew up with. He spent several years on "The Next Generation," before moving on to the darker, more ambitious "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (Syndicated, 1992-99).

He joined the team on "Star Trek: Voyager" (UPN, 1994-2001), only to leave a month later after meeting resistance to the concerns he had regarding the show's direction. His disenchantment led to a break with the "Star Trek" universe, which in hindsight, proved fortuitous - in 2003, he reshaped an old sci-fi favorite, "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci Fi Channel, 2004-09), turning a hokey show from 1978-79 into a dark allegory on war and terrorism, underscoring the consequences of a devastating attack on a secular democracy by fanatics. Thanks to exceptional writing and strong production values, Moore proved himself to be an auteur in a genre usually considered to be the laughingstock of entertainment.

Born July 5, 1964 in rural Chowchilla, CA, Moore grew up the son of a teacher and school superintendent who also coached football. During his youth, he displayed a fascination for both science fiction and naval history by building models of spaceships - including the famed Enterprise from the original "Star Trek" (NBC, 1966-69) - and dabbling in writing fantastical short stories. Moore later played quarterback for Chowchilla High School, before moving on to study political science at Cornell University on a Navy R.O.T.C. scholarship.

In his senior year, however, Moore lost interest in a political career and failed out of school; instead picking up and moving to Los Angeles with the idea of becoming a writer. When he was 25, Moore arranged to take a tour of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" set through his then-girlfriend. While there, he managed to slip a spec script to one of creator Gene Roddenberry's assistants. Several months later, executive producer Michael Piller read the script and turned it into the third season episode, "The Bonding." Meanwhile, Moore was hired onto the writing staff, quickly moving up the ladder in the universe he was most comfortable in.

After two years as a staff writer, Moore was bumped up to co-producer, then producer during its final season. He moved on to write and produce the next series in line, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," a darker spin-off of "Next Generation" that followed the adventures of a Starfleet team who take command of a remote space station hovering near a wormhole that leads to an unexplored quadrant of the galaxy. The result is a series of divergent characters and species descending upon the station, leading to all manner of personal and political conflict. Despite working with a name brand, Moore and his fellow collaborators strove every week to make "Deep Space Nine" different from past "Star Trek" sojourns; namely by exploring darker themes or delving into taboo subject matter like homosexuality.

Graduating to features, Moore wrote the script for "Star Trek: Generations" (1994), where both Enterprise captains - Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and James T. Kirk (William Shatner) - are brought together by an astrological phenomenon to take out an alien who has been destroying civilization. Though the idea of placing the two captains in the same movie enticed fans, most were unhappy with the ending which saw the iconic Kirk get crushed by a bridge. Moore later said he cried while writing that scene, but nonetheless felt compelled to kill his childhood hero. Interestingly, most Trekkies just pretended the scene never happened.

Moore also contributed to the script for the next feature, "Star Trek: First Contact" (1996), the first movie to exclusively feature the cast from "The Next Generation" series and perhaps one of the best of the long-running franchise. Meanwhile, "Deep Space Nine" came to a close in 1999, leaving Moore to fend for work and get out from under the weight of the Starship Enterprise and its seemingly endless fleet. He was offered a position on the fourth television show, "Star Trek: Voyager" (UPN, 1994-2001), but was immediately on guard after years of watching the show become more and more clichéd.

Moore joined the writing crew anyway at the beginning of its first season and found that no one else on the staff found fault with the direction of the show. After only a month, he quit. Meanwhile, Moore took his firsts steps outside of "Star Trek" to serve as executive producer on "Roswell" (UPN-WB, 1999-2002), a sci-fi series about three aliens masquerading as human teenagers in Roswell, NM. Back in the feature world, Moore and "Star Trek" writing partner Brannon Braga received story credit for the Tom Cruise starrer, "Mission: Impossible 2" (2000).

Though he had dabbled in features, it was clear that Moore's creative strength was in television, thanks to his typically strong handling of character. And stepping foot outside the "Star Trek" world only helped expand his writing vocabulary. After "Roswell," Moore moved on to become the co-executive producer of "Carnivàle" (HBO, 2003-05), a bizarre supernatural drama set in a 1930s-era traveling carnival that makes its way across the Dust Bowl. An allegory on good and evil populated by bearded ladies, Siamese twins and all manner of other circus freaks, "Carnivàle" proved much too plodding and confusing for viewers to latch on.

But Moore had bigger things in mind. In 2001, Moore was contacted by friend and producer David Eick with the notion of completely revamping the cheeky ABC series from the late seventies, "Battlestar Galactica" starring Lorne Greene, Dirk Benedict and Richard Hatch. Though Eick had little to do with science fiction, he knew that Moore would bring that kind of expertise to the table. Moore agreed to come aboard, but wanted to make changes and wrote a memo outlining what he wanted. The memo detailed his desire to eschew old sci-fi clichés in favor of more realistic approaches to character and technology. In essence, he laid out the foundation for what critics later hailed as revolutionary for the genre.

Both Moore and Eick set out to remake the show with a three-hour miniseries, "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci Fi Channel, 2003), which they hoped would prime fans of the old show for an eventual episodic series. Building on the somber undertones of genocide and religion present in the original series - and casting aside the cheesy costumes, feathered hair and shiny-plated Cylons that reflected light like a disco ball - Moore and Eick developed a television movie that in some respects was an allegory for the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent war on terrorism, though they both proclaimed any direct correlation was coincidental.

In the miniseries, the Cylons - who now look human, thanks to 40 years of evolution since the first war - suddenly attack the humans with the purpose of completely annihilating the race from existence. But a ragtag group of 50,000 humans manage to survive and are protected by the aging Battlestar Galactica, steered by an equally aging Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos). With a newly-sworn in president (Mary McDonnell) and a flawed, but committed crew - some of whom may or may not be humanoid Cylons - the fleet travels across the reaches of space, pursued by the enemy while trying to find Earth.

Prior to airing the miniseries in late 2003, Moore showcased clips at the annual Galacticon convention, where fans watched with muted anger - many were already riled up after learning months before about all the changes made to their beloved series, from casting a female (Katee Sackhoff) to play Starbuck to making the Cylons look like humans. After the viewing, fans bo d, and during the Q & A that followed, made their voices heard that Moore had desecrated their show. But then the original Starbuck, Richard Hatch, stood up in the audience and commended Moore for executing his vision.

The miniseries went to air in December 2003 and became the highest-rated made-for-TV movie in the channel's history. The following year, Moore and Eick went to work on the episodic series, "Battlestar Galactica" which premiered to great fanfare and critical acclaim. In just its first season, many hailed the series as being one of the smartest and well-written shows on air at the time, of any genre. To the dismay of die-hards, it was announced in early 2008 that the fourth season would be its last. Fortunately, Moore planned on continuing the story with the highly-anticipated prequel, "Caprica" (Sci Fi Channel, 2008-11), which intended to follow the earlier evolution of Cylons when the colonies were at peace.

The show was set to be introduced as a two-hour movie event in late 2008.

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