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Rick Berman A Trek Conservative

Executive producer not open to controversy, writer says

Many fans and critics will say that Star Trek really has lost its punch over the years. According to one former writer producer, Ronald D. Moore, that could squarely fall on the shoulders of one executive producer Rick Berman.

“They were just always conservative,” Moore — who worked on both “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” said of Berman’s leadership. “You were always pulling back from something. You were never given a note saying, ‘Go farther. Go wilder. This needs to be more shocking.’ It was always, ‘Pull it back. Be safer.'”

Moore, who is the executive producer of Sci-Fi Channel’s “Battlestar Galactica” miniseries, as well as HBO’s “Carnivale,” told IGN Filmforce that Berman and other producers on DS9 fought constantly over many story arcs and plot points, including one point where the Ferengi character of Nog (Aron Eisenberg) suffers an injury as a result of the Dominion War, featured through the sixth and seventh seasons of the series.

“I remember one particularly insane argument that (executive producer) Ira (Steven Behr) and Rick had when Nog was injured, and ended up losing a leg,” Moore said. “There was this ridiculous extended argument that I was in a room while Ira was on the phone. We had written the draft where he had lost both legs, and Rick was just appalled. ‘We can’t lose the character’s legs!’ And we were like, ‘No, we’ve got to. We’ve got to have somebody who’s injured in this war who’s not just a guest star in the background.’

“It was a very important point. And the argument got to the point where they were arguing about, ‘Well, does it have to be one leg or two? And is it above the knee or below the knee?’ It was just, like, they were negotiating over where Nog was to lose his leg. It was just absurd.”

Another major portion of the DS9 backstory that came under fire was the Dominion War itself, which lasted the final two seasons of the show.

“I remember when we got into the Dominion War, Rick was adamant at first that the war would only take three or four episodes at the most, and we just said, ‘Sure!'” Moore said. “We lied.

“We just knew that once we got the ball rolling, that we’d never wrap it up in three or four episodes, so that was just trickery. And then, as the war went on, Rick would weigh in periodically about how heroic the characters are, and ‘Why does this one have to be so depressing’ and ‘This one’s too violent …’ And we’re like, ‘It’s a fuckin’ war! What do you mean it’s too violent?'”

Finally, Moore said that he and other producers wanted DS9 to continue past the seventh season. But with “Star Trek: Voyager” on the air, Paramount wanted none of it.

“I don’t think Paramount ever loved it,” Moore said of DS9. “I know Rick didn’t really love it, and it was just the bastard stepchild of the franchise.”

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