Star Trek technology is meaningless, says Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore

Scifi Wire pulled in some video of Ron Moore talking about his time on Star Trek from the New York television festival.

Specifically, he goes on about the technobabble in scripts and how the writers would just write the word tech in, with science consultants coming up with fancy sounding stuff later.

Have a look.

This is funny stuff, and interesting too, as it shows where the beaten up, used look that permeated Galactica came from.

It also shows why Star Trek disappeared up its own backside on television, through that over-reliance on magical technology which meant they just ran out of ideas in the end.

There’s a quote on his wikipedia entry where he talks about this in relation to Star Trek: Voyager (which he left after only a few weeks as part of the creative team) and watching two of the show’s producers speak at a convention.

He said: “They said Voyager wasn’t going to have unlimited sources of energy. It wasn’t going to have all the doodads of the Enterprise. It was going to be rougher, fending for themselves more, having to trade to get supplies that they want. That didn’t happen. It doesn’t happen at all, and it’s a lie to the audience. I think the audience intuitively knows when something is true and something is not true.

“Voyager is not true. If it were true, the ship would not look spic-and-span every week, after all these battles it goes through. How many times has the bridge been destroyed? How many shuttlecrafts have vanished, and another one just comes out of the oven? That kind of bullshitting the audience I think takes its toll. At some point the audience stops taking it seriously, because they know that this is not really the way this would happen. These people wouldn’t act like this.”

I could take issue with some of what he says, given that he places emphasis on truth and not bullshitting the audience, but was happy to have angels and ghosts or something save the day in BSG using Bob Dylan music.

I’d also ask why he didn’t do more to change the technobabble dependance, given he was a script editor and later a producer on The Next Generation and Deep Space 9.

But overall I’m grateful given the heights Galactica reached at its best that he felt inspired to create something so ambitious and rich partly because of the frustration he felt.

At the same time it is a shame he couldn’t bring that energy to the Trek universe.

I can’t help but wonder what a Star Trek series fired by that same creative drive would have looked and sounded like.

Tell me what you think