Interviews & Profiles

Outlander’s Ronald D. Moore – a Profile

Lee Hutchison, as Outlander returns, profiles its showrunner...

Chances are that if you have watched any science fiction television over the past 25 years, then it is something written by Emmy award nominee, Ronald D. Moore.  A self-confessed Star Trek fan, Moore was picked out by Michael Piller to become part of the writing team of the third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Moore was involved in twenty episodes of the series and earned the reputation as the “Klingon guy” due to his work on many Worf and Klingon based episodes.

When The Next Generation wrapped, Moore worked alongside Brannon Braga to write the big screen adventures Generations and the Hugo nominated First Contact. Moore and Braga would later work together on the script for Mission: Impossible II in 2000. Moore would trade starships for Deep Space Nine and took a prominent role behind the scenes on arguably Star Trek’s best series. A brief involvement in two episodes on Star Trek Voyager’s writing team concluded his ten year spell on Star Trek.

Following Star Trek, Moore worked on a variety of different genre shows, from the retro Good Vs. Evil, to teen sci-fi Roswell and HBO’s Carnivàle. Carnivàle, a series about a travelling circus during the American depression, sadly only ran two seasons due to low ratings despite opening with, at the time, good reviews and a record high for an HBO original drama. The show mixed many traits associated with Moore’s work such as theology, free will and mythology building.

Moore also took on the impossible challenge of bringing out a modern-day version of the camp and popular 70’s TV series, Battlestar Galactica. Building upon Moore’s ambitious writing and ideas, BSG was a bold five season show that echoed the post 9/11 world viewers were living in. The series was critically acclaimed and would reward (not to mention sometimes frustrate) viewers with its complex storylines tackling religion, terrorism, politics and morally ambiguous characters.  There was to become two short lived prequel companions to the show, Caprica and Blood & Chrome, which were met with mixed responses from the fans and critics alike.

When BSG’s run came to an end in 2009, Moore again found himself working on a variety of different projects. Virtuality, a series about a malfunctioning entertainment system, didn’t get past a pilot; a remake of The Wild Wild West, another Western called Hangtown and The McCulloch, about a travelling Navy boat, never saw the light of day. BSG fans were excited when much of the cast were reunited with Moore for a series called The 17th Precinct but it was not picked up. Aside from his work scripting The Thing, the semi-reboot/remake of the classic sci-fi horror movie, Moore’s work would fail to make the screen since the Battlestar franchise ended.

Moore returned to the SyFy channel with Helix, a show about scientists investigating an outbreak in the Arctic, but his role on the series was limited and it was cancelled after two seasons. However, Moore returned to the big time with his adaptation of the Outlander book series for Starz and was reunited with Star Trek alumni, Ira Steven Behr. The time travelling drama has been well received by critics and you can catch up on the current season right here with Set The Tape.

Could Moore one day head back to the franchise that made his name and contribute to the future of Star Trek? He’s always remained open to it and given Trek is now making a long-overdue return to our screens, maybe one day…

What is your favourite TV show or movie written or produced by Ronald D. Moore? Let us know below or on social media.

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