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ROSWELL: Ronald D. Moore Interview
The STAR TREK alumni talks about the first episode of his new gig, airing Monday October 9th.
Author: Anna L. Kaplan
Ronald D. Moore, speaking from his new office where he works as co-executive producer on ROSWELL, is happy to talk about his job. After leaving STAR TREK and working for a stint on the short-lived series GOOD VS. EVIL, Moore was approached to see whether he was interested in joining the ROSWELL team. “My agents called me,” recalls Moore. “I knew that Jonathan Frakes was working on it, but I had never actually seen the show. So I said, ‘Why don’t you send me some episodes?’ They sent over about a half dozen from the first year. I watched, and I started to really like it. I found it to be endearing and smart. Then I met with [executive producer] Jason Katims. He asked what I wanted to do and what was important to me on a show. It was very important to me that I worked on something that I could be proud of, and that I felt that I could do good work on, and that was what I really liked about working at STAR TREK. I wanted a close writing staff. Those were my two primary objectives. That dovetailed pretty nicely into what he was looking for. At that point I hadn’t seen the last couple of episodes of the season, and he said, ‘You should definitely watch them, because the show changed in tone and direction towards the end of the year.’ They sent those to me. I saw where they were going, and I liked the direction. Then it was just a matter of making the deal.”
Moore joined the staff in May of 2000. He was back at the Paramount lot where ROSWELL is filmed, although not in the same building as the STAR TREK offices. For the second season, Katims assembled a new team. Moore says, “There is a brand new writing staff. Jason obviously created the show and he is back. Toni Graphia, who is a consulting producer this is year, is
William Sadler as Sheriff Valenti, out to prove that aliens do exist in Roswell.
© 1999 WB Network
also back, but she is just on a consulting basis. I am co-executive producer, the number two guy. The rest of the writing staff is all new. There’s Fred Golan, a co-producer. Then there is a team, Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, and they are co-producers. They used to be on 90210. There is Breen Frazier, who is a staff writer. He was the script coordinator last season. It was all of us getting together, and getting to know each other, and establishing a working relationship. It was a very promising beginning to the season.”
As Moore explains, the writers have settled on a direction for season two, following the finale of season one. He says, “There is a balance between the relationship aspect of the show and the science fiction elements, and when those elements are in balance, the show really has hit its stride. If you watch the first season, you can see them, like any show in its first year, feeling their way and deciding what direction the series is going to go. Eventually, they realized that they needed to bring more science fiction into the series. Where we are right now is just in a really good place, where the heart and soul of the show is still the relationships among the characters, and especially the relationship between Max [Jason Behr] and Liz [Shiri Appleby]. But now the stakes are higher. There is a stronger alien presence going on. There’s a bigger canvas to tell stories upon, and it just makes everything, all the relationships, even more important and more crucial. It’s like there is this little group of teenagers in Roswell that share a secret, and they are thrust into these situations. Because only they know the secret, it strengthens the bonds between them, and it makes those relationships more complicated when things aren’t working out.”