Ronald D. Moore Talks ROSWELL Part Two -

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Ronald D. Moore Talks ROSWELL Part Two

The writer and co-executive producer previews what's to come for UPN's angst-ridden teens from space

By Anna L. Kaplan     October 10, 2001

Brendan Fehr and Jason Behr in the ROSWELL episode "Michael, the Guys and the Great Snapple Caper".
© 2001 UPN
Yesterday, ROSWELL co-executive producer Ron Moore dished about the fan favorite show's transition to the UPN network. Today in part two of CINESCAPE's interview with Moore, the writer/producer offers a glimpse of what to expect from the show in its third season.

Ron Moore is one of the best-known STAR TREK writers. He worked for many years on THE NEXT GENERATION, moving to DEEP SPACE NINE after that, and even spending a short time on the VOYAGER staff. Along with Brannon Braga, Moore wrote the script for the feature film GENERATIONS as well as FIRST CONTACT. He has not penned a word of TREK since leaving VOYAGER. Although he did not write the upcoming ROSWELL episode which crosses over with the latest TREK series, ENTERPRISE, he did write the scene where TREK vets Jonathan Frakes and John Billingsley audition ROSWELL's Max (Jason Behr), with a nod to the original series episode, "Requiem for Methuselah."

"I wrote that little audition

Nick Wechsler as Kyle on ROSWELL

piece," he admits. "I even slipped in a reference to the original series in it. The scene is Max talking to Phlox. Phlox is saying, 'The Enterprise has been struck by Rigelian fever and we need ryetalyn,' and Max's saying, 'You come to steal from us.' It's really only a few lines. It was kind of funny, because it is the first thing of TREK that I've gone back and done. It's strictly a small gag in the show. I am sure they will promote it, but the show really isn't about that."

The show is really about the further adventures of the ROSWELL characters. Like the other characters, Isabel is also going in her own direction, getting involved with a new character, attorney Jesse Ramirez, played by Adam Rodriguez.

"Isabel, we will discover in the first episode of the season, has been having a summer-long romance with a lawyer that works in her dad's firm," says Moore. "She's kept it very quiet, because he's like 26 and she's 18. He works for her dad, and she doesn't want anybody to know. They've been quietly seeing each other, and over the course of the first half dozen episodes the romance will come out into the open."

Michael also has a new path. His new attempts to root himself on this planet will go forward and be brought to the center in the second episode of the season. Called "Michael, the Guys, and the Great Snapple Caper," it is a comedy written by Moore.

"Michael looks around

Majandra Delfino as Maria on ROSWELL

and realizes that he's stuck here," explains Moore. "He's the one that always assumed he was going to be leaving, and never really bothered much with convention or trying to do anything with his life on Earth. Suddenly he ain't going home, and decides, 'I have to get my act together.' He's about to flunk out of high school. He's got this apartment, and he can't pay the bills. So he decides to take on a second job and start taking more responsibility in his life. He takes a job as a night watchman. The second episode is basically played for laughs. It's Michael working as a night watchman at this place, bonding with the guys, and starting to screw around with them, and hanging out."

Other changes come to the group. This season will feature more of both the Parker and Evans parents. The Valentis have switched roles, as the son Kyle (Nick Wechsler) is forced to take care of his now-unemployed father.

"After Valenti lost his job as sheriff, he hasn't gotten a new job yet," says Moore. "He's been sitting on the couch sleeping and watching TV all day. Kyle has had to go out and get a job. You see that Kyle is now the parent, and Valenti is now the son. That's also in the second episode. Kyle is getting sick of it, having trouble paying the bills, and telling dad to get off his ass and do something with his life."

Moore says the writing staff is

Brendan Fehr and Jason Behr in the ROSWELL episode "Michael, the Guys and the Great Snapple Caper".

happy and feels comfortable with the new network. "We feel so much better," he laughs. "Here's a network that wants you to succeed, and [is] eager for the show to work. It has paired you with the perfect lead-in [BUFFY], and is doing a lot of promo."

The writing staff this year includes Katims and Moore. Also returning are two writing teams - Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, plus Garret Lerner and Russel Friend. There are also writers new to ROSWELL.

"David Simkins is a new writer this year," says Moore. "He's a consulting producer. He used to be on FREAKYLINKS, and BRISCO COUNTY. Laura Burns and Melinda Metz are a new team that are onboard as staff writers. Melinda actually wrote the original ROSWELL books, and Laura was the editor. So they are from the genesis of the show."

Moore says that he feels the show is headed in the right direction.

"There was a general agreement among us all that where the show ended up last season, those last six episodes, is where we want to be," he explains. "Those are the kind of stories we want to tell, on that kind of scale, with the science fiction element in about that balance to the show, because it seemed like that was the most effective. We spent most of the second season trying to figure out how much science fiction the show could handle. WB wanted science fiction, and they wanted long, continuing, serialized storylines. We really pushed it in that direction, and it wasn't a comfortable match. We had to kind of pull back. Where we ended up in the last six was what we felt was the strongest. We feel good. It's like the show is in a good place creatively."

ROSWELL airs on UPN Tuesday nights at 9pm beginning October 9th.


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