Col. Richmond (SS Director)
Posted - 02/03/2014 : 08:15:32
Ron Moore on Helix, Battlestar and rebooting old favorites
By Morgan Jeffery
Monday, Feb 3 2014, 4:00am EST
Ron Moore has earned a reputation as the king of reboots - the man who brought Battlestar Galactica back to our screens in spectacular fashion has also been attached to new versions of Wild Wild West and A Knight's Tale in the past few years - but his latest project is Channel 5's US import Helix, a claustrophobic sci-fi thriller series and a wholly original production.
"When you do something original, it's one set of challenges - staring at the blank page and trying to figure out what it is," Moore explains. "But when you're starting with a book or an existing property, it's a different set of challenges.
"You think, how can I move these pieces around in a different way? How can I give this familiarity without it feeling stale? They're different intellectual puzzles, but I enjoy both ways of working."
Moore puts the string of reboots on his slate down to "coincidence" but admits that there is "something interesting" about the prospect of reinventing an established property.
"Sometimes you can put a different spin on it, sometimes you can't," he says. "Battlestar Galactica was something that fell in my lap and I just had a take that worked.
"Wild Wild West was something from my childhood that I loved. I always wanted to do a Western and it just felt like there was an opportunity to do a great new version of it.
"A Knight's Tale was something that was brought to me by Sony - they said, 'What do you think about trying to adapt this [as a television series]?' and I was sort of sceptical, until I sat down and really started playing around with it. I started to see possibilities."
A possibility currently being mulled over by Moore is a second season of Helix, though he tells us it's "a little too early" to provide concrete details. "It would look very different from the first," is all he'll say.
No surprise there. The first season of Helix - which follows a scientific team working to thwart a viral outbreak in the Arctic - feels like a self-contained concept.
"The pace picks up," Moore tells us of the upcoming episodes. "Things are starting to come to a crisis point - you're going to start to peel back the layers. You'll discover that a lot of people aren't who they say."
It's no surprise either that Moore - still best known for taking a camp '70s sci-fi series and transforming it into a darker, more adult show - feels that there is a dearth of mature science fiction on television right now.
"I think science-fiction for the last 15 or 20 years - on television and in movies - has devolved to just popcorn," he says, citing Helix as one of the few examples of more "adult" TV sci-fi. "To do something in this genre, it had to be just light and fluffy and silly and adventurous.
"I think that science-fiction can be deeper, it can be meatier, it can be more adult. It can take itself a little more seriously and try to do something different. That's certainly what we set out to do with Battlestar and I think that Helix is a good venue for that as well."
-Yours in (secret) service,
Colonel Richmond, SS Director