Star Trek icons clashed over the direction of Star Trek: First Contact.
If Jean-Luc Picard was the face of Star Trek in the 90s, Ronald D. Moore was the brain behind that face. The actor and writer are science fiction royalty for a litany of their own reasons. Picard for his work on Star Trek, X-Men, and other incredible properties, while Moore has written most of the great episodes across The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and even Star Trek: First Contact.
He also went on to do the reimaging of Battlestar Galactica that ended up being a critical hit and was one of SyFy’s most heralded shows ever. Yet, there was some tension between the two men and it manifested itself at the most inconvenient time.
As the story goes, Stewart wanted rewrites on some of his scenes but instead of having Rick Berman and Moore write the scenes, as they had with the rest of the movie, Stewart pulled rank and pressured Berman to bring in Stewart’s own writers for the rewrites.
Star Trek: First Contact had Patrick Stewart and Ronald D. Moore at odds.
Those scenes that Stewart had commissioned were thrown out after completion, as they apparently didn’t live up to the lofty expectation of the film. Moore goes on to explain the fallout, via Variety;
"There was a point where Patrick wanted some rewrites of his scenes, and he pressed Rick to bring on his own writer to do that. Rick did it, and Brannon and I were not happy. I wasn’t particularly aggrieved about it, but then, that didn’t work out.We were shooting in Arizona, where [Cochrane’s] missile complex was for his [warp ship] the Phoenix, and I went to set with Brannon to see Patrick in his trailer. And there was a sort of tension walking in because this is the first time we would have been in the same room together since this had all gone down.I remember Patrick at the outset just said something like: ‘It’s good to see you. I hope that we can all move on from the things that have happened, and now let’s just concentrate on the work.’ And I took that in the spirit it was given: [He] wants to move on from this, he’s not going to apologize outright, but he kind of is apologizing. And it was never spoken of again. So we just moved on."
To hear Stewart tried to replace Moore and Berman when the two of them wrote the script in line with Brannon Braga’s involvement is utterly sad and somehow not at all surprising. What really boggles the mind is how someone so respected as Stewart could fail to read the room correctly and not give up an honest and heartfelt apology.
Star Trek: First Contact may well be the greatest Star Trek film of all time, and that’s in part due to Moore and Berman. So for Stewart to try to undermine them and then run back to them for help fixing those scenes without an apology is an utterly classless move.