At cons, fans clamour to see actors take the stage, and we forget about the writing that brought us the show we truly love. So, in celebration of the 50th anniversary, we wanted to let you know about all the cool things you may never have known about the writers of our favorite series, ‘Star Trek‘. After all, without them, we would never have those beautiful memories of Shatner screaming “I’m the Captain!”, or Leonard Nimoy doing the Vulcan nerve-pinch on everyone.
So here are 15 facts, you never knew about the ‘Star Trek’ writers:
- George Clayton Johnson who wrote the first episode of The Original Series, “The Man Trap“, co-wrote the famous ‘Logan’s Run‘, the novel that would bring us a half-naked Micheal York running through the most fantastic sci-fi scenery ever conceived as he escapes certain death.
- John D.F. Blakley, writer of ‘The Naked Time’ would be credited as a writer for ‘The Naked Now’ which follows the same premise as the first episode. Essentially, an unknown disease causes people to act on their baser instincts.
- We would like to leave a note that says DC Fontana is amazing, but that doesn’t really capture the breadth of what she did for ‘Star Trek’. One of the few women writers, DC Fontana also served as the story editor, and fiercely protected the franchise from shallow plots that didn’t explore the depth of its humans or aliens. Many credit the quirks and foibles (to put it kindly) of the third series to her leaving her position as story editor.
- Carey Wilbur originally wrote the famous episode “Space Seed” which introduced Kirk to his greatest enemy, Khan, for a show called ‘Captain Video and His Video Rangers’. It originally involved Grecian gods, but was reworked to fit the more scifi concept of ‘Star Trek’ a little better.
- Stephen Kandel of “Mudd’s Woman” wrote for ‘MacGuyver’, ‘Batman’, and ‘The Wild Wild West‘. He also wrote all the Mudd episodes, including “I, Mudd”, and “Mudd’s Passion” for the animated series.
- Robert Bloch, writer for “Catspaw” among others, authored the book ‘Psycho’, which would earn more fame when made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock.
- Theodore Sturgeon, the writer for “Shore Leave” was the author of one of the greatest scifi novellas of all time, ‘More Than Human’. The story focuses on six people who are able to blend/mesh (called “blesh” in the story) their powers together. He is also the winner of the 1954 International Fantasy Award.
- Oliver Crawford, the writer for the teleplay “The Galileo Seven” was blacklisted in Hollywood because he would not implicate any of his colleagues as being communists.
- The ‘Star Trek’ cult classic, ‘Free Enterprise’ once called Gene L Coon “The Forgotten Gene” because despite his contributions to ‘Star Trek’ (he wrote, and rewrote many of the great episodes, as well as acted as the show runner for a season and half), people always remember Gene Roddenberry over him.
- Gilbert Ralston, writer for the famously campy “Who Mourns for Adonais?” went on to create the classic Steampunk show, ‘The Wild Wild West‘. The younger generation will probably remember the remake starring Will Smith.
- Jeremy Bixby, writer of the famous episode “Mirror, Mirror”, wrote the screenplay for ‘It! The Terror from Beyond Space” which inspired the 1979 classic, ‘Alien’.
- The writer for “Obsession”, Art Wallace, wrote the majority of the cult, gothic soap opera, ‘Dark Shadows’, which some was later remade as a Johnny Depp movie.
- Jean Lisetta Aroeste was a former UCLA librarian. She was so good that she sent an unsolicited script for “Is There No Truth in Beauty?” which ‘Star Trek’ bought, along with a story that would become “All Our Yesterdays”.
- Stanley Adams was one of the writers for “The Mark of Gideon.” Before this, he played Cyrano in the much-beloved episode, “The Trouble with Tribbles”.
- Everyone’s favorite children’s entertainer, Shari Lewis from ‘Lambchops’, co-wrote the episode “The Lights of Zetar” with her husband, Jeremy Tarcher.