D.C. Fontana, Groundbreaking Star Trek Writer, Passes Away at 80

Joseph Baxter

Dec 3, 2019

Star Trek author D.C. Fontana has handed away, abandoning a trailblazing legacy that opened doorways for feminine writers.

Dorothy Catherine Fontana, the legendary tv author higher identified by her gender-hiding nom de plume, D.C. Fontana, has handed away on December 2 on the age of 80, following a brief sickness, broadcasts the official Star Trek web site.

Even to informal followers of 1966-1969’s unique Star Trek collection who is likely to be oblivious to the present’s behind-the-scenes tales, the title D.C. Fontana ought to ring a bell, because it was prominently and continuously affixed within the credit. Whereas the story of her emergence within the monolithically male-dominated tv business of the 1960s is one which – particularly now – appears destined for dramatization, Fontana’s contributions to the canon of the still-thriving bellwether sci-fi franchise additionally occurred to be essential.

Additional Studying: Star Trek’s D.C. Fontana Talks the Origin of Spock’s Household

Fontana, who began on the Star Trek workers as a secretary, scripted a number of episodes of The Authentic Sequence (TOS) all through everything of its run, beginning with the early Season 1 episode, “Charlie X,” through which the Enterprise rescues a teen whose angst and lovelorn state doesn’t mesh nicely together with his god-like powers. The episode was a groundbreaking exhibition of psychological nuance for a personality who would in any other case be dismissed as evil. Fontana would discipline additional scripting alternatives for essential episodes (11 complete,) equivalent to “This Aspect of Paradise,” “Tomorrow is Yesterday,” “That Which Survives” and, maybe most poignantly, “Journey to Babel,” the Season 2 episode that considerably fleshed out your complete Trek mythos by not solely introducing Spock’s father, Sarek, and mom, Amanda, but in addition debuted alien races within the Andorians and Tellarites.

Additional Studying: Star Trek four Again on with Noah Hawley

In what’s now the stuff of legend, Fontana’s early-1960s aspirations to turn into a tv author noticed her make a cross-continent migration from New York Metropolis to Los Angeles, the place – after compulsory time within the typing swimming pools – she bought her first scripts to her boss, Samuel A. Peeples, for episodes of NBC western The Tall Man. The secretary/moonlighting-writer dynamic would ultimately land work for a producer of NBC navy drama The Lieutenant, which put her into the orbit of that present’s creator, a burgeoning expertise named Gene Roddenberry, ultimately resulting in that legendary unique Star Trek run.

Fontana continued including to what would turn into a prolific CV after Star Trek’s 1969 cancellation, writing episodes of exhibits equivalent to Bonanza, The Six Million Greenback Man, Land of the Misplaced, Kung Fu, The Streets of San Francisco, Logan’s Run, The Waltons, Buck Rogers within the 25th Century, Dallas and even wrote an episode of Star Trek: The Animated Sequence. She’d return to the franchise fold for the 1987 launch of Star Trek: The Subsequent Era, writing a handful of early episodes, beginning with pilot “Encounter at Farpoint.” Her final official work with the franchise manifested with the Season 1 episode of spinoff Star Trek: Deep Area 9, titled “Dax,” which supplied essential character growth for the eponymous Trill science officer.

Apart from episodes of animated exhibits, the later years of Fontana’s profession – within the 1990s/2000s – noticed her discipline writing work for video video games Star Trek: Bridge Commander, Star Trek: Legacy and Star Trek: Tactical Assault. Intriguingly, she additionally wrote a 2006 episode of fan collection Star Trek New Voyages: Section II, through which George Takei and Walter Koenig fielded their respective roles as Sulu and Chekov.

Dorothy Fontana is survived by her husband, Dennis Skotak (an Oscar-winning visible results cinematographer,) and her household has requested that memorial donations to be made to the Humane Society, the Finest Mates Animal Society, or to the American Movie Institute.

We at Den of Geek want to convey our condolences to the family and friends of D.C. Fontana, and appreciation for the pioneering, doors-opening success she achieved.

Learn and obtain the Den of Geek NYCC 2019 Particular Version Journal proper right here!

Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You could find his work right here. Comply with him on Twitter @josbaxter.


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