Dorothy Fontana (aka D.C. Fontana) has been penning Star Trek for over forty years. Starting as a writer and script editor on The Original Series, she went on to write for The Animate Series, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine many books, video games, and this year has a new IDW Trek Comic Book Series. In a new interview with IGN, Fontana looks back at the beginning with her time on TOS.
Excerpts from IGN:
Fontana on the Genes
Fontana contrasts working with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Executive Producer Gene Coon.
[Coon] was really the creative line producer. He was there everyday, involved in everything. Now Gene Roddenberry was involved in everything too, but he was a little more removed. He wasn’t in every story conference, in every casting session, in every rough cut. He put in his time doing it but Gene Coon was more the man on the line.
Fontana’s favorite character was Spock and she was responsible for much of his back story (including “Journey to Babel”). Fontana spoke about working to keep him with the right balance:
Remember, he’s half human, plus Vulcans are not totally emotionless. They’re logical, they keep their emotions reigned in, but it is not that they do not have emotions. So you have to skirt that issue very carefully. And I always liked Spock because he was the alien outside observing us humans. He had the capacity to comment on our foibles from an alien point of view, which was always useful.
On TOS Season 3
Fontana still wrote in the third season, but as a freelancer and no longer the scripteditor. She discusses the disillusionment with the direction the show took in its last year:
There was sort of like the creature of the week, monster of the week [mentality], which they’d been doing over on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and I never thought that was a terribly successful thing for Star Trek to do. But also there were some complaints from the crew saying, ‘Well, the story editor came down to the transporter room set and said, ‘What does this thing do again?” And when I was told that Doctor McCoy could not have a 22-year-old daughter because he was Kirk’s contemporary, I said, ‘O.K., they don’t get the show.’ I’m sorry, but they didn’t. I honestly don’t know. I can’t answer for anybody else. I just know what they said to me, what the crew said to me, and I thought, ‘I’m better off writing Westerns now.’
Fontana’s latest Trek effort is the IDW comic series “The Enterprise Experiment” which is a ‘Year 4’ sequel to her third season episode “The Enterprise Incident.” The first issues of Enterprise Experiment are in comic stores now.