03-25 Happy birthday to Dorothy Fontana, Born: March 25, 1939.
Dorothy Catherine Fontana is a writer and script editor who has the distinction of being one of the few people to have worked on Star Trek: The Original Series, as well as Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Deep Space Nine is her favorite Star Trek spinoff. She especially liked the show’s strong characters. When writing, Fontana has used pseudonyms, including Michael Richards and J. Michael Bingham.
Fontana worked as a writer for a few television series before Star Trek, then briefly worked as Gene Roddenberry’s secretary, before she became a writer on the show. The first episode she penned was “Charlie X”, based on a premise by Roddenberry entitled “The Day Charlie Became God”. Fontana wrote several notable Original Series episodes, including “Tomorrow is Yesterday” and “Journey to Babel”. Also, after the departure of Steven W. Carabatsos, she was promoted to story editor (after successfully re-writing “This Side of Paradise”). At the age of 27, Fontana became the youngest story editor in Hollywood at the time, and also one of the few female staff writers. (Star Trek: The Original Series 365, introduction) She remained in this capacity until the end of the second season.
Four years after the end of the Original Series, she became the associate producer and story editor of Star Trek: The Animated Series, for which she also wrote the episode “Yesteryear”.
She later co-wrote the Next Generation’s “Encounter at Farpoint”, earning a Hugo Award nomination, where she invented the “LCARS” concept, and four other episodes of TNG’s first season beside being credited as Associate Producer on thirteen episodes of the first season. She also penned DS9: “Dax”, her last involvement with Star Trek, in which a great deal of Jadzia Dax’ backstory was fleshed out.
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