Sad new to report today as D.C. Fontana, the legendary writer best known for her work in the Star Trek franchise, passed away on the evening of December 2nd following a short illness at the age of 80.
From a young age, Dorothy Catherine Fontana knew that she wanted to be a writer, and after serving as a secretary and working on several western TV shows, such as The Tall Man and Frontier Circus, Fontana met Gene Roddenberry after applying for a job on his military-based series The Lieutenant. When that series was cancelled after one season, Fontana continued working with Roddenberry as he developed Star Trek. After a brief period in which she worked as Roddenberry’s secretary, Fontana quickly began writing for the series, penning episodes such as Charlie X, Tomorrow is Yesterday, Journey to Babel, The Enterprise Incident, and many more. In her role as story editor, Fontana also contributed to many other episodes and is credited with developing the Vulcan culture.
Following the cancellation of Star Trek, D.C. Fontana continued writing for television, mostly westerns such as Lancer and Bonanza, but Star Trek came calling once again with Star Trek: The Animated Series, on which Fontana served as associate producer and story editor as well as writing Yesteryear, an episode which explored Spock’s younger years. Roddenberry also brought Fontana back when he began developing Star Trek: The Next Generation, and she would co-write the two-hour pilot episode with Roddenberry as well as several others throughout the first season. D.C. Fontana also penned an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well as Star Trek: New Voyages, the fan-made webseries. Fontana also wrote episodes of Then Came Bronson, The Streets of San Francisco, The Six Million Dollar Man, Land of the Lost, Kung Fu, Logan’s Run, Dallas, The Waltons, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, War of the Worlds, Earth: Final Conflict, Babylon 5, and more. You will be missed, D.C. Fontana, but your contributions to Star Trek and the world of writing will continue.