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RIP D. C. Fontana prime mover behind a lot of Star TREK

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D. C. Fontana was responsible for a lot of the stuff of Trek that I liked the best. She was the person who wrote OS Trek Journey To Babel; one of my favorite episodes, among other episodes she wrote. She was a prime mover behind Star Trek the Next Generation.

She's passed; she was 80.


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I suspect much of what’s good in Trek was due to her, not Gene Roddenberry?

According to the book Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek, Lt. Commander Troi was supposed to have a whole lot of cleavage. Originally, creator Gene Roddenberry imagined Troi as "a four-breasted, oversexed hermaphrodite." Writer Dorothea "DC" Fontana convinced him to change the character. Fontana wrote,

"I honestly believe you will offend most women, and maybe a lot of men with this character. Besides, how are you going to arrange those four provocatively shaped breasts? Four in a row? They had better be small. Two banks of two? Do you know how much trouble women have with the normal number—keeping them out of the way of things, I mean. Four straight up and down? Don’t be silly."
 

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I remember her name on the credits of the original series. That is one of my favorite shows of all time, and I thank her for her contribution to it. Memory Eternal, D.C.
 

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That's sad. Journey to Babel is definitely one of the best of the Old Trek episodes.

I didn't know about Roddenberry's original conception for Trois. Good on Fontana for talking sense into him. I remember that Trois also evolved quite a bit as the series progressed. She went from wearing those slinky pantsuits and mainly getting stuck doing traditionally "girly" stuff in the first few seasons--like getting raped by space sprites and so on. Later on, she went to command school and got to wear a real uniform and play a more varied role. Was that Fontana's influence too.
 
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IIRC Roddenberry was quite obsessed with the sexy alien dames during his TNG years. Part of the reason they were so keen to get him outta there. Fontana was straight baller tho, and yes, she gave us Sarek.
 

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IIRC Roddenberry was quite obsessed with the sexy alien dames during his TNG years. Part of the reason they were so keen to get him outta there. Fontana was straight baller tho, and yes, she gave us Sarek.

Yeah, Roddenberry did many fine things, but his inclusion of women in the Star Trek universe seemed to be more about making space "sexy" than envisioning a future where women were the social equals of men. Even the Next Generation and Deep Space 9, had significantly more male regulars and it mindlessly defaulted to our current social norms, like women (however accomplished) becoming "Mrs. their husband" etc. They also seemed especially fond of killing off interesting female characters (especially if they got romantically involved with Worf).

I think DC Fontana had a lot to do with the best things about the show.

One thing about the earlier Star Treks I liked, though, was their envisioning of an optimistic future, where humans went into space to explore and to learn, not to conquer. And even with the more hostile alien species, they were always striving for peace and better understanding.

I lost interest in the franchise when it was rebooted as a sort of militaristic, "grimdark" version of the original. There's already plenty of militaristic, grimdark SF and F out there, so why did they have to ruin the sweetness at the core of Star Trek? What is it about our times that no one even wants to fantasize about a better future anymore?
 
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Kjbartolotta

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I lost interest in the franchise when it was rebooted as a sort of militaristic, "grimdark" version of the original. There's already plenty of militaristic, grimdark SF and F out there, so why did they have to ruin the sweetness at the core of Star Trek? What is it about our times that no one even wants to fantasize about a better future anymore?

Yeah, it really bothers me actually. I recall from a doc about TNG I watched that a major source of friction was that Rodenberry wanted to maintain the utopian aspects at all costs, no faction of humanity could ever be at war with another and the writers didn't know what to do with it. Once Berman took over this rule loosened, and I think they did a fine job walking the line from there. I don't necessarily hate the Kelvin Timeline movies on the whole, but that second one bummed me out big time.
 

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