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Old September 14 2013, 04:55 PM   #100
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Location: The Enterprise's Restroom
Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

^ I agree with that assessment basically, HaventGotALife. Roddenberry gets a bad rap for a lot of his personal opinions, but siphon it down to just analyzing his scripts and it emerges that he was a writer whose output was workmanlike but usually servicable, sometimes extraordinary. His best Star Trek scripts are in fact among the very best the series produced IMO. I'd definitely put the original pilot episode in that catagory, truly extraordinary writing that looks like it was much simpler to pen than it probably really was. It's possibly one of Trek's strongest scripts, full of philosophy and true character building that is not executed in a heavy-handed way like some of Gene's later work, but instead solidifies to produce a satisfying whole.

I would like to qualify this by admitting that he definitely got lazy over time, and he was a bit of a mess in the 1970s and 1980s. Even before control of the franchise was ripped from him, his tussles over the authoriship of The Motion Picture are well documented. He had lost the plot a bit by then, and arguably hadn't regained it even when he was launching TNG. But he was old, and his health was failing. So it's kind of forgivable.

His last actual (unproduced) story submission for The Next Generation, "Ferengi Gold", was excrutiatingly bad.
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