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Old September 22 2013, 03:20 PM   #12
Allyn Gibson
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Defcon wrote: View Post
The strangest thing I ever read was an interview with Arnold for a German non Fiction book for Star Trek's 40th anniversary where he actually is complimentary about Peter David's writing.
That's actually a constant thing going back to the early '90s. Even in the Tim Lynch interview from 1991, Arnold says nice things about PAD's writing. He also says some critical things, saying that he's a good writer but one ill-suited to Star Trek:

here's the thing -- Peter's a very good writer. I know that because he gave me a book called Howling Mad which was very funny. But, he is not a good Star Trek writer. Not all the time -- he's inconsistent. When it's a story that works with his sense of humor, as in Q-in-Law, as in Rock and a Hard Place, fine. But when he tries to change the universe in order to tell a story he wants to tell, as in Vendetta, then you've got a problem. Because you can't always make it fit.

[SNIP]

So, I have never said that Peter David can't write. I know he can write -- he can write very well. There was a scene at the end of Rock and a Hard Place that literally moved me, and this was in the manuscript. And -- I believe it was David Stern, he's gonna kill me for saying this, who changed it. It was a wonderful, moving scene. What it said to me is that Peter's probably a dog person as opposed to a cat person, because of the scene at the end with Stone and this wolf-creature, whatever it was, at the very end... and it was such a powerful scene, and I think David changed it because... either he didn't understand it, or because he felt his way worked better. And... I've often wondered if it was not the change of that scene in particular that set him off, because it wasn't us at all. In fact, if I'd had any say in the matter, which believe me, I have never had, I would have said "Oh, for God's sakes, turn that back to the way it was."

He can write -- but he... I think Peter's biggest problem has been... again, saying "Yes, Gene." Sticking within the format. Following the rules that any writer writing for the show has to follow. Do not star your own characters. Do not change anything about our characters, because then that changes it for everyone after that. Do not attempt to overestablish background, because that's for us to fill in, at this end. Tell a story that involves our people, and has a point to it, that tells a tale. Howard Weinstein's become very good at that -- he picks his issue, and wraps a Star Trek story around it. That's what good writing is for Star Trek.
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