Opinions on best Trek writers?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by eschaton, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    TNG and beyond is much more of a writers room-type deal, where everyone has input and contributes regardless of if they're credited or not, so I find the question hard to answer.
     
  2. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, with David it's only one episode (not counting the animated series).
    I suppose I'm also considering his Trek books, as well as so much of his non-Trek work.

    As for David's impatience, he'll be the first to say he's basically an old curmudgeon, pain-in-the-ass. However, in my experience, he's always been a genuine, upstanding person of high ethics.
     
  3. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the most consistently strong writers were D. C. Fontana and Michael Piller.
     
  4. Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson Commodore Commodore

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    As much as I used to give Berman and Braga crap on the Fan Fiction forum, I actually like Brannon Braga's stories (for the most part). I think he's much better when teamed with Ron Moore or Joe Menosky. Braga actually wrote a recent episode of The Orville which was quite good.

    Ron Moore solo is a good writer, but he seems overly obsessed with Klingon storylines, which could get a little tiring.

    Mike Sussman wrote some fun episodes on Enterprise as well.
     
  5. Flork

    Flork Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I count the sequel to Tribbles, and it's almost as campy as the original, especially the groan-inducing jokes, and though he's gone on ad nauseum about The Cloud Minders for years and how it was rewritten and he only got story credit, there are just so many elements that are cheesy -- the betters literally living in the sky, the names (Stratos, Troglytes) and so forth. Whether he invented these or not, his name is still on the episode.

    "Curmudgeon" is the term people tend to use when they're egocentric and intolerant but want to be seen as just some harmless crusty old person. Even though I agreed with many of his positions, I just found him too intolerant of anyone who didn't share his opinion, and his tone could seem mean spirited. That hardly seems to be respecting diversity. But others may have a different threshold for such behavior and a public persona. Anyway, these are just opinions, and people are free to like or dislike him. He may be a fine writer to some people and not so much to others. Maybe if I read more of his work, I'll change my opinion. I did read The Galactic Whirlpool a long time ago, and I vaguely remember some of it.
     
  6. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    David Gerrold did write for TOS, and more than just "The Trouble With Tribbles." He had input into some other episodes as well, and I found his book about the making of "The Trouble With Tribbles" to be quite interesting. There are two versions of the script in that book (neither is the final one, from what I recall), and he explained why some of the changes were made and why the story happened as it did at all (the necessity to keep costs down, for example, meant having a bartender who was also a trader; only one actor would need to be hired, and only one set would have to be built).

    As for his personality... I couldn't say. I did meet him briefly at a convention in Calgary 20-odd years ago. The conventions there are geared toward writers, not actors, and the other GoH was Frederik Pohl; I'm still kicking myself for missing the panel they were on together, as it would have been fascinating to hear the perspectives of two writers of such different generations (Pohl was a contemporary of Isaac Asimov).

    Anyway, he had a table set up in the dealers' room where people could get books signed for a donation to charity. So we had a 2-3 minute conversation about writing (as I recall, we talked about sequels; is it better to have a sequel begin right from where the previous book left off, or was it preferable to have a much longer in-universe time span). He was friendly and polite, and it was a positive experience.
     
  7. Armus

    Armus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Tracy Torme wrote some of TNG's best early episodes. The Big Goodbye was the first and best Holodeck episode and Conspiracy was pretty balsy parasite invasion mayhem; he also gave Data some of his funniest lines. His storyline outline for a Spock episode in season 2 featuring the Guardian of Forever sounded a lot more imaginative than what we got with Unification.

    I like the writing team of Hans Beimler and Richard Manning, who were the only veterans of TNG's first season to make it to season three. They wrote The Arsenal of Freedom, Symbiosis, The Emissary, Who Watches The Watchers, Allegiance, cowrote Yesterdays Enterprise, and returned to write an episode of DS9.

    Someone already acknowledged Peter Allen Fields, who's work on early DS9 was excellent.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  8. Farscape One

    Farscape One Commander Red Shirt

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    And Hans Beimler woukd go on to be full time on DS9 from seasons 4-7.

    Richard Manning would later end up on the writing team of FARSCAPE.
     
  9. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Is there any way to read that?

    Of course it would have necessitated paying Harlan Ellison $$$$$$, but for a Guardian of Forever story, I'd have been in favor of it.
     
  10. Armus

    Armus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Torme talked about his outline for a Spock TNG episode in an issue of starlog. "Return to Forever" would have brought the movie era Spock together with the TNG era Spock via The Guardian of Forever.
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I've only met Gerrold in person once, but I recall having a pleasant lunch with him at a WorldCon in Glasgow many years ago.
     
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  12. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Do you know approximately which issue that was? I have years' worth of Starlog magazines at home, but I don't remember ever reading any article such as the one you describe. It's possible it may have been published after I stopped subscribing (due to the way the price escalated for Canadians).
     
  13. Armus

    Armus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Starlog 143, June 1989 issue with Indiana Jones on the cover.
     
  14. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Thanks! I'll see if I've got that one.
     
  15. Lieut. Arex

    Lieut. Arex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Gene Coon, DC Fontana
     
  16. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Commodore Commodore

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    The only writers of scripts I can associate with particular scripts are David Gerrold and Harlan Ellison, and only because they wrote books about their episodes.
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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  18. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Commodore Fleet Captain

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    I'm going to toss in a few choices from a different angle and list Trek reviewers and go with Mark Altman and Jammer's reviews. Also to more traditional pick how about Nick Meyer who saved the "TOS" movies.

    Jason