Writer DC Fontana, who helped shaped the world of Star Trek across multiple generations died today at age 80.
Dorothy Catherine “D.C.” Fontana was the first female writer for Star Trek and wrote some of the best episodes of the original series. Born in New Jersey, Fontana started to writing career in television in 1961. She wrote for several series during that time including The Wild Wild West and Ben Casey. In 1966, she started writing for Star Trek and penned 11 episodes of the series including classics like “Journey to Babel” which introduced Spock’s parent Sarek and Amanda, “Tomorrow is Yesterday” which sees the Enterprise thrown back in time to the 1960’s as well as Friday’s Child which had the Enterprise clashing with the Klingons over planet Capella IV.
After Star Trek’s cancellation, Fontana went on to pen episodes of other series including The Six Million Dollar Man, Logan’s Run, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and animated series including He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
She returned to the final frontier in 1987 when she co-wrote “Encounter at Farpoint” the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She would write several episodes of the series first season and would return to write episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well as Babylon 5. Fontana would also write the stories for Star Trek games like Bridge Commander and Star Trek: Legacy.
DC Fontana earned multiple Writers Guild Awards as well as a Hugo Award for her work on Trek and is considered a pioneer both as a female writer in Hollywood, but also as a female science fiction writer. She used the name “D.C.” in order to prevent gender discrimination when she was pitching her stories around Hollywood. In recent years, she was a lecturer in the screenwriting department at the American Film Institute Conservatory.
She is survived by her husband, Oscar winning visual effects artist Dennis Skotak.