Trailblazing Star Trek Writer D.C. Fontana Dies at 80: ‘She Was a Pioneer’
Dorothy Catherine Fontana, a writer on the original Star Trek series, has died. She was 80 years old.
Fontana, who went professionally by “D.C.,” passed away “peacefully” on Monday after fighting a brief illness, the American Film Institute, where she was a senior lecturer, announced Tuesday in a press release obtained by PEOPLE.
The writer is credited with developing the Spock character’s backstory and “expanding Vulcan culture,” SyFy reported of her massive contribution to the beloved sci-fi series. Fontana was the one who came up with Spock’s childhood history revealed in “Yesteryear,” an episode in Star Trek: The Animated Series, on which she was both the story editor and associate producer.
As the outlet pointed out, Fontana was also responsible for the characters of Spock’s parents, the Vulcan Sarek and human Amanda, who were introduced in the notable episode “Journey to Babel.”
In fact, Fontana herself said that she hopes to be remembered for bringing Spock to life.
“Primarily the development of Spock as a character and Vulcan as a history/background/culture from which he sprang,” she said in a 2013 interview published on the Star Trek official site, when asked what she thought her contributions to the series were.
With Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, she also penned the episode “Encounter at Farpoint,” which launched The Next Generation in 1987. The episode introduced Captain Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, and earned the writing pair a Hugo Award nomination.
Not only was Fontana responsible for creating much of Star Trek canon, she also “helped blaze a trail for female writers in sci-fi television,” the official website said in its obituary. “Fontana’s credits to Star Trek cannot be understated, both as a writer of great stories and as a trailblazer for other women.”……..read more