February 11, 2020
Most Star Trek TV scripts are created in a fairly straightforward way - and then there’s "Yesterday’s Enterprise”: a mash-up of stories, a train wreck of a process, and yet one of the most popular episodes of The Next Generation ever. For its 30th anniversary this month, let The Trek Files decipher the paper trail from those crazy days of 26-episode seasons with none other than its co-writer, TNG script coordinator (and lifelong fan) Eric Stillwell. See the documents:
February 4, 2020
It's no surprise that Star Trek fans are creative; filling in the details and expanding the universe whenever there is a gap in production. This week, The Trek Files brings you two unofficial publications from the 1970s - one for mixing drinks, the other for applying a Vulcan nerve pinch - and special guest Holly Amos to talk about fan enthusiasm. See the documents:
January 28, 2020
Back when petitions were on paper rather than online, the seventh and eighth graders at Dover, DE's Central Middle School added their signatures to the throngs of fans who wanted Star Trek to return to network TV. Who started the petition? We may never know. How did Gene Roddenberry react? We do know that, and we'll share the answer in this week's Trek Files. See the documents:
January 21, 2020
It seems pretty simple on the surface - the names of two directors alternate to finish 16 episodes of Star Trek. This memo from 1967 contains a lot more if you read between the lines though. We welcome back Trek veteran Mike DeMerrit to help us grasp the logistical balance of making The Original Series. See the documents:
January 14, 2020
Separated by more than twenty years, two letters to the editor of the Los Angeles Times show Gene Roddenberry's concern for contemporary issues. Their relevance today points to the types of human concerns that Gene dealt with in real and fictional worlds. See the documents:
January 7, 2020
In the early days of The Next Generation, "Crusher" meant Wesley and his mother would likely have not been seen after the pilot episode. A memo from Bob Justman to Gene Roddenberry suggests ways to develop the boy's relationship with Picard and what might have been between the Captain and Beverly. See the documents:
December 31, 2019
The New Adventures of Star Trek Quest Generation of the Future! How many possible permutations of the title would be kicked around before settling on Star Trek: The Next Generation? Bob Justman has some fun in a late 1986 memo to Gene Roddenberry with many variations on a theme. See the documents:
December 17, 2019
What does the forensic investigation of a daily production report reveal about creating a TV show? A lot, apparently! Mike DeMerrit drops by again to shed some light on what was going right - and wrong- during the production of TNG's pilot, "Encounter at Farpoint." See the documents:
December 10, 2019
David Gautreaux returns to talk about sizing up the competition for Xon and why he was asked to test a second time for a role he already had. Then we learn about the surprising announcement of Star Trek making the jump from the small to the large screen. See the documents:
December 3, 2019
In late 1977, a new Star Trek series was coming along with sets being built, scripts written and actors being cast. Leonard Nimoy wouldn't return as Spock which meant a young Vulcan, Xon, would take his place. Recapping his first trip to Paramount studios in October, 1977, Xon himself, David Gautreaux, drops by The Trek Files to tell us the first part of the story. See the documents:
November 26, 2019
Andre Bormanis joins The Trek Files again to talk about the Bynars and keeping computer jargon believable in science fiction. Our document centers around the development of the TNG episode "11001001" (when it was known as "10101001"); elements that stayed like the holodeck and elements that were nixed like a visit from the Klingons! See the documents:
November 19, 2019
Above the line, below the line, associates, executives, best boys and key grips... Here to demystify production jargon and logistics, we welcome back Star Trek Assistant Director Mike DeMerrit. What does a budget reveal about putting together a TV show in 1967, and how much did Star Trek really cost to produce relative to today? Find out inside The Trek Files. See the documents:
November 12, 2019
An on-set intern turned out to be a thief, and Gene Roddenberry let the President of Ball State University know! What else happens behind the scenes during production on a major TV show? Find out with special guest Michael DeMeritt, assistant director on two Trek series, joins The Trek Files. See the documents:
November 5, 2019
The transcript of an interview reveals so much more than merely the questions and answers within. In 1974, Steve Reed from the Atlanta-based magazine Pulse interviewed Gene Roddenberry, but it seems like Steve was a fan who saw the opportunity to get some insider information. What happens when the dog catches the car? Find out on this week's Trek Files. See the documents:
October 29, 2019
A new Star Trek in 1986 meant new concepts about science and the intersection of technology and biology. Welcoming back science consultant Andre Bormanis, we examine an early TNG memo from David Gerrold that speculates about what kind of humanity we'll encounter in the future. See the document:
October 22, 2019
"Star Trek should be more scientifically accurate!" "Scientific accuracy can't get in the way of Star Trek storytelling!" These two ideas are at odds in a pair of memos from Gene Roddenberry, one year apart during the making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Who better to discuss them than longtime scientific consultant, our special guest Andre Bormanis! See the documents:
October 15, 2019
"Telegram for Gene Roddenberry!" In an age before email and text messages, there was nothing more immediate or impactful than a telegram. This week, The Trek Files presents three telegrams to Gene Roddenberry from 1968 running the gamut from congratulations from NBC to grievances from a fan. See the documents:
October 8, 2019
After all the ups and downs considering whether Star Trek will return as a movie or a TV show, Gene Roddenberry sends an update to loyal fans. There's thanks on his part to the fans keeping Trek in the public eye alongside his optimism that Paramount is more dedicated than ever to bring Trek to the big screen after the success of Star Wars. Read the document:
October 1, 2019
How much do suggestions from fans influence Star Trek? In late 1986, during pre-production on The Next Generation, this 11-point memo from Gene Roddenberry circulated among the staff. In it, a consensus of ideas from a recent convention gave food for thought as the plans for a new Star Trek series took shape. See the document:
September 24, 2019
A selection of fan letters from some of Star Trek's youngest - and most ardent - fans from 1975. Some have specific technical questions, some want merchandise and some just need to let Gene Roddenberry know exactly how deeply their fandom runs. The Trek Files looks at how much has changed and stayed the same since the pre-internet days of fandom. See the documents:
September 17, 2019
Gene Roddenberry catches up with his friend, fellow TV producer Sam Rolfe, in this a letter from November of 1965. In it, Gene talks about the promise of a few pilots he's done such as "The Long Hunt of April Savage," "Police Story" and "Star Trek" which could make it to NBC's schedule the next fall. There's also mention of some Doc Savage/Ocean's Eleven show Bruce Geller is producing for Desilu. He hasn't read it, but the buzz is good. See the documents:
September 10, 2019
In 1967, Dorothy Fontana created the Tellarites for the TOS episode "Journey to Babel" with a few notes about their homeworld and physical characteristics. Fast forward more than fifty years and the Tellarites are still part of Star Trek lore on Discovery. To celebrate this find and talk about their snout-nosed origins, Larry welcomes our first "Disco" guest and Tellarite actor, Harry Judge! See the document:
September 3, 2019
Two-time Emmy-winning director Robert Butler - at 91 the only non-actor creative still with us from “The Cage” - joins Larry Nemecek in a maxed-out room at San Diego Comic Con 2019. Discussions about the casting of "The Cage" plus Gene Roddenberry's inexperience as Star Trek's first pilot went before the cameras and how Butler sees the "new" Pike some 55 years later. It’s a rare moment of history you don’t want to miss!
July 30, 2019
We welcome back TNG second season producer Robert McCullough to talk about the production staff during his ten-week run on the show. Who wrote scripts from the ending first? Where did Klingon pain sticks come from? What was his very first convention like? A little more chaos on the bridge plus a peek back into life on set at the end of TOS. See the document:
July 23, 2019
Season two of The Next Generation gets the focus on The Trek Files. Producer Robert McCulough joins us to discuss the decision to introduce audiences to Riker's dad and Pakleds as well as the personalities behind the show like a thrown script and a boozy lunch with Gene Roddenberry. See the document:
July 16, 2019
San Diego Comic Con organizer Shel Dorf sent Gene Roddenberry the 1973 program book along with an invitation to appear at the next event he'd host, King Kon. On this, the 50th anniversary of SDCC, The Trek Files is proud to welcome someone who was there from the beginning: the original Comic Con Star Trek liaison, Jean Graham. See the documents:
July 9, 2019
Concerned about encroaching sexual content on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Rick Berman instructed Michael Piller to send out a memo to the writers with guidelines on what was acceptable and what was not. Were the Trois going too far? Was it Picard's relationships? "Dr. Trek" Larry Nemecek and John Champion pick apart TNG's "sex policy." See the document:
July 2, 2019
With Dorothy Fontana working as Associate Producer on Star Trek The Animated Series, she was in the in-house Trek expert. In this letter to Gene Roddenberry, she spells out some of them items that need correction in "One of Our Planets is Missing" and further notes the difficulty of catching problems early with the Filmation workflow. Special guest Dorothy Fontana joins The Trek Files this week to discuss her work on TAS! See the document:
June 25, 2019
Who was Paramount executive Dick Sylbert, and why was Gene Roddenberry anxious to set the tone of their partnership? This week, a fascinating letter from the development of "The God Thing" in which Gene sets the record straight about what made Trek successful and who's really running the show. See the document:
June 18, 2019
Before The Next Generation had premiered, the Star Trek production office was outlining the traits of TNG's chief adversary: the Ferengi. In a memo from Jun 1987, Dorothy Fontana outlines to Gene Roddenberry how some of those storylines might play out and what the Ferengi hierarchy may look like. Here to discuss the memo on this week's show, Dorothy Fontana herself! See the document: Http://
June 11, 2019
Before TNG's premiere, Herb Wright sends a memo in praise of the first draft script of "Code of Honor" to Gene Roddenberry. Here to discuss the pressure cooker of production schedules and just how "bad" episodes get made, Paramount exec Dave Rossi sits in with Larry on this week's Trek Files. See the document:
June 4, 2019
From the very first Star Trek convention in 1972, the prospect of commercial exploitation rubbed some fans the wrong way. In an exchange between Gene Roddenberry and one fan, Cole Whiteman, the economic realities take center stage. See the documents:
May 28, 2019
If Star Trek had its battles with NBC standards over content in a prime-time show, it stands to reason there would be just as much concern over a Saturday-morning cartoon. This week, a look at Standards comments on an episode that was never produced along with social guest and TAS insider Fred Bronson. See the document:
May 21, 2019
After NBC rejected Star Trek's first pilot "The Cage," Gene Roddenberry reached out to his friend (and later Trek contributor) Sam Peeples for notes that could possibly salvage the show. Sam offers up his ideas, and we have a TOS insider and friend of both, Dorothy Fontana, this week to discuss Peeples and Trek's early years. See the document:
May 14, 2019
In the 1970s, Star Trek fans anxiously awaited news about the return of Trek, whether as a feature film or a revived series. Some fans even called for a boycott of Paramount until such time that an announcement was made. What did Gene Roddenberry make of this? Find out on this week's Trek Files. See the documents:
May 7, 2019
A creative Star Trek fan wants nothing more than to celebrate the show with his own film version. Paramount's legal team has different ideas, though. Ripped from the headlines, or tale as old as time? This week we're pulling a series of letters from 1968 that show the more things change, the more they stay the same. See the documents:
April 30, 2019
The Trek Files welcomes back special guest Fred Bronson who worked as a publicist for a number of shows in the 1970s including Gene Roddenberry's "The Questor Tapes." Fred talks about the high hopes for Questor and its many links to Trek plus his own storied career in network television. See the documents:
April 23, 2019
With the third season of Star Trek starting in a few months, new producer Fred Freiberger updates Gene Roddenberry on the status of developing scripts. Paramount exec and friend of the show Dave Rossi joins us this week to explore the many pitfalls (and triumphs) of TOS's final season. See the document:
April 16, 2019
Rick Sternbach comes back to The Trek Files to discuss his first TNG technical memo. How would the shields on the new Enterprise work? Rick lets us know how he balanced science and science fiction in the early days with plausible explanations for complex ideas. See the documents:
April 9, 2019
Bob Justman sends a memo to Gene Roddenberry just before TNG's "Encounter at Farpoint" goes in front of the camera. Director Corey Allen has his own approach which Bob reminds Gene may need some oversight. Talking more about director quirks with us this week, returning guest Dave Rossi! See the document:
April 2, 2019
Ever want to know what all the buttons on the bridge of the Enterprise actually do? When Star Trek The Motion Picture was in production, the art department came up with a manual to explain exactly that. This week, meet Rick Sternbach and learn how to fire photon torpedoes! See to documents:
March 26, 2019
The Trek Files welcomes back Fred Bronson this week to tell tales of writing for Star Trek: The Animated Series with his draft for "The Counter-Clock Incident" under then pen-name John Culver. Stick around for stories of visiting Nichelle Nichols' home plus crashing the TOS set! See the documents:
March 19, 2019
The episode that would become "Menage a Troi" started as a pitch called "Piece of Mind" from Fred Bronson to Gene Roddenberry. Having already scripted one episode of The Animated Series, Fred had an "in" with the TNG production staff and knew that a Lwaxana story would be needed. Our special guest this week is Fred Bronson himself with tales of rewrites, rejected ideas and the importance of work lunches. See the document:
March 12, 2019
This week, The Trek Files solves a mystery 50 years in the making. Ever since Gary Seven's cat "Isis" took human form in the episode "Assignment Earth," fans have wondered who it was on screen for just a few seconds. Rumors swirled, and as is often the case, they were wrong. Meet the newest member of the Trek family, April Tatro. See the documents:
March 5, 2019
Diversity has always been a hallmark of Star Trek from the written concept to casting to production. In a pair of documents this week, we see notes from Susan Sackett to Gene Roddenberry about audience requests for hispanic crew on the Enterprise followed by Gene's note to Michael Piller about avoiding any "parochial hooray for humans." See the documents:
February 26, 2019
It wasn't always rosy between Gene Roddenberry and John and Bjo Trimble, even after their mail campaign famously helped "Save Star Trek." They were the "go to" source of information for Trek fans everywhere and helped propel Gene's merchandise company, Lincoln Enterprises. Things soured, though, and the Trimbles found themselves closing up shop. The Trek Files welcomes back John and Bjo to talk about the ups and downs of their relationship with Gene. See the documents:
February 19, 2019
An early story pitch for Star Trek: The Next Generation gets examined by Larry and special guest Rene Echevarria to start our third season. What makes a story compelling and produceable? What are the compelling hooks that get a writer's attention? Looking at "Winter's End" and Trek that might have been... See the documents:
January 15, 2019
The letter-writing campaign that saved Star Trek for a third season kicked into high gear in late 1967. What was the best way to approach the network, and how many letters were really sent? And what role did vodka play in getting Star Trek to pass its syndication threshold? Find out when John and Bjo Trimble join Larry again this week for a deep dive into 1960s fandom! See the documents:
January 8, 2019
In a parallel universe, Gene Roddenberry successfully used the Star Trek episode "Assignment Earth" as a backdoor pilot to launch a brand new series in the fall of 1968. With episodes needing to be produced, Gene would rely on story editor Dorothy Fontana to narrow down suitable stories and, like Star Trek, draw from existing science fiction authors. The Trek Files welcomes back Rene Echevarria to discuss a TOS favorite and what could have been. See the document:
January 1, 2019
After meeting Gene Roddenberry at the World Science Fiction Convention, John and Bjo Trimble found themselves at the center of Star Trek fandom. They organized the letter-writing campaign that secured a third season, and they were also handling fan mail, photo and merchandise requests. The Trek Files welcomes John and Bjo to talk about the earliest days of Trek fandom plus a look at the very first Star Trek merchandise catalog. See the document:
December 18, 2018
This week, The Trek Files parallels two memos from different eras. First, we'll look at the specific requests made by NBC Standards about the now-iconic kiss between Kirk and Uhura in "Plato's Stepchildren." Then we'll dig into a Michael Piller memo from nearly a quarter century later about how to handle sexual content on Star Trek. Special guest Rene Echevarria joins Larry this week on The Trek Files. See the documents:
December 11, 2018
Lisa Klink joins the Trek Files again for another examination of the early TNG character relationships document. What were the challenges with creating Star Trek's first Betazoid character and how did she change before the show even started production? See the document:
December 4, 2018
Back when Wesley was still Lesley, the small group of writers and producers on The Next Generation needed to outline how the characters would relate to each other. What motivated them? How did they react? Where were they headed? In part one of our discussion, we welcome back Lisa Klink to examine how Wesley Crusher was shaping up. Read the document:
November 27, 2018
Families on the Enterprise? This was a big question among the producers who assembled in the early days of The Next Generation, well before the show's first bible had been written. In this memo, Bob Justman makes a case for dealing with relationships, kids and what the crew is doing when they are off duty. Larry is joined this week by special guest Lisa Klink! See the document:
November 20, 2018
In that early development period on The Next Generation, the group of assembled producers and writers struggled with ways to make the first underaged regular Star Trek character believable. Should he be a genius? Should he have a brain implant? Should he be promoted to Commander? Three memos reveal the thoughts behind bringing Wesley to life on this week's The Trek Files. See the documents:
November 13, 2018
It's early 1973, and Leonard Nimoy has confirmed his return to the role of Spock for Star Trek The Animated Series. What Gene Roddenberry has in mind is that the series will serve as a springboard to bring his show to the big screen one day. Nimoy, in reply, sounds dubious. This week on The Trek Files, Gene's letter and Leonard's handwritten reply! See the documents:
November 6, 2018
When TV Guide requested materials about Star Trek and celebrities who counted themselves as fans, it was Richard Arnold who helped Rick Berman pull together a list. Some familiar names and some surprises show up, plus Richard shares stories about giving the VIP tour to heads of state on this week's The Trek Files. See the document:
October 30, 2018
With everything else that had to be considered before launching Star Trek for the next generation, there was the matter of bridge logistics. In early 1987, Bob Justman found himself ruminating over how the layout of the bridge would dictate what crew could be on hand to drive the plots forward. Larry Nemecek is joined this week by John Champion to discuss Justman's revisions to the TNG bible. See the document:
October 23, 2018
As story development proceeded on Star Trek V, Gene Roddenberry butted heads with Harve Bennett over themes of mutiny and religion. Replying to a list of TOS episodes sent by Harve's office, Gene employed Richard Arnold to research those themes in an attempt to steer Harve on a different course. Richard Arnold appears on this week's episode to add context and share background information on the TOS films! See the document:
October 16, 2018
Working out of the Star Trek office on the Paramount lot, Richard Arnold fielded a number of questions and requests from fans and professionals alike. In this memo from 1986, Richard outlines to Gene Roddenberry the types of requests he handles on a regular basis. Joining Larry this week to dive into fandom, behind-the-scenes and working for Gene, none other than the document's author, Richard Arnold himself! See the document:
October 9, 2018
In August 1973, Gene Roddenberry received a letter thanking him for the Star Trek fans who truly "live" the show's message. See the document:
October 2, 2018
The character Geordi LaForge was named for disabled Star Trek fan Georgie LaForge. In this correspondence from November and December 1987, Georgie's mother Sue thanks Gene Roddenberry for honoring her late son. See the documents:
September 25, 2018
The famous Vulcan IDIC made its debut in "Is There in Truth No Beauty," but if Gene Roddenberry had his way, we would have seen it much earlier. In this memo from July 1968, Gene sends new executive producer Fred Freiberger a suggestion for how to end season three's premiere episode and work in Spock's medallion.
September 18, 2018
The interior and exterior of the Enterprise got an overhaul for Star Trek The Motion Picture. In this episode of The Trek Files we welcome back Andrew Probert to discuss some of his contributions as well as some of the unused directions thought up by his design colleagues.
September 11, 2018
Bob Justman shares an idea with Gene Roddenberry for a potential new piece of hardware on the Enterprise. This week, The Trek Files welcomes back Paramount executive Dave Rossi to get to the bottom of the holodeck and how part of the inspiration comes from the sci-fi classic Soylent Green.
September 4, 2018
Gene Roddenberry and Robert Vaughn had worked together on The Lieutenant, and in 1965 Vaughn was a mega-star with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Vaughn invited Roddenberry to his performance of Hamlet, and in this episode of The Trek Files we welcome back Robert Short to connect the dots between U.N.C.L.E. and Trek, Solo and Shakespeare, and being a kid who snuck onto the Enterprise bridge!
August 28, 2018
As early Star Trek fans were trading and collecting anything to do with the show, Gene Roddenberry's attorney was keeping a close watch over products that fell outside official bounds. In this correspondence from June and July 1968, Leonard Maizlish requests that a young fan in Chicago cease the sale of photo prints. That fan, MaryLou Tamborello, replies with a mix of awe, excitement and worry.
August 21, 2018
Norman Felton had a hit on his hands with "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." when Gene Roddenberry reached out to him about possibly mentoring a young actor interested in directing - Leonard Nimoy. Gene and Norman sparred a little in this 1965 correspondence, and to give it some color we brought in U.N.C.L.E. expert Robert Short who also has quite a bit of Trek experience himself. Hailing frequencies are open... Open channel D.
August 14, 2018
With Paramount executives ready to push forward with a new Star Trek TV series, the braintrust held a meeting in August 1977 for a production update. Gene Roddenberry along with Gary Nardino, Michael Eisner and others kicked around story, budget and logistics ideas. Surprisingly, Gene was ready to go ahead without Spock until one executive argued that it wouldn't be Trek without him.
August 7, 2018
Andrew Probert returns to The Trek Files to discuss early concept work for spacesuits and other wearable props on Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
July 31, 2018
Season two of The Trek Files kicks off with an early "Star Trek: The Next Generation" memo that questions whether or not the production should allow pitches from amateur writers. Well before the open-submission policy sought out new talent, the handful of producers and writers on staff worried about the avalanche of paperwork and the potential for too many "Mary Sues."
July 3, 2018
Season 1 of The Trek Files wraps up with our oldest document yet! As Gene Roddenberry was writing for “Have Gun - Will Travel,” he got the attention of an unlikely awards committee: the American Baptist Convention. Having seen a handful of Gene’s episodes, the committee reached out to recognize his work as “presenting the Christian message” to TV viewers. How would a pre-Star Trek Gene have reacted? Your Trek Files host Larry Nemecek and gust co-host John Champion discuss in this week’s show!
June 26, 2018
With production on the third season of Star Trek fast approaching, newly-hired Executive Producer Fred Freiberger sent a memo to Gene Roddenberry about the status of developing scripts. "Spock's Brain" and "And The Children Shall Lead" are there... and so is "Shore Leave 2." While we're at it, how about room for a couple of Gene Roddenberry scripts too? Doug Drexler joins The Trek Files to talk about Star Trek behind the scenes.
June 19, 2018
As Star Trek: The Next Generation was in its earliest days of development, one writer pitched the idea to return to a formula - and a character descendant - that had worked well for TOS. How would audiences in the '80s react to "Albania Jones"? What if he was played by Robin Williams? David Gerrold suggested one of their stronger comedy writers take a crack at it... himself! Read the complete document:
June 12, 2018
In 1972, an aspiring artist sent his design ideas for a new Star Trek to Gene Roddenberry. Little did he know at the time that in a few years he would be working for the franchise he loved, contributing to Star Trek The Motion Picture. In this letter from 1972, Andrew Probert proposes the updates he would make if Trek comes back. Who better to discuss this find than the man himself - our special guest Andrew Probert! See the document:
June 5, 2018
In the fall of 1977, a Star Trek feature motion picture was on the horizon. Paramount executive Gary Nardino sent a memo to Gene Roddenberry after a meeting with an agent that a major star wanted a cameo: Barry Manilow! Larry Nemecek and guest co-host John Champion discuss Star Trek's relationship with celebrity guests as well as the ones that got away.
May 29, 2018
In the early days of story development for Star Trek The Next Generation, the pitches that centered around "Leslie Crusher" were many. Dorothy Fontana expressed her concern that such a unique character had the potential to steal focus from the main cast. See the document:
May 22, 2018
In our final look at this extraordinary draft memo from Gene Roddenberry to Paramount executive Jerry Eisenberg, Gene gives us his take on the fan attitude toward Paramount. How did Trek fans develop such a feeling of ownership over the franchise? Special guest Doug Drexler joins the conversation this week on The Trek Files.
May 15, 2018
In part two of our look at Gene Roddenberry's draft memo to Paramount executive Jerry Eisenberg, Gene explains why the stereotypes of Star Trek fans are wrong. We welcome back special guest Dorothy Fontana for insight into the fan phenomenon of the 1970s.
May 8, 2018
In the middle of 1976, Paramount assigned producer Jerry Eisenberg to help relaunch Star Trek as a feature film. It didn't take long for Gene Roddenberry to draft a memo to help Eisenberg get into the right frame of mind for the task. Presented here is part one of three special episodes that get to the heart of Gene's take on what makes Trek tick. See the document:
May 1, 2018
Sometime in the early 1970s, Gene Roddenberry was asked to identify his favorite episodes of Star Trek. Simply indicated by dots of red ink, the list may be quite revealing about his own interests and his personal connection to the show he created. This week, Larry is joined by guest co-host Doug Drexler to shed some light on Gene's picks!
April 24, 2018
At the height of Star Trek: The Next Generation's popularity, a fan sent Gene Roddenberry a letter with some helpful recommendations. Eighteen pages later, we learn who should be promoted, who should be killed off and what types of stories Gene should be focusing on for the continued longevity of the show. Welcome back to special guest co-host Dave Rossi this week on The Trek Files! See the full document:
April 17, 2018
In the fall of 1972, Dorothy Fontana sent out a letter for Star Trek fans who were hungry for any shred of information that would indicate a return of their favorite show to TV. A full year before The Animated Series debut, this letter catches everyone up on the latest news, which is to say, there is no news.
April 10, 2018
In 1972, Star Trek was out of production, the animated series was still a year away, and any movie or revival TV series was only a fan dream. Then the first Star Trek convention occurred in New York bringing in an unexpected crowd. Suddenly Star Trek was getting attention again, and Gene's office penned this letter to answer the constant inquiry from fans - would Star Trek come back?
April 3, 2018
"When it's going good and you're having fun, FORGET IT! It's all wrong!" This week, we discuss a humorous promotional article featuring Gene Coon released by the Star Trek publicity office for publication in local newspapers. See the original document here:
March 27, 2018
The morning after the first airing of "This Side of Paradise," Star Trek fan Beverly Corcroan wrote a letter to Gene Roddenberry. We welcome special guest Dorothy "D.C." Fontana to talk about fandom during Star Trek's first run and the curation of the Spock character in episodes that followed. See the original document at
March 20, 2018
In the early stages of production on "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," Gene Roddenberry, now a consultant on the franchise he created, was shown a draft script. His response to the death of Spock is captured here in a letter sent to Paramount executive Gary Nardino.
March 13, 2018
Star Trek generated huge amounts of fan mail during and after its original run. In 1975, Gene Roddenberry's assistant started compiling a book of that fan mail, "Letters to Star Trek," and asked Gene to write an introduction. In this draft, we learn about one of Trek's famous fans, and we can see Gene's hand-written notes. Read the original document:
March 6, 2018
As the premise for the Star Trek: The Next Generation pilot episode was hashed out, Supervising Producer Bob Justman sent Gene Roddenberry a memo asking that he consider the social and psychological effects of sending a crew of families on a lifelong journey. We are joined in this episode by someone who was there from the very start, Dorothy "D.C." Fontana, to share her insights into what made TNG tick. See the document on our Facebook page:
February 27, 2018
Early in their working relationship, Gene Roddenberry presented Rick Berman with a book of Monet's art. The next day, Rick sent a thank-you letter with one important request. Get a glimpse into Gene and Rick in the early development days of Star Trek: The Next Generation with our special guest, Paramount Executive Dave Rossi. Read the complete document on our Facebook page:
February 20, 2018
The document that started it all - The Star Trek Format is what Gene Roddenberry created in early 1964 to define what his TV series would be. We welcome a special guest who was there from the beginning, Dorothy "D.C." Fontana, to talk about developing Star Trek and how "Wagon Train to the stars" wasn't just a clever pitch slogan.
February 13, 2018
What would Star Trek: The Next Generation look like without Gene Roddenberry? In 1986, Paramount lured Roddenberry into development by sharing a development document that looked nothing like what would eventually make it to TV a year later. Would you believe the USS Odyssey? With a Vulcan Captain? Who is actually inside the computer? Trek expert and Paramount executive Dave Rossi joins Larry this week to examine the Trek that never was.
February 6, 2018
When the rest of the world started to take Star Trek fandom seriously, Gene Roddenberry was asked to provide an introduction for the book "Star Trek Lives" in 1975. Here we present an early draft with many of Gene's thoughts on Trek fans and forward-looking comments about the state of mass media. See the document:
January 30, 2018
A year before Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted, David Gerrold sent a memo to Gene Roddenberry, Ed Milkis and Bob Justman about the Enterprise crew tackling philosophical ideas. How does this have repercussions on Star Trek more than 30 years later? Find out in today's episode of The Trek Files!
January 23, 2018
In the debut episode of The Trek Files, we deep-dive into one of Star Trek's cornerstone documents: The Star Trek Guide, from April 1967.
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