It’s a sad day for Star Trek Fans. Today we learned that Dorothy Catherine (D.C.) Fontana passed away on December 2nd. She went peacefully following a brief illness. She was 80 years old.
Dorothy was a writer and editor for 1960’s Star Trek as well as the 1970’s animated series which she also produced. She paved the way for many more women television writers and came up with some of the most notable moments in Star Trek history. She was the one who came up with Spock’s childhood. She also created Spock’s mother and father Sarek and Amanda, a human mother with a Vulcan father.
She kept her gender hidden with her screen credit only showing D.C. Fontana. It wasn’t until fans saw a photo of her in Stephen Whitfield’s The Making of Star Trek that we found out she was a woman. She said in an interview that there were very few women who worked in action/adventure or speculative fiction when her career took off. She decided to use only her initials in order to fight gender discrimination.
She co-wrote the Hugo Award nominated Next Generation episode “Encounter at Fairpoint” with Gene Rodenberry and also continued to write for TNG and Deep Space Nine. She did the DS9 episode “Dax” which established her background and species. She also worked on Babylon 5, Bonanza, Dallas, Kung Fu, The Six Million Dollar Man, and many more classic TV series.
Most recently she was a lecturer at the American Film Institute where she taught classes to screenwriters, directors and producers. She was also a member of the Board of Directors for the Writers Guild of America.
Her body of work will forever remain with Star Trek fans and we will continue to watch and remember her. Rest in Peace Dorothy. Our hearts go out to her family and friends at this time.