Monday, July 21, 2008
We have so few personal insights about or by Gene Coon, the most underappreciated creator of much iconic Star Trek, due to his tragic early death in 1973. He missed out on making his real mark once Star Trek later won respect and attention—and so I jump whenever the chance comes along to help fill in the thin record on Coon.
This jump happened while talking with writer and fellow Okie Russell Bates, when Coon's name came up as one of his mentors. Russell, a Kiowa, as it turned out was GC's last student/protegé, and he offers up some rare insights.
Russell co-wrote the animated "How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth," the submission which won TAS the franchise's only series-based Emmy Award; he got into Clarion writer's workshop thanks to Gene, Dorothy Fontana and that other Gene guy, and had many scripts pending with him on Trek and other shows. (More on THAT part of our chat coming soon.)