Author Topic: "Gay" Star Trek  (Read 1197 times)


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"Gay" Star Trek
« on: February 11, 2016, 03:46:53 PM »
CBS is currently working on bringing a new series to television based on "Star Trek". It will be offered on their internet only "All Access" channel.

Many fans have made requests to get gay characters introduced to the show. The time has come they say to get Trek aligned to the world at hand.

However, back in 1986, the creator of Star Trek (Roddenberry) made a commitment that "it was time" to introduce these characters and he would do this for the just announced "Next Generation" .

But even as evolved as 1986 was, Star Trek wasnt allowed to be as daring as those interracial kisses were in 1967. Will 2016 be different?

The following is an interview with Trek writer and Tribbles inventor, David Gerrold. He shares the difference between the verbal commitment and actual implementation.

Per Star

Another reason why you left TNG had to do with “Blood and Fire,” a script that went unproduced and caused a firestorm internally and for you personally. You happen to be a gay man, you wrote a script that pushed Trek across a boundary it had never broached: introducing gay characters into the landscape, and it ultimately got shot down despite the initial public support of Gene Roddenberry…

Gerrold: The long story with “Blood and Fire” is that a month after Next Gen was announced Gene and I were at a convention in Boston. We’d both been invited before anyone knew there was going to be a new Trek series, so there was a lot of excitement at the convention because this would be the first time Gene would speak in public about the new series. There were 3,000 people in the room waiting to hear the news. They had a lot of questions. But there wasn't really anything to say yet. We were still getting moved into offices and had not really made any serious decisions about what the new show would be. So it was mostly just promises that we were going to do our best to catch lightning in a bottle again. 

One fan asked, “Well, are you going to have gay crewmembers, because in the 60’s you had Black and Asian and Latino, etc.?” Gene said, “You know, you’re right. It’s time. We should.” I was sitting on the side, taking notes, of course. So there it was: Gene had said it in front of an audience of 3,000 people in November of 1986. I was a little bit surprised and delighted that Gene was willing to go there. We got back to L.A. and Gene said it again in a meeting, and somebody in that meeting – I won’t say who – said, “What, we’re going to have Lt. Tutti-Frutti?” Gene balled him out and said, “No, it’s time. And I promised the fans we’re going to have gay characters.”

Then, Rick Berman, who was not yet aboard the show but was still a studio exec, passed us a memo saying, “Here are some of the stories I think you can do.” It was a three-page memo listing, I guess, about 50 ideas, and the third one was an AIDS story. And I thought, “Well, I’ve got this from Gene and Rick, so the studio has no problem.” Now, my cause at the time was blood donorship, and I knew that people were so terrified of AIDS they had even stopped donating blood. So I wanted “Blood and Fire” to be about the fear of AIDS -- not the disease but the fear -- and one of the plot points involved having the crew donate blood to save the lives of the away team. I thought, “If we do this episode right, where blood donorship is part of solving the problem, we can put a card at the end telling viewers that they could donate blood to save lives, too.” I thought it was something Trek should be doing, raising social awareness on an issue, and if we did it right, we could probably generate a million new blood donors at a time when there was a critical shortage.

You wrote the script and…

Gerrold: There were two characters who were not very important to the story, but they were the kind of background characters you need. At one point Riker says to one of them, “How long have you two been together?” That was it. The guy replies, “Since the Academy.” That’s it. That’s all you need to know about their relationship. If you were a kid, you'd think they were just good buddies. If you were an adult, you'd get it. But I turned in the script and that's when the excrement hit the rotating blades of the electric air circulation device. There was a flurry of memos, pro and con. One memo said, “We’re going to be on at four in the afternoon in some places and we’re going to get angry letters from mommies.” My response was, “If we get people writing letters, it shows they’re involved in the show, and that’s exactly what we want. We want them engaged, and a little controversy will be great for us.” And I said, “Gene made a promise to the fans. If not here, where? If not now, when?” But the episode got shelved anyway and that’s when I knew I wasn't going to be allowed to write the very best stories we should be writing. The original show was about taking chances. If we weren't going to take chances, we weren't doing Star Trek. So I let my contract expire and I went off to do those other things I told you about. (Editor’s note: “Blood and Fire” later became the basis of Gerrold’s Star Wolf book series. Also, eventually, he revised the “Blood and Fire” teleplay and a directed it as a New Voyages fan film.) -


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Re: "Gay" Star Trek
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2016, 05:20:40 PM »
If any show, it should have been Star Trek.