2MTL 252: So MANY Hands Made Doctor Who Work!

Star Trek and Doctor Who are polar opposites in many ways (see also Toby Hadoke's Trek takedown in Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf). But as I watched the documentary Trek Nation I was struck at the contrast between Gene Roddenberry's looming role over the franchise (even after his death!) and its much less personality-driven cousin across the Atlantic.

Hey! See me at Gallifrey One next month, including a cameo during Radio Free Skaro and the World of Tomorrow! Say "Hi"! I promise I'll say "hi" back.

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  1. I admit I have only seen half of "Trek Nation," but it seems a largely hagiographic exercise that overstates Roddenberry's influence on Trek. Yes, he created it, but "drove" it? Not since the first season of "The Next Generation." The franchise most assuredly did NOT revolve around him, let alone once he died. He would never have allowed "Deep Space Nine" on the air had he been in his full capacity, for example, as it was being created. (And I speak as a fan of DS9). Read Solow and Justman's "Inside Star Trek" for a much more balanced view of how the original series really was the work of many hands – as is "Doctor Who."

    I think you've really set up a straw man here, and I'm unsure why.

  2. I think I have read Solow and Justman's book, a long time ago. I also devoured David Gerrold's books, back in the day, that made Gene L. Coon's contributions to Trek very apparent. At the same time, though, there's been a thread of "What Would Gene Do" through so much of Trek, even when he was held at arm's length from it, even as Berman was running the show, that I don't think it's a straw man at all. There may be a more unified vision of what Star Trek "is," and that may be down to the fact that it was more clearly authored.

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