We all know that our favorite games, comics, movies and TV shows are probably collaborative affairs. There are dozens if not hundreds of people involved in bringing a successful franchise to life. But we as a culture just love the story of the creative genius so much -- one brilliant madman spawning ideas fully grown from his forehead, with no help or support from anybody -- that we heap tremendous praise on the rare few who manage to do it.
These ... are not those people.
6Star Trek: Gene Roddenberry
Gene Roddenberry is world renowned for creating the original 1966 Star Trek series, which grew over the years to spawn 11 (soon to be 12) feature films, more than 700 episodes of television, dozens of video games and countless books. Star Trek itself also gave birth to both the modern fan convention phenomenon and the concept of slash fan-fic. So ... thanks, we think?
We can't help but feel a little abused.
We basically gave the guy dominion over space for making a sweet TV show, is the long and short of it. We assume he rules it with an iron fist.
© 1976 Larry D. Moore
And, apparently, a plastic shirt.
Who Actually Deserves the Credit:
It's a sad fact of life: There's only enough room in the human heart for one Gene at a time. That's why you probably haven't heard of Gene Coon. He served as producer for the original Star Trek in its first and second seasons, wrote eight of those episodes, and then wrote another four for the third season. Among his contributions to the franchise are the Klingons, the Federation, Starfleet Command and the Prime Directive. He also wrote the episodes with Gorn (the lizard man), Khan, those half-black/half-white aliens who taught us that space racism is bad (again) and the inventor of the warp drive. Basically, if there's something you remember from old Star Trek that's not Uhura's miniskirt or Kirk's dropkick, Coon did it.
"But the two-handed punch? That was all Shatner."
William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy have both called Coon the unsung hero of Star Trek. And without his over-arching structure and influence, Star Trek probably would've just been a show about unitard-wearing swingers screwing aliens across the galaxy. Which is ... kind of awesome, actually. We call dibs on the rights.
We shall call it: Sexual Predators Lost in Space.
We wouldn't even have to change the leading man.