So, fifty years ago – Earth Time – Star Trek began to show the voyages of the USS Enterprise on television. It’s future has evolved much in a half century (Earth Time), and certainly over the Star Dates of the future. And into the past. I tried to hitch a ride on this star.
So, eons ago, I wrote a script for Star Trek, The Next Generation. Memory says (and I’ve been told my memory is not up to light speed), this was the only television series that asked for, and actively used, scripts from writers outside their own stable. They used one script per season from these submissions. So I submitted.
I had a response from Lolita Fatjo, and it gave me some quiet thrill to see her name among the STTNG credits at the end of each show. I believe she was classed under “Pre production”. I also thought she had a real nifty name. I note she currently still has dealings with Star Trek, helping to facilitate Star Trek Fan conferences and arranging appearances by some of the Star Trek stars.
I did not have an abundance of communication with Ms. Fatjo (I liked to think of her as Lolita). I think I got a package of information about the type of thing they wanted for a script. Memory says there was a desire to have a main plot line concentrating on just two or three of the main characters. There was to be one additional sub plot. There were arcs to accommodate the commercials. I believe they hoped for some humour. And timing, of course, all was timed to the exact minute. I followed directions and wrote a script and put it into the format and sent it off. I had two further dealings with Lolita. One told me they had received the script. The other – so deliciously close to the end of the season – was to tell me they would not be using it.
The script was called The Minstrel. An alien had a musical instrument (I think a horn, but it might have been strings) that would play tunes which adapted to whomever he was talking to. It had other properties, but I think I’ll keep them tucked away. You never know – there is a new show. Anyway, the Minstrel would interact (per act) with the Star Trek characters. Revelations were forthcoming. Not too many special effects (which was something else Lolita requested).
I received no big cheques or writing credits from this foray into television land. But not all was lost. I was writing my script in tandem with a friend who was writing her own script. News of our endeavours made the local writing circuit, and we were interviewed on regional radio. From that, we were asked to speak to a couple of writing classes, and even invited to an alternate world fan club to give a reading. We boldly went.