What are a few galaxies between friends?
June 25, 2012 7:30 AM Subscribe
In November 1966, Isaac Asimov wrote an article for TV Guide lamenting the shaky science of Star Trek. Roddenberry replied, arguing that simply knowing about science, and writing sci-fi novels, was not sufficient qualification to criticize television sci-fi.
In all friendliness, and with sincere thanks for the hundreds of wonderful hours of reading you have given me, it does seem to me that your article overlooked entirely the practical, factual and scientific problems involved in getting a television show on the air and keeping it there. Television deserved much criticism, not just SF alone but all of it, but that criticism should be aimed, not shot-gunned. For example, Star Trek almost did not get on the air because it refused to do a juvenile science fiction, because it refused to put a "Lassie" aboard the space ship, and because it insisted on hiring Dick Matheson, Harlan Ellison, A.E. Van Vogt, Phil Farmer, and so on.Seven months after this exchange, Roddenberry wrote Asimov again, asking for his help with a thorny scripting problem; William Shatner, despite being a fine actor, was consistently getting overshadowed by the more interesting characters of Spock and McCoy. Asimov's response might possibly have been the accidental genesis of slash fiction:
Then, too, it might be well to unify the team of Kirk and Spock a bit, by having them actively meet various menaces together with one saving the life of the other on occasion. The idea of this would be to get people to think of Kirk when they think of Spock.
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