Legendary Star Trek writer DC Fontana passes away at 80

Dorothy Catherine Fontana, the first female writer for Star Trek franchise who was popularly known by her pen name DC Fontana, died on Monday evening due to a short illness. She was 80. The official website for the franchise described her as a "legendary writer" who was behind many of the classic episodes of Star Trek. Some of the show's sequels penned by Fontana include Journey to Babel and Yesteryear.

While Fontana introduced actual life characters like Spock's parents Amanda and Sarek in Journey to Babel, the writer used time traveller in Yesteryear for Spock to rescue his younger version. Other popular episodes penned by her for the franchise include The Side of Paradise, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the pilot episode for Star Trek: The Next Generation, titled Encounter at Farpoint.

Wrote Star-Trek themed novels

The writer's also penned few Star-Trek themed novels, such as Vulcan's Glory and Questor Tapes. Her last work for the franchise was a webseries called Star Trek: New Voyages, for which she wrote an episode. Fontana did not just brought life to many of the popular Star Trek episodes, she also paved way for the female writers to come forward and be a part of the science fiction world, stated the official website for Star Trek Series.

DC Fontana
Star Trek writer DC Fontana dies at 80. Creative Commons/Larry Nemecek

Fontana began her journey for Star Trek with show creator Gene Roddenberry in 1963. At that time she was working with The Lieutenant's producer as a production secretary. When Roddenberry brought her to the franchise to work with him, the first that was asked by him was to select a story for an episode of season one, titled Charlie X, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Senior lecturer at American Film Institute

Some of her works outside Star Trek franchise include Ben Casey, The Wild Wild West, Bonanza, The Streets of San Francisco, Logan's Run, The Six Million Dollar Man, Dallas, Babylon 5 and The Waltons among others. For the last few years, Fontana was working at the American Film Institute as a senior lecturer, wherein she took classes for aspiring producers, directors and screenwriters.