TNG Producer and Ferengi Writer Herb Wright DiesBy Michelle
September 8, 2005 - 7:46 PM
"Father of the Ferengi" Herbert J. Wright, a writer and producer who was involved in the earliest stages of Star Trek: The Next Generation, died on Wednesday, August 24th. He is survived by his wife, a daughter from a previous marriage and three grandchildren.
A TNG producer during the series' first season, Wright wrote "The Last Outpost", which introduced the Ferengi, as well as follow-up episode "The Battle." He also worked on the first Klingon episode of second-generation Trek, "Heart of Glory", reported StarTrek.com. Though he left to produced Paramount's War of the Worlds, he returned to Star Trek during TNG's fifth season and co-wrote "Power Play."
Wright knew Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry from 1973, when the former was a producer on The Six Million Dollar Man and the latter was producing the film of The Questor Tapes with the hope of creating a series from the pilot. Wright, who was impressed by the dailies about the android-themed show, convinced Roddenberry to let him work on the developing series, but on the day he was due to start, Roddenberry left the show due to creative differences with Universal. In recent years, Wright acquired the rights to Questor from the Roddenberry family and planned to revive the series.
The producer was also instrumental in the development of the character of Data on The Next Generation, for Wright encouraged Roddenberry to avoid "cannibalizing" the character of Questor in case he might one day revive the series. Roddenberry did develop the humanoid android character, but Wright was planning a full production of Questor, which was scheduled to film in Santa Clarita at the time of his death. Though the financing was not yet in place, Wright's partners are still negotiating to produce Questor.
"He was a gentle thinker," said Eugene W. Roddenberry Jr.. "He wasn't a typical Hollywood producer. I was very impressed that when he wanted to do Questor, he would come to the conventions and talk to the fans, and find out what they wanted and what they thought."
An Emmy nominee along with director Ron Howard for the children's TV movie Through the Magic Pyramid, Wright also wrote and produced for Stingray, Space Rangers and other shows.
Wright's obituary is at StarTrek.com.