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TrekToday - Joe Menosky Enters 'The Dead Zone'

Joe Menosky Enters 'The Dead Zone'

By Caillan
March 16, 2002 - 6:43 PM

Veteran Trek writer-producer Joe Menosky has joined the writing staff of The Dead Zone, the new sci-fi series from DS9 and Voyager co-creator Michael Piller set to premiere in June.

Menosky will fill the role of executive consultant, according to the series's new web site, TheDeadZone.net. "[Menosky is] one of the greatest writers I've ever worked with," Piller wrote. "Joe wrote the famous 'Darmok' episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and dozens more classic episodes for the Trek franchise. I believe Joe's first script for us, entitled 'Enigma,' will be classic television, too."

Originally a journalist before moving into television, Menoksy joined the writing staff of Star Trek: The Next Generation in its fourth season. In addition to 'Darmok,' Menosky penned episodes such as 'The Nth Degree,' 'Time's Arrow' and 'The Chase.' Although he moved to Europe after TNG's fifth season, Menosky continued to contribute on a freelance basis, also writing installments of Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

Signing on board Voyager full-time in season three, Menosky rose to the rank of co-executive producer. During his tenure, he wrote many of the series's pivotal episodes, including 'Scorpion, Parts I and II,' 'Hope and Fear' and 'Timeless,' together with Brannon Braga. Menosky is probably best known as the writer who started inserting the number 47 into his scripts, a tradition carried on by Braga, Ron D. Moore and others.

In addition to Menosky, Piller has been actively seeking fresh, new writing talent, which led him to hire Minnesota playwright David Benz as a staff writer. Approximately a dozen stories have also been bought from freelancers.

The executive producer highlighted his philosophy behind the writing of the series. "I am first and foremost a writer," Piller said. "I take great pride in our scripts and, frankly, I'd like to show them off. One of the things I'd like to do on this website, if possible, is to post our teleplays after the show runs. We might even include the first act of the following week's episode to whet your appetite a little."

Although only in the preliminary stages, Piller would like to see the web site become an interactive portal for fans. "Our goal with this website is to provide the kind of behind-the-scenes commentary you might get on a premium DVD of your favorite movie. We'll be answering your questions, giving you insights about creative decisions, and try to give you an idea about what goes on behind the scenes."

Based on the book by Stephen King, The Dead Zone stars Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith, a young man who emerges from a coma six years after being struck down in a traffic accident. He finds that not only has his mother died and his fiancÚ married another man, but he's now gifted with psyhic powers that enable him to see into the lives of anyone he touches.

The series also stars former Deep Space Nine actress Nicole de Boer as Johnny's fiancÚ Sarah, Chris Bruno as Sarah's new husband, John Adams as Johnny's friend Bruce, and veteran David Odgen Stiers (Dr. Timicin in TNG's 'Half a Life') as priest Gene Purdy.

Originally developed for Enterprise network UPN, USA Networks ordered 22 episodes of the series in January (story). Production starts this month in Vancouver, Canada, with the series set to premiere in a Sunday-night timeslot in June. The series will be produced by Michael Piller, his son Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan.

To find out more about the series, visit TheDeadZone.net.

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