Fontana, Comic Writers Contemplate Canonicity of Animated SeriesBy Michelle
July 23, 2007 - 7:04 PM
D.C. Fontana, who wrote several classic episodes of the original Star Trek and later worked on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, does not believe that series creator Gene Roddenberry intended for the animated series - for which she was a story editor - to be considered canon.
"I suppose 'canon' means what Gene Roddenberry decided it was. Remember, we were making it up as we went along," Fontana told IDW, who currently holds the license for Star Trek comics. "For whatever reason, Gene Roddenberry apparently didn’t take the animated series seriously...although we worked very hard to do original Star Trek stories and concepts at all times in the animated series."
Fontana pointed out that Roddenberry used the same researchers to keep the science and technology consistent in the animated series as he had in the live action show. "There are certain basic ground rules established which I don’t think can be easily tossed aside," added Fontana. "I really hated it when one of the features [Star Trek V: The Final Frontier] came up with a half brother for Spock when I had always insisted he had no other siblings...go figure."
The Star Trek: Year Four comic soon to be released by IDW includes the animated series characters Arex and M'Ress, both of whom would have been difficult to retain convincingly in canon in the films since Arex has more limbs than a human and M'Ress is a catlike humanoid. The holodeck, which was first introduced in the animated series, has been canon for many years in the second generation of Star Trek shows. TrekMovie.com pointed out that other elements of animated series lore, such as Spock's home from "Yesteryear" - written by Fontana - have been included in the remastered original series episodes currently in syndication.
TrekMovie.com's editor interviewed animated series writer Fred Bronson in Star Trek Magazine whether he thought the cartoons should be considered canon. "I sort of felt that it exists in its own universe," he said. "I find it difficult to accept M'Ress and Arex as part of canon." However, Bronson's Captain April was later accepted by Roddenberry as Captain Pike's predecessor in command of the Enterprise.