Trek fans living near Gage County, Nebraska can attend several events taking place from March 2-4 honoring the late Gene Coon.
Gene Coon: From Beatrice, Nebraska, to Star Trek and Beyond will be presented by the Gage County Historical Society‘s Gage County Classic Film Institute.
The featured guest at the event will be author David Gerrold, who is best-known for his The Trouble With Tribbles episode of the original series. “To me, in many ways, Gene L. Coon was the heart and soul of Star Trek,” he said.
Coon was born and raised in Beatrice, which is in Gage County. As Trek fans know, he wrote for many shows including Wagon Train, Maverick and Bonanza.
“We want people to know who Gene Coon was,” said Sheila Day, Gage County Historical Society board vice president. “That he came from a small town in Nebraska and worked on many iconic TV shows which still have a large influence on American culture today. Star Trek is still relevant fifty-two years later because of its themes exploring what it means to be human. The current show on TV, Star Trek: Discovery, is using some of creatures and characters Gene helped create.”
The events held at the Beatrice Public Library will be free, with limited-seating on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- 7 PM Friday. Gerrold speaks, followed by book signing. Screening of The Trouble with Tribbles, which was produced by Coon.
- 7 PM Saturday. Screening of Project Questor
- 1:30 PM Sunday. Screening of the first Star Trek movie.
The next events will be held at the Beatrice Community Players Theater and the cost for both sessions will be $35.00.
- 9 AM Saturday. Local film historian Jeanelle Kleveland will discuss Coon’s western TV shows and Beatrice librarian Laureen Riedesel will discuss Coon’s Beatrice roots. It will be followed by a screening The Ape from Bonanza and The Emmett Lawton Story from Wagon Train. The latter episode was co-written by Coon’s brother, Bloise Coon.
- 1:30 PM Saturday. Gerrold will lecture about Coon’s numerous contributions to Star Trek. Two Star Trek TV episodes will be screened: The Devil in the Dark and A Taste of Armageddon.