Fontana Recalls 'The Animated Adventures'

By Caillan
September 21, 2003 - 7:24 AM

Veteran Star Trek scribe D.C. Fontana recently looked back on her experiences working on The Animated Adventures.

Speaking with, Fontana said the concept of an animated Trek show was given the thumbs-up from all involved. "I liked the idea because of all the things we could do in animation, so I felt that in terms of staff, it was well-received," she said. "We approached the actors, and they were quite enthusiastic about it. It was an opportunity to work and it didn't have all the stresses and strains of being on the set."

Fontana, who served as story editor and associate producer, was able to recruit several former Star Trek writers to pen episodes after the Writers Guild staged a strike in 1973. "None of the writers could write for normal film production, however, they could write for animation, and do at least one episode without having to join that particular union," she said. "That's how we got a lot of Star Trek writers, who were happy to be working and they could work legally on the animated series."

Although the new animated Trek incarnation was conceived as a Saturday morning cartoon series geared towards children, Fontana refused to compromise on the quality of the episodes. "We couldn't be too cerebral with the stories, in the sense that we still had a kid audience to think about. But we tried to tell Star Trek stories, with a moral, with a point. To do it in that half-hour was kind of an interesting technique to learn how to do.

"Our stories were not simple. They were complex, they did have sub-plots, much more so than most animated scripts, most cartoon scripts, because we weren't doing a cartoon, we were doing Star Trek. That's why, when you look at them, you see an awful lot of story in those 22 minutes."

Asked whether she thought an animated series could work today, Fontana was upbeat about the possibility. "It might be interesting to see a mixture of Next Gen, DS9 and Voyager as a collaborative effort, because the stories do tie together, they do link to one another. That might be fun if someone chose to put that together."

The complete video interview, in which the writer also talked about "Yesteryear" and several other Animated Series episodes, can be downloaded here at

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