Cut yourself a slice of pecan pie and use it as ransom in a coerced cultural exchange as we consider “Prime Factors”!
Producer and writer Eric A. Stillwell joins the show this week to talk about an early episode of Star Trek: Voyager that he wrote the story for, along with David R. George III. When Voyager meets the Sikarians, a race with technology that could cut their journey home in half, they’re ready to trade everything they have to shorten their trip. However, the Sikarians have their own version of the Prime Directive, and the ideological clash that results threatens to fracture the crew’s fragile unity!
Eric has worked in Hollywood for over 30 years and helped Trek return to primetime TV in the 1980s, going from a Paramount page to a writer and story editor for Star Trek: The Next Generation. On this episode, we talk about the origins of “Prime Factors”, its roots in Assignment: Earth, its connection to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, flipping the Prime Directive on its head, turning Tuvok traitor, the perils of imperialism, and his struggle (along with David George) to get credit for his contributions!
Eric also wrote the story for a little episode called “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, Entertainment Weekly’s pick for best TNG episode, and we talk the origins of that idea and why Captain Garrett is named after a pizza place. Plus, Eric shares behind-the-scenes stories of his 10 years working on Trek, from being hired by Bob Justman, to naming Romulans for Maurice Hurley, to ghostwriting for Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, to pitching to Michael Piller, to giving character advice to Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes, to the career-threatening shenanigans of David Livingston’s son! Also, Eric talks about the “space ghost pitch board,” bringing Tasha Yar back to life, Tarantino’s “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” having your Original Series sequel pitches shot down, and he shares the inspiration for his book with David George and Armin Shimerman, “The 34th Rule”!
When Eric asks, “Do you really want to hear these stories?”, the answer is, “Yes!” You do!
Get the story of the story with Eric’s book, “The Making of Yesterday’s Enterprise”!
Read Eric, Dave, and Armin’s novel, “The 34th Rule”, and check out Dave’s DS9 book, “The Long Mirage”!
The 34th Rule
The Long Mirage
Listen to our episode about “Yesterday’s Enterprise”!
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Listen to “Season 3, Episode 15: “Prime Factors” (VOY) with Eric A. Stillwell” on Spreaker.