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‘FANTASTICAL + PERSONAL’

By MORGAN GENDEL

I’ve written or produced about 200 episodes of television, and there has to be a reason “THE INNER LIGHT” episode of Star Trek:The Next Generation moves its viewers in ways the other 199 don’t. Here’s what I think makes it stand out: it’s intensely emotional in a down-to-earth way even as the story spins on a highly futuristic bit of tech.

That tech – the nucleonic beam – set the Starship Enterprise’s Capt. Jean-Luc Picard on “the road not taken” in his personal life in a way neither musing nor meditating could have accomplished.

In my April 25 workshop, “Create the Next (Hypothetical) Sci-Fi TV Series,” we’ll try for a similar confluence of the fantastical and the personal. I’ll guide participants as we work collaboratively to generate an original sci-fi concept and then graft it onto a set of characters and a plotline that’s Ready for Prime Time.

As the seminar title states, the series we create is totally hypothetical – don’t go buying that second Park Slope duplex just yet – but it’s the getting there that’s the fun. I lecture or consult in many different countries where they know that the American-style Writers Room is the secret to mass-producing quality drama series. We’ll be simulating just such a room with its (mostly) egalitarian vibe, ubiquitous snacking (if you bring them) and (hopefully not) stale air.

At the end of six hours together, we’ll all have been on a bit of a road not taken. I can’t wait to see where it ends! Sign up for the workshop here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Morgan Gendel
Morgan Gendel is perhaps best known as writer of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Inner Light,” for which he won the Hugo Award. His other sci-fi/comic credits include The Dresden Files, which he brought to TV as Executive producer; MTV’s Spider-Man, in which he served as Head Writer and Showrunner; and additional episodes of both Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. He also received Emmy and Writers Guild nominations for his work on Law & Order. Gendel teaches TV Drama Writing at Columbia College Chicago/Semester in L.A., at the International Film School, Cologne and at Filmakademie, Ludwigsburg. He has been a consultant to several European broadcasters, most recently on the series “Sweet Life” for TNT, Moscow. During his weeklong visit to Brooklyn from his home in Santa Monica, California, Gendel will also speak at the Brooklyn Public Library on April 21, following a screening of “The Inner light.”

Tuesday, April 21 7-9 PM Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library