During the break between the first and second seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I went to a local Star Trek convention and heard David Gerrold speak. he talked about some of his frustrations working on ST:TNG and told us about a show he had been invited to develop for another studio.

Some of the aspects of this show were in response to what he felt was too much of a "neatness" in ST:TNG, with characters who were too well adjusted and a galaxy where everything was going well. He talked about basing it on a warship and pattering it after the old WWII movies. One idea he had was casting Ann Ramsey (best know for her role in Throw Mama from a Train) as the ship's doctor. When she arrived, in the first show, as a slam against the character of Wesley Crusher, the Captain would ask the Doctor if she had any kids and she'd snap, in an insulted growl, "No!"

He talked about the situation in the Pacific in WWII and how this show would resemble that, with many ships on patrol and different planets and solar systems to protect, just like the destroyers in WWII.

I've never seen any indication of this show even making it to production and there's no trace (that I could find, on David Gerrold's page) in the IMDB.

Did anything ever become of this show? Was it handed off to someone else to produce a pilot? Did Gerrold turn it into books?

Or did it just not work out and was never heard from again?

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    Some years ago, after he left TNG and before it ended (so mid-1980s) I heard David Gerrold make a tongue-in-cheek announcement at a convention. Quoting from memory, "Gene Roddenberry and I have reached an agreement regarding the circumstances for my returning to Star Trek. We've both agreed it will be over his dead body." Feb 29, 2012 at 20:25
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    @KeithThompson: I suppose it had to have been before Roddenberry died, too, which was October, 1991. I wonder if Gerrold still thought it was funny after that. But I can see why writers involved with the original series would dislike ST:TNG and I remember he had some quite valid criticisms of the show when I heard him speak.
    – Tango
    Feb 29, 2012 at 20:30
  • Correction: late 1980s. TNG aired from 1987 to 1994; Roddenberry died in 1991. Yes, it was definitely while Roddenberry was still alive. Feb 29, 2012 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


I think this was Star Wolf.

Gerrold had planned to develop this concept into a TV series, as he writes in an introduction to Voyage of the Star Wolf. The later novels were written after the TV concept had been presented. The Star Wolf series reflects Gerrold's contention that, due to the distances involved, space battles would be more like submarine hunts than the dogfights usually portrayed—in most cases the ships doing battle wouldn't even be able to see each other. Gerrold referred to the concept as "World War II in space," and intended it as a stylistic opposite of Star Trek (particularly its "Next Generation" incarnation) by setting the main characters on a small, dingy spacecraft that had little respect in the fleet rather than on the flagship. His inability to sell the concept as a television project led to the book series.

(Also, sadly Anne Ramsey died just about the same time.)

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    Another concept that he was hoping for was the ship being the star of the show, with an ever revolving cast crew. I'm still holding hope that someday Star Wolf will see the light of day. I LOVE the concept. And the first Star Wolf book (haven't read the rest yet) was very entertaining. Feb 29, 2012 at 17:45

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