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Episode 52: Marc Cushman

In this episode we speak with writer Marc Cushman, a fan of Star Trek since it originally aired. Marc is a writer and has credits for multiple shows over his 40+ year career but is probably best known to Trek fans as the author, along with Jake Jacobs, of the story that became Sarek, Episode 23 of TNG’s third season.

Headshot of guest Marc Cushman
Marc Cushman


  • The old Gold Key series
  • Is TMP all about multiple characters just having mid-life crises?
  • Marc’s opinions on what Trek he likes and how you should “love them all”
  • Marc’s collection and how he gave it away
  • Early convention experiences
  • Taking his publisher to the convention
  • The pivotal influence of early female Star Trek fans
  • How Trek influenced young Marc to become a writer
  • Marc’s relationship with Gene Roddenberry
  • Pitching the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Sarek to Gene and Michael Piller
  • The Stephen Whitfield book: The Making of Star Trek
  • Marc’s books on TOS can be found here. If you’d like to order them, you can get autographed copies and custom bookmarks if you order directly from the publisher on that site versus third-party sites.
  • The I Spy series
  • The behind-the-scenes issues the doomed The Alternative Factor
  • Discussions about a Star Trek revival started earlier than John had thought
  • The cause of the original Animated Series
  • The two English writers
  • Leonard Nimoy did not approve of Blooper Reels
  • Gene liked to push boundaries
  • Gene versus the Network
    • Why did Gene try to make TV that he knew the network couldn’t approve?
  • My guest opines on what Gene might have thought about the Kelvin films
  • Hunter S. Thompson and The Great Gatsby
  • Marc on recognizing Shatner’s acting skills
  • On the awkwardness of teenage boys
  • This missing portion of the script that would have made Spectre of Gun awesome
  • Preferring the original effects as opposed to the remastered effects in TOS
  • The NBC “peacock” that used to play before TOS in original broadcast
  • From the Bonus Material
    • Marc talks about his involvement in several sci-fi adult films
    • My guest also reflects on his career as writer

Be sure to check out Marc’s authoritative history of the making of TOS here. These books also tell the story of many of the cast and crew during the original show and continuing thought the original cast films.

Episodes Discussed

  • The Devil in the Dark TOS S1E26
  • Arena TOS S1E19
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
  • Spock’s Brain TOS S3E06
  • Sarek TNG S3E23
  • The Alternative Factor TOS S1E20
  • The Enemy Within TOS S1E05
  • This Side of Paradise TOS S1E25
  • Shore Leave TOS S1E17
  • Charlie X TOS S1E02
  • Journey to Babel TOS S2E10
  • Specter of the Gun TOS S3E06


Honorary Star Trek title awarded: Special Lecturer on Federation History at the memory Alpha Complex

Background photo by Alexis Balinoff on Unsplash