November 18th, 2008

amd: Parisian Primate

brilliant sci-fi screenwriter Michael Taylor

I've been slowly re-watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine lately and this weekend got to what is probably my second favorite episode, The Visitor (Season 4, Episode 2). The basic premise is that after losing his father (Commander Sisko) at the age of 18, Jake Sisko spends the rest of his life haunted by the incident and trying to bring him back. Maybe I'm just a big cry baby (especially about father-son stories), but even after multiple viewings I still find it to be one of the most emotionally-affecting stories ever. I couldn't even tell K. about the story without getting all choked up again.

I was so impressed by it that I had to IMDB the writer, Michael Taylor. As it turns out, he also wrote my other favorite episode of the series, In The Pale Moonlight, a brilliant political intrigue story that really ripped Trek's shiny utopian vision a new one.

After DS9, he followed Michael and Shawn Piller to their new Stephen King-inspired show The Dead Zone, which I've watched a little of here and there. I've tracked down all the episodes he wrote of that show and am putting that next on my viewing slate.

But I couldn't stop there. Because for its third season, DS9 alum Ronald Moore recruited Taylor to write for his Battlestar Galactica remake. I'm not sure why I've avoided Battlestar for so long, but it's up there with The Wire for sheer number of brushed away personal endorsements from friends. So, after the Dead Zone episodes, I'm finally going to dive into that little epic.