(written from a Production point of view)
Herbert "Herb" J. Wright (9 November 1946 – 24 August 2005; age 58) was the writer or co-writer of four episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was also a Co-Producer during the show's first season (from "Encounter at Farpoint" to "Skin of Evil"), and a producer on six episodes of the fifth season (from "The Masterpiece Society" to "Cause and Effect").
Wright wrote the episode "The Last Outpost", which introduced the Ferengi. He also wrote the second Ferengi episode, "The Battle". Because of this, he has been dubbed the "Father of the Ferengi". As a joke reference, a character named after him (Herb Wright) was listed in a Starfleet office directory in TNG: "Violations".
Wright wrote the second draft of David Gerrold's controversial, unproduced episode, "Blood and Fire", which he retitled "Blood and Ice", under the strictest of instructions from Gene Roddenberry – reinforced by Roddenberry's attorney, Leonard Maizlish – not to have Gerrold work on the script. (Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek, p. 249) Wright kept the same basic adventure, but removed the allegedly gay characters and the AIDS allegory. Despite the rewrite, this version remained unfilmed as well.
Wright left The Next Generation near the end of the first season due to the poor treatment given to writers by Gene Roddenberry's reviled attorney, Maizlish (Wright himself had an exceptionally good relationship with Roddenberry, stemming from his The Questor Tapes days), and Maurice Hurley. He made a brief return to the show as a producer for part of the fifth season, at the invitation of Rick Berman. While Wright thought that, behind the scenes, the fifth season was much friendlier, he left after only a few months, citing creative differences over the show's direction with Michael Piller. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 224)
Career outside Star Trek
After he graduated from Yale with honors, Wright moved to Hollywood to begin working in the filmmaking industry. He also studied in Japan as an exchange student, during which he met with legendary director Akira Kurosawa, and began his lifelong study of martial arts.
Wright previously worked with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry when the latter was developing the television pilot The Questor Tapes. The project fell through, however, as Roddenberry left the production due to creative differences with the studio, even though Wright himself did try to revitalize the project in the 2000s, keeping as close as possible to Roddenberry's original vision for the project.
Wright was an associate producer on the television series McCloud, which starred Diana Muldaur. Other TV series he produced include The Six Million Dollar Man, Night Gallery, and Hunter. He also wrote for the latter series.
Wright passed away on 24 August 2005. He was fifty-eight years old.
- "Herb Wright", Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 11, March 2000, pp. 62-67
- "Behind the Scenes: Creating the Ferengi", Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 17, September 2000, pp. 24-26, 28-30, 32