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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

For the in-universe article on the writer, please see Theodore Sturgeon (author).

Theodore "Ted" Sturgeon (26 February 19188 May 1985; age 67), born Edward Hamilton Waldo, was a prolific science fiction author. He made his mark in the Star Trek universe, crafting the backstory for Spock and the Vulcans in TOS: "Amok Time", an episode that garnered him a Hugo Award nomination.

Sturgeon wrote two Star Trek: The Original Series episodes, "Shore Leave" and "Amok Time". He also wrote two unproduced story outlines: "The Joy Machine", which was later developed into a first draft teleplay by Meyer Dolinsky, then into a novel by James Gunn, published by Pocket Books, and "Shore Leave II", an intended sequel to "Shore Leave".

It is not too widely known, but Sturgeon wrote the famous line 'Live Long and Prosper' (which accompanies the Vulcan hand salute, and was first spoken by T'Pau to Spock in the episode 'Amok Time'). Leonard Nimoy recounted this detail and described where the Vulcan hand salute came from in an interview with the Television Academy in 2000. [1]

Sturgeon was liked by the Star Trek staff for his fertile imagination and writing skills, however he wasn't familiar enough with the television format and his stories often turned out to be too expensive or simply impossible to be put to the screen. He also worked very slowly, often taking months to get from outline to teleplay and then to revised drafts. The story for "Shore Leave" has been assigned in April 1966, finally filmed in late October. "Amok Time" was planned to be a first season episode, but had to be postponed until season 2. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One; These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Two)

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 479), the character Sturgeon from "The Man Trap" was named after him. Sturgeon was also referred to in dialogue in DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars", and thus has a namesake in the Star Trek universe.

Career outside Star Trek

Sturgeon was born Edward Hamilton Waldo in Staten Island, New York. He was a distant relative of the well known US writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is sometimes said his brother Peter Sturgeon introduced Mensa to the USA. After his mother remarried to William Dickie Sturgeon, the brothers changed their surname to Sturgeon.

In addition to his work on Star Trek, Sturgeon also wrote an episode of The Invaders, the basis of the horror film Killdozer!, an episode of Land of the Lost and also some episodes of The Twilight Zone revival series in the 1980s.

Sturgeon knew and interacted with numerous other well-known science fiction writers including L. Ron Hubbard, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut (Sturgeon was the basis of Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout character), and John W. Campbell.

In later life, he lived in Oregon, where he died.


The Theodore Sturgeon Award is named for him. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kentucky. [2] Kij Johnson and George Zebrowski have also been involved, and Pamela Sargent has won it.

Star Trek award

Sturgeon has earned the following award nomination for his work in Star Trek:

Further reading

External links