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Maurice Hurley

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Maurice Hurley
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Maurice Hurley

Birth name: Maurice Edward Hurley
Gender: Male
Date of birth: 16 August 1939
Place of birth: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Date of death: 24 February 2015
Place of death: USA
Roles: Writer, Producer
Maurice Hurley in 1988.jpg

Hurley in 1988

Hurley in 1988

Maurice Edward Hurley (16 August 193924 February 2015; age 75) was a producer and writer on Star Trek: The Next Generation. [1]

Hurley along with Robert Lewin, were brought in to the series by Gene Roddenberry's lawyer, Leonard Maizlish (who had no authority whatsoever to do so, but the studio went along with it nevertheless), and they soon replaced Trek veterans D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold as head writers (despite Hurley never working on a science fiction series before). During the first season, Roddenberry appointed Hurley as showrunner, trusting him with keeping his so-called "vision of the future" and his directions for the show intact. Hurley took this task so seriously that he often got into argument with writers such as Tracy Tormé for "deviating" from Roddenberry's "dogmas", adding conflicts among the crew and writing darker, less-optimistic episodes. At one point, during the second season, he started to argue with Roddenberry himself, when the creator/executive producer endorsed a script which broke his own "guidelines". Subsequently, Hurley took a dimmer view on Roddenberry's guidelines, which he found lacking in dramatic story telling possibilities, going even as far as deeming them "wacky doodle" as early as 1990. (William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge; Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2003, pp. 29-30; Starlog, issue 152, p. 29)

He became Co-Executive Producer of the series at the end of its first season but left at the end of the second season, after difficulties with Gene Roddenberry. His position as head writer was eventually assumed by his friend, Michael Piller, who joined the Star Trek staff due to Hurley's invitation. Nonetheless, Hurley would return to the series to write two more episodes, "Galaxy's Child" for season four and "Power Play" for season five. Hurley was also assigned to write a treatment and a first draft script for the proposed seventh Star Trek feature film, but producer Rick Berman and the studio both preferred Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga's version over his.

As the writer of the episode "Q Who", Hurley was the creator of the Borg when he came up with the idea of an unbeatable foe. (TNG Season 2 DVD special feature "Departmental Briefing Year Two: Production") Alongside Rob Bowman and Bowman's assistant he also provided the Voice of the Borg for this episode. He was also partly responsible for the introduction of Lore (having co-written the story for "Datalore") and the introduction of the Romulans in the Next Generation era (he wrote the teleplay for "The Neutral Zone").

The late Herbert J. Wright cited Hurley as one of the reasons he left TNG. He described Hurley as "basically playing drinking buddies with Gene." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 224) Tracy Tormé also named Hurley as one of the causes of his departure, after numerous disagreements over Tormé's scripts. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, pp. 170, 177-178, 181-182) Tormé later referred to Hurley as "a very unpopular person" in the DVD audio commentary for the Sliders pilot episode, having named an irascible character after his former TNG boss.

According to Rick Berman, Hurley was the reason behind Gates McFadden's departure from The Next Generation in its second season, as he disliked her acting and "had a bone to pick with her." After he left the show in the third season, McFadden was invited back by Berman. [2]

The somewhat contentious circumstances under which Hurley left, has caused him to refrain from making any public statement on his Star Trek involvement after his 1990 interviews (see below), until 2014 when he was persuaded to give his side of the story for the documentary William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge. [3] This turned out to be timely, as Hurley was to pass away a short time later.

Other Works Edit

Before his time on TNG, Hurley co-wrote a Canadian science fiction film called Firebird 2015 AD in 1981. He then became a co-producer on The Equalizer, a series which starred Robert Lansing and Keith Szarabajka. Hurley also wrote at least nine episodes of this series, which he followed up with writing several episodes for the then very popular series Miami Vice.

After leaving TNG, Hurley wrote a number of episodes for Kung Fu: The Legend Continues and became a writer and executive producer on the short-lived series Pointman. From 1996 through 1997, he served as executive producer for Baywatch Nights and wrote several episodes of that series, as well. He moved on to become a writer and co-executive producer on Baywatch from 1999 through 2000.

Hurley wrote the screenplay for the 2002 film Groom Lake from a story by William Shatner, who also directed and starred in the film (with Dan Gauthier). In addition, Hurley wrote a 2001 film called The Proposal and two episodes of the hit series 24 – one for the first season and another for the second. Trek performers who appeared in the 24 episodes which Hurley wrote include Jude Ciccolella, Michelle Forbes, Penny Johnson, Daniel Dae Kim, and Harris Yulin, all of whom were either regular or recurring players at the time.

Upon his passing in 2015, Hurley was survived by his wife of 43 years, Geraldine Garrett, and four children.

Writing Credits Edit

Producing credits Edit

Star Trek interviews Edit

External link Edit

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