(written from a Production point of view)
|Birth name:||Maurice Edward Hurley|
|Date of birth:||16 August 1939|
|Place of birth:||Boston, Massachusetts, USA|
|Date of death:||24 February 2015|
|Place of death:||USA|
|Hurley in 1988|
Hurley along with Robert Lewin, were brought in during the series' first season by Gene Roddenberry's lawyer, Leonard Maizlish (who had no authority whatsoever to do so, but the studio went along with it nevertheless), shortly thereafter replacing Original Series veterans D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold as head writers, despite Hurley never having worked on a science fiction series before. Appointed as showrunner, Roddenberry trusted Hurley 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" by writing darker, less-optimistic episodes, therefore adding conflicts among the writing staff. "That's just the way it is. Star Trek is not like any other show because it is one unique vision, and if you agree with Gene Roddenberry's vision for the future, you should be locked up somewhere," Hurley declared at the time, "It's wacky doodle, but it's his wacky doodle. If you can't deal with that, you can't do the show. There are rules on top of rules on top of rules. There are some people who have a deep history with Gene, whose eggs are bruised easily. People get confused about who really is Star Trek, and that messes people's heads up. Star Trek is Gene Roddenberry and nobody else." (Starlog, issue 152, p. 29)
He became co-executive producer of the series at the end of its first season but, 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 potential, deeming them too "wacky doodle" himself. Deeply embroiled with Roddenberry, Hurley left at the end of the second season. His position as head writer was eventually assumed by his friend, Michael Piller, who joined the Star Trek staff due to Hurley's invitation. (William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge; Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2003, pp. 29-30)
Hurley's first contribution had been the first season episode "Hide and Q", but the script was rewritten by Roddenberry to such an extent that Hurley requested the pseudonym C.J. Holland to be used instead for the credits. As the writer of the episode "Q Who", Hurley became 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"). Additionally, Hurley would shortly return to the series to write two more episodes, "Galaxy's Child" for season four and "Power Play" for season five.
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. Some other writers spoke more positively about Hurley, however; Melinda M. Snodgrass in particular recounted that she got on very well with him, and much better than she did succeeding showrunners Michael Wagner or Michael Piller, a viewpoint shared by Hans Beimler and Richard Manning. (TNG Season 3 Blu-ray-special features)
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. 
In February 1993, Hurley was shortly reacquainted with The Next Generation, when he, together with Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, were asked by Rick Berman to come up with script drafts for what was to become, Star Trek Generations, with the proviso that it somehow reflected the transition of the Original Crew to the Next Generation Crew. Hurley's story treatment involved a plot in which Captain James T. Kirk alone is propelled into the future, by having Captain Jean-Luc Picard recreating Kirk on the holodeck to help him to solve a dilemma involving an interdimensional species wreaking havoc by crossing into our realm (since Kirk had experience with the same kind of interdimensional rift during the events of "The Tholian Web").
Berman stated, "In both scripts, the stories that we developed, were stories that entailed to different degrees members of The Original Series along with The Next Generation. First, we went through the story development on both, and both stories were submitted to the studio. We got a lot of notes from the studio, the stories were revised, and then we went to first draft on each. Eventually, it became quite obvious that the studio and I were leaning toward Ron's and Brannon's script. That's not to say Maury's script wasn't terrific, it just was far less advanced by the time we really had to make a decision." Moore's and Braga's script treatment was preferred as it featured Kirk in the flesh, whereas the rest of the Original Crew was to be featured in an extended prologue, though Berman intimated at the time that Hurley's script treatment "may be used for subsequence movies", which it never was as it turned out. Hurley had turned in a completed script on 1 October 1993. (; Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2003, p. 308; Cinefantastique, Vol 26 #2, p. 16)
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.  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, of which three were by his first wife, Adrienne St.John Geer.
Writing Credits Edit
- "Hide and Q" (teleplay with Gene Roddenberry, story - as C.J. Holland - Season 1)
- "Datalore" (story with Robert Lewin)
- "11001001" (with Robert Lewin)
- "Heart of Glory" (teleplay, story with Herbert J. Wright and D.C. Fontana)
- "The Arsenal of Freedom" (story with Robert Lewin)
- "The Neutral Zone" (teleplay and television story)
- "The Child" (with Jaron Summers and Jon Povill - Season 2)
- "Time Squared" (teleplay)
- "Q Who"
- "Shades of Gray" (teleplay with Richard Manning and Hans Beimler, story)
- "Galaxy's Child" (teleplay - Season 4)
- "Power Play" (story with Paul Ruben)
Producing credits Edit
- Star Trek: The Next Generation ("The Naked Now" - "When The Bough Breaks") - Producer
- Star Trek: The Next Generation ("Coming of Age" - "Shades of Gray") - Co-Executive Producer
Star Trek interviews Edit
- The Star Trek Saga: From One Generation To The Next, interviewed on 20 September 1988 (excerpts from the same interview appeared in TNG Season 2 DVD specials "Mission Overview Year Two - Whoopi Goldberg, Ten Forward, Gene Roddenberry" and "Departmental Briefing Year Two: Production - Writing, Music")
- "Star Trek The Next Generation", Mark A. Altman, Cinefantastique, Vol 21 #2, 1990, pp. 24-et al.
- "Matters of Honor", Edward Gross, Starlog, issue 152, March 1990, pp. 29-33, 64
- William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge, 2014