(written from a Production point of view)
Mark A. Altman (born 29 October 1966; age 48) is a comic book author, having written a number of issues for Malibu Comics, including the entire Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Maquis: Soldier of Peace and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Hearts and Minds series. He also contributed a story for DC Comics. Still, he is best known as a film and television writer and producer.
In addition to his works as a journalist and authoring Star Trek comics, he is also a movie producer and was one of the writers and producers of the 1999 comedy Free Enterprise , which was directed and co-written by Robert Meyer Burnett. Altman had met Burnett at San Diego ComiCon at a screening they were jointly producing of a Peter David film, and through their mutual interest as Star Trek fans inspired the story line in which two less than successful film producers, approaching mid-life crisis and clinging to their geeky sci-fi obsessions, suddenly meet their idol William Shatner. Shatner agreed to the role when the two rewrote his character in the comedy as an over-the-hill, womanizing alcoholic, allowing Shatner in turn to poke fun at himself. . The film won numerous awards.
Altman is also the co-author of several unauthorized reference books about the Star Trek saga, all of them with Edward Gross and much of which stemming from his writings for Cinefantastique magazine. Their newest book, The Fifty-Year Mission, Volume One: The First 25 Years, will be the first of two volumes; each devoted to 25 years of Star Trek.
While working for Cinefantastique, from 1989 through 1993, he contributed numerous Star Trek articles for their themed issues. In 2003, he acquired publishing rights for the magazine, after it folded upon the death of its founder and chief editor Frederic S. Clarke, and relaunched it with Mark Gottwald under the new title CFQ in 2003. Returning to its original formula of being a critical review magazine, they sold the magazine after several years to publisher Joe Sena. During his time with the magazine, Altman visited the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine set during the filming of "In the Hands of the Prophets". (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 96)
While Altman was and is a life-long Star Trek fan, he was not convinced of the viability of the franchise when a fifth, prequel series was announced, what eventually was to become Star Trek: Enterprise, fearing the franchise would overstretch itself. When interviewed by TV Guide, he expressed his great doubt, being on record as having stated, "People are sick of Star Trek. But rather than give the franchise a rest and re-launch in a few years when fervor has built again, Paramount is going to run it into the ground until it's dead."  Events however, would prove him largely right.
Altman has branched out into the motion picture industry, predominantly working as a (co-)producer from 1998 onward, working on documentaries, television movies, and television series such as Castle (2009), Necessary Roughness (2011) and Femme Fatales (2012). He is currently the Co-Executive Producer of TNT's "Agent X" (2015). One of his very first motion picture projects was Free Enterprise, followed-up by the 1999 "Making-of" documentary, Where No Fan Has Gone Before: The Making of "Free Enterprise". He later produced James Gunn's superhero spoof, "The Specials" as well as "DOA: Dead Or Alive" for Dimension Films.
Altman is featured in the "Making It So: Continuing Star Trek: TNG" special of the 2012 TNG Season 2 Blu-ray release, as well as in the "Regeneration: Engaging the Borg" special of the 2013 The Best of Both Worlds (Blu-ray) release.
Star Trek credits Edit
- DC TOS volume 2:
- "TOS Special 3" ("Echoes of Yesterday" story)
- Malibu DS9:
- Monthly series:
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Hearts and Minds:
- "Terok Nor: Deep Space Nine #0"
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Maquis: Soldier of Peace:
- Charting the Undiscovered Country: The Making of Trek VI (1992, with Edward Gross and Ron Magid)
- Great Birds of the Galaxy: Gene Roddenberry and the Creators of Trek (1994, with Edward Gross)
- The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion (1994, with Edward Gross)
- Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages (1995, with Edward Gross)
- Creating the Next Generation: The Conception and Creation of a Phenomenon (1995, with Edward Gross)
- The Deep Space Log Book: A Second Season Companion (1995, with Edward Gross)
- Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages (1996, with Edward Gross)
- Trek Navigator: The Ultimate Guide to the Entire Trek Saga (1998, with Edward Gross)
- The Fifty-Year Mission, Volume One: The First 25 Years (2016, with Edward Gross)
- "Irish Smiles", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 12, p. 24