Friday, March 06, 2015
Tribute: Harve Bennett (1930 - 2015)
Another point of light in the Star Trek constellation has passed away. The press is now reporting that writer/producer Harve Bennett has died.
Mr. Bennett was brought in by Paramount to produce Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), and he stayed with the film franchise through Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989).
Along with writer/director Nicholas Meyer, he is largely responsible for the success and creative direction of the franchise in the eighties. Bennett's tenure saw dramatic changes in the beloved series, including the death of Spock, and the destruction of the Enterprise. He produced the film that is widely considered the greatest in Trek history, and certainly the most oft-imitated: The Wrath of Khan.
Beyond Star Trek, Harve Bennett had a hugely successful career on television, and produced a number of memorable and beloved cult-TV classics. These include The Six Million Dollar Man (1974 - 1978), The Bionic Woman (1976 - 1977), and Salvage One (1979).
Lesser known series that he produced include The Invisible Man (1975), with David McCallum, Gemini Man (1976) and The Powers of Matthew Star (1982).
Outside of the genre, Bennett produced the hugely-successful mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man (1976), and the popular TV series The Mod Squad (1968 - 1971).
Mr. Bennett's also wrote several episodes of Time Trax (1993 - 1994), and the screenplay for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, which introduced the concept of the katra to the Star Trek universe.
Star Trek would not have endured in the 1980s -- and rose again to pop culture prominence -- without Mr. Bennett's guidance and safe stewardship. Today, I hope all fans will take a moment to remember his legacy as the talent who guided the film series from the start of the eighties until the dawn of The Next Generation.