By day, he’s a character sculptor and designer. Born in the Midwest, but interested in robots, molding, casting, and camera work, Greg Dykstra’s busy creative background seems like the perfect environment to formulate a story for STAR TREK CONTINUES.
Early in his career, Dykstra worked in a photo lab and made Super 8 films. But it was the lure of the film industry that brought him from rural Indiana to California.
This Dykstra is not related to John Dykstra, who did special effects work on STAR WARS and STAR TREK: The Motion Picture. But Greg Dykstra admits that it didn’t hurt to have a famous name in the small circle of Hollywood.
“’Oh, he’s the Dykstra who isn’t John’ is what I heard,” said Greg, whose own work can be seen in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” “Ghostbusters II,” and “Nightmare before Christmas,” and more recently in a host of animated films including “Brave,” “Up,” and “Finding Nemo.”
Greg and his wife Cherri became fans of STAR TREK CONTINUES and he contacted Vic Mignogna to express their love for the show. A meeting with Mignogna led to a discussion about the stories that propelled the original series, and the sorts of stories that were needed for future STC episodes.
“One of the biggest challenges we have as a production is developing good stories – not just scripts that include all of the gadgetry and villains of STAR TREK. We really want our episodes to have a message and to have something that you remember. We want stories that make you think. Greg proposed an idea, and I asked him to develop a treatment,” Mignogna explained.
“This story comes out of things in my personal experience. My grandfather was like the father figure in this episode. I witnessed, firsthand, the effect that this had on our family. One of the things I looked at was how a lot of abusers feel like there’s a better person inside that they wish they were. But they are controlled by a monster, a paranoia. They think that everyone is trying to undermine them. It plays out as fear, and anger that is released blindly. Some people overcome it. Some people grow up in an abusive household – and some become abusers themselves,” Dykstra said.
“My grandfather has been dead for some time, but I know that my grandmother had been through a lot. I was talking to her once, and she gave me a lot of detail. I was interviewing her for a genealogy project. So I know all this stuff had gone on, and she revealed the details. It was just horrifying. But I still loved him. And that’s often the case with children who go through this. I did have a very hard time forgiving him.
“And that was the idea that I wanted to start talking about in this episode. I wanted to explore the reason that these people love -- the reason that a child loves a father and the reason a wife loves a husband (even as an abuser.) And abusers may not know how much they children or loved ones care about them.
“Certainly, this is a heavy subject and giving it classic STAR TREK action adventure element help a lot. You have a monster that comes in and turns out to be a child. His dad is a monster in space,” Dykstra said.
Before writing Episode Six, Dykstra helped behind the scenes on a previous episode.
“STC is such a family kind of operation. We eat lunch together, and we go out to dinner at night. We don’t disperse like a lot of productions do. We can’t make a profit, and nobody is here for the money."