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John D. F. Black
John Donald Francis Black

December 30, 1932
DiedNovember 29, 2018 (aged 85)
  • Director
  • television producer
  • writer

John Donald Francis Black (December 30, 1932 – November 29, 2018) was a screenwriter, TV producer, and TV director. He is best known for his work on the TV series Star Trek: The Original Series in 1966, and its sequel series, Star Trek: The Next Generation during the 1980s.[1]


Black was the associate producer for ten episodes of Star Trek made during the program's first season, all of which were broadcast from September 8, 1966, through December 15, 1966. Black also wrote the teleplay for and was the associate producer of one of the outstanding early episodes of Star Trek—"The Naked Time". During the 1980s, Black was also given credit for the story for sequel episode, "The Naked Now", in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Black also received shared story-writing credit (with Worley Thorne, who wrote the teleplay) for one more episode in this series, "Justice", under his pseudonym of "Ralph Wills".

Black also wrote for many other TV series, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Charlie's Angels, Hawaii Five-O, The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible, and Mannix.

In his work for motion pictures, Black co-wrote the movie adaptation of Shaft (1971), along with co-writer Ernest Tidyman, who had written the original novel of Shaft. Black also was the screenwriter and executive producer of the detective film Trouble Man (1972), which starred Robert Hooks and whose musical score was written by Marvin Gaye.[2]


Year Film Credit Notes
1957 The Unearthly Screenplay By Credited as Geoffrey Dennis
1967 Gunfight in Abilene Screenplay By Co-Wrote screenplay with "Bernie Giler"
1968 Nobody's Perfect Screenplay By Based on the novel "The Crows of Edwina Hill" by "Allan R. Bosworth"
Three Guns For Texas Written By
1971 Shaft Screenplay By Co-Wrote screenplay with "Ernest Tidyman", Based on the novel "Shaft" by "Ernest Tidyman"
Thief Written By Television Movie
Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate Screenplay By Television Movie, Based on the novel "Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate" by "Doris Miles Disney"
1972 The Carey Treatment Screenplay By Credited as James P. Bonner, Co-Wrote screenplay with "Harriet Frank Jr." and "Irving Ravetch", Based on the novel "A Case of Need" by Jeffery Hudson"
Trouble Man Written By, Executive Producer
1973 The Fuzz Brothers Written By, Produced By
1974 Wonder Woman Written By, Executive Producer
1975 A Shadow in the Streets Written By, Produced By
1976 Survival Screenplay By
1978 The Clone Master Written By, Produced By


Year TV Series Credit Notes
1959 Johnny Staccato Writer
1961-62 Surfside 6 Writer 2 Episodes
Lawman Writer 9 Episodes
1962 Have Gun – Will Travel Writer 1 Episode
1962-63 The Untouchables Writer 3 Episodes
1963 Combat! Writer 1 Episode
The Fugitive Writer 1 Episode
The Eleventh Hour Writer 1 Episode
Kraft Suspense Theatre Writer 1 Episode
1963-70 The Virginian Writer 2 Episodes
1964-65 Mr. Novak Writer 6 Episodes
1965-66 Laredo Writer 7 Episodes
1966 Star Trek Writer, Associate Producer
Run for your Life Writer 1 Episode
1966-67 Insight Writer 3 Episodes
1967 Cimarron Strip Writer 1 Episode
1968-69 The F.B.I. Writer 3 Episodes
1968-71 Mission: Impossible Writer 3 Episodes
1968-72 Hawaii Five-O Writer 10 Episodes
1969 The High Chaparral Writer 1 Episode
1970 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Writer 1 Episode
1970-71 Room 222 Writer 6 Episodes
1971 Mannix Writer 1 Episode
The Bill Cosby Show Writer 1 Episode
Getting Together Writer 1 Episode
1973-76 The Streets of San Francisco Writer 3 Episodes
1976 Jigsaw John Writer 1 Episode
1977 Delvecchio Writer 1 Episode
Man from Atlantis Writer 1 Episode
Most Wanted Writer 1 Episode
Charlie's Angels Writer, Director
1985 Hell Town Writer 1 Episode
1987 Star Trek: The Next Generation Writer 2 Episodes
Murder, She Wrote Writer 1 Episode
???? Safe at Home Writer 1 Episode
2015 Star Trek Continues Script Consultant 1 Episode


In 1972, Black received an Edgar Award from the Writers Guild of America in the category of "Best Television Feature or Miniseries Teleplay" for writing the script for the made-for-TV movie Thief.


According to Black's widow Mary Black, he died peacefully of natural causes at the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.[3]


  1. ^ "The New York Times". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  2. ^ Izrael, Jimi (December 14, 2012). "'Trouble Man' At 40: A Classic, But Where's Its Cult?". NPR.
  3. ^ "Jacobs Brown Press sadly announces death of TV writer producer John DF Black". Jacobs Brown Press.