Trekplace   Uncharted Content from the Final Frontier - Since 1999
FAQ   Links   Contact   Updated September 20, 2010

Harvey P. Lynn, Jr.
(Contains information from email exchanges with Harvey P. Lynn III from August 2002)

Harvey P. Lynn, Jr. (?-1987), a member of the prestigious RAND Corporation, provided Star Trek original series creator Gene Roddenberry with scientific and technical advice during preproduction of the series.

Little has been said about Harvey P. Lynn, Jr.'s involvement in the early stages of the series. Were it not for Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry's The Making of Star Trek, Lynn's contributions might never have been known to fans. Making features letters exhanged between Rand and Roddenberry. On September 14, 1964, Lynn sent Roddenberry a letter accompanied by pages of detailed comments about story points in the series pilot episode, "The Cage," which was then in preproduction. The last letter from Lynn which is featured in the book is dated September 30, 1964. In this letter Lynn made additional comments about the story of "The Cage," and he concluded the letter by asking, "What else can I do for you? How is the set coming along?" The book does not indicate whether Lynn and Roddenberry continued their correspondence after this point. Gene Roddenberry submitted a proposed shooting script for "The Cage" to NBC during the last week of September 1964, and production began on December 12.

In 2002 this author was given an email address for a "Harvey Lynn." An email was sent on August 1, requesting information about Harvey P. Lynn, Jr. Later that day this author received two replies from Harvey P. Lynn III, son of Harvey P. Lynn, Jr.

Below are the emails exchanged between this author and Harvey P. Lynn III. For privacy reasons the email addresses have been removed.


From: (removed)
Sent: Thu 8/01/02 8:45 AM
To: (removed)
Subject: Attempting to find Harvey P. Lynn?

Hi,

I am attempting to locate Harvey P. Lynn of the RAND Corporation in order to conduct an informal interview with him for my web site (www.trekplace.com). I am an enthusiast of the original Star Trek television series, and Mr. Lynn was a technical advisor for that series. The aim of the interview is to learn about Mr. Lynn's association with RAND, and his involvement with Star Trek and its creator, Gene Roddenberry. I received this email address from a gentleman who recalls meeting Mr. Lynn briefly following a symposium in 1994.

If you are not Mr. Lynn, I would be grateful if you could forward this message to someone who might know how I can contact him.

Thank you in advance,

Greg Tyler

From: (removed)
Sent: Thu 8/01/02 8:49 AM
To: (removed)
Subject: Re: Attempting to find Harvey P. Lynn?

Dear Mr. Tyler.

Harvey P. Lynn was my father. Unfortunately, he's been deceased since 1987.

From: (removed)
Sent: Thu 8/01/02 8:57 AM
To: (removed)
Subject: Re: Attempting to find Harvey P. Lynn?

Mr. Lynn,

Thank you for the prompt reply. I don't know much about your father, other than what I've read in "The Making of Star Trek" (1968) by Stephen E. Whitfield, but he seemed like a very knowledgable and affable person. If you'd like to comment on your father's life, his work, or his involvement with Star Trek, feel free to contact me at any time. Thank you again.

Sincerely,

Greg Tyler

From: (removed)
Sent: Thu 8/01/02 9:33 AM
To: (removed)
Subject: Re: Attempting to find Harvey P. Lynn?

Some brief comments regarding what I know about Dad's involvement:

He graduated as an Electrical Engineer. Worked at RAND as a liaison Officer between RAND and Project Airforce. Was never starstruck and had little interest in TV, films, or science fiction. Apparently he met Mr. Roddenberry though a mutual friend and was selected for the technical consultant job more because he hit it off with Mr. Roddenberry than his technical expertise. When offered the job, he boned up on physics, astronomy, etc. He picked up surprisingly quickly on how to express the technical elements simply...ie not having to explain how a phaser works...sort of how most people know that a light switch turns on the lights but don't wonder about the mechanics.

From his earnings as consultant, we bought our first color TV. I think that's in 'The Making of Star Trek'. My Dad was never really a big fan of the show...not a Trekkie in today's sense. I've retained only about 3 scripts.

PS. My family was really moved by Mr. Roddenberry sending flowers to Dad's furneral in Texas as they hadn't really been in contact for years.

Special thanks to Harvey P. Lynn III for sharing his memories of his father's involvement with Star Trek.

Individual emails copyright 2002 by their authors.


Content © by Greg Tyler unless otherwise noted. This web site is a fan-produced, not-for-profit endeavor. Use of other parties' copyrighted works is done either with permission or under the terms of Fair Use. Works owned by other parties will be removed at the request of the copyright holder.

Opinions expressed by interviewees are their own, and they do not necessarily represent the opinions of the authors of this web site. The authors of this web site cannot always verify and are not responsible for the accuracy of claims made by interviewees.