Dorothy Catherine Fontana is a prolific television writer who submitted freelance scripts to the first and second seasons of The Six Million Dollar Man. Though an occasional contributor to American television into the early 21st century, her career is dominated by scripts for some of the best-known television series of the 1960s and 1970s. Mainstream hits like Ben Casey, The Big Valley, The Waltons and Dallas, and science fiction classics such as Logan's Run, The Land of the Lost, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century all have at least one Fontana-penned script.
She is perhaps best known for her long association with the Star Trek franchise, being an important contributor to the original series, the animated series, and The Next Generation, as well as providing most of the backstory for the Jadzia Dax character on Deep Space Nine.
For The Six Million Dollar Man she wrote Season 1's "The Rescue of Athena One" and Season 2's "Straight On 'Til Morning". Both her episodes center on Steve Austin's original job as an astronaut, preferring to downplay Steve's post-bionic role as a spy Both also feature another Fontana hallmark: strong central female characters. Mike Jahn combined the storylines of Fontana's two episodes into his novel, The Rescue of Athena One.
"Rescue" pays homage to her long association with Star Trek by having Steve Austin say, "Space . . . it really is the final frontier, isn't it?" For its part, "Straight" centers around what would be, in Star Trek terms, a first contact situation. It also features an alien who indicates greetings and farewells by holding her palm outstretched, much like a Vulcan salute. This, too, may have been a little in-joke, as she's reponsible for creating the character of Sarek, and for significantly progressing the characterization of Spock.