(written from a Production point of view)
Early life and career
Sussman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but spent most of his youth in the Gulf Coast resort town of Sarasota, Florida. By 1975, at the age of eight, Sussman was already a huge Trekkie and had begun writing fan fiction stories set within the Star Trek universe. As a teenager in the early 1980s, he petitioned his local UHF station to resume airing syndicated episodes of the original Star Trek series.
After studying film and screenwriting at Florida State University, Sussman began his television career as a newscast producer for Sarasota's ABC affiliate, WWSB-TV. While there, he produced the station's eleven o'clock news, as well as their 1992 Presidential Election coverage. Soon after relocating to Los Angeles he began writing for KCAL-TV's Emmy Award-winning Prime 9 News.
Sussman made his first professional sale to the Star Trek franchise in 1995 when he wrote the story for the acclaimed Star Trek: Voyager episode "Meld". He contributed three more episodes as a freelance writer before joining the writing staff as a story editor for Voyager's seventh and final season in 2000. When Voyager wrapped the following year, Sussman was hired as a writer and Executive Story Editor on Enterprise, and was eventually promoted to Co-Producer. During that show's third season, Sussman was promoted to Producer, a position he held until the series was canceled in 2005.
Perhaps Sussman's most popular episodes of Enterprise were "In a Mirror, Darkly" and "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", the first Star Trek episodes to take place entirely in the mirror universe. Sussman showed his affection and knowledge of the original Star Trek series by tying these episodes in with the TOS episodes "Mirror, Mirror" and "The Tholian Web". Sussman even made a cameo appearance in Part II, as a dead crewman aboard the USS Defiant.
Despite the success of "In a Mirror, Darkly," the cancellation of Enterprise ended the chances of seeing Sussman's story continue in future canon episodes. However, he has followed up his "Mirror, Darkly" episodes by writing the story for Age of the Empress, the first novel in the Pocket Books compilation, Glass Empires. "Twilight"," written by Sussman, was broadcast on 8 April 2005 as the "#1 Fan Favorite Episode" of the series, chosen in a Viewer's Choice poll at UPN.com. The readers of Star Trek Magazine chose Sussman's "In a Mirror, Darkly" as the best episode of Enterprise in their 40th anniversary reader poll, published in January 2006. He was credited as a writer on both the 600th live action episode of Star Trek, VOY: "Author, Author", as well as the 700th episode of the franchise, ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly".
M. Sussman, a name on the dedication plaque of Enterprise NX-01, was named after him as well as the Vulcan fight technique Suus Mahna in the episode "Marauders". Together with Phyllis Strong he recorded audio commentaries for the episode "Dead Stop" and "Regeneration" on the ENT Season 2 DVD and with Tim Gaskill commentaries for the episodes "In a Mirror, Darkly" and "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" on the ENT Season 4 DVD. In addition, he was interviewed in Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 4 (2001, "Star Trek: Voyager: The Writers Look Back"), Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 11 (2002, "Writers for Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise"), Star Trek Monthly issue 108 (2003, "The Write Stuff" by James Swallow), and Star Trek Magazine issue 124 (2005, "Renaissance Sussman" by David Bassom).
Work after Star Trek
After Enterprise, Sussman was hired as a writer and Supervising Producer on Brannon Braga's short-lived CBS alien-invasion drama series, Threshold. Among the regular actors on this series was Star Trek: The Next Generation star Brent Spiner. Sussman wrote two of the episodes of this series, "Pulse" (episode six) and "Vigilante" (episode twelve, guest-starring Jacqueline Kim) before the series was pulled from the CBS schedule.
He was also a writer and Co-Executive Producer on Sam Raimi's Legend of the Seeker, the syndicated fantasy/adventure series from Disney-ABC Domestic Television and ABC Studios, based on Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series of novels. This series was executive produced by Kenneth Biller.
Sussman is the Co-Creator and Co-Executive Producer of Perception, a one-hour drama series for TNT and ABC Studios set to premiere in 2012, starring Emmy winner Eric McCormack as a schizophrenic, crime-solving neurology professor. The series will also feature LeVar Burton in a recurring role as McCormack's supervisor, Dean of the Faculty Paul Haley.
Star Trek credits
- As Writer
- "Meld" (story)
- "The Swarm"
- "The Haunting of Deck Twelve" (story, teleplay with Kenneth Biller and Bryan Fuller)
- "Unimatrix Zero" (story)
- "Unimatrix Zero, Part II" (story with Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky)
- "Body and Soul" (teleplay with Phyllis Strong and Eric Morris)
- "Shattered" (story with Michael Taylor)
- "Repentance" (story with Robert Doherty)
- "Prophecy" (teleplay with Phyllis Strong)
- "Author, Author" (teleplay with Phyllis Strong)
- "Renaissance Man" (teleplay with Phyllis Strong)
- "Strange New World" (teleplay with Phyllis Strong)
- "Civilization" (with Phyllis Strong)
- "Shadows of P'Jem" (teleplay with Phyllis Strong)
- "Fusion" (teleplay with Phyllis Strong)
- "Detained" (teleplay with Phyllis Strong)
- "Dead Stop" (with Phyllis Strong)
- "The Catwalk" (with Phyllis Strong)
- "Future Tense" (with Phyllis Strong)
- "Regeneration" (with Phyllis Strong)
- "Bounty" (teleplay with Phyllis Strong and Hans Tobeason)
- "Stratagem" (teleplay)
- "Hatchery" (story with André Bormanis)
- "The Augments"
- "Babel One" (with André Bormanis)
- "Affliction" (teleplay)
- "In a Mirror, Darkly"
- "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" (teleplay)
- As Actor
- As Producer
- Co-producer (season 2 and episodes 3.1-3.10)
- Producer (episodes 3.11-4.22)
- As Story Editor/ Executive Story Editor
- Story editor 2000-2001
- ENT: - Executive Story Editor
- "Fight or Flight"
- "Strange New World"
- "Terra Nova"
- "The Andorian Incident"
- "Breaking the Ice"
- "Fortunate Son"
- "Cold Front"
- "Silent Enemy"
- "Dear Doctor"
- "Sleeping Dogs"
- "Shadows of P'Jem"
- "Shuttlepod One"
- "Rogue Planet"
- "Vox Sola"
- "Fallen Hero"
- "Desert Crossing"
- "Two Days and Two Nights"