Think you've seen every Star Trek episode there is? Alas not, because for the hundreds that were made, there are countless others which never saw the light of day. Some were axed after being scripted, while others were ditched before they’d even got that far. And yes, I know it says episodes in the title but there's even a couple of unused Star Trek movie pitches in here as well. Here's 10 Star Trek story ideas that never got made, from the original TV series, to The Next Generation, movies, and more. Be warned, some are bonkers…
1. He Walked Amongst Us
This episode was meant to be a vehicle for TV comedian Milton Berle, featuring him as a false god on a primitive planet. Writer Norman Spinrad (The Doomsday Machine) reportedly begged Roddenberry not to “embarrass his show by shooting this piece of shit.” Roddenberry read the script, and agreed.
2. Kirk Meets JFK
In 1980, Gene Roddenberry wrote a 60-page outline for a movie sequel that would have seen Kirk and co travelling back to Dealey Plaza on 22 November, 1963, ensuring that the timeline is not tampered with and that Kennedy gets shot. It would also have featured the death of Spock’s parents, and a very different take on the Klingons. Every time work on a new movie began, Roddenberry dusted off his old pitch, but to no avail.
3. Q Makes Two
Here's a case of Red Dwarf pulling off a plot idea that Star Trek couldn’t. In this abandoned premise, Q splits the crew into their good and evil sides, in order to stick a fork in Starfleet’s claims of 24th century hyper-morality. The episode went through two full drafts and an aborted third attempt before finally being shelved forever.
4. A Day at Quark's
Relatively self-explanatory – not to mention likely cheap. One of Ronald D Moore’s ideas which never made it to full script form. A pity, as Quark in his native habitat could have made for a non-awful Ferengi episode.
5. The Return of Thomas Riker
Everyone kept waiting for Riker’s transporter-accident duplicate to return after he was imprisoned for stealing the Defiant, but he never did. However, Jonathan Frakes did approach Rick Berman about doing a DS9 episode showing Thomas’s involvement in Cardassian leader Damar’s rebellion against the Dominion.
Remember the cloned crew from Demon? There were plans for them to beat the Voyager crew home, with fireworks, and celebrations... and then snapped necks and terror. The script was started, but dropped several times before Course: Oblivion killed the duplicates.
7. Visit to a Small Planet
In this episode a planet is inspired to model itself after the Voyager crew after watching their adventures, but it was abandoned for fear fans would be offended rather than amused. This didn’t get past the pitch stage – unlike the final season of Sliders, which proved that decision right...
8. Kirk Mirror Universe two-parter
Before In A Mirror, Darkly was written, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens had an idea for a story involving the Enterprise finding the evil Mirror Kirk (who’s been sent back through time by the Tantalus field) and discovering that he and Archer were responsible for creating the Mirror Universe. According to Rick Berman, Shatner "wanted an obscene amount of money to do it, and the studio said no."
9. Mars Independence
One of Manny Coto’s unused ideas was a Cuban Missile Crisis analogue about the Mars colonies, with terraforming weapons pointed at Earth in a bid for independence. He reused some elements for the Terra Prime arc.
10. Star Trek: The Avengers
Brannon Braga recalls coming up with a movie concept that took a "superhero team-up" approach by bringing together Starfleet’s best minds to defeat a threat. "We were gonna get Picard, Data, Odo, the holographic Doctor... all the Star Trek characters on one ship, like a think tank. It was like Star Trek: The Avengers."
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