10 Moments That Almost Killed Star Trek

Star Trek is invincible, regularly sidestepping death knells at warp speed!

Star Trek Nemesis

Star Trek is one of the world's most beloved franchises, not only that, it's one of the longest running and most diverse (both in terms of cultural representation and the sheer volume of entries in the franchise). The series is going through a hell of a renaissance right now with the launch of Picard, Discovery, Short Treks and the upcoming Lower Decks. Star Trek has gathered juggernaut momentum and is flying into the 2020s at maximum warp.

But it hasn't always maintained a course towards success. In its almost 55 year run Star Trek has had its ups and downs. In moments it's found prime-time success with mainstream audiences, at other times it's been a byword for social outcast nerdery (it defiantly still is, but being a nerd is a good thing now).

It's hardly surprising that across six decades, nine different TV series (including the anticipated Lower Decks), thirteen movies and a web series; not to mention a vast expanded universe and fan-fiction entries, Star Trek has had its wobbles. Star Trek has successfully navigated more than a few franchise killers in its long run. And thank god, right!

At each of these ten moments, Star Trek could have disappeared forever…

10. The First Pilot

Star Trek Nemesis

In 1965, Gene Roddenberry completed The Cage, the pilot episode for Star Trek. Problem was the network wasn’t interested and rejected it. A fairly standard occurrence. Like many pilots before, it didn’t find its place and Star Trek wasn’t to be. Unbelievably, in a practically unheard of move, NBC who funded the pilot, decided to pay for another one.

The story and the cast were overhauled. It was in this second pilot that we were introduced to Kirk, Bones and most of the rest of the crew we know and love. The only remaining central cast member from the original pilot was Spock; Gene Roddenberry was so enamoured with him that he fought the studio to retain the character. Of course, Roddenberry was right; Spock quickly became a cultural icon.

The network loved the new crew and the new pilot and Star Trek was a go, ready to manoeuvre around certain demise time and time again in the years to come.

Most of the original pilot was retconned into the first episode of Star Trek but fans didn’t see the original episode in its entirety until 1988. It took a long time but characters and events from that ill-fated pilot finally made their way onto the centre stage of Star Trek, with the kelvin timeline movies and Discovery expanding on them to great effect.


Bowen Revill hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.