10 Moments That Almost Killed Star Trek

10. The First Pilot


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.