10 Star Trek Episodes That Never Got Made
These unmade Star Trek episodes failed to reach warp speed...
Unlike almost any other genre, science fiction provides unlimited potential for writers. To prove this, Star Trek; a franchise that has encompassed 13 films and 11 separate TV series (so far) never seems to be short of potential ideas.
Over the past five decades, there have been many failed pitches or abandoned projects for each of the Star Trek titles. Some storylines were rejected purely on grounds of budget, like Robert Sheckley's Predator-style episode Sister in Space that would have seen Kirk and an away team take on an alien killer capable of camouflage.
Other stories are deemed too gory for a family show, like an unmade Voyager episode where Tom Paris' arm is stitched back together with Borg tech after a shuttle crash. Cancellation has also seen story ideas cut down in their prime.
When Enterprise was cancelled back in 2005, the writer's room were considering a Borg Queen origin story whilst William Shatner's directorial debut The Joy Machine was a victim of Star Trek's original cancellation in 1969. This list collects a number of abandoned projects from across the Star Trek franchise, some of which are exciting What Ifs, whilst others are probably best left on the reject pile...
10. The Next Generation's AIDS Allegory
In his original pitch document for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gene Roddenberry had reportedly included AIDS as an issue to tackle in his new vision for Trek. David Gerrold's proposed Blood and Fire was concerned with the contemporary fear of AIDS and the impact on blood donation.
It would see an Enterprise away team board an abandoned ship which had been exposed to Regulan bloodworms. Due to Federation policy, any ship infected with bloodworms must be destroyed. The key to the away team's salvation was the donation of blood by the remaining Enterprise crew.
However, it wasn't the AIDS allegory that saw the pitch rejected. The script also included a same-sex couple of Starfleet officers, an addition that producer Rick Berman was firmly against. Citing the fact the episode would be airing in the afternoon in some regions, he didn't want angry letters from mothers. Gerrold puts this down to homophobia and left the show when he realised the TNG team wasn't interested in pushing the envelope.
After turning it into a novel, he was finally able to see Blood and Fire told as Star Trek episode when he was invited to adapt it for the fan series Star Trek: New Voyages.