10 Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes That Were Almost Completely Different

9. Conspiracy

Star Trek Christmas Carol

Despite having the seeds planted for this story earlier in Season 1 - Picard warned about an insidious plot at the heart of the Federation in the episode Coming of Age - Conspiracy was actually dramatically rewritten before Paramount would sign off on the script. Stop me when you've heard this one before.

Rather than the six-legged Cronenbergian nightmares scuttling into the mouths of brainwashed officers, the actual villains of the piece were a rouge cabal of high-ranking Starfleet officers. Despite having spotless service records and decades of heroism between them, they viewed Federation policy as too weak to survive the oncoming problems the galaxy faced and were going to do something about it.

By staging a fake threat to the security of Earth, they planned to use special powers granted in its defense to overthrow the Federation's leaders and appoint Starfleet as its de facto military rulers. However Captain Picard, initially involved because the conspirators believed he would be sympathetic to their cause, uncovers the truth and foils their plans.

The story was scrapped after Gene Roddenberry refused to approve a story that cast the Federation in such a light and, in the end, the parasite alien angle was written instead. However, the concept lived on long enough for it to eventually find new life as the Deep Space Nine two-parter Homefront and Paradise Lost. That's where you've heard that before!

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Managing Editor

WhatCulture's Managing Editor and Chief Reporter | Previously seen in Vice, Esquire, FourFourTwo, Sabotage Times, Loaded, The Set Pieces, and Mundial Magazine