10 Times Star Trek Stole From Itself

Some Star Trek plots are just too good not to re-use.

Star Trek The Next Generation The Naked Now

With over 60 years of history under its belt - including nearly 800 episodes of television - it's no surprise that Star Trek's sources for inspiration are as wide and as wonderful as the galaxy it titularly explores. Ancient history, mythology, even real-world events have all found their way onto the show's scripts in one form or another, but what's also informed a lot of Star Trek... is Star Trek.

Sure, virtually no franchise can boast as many original concepts, but for every genre-defining new installment there's also a cinema full of fans watching Into Darkness, feeling like they've seen all of this before.

The series featured examples of this as well. Control, in Star Trek Discovery's second season, is a very thinly veiled version of the Borg, while Picard's ending borrows a lot from the episode The Schizoid Man and What Are Little Girls Made Of?

The examples on this list are among the most egregious in Trek's history. Along with the highly obvious ones, we've included a few of the lesser talked-about ideas as well. Some are simply good-intentioned references, and some of them are full-on theft.

10. Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Star Trek The Next Generation The Naked Now

Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a masterpiece. Director Robert Wise married his vision with Gene Roddenberry's, delivering the most beautiful of any of the Trek movies. The story idea is, however, borrowed from an earlier episode of The Original Series.

The Changeling featured the probe Nomad being encountered by the Enterprise. It was sent out from Earth, before it encountered and fused with the probe Tan-Ru. By the time it is found by the Starfleet ship, it is on its way back to Earth to deliver its findings. However, it has become so powerful and so advance that, left unchecked, it threatens all of humanity.

V'ger is an evolved form of the Voyager 6 probe that was launched from Earth in the 1990's. It disappeared through a black hole, emerging on the other side of the galaxy. There, it encountered a machine race who upgraded it and sent it back toward Earth, gaining sentience. It needed to deliver its findings to the creator, threatening all of humanity along the way.

The Motion Picture is, in essence, a big budget remake of the earlier episode. The plot is thin enough that it could have suited a shorter story, though for Jerry Goldsmith's score and that shot of the Enterprise in drydock alone, it was worth the effort!


Writer. Reader. Podcast Host. I'm Seán, I live in Ireland and I'm the poster child for dangerous obsessions with Star Trek. Check out my weekly podcast on all things....well all things film! Check me out on Twitter @seanferrick or at the website https://seanferrick.wordpress.com/