For nearly half a century, the Star Trek franchise has left an indelible mark on the popular culture and public consciousness of the western world. It has championed our noblest aspirations by its optimistic portrayal of a future in which the human race has largely overcome some of its more crippling character flaws. At other times, it has forced us to look at ourselves in the mirror by ruminating on how we might one day be viewed by more enlightened generations of our descendants. Star Trek has also inspired a number of technological advances we now take for granted, most notably flip phones and tablet computing, and multiple generations of scientists, engineers, astronauts, and visionaries have identified Star Trek as the spark that motivated them to pursue those careers. It is no exaggeration to say that had Star Trek not existed in the second half of the 20th century, the second decade of the 21st century might look vastly different. For reasons both artistic and bureaucratic, Star Trek history is replete with scripts, stories, characters and concepts that have, for one reason or another, fallen by the wayside over the years, some failing to achieve liftoff and some being abandoned during production. To celebrate those stories that we almost got to see, we've compiled a list of the more noteworthy, interesting, and/or absurd ones.
10. Kirk Bangs McCoy's Daughter
As any red-blooded fan of the original Star Trek can tell you, the Enterprise's weekly excursions were never complete without Captain Kirk, shall we say, satisfying his Tiberius. It didn't matter much if it was with a comely young crew member (Shaternization, if you will) or a voluptuous green-skinned alien - Kirk was always going to get some action, of some sort, even if the very safety of his crew and the known universe was still in the balance. And according to the original draft of the script that ultimately became the second-season episode "The Way to Eden," it didn't even matter if it was his best friend's college-aged daughter. In writer Dorothy Fontana's first draft of the teleplay, Dr. McCoy's daughter Joanna is introduced, has a bit of perfunctory conflict with her dad, and promptly jumps in bed with the twice-her-age captain as an emotional coping mechanism. You know, just the way such things always happen in real life. Kirk then lectures McCoy about how it was all his own damn fault for being such a crappy dad, seemingly without accepting any part of his own involvement in the shenanigans. The show's producers, perhaps realizing this scenario was a bit offensive even in the late 1960s, handed Fontana's script to Arthur Heinemann for a series of rewrites, wherein the Joanna character was eliminated entirely and Kirk was given a disposable sex kitten-of-the-week to rub up against instead. Score one for social progress.
Recovering print journalist, writing professionally since 1991, polluting the internet and wasting the world's bandwidth since 1995. Board-certified Doctor of Memetics and Trollology, offering free consultations to qualified patients.