Gene Roddenberry Hated Star Trek TNG Showrunner To An Unreal Degree

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

While it’s mostly a forgotten episode these days, the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Hide and Q” was very significant at the time. It was only the second appearance of the omnipotent and impish Q, solidifying the character as a recurring villain who would ultimately haunt (and taunt) Captain Picard until the end of the series. Franchise creator Gene Roddenberry hated this episode written by Star Trek TNG’s showrunner Maurice Hurley so much that when he saw the man around Paramount, he would ignore him altogether.

Gene Roddenberry Hated Maurice Hurley

“Hide and Q” was a first-season episode of Star Trek TNG, one of several written (or co-written) by Maurice Hurley as he tried to establish his vision for the series early on. As many fans are already aware, Gene Roddenberry was a real control freak in the early days of The Next Generation, partially in response to how little control Paramount gave him over every Star Trek film after The Motion Picture. Because of these control issues, the franchise creator took immediate action regarding scripts that displeased him.

Altered The Script To The Point It Was Unrecognizable

In the case of the “Hide and Q” draft written by the Star Trek TNG showrunner, Roddenberry dramatically changed the script. By the time he was done revising it, Hurley barely recognized the story he wanted to tell. Because of that, Hurley’s name doesn’t appear in the credits; in its place was the pseudonym “C.J. Holland.”

Not The Last Time Roddenberry Angered A Writer

In the early days of Star Trek TNG, Roddenberry taking over scripts went beyond the showrunner and extended to writer/producers like D.C. Fontana, a veteran writer of The Original Series who helped bring the new show to life. She later discussed how Roddenberry transformed her script for “The Naked Now” so extensively that she used a pseudonym for the credits: “J. Michael Bingham.” Making matters worse, she alleged that Roddenberry went out of his way to add crude sexual situations and “debased the female characters.”

Elementary School Behavior

In other words, Roddenberry was used to getting on the bad side of the Star Trek staff, but after reading the script for “Hide and Q,” the franchise creator spitefully took things to the next level with the showrunner. When Roddenberry saw Maurice Hurley in the halls of Paramount, he would ignore the man altogether. This was immature, but it was also hilariously impractical: not only did Hurley run Roddenberry’s show, but the two consistently bumped into each other four or five times a day.

Some Good Came Out Of Hurley Leaving

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Roddenberry’s behavior was likely just one of the reasons Hurley stopped serving as the Star Trek TNG showrunner after Season 2. In many ways, this was a net benefit: his departure led directly to the return of his fan-favorite character, Dr. Crusher. Plus, while it’s not solely Hurley’s fault or anything, nobody can deny that the quality of TNG dramatically increased once he was no longer sitting in the captain’s chair of the series.

Hide And Q Is Not A Good Episode

In retrospect, I can’t help but wonder what the Star Trek TNG showrunner’s original script for “Hide and Q” looked like. The final result, courtesy of Roddenberry’s extensive rewrite, is mostly forgettable, and what you will remember is fairly insane stuff, like the idea that Wesley Crusher was going to grow up to be a super buff himbo-looking fellow. Once you cast a guy like that, it’s clear that the real problem with this episode is that Q decided to play boring games with Picard’s crew instead of instantly transporting everyone to a 24th-century revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show