With over 900 episodes and over a dozen films, Star Trek has delivered some truly bonkers ideas to the screen (turning into lizards at Warp 10, anyone?). Insanely enough, though, this venerable Paramount franchise had even crazier ideas that came frighteningly close to becoming canon. If you don’t believe it, grab a cup of Earl Gray and join us on a tour of just how weird Star Trek almost became.
Deanna Troi Almost Had Three (Or More) Boobs
It’s no secret that Deanna Troi was treated as the sex appeal of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In any given season, she seemed to have more revealing wardrobe changes than she had substantial lines of dialogue. However, part of her sex appeal was nearly (ahem) doubled because franchise creator Gene Roddenberry wanted the character to have four boobs.
Star Trek: The Next Generation would have been quite different and arguably much worse with this change, but fortunately for us all, writer and producer Dorothea DC Fontana talked Roddenberry out of it. Part of her objection was that the idea was offensive and misogynistic on the face of it, and that’s a terrible way to bring in new fans. But she also pointed out that an extra pair of breasts as a prosthetic would have been hard to implement and even harder to make look good onscreen.
Captain Picard Almost Wore A Wig
Star Trek: The Next Generation helped establish Patrick Stewart as a new kind of captain. He was the brain to Kirk’s brawn…the diplomat to Kirk’s cowboy. Stewart nearly had one wild thing in common with William Shatner’s character, however: this famously bald captain nearly wore a wig.
Roddenberry was so worried a bald captain wouldn’t work, so he had Stewart audition in a wig for his part in this new Star Trek show. Producers loved him but not the hairpiece, so after dropping by his dressing room to verify that Stewart looked much better bald, he got the part. As a bonus, producers also nixed the idea of Picard having a French accent, which is the real reason the very French captain (they never changed his background) had a commanding English accent.
Rike Was Almost Replaced By His Clone
Sometimes, Star Trek is at its best when it uses its technology technobabble to craft a convincing human story. A great example of this is the TNG episode “Second Chances,” which is built on the creepy conceit that Trek’s famous transporters essentially create clones of our favorite characters. In that ep, Riker meets an accidental transporter clone of himself that sticks around just long enough to give Riker an existential crisis; one Deep Space Nine cameo later, this character was never seen or heard from again.
It made for a fun Star Trek by way of Rick and Morty story, but here’s the wacky part: the writers considered killing off the original Riker and replacing him with his lower-ranked clone. To be fair, this would have provided an organic explanation for why Riker was still around: the new guy would be a lieutenant at Ops and rising through the ranks rather than turning down promotions like the original. Still, we’re glad the writers didn’t destroy over half a decade of character development just for the sake of a bizarre plot twist.
Ferengi Were Going To Be Comically Well-Endowed
The Ferengi underwent more changes in Star Trek history than almost any other race. Most notably, they went from barbaric warriors to savvy capitalists who loved weird misogyny (none of the women are allowed to wear clothing, for example) almost as much as they loved latinum. But Gene Roddenberry nearly took the sexualization of the Ferengi to the next level by giving them huge penises (no, really!).
According to Star Trek writer Herb Wright, Roddenberry had plans to give the Ferengi huge codpieces to symbolize their oversized anatomy. Allegedly, Roddenberry spent 25 minutes reviewing potential Ferengi sex positions before Wright gently reminded him that this was a family show that really shouldn’t be making viewers at home imagine what those giant orange penises looked like (after all, people can’t appreciate your futuristic New Age philosophy when you are awakening something in them). Roddenberry relented, and the cod pieces never materialized, but the Ferengi remained weirdly sexual, especially when it came to getting ear massages from pretty gals.
Captain Kirk Nearly Got Into A Fistfight With Jesus
Some of the crazy unused Star Trek ideas may sound more plausible than others. For example, thanks to the William Shatner-directed Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, we saw Captain Kirk fight a being that claimed to be God. But it was almost much worse: an early script for the first Trek film almost had Kirk get into a fistfight with Jesus.
The premise involved an alien shapeshifter that could assume the faces of pretty much anyone, and the climactic battle involved Kirk giving those goofy Star Trek punches to the face of Jesus Christ Himself. Obviously, the first film ended up being very different (a lot less Jesus and a whole lot more groovy spandex), and it would be several more movies before Kirk fought an alien pretending to be a famous religious figure. Still, if Roddenberry’s original script had been filmed, we have to ask…how big a codpiece was he going to give Jesus?