Antiques & The Arts

Star Trek Concepts You’ll Never See And Here’s Why

Star Trek writers and executives have had
a lot of ideas, but most get red-shirted before they hit the airwaves. It’s too bad, because some sounded awesome. Here are some great Star Trek projects we
never got to see. In 1992, the city of Las Vegas drew up an
ambitious and, we have to say it, enterprising plan to bring more families to the Strip and
boost the gambling revenue: They would pull tourists away from the flashier casinos, with
a full-size model of the Starship Enterprise. The original plan spared no expense. The Enterprise would be built exactly to the
fictional specifications of the TV show, omitting, unfortunately, the phasers and photon torpedoes,
making it look like the old gal plopped down right in the middle of Vegas. Guests could tour the ship and witness faithful
reproductions of the sets from the TV shows and movies, and with no exterior supports
(to keep the reproduction faithful) the ship was a minor engineering miracle, something
that would have made even Scotty proud. So what happened? Basically, Paramount killed the project for
being too audacious. According to the Paramount CEO, if they made
a bad movie… “Reroute emergency power.” “The whole sequencer was damaged by phaser
fire.” “Transferring controls to manual.” … everybody would forget about it in a year. If this tourist trap didn’t pan out, however,
it’d be around forever. That was the nail in the coffin. Vegas went with the less-spectacular Fremont
Street Experience, and millions of Star Trek fans cried more than they did when Spock died. Less than a year after Star Trek premiered,
the show was already in trouble, and Gene Roddenberry had no clue whether his show would
survive. Preparing for the worst, he started developing
a new show called Assignment: Earth. At first, Assignment: Earth had nothing to
do with Star Trek. It told the story of Gary Seven, a time traveler
who traveled to the past to make sure Earth history ran the way it was supposed to. Accompanied by a present-day secretary, a
super-computer, and a shape-shifting cat, Seven would fight off evil aliens trying to
mess up Earth history. “Would you mind telling me who that is.” “That, Ms. Lincoln, is simply my cat.” Fortunately — or not, depending on how stoked
you are about a show that was basically Trek meets Doctor Who —the tides eventually turned
and Roddenberry soon realized he could only get the new show going if it was connected
to Star Trek. He retooled the idea as a spin-off, making
the dubious decision to use an episode of Star Trek as a back-door pilot for the proposed
series. This ended up being the second season finale
of Star Trek, basically ending the season as an advertisement for a different TV show
with an episode barely featuring Kirk and Spock. To add salt to the wound, NBC passed on the
series, making the lame crossover episode even worse. The original Star Trek was canceled after
three seasons, but in the following years, it was hugely popular in syndication. In 1977, Paramount decided to take advantage
of that and regrouped around a new Star Trek idea called Phase II. Right from the start, Paramount planned to
give the show the budget the original series never had, and 13 episodes were fully scripted
by some of the best sci-fi writers of the era. As Phase II was about to enter production,
however, Paramount decided out of nowhere that they should make a movie instead, and
put all the money into Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Tons of elements from Phase II were reused
in the film and a couple of scripts were eventually adapted into episodes of Star Trek: The Next
Generation during a writers strike, but the rest of the 13-episode season was left on
the shelf when Phase II was phased out. Since the ’90s, fans have wanted to see what
the Federation was like after The Next Generation. We’ll finally be seeing a little of it when
Star Trek: Picard hits in 2020, but CBS almost gave us what we wanted in 2006 with the groundbreaking
Star Trek: Final Frontier. Instead of a live-action TV show, Final Frontier
was a web-only animated series by Zero Room Productions, exploring the dark future of
the Federation centuries after Picard and his crew. During a war with the Romulan Empire, mysterious
explosions of Omega Particles rendered huge chunks of space impossible to travel via warp,
essentially cutting the Federation in half. Anybody trapped in these regions of space
would take hundreds of years to travel anywhere else, which stranded starships, including
a run-down Enterprise, in vast nothingness. Even worse, political instability forced the
Vulcans to leave the Federation, destroyed the Andorians, and allowed the Romulans to
occupy the Klingon Empire. It’s not exactly the utopian future viewers
were used to, but CBS wanted to parallel the global upheavals following 9/11. Eventually, though, the network lost interest,
which is probably for the best. When it’s all you see on the news, most people
don’t want to think about the miserable realities of global conlict and terrorism when they
watch Star Trek. The proposed designs and storyboards made
it online, though, and it turns out that those are actually pretty good. When you never actually make the show, it’s
pretty hard to screw it up. Before J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise
on the big screen, Paramount was looking at developing Star Trek: The Beginning, a darker
take set during the Earth-Romulan War, decades before the original series. The Romulans conduct a gigantic sneak attack
on Earth and, in a not-so-subtle reference to the Nazis, demand that all Vulcans are
turned over to Romulan extermination camps. The United Federation of Planets sends Tiberius
Chase — a hotshot pilot and ancestor to Kirk — out on a secret war against the Romulan
fleet. Unsurprisingly, the show had some truly insane
elements. Tiberius Chase’s family are a bunch of xenophobes
living in Antarctica, and Paramount wanted to play up the obvious Holocaust parallels. With Tiberius conducting a guerrilla war against
the Romulans, it seems like this was a mixture of Inglourious Basterds and Star Trek, and
if done well, that could actually be pretty awesome. Eventually, though, Paramount decided The
Beginning was a little too dark, and the project was shelved. Instead, Paramount went for J.J. Abrams and
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