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Roboturner913 August 12 2013 08:18 PM

Original episode plans
 
Been reading a lot of episode summaries on Memory Alpha lately. In a lot of cases the final product is a lot different from the original concept. Especially what we now see as the sub-par episodes. Some of the better ones:


Rivals - Trombetta himself said it was extremely frustrating developing the story, "because there was this subplot of the racquetball game that they had wanted to put in a number of times and had not been able to, so they put it in this [episode] after I was gone because they felt it made the most sense since this was about games." He goes onto say, "I would have liked to have done more with the quantum-luck thing. I had the idea that if randomness could be managed, then you're in a lot of trouble. Basically, the universe is random; it's a mind boggling thing.

Armageddon Game - Writer Morgan Gendel's original pitch for this episode involved a Federation team going to an alien civilization and demanding that they destroy their biogenic weaponry. However, the alien race encode the weapon into O'Brien's DNA, meaning that if the Federation want to destroy the weapon, they must kill O'Brien.

Honor Among Thieves - Philip Kim's original idea for this episode was a comic story involving Jake saving the life of the daughter of the Orion Syndicate's leader, and, due to his actions, Jake is befriended by a number of high-ranking Syndicate members. At first, he loves it, with his new friends able to get him anything he wants whenever he wants. However, Jake and Nog have a small argument on the promenade and the next day, Jake discovers that Nog is in the infirmary after suffering a nasty beating. At this point, Jake realizes he's into something he can't control, and he goes to his father for help. The comic element of the story was to come from the fact that while Jake is trying to extricate himself from the Syndicate, Quark is trying to work his way into it, so he decides to become Jake's new best friend.

Destiny - The original story idea revolved around Starfleet seeking to relieve Sisko of his post. As David Cohen recalls, "We had enjoyed Deep Space Nine's pilot and the mythic overtones it suggested, as [Commander Sisko] was believed by an alien race to be the 'Emissary' from their gods, as prophesised in their scriptures. It occurred to us that Sisko's bosses couldn't be very comfortable with that. What if they pulled a Heart of Darkness on him and sent someone to extract him from this situation? The perfect chance to do so, we decided, was if there was some specific prophecy, that would, ipso facto, prove he's not the Emissary. We'd raise the stakes by having a pencil-pushing staff officer threaten to transfer him to another command if he doesn't end this 'Emissary' talk."

Playing God - In writer Jim Trombetta's first draft of the teleplay, the A story was the protouniverse story, with Dax's storyline in secondary position. Michael Piller rewrote the episode to place the Trill storyline as the primary plot. Trombetta felt that this decision robbed the episode of its emotional balance and that the ethical problem of the protouniverse story is no longer felt on an emotional level.

Second Skin - Robert Hewitt Wolfe's original idea for this episode revolved around O'Brien discovering that he was a deep-cover Cardassian operative who had replaced the 'real' O'Brien twenty years previously and had had O'Brien's real memories implanted into his own mind. This would have meant that the O'Brien we first met in "Encounter at Farpoint" was actually a Cardassian spy.

The Wire - Robert Hewitt Wolfe's original idea for this episode was to have Kira addicted to battle stimulants ever since her days in the Bajoran Resistance, but that idea was rejected because it would be difficult to do subsequent episodes with Kira without referencing the addiction and it was felt it could tarnish her character too much

jimbotron August 12 2013 11:31 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
Quote:

Honor Among Thieves - Philip Kim's original idea for this episode was a comic story involving Jake saving the life of the daughter of the Orion Syndicate's leader, and, due to his actions, Jake is befriended by a number of high-ranking Syndicate members. At first, he loves it, with his new friends able to get him anything he wants whenever he wants. However, Jake and Nog have a small argument on the promenade and the next day, Jake discovers that Nog is in the infirmary after suffering a nasty beating. At this point, Jake realizes he's into something he can't control, and he goes to his father for help. The comic element of the story was to come from the fact that while Jake is trying to extricate himself from the Syndicate, Quark is trying to work his way into it, so he decides to become Jake's new best friend.
Wow, a much better idea than the aired version. Seems it has a minor Goodfellas vibe too.

Quote:

Second Skin - Robert Hewitt Wolfe's original idea for this episode revolved around O'Brien discovering that he was a deep-cover Cardassian operative who had replaced the 'real' O'Brien twenty years previously and had had O'Brien's real memories implanted into his own mind. This would have meant that the O'Brien we first met in "Encounter at Farpoint" was actually a Cardassian spy.
Um, Molly? That doesn't work.

JirinPanthosa August 12 2013 11:48 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
I think I like the aired version better in most of these cases.

I think the Honor Among Thieves idea sounds like more of an Analyze This vibe than a Goodfellas vibe and would have made the Orions more like a slapstick version of the mafia instead of a mafia to be frightened of.

And if O'Brien was actually a Cardassian agent it would have been like the Bashir genetic twist and cheapened everything about his character, adding a gimmick to a gimmick-free character. Also I'm not sure how they would have explained Molly's silverware-free forehead.

I do like the idea of Kira being an addict, it would have jived well with her past.

jimbotron August 12 2013 11:53 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
Also, that idea for Honor Among Thieves was already done (with the Cardassian spy idea nixed) in Second Skin.

The Emissary August 13 2013 03:30 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
Quote:

Roboturner913 wrote: (Post 8500195)
Been reading a lot of episode summaries on Memory Alpha lately. In a lot of cases the final product is a lot different from the original concept. Especially what we now see as the sub-par episodes. Some of the better ones:


Rivals - Trombetta himself said it was extremely frustrating developing the story, "because there was this subplot of the racquetball game that they had wanted to put in a number of times and had not been able to, so they put it in this [episode] after I was gone because they felt it made the most sense since this was about games." He goes onto say, "I would have liked to have done more with the quantum-luck thing. I had the idea that if randomness could be managed, then you're in a lot of trouble. Basically, the universe is random; it's a mind boggling thing.

Might've improved the eppie. Not sure. It was already just so so. Wasn't Guinan supposed to be in this episode?

Armageddon Game - Writer Morgan Gendel's original pitch for this episode involved a Federation team going to an alien civilization and demanding that they destroy their biogenic weaponry. However, the alien race encode the weapon into O'Brien's DNA, meaning that if the Federation want to destroy the weapon, they must kill O'Brien.

I sort of like the idea. The quandary with O'Brien sounds good, but I don't like the typical Starfleet ethnocentrism demanding alien worlds to live a certain way.

Honor Among Thieves - Philip Kim's original idea for this episode was a comic story involving Jake saving the life of the daughter of the Orion Syndicate's leader, and, due to his actions, Jake is befriended by a number of high-ranking Syndicate members. At first, he loves it, with his new friends able to get him anything he wants whenever he wants. However, Jake and Nog have a small argument on the promenade and the next day, Jake discovers that Nog is in the infirmary after suffering a nasty beating. At this point, Jake realizes he's into something he can't control, and he goes to his father for help. The comic element of the story was to come from the fact that while Jake is trying to extricate himself from the Syndicate, Quark is trying to work his way into it, so he decides to become Jake's new best friend.

I like the original version, but this story (if done seriously and not as a comedy) could be good. But Quark has proven he cares about Nog. If the Syndicate thugs beat him within an inch of his life, it's doubtful he'd still be trying to get with them.

Destiny - The original story idea revolved around Starfleet seeking to relieve Sisko of his post. As David Cohen recalls, "We had enjoyed Deep Space Nine's pilot and the mythic overtones it suggested, as [Commander Sisko] was believed by an alien race to be the 'Emissary' from their gods, as prophesised in their scriptures. It occurred to us that Sisko's bosses couldn't be very comfortable with that. What if they pulled a Heart of Darkness on him and sent someone to extract him from this situation? The perfect chance to do so, we decided, was if there was some specific prophecy, that would, ipso facto, prove he's not the Emissary. We'd raise the stakes by having a pencil-pushing staff officer threaten to transfer him to another command if he doesn't end this 'Emissary' talk."

I like this idea a lot! I feel Starfleet kind of just gave up later on and didn't care about him being Emissary. A shame.

Playing God - In writer Jim Trombetta's first draft of the teleplay, the A story was the protouniverse story, with Dax's storyline in secondary position. Michael Piller rewrote the episode to place the Trill storyline as the primary plot. Trombetta felt that this decision robbed the episode of its emotional balance and that the ethical problem of the protouniverse story is no longer felt on an emotional level.

Agreed. This would've been much better.

Second Skin - Robert Hewitt Wolfe's original idea for this episode revolved around O'Brien discovering that he was a deep-cover Cardassian operative who had replaced the 'real' O'Brien twenty years previously and had had O'Brien's real memories implanted into his own mind. This would have meant that the O'Brien we first met in "Encounter at Farpoint" was actually a Cardassian spy.

Not a good idea. I had read that Kira was the one that was meant to be a Cardassian the entire time. Would've been pretty interesting, I think. A big risk.

The Wire - Robert Hewitt Wolfe's original idea for this episode was to have Kira addicted to battle stimulants ever since her days in the Bajoran Resistance, but that idea was rejected because it would be difficult to do subsequent episodes with Kira without referencing the addiction and it was felt it could tarnish her character too much

I like this one a bit more than Garak, but Andrew Robinson did such a good job in that episode that I'm not sure I'd want to replace that with Kira.

Praetor August 13 2013 10:18 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
I really like the concept of "Desinty." Too bad that wasn't done that way. "Honor Among Thieves" sounds great too. The rest, meh. O'Brien as a Cardassian is a bit too much. Now, a human O'Brien programmed to spy on the Federation might have worked.

jimbotron August 13 2013 11:58 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
Too similar to the replicant O'Brien idea already used.

Praetor August 14 2013 12:36 AM

Re: Original episode plans
 
Agreed.

JirinPanthosa August 14 2013 03:21 AM

Re: Original episode plans
 
There are probably way more examples of this in TNG than DS9. In DS9 when they changed an idea it was usually because somebody thought of something better, like Armageddon Game. Not because somebody thought the future of humanity was to lack all human characteristics.

Of course for Captain's Holiday they replaced one great idea with another great idea.

Tosk August 14 2013 04:23 AM

Re: Original episode plans
 
Quote:

jimbotron wrote: (Post 8501269)
Um, Molly? That doesn't work.

As mentioned in the DS9 Companion, Molly is the reason the storyline got shifted to Kira.

DS9forever August 15 2013 06:00 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
I like the story idea of "Treachery, Faith and the Great River".

Weyoun was to ask the Deep Space 9 crew to help stop a new Dominion race called the Modain, who Weyoun says are to replace the Jem'Hadar. In the end, the Modain would be revealed to be replacing the Vorta. It would make a neat novel.

jimbotron August 15 2013 06:32 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
Quote:

Tosk wrote: (Post 8505790)
Quote:

jimbotron wrote: (Post 8501269)
Um, Molly? That doesn't work.

As mentioned in the DS9 Companion, Molly is the reason the storyline got shifted to Kira.

That reminds me of the reimagined BSG. They decided to make one of the characters one of the long-lost Cylons. The problem was, he'd recently had a child. So they awkwardly retconned the child's paternity.

Praetor August 15 2013 07:33 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
Quote:

DS9forever wrote: (Post 8511676)
I like the story idea of "Treachery, Faith and the Great River".

Weyoun was to ask the Deep Space 9 crew to help stop a new Dominion race called the Modain, who Weyoun says are to replace the Jem'Hadar. In the end, the Modain would be revealed to be replacing the Vorta. It would make a neat novel.

I like that a lot.

Shatna August 15 2013 10:02 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
The DS9 Companion also says the original concept for "Valiant" had Kira being rescued by Red Squad, but it was decided that she would just kick everyone's ass and take over, so it was switched to Jake. I'd still like to have seen the original version, just because of those snotty little Red Squadders.

Also, there were apparently plans to have the fate of Sito Jaxa resolved on DS9, but the show just never got around to it. Shame.

DS9forever August 16 2013 08:04 PM

Re: Original episode plans
 
Quote:

Shatna wrote: (Post 8512795)
Also, there were apparently plans to have the fate of Sito Jaxa resolved on DS9, but the show just never got around to it. Shame.

I think Sito's return was an early story idea for "Hard Time".


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