Roddenberry Made Sure Star Trek TNG"s Biggest Conspiracy Was Dropped

  • TNG season 1 introduced a Starfleet conspiracy that was quickly shut down by Gene Roddenberry, who didn't want to portray Starfleet officers negatively.
  • The conspiracy plot resurfaced in "Conspiracy" where parasites controlled important Starfleet officers, aligning with Roddenberry's vision of no conflict among the crew.
  • Star Trek: Picard season 3 featured a different conspiracy within Starfleet involving Changelings impersonating officers, highlighting Starfleet's questionable behavior and the revenge-seeking nature of the Changelings.
Star Trek: The Next Generation season 1 introduced a vast Starfleet conspiracy, but Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry quickly shut down the idea. TNG had a notoriously rocky first season, both in terms of story quality and with writers and producers behind the scenes. Although most TNG episodes were stand-alone stories, TNG season 1, episode 19, "Coming of Age," not only referenced previous episodes, but also introduced two separate plot threads that would be followed up on in later episodes. The main story of "Coming of Age" follows Ensign Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) as he takes the Starfleet entrance exam for the first time, and this would be followed up on in TNG season 2, episode 17, "Samaritan Snare."
The second plot thread in Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Coming of Age" focuses on Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the USS Enterprise-D as Starfleet Admiral Gregor Quinn (Ward Costello) and Lt. Commander Dexter Remmick (Robert Schenkkan) investigate the ship and her crew. After a thorough investigation of Captain Picard, Admiral Quinn reveals to Jean-Luc that he believes there to be a dangerous conspiracy within Starfleet. This story would be revisited a few episodes later, in "Conspiracy," when it's revealed that parasites had taken over the minds of several important Starfleet officers.


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