Created by Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek has spawned multiple spin-off shows, more than a dozen films and even its own language since first hitting our screens in 1966. It’s also inspired more fan devotion than perhaps any other show in TV history. However, even the most dedicated Trekkies may be surprised by a few of these little-known facts about the sci-fi phenomenon. Live long and prosper!
20. Majel Barrett first played Number One
Majel Barrett is best known for playing Nurse Christine Chapel and Lwaxana Troi in the original Star Trek and The Next Generation, respectively. However, she first appeared in the franchise as Captain Pike’s second-in-command in the pilot episode. What’s more, she was dating Roddenberry at the time. Some accounts state that the character was subsequently written out after scoring poorly with test audiences. Conversely, producer Herbert Solow later claimed it was due to the network’s fury at the casting of Roddenberry’s unknown girlfriend.
19. NBC rejected the pilot
Barrett could take heart from the fact that she wasn’t the only thing from the pilot to be discarded. In fact, NBC rejected the entire episode over fears that it was too highbrow. What’s more, “The Cage,” as the pilot was titled, included an almost completely different cast to the one that would eventually make it onto TV screens. Indeed, Mr. Spock was the only main character to appear in both.