David Gautreaux on the left. (Courtesy of Paramount)
Rhode Island – David Gautreaux
That’s right. Even the tiny state of Rhode Island has been able to contribute to the Star Trek legacy with actor David Gautreaux. And if it wasn’t for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, you would be much more likely to recognize the name. That is, when you consider Gene Roddenberry’s original plans for Gautreaux, which was essentially to make him the next Spock.
Although he’s had many fairly small roles, you could say Gautreaux is most well known for the part he didn’t play. Following Star Trek ending its original TV run in 1969, plans were moving forward to start a new series in the later 70s. Called Star Trek: Phase II, the proposed show would be a direct sequel to the original series. With Leonard Nimoy unwilling to reprise Spock, Gautreaux was set to replace him as a young Vulcan named Xon.
However, the decision later came to continue the original series with feature films, instead. At that point, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was born. Nimoy was now back on board as well, meaning Xon was never written into the story. However Gautreaux still was able to take part in the movie, playing the part of Commander Branch in that first Star Trek film.