Star Trek: Voyager’s “Flashback” set up a pilot episode
The season three episode of Star Trek: Voyager, “Flashback,” returned some familiar faces to the bridge of the Excelsior with Captain Sulu (George Takei) at the helm and Commander Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney) at his side. The episode was requested by the network as a way to honor the 30th anniversary of Star Trek, and the fans had speculated that the episode would be the pilot for a Captain Sulu spin-off series, entitled Star Trek: The Adventures of Captain Sulu.
Takei, of course, was onboard with the idea as he had long been pushing for a Captain Sulu series, and he hoped “Flashback” would provide him with that opportunity. It was through the fans that he learned about the Voyager episode even before he was contacted by his agent. So he thought the rumors about a potential series could have been true.
Grace Lee Whitney wanted Star Trek: Voyager to continue an Excelsior series
It turns out that the Internet rumors weren’t wrong as Grace Lee Whitney clarified in an interview she did with Startrek.com. Whitney said the producers said that “Flashback” was a backdoor pilot for an Excelsior mini-series, and she came up with the idea for bringing some of the old crew back to Voyager every three months or so in an episode. She figured they could bring in all of the original actors one at a time. Unfortunately, not enough people supported the idea.
The Excelsior mini-series and The Adventures of Captain Sulu didn’t go forward, but whether that was only due to network disinterest is unknown. The idea for the series certainly wasn’t put to the fans who would have supported it. Getting one of the original actors from Star Trek: The Original Series back on screens on a regular basis would have been a treasure, and as enthusiastic as Takei was about such a series, it could only have been a success if just given a chance.