Star Trek: The Next Generation had an interesting idea for “Conspiracy”.
The sequel series to the original Star Trek had huge shoes to fill. Both trying to live up to their predecessor and somehow be different enough to forge their own path without going too wide left was a tall task. Yet Star Trek: The Next Generation did just that and set the groundwork for its series rather well in the first season. One of the more interesting episodes of that first season was “Conspiracy”.
It saw several Starfleet officers get possessed by an alien slug-thing and had their bodies taken over. It ramped up to a climactic scene in which Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Commander William Riker gunned down the alien parasite leader, while he was in the exposed abdomen of a high-ranking Starfleet officer.
It even set up a cliffhanger in which the aliens were able to summon their species for a full-on invasion, but it’s never revisited. The original idea was so much better but as is a trend, Gene Roddenberry shot it down.
No aliens needed.
The original idea saw the same Starfleet officers simply turn against the Federation and attempt to take it over, claiming they weren’t ready for all the future incursions they’d be forced to have. The idea was quickly shot down by Gene Roddenberry who didn’t want the Federation cast in such a negative light.
Hence, the alien parasite storyline was created instead in order to protect the Federation. It did give fans one of the few episodes that dealt with body horror and gore, so fans of slasher flicks may have been happy but it was still a controversial episode for the imagery that was used.
After the passing of Roddenberry, Deep Space Nine would reuse the original plot of “Conspiracy” for the DS9 episodes “Homefront” and “Paradise Lost”.