Star Trek: Enterprise showrunner, Manny Coto, had the idea to bring Captain Kirk (William Shatner) to the series in a drastic way.
While Star Trek: Enterprise was struggling in the ratings, the creative team was doing everything they could to try to bring up those ratings. Ideas were bandied back and forth, and Manny Coto, the showrunner for the series who passed away earlier this year, along with co-writers Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, even had one that would have brought William Shatner to the show in a vastly different role.
The returning Captain Kirk would have been from the Mirror Universe which could have explained Shatner being able to appear after the original Captain Kirk’s death in Star Trek: Generations. Yahoo! Entertainment shared a report from Superherohype detailing Coto’s idea and why it didn’t come to fruition.
Having Captain Kirk return to the universe would have been a boon for Star Trek: Enterprise
The idea behind the return was based on the original “Mirror, Mirror” episode in Star Trek: The Original Series. In that episode, Captain Kirk had a device called the Tantalus field. At the press of a button, enemies would disappear, implying that they would die. But Coto and the writers turned that around, saying that instead of the field killing people, it transported them into a pocket universe. So the Enterprise episode would have been about evil Kirk, trying to take over the Enterprise along with the others who’d been trapped in that universe.
Unfortunately, Paramount wanted to end Enterprise so even the possibility of an appearance by Shatner, which would have been quite expensive, wouldn’t sway the studio from the decision.
That really is too bad as it would have been fun to see Shatner return to the evil side we didn’t get to see enough of in “Mirror, Mirror.”