Gene Roddenberry hated one of Star Trek: The Next Generation's best episodes


After Star Trek: The Next Generation's two-parter, "The Best of Both Worlds," in which Captain Picard was assimiliated by the Borg, the series could have moved on and not touched on the subject any further. The experience was traumatic and devastating for Patrick Stewart's character, though, and a follow-up just made sense. How could Picard experience something so painful and never address it again? Well, that's almost exactly what happened.

Ronald D. Moore wrote the wonderful, emotional episode "The Family," a part of which focused on Picard's return to his family vineyard where he sees his brother, sister-in-law, and nephew for the first time in a long time. It's during that time of animosity with his brother that Picard finally gives into the fear and anguish over his experiences with the Borg. "The Family" remains one of the most powerful episodes of the series, and Stewart delivered a stunning performance as a broken man trying to come to terms with what he'd been made to do. But this episode, had it been left up to Gene Roddenberry, would not have happened.

According to an interview with Trekcore, Moore revealed that Roddenberry hated the episode for myriad reasons like it didn't have any action or danger, and the animosity that existed between the brothers in the script would not have existed in the 24th century. He disliked the script so much that he outright said they couldn't do the show.

"Gene HATES it. I had my version of this meeting, not by myself; it’s with me and Rick Berman and Michael Piller, we all go into Gene’s office. Gene goes through this whole thing about how much he hates this script. “It says terrible things about Picard’s parents; these brothers don’t exist in the twenty-fourth century; they have such profound personal animosities; this would never happen. I don’t buy any of this, this is not a Star Trek episode. There’s no action in this; there’s no jeopardy. We can’t do this show.”"

Ronald D. Moore

Moore was still given the go-ahead to write the script, and "The Family" was instrumental in moving the character of Picard forward in his journey toward self-forgiveness. It revealed a side of the captain never seen before onscreen, but one that deserved to be seen. To have gone through the horrors of assimiliation as well as having unwillingly participated in Borg atrocities, Picard could not have returned to the Enterprise the same man.

Yes, there could have been an episode where Picard was writing about his feelings or talking them over with Counselor Troi, but "The Family" showed us Picard's release of emotion, allowing viewers to feel what he was feeling. It was one of Stewart's best episodes on the series and remains a fan-favorite as well as a critical darling all these years later.

Gene Roddenberry’s rule prevented this romance on Star Trek: The Original Series. dark. Next. Gene Roddenberry’s rule prevented this romance on Star Trek: The Original Series