Spock is set to return to Star Trek television in Star Trek: Discovery Season Two, but there’s one previous Spock return that never quite made it to air.
Leonard Nimoy originated the role of Spock in Star Trek: The Original Series. He continued to play the role through six Star Trek films. He also returned for the two-part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Unification” and appeared in the Kelvin Timeline films.
But there was another, earlier attempt to get Nimoy back as Spock on television. During The Next Generation’s second season, writer Tracy Torres, later the creator of Sliders, conceived of an episode that would serve as a spiritual sequel to The Original Series classic “City on the Edge of Forever.”
The episode begins with the Enterprise-D shuttling Spock to the Guardian for scientific study. Spock is unsentimental about being back aboard the Enterprise, but can’t shake the illogical feeling that he has met some members of its crew before.
Upon arriving at the Guardian, the Enterprise crew finds the research team all dead and only an unidentified sleeping boy left alive in the area. The boy is brought aboard the Enterprise and strange events begin to occur, including Spock going into some kind coma.
Eventually, a younger Spock steps out of the Guardian. He tells the Enterprise crew that his older self is undergoing a process of unlocking repressed memories. The boy eventually wakes up and attacks the crew, but the elder Spock also awakens and is able to defeat the boy because, thanks to the younger Spock being present, he knows exactly what the boy is going to try to do at every turn.
Once the “boy” - who is actually a powerful 800-year-old entity - is defeated, the two Spocks converse. Before young Spock steps back through the Guardian, the elder Spock touches the younger Spock’s head and says “Forget,” locking away the memories of this adventure until the memories until he unlocks them as an older man. The encounter with the young Spock puts the elder Spock in a slightly more sentimental mood, and he asks for a tour of the Enterprise.2comments
Plans for the episode fell through when Nimoy “lost interest” in the project, delaying his return until “Unification.” Nimoy would also get to play an older Spock meeting a younger Spock, but in that case, the younger Spock was from the Kelvin Timeline in 2009’s Star Trek.
What do you think of the outline for “Return to Forever?” Let us know in the comments!