The Memo That Never Was To Be Seen

We were able to get our hands on this little nugget (don’t ask us how) that reveals some interesting behind-the-scenes casting goings-on when STAR TREK: The Next Generation was first proposed back in the late 1980’s. This information might be nearly 20 years old but it still makes for interesting coffee table chat.

This memo was not suppose to ever see the light-of-day, but after almost 20-years who could possibly get their feelings hurt?


It should be noted that Eric Menyuk did star in episodes of TNG as the Traveler who ended up tutoring Wesley Crusher. Rosalind Chao ended up on TNG and DS9 playing Miles O’Brien’s wife. Cheryl McFadden is the same actress who portrayed Doctor Beverly Crusher, her full name being Cheryl Gates McFadden. Tim Russ went on to star in the motion picture “Star Trek VII: Generations” and became Commander Tuvok on the “Star Trek: Voyager” series.

Several of the other stars listed as possible candidates for main cast parts ended up guest starring in the seven year history of the show.


  1. Paul From Des Moines says

    I recognized Patrick Bauchau’s name from his days as “Sidney” on “the Pretender” I’m a big fan of Stewart, but I could see Bauchau in the role. But yeah I’m glad Stewart got it.

  2. says

    If only Kotto had landed the Picard role – it would have settled once and for all ‘Kirk or Picard’ in favor of Picard by a landslide.

  3. Alisa from Virginia says

    It’s interesting to note that Brent Spiner wasn’t even on the list for the part of Data at that point in time. Maybe after all the readings had been done, they had other names on a different list, and Brent Spiner’s name was among those.

    That particular character is not that easy a role to play, and I am glad that Brent Spiner will be forever associated with that role, just as Leonard Nimoy will be forever associated with Spock.

    It takes the right actor to make or break a part. It would be interesting to learn the circumstances on how Brent Spiner got the part.

  4. Phil from LI New York says

    Wesley Snipes!!!! HA space vampires beware… and jenny auguter, are they talking about the same girl that played jessica in logans run.

    even tho this has nothing to do with it, but is it true that Sean Connery was suppossed to replace picard during “best of both worlds?” Don’t ask where i heard this, i forgot.

  5. Will says

    I find it interesting that they only have J.D. Roth in consideration for Wesley. Looks like Wil Wheaton wasn’t even considered in the early days of TNG. I don’t think Roth could have pulled Wesley off that well, in my opinion.

    Denise Crosby as Troi? Oh, dear Lord… I don’t think I would have enjoyed the show nearly as much. I am glad she got stuck with the role of Tasha, and I am glad when she got taken off the show.

    Wesley Snipes… Who else thinks that would have been a bad idea? I am so glad they got LeVar Burton to play Geordi.

    Last thing, I can’t think of anyone else who could have played Picard better than Stewart. One of my favorite characters of any ST is Picard, and Stewart was perfect in the role.

  6. Matthew says

    I think it is easy to say the ones that played the roles were the right choice, but who knows where the writers would have taken the characters based on who played them. I think some of these choices would have been interesting to say the least.

    And didn’t Denise leave on her own?

  7. says

    If I remember Gene talking in a very early interview once (right after the show debuted) he mentioned that he wrote the character with Michael Dorn in mind all along. It was Dorn’s part. Can’t remember where I saw that interview – afterall it was 20 years ago.

    This could explain why his name & character isn’t listed, the part was already filled…no need to audition others for it. One other note of interest. Michael also so impressed those in the “pre-look” before open audition calls that he required no other audition. Michael has often mentioned that he got the role by showing up at the interview with several people. He refused to smile or speak or sit, but stood in a corner at rigid attention, just like he envisioned a Klingon warrior would be. When called, he stormed into the room, scowled, and shook the directing interviewer’s hand sharply. Then he simply turned around without saying a word and stalked out, slamming the door hard behind him. Michael was later told that the screening director for that day said “He’s the perfect Klingon. I want him!”

    The other things I find interesting – and not at all uncommon in early drafts of new programming, is how Riker’s name was first invisioned to be spelled Ryker, and there is no mention of Marina Sirtis, or as someone else pointed out, neither Brent Spiner or Wil Wheaton were under consideration at the drafting of this early memo.

    Sirtis has commented many times how, after finally be called up to audition for the series, many weeks went by and she was so sure she wouldn’t get a part on the show that she started packing to leave America because her work visa was about to expire. Right before it did, she got the call offering her the part of Deanna Troi. The actual character she tried out for initially was a security officer named Macha Hernandez. Gene, was not happy with Crosby’s audition as Troi (even thought the studio brass were), so after weeks of negotiations, he changed the part of Hernandez to Natasha Yar (Tasha), made it a more central character and gave it to Crosby, then brought Sirtis back in to play Troi. It was a great casting move on Gene’s part.

  8. says

    Couple things:

    One, this memo is so cool. I’m definitely a “special features/media archaeology” type person, so I love this sort of thing.

    Two, I got to see Patrick Stewart this weekend at a major sporting event. He conducted the band at my Alma Mater’s football game. He’s looking as good as ever. Quite a surprise treat for attending a game that was supposed to be a “blow-out.”

  9. Agent.Skully says

    Okay, no dis on LeVar because I think he’s awesome…. but think of how UNLUCKY his character was with women. Can you picture a LaForge that looked like Blade striking-out with the ladies as often as he did?

  10. Alton Aeldredwood says

    I love Eric Menyuk as The Traveler. I just wish the character had been utilized more. Those episodes that slipped into the quantum realm were always my favorites.

  11. Ric S. says

    I noticed that Will Wheaton was not on the list for Wesley Crusher. I use to produce Star Trek conventions (Trek-0-rama) for 8 yrs. Will was a good kid..but according to M. Sirtis his mother killed his acting carreer.It seemed the older he got the more awkward his acting. He was great in” Stand by me”.His mother also turned one of the tv stations I worked with promotions director against me in Omaha. I never had that to happen ever..but like she did to her son..she was an expert at wrecking relationships.

  12. says

    When STNG began, LeVar Burton was easily the most recognized face on the cast, due to his work on ROOTS. Now that I’ve read this list of potential actors, the first thing I thought of when I saw Wesley Snipes name… was he as full of himself then as he is now?

    Patrick Bachau and Patrick Stewart both read for the captain role, side by side. Thinking now about Bachau’s history of roles, you can see how his portrayal of authority and command is so very different than Stewart’s. Since the producers were so impressed by Stewart, I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t change the character’s name to more of an English one.


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