The TNG Cast That Never Was, Revealed In A 1987 Studio Memo
Over the years, we've all heard stories about certain actors who were up for roles on "Star Trek: The Next Generation", but for one reason or other didn't want or get the part. Now, thanks to Sliceofscifi.com (via Lettersofnote.com), we have an April 1987 dated Paramount studio memo that sheds light on the actually prospects for the TNG crew.
Among the many names listed, Yaphet Kotto was up for the role of Captain Picard, Ben Murphy (Alias Smith & Jones) was a candidate for Riker (spelled Ryker in the memo), Denise Crosby was considered to play Troi, & kid's game show host J.D. Roth was the only actor listed for Wesley. Here's something that we learned at Vegas Khhaaan (that the memo confirms, Eric Menyuk (aka The Traveler from TNG) was a possibility for our lovable android, Data.
The memo also details a few suprises. Could you imagine a visor / banana clip wearing Wesley Snipes? Don't laugh, it was a possibility. Not only Snipes, but Reggie Jackson & Tim Russ were up for the part of Geordi. One interesting choice was Rosalind Cho as Tasha Yar. I'm sorry, but I'm having a hard time picturing that... "Oh, Miles!"
Not only does the memo give us a full cadre of possibilities, but the real shocker is that less than half of the final Enterprise-D crew were even considered to be the acting front runners. One thing that seems to be missing is the role of Worf. We're not sure if Michael Dorn had already been cast or if Worf was a last minute edition to the crew. If you have any insight, leave us a note in the comments.
Check out the full memo transcript below.
(Transcript source Lettersofnote.com)
TO: JOHN PIKE
DATE: APRIL 13, 1987
FROM: JOHN FERRARO
SUBJECT: STAR TREK/Casting
Also check out the full scanned version of the memo, over at Lettersofnote.com