5 Scrapped Episodes That Almost Ruined Famous TV Shows

#2. Star Trek -- The Enterprise Turns into a Giant Baby

CBS Television Distribution

Star Trek is one of the most beloved shows of all time, and between people having Star Trek weddings, getting Star Trek tattoos, and remodeling their small, crappy apartments to look like 24th century small, crappy apartments, it's easy to forget just how many episodes of the show were absolute shit.

But even on a show that featured space hippies, Spock's brain getting stolen, and Captain Kirk being brainwashed into a Native American cliche, no episode can hold a tricorder to the awfulness of one proposed episode. "Rock-a-Bye-Baby, or Die!" sounds more like a third-rate murder mystery than a sci-fi adventure, but the truth is even stupider than that.

CBS Television Distribution
Like space hippies stupid.

The script, which was bought by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry but never put into production, began with the Enterprise hitting some weird space debris that causes the ship to be possessed by the soul of a newly born baby (apparently those are just floating around out there in space, which should put an interesting spin on the abortion debate). But while the episode could have confronted controversial issues like "Does life begin at conception, or after taking control of a Galaxy-class starship?" it instead gets very silly, very fast.

With Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Guttenberg unable to assist, the Enterprise crew is forced to look after the baby-ship. It soon starts cooing and crying, prompting Uhura to pacify it, because even though Star Trek is set in the future, it was still made in the 19-"Women Are Only Good for Babies and Boobs"-60s. Seeing as there's no giant intergalactic breast for the Enterprise to space-suckle, Uhura sings "Rock-a-Bye-Baby" to the Enterprise in what would have been a strong contender for the stupidest moment in Star Trek history.


But not the winner.

The baby ages rapidly, at first amusing itself by playing with the ship's doors and elevators before almost killing everyone by flying toward an enticingly "pretty" sun. The baby-ship then starts talking, referring to Kirk as his father and asking as many annoying questions as real 5-year-olds. Sadly, a scene where the ship poops proton torpedoes didn't make it into the script.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise picks up a pair of violent criminals from a planet of sentient crocodiles, because the future is stupid. The villains trick the now teenage ship into setting them free, presumably by promising to buy it beer, and take control of the bridge. But by then the ship has become a young man who realizes his error, and so he flies the ship straight at the sun again until the criminals surrender. Sadly, the Enterprise gets a little too close, and the sentient part of the ship dies after Kirk tells it how proud he is. But not to worry -- on the planet of the croc-people a baby is born, and its cries are the same as the young ship's. Like, whoa, man.

CBS Television Distribution
"Who has two thumbs and isn't paying child support? This guy."

After Roddenberry acquired this space-train wreck of a script, another big shot on the show took one look and mercy-killed it. Television history is the better for it, although if the episode actually had been produced, all Star Trek vs. Star Wars debates would end with the unimpeachable "at least the Millennium Falcon never turned into a goddamn baby" argument.

#1. Seinfeld -- Elaine Gets a Gun

Sony Pictures Television

Everyone knows the premise of Seinfeld: Four friends sit around a coffee shop and chat about dating, work, and the minutiae of everyday life. Oh, and one of them is packing heat.

Sony Pictures Television
No, not him.

In a bizarre storyline even for the standards of the "show about nothing," a second season episode titled "The Bet" was to involve Elaine buying a handgun after a bet between her and Jerry about how easy it would be for her to get one (you know, just like you bet your friends in college). Sets were built, characters were cast, and table reads were held before everyone involved realized that deadly weapons weren't a good a comedic foil to complaints about airline food.

Sony Pictures Television
"And what's the deal with semi-automatic magazines? If you can't flip through one in a doctor's office, why call them magazines?"

It was the table read that basically scuttled the episode. In one especially disturbing scene where Elaine was hanging out with Jerry, she was supposed to point her gun at her head and then at her stomach while asking, "Where do you want it, Jerry? The Kennedy? The McKinley?" Shockingly, the insinuation that her character was a suicidal maniac upset Julia Louis-Dreyfus, so her next line was "I'm not doing this."

The episode still went to rehearsal, but after about 20 minutes, the cast basically revolted. After a few bigwigs discussed the episode, they all agreed that it was a terrible premise and took it around back to, well, not shoot it, we guess, but you know.

Sony Pictures Television
"Just throw it in the dumpster next to the prostitute-killer Kramer stories."

Not many other details of the episode have been released, but we do know that the B-story was about Kramer claiming he had sex with a flight attendant and George, betting him that he's lying, dragging Jerry and Elaine to the airport to find out. We can only assume that Elaine would have used the threat of violence to get the answer, setting Seinfeld down a dark, twisted path that would have culminated in a series finale that ended with Jerry creepily uttering "Hello, Newman," followed by a cut to black and a gunshot.


J.M. McNab writes and podcasts for Rewatchability.com. You can also find him on Twitter @Rewatchability.

For more on fantastical television shows, check out 22 Awesome Ways to Reboot Classic TV Shows.

Related Reading: Some of your favorite shows were a nightmare behind the scenes. You can't imagine how bad the uniforms on Star Wars: The Next Generation must have smelled. And if you're interested in some mind-blowing bits of foreshadowing in your favorite shows, click here. And did you know the first episode of Sherlock predicted the character's apparent suicide? Keep the pop culture nerd train going with these mind-blowing fan theories about your favorite movies and shows.

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