TNG’S AXED AIDS EPISODE
Back in the 1960s, the idea of a black woman, a Japanese man, and a Russian man serving on the deck of a starship was groundbreaking. When the 1980s rolled around, many believed it was time for The Next Generation to cross another frontier by providing gay representation. Gene Roddenberry (pictured below) was all for this, and his pledge to fans led staff writer David Gerrold to pen the now-infamous ‘Blood And Fire’, an episode that would deal with the AIDS crisis while blazing a trail with Trek’s first gay couple. Alas, it was not meant to be. Rising social tensions meant that Paramount was fearful of what ‘Blood And Fire’ might mean for the show’s PR. The script underwent numerous rewrites, with the gay characters erased completely. Eventually the episode was axed, and Gerrold quit. Decades later, Enterprise would pick up the torch with their own Aids-allegory episode ‘Stigma’ — and over 50 years after Star Trek began, Discovery finally put a gay character in the main cast.