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How 'Spock' Caused A Behind-The-Scenes Fight On Star Trek: TNG

Spock (Leonard Nimoy) appeared on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" late in the series' run, but the mere mention of his name initially caused problems for the show's creators. In the book "The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From the Next Generation to J.J. Abrams: The Complete, Uncensored, and Unauthorized History of Star Trek," Ira Steven Behr details the trouble he encountered by merely trying to have the Vulcan's name mentioned in an episode about the character's father.

According to the "Star Trek" writer, one of the producers on "TNG" prohibited him from even using the name "Spock" in a Season 3 episode. "When we did the 'Sarek' rewrite, the fight over the word 'Spock' was insane. I was absolutely not allowed to use the word 'Spock.' Rick [Berman] made a big issue of it and said we can't do it. There's no way. We did it once. We had McCoy show up at the beginning, but no more. No references to the original series. I said, 'It's Spock's father, we're already in that territory.' He said, 'Absolutely not.'"

Behr didn't back down, though. During a subsequent meeting with Berman, he asked why Spock's name was banned. The producer couldn't think of a reason, so he permitted Behr to use it — once. Over time, though, "TNG" adopted a more relaxed stance on references to its predecessor series.

Star Trek: TNG broke Gene Roddenberry's rules

Gene Roddenberry originally wanted "Star Trek: The Next Generation" to be far removed from "Star Trek: The Original Series." As such, he provided a set of rules for the series creators to abide by, one of which explicitly stated that the old crew should neither appear nor be acknowledged. "TNG" was supposed to focus on new characters and explore new concepts, but rules are meant to be broken — a sentiment that eventually applied to "TNG."

As previously mentioned, Leonard Nimoy reprised the role of Spock on "TNG." The Vulcan appears in Season 5's "Unification I" and "Unification II" episodes. This gives fans a fun slice of nostalgia while catching up with the character in his later life as he continues his quest to unify the Vulcans and the Romulus.

Spock isn't the only character from "Star Trek: The Original Series" to appear on "TNG," either. Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) appears in Season 4's "Relics," and Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) is in the pilot, so the rules were broken before the aforementioned behind-the-scenes dispute. Since then, the rule has apparently been abandoned, and the "Star Trek" franchise has embraced bringing back some blasts from the past, much to the delight of fans.