It was prior to 1987 when Gene Roddenberry opened The Next Generation for story ideas from writers, though most of the earliest TNG plot concepts were rejected by him. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 114, p. 56) Producer Robert Lewin later remembered, "There were a great many writers pitching to write the show. Several had story ideas with potential. He was shooting almost everything down because it didn't fit his concept of what the 24th century should be [....] The first scripts were not terribly good. I think only one was shot." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 85)
Many of the first abandoned plot ideas featured Klingons. Richard Arnold explained, "Gene kept getting stories from professional writers about wars with the Klingons and he kept saying, 'Star Trek is not about Klingons!'" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 114, p. 56)
In his book Trek: The Unauthorized Behind-The-Scenes Story of The Next Generation, James Van Hise explored several never-filmed episodes written for Star Trek: The Next Generation, most notably a controversial episode written by David Gerrold, entitled "Blood and Fire".
Some stories had to be abandoned because the writing staff couldn't figure out how to make them work. Ronald D. Moore archived the stories that were never produced, whose quantity wowed Brannon Braga. "I have binders of all the abandoned stories," Moore revealed, "and all the ones we bought, the ones we started to develop. But they filled, like, a three-ring binder; each season was filled with stories that we didn't get to. Some were pitches, some were internally developed, some never made it past just the one-page memo. But there are dozens, if not hundreds, of stories that we didn't do." (All Good Things (Blu-ray) audio commentary)
A character concept that was repeatedly considered for TNG but never used on the series was a mischievous son of Guinan. The notion provided the basis for the character of Martus Mazur, in DS9: "Rivals", though the idea he was Guinan's son didn't make it into the episode's final version. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 109)
"All That Glitters"Edit
A story pitched by Nick Sagan was to have featured a return of the character Armus, from TNG: "Skin of Evil". (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 293)
"Blood and Fire"Edit
In a 2011 interview, Gerrold concurred, "My cause at the time was blood donorship, and I knew that people were so terrified of AIDS they had even stopped donating blood. So I wanted 'Blood and Fire' to be about the fear of AIDS – not the disease but the fear – and one of the plot points involved having the crew donate blood to save the lives of the away team. I thought, 'If we do this episode right, where blood donorship is part of solving the problem, we can put a card at the end telling viewers that they could donate blood to save lives, too.' I thought it was something Trek should be doing, raising social awareness on an issue, and if we did it right, we could probably generate a million new blood donors at a time when there was a critical shortage."
"There were two characters who were not very important to the story, but they were the kind of background characters you need. At one point Riker says to one of them, 'How long have you two been together?' That was it. The guy replies, 'Since the Academy.' That's it. That's all you need to know about their relationship. If you were a kid, you'd think they were just good buddies. If you were an adult, you'd get it. But I turned in the script and that's when the excrement hit the rotating blades of the electric air circulation device. There was a flurry of memos, pro and con. One memo said, 'We're going to be on at four in the afternoon in some places and we're going to get angry letters from mommies.' My response was, 'If we get people writing letters, it shows they're involved in the show, and that's exactly what we want. We want them engaged, and a little controversy will be great for us.' And I said, 'Gene [Roddenberry] made a promise to the fans. If not here, where? If not now, when?' But the episode got shelved anyway and that's when I knew I wasn't going to be allowed to write the very best stories we should be writing. The original show was about taking chances. If we weren't going to take chances, we weren't doing Star Trek. So I let my contract expire and I went off to do [...] other things." 
The story was included in the reference book Lost Voyages of Trek and The Next Generation (pp. 85-90). Gerrold later adapted and directed the script for the fan series Star Trek: Phase II. The episode also featured Denise Crosby.
"Blood and Ice"Edit
"Blood and Ice" was Herb Wright's second draft of David Gerrold's "Blood and Fire". Wright kept the same basic adventure, but removed the allegedly gay characters and the AIDS allegory, replacing them with zombie crewmen. Having noticed that Star Trek: The Original Series features various types of stories, Wright – who worked on the first and fifth seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation – suspected Star Trek allowed "room in the mix for Night of the Living Dead, zombies in space," in his words. He went on to say, "When I came back during fifth season, I read the script again because they were hardup for stories and I brought it in. I mentioned it to [Co-Executive Producer] Michael Piller and he said, 'What was it?' because he thought he had read everything when he came in. I said, 'You probably never saw this draft. If anything, you probably read 'Blood and Fire,' and this one was called 'Blood and Ice.' A printed it out and brought it in. The staff loved it, Rick loved it, but Piller said, 'Nice script, but it's really a first season type of show.' Oh well." Thus, despite the rewrite, this version remained unfilmed as well. The story was included in the reference book Lost Voyages of Trek and The Next Generation (pp. 91-93).
"The Bonding" was written by Lee Maddux. Apart from obviously having the same name as the produced TNG episode "The Bonding", it was completely unrelated to that installment. The story was included in the reference book Lost Voyages of Trek and The Next Generation (pp. 67-69). A draft of the episode was dated 9 October 1987. (citation needed • edit)
An idea repeatedly pitched to TNG was creating a story that featured chaos theory. Joe Menosky remembered, "Writers would come in and say 'What about chaos theory?' And someone else would say, 'Well, what about it?' Everyone would struggle but nobody would devise a story." It was not until the writing of DS9: "Rivals" that such a story was conceived, forming the genesis for the episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 109)
"Charlie X" storyEdit
A sequel to TOS: "Charlie X", featuring the character Charles Evans, was pitched by Nick Sagan. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 293)
One never-produced story featured the Star Trek: The Original Series character of Chekov. This plot concept was worked on by Story Editor Naren Shankar, with a view to potentially producing it for the show's seventh season, before the idea was finally dropped. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 42, p. 12)
"Children of the Light"Edit
"The Crystal Skull"Edit
"Dead On My Feet"Edit
"Dead On My Feet" was written by Richard Krzemien, draft date 19 November 1987. (The Making of the Next Generation From Script to Screen - Part Two)
- "I wrote the story in 1987 at the behest of a mutual friend of Gerd Oswald. Oswald had directed a couple of Star Trek episodes in the sixties ("The Conscience of the King", "The Alternative Factor") and I'd spoken to him while he was directing an episode of the new Twilight Zone for CBS when I visited that studio in 1986. Oswald was looking for a story he could take to Paramount for The Next Generation which he could attach himself to as the director. He read this outline but rejected it as being "too depressing." I told my friend that Gerd, who was then in his seventies, was obviously a man who had never come to terms with his own mortality. Gerd Oswald died two years later of cancer." (citation needed • edit)
Derelict creature story Edit
During his time on The Next Generation, David Kemper pitched a story which was described by Rockne O'Bannon as follows:
- "The Enterprise comes across a ship that seems to be derelict. Their people go on board and the ship is empty, but the walls have this kind of slime on them, which they discover is actually a creature like a hermit crab, which takes over the ship and lives within it. When it gets larger, it has to find a bigger home, so now it heads for the Enterprise."
This story was never produced, but when Kemper became a writer for Farscape, he recycled the idea, with a number of changes in the concept, and it eventually became the first season episode "Through the Looking Glass". (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, p. 68)
"The Dream Pool"Edit
"The Dream Pool" was a very early TNG story idea pitched by Tracy Tormé to Producer Robert Lewin. The story was influenced by Tormé having recently read the Star Trek: The Next Generation Writer'/Directors' Guide. Tormé submitted the story pitch for "The Dream Pool" at around the same time as suggesting the ultimately produced episode "The Royale". (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 84)
Following his work on "Transfigurations", René Echevarria was asked by Michael Piller to work on an environmental story for the show. Echevarria recalled, "I came up with something for which I wrote many, many drafts, but it never got off the ground. Towards the end of that process, he said he had a script that he wanted me to write. It involved every environmental story that people had done and seemed fairly obvious. They in fact commissioned a teleplay that was literally smokestacks, and it would have been very obvious to the audience that it was the cause of the blindness and mutations in a tribe that was kept on a little island called the Island of Tears. They were kept there, hidden from view, in order for the rest of the society to be able to maintain its mode of production, which was highly exploitive and environmentally unsound. The audience would have guessed at the end of the first act what was going on. What I came up with was a Federation colony that mined dilithium and they're natives to the planet. The twist was that what was causing the problems were these organisms that had evolved in the presence of electromagnetic fields of dilithium. Its removal was creating mutations." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 198)
"Ferengi Gold" was a second season two-parter written by Gene Roddenberry. The story would have involved a combination of some of Roddenberry's favorite themes: alien worlds developing civilizations very similar to those of Earth, aliens (in this case, the Ferengi) utilizing superior technology to appear godly, attractive women appearing for no good reason, and the moral perfection of the Federation. (Star Trek Monthly issue 26, p. 27) There was temporarily rumor that Tracy Tormé was going to try to expand the story treatment for "Ferengi Gold" into a teleplay. The story was later included in the reference book Lost Voyages of Trek and The Next Generation (pp. 97-98). The concept of Ferengi posing as gods was used, years later, in "False Profits". (Star Trek Monthly issue 26, p. 27)
"Genius is Pain"Edit
La Forge storyEdit
Lisa Klink, who later went on to write stories for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, started her association with the franchise by pitching a The Next Generation story, under the open submissions policy. In the story, Geordi La Forge, thanks to his visual implants, was the only crew member able to telepathically communicate with an alien race. However, this proved emotionally entensive and "way out of his engineering comfort zone." The story was not accepted, but earned Klink an invitation to pitch for Deep Space Nine, starting her Star Trek career. 
"The Hands of Time"Edit
"The Homecoming" was a story conceived by Jeri Taylor for TNG Season 6 that went on to be developed for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The plot originally focused on a Bajoran woman who was picked up by the Enterprise. The female became Ensign Ro Laren in later versions of the story. However, every incarnation of the plot centered around the idea of a Bajoran woman who attempted to rescue the leader of the Bajoran resistance, a man who was deeply respected by the Bajorans but who had been wasting away in a Cardassian prison. Once the female finally managed to rescue him, the man turned out to be someone who had wearied of being a leader and no longer wanted to do that. Ultimately, he somehow became a hero once more.
When Michael Piller attempted to adopt the story for Deep Space Nine's first season, Jeri Taylor initially implored him to leave the story for TNG, saying, "You can't have it–it's my story. I need it for my series." When she thereafter witnessed the story being left untouched in the development pile throughout DS9's first season, Taylor still wanted the narrative for TNG. "I went to him and said, 'Michael, if you're not going to use that story, give it back. And he said, 'No, no, no. It'll surface, I promise you.'" The plot subsequently developed into the DS9 Season 2 opener, "The Homecoming". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 76)
"The Immunity Syndrome"Edit
"The Immunity Syndrome" was written by J.D. Kurtz. It was completely unrelated to TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome". The story was included in the reference book Lost Voyages of Trek and The Next Generation (pp. 78-80).
"The Kreen Legacy" Edit
Klingon cranial ridges story Edit
As the Klingons clearly underwent a physical transformation between Star Trek: The Original Series and later Star Trek productions – including the significant addition of cranial ridges – a story was devised for Star Trek: The Next Generation to account for the change. "One of the ideas I pitched," stated freelance writer Marc Scott Zicree, who wrote the TNG Season 4 installment "First Contact", "was a story that explained why the Klingons looked like human beings in the original series, and why they looked like crustacean heads in the current series and movies. [Producer] Burt Armus wanted to buy it, but was gone before he could." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 60) It was ultimately not until the two-parter "Affliction" and "Divergence", in the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise, that the noticeable differences in the two styles of Klingons was explained.
"The Lost and the Lurking"Edit
"The May Fly"Edit
"The May Fly" was written by Richard Krzemien, draft date 1 October 1987. (The Making of the Next Generation From Script to Screen - Part Two)
Mirror universe storiesEdit
Multiple narratives set in the mirror universe, established in TOS: "Mirror, Mirror", were suggested for Star Trek: The Next Generation. "We've been pitched 'Mirror, Mirror' sequels since The Next Generation began, and I wasn't interested," admitted Michael Piller. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 74)
Ronald D. Moore pitched the idea of doing a musical episode on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He thought this notion was "great" but no other staff writers wanted to do it. Though mention of the concept years later elicited a laugh from Brannon Braga, both he and Moore agreed that, with use of the holodeck, the episode could indeed have been produced. (All Good Things (Blu-ray) audio commentary)
"The Neutral Zone"Edit
An unproduced Romulan story, also featuring aspects that made their way into "Too Short a Season", was entitled "The Neutral Zone". It was completely unrelated to the later "The Neutral Zone". Scripted by Greg Strangis, the story featured famous Starfleet security expert Billings, who, confined to a wheelchair and clearly distant and lonely, led the mission which rescued Natasha Yar from her brutal homeworld. Yet, in spite of Yar making efforts to better make his acquaintance, he is completely oblivious to her attempts. Billings' mission is revealed in short order: the Enterprise is to take part in a trade negotiation which will involve, for the first time, the Romulan Empire. Picard's mission will be to get the Romulan delegates there, and Billings is on hand to ensure that all goes well.
To implement this, he compiles a list of all Enterprise personnel who have had contact with Romulans, and orders that they be dropped off at a starbase for the duration of this sensitive mission. Ironically, this group includes the inveterate Romulan-hating Worf, whom Picard defends; Worf manages to remain on board, where he becomes involved in a subplot additionally focusing on Wesley Crusher. Meanwhile, Doctor Beverly Crusher proposes an operation involving fluid drawn from Data's spine to help Billings, who brusquely declines.
Romulan commander Gar, obviously against the accord he has been assigned to promote, beams aboard and dissension ensues. Matters grow complicated when the transporter malfunctions while the rest of the Romulan delegation is beaming over; after some tense moments, they are safely returned to their own ship, but Gar is less than pleased, especially when Data discovers a sabotaging device inside the transporter console.
Unfortunately for Wesley Crusher and Worf, their separate subplot takes them, without authorization, into the transporter room; this does not bode well for them, until Tasha turns up with security tapes, showing Gar inserting the device. The Romulan remains insouciant, claiming that the negotiations were leading to disaster anyway and that his actions were merely getting the problem out of the way quicker. With all this sorted out, Billings consents to Dr. Crusher's proposed operation, and is thereafter able to walk. (Trek: The Unauthorized Behind-The-Scenes Story of The Next Generation)
In the story, Picard makes a passing reference to an engagement with a Romulan ship sometime in his career. Notably, this account is inconsistent with the history of Romulan isolation as described in the produced episode "The Neutral Zone".
"The One and Lonely"Edit
"The One and Lonely" was written by Richard Krzemien, draft date 18 June 1987. (The Making of the Next Generation From Script to Screen - Part Two)
"Out of Time"Edit
During the seventh season of TNG, Joe Menosky pitched a story, originally called "Out of Time", in which Alexander Rozhenko accidentally fell into a time portal and permanently aged into a bitter man. According to René Echevarria, Menosky greatly disliked the character, and saw this as a way to "get rid" of him. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 577) In the story, Worf and Alexander travel to a planet to carry out a Klingon hunting ritual when Alexander suddenly disappears. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 87; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 577) Echevarria continued, "Worf loses sight of his son for a second. Alexander goes through some kind of portal, winks out, and then a second later he walks out." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 577) Jeri Taylor recalled, "Worf looks around and calls out for him. A second later Alexander's voice answers 'Here I am.' Worf looks up and there is Alexander, now a scarred, battle-hardened [man] [....] Through various sci-fi reasons he was winked to another kind of dimension and was deposited there as a nine year old in a very harsh cruel environment, sort of a Mad Max kind of place where he had to fight and survive without anybody or anything. To him, he lived [...] years more in this really rotten environment, abandoned in a sense by those who loved him, and turned into this battle hardened kind of warrior." Taylor additionally described the duration of Alexander's stay in the other reality as "9 years," resulting in him returning as an "18 or 19 year old." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 87) According to Echevarria, though, Alexander spent "fifteen years" in the other world. Echevarria went on to note, "He's now a grown man and a warrior and he has great resentment toward his father because he doesn't understand what happened." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 577) Taylor explained, "In a blink of [an] eye Worf has lost his son and his son has lost his childhood and now they go back onto the Enterprise with somebody no one is prepared to deal with." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 87)
Michael Piller repeatedly quashed the story idea. Ronald D. Moore noted, "Michael shot it down time and time again." According to Echevarria, "We never did that show because Alexander was Michael Piller's mother's favorite character." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 577) Piller offered a different explanation, maintaining, "I just thought it was a nasty thing that we were basically taking the kid's entire childhood away. I just wouldn't go for it." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 303) Jeri Taylor concluded, "I thought it was a dynamite story and always wanted to do it and Michael just wasn't comfortable with it for a lot of reasons. It's the one story I regret we didn't do [on TNG]." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 87)
While the premise remained unused on TNG, it inspired the idea of having a time-traveling Alexander in "Firstborn". (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., p. 292) Echevarria kept the story in mind after moving to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and it was eventually developed (after much resistance from Ira Steven Behr) into the sixth season episode "Time's Orphan", with Molly O'Brien in place of Alexander. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 577)
Perchance to Dream scriptEdit
A spec script that Howard Weinstein wrote and submitted to Star Trek: The Next Generation ended up becoming the basis for his novel Perchance to Dream. "They didn't buy it," he explained, "but Michael Piller thought enough of the script to extend an invitation for me to pitch other stories [...] I still think it would have made a neat TV episode." (Voyages of Imagination, pp. 173-174)
A Star Trek: The Next Generation story idea which was originally titled "Profit Margin" and was pitched by Hilary J. Bader involved a female Ferengi, named Pel, posing as a male of the species. "I had Pel involved with Riker to begin with, and then had Beverly Crusher find out, and some kind of sisterhood relationship developing," Bader recalled. The concept later became the basis for "Rules of Acquisition", a Ferengi episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 96)
Season 5 Q storiesEdit
During the fifth and early sixth seasons of The Next Generation, the writing staff struggled with two premises using Q that were both ultimately rejected, leading to an unintentional season-long absence of the recurring antagonist.
"Q Makes Two"Edit
In "Q Makes Two", Q would have duplicated the Enterprise and the crew according to some uniform characteristic. Brannon Braga recalled, "There was a sense of doom from the moment we started 'Q Makes Two.' I think we broke it three times. René wrote two drafts and it was ultimately abandoned. It's an interesting notion that Q comes on board and Picard's saying people are inherently good and we have managed to get rid of our darker elements in the 24th century and we're better people. Q says, 'So you don't think you have dark components and you think you're better without them, well I'm going to show you a thing or two,' and so he extracts the darker components and puts them into doubles. The clean, good components suffer and so do the darker components and neither functions without the other. We see that dramatically, but for some reason we made it more complex than it needed to be. It's a show that could still work. The image in my mind that we never really got to was the two Enterprises shooting at each other, that's what you want to see."
Jeri Taylor added, "'Q Makes Two' was a debacle and it plunged us into a nightmare of having to get "Man of the People" ready." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 263)
According to Taylor, the idea of splitting a starship in two later inspired the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Deadlock". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 166) The plot also notably resembles the original series episode "The Enemy Within", except with the entire crew duplicated, rather than just the captain.
In the other scrapped premise, entitled "I.Q. Test", Q would have had a wager against another member of the Q Continuum that would have led to a deadly contest between the crew and the Zaa-Naar, a dangerous alien race. (Star Trek Monthly issue 26, p. 27) In fact, Q would have used the crew in a sort of Olympics against the other Q, and the Zaa-Naar would have been the other Q's chosen race of supermen. (AOL chat, 1998) The episode was based on a story by a new writer and involved input from Herbert J. Wright. (Star Trek Monthly issue 26, p. 27) However, the story was scrapped on account of Michael Piller. Ronald D. Moore later remarked, "In defense of Michael, the Q-Olympics story was ludicrous and needed to be deep-sixed." (AOL chat, 1998)
Despite rumors that Arnold Schwarzenegger would have appeared in the episode, Ronald D. Moore clarified, "There was never – ever – any chance that Arnold was going to appear on the show." (AOL chat, 1998)
Ronald D. Moore devised a story which had Q losing his mind. "I pitched a memo about a Q show," he recalled. "The universe suddenly fractured, and there were all these bizarre things happening." (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 42, p. 13) Moore elaborated, "It was a totally nutso beginning–Picard is suddenly walking down [a] New York street dressed in his uniform but carrying a brief-case and wearing a fedora. He passes Riker who is pounding on the side of a building with a loaf of bread–that's Riker's job, to pound the side of a building with a loaf of bread. And a Klingon driving a taxi cab drives by and a knight in shining armor is the cop, all this insane stuff." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 86) In fact, Moore imagined multiple armor-clad knights walking around on the New York street. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 42, p. 13) "All our characters are there and they are doing things that make zero sense," he continued, "and then the camera pans by an alley and there lying by a trash can is Q who is dressed like a homeless guy and he is mumbling to himself 'I used to be a super-being' [....] It's all about us trying to figure out that none of this is the way things are supposed to be and that nutty guy who is saying he used to be a super-being is actually right." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 86)
Though it had its supporters among the creative staff, the story wasn't greenlit for production because the producers vetoed it. In retrospect, Ronald D. Moore described the plot as "The one great one that I think the whole writing staff loved, but could never quite talk them into doing [....] We were totally nuts, but we said 'Man, this would be so cool.'" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 86) Despite the story being rejected, it notably inspired Michael Piller. "Michael didn't really buy it," Moore clarified, "but he did pick up on it and say that we should bookend the series with a Q show." Hence, the story directly influenced the writing of TNG series finale "All Good Things...". (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 42, pp. 13-14)
Quantum Leap Q storyEdit
At one point, Robert Hewitt Wolfe pitched a Q story much in the style of the series Quantum Leap. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 45) Wolfe specified that he pitched it "when I first came to TNG." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 95) During the course of the story, Q transformed Picard, Data and Deanna Troi into officers aboard a Romulan ship. "There was no Romulan makeup involved; they weren't possessing the bodies," explained Wolfe. "The visual gag was the same as Quantum Leap, where we would look at them and see them as themselves and maybe in a reverse shot we might see them as other people completely." The degree of similarity to Quantum Leap caused the producers not to want to do the story, which consequently was never bought. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 45) Wolfe considered TNG: "Face of the Enemy", however, as similar to his undeveloped plot. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 177) Moreover, the story served as a conceptual precursor to a particular undeveloped episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and, ultimately, the DS9 episode "Second Skin". (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 95)
A story concept Ronald D. Moore loved and wanted to do was a backwards episode, featuring a reverse chronology. As Moore later explained, the planning of the story was "where [it was said], you know, 'Okay, some time thing happens where we're gonna move backwards through the episode, somehow.'"
The writing staff endeavored to develop the story. "We never could crack it," Moore recalled. "I remember us trying to crack it and talking about it [....] I might have even tried to break an episode like that, once [....] We couldn't come up with the structure of it and how it would work mechanically." Moore was desperate to "find some hook into it," in his words.
The reverse story idea ultimately disappointed Moore. "I was so frustrated," he said. As a result, Moore conceded, "For me, [it was] the great white whale," referencing Captain Ahab's quest for the ever-elusive whale named Moby Dick in the story Moby-Dick. It was not until the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Before and After" that a backwards episode of live-action Star Trek was achieved. Years after struggling with the plot concept for TNG, Moore was impressed by seeing the Seinfeld backwards episode "The Betrayal". (All Good Things (Blu-ray) audio commentary)
"Return to Forever"Edit
"Return to Forever" was a two-part story whose conception was related to Tracy Tormé becoming one of the few members of the TNG writing staff who was persuaded to return for the show's second season; the opportunity to write the story was offered to Tormé as an enticement to stay with the series. As presented to him, the story was a two-parter involving Leonard Nimoy as Spock. Tormé devised the plot as a sequel to TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever", reusing the Guardian of Forever. "I thought it might be fun to bridge the old show now that we'd had a season under our belt," he explained. "I thought about the old Harlan Ellison episode [....] What I had going was that a small research team was allowed to work with this thing [the Guardian] and were all found dead and Spock ended up coming through from the past. There was a circular story where I had two Spocks on the ship at the same time, one was in a coma and the one from the present was still alive. The reason the Spock from the past came through was all tied into the one in the present, yet the one in the present didn't have any memory of this. Then at the end, the present Spock puts his hands against the past Spock and tells him to forget, so he goes back in time not remembering that he will meet himself." Regarding the story's fate, Tormé concluded, "It never got past outlining, because something fell out with Nimoy." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 85)
Actor-writer Geoffrey Thorne wrote an unproduced episode of TNG, The Rivals, not to be confused with the similarly titled episode in DS9. Although this did not get produced, Thorne later succeeded in writing official Star Trek tie-in novels.
The story that became DS9: "Little Green Men" was originally pitched for Star Trek: The Next Generation. In its original conception, it would have had the Enterprise in pursuit of four Ferengi who had traveled to the mid-1900s and crashed. Their bodies and ship were recovered by the United States military, leaving the Enterprise to clean up. The pitch was well-received by René Echevarria, but not used because he wanted just a single time travel story per season, and one was already in the works. Five months later, the story was successfully re-pitched for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, using Quark, Rom and Nog. 
Sarek and Spock storyEdit
A story that D.C. Fontana and Herbert J. Wright pitched, during TNG's first season, would have featured Spock, Sarek, and Romulans. Fontana detailed the specifics of the proposed plot, which had some similarities to the ultimately produced two-parter "Unification I" and "Unification II"; "We're taking on a mysterious Vulcan visitor who, of course, turns out to be Spock, and his mission is to rescue his father, who has been captured by the Romulans while on an exploratory peace mission. Now he's being held hostage, and they want Spock." Fontana was told that the plot was not granted production approval due to the unlikeliness of obtaining either Mark Lenard as Sarek or Leonard Nimoy as Spock. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 2, p. 87) According to Herb Wright, the reasoning was that Nimoy had "a falling out" with Gene Roddenberry and instead directed Three Men and a Baby. Wright noted of the story, "I thought [bringing Spock back] would have been great first season." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 2/3, p. 48)
"See Spot Run"Edit
Sigma Iotia II storyEdit
During TNG Season 7, Ronald D. Moore wanted to write a story about the Enterprise-D visiting the planet Sigma Iotia II, previously established in the Star Trek: The Original Series outing "A Piece of the Action". In the story, the Iotians were found to currently be imitating James T. Kirk and his crew, rather than 1920s gangsters. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 42, pp. 12-13, 14)
"Somewhen" was written by Vanna Bonta.
The USS Enterprise-D received a distress call from the transport ship Pleides, which had been caught in the Docleic Triangle, a space version of the Bermuda Triangle. The Enterprise followed the distress call and went into this area of space, which was filled with several energy rings. While passing each energy ring, a different time continuum was created. The changes during these leaps in time included a living Jack Crusher, who served as first officer to a beard-wearing Captain Jean-Luc Picard and a different Geordi La Forge, who was able to see, had a wife and three children, and had never joined Starfleet.
Data was the only crew member who realized all these changes and convinced Captain Picard that the Enterprise should leave this area of space because of a nearby ion storm. Aboard the Pleides, no-one answered the Enterprise's hails. While traveling back through the leaps of time, Doctor Beverly Crusher decided to stay in one of the created alternate timelines and Wesley Crusher was consequently never born. Captain Picard convinced Dr. Crusher to return with the crew and the Enterprise finally went back to the original timeline. (Das Star Trek Universum, Band 2)
Prior to "The Storyteller" becoming an installment of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Kurt Michael Bensmiller scripted it for Star Trek: The Next Generation and submitted the teleplay to the TNG writing staff during the show's first season. "I think it was similar to something they had under development," stated Bensmiller, "so they didn't go ahead with it but instead asked me to pitch some other ideas." Nonetheless, the script for "The Storyteller" remained in the TNG offices. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 47) After Michael Piller joined the staff in the show's third season, he read the script and liked it, buying the pitch and subsequently keeping it in mind until the time came when he could use it for DS9. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 33; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 47) Piller recalled, "I had this script in my desk for three years and I bring it out every season and I say should we do this script this year? Everybody reads it and they say let's not do it. They just didn't like it." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 33) Bensmiller concluded, "For a variety of reasons, it never got made for TNG." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 47)
The first of two never-produced stories which Ron Wilkerson and Jean Louise Matthias sold to TNG was a sequel to the episode "Tapestry". In the story, Captain Picard attended the reunion of his Starfleet Academy class, where he was reunited with Marta Batanides and Cortan Zweller. Having become a less-than-excellent starship captain before recently resigning, Zweller was embittered at the reunion, where Picard was contrastingly "the star." "So here they were coming back to face each other and there is a great amount of pressure to perform for your friends," related Matthias. Wilkerson added, "Corey wanted to involve Picard in a new scheme and Picard realized he could help his friend, but only by taking a risk, putting himself on the line for friendship."
This story achieved considerable success before being discarded. Wilkerson remarked, "It was a rather good Picard episode [...] because you get to see him react to a friend who hasn't done as well as he has. Jeri [Taylor] seemed to like it, but eventually Michael [Piller] decided he didn't want to do it. We got paid, but nothing happened." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 87)
"Terminus" was a story written by Philip and Eugene Price, revised by Robert Lewin and Dorothy Fontana. It remained in story-outline form but featured a character that was later re-conceived as Lore. The story was included in the reference book Lost Voyages of Trek and The Next Generation (pp. 70-72).
"Two Yuffs Two Many"Edit
"Two Yuffs Two Many" was written by Richard Krzemien, draft date 9 July 1992. (The Making of the Next Generation From Script to Screen - Part Two)
A story idea which was often proposed involved the advent of a cure for Geordi La Forge's blindness, negating the use of his VISOR. This concept was featured in the second of two stories which Ron Wilkerson and Jean Louise Matthias managed to sell to TNG but which never progressed beyond the story phase of development, though the idea was included in TNG series finale "All Good Things...". (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 87)
Watts riots storyEdit
A plot once suggested by Robert Hewitt Wolfe involved the Watts riots of 1965. "I pitched a story to TNG where Geordi and Picard crash-lands in Watts right before the riots," said Wolfe. Though this concept was never developed for TNG, Wolfe found the idea was influential during the writing of third season Star Trek: Deep Space Nine two-parter "Past Tense, Part I" and "Past Tense, Part II". (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 92)