Little-known sci-fi fact: Patrick Stewart almost wore this wig to be Captain Picard

Contributed by
Jan 19, 2018, 2:54 PM EST

He has talent, brains, and the unearthly ability to make you follow orders from a TV screen. There is really only one thing Patrick Stewart doesn’t have—hair.

The absence of that almost kept Stewart from wearing that Starfleet uniform and resolutely telling his crew to “engage” and “make it so”. Gene Roddenberry had different ideas when it came to casting who he imagined as the next Captain Kirk, and just couldn’t program his brain to accept the idea of a bald captain with an English accent (who always takes his Early Grey hot) commanding his officers to accelerate to Warp 9. He wanted the same imposing figure, just with a French accent and follicles.

Roddenberry scoured the universe for a way to merge Stewart with Shatner. He only agreed to even listen to the actor read for the role in a wig, which he FedExed to L.A. all the way from England. While it wasn’t as harsh as a Klingon trial, after Stewart read for Picard with the wig, he was actually called back to read without it. Roddenberry finally decided that “hair doesn’t mean anything in the 25th century.” Just think of how many alien species without any have been beamed aboard the Enterprise. Ferengi care more about ears.

Stewart, who was first considered for the role after supervising producer Bob Justman saw him give a lecture at UCLA and just couldn’t get that memorable voice out of his head, was finally cast over Mitchell Ryan (Dharma & Greg) and Yaphet Kotto (The Running Man).

If Picard had hair, do you really think what he’s wearing in that trial shot is ‘80s enough? He would have probably ended up having a mild case of helmet head like Riker, or maybe a mullet. Imagine Picard with a mullet. Yeah, better off bald.

(via Newsarama)

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