Star Trek: TOS, The Guardian of Forever

Young Spock was almost beamed into Star Trek: TNG

Contributed by
Sep 18, 2018, 10:07 PM EDT

Leonard Nimoy wasn’t done boldly going into the uncharted corners of space after Star Trek: TOS went off the air. Next Generation fans know that he did return to try and reconcile the Vulcans with the Romulans (bad idea)—but you probably didn’t know this.

The @trekdocs Twitter account has unearthed one mystery of the cosmos that was last seen in Starlog and Cinefantastique in the early 1990s. Screenwriter Tracy Tormé had actually written a double Spock storyline that would bring the Vulcan Starfleet officer face to face with his younger self through a dangerous portal. Now all four pages of the story outline have come back through that portal and are voyaging through the internet.

Spock coming back on board inspired Tormé to develop a storyline that would reach through time and space to connect TOS and TNG. Never to be realized, “Return to Forever” was supposed to continue what the classic TOS episode “City on the Edge of Forever” started when it warped the fabric of spacetime. In The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From The Next Generation to J.J. Abrams, Tormé revealed that he wanted to do something “that would be really cool” for the 24th-century character Spock after he appeared on the Holodeck.

“They were going to go back to what was now the most forbidden place in the galaxy, which was that time portal,” Tormé said in the book, “and they were going to have to actually violate the rules about non-interference, and it was going to create a Pandora’s box with a whole terrible, unforeseen thing which only the Spocks from two different time periods coming together could actually fix.”

Tormé wanted to use the Guardian of Forever, a portal to a time vortex left behind by an ancient alien race, to defy the forward motion of time and have Spock encounter his 23rd-century self. Creepy enough. Now think of the elder Spock having some unexpected déjà vu when he returns to the Enterprise. He remembers officers he swears he never met before, and he ends up following a strange 800-year-old boy, who is slowly destroying the ship, through time until he remembers what happened 80 years ago that sparked his bizarre journey.

While Spock returned in the two-part episode Unification in 1995 and plunged through a black hole in 2009, meeting his younger self (in the form of Zachary Quinto) in Star Trek and again in Star Trek: Into Darkness, the Guardian of Forever had nothing to do with it.

Read the rest of Tormé’s outline here, here, and here.