Inspired by TrekCore’s efforts to highlight cut footage from the early seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Blu-ray team at CBS has been working to include high-definition restorations of several deleted scenes from the series, beginning with the Season Four release.
Unfortunately, we’ve been told that footage from the first three seasons of the show – including four minutes from “The Child”, six minutes from “The Bonding”, and nearly ten minutes from “Evolution” (Part I · Part II) – has been returned to deep storage, making their inclusion in future sets unlikely.
Despite this setback, we’d like to shine the spotlight on some notable scenes we think are worth going back and rescuing from the vaults.
We’re starting with this entry from TNG Season One’s “Coming of Age” – cut from the teaser of the episode, the crew spends time celebrating Wesley Crusher’s birthday before he takes his Starfleet Academy entrance exams on Relva VII.
Filmed on January 7, 1988, this may just be the most well-publicized cut scene never released to the public. Photos from the filming of this sequence have appeared in Starlog magazine, The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine, Larry Nemecek’s Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann’s Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, and most recently, in the Star Trek Magazine.
We’ve included the cut segments from the episode’s script in blue below.
— INT. ENTERPRISE – CORRIDOR (AS AIRED) —
WESLEY is running down the corridor after someone.
Hey, Jake! Wait a second!
JAKE KURLAND, eighteen, dark-haired and intense,
stops and waits for Wesley.
How’re you doing?
(tries to smile)
I’m fine. Really.
I’m real sorry…
BEVERLY’S COM VOICE (AS SCRIPTED)
Acting Ensign Crusher, report to Deck 21 Forward Lounge.
BEVERLY’S COM VOICE (AS AIRED)
Acting Ensign Crusher, report to transporter room eight.
Wesley ignores the request.
JAKE It's not your fault. WESLEY Yes, I know, but I wish we were both going. JAKE (shrugging) Only thirty-two points... BEVERLY'S COM VOICE Acting Ensign Crusher, respond. Wesley touches a com panel. WESLEY I'm on my way. Wesley looks at Jake. WESLEY (continuing) Gotta go. They shake hands. JAKE Do well for both of us. Wesley smiles at Jake and HURRIES BACK the other way. Jake stares dejectedly after him.
-- INT. CORRIDOR - OUTSIDE DECK 21 FORWARD LOUNGE (AS SCRIPTED) -- Beverly waits for Wesley just outside the lounge. WESLEY Mom, I can't be late. BEVERLY Don't worry. You have time. -- INT. DECK 21 FORWARD LOUNGE -- A large cake with seventeen BURNING candles is in the center of the table. It says "HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY" and "GOOD LUCK, WESLEY." The whole BRIDGE CREW waits around the table as Wesley ENTERS with Beverly. He's touched, embarrassed and wants to leave.
RIKER Happy Birthday, Wesley! Everyone ECHOES THE SENTIMENT. WESLEY Thanks everybody. But it's not until next month. RIKER Close enough. TROI You won't be here next month. After you pass the entrance exam, you'll be on your way to Starfleet Academy. BEVERLY Go on, make a wish. Wesley closes his eyes, thinks a moment, then blows out the candles. Everyone CLAPS as he makes the first cut. Troi takes over and cuts cake for everyone, handing pieces to Riker and Wesley.
RIKER You'll breeze through those tests. WESLEY I hope so, sir. RIKER I know so. I remember how tough it was for me. He pauses, reliving the fear, then smiles at Wesley. RIKER (continuing) But you've got brains, and family tradition, and actual experience. WESLEY I wish I felt that sure. GEORDI I was scared to death the whole time. But it's good for you. Keeps your adrenaline going. Not that you'll need it, Wes. Troi hands pieces of cake to Data and Worf. DATA Thank you... Humans are fascinating. They celebrate the passage of time with such joy until a certain age, and then it becomes a topic of some discomfort. I suppose it is because each birthday is another step towards inevitable death. Do Klingons observe birthdays, Worf? WORF Klingons are born, live as warriors, and die. DATA Then how do you know how old you are? WORF I don't. Do you know? DATA I have no age.
Data stares at Beverly, who's standing next to Picard. BEVERLY Is there something wrong? DATA No. I am simply trying to understand the celebration of aging. And how old were you when Wesley was born, Doctor? Beverly shoves her piece of cake at him. BEVERLY Have some cake, Data. She LEAVES him standing there with Picard. DATA I do not understand, sir. Why... PICARD You never ask a woman her age, Mister Data. DATA I am very confused, sir. PICARD Some customs will never change. TASHA'S COM VOICE Acting Ensign Crusher, this is the Transporter Room. We are ready to beam you down to Relva 7. WESLEY (to the party) Thanks for the party, everyone. And the good wishes. They all RESPOND with "Good luck;" "Go get 'em;" "You'll do great."
TASHA'S COM VOICE Captain Picard. PICARD (touching his communicator) Picard here. TASHA'S COM VOICE We've received communication from Relva 7 that Admiral Gregory Quinn is about to beam aboard, sir. PICARD Admiral Gregory Quinn. Why wasn't I informed earlier, Lieutenant Yar? TASHA'S COM VOICE We just received the request, sir. Picard gestures to Riker. PICARD I'm on my way to the Transporter Room, Lieutenant. Number One! Picard and Riker FOLLOW Wesley and Beverly OUT the door.
-- INT. TRANSPORTER ROOM (AS AIRED) -- Riker, Picard and Beverly say good-bye to Wesley. Beverly reaches out to shake his hand, but Wesley leans over and kisses her. He nods and Tasha works the console and Wesley BEAMS DOWN to Relva 7.
What do you think – was this footage from “Coming of Age” a scene worth saving? Know of any other scenes from the first few years of the show that were cut? Sound off in the comments below!
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