Long-Suppressed Gay Star Trek Episode Comes Out

David Gerrold, famous for writing the "Trouble with Tribbles" Star Trek episode, also wrote an episode that included gay characters - but it was shot down by Paramount. Now you can watch it online.

To make the episode, Gerrold teamed up with the fan crew behind Star Trek: Phase II, a web series that's intended to be the fourth season of the original series. He dusted off his gay-themed script, called "Blood and Fire," and also directed it. Originally, "Blood and Fire" was written for Star Trek: TNG, and approved by series creator Gene Roddenberry, but executives at the network balked. Gerrold says they told him they were worried they'd lose their advertisers because "mommies" would call in to complain that they'd seen gay people on Star Trek.

For the webisode, Gerrold re-wrote the script to bring it up to date with issues like gay marriage, and also to make the characters more openly gay. In the original, they were portrayed as friends - the only hint that they were gay was one character asking them how long they'd been together. In the new version, as you can see in the clip below, there's no question that they're lovers.

The episode is about the Enterprise responding to a distress call, and dealing with scary "bloodworms." It introduces a new character, Peter Kirk, the gay nephew of the captain.

According to AfterElton's Brent Hartinger, who has seen the full episode:

There's tension between Peter and his famous uncle, who is determined to keep him out of harm's way, even if it means treating him differently than the other crewmembers. Eventually, Peter reveals the real reason he requested a stint on the Enterprise: to be near his boyfriend, Alex Freeman (Evan Fowler). When the couple make plans to marry, Kirk agrees to officiate, but only "after the away mission" - which may or may not bode well for the future of this relationship . . . The portrayal of Peter and Alex's romantic relationship is treated no differently than any of the dozens of heterosexual relationships the various Star Trek incarnations have included over the decades. Indeed, the storyline is incorporated so naturally as to make the "official" Trek's inexcusable lack of gay characters even more obvious.

The first half of "Blood and Fire" goes online this Saturday on the Star Trek: Phase II website. The second half airs in February.

You can see more images and a longer clip at AfterElton.