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From Paramount’s Archive - Star Trek: The Original Casting Uncovered

Posted by YBMW Staff on August 25th, 2010
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I can’t even fathom the information from this internal memo, but from the depths of Paramount’s archive a memo - written in April of 1987 to the studio’s Head of Network TV - detailing the acting talent once being considered for various roles in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” has been uncovered. It’s good to learn that Patrick Stewart was always a favorite for Picard and it’s a bit troubling to learn that Wesley Snipes could have become Geordi, a role later filled by LeVar Burton.

star_trek_NG_memo.jpg

Transcript:

TO: JOHN PIKE
DATE: APRIL 13, 1987
FROM: JOHN FERRARO
SUBJECT: STAR TREK/Casting

Per your request, following is a list of actors who are being considered for their respective roles in STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.

Picard

Patrick Stewart
Mitch Ryan
Roy Thinnes
Yaphet Kotto
Patrick Bauchau

Tasha

Lianne Langland
Julia Nickson
Rosalind Chao
Leah Ayers
Bunty Bailey

Data

Mark Lindsay Chapman
Eric Menyuk
Kevin Peter Hall (also for Geordi)
Kelvin Han Yee

Ryker

Michael O’Gorman
Gregg Marx
Jonathan Frakes
Ben Murphy

Geordi

LeVar Burton
Reggie Jackson
Tim Russ
Wesley Snipes
Victor Love
Chip McCallister
Clarence Gilyard Jr.
Kevin Peter Hall

Beverly

Anne Twomey
Jenny Augutter
Cheryl McFadden

Troi

Denise Crosby

Wesley

J.D. Roth

The above actors will be brought in to read for Gene Roddenberry starting next week. However, Patrick Bauchau did come in to read for Gene today for the role of “Picard.” His reading was well received; he and Patrick Stewart seem to be the favorites for the role of “Picard.”

For the role of “Ryker,” Michael O’Gorman seems to be a favorite. He’s sort of an atypical choice for the role, however, a good one.

Denise Crosby seems to be the only possibility for the role of “Troi” at this point; the same for J.D. Roth for the role of “Wesley.”

There are several contenders for “Tasha,” “Geordi,” and “Data.” However, Rosalind Chao seems to be a favorite for “Tasha”; Reggie Jackson for “Geordi”; and Mark Lindsay Chapman for “Data.”

For the role of “Beverly,” Cheryl McFadden is the favorite. However, her schedule may pose a problem. She’s currently performing in a play in San Diego.

General reading sessions are continuing; our next one is on April 14.

cc: Jeff Hayes

Source: lettersofnotes

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