What did it initially take to get Patrick Stewart aboard the Starship Enterprise? Among other things, a transatlantic trip for a toupee.
William Shatner’s documentary, Chaos on the Bridge, explores the controversial creation of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and a new exclusive clip reveals how Stewart landed the role of Captain Picard.
As Stewart and others explain, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry didn’t think a bald Englishman could play “the new Captain Kirk” and initially fought the notion of Stewart even reading for the part. When it came down to final casting and Stewart read for the studio, Roddenberry had him do it in a wig — one that had to be shipped from England to Los Angeles.
Ultimately, Roddenberry came around to Picard being bald (since hair “doesn’t mean anything in the 25th century”) and Stewart got the job.
Chaos on the Bridge, directed and produced by Shatner, is available for purchase on Vimeo.