This story contains possible minor spoilers for the Season 2 finale of “Outlander.”
A good Star Trek fan knows that there are some big names from Trek’s past working on Starz latest hit series, “Outlander,” including Ira Steven Behr.
Based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, the television version was developed by Ronald D. Moore, who got his break in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and later carried that over to “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” By the time “Star Trek: Enterprise” got to air, Moore was hard at work on what would become one of Syfy’s signature series, a reboot of “Battlestar Galactica.”
In the Season 2 finale of “Outlander,” however, the time-traveling show had a chance to feature his old love, Star Trek.
In the opening scene, a television show is prominently displayed to a small 1968 audience in Scotland, apparently to keep the children entertained during a wake. The featured show was the popular British series “The Avengers,” but it was almost “Star Trek.”
Writer Matthew B. Roberts “suggested a ‘Star Trek’ clip, and I got really excited,” Moore told the Wall Street Journal‘s Sarene Leeds. “Immediately, my Trekkie mind was, ‘OK, it has to be one with Scotty in it — which one did Scotty wear a kilt?'”
But then Moore thought about it a little more and realized he needed historical accuracy. While “Star Trek” was on the air in the United States in 1968, was it on the air in the United Kingdom in 1968?
“I checked, and no, it was not,” Moore said. “So then it became, ‘What’s another TV show that would be in the U.K. that a U.S. audience could still kind of identify? And Marine Campbell, who’s a writer’s assistant — and Scottish — it was her idea to do ‘The Avengers.’ She found the clip, and that’s the introduction of Emma Peel in that episode.”
By the way, which episode did James Doohan’s Montgomery Scott wear a kilt? Two episodes, actually, according to Memory Alpha. He first wore it in the episode “Is There in Truth No Beauty” and later in “The Savage Curtain.” And the funny part? “Beauty” was released in late 1968 while “Curtain” came out in 1969 in the United States, so if there had only been instantaneous international release back in the ’60s, Moore might have been able to use this for “Outlander.”
Want to read Moore’s full interview about the “Outlander” finale? Read it in the Wall Street Journal right here.