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"Blood and Fire" is an episode written by David Gerrold for possible use on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The script was commissioned and written, but never actually filmed because certain studio executives[who?] had a negative reaction to its positive depiction of an openly gay couple. It was eventually adapted by Gerrold into a standalone novel.
In the original script, the crew of the Enterprise-D came upon a derelict spaceship whose crew had all been killed off by Regulan bloodworms. Since these creatures are highly dangerous and can kill within hours, any ship or space station found to be infested with bloodworms must be sterilized and/or destroyed, as per Starfleet orders. The concept of Regulan bloodworms, mentioned in dialogue in the original Star Trek series (but never actually explained until this episode), was intended to be a metaphor for the AIDS crisis, as AIDS was a similarly lethal disease.
This episode was also noted for its inclusion of two openly homosexual crew members, which would have been a first in Star Trek history. Years later, an AIDS allegory would later be included in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Stigma".
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