Over the years, a number of STAR TREK concepts have evolved, morphed, merged, or been done away with entirely.
In the years preceding STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE for example, Philip Kaufman (THE RIGHT STUFF, 1978's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS remake) was close to directing a picture called STAR TREK: PLANET OF THE TITANS - which would've found Enterprise and her crew challenging Klingons over a legendary world. The plot would've eventually seen a time loop of sorts resulting in the Enterprise gang introducing fire to mankind.
Another example found scripts for "The Child" and "Devil's Due" - both conceived for the STAR TREK PHASE II television series before that show was repurposed to become STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE - ultimately dusted off and re-worked as TREK: TNG installments.
Many notions, poised at various stages of development, were lost in time completely. Legendary author Norman Spinrad - who had written the tense and iconic "Doomsday Machine" episode for the original STAR TREK series - found his second script for that show altered and thrashed in an effort to convert it into a "funny" vehicle for Milton Berle. The problem was...
This screenplay was commissioned by Gene Roddenberry as a vehicle for Milton Berle as a serious actor and he also sent me to an overgrown backlot village set he wanted to try to write into the script too.
This original version was rewritten into an unfunny comedy by the line producer Gene Coon apparently unaware that Uncle Miltie was also a serious dramatic actor and a good one. It t was so bad that I complained to Roddenberry.
"This is so lousy, Gene, that you should kill it!" I told him. "You can't, you shouldn't, shoot this thing! Read it and weep!"
Gene did, and he agreed with me.
All per author Spinrad, who discusses the matter in greater detail HERE.
Here's where matters get amazing. Spinrad's original (pre-Coon) script has been presumed missing for the last 45 years or so, until a fan approached the author for an autograph and presented a copy of Spinrad's MIA script for signing! Evidently, this was the first time Spinrad had come across any material from his version of "He Walked Among Us" - and the author has now made it available to the masses for digital download.
CHEKOV: What kind of danger, Captain...that we're not already in?
The notion of TREKs that could've been has long fascinated me. I'm aware of the material found in this amazing STAR TREK: PHASE II book - but if anyone else out there has any (legitimate/official) treatments or scripts that were in development but lost, aborted, or mutated in some way, DROP ME A LINE! Could make for some great reading, and more than a few intriguing article I should think...
Thanks to Robogeek for pointing us towards this!
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