A script written for the original Star Trek television series by famed science fiction writer Norman Spinrad has resurfaced after 45 years. Entitled “He Walked Among Us”, it was to have been a vehicle for a serious role for the late Milton Berle before Spinrad himself had it scuttled in 1967. Spinrad had written one other Trek script, the fan-favorite episode “The Doomsday Machine”.
Spinrad’s script , the orphan script “He Walked Among Us” would have focused on Captain Kirk grappling with the Prime Directive after encountering a new civilization. It was also meant to give actor Milton Berle a chance to play a meatier, serious role.
Spinrad wrote the episode at the request of series creator Gene Roddenberry, but he says the original treatment was butchered to a point that he eventually asked for the episode to be killed. Roddenberry saw the light, and killed it.
“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,” Spinrad wrote on his blog. “It was so bad that I complained to Roddenberry … I killed my second Star Trek, which, down through the years has cost me tens of thousands of dollars in lost residuals.”
Though a few stray copies of the original script have popped up at conventions throughout the years, Spinrad thought the original had been lost decades ago. That is, until a fan pulled one out and asked him to sign it.
“I thought the text of my original version—written on a typewriter!—was lost forever until recently a fan asked me to autograph a faded copy he had bought somewhere,” Spinrad wrote. “I did, and in return he sent me a pdf off a scan, and that’s what I’ve put on Amazon, not a great copy maybe, but the only one that exists or probably can exist.”
Spinrad is selling the original script for the episode now for Amazon Kindle. Reading it, it’s true Star Trek, written in a voice true to the show. It’s only $9.
(via Norman Spinrad At Large).