written by Robert Hamner and Gene L. Coon
REVISED FINAL DRAFT, December 12, 1966
report & analysis by Dave Eversole
As with most scripts that Gene Coon wrote or rewrote, this script is about 95% exactly what aired, with only a few dropped scenes, but with the usual odd variations and condensations of lines. Also, Coon, as a budget-conscious producer, details possible set changes/redresses in his script. The unaired scenes were most likely trimmed to fit the show's running time. Too bad, since every one is a nice character-building scene.
There is only one small change in the teaser. A line by Kirk to Ambassador Fox, "I am not accustomed to taking part in gunboat diplomacy," is dropped.
Not a change, just a nice description I wish to share: the Eminian Capital City is described thus in the script:
A beautiful thing, of soaring towers, elevated highways, clean green spaces... an architect's dream.
Though Kirk sometimes seems to call one of the guards "Galway," the character's name is "Galloway" in the script. The script calls for Yeoman Manning, in the aired version she is Yeoman Tamura.
Mea 3 reveals that she has recently lost both her parents in an attack.
Once the computer calculates that there is a 98% probability that Kirk's message to Scotty is not Kirk's voice, in the script, the scene continues.
Sott punches off, stands up, looking thoughtful. McCoy comes over to him.
They've got them, doctor.
And they're trying to get us.
What do you think we should do?
Well, sir, if you've got a soft foot,
it's an easy enough thing
to grab a tiger by the tail.
The problem arises when you try to let go.
Now what would a thoughtful tiger do in a case like this?
Sar, Anan 7's right-hand man, at one point makes an invocation to a god/goddess named Dia.
The script calls for a Helmsman named Cheffski. Actor Sean Kenny instead plays DePaul, seen earlier in the episode, "Arena."
This scene between Anan 7 and Sar is the only extended scene dropped from the script. It occurs directly before Kirk attempts to kidnap Anan.
INT. ANAN'S QUARTERS
This is a redress of the Detention Chambers, approximately the same size, shape, and so on, except that the furnishings are perhaps slightly more elaborate, as befitting a head of state. After ESTABLISHING, the door opens and Anan and Sar come in, Anan looking very weary, shaking his head.
A game of war, my good friend.
And these earthmen are very good at playing it.
Maintaining their protective screens
must take a great deal of power.
Sooner or later they will have to lower them.
But time is running out.
When Vendikar's computers show
that more than five hundred people
have not reported to the disintegrators...
Perhaps we could explain. The circumstances...
Do you really think Vendikar would listen?
Already the results of our counter attack are coming in.
We have killed almost seven hundred thousand Vendikans...
and their disintegration quota is on the norm. It is ours
which is falling behind. We are at fault, Sar... not them.
Perhaps... we could ask for volunteers among our people.
No! The computers have made their selections.
Those are the people who must die!
(beat... shaking his head)
Leave me, Sar. I must think.
Of course, councilman. In the meantime,
I shall increase efforts to find this earth captain.
Sar leaves. Anan, looking very weary, crosses to a cabinet, breaks out a bottle and a glass, starts to pour himself a drink.
The scene continues as aired, with Kirk revealing himself, disruptor in hand.
Ambassador Fox has two aides in the script, only one in the aired version. The script does not indicate that Fox's aide[s] is wounded and left in the corridor. Thus they simply disappear without explanation when Spock, Fox, et al. make their way to the council chambers for the final scenes.
This dialogue between Scotty and McCoy was trimmed as well. Scotty has already gotten the command from Kirk to implement General Order 24 and has moved the Enterprise out of range of Eminiar's planetary defense systems:
Scott is sitting silently in the command seat. McCoy stands by, staring sympathetically at him. There is a long moment of silence.
Are you going to do it?
You heard the captain. The order was clear.
They'll die down there.
Blast you, McCoy! Don't you think I know that?
McCoy stares at him, shakes his head, turns away and stands there silently, staring at nothing. The bridge is totally silent.
In the final dialogue between Anan 7 and Ambassador Fox we learn that the man heading the Vendikar Council is named Ripoma.
This is a well-written, acted and directed script, one full of suspense that grabs you from the get-go. It has always been a favorite of mine.
Too bad the damn thing makes no sense whatsoever!
A war that has lasted for five hundred years, fought by computers, with casualties blithely stepping into disintegration chambers to be killed. What nonsense.
And don't start on the tired old "Well, they're aliens, they are different, think differently." I'd buy that line of reasoning if the Eminians had been presented as a people who would do such without thinking twice. But Anan, Mea and Sar are all presented as beings who think, question, act and scheme. They come off as intelligent slaves to tradition, not as mindless drones.
And how ridiculously easy does Anan suddenly accept that there might be a chance for peace after only one rousing Kirk speech and a reassurance of help from Ambassador Fox.
I'd buy it if the war had been going on for five, ten, even twenty years, but five hundred?! Where are this planet's versions of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Hancock and George Washington, or even Fidel Castro and Che Guervara? Oh, that's right, they all voluntarily got their asses disintegrated.
Oh, well, perhaps those tight hats cut off the blood flow to every Eminian's critical reasoning faculties.
ROBERT HAMNER (1928-1996): Writer, executive story consultant and producer whose television writing career lasted from 1960 to 1992. Television shows that boasted scripts from Hamner include: Mission: Impossible (original and short-lived 1988 revival), Hawaii Five-0, Adam-12, Emergency, McCloud, The Rockford Files, The Rookies, MacGuyver and Renegade. He won the prestigious Peabody award for his 1979 telefilm When Hell Was In Session, and created the series S.W.A.T.
Allan Asherman's excellent The Star Trek Compendium notes that the first draft of this script was written by Robert Hamner and Steven W. Carabatsos (then story editor). For whatever reason, Carabatsos was neither given a final script story credit, nor an on-air story credit.
Free counters provided by Andale.
Click here to return to the Unseen
Click here to return to the Articles Page.
Click here to return to the Main Index Page.