written by Jean Lisette Aroeste
FINAL DRAFT, dated December 12, 1968
report & analysis by Eric Paddon
Dated December 12, 1968, this final draft version of Treks next to last episode is almost but not quite the final version of the episode that ultimately aired in March 1969. In particular, the character of Zarabeth (who was not present in the first draft of the story A Handful Of Dust) was not yet fully developed nor for that matter was the relationship between her and Spock. In addition, some elements from the final draft that were cut from the final script that was shot clarify some potential plot holes from the actual episode.
As in the original Handful Of Dust outline and in the final version, it is the presence of a large power source that prompts the Enterprise to send a landing party to the planet, and Kirks initial log entry makes it clear that this is not a case of reckless study on their part so close to an impending nova. Rather, its a case of if the power source meaning potential survivors, they need to get them off.
Kirk, Spock and McCoy exchange more words with each other than in the final aired version about the condition of the complex before they encounter the first replica of Mister Atoz. McCoy notes the absence of dust on the books and says, If a machine did that, Id like one for my office.
The scene then plays out almost identical to the aired version, except that when the real Mister Atoz greets them, its with another cordial, May I help you? This was wisely changed in the final version to his annoyed, Youre very late! Where have you been?
The scene opens with some cumbersome dialogue about whether or not Atoz is an android or not. This was also improved in the final version by having Spock cut to the chase with his remark about his scans being in error about life forms, and then Atoz mentioning that everyone was warned of the nova long ago.
Kirk again asks Mister Atoz about recent history, up to the last hundred years or so. When Mister Atoz leads Kirk and McCoy to view tapes on carrels. Both are seated next to each other and trade words with each other on what theyve found. Kirk comments to McCoy on how theres nothing in the records beyond the point when the Sarpeids first learned their sun was dying. The implication is that he and McCoy have spent time watching a number of discs.
Kirk then contacts Scotty for an update on the time and its down to three hours now. Again, were seeing things play out in a longer version that was compressed wisely in the final version in a late script rewrite.
Here, the function of the Atavachron is different! Unlike the aired episode where the Atavachron is responsible for preparing an individual through the portal, in this draft of the script it only serves as an activation device for the portal. And Spock inadvertently makes the blunder of causing this plight when after asking Mister Atoz about the Atavachron, notes:
you, Mister Atoz, that is just
what we wanted to know. In fact,
I think we are ready to leave
right now. (Emphasis added)
So here its Spocks inability to understand what the Atavachron meant that causes the portal to be active because Atoz has switched it on in response to this. This was another wise change because it makes Spock look stupid.
Kirk hears the scream and rushes into the portal. There is no protest from Atoz about not being prepared because thats not the Atavachrons function here. Spock and McCoy as in the final version, follow him at the same time and end up in the Ice Age (100,000 years ago in this version as opposed to 5,000 years ago in the final version)
The script then plays as it was finally shot to the end of the Act.
The beginning plays not quite the same as the exchange between Kirk, Spock and McCoy is more convoluted in which only at the end of the conversation does Spock utter the line, Theyve escaped their planets destruction by retreating into its past. when it made more sense for this to be the first line.
Now we come to a significant departure from the final version. Our first glimpse of Zarabeth is of her watching Spock and McCoy through *binoculars*. She is clad in fur coverall and parka, face concealed by a snow mask. She is also armed with a rifle of advance design slung from her shoulder. Its soon going to become clear that the transformation of Zarabeth into a classic cavewoman was a late decision made in the script development.
The reason for Zarabeth being armed is because nearby are half a dozen sub-humanoid troglodytes crouched behind the concealing rocks. They wear necklaces of bones and need no other clothing for they are covered with rough, shaggy fur. They make no sound.
This threat from the troglodytes takes up a considerable part of the next phase. Spock and McCoy are surrounded by them and become their prisoners. Then they converse some more (and as this scene drags out in the cold, it becomes even less credible) before making a break for it. As the troglodytes pursue, Zarabeth then comes to their rescue with her rifle that emits a bolt of energy, "knocking them senseless to the ground."
Zarabeth leads them to an underground living room, a place that is later established as having conventional furniture and doors. In another weakness of this earlier draft, Zarabeth begins conversing with Spock before she removes her mask establishing her female identity in a way that would have had no appropriate impact compared to the moment in the episode when she removes her hood and we realize for the first time who she is.
In fact the earlier drafts premise of the Atavachron as simply the device that *activates* the portal makes Zarabeths comment that was retained in the final version of the script, The Atavachron is far away more understandable. In the final version it didnt quite make as much sense for Zarabeth to refer to the device that prepares oneself as opposed to the portal in general.
The description of Zarabeth in the script, once she removes the mask makes it easy to understand why casting calls went out for someone like Mariette Hartley. Hers is a face of the past: pure, clean, lovely, without benefit of visible artifice.
Kirks scene with the prosecutor plays out exactly as aired bringing us to the end of the act.
We get a much longer prelude to the scene of McCoy finally coming around as Spock continues to attend to him. There is a great line from Spock that was lost as Zarabeth says, I sense that he is someone close to you. Spock, taken off guard by her comment answers, We have gotten used to each other over the years. That is all.
The conversation with Zarabeth in the next room (which they must pass through a *door* to get to) is virtually the same until Spock goes into a longer version of his I should be able to reason this thing logically! statement.
A significant moment when after revealing her history, Zarabeth asks Spock if Zor Khan is still alive. Spock says, Zor Khan was deposed and executed more than a hundred years before we arrived at the library. This surprises Zarabeth because she says she has only been here in the past two years. Spock answers, Subjectively, yes. But a century has passed in the library. This, and not the preparation of the Atavachron is why Zarabeth cant go back to the present because if she does, she is liable to return aged by a hundred years. But this in the end makes her assertion to Spock that *he* cant go back ring more with an air of deception. Indeed, the script makes a point of saying, From her terror, Zarabeth extracts an idea.
The scene as McCoy wakes up and Spock explains their plight followed by Kirks scene where he subdues the jailor plays the same. The confrontation with the prosecutor though is staged differently. He arrives in response to the jailors cry and Kirk grabs him immediately with none of the deception and the There are no such thing as witches! exchange (this smacks of a Gene Roddenberry rewrite I would imagine!)
And because the Atavachron does not prepare people in this script, the prosecutors warning about having only a few hours in the past is not here. He simply leads Kirk back and refuses to come because he might age to death. Kirk though has to be concerned that he might step back into the library after the sun explodes and die immediately.
The confrontation with Mister Atoz and the replicas is almost the same, except for the fact that the first replica just warns him to go back and not to assure him he can be prepared now. It ends the same with the real Atoz stunning Kirk.
We now come to the most significant differences with the final version, which place the Spock-Zarabeth relationship in an entirely different light from what we saw unfold.
First, the scene with McCoy where he compliments her cooking and then culminates with the angry exchange with Spock and the Listen to me you pointed eared Vulcan! is not present at all. Not a trace.
Instead this act opens with McCoy still recuperating and Zarabeth serving Spock food. She is described as having changed into something long and flowing stressing once again that the image of her as a cavewoman is not what the script had in mind, especially not amongst the modern trappings of her dwelling.
Things proceed as we saw the Spock-Zarabeth scene of the aired episode to the point where Spock says Zor Khan was insensitive to send such a beautiful woman into exile. This only makes Zarabeth secretly pleased as she goes off to serve McCoy some food as he recovers. What then follows is a *fantasy* sequence of Spock in his mind envisioning himself kissing Zarabeth and then recovering himself and going I must have control of myself!
Now we go back to McCoy recovered, and we see McCoy making an obvious play for Zarabeth, telling her how Spock isnt capable of feeling emotion. Its a moment that makes McCoy come across as selfish and self-centered. When Zarabeth says that hes apt to be mistaken about Spock, that sets off a warning in him and he begins to hold on to her in an almost threatening fashion. Zarabeth screams to Spock for help and he rushes in and threatens McCoy who then goes into his spiel from the episode about Spock reverting to his ancestors. It comes off as forced and out of the blue in this scene because we at least in the added scene for the final version, McCoy realizing whats going on earlier.
McCoy charges Zarabeth with lying and says Spock can use the mind meld to find out what the truth is about whether they can go back. Zarabeth acknowledges she doesnt know. This gets McCoy and Spock to move.
The rest of the episode from the point of Kirk overpowering Atoz to the return of Spock and McCoy plays out almost the same. But after McCoy and Spock get back through there was to be a beam-up scene and the final dialogue taking place in the transporter room. Scotty is present. Sulu has a one-line voice cameo as the Enterprise warps out. The final McCoy-Spock exchange is almost the same except the And shes dead now line is not there.
This final draft is almost there but still not even close to what made All Our Yesterdays one of the best episodes of Season 3 and of all of Trek. The key difference is the character of Zarabeth is still not fully realized and the relationship between her and Spock lacks all kind of emotional resonance. In this version theres too much of a by the numbers quality to things.
The scene with the troglodytes is pointless. And in fact their presence totally undermines the power of Zarabeths feeling of loneliness. Without them, her sense of isolation and being marooned is far more palpable.
Its also an improvement to transform Zarabeth into a pure cavewoman beyond even the aesthetics of how incredibly sexy Mariette Hartley looked in her costume. It doesnt figure that she would have been exiled with so many of the trappings of home, but one might suspect that this change was also made at the time the script was revised to introduce the concept of the Atavachron as changing the cell structure and the brain waves to make life natural in the past. In that case, once Zarabeth was sent to the past, she would feel more at home living as a primitive cave dweller with no use for the trappings of the civilized world and would also dress more appropriately to that image.
And of course, the biggest difference is the lack of intimacy or consummation between Spock and Zarabeth. It simply made more sense to carry the script in this direction, because it strengthens the relationship into one of total poignance. Without it, Zarabeth is just a hopeful schemer who has happened to choose Spock over McCoy. And most disturbing is that McCoy really tries to force himself on her and only starts wanting to go back when its clear that she preferred Spock!
As noted, Spocks mistake being the trigger for things doesnt make him look good either and was another welcome change.
Exactly who was responsible for these final changes we dont seem to know, but they were all changes for the better. Would it be that every script that made it to air could have ended up the same as did All Our Yesterdays!
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