alternativefactor.gif (3292 bytes)

written by Don Ingalls
FINAL DRAFT, dated November 11, 1966

report & analysis by Dave Eversole

Those seeking to learn more about the genesis of this much disparaged episode will find nothing in this final draft script. Except for a few cut passages of dialogue it is what aired, as confusing and ill-defined. The much-rumored romance between Lazarus and Lieutenant Charlene Masters occurred in an earlier draft (the review of which can be found here).

TEASER

The script calls for the character of Lieutenant Hansen to be at the Helmsman position; Mr. Leslie ultimately delivers his few lines of dialogue in the aired version.

In Ingalls' script, the teaser ends when Lazarus #2 falls from the Vasquez Rocks for the first of three record-holding times, and the Enterprise personnel rush to his aid. In the aired version, the teaser ended several minutes earlier when Kirk and Spock exit the bridge to beam down.

Ingalls describes Lazarus' ship as large and "conical-shaped," and suggests that the interior of it be a redress of the shuttlecraft Galileo set.

ACT ONE

The first two pages of Ingalls' first act are dropped. In the aired version, the act begins with Kirk entering the bridge and receiving a report from Lieutenant Masters.

Ingalls' opening of the act:

FADE IN:

EXT. SPACE - ENTERPRISE ORBITTING

As before.

KIRK'S VOICE

Captain's log, Star Date 3087.6. Investigating an uncharted planet, and after encountering incredible magnetic effects which are beyond our understanding, we have encountered a badly injured human being...

INT. TRANSPORTER ROOM

McCoy and two MEDICS enter, carrying a stretcher and impelled by a sense of urgency.

KIRK'S VOICE

He is unable to identify himself or give us any information. We are beaming back to the Enterprise, where medical personnel are standing by. Meanwhile, Mr. Spock remains below to continue his examination of the planet.

A technician is at the transporter console.

Beyond them, our materialization effect... as our entire party, with Kirk supporting the sagging Lazarus #2, materialize. McCoy hurries forward, and as soon as the materialization is completed, he and his medics take Lazarus and put him in the stretcher, McCoy immediately beginning to make readings with his medical recorder.

KIRK
He's in bad shape, Bones.

McCOY
(reacting to Lazarus)
You'll get no argument from me.

(to Medics)
Easy...

The medics set Lazarus on the stretcher while:

McCOY
(continuing; who has been examining Lazarus, looks up)
It's going to be touch and go. Heartbeat practically non-existent.

(to Medics)
Let's get him to Sickbay.

Medics carry Lazarus to door, McCoy and Kirk close behind.

CUT TO:

INT. SICKBAY - ANGLE ON DIAGNOSTIC DEVICE

The indicators are low, barely moving. Pulse light is very weak. CAMERA PULLS BACK to show Kirk with Bones, as McCoy works over Lazarus #2, in one of our beds.

McCOY
What happened down there, Jim?

KIRK
I don't know. He was standing there ...
said something about needing our help...
and he just crumpled.

McCOY
No wonder. After the beating he's taken.

KIRK
He was beaten?

McCOY
I don't know what else could have caused it.

KIRK
Bones, that is a dead, lifeless, arid planet down there...
no sign of additional living beings. Who could have attacked him?

McCoy frowns, stares at the indicator.

McCOY
He's the only one that can answer that... if he lives.

UHURA'S VOICE
(on speaker)
Captain. Just received a standby notice
from Star Fleet Command.
Red Two message about to come in.

KIRK
I'm on my way.

(to McCoy)
Keep me posted, Bones.

McCoy grunts, returning to his work. Kirk exits.

The rest of the act is as aired.

ACT TWO

After McCoy tells Kirk of the mysterious disappearing bandage on Lazarus' forehead, in the aired version we cut to Lazarus overhearing Lieutenant Masters discussing the dilithium crystals in the Recreation Room. Lazarus exits to the corridor and the dimensional shift hits him again, just before Kirk and McCoy confront him.

In the script, Lieutenant Masters is not present in the Rec Room. Instead, we have this long scene between Lazarus and a suspicious Spock.

INT. RECREATION ROOM - ANGLE ON SPOCK

He is standing, staring. CAMERA PULLS BACK, SWINGS to reveal Lazarus #2... with no bandage... sitting at a table, taking it all in, watching a few of the other crewmen relaxing. He seems to be quietly enjoying it. Spock moves over to him.

SPOCK
May I sit down?

LAZARUS #2
Yes, of course.

Silence for a moment, Lazarus #2 staring at Spock.

LAZARUS #2
(continuing)
Go ahead, Mr. Spock.

SPOCK
Earlier I referred to you as a liar.

LAZARUS #2
Do you still think I am?

SPOCK
About some things, yes.

LAZARUS #2
You're very direct. I admire that.
(smiles)
If it will help make up your mind
about me - ask your questions.

SPOCK
I am curious about this civilization of yours...
the one that was destroyed.

LAZARUS #2
It was... much like that of Earth.
Green, soft landscapes... blue seas...
great cities... science... education...

SPOCK
And the people?

LAZARUS #2
Like any of us. Good, bad, beautiful,
ugly, magnificent... terrible. Human. Satisfied?

SPOCK
The story you have told us is most peculiar
and unlikely as is your attitude. You are hardly
the same man I spoke to earlier.

LAZARUS #2
Don't blame me if I'm not consistent,
Mr. Spock, after all, not even the universe is that.

SPOCK
I prefer to think it is.

LAZARUS #2
Yes. Of course you would.

Uhura's voice comes in on the wall communicator.

UHURA
Mr. Spock.

Spock quickly crosses, hits the button.

SPOCK
Yes, Lieutenant.

UHURA'S VOICE
You told me to notify you when the impulse readings
reached the critical stage. They've done so.

SPOCK
Thank you, Lieutenant.

(turning to Lazarus)
If you will excuse me, I have an experiment
in progress. It may help me evaluate the facts.

LAZARUS #2
When you are certain of the facts,
will you believe me then?

SPOCK
I always believe in facts.
(beat... a close stare)
I must congratulate you, sir, on your remarkable
recuperative powers. If time permitted, I
would like to discuss them with you.
(leaving)
Thank you for your company.

Spock leaves.

The SHIMMER EFFECT then hits Lazarus again, he exits to the corridor, the dimensional shift happens, and Kirk and McCoy confront him (Lazarus #1) as they did in the aired version.

The rest of Act Two and Acts Three and Four were shot as written with no appreciable changes beyond a few deleted or restructured lines.

At its heart, "The Alternative Factor" is a fascinating science fiction idea, but its execution totally dilutes what literacy there may have been in the script. Despite what many fans say, it is possible to keep the two Lazaruses (Lazarii?) separate--possible, but hardly easy. So much concentration is spent trying to remember if it is the positive or negative character who sports the 23rd century Band-Aid that one loses sight of the story.

And that is too bad.


DON INGALLS: Like Gene Roddenberry, he was an officer of the Los Angeles Police Department in the early-1950s before writing for television from 1957 to 1986. Over the course of his career he served as a writer, story editor, producer and even as a director of photography. Series he wrote for include Have Gun--Will Travel (also story editor), Bonanza, The Virginian (also a producer), The Big Valley, Adam-12, Fantasy Island (producer and director of photography) and T. J. Hooker (also a producer). For Star Trek he wrote The Alternative Factor, and the story for A Private Little War (teleplay by Gene Roddenberry). On the latter, Ingalls was incensed that Roddenberry had diluted some of his more overt anti-Vietnam War parallels and substituted his pseudonym Jud Crucis, which he avows is wordplay on J[esus] Crucified. Ingalls currently resides in Washington where he is presently writing novels (The Watchers on the Mountain was published in 2005).


main.gif (11611 bytes)


Free counters provided by Andale.

banner.gif (2815 bytes)

 

Click here to return to the Unseen Elements Page.
Click here to return to the Articles Page.
Click here to return to the Main Index Page.