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written by Steven W. Carabatsos
rewrite of Harlan Ellison script
REWRITE, dated October 1966
report & analysis by Dave Eversole

The Enterprise approaches a planet near the center of the universe, the fabled ancient home of the time vortex.  Energy patterns -- "Dextrite 7 through Y, inclusive" -- are emanating from the planet, causing severe shudders throughout the ship.  Sulu's station is hardest hit -- he tumbles to the floor.  McCoy is called to the bridge and administers Milikren Adrenaline, which revives Sulu.  Another ship shudder and McCoy falls on his hypo, injecting himself.  Delusional, convinced that Kirk will kill him, McCoy chokes the captain.  Spock applies the SPOCK PINCH and McCoy falls unconscious.


McCoy is confined to a bed in Sickbay.

Kirk, Spock, Yeoman Linda Bennet, Security Officer James Donelly and Assistant Science Officer Pete Kelso beam down to the barren planet.  There they discover that their chronometers are running backward and they are experiencing a kind of time loop.  They repeat actions without remembering, or barely remembering that they just did them (Kirk issuing the same orders twice, Donelly forgetting that he was sent to walk a security perimeter about the others, etc.).  Spock is least affected, but cannot explain what is happening to them.

Sulu visits McCoy in sickbay.  With the Medic attending him gone from the room, he has Sulu bring him an antidote to the adrenalin poisoning from a cabinet.  Sulu does so, and McCoy surreptitiously breaks it.  Sulu releases the doctor so that he may save some of the antidote.  Once released, McCoy slugs Sulu and escapes.

Kirk and party explore and discover the Time Vortex, a pillar of light, from which a voice emanates, introducing itself as the Guardian of Forever.  Before the vortex is a squat and massive machine, a corroded computer which records all history, everywhere, throughout the universe -- "the memory for the vortex."

Yeoman Linda tries to contact the Enterprise and discovers that their communicators will not work in the vicinity of the vortex.  Kirk is eager to get back to the Enterprise to help McCoy, but Spock wants to study the machine closer.  Kirk tells him he has an hour, then leaves with Yeoman Linda to go back to their original beam down point where they know that their communicators will work.

On the bridge Uhura tells Briggs, the acting Captain, that McCoy has overpowered the transporter tech and beamed down to the planet.

McCoy materializes near Kirk and Linda Bennet.  He attacks Kirk and they fight.  Linda screams and runs off, yelling for Kelso and Donelly to come help the captain.

McCoy bashes Kirk over the head with a rock and runs off in the general direction of the vortex.  A moment, Kirk comes to, staggers after him.

McCoy approaches the vortex.  Spock and Kirk try to calm him, close in slowly, but he turns and leaps into the pillar of light.  (Carabatsos calls for a special effect to show that all time from 1930 to the present has been changed.  No real detail, he just asks for one to visualize this.)

Since Kirk and McCoy were near the vortex, they have not been erased from existence by the changes McCoy made in the past.  But Linda, Kelso and Donelly, out of range of its influence, are gone, as is the Enterprise.

Kirk realizes they are trapped there forever.


Spock tells Kirk that he has two recordings in his tricorder.  One taken before McCoy went back, and one taken after he went back.  He can compare the two and find the divergence, find what McCoy did that changed time.  So Kirk and Spock walk through the vortex and emerge on a street in New York in the 1930s.

Trooper, a legless veteran who fought at Verdun, rolls by on his small board with skate-wheels, selling apples.  Not understanding the exchange of currency for items, Kirk and Spock take apples, and cannot pay Trooper, who believes they are "swell" rich boys from "uptown," out partying amongst the poor.

Others nearby also decry the two.  They wonder into a nearby mission where Sister Edith Keeler is helping the homeless and downtrodden.  She is arguing with a rodent-like man named Keefer.  Keefer blames all his troubles on others.  He wants to knock a few of those foreigners' heads together, teach 'em something  He is really quite sick of Edith and her preaching.  Edith is equally sick of his phony flag-waving and pretend patriotism.

Kirk and Spock interrupt this argument.  Edith also mistakes the two in their nice uniforms for rich boys out slumming and asks them to please leave.

Spock steals some clothes for them from the mission's charity bins, and he and Kirk are chased by an angry mob, but find a basement to hide out in.  Since Spock surmises that no one would hire him, Kirk goes out and gets a job as a dishwasher while Spock stays in the basement comparing the two versions of history he has in his tricorder.

One night, after work, Kirk wearily walks home, but stops back in at the mission and talks with Edith.  They connect instantly, she forgives him for his and Spock's theft of the clothes and calls him "Jimmy" as she closes up for the night.  Happy, Kirk leaves, but is attacked in an alley by Keefer and his thugs.


Spock rescues Kirk and hurries them back to their basement.  He is close to finding out what change McCoy made.  He doesn't know exactly what it was, but he does know that it kept the United States out of World War II, allowing Hitler's Germany to win and rule the world.

Kirk is revitalized after meeting Edith, happily goes to work washing dishes.   There is a spring in his step now.  He has dinner with Edith and drops a line of poetry on her -- "When night proceeds to fall, all men become strangers."  When Edith professes her unfamiliarity with the poem, Kirk tells her it is by Coulson Nine, whose work is considered the most beautiful in the galaxy.

Kirk and Edith declare their love for one another.

In the basement Spock reacts to something on his tricorder...  something stunning.  He grabs his jacket and runs out...

Spock interrupts Kirk and Edith at dinner.  There is something he must tell the captain.  Edith tells Kirk to go ahead.  She needs to check in on a new man living at the mission, one who stumbled in just a few days ago, a cranky sort of fellow who prescribes his own medicine.  Kirk asks his name.

Edith replies, "McCoy.  He asked to be called Bones."

In the Mission Sick Room, Kirk and Spock are reunited with McCoy.  Edith leaves the three friends.  Spock explains what he found on the tricorder.  Tomorrow night, Sister Edith Keeler will hold a peace rally.  It would have been the first of many, and would have kept the United States out of the coming war.  But she will be killed by an angry mob, lead by Keefer.

Spock tells them that McCoy changed history by saving her life after she was beaten by the mob.  Kirk must not allow this to happen.

Edith Keeler must die.


In the mission, Jim and Edith talk.  He is distant.  She knows that he is going away from her, but can't understand why.  She walks away from him and sets up her podium.

Kirk and Spock get McCoy and they leave the mission.  McCoy is angry as hell, does not want to let Edith die, cannot understand why they can't just take her back to the future with them, stop her from starting the peace movement.  Spock tells him that in her absence, her friends and followers would redouble their efforts in her memory and the result would be the same.  She must die.

They wait on the street outside the mission.  A song from within, a lovely beautiful song.  Soon Edith is singing solo and it breaks Kirk's and McCoy's hearts as Keefer and his thugs rush in.  They listen as Edith screams in pain as she is beaten.  McCoy makes to go inside, but Kirk grabs him, holds him, will not let him go to her.

Finally Kirk can stand it no longer, and rushes in, followed by Spock and McCoy.  They disperse the mob, and Kirk holds the badly beaten Edith in his arms, assures her of his everlasting love as she dies.

They are instantly jerked forward in time and stand before the Guardian of Forever.  All has been set right.  The Enterprise is in orbit as it should be.

On the bridge Spock asks Kirk to come to Vulcan to heal himself of the pain of Edith's loss.  McCoy assures Jim that he will forget the pain.  Spock tells McCoy, "He was prepared to offer her the universe for love.  How can he forget?"

A few thoughts on why this draft just did not work for me.

-- Trooper, a character who actually meant something in Ellison's draft, is wasted here.  He rolls by, we feel sorry for him, and he is gone. 

-- Spock's role in the story is basically reduced to sitting in the basement, reading.  He does not work, does not even have to build any 1930s memory boards, nothing.  His commentary on the times is gone, his active role, his concern, all gone.

-- Keefer is beyond nasty.  Now I know there are more than a few real-life Keefers out there, blaming their laziness and failure on "damn furriners," but his beating of Edith is just grossly obscene, even though it is off screen.  Yeah, getting hit by a truck ain't pretty, either, but it is the damn randomness of the latter that breaks all our hearts.

-- Linda is another fairly inept woman.  I much prefer the strong role Ellison originally wrote for Rand.

We'd like to thank Harvey for transcribing these hard-to-find documents.  His Star Trek Fact Check is another excellent on-line source for those wishing to know more about the outlines and early drafts of Star Trek scripts.

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