city.gif (3196 bytes)

written by Harlan Ellison
(final uncredited rewrite by D. C. Fontana)
SHOOTING SCRIPT, dated January 30, 1967

report & analysis by Dave Eversole

Though this script and the on-air credits state it was written by Harlan Ellison, it has long been known that it was vastly rewritten by many members of the Star Trek writing staff. After Ellison was cut off, both Gene Coon and Steven W. Carabatsos wrote drafts, which, all agreed, were not suitable. In 1995, as he was preparing his behind the scenes book on the history, trials and tribulations of the piece, Harlan Ellison finally learned that it was his friend D. C. Fontana who wrote the lion's share of the final shooting script. Therefore, whenever the writer of the script is referenced in this review, it will be "Fontana."

Two major scenes in this teleplay were deleted by the time it aired, and several lines were dropped, or altered.

The teaser is very close to what aired, except... at the end, McCoy does not throw off everyone and dash from the bridge. He is subdued by Kirk, Spock and Scotty.

Act One then opens in Sickbay, where McCoy is restrained on a biobed and thought unconscious. Nurse Chapel is keeping a watchful eye over him and reports his condition to Kirk, who complains that Doctors should not mess about with drugs whose effects they're unaware of. Just as Starship captains should not orbit planets they're unfamiliar with, retorts Chapel. Kirk sees her point, leaves Sickbay. When no one is about except Chapel, we see that McCoy is really awake, still paranoid. He breaks his restraints, knocks Chapel out, heads to the transporter room.

The lead security guard who beams down with the others is named Davis and has a few lines in the teleplay.

Fontana calls for a small square glowing cube to be half-buried in the sand to one side of the octagonal time doorway. The Voice of The Guardian was to emanate from this flashing cube.

The police officer in New York calls Kirk and Spock a couple of "hopheads." Kirk tells Spock to watch out for King John's men as he steals the clothes.

Rodent has a couple of cut lines explaining more about who Edith Keeler is.

In this script, Edith is a bit tougher, more pragmatic than as played on air. Several lines have been cut which showed this side of her (at one point in her initial speech, she stops and yells at a drunken bum who has had his last chance to get out).

The following scenes were rearranged a bit, and some of them were either cut or never filmed. Edith comes to tell Kirk she can get him work at 22 cents an hour, Spock deadpans about "stone knives and bearskins," then:

Kirk LAUGHS, guiding the puzzled Edith for the door.

KIRK
You did say twenty-two cents
an hour?

EDITH
You work so much better than the
others. The way you painted
Mister Ely's storeroom...

SPOCK
(following)
It seems quite illogical that
one man can paint better than
another. In the simple mechanical
task of covering a two-dimensional
surface with a viscous, chromatically
saturated liquid...

Somewhere during which, Spock EXITED TOO and his VOICE FADES DOWN HALLWAY, INTO:

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. MISSION MAIN ROOM - NIGHT

Kirk and Spock are cleaning and straightening up after an evening's program. The soup table is now cleared and being used by a couple of men as a worktable. One of them is repairing a cuckoo clock and has a complete set of delicate tools beside him. CAMERA MOVES IN CLOSE ON KIRK AND SPOCK as they finish. Spock reacts to the sight of the intricate tool.

SPOCK
(quietly)
Captain, look. Tools for finely
detailed work.

KIRK
Yes, that woman has more things
going on around here than a TKL
computer.
(nods at men)
Clock repair, woodworking, the
tailor shop in back...

EDITH'S VOICE
Just a start, Jim. Wait and
watch us.

Kirk and Spock turn to see Edith has ENTERED SCENE, crossing toward them.

EDITH
Can you help me tonight? There
are some typewriters Tim Dorby
isn't going to be needing in his office.

KIRK
Nice of a bookmaker to donate
typewriters to you.

EDITH
He hasn't yet.
(moving off)
Let's get there before the raid.

As she bustles away, Spock looks at Kirk.

SPOCK
You were quite right, Captain.
She is fascinating.

The scene showing Spock stealing the tools from the safe is not scripted. Edith does not confront them as soon in the script as she does on air.

The writer who will pen the famous novel with the theme of "Let me help" is identified by Kirk as Patrick Koluuunahmeheheh Tajnaahme.

The rest of the script agrees pretty much with what aired. Edith does tell Kirk that she loves him and he replies that he would wait forever for her during the scene when she nearly falls on the stairs.

The movie she and Kirk are going to see is a Richard Dix movie. Even in 1966, Dix was almost completely forgotten, so I see the logic in changing it to a Clark Gable movie, though this did introduce an anachronism, as in 1930 Gable was still a supporting player, hardly well-known, and certainly not a leading man in anyone's eyes. But Edith did have "gifted insight," so perhaps she foresaw his rise to cinema greatness. :D

Kirk's famous "Let's get the hell out of here" is not scripted.

As I noted in the review of Ellison's original I like the aired version in an "apples and oranges" comparison to the original. This version plays much faster, the setup is over in an act and a few pages as opposed to two full acts, though there are a couple things that have always bugged me.

The famous "Forty Acres" lot where this was filmed was just too well known even in 1967 as the setting for Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show, and hardly any care was taken to hide this fact. Kirk and Edith walk right by the window sign which reads "Floyd's Barbershop" for Heaven's Sake! The two stock shots that are cut in (Brooklyn Bridge and a dirty ghetto street) stand out like sore thumbs. It's way too sunny on the sets and because the tallest buildings on the lot are no more than three stories high, we never get the impression that we're really in the shadows and back alleys of the towering edifices that make up New York City.

And, I'm going to admit something that may put me on some fans' bad list. I feel Joan Collins is miscast as Edith. Collins is a fine television actress, and plays Edith competently, but not good, not great. She is too pretty, too soft (Director of Photography Jerry Finnerman's soft-focus lens and lighting don't help) and not strong enough in the role. I have no alternatives off the top of my head, but know there must have been a few contemporary actresses who would have excelled.

Having said that, this still my favorite episode, one that bears rewatching on a regular basis.


 

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.