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written by D. C. Fontana
FIRST DRAFT, dated June 7, 1968
report & analysis by David Eversole

Like many of the episodes penned by Gene Coon, the aired version of this D. C. Fontana story is relatively unchanged from the first draft.

The first two acts are almost identical in scene settings and plot development, though some dialogue is pruned and reworded. We learn that the Federation indeed suspects that the Romulans are trading a new and improved version of the cloaking device for the Klingon ships, an issue that is somewhat less overtly stated in the aired episode. And, yes, surprising to many, the “Romulans using Klingon ships” story element is here from the beginning.

Small differences between the script's first two acts and the aired episode:

McCoy is shown in his office recording his opening log concerning Kirk’s recent erratic behavior. In the episode, it is entirely done via voice-over (thus saving valuable time).

Sub-Commander Tal includes himself as one of the two Romulans beamed aboard the Enterprise to be held while Spock and Kirk are aboard the Romulan vessel.

The long speech (what I call “Spock’s Career Options lecture”) delivered by the Romulan Commander after Kirk has been hauled away to the brig is not present in this draft.

Spock gently berates the Romulan Commander for her people’s dealing with the Klingons who “are known to have little honor.”

The major differences between this script and the final episode begin to appear near the end of Act Two.

As aired, the second act ends when McCoy tells Spock that his Vulcan Death Grip has killed Captain Kirk.

In the script, the act continues with:

The Commander moves in, leans down to examine Kirk. Straightening, she heads out toward the intercom in the corridor.

My physicians will examine the body.

Ma’am. . . Commander.
(as she turns)
I’d like to remove the Captain to my
Sickbay for funeral preparation. The
crew will want to pay their last respects.

(considers, then)
Very well. After my physicians certify his death.


The Commander exits as McCoy climbs to his feet.

I would like to help you take him back...

If you come near him, you filthy murderer,
your life won’t be worth a half credit.
Go consort with the enemy, why don’t you?
Get out of here.

Spock holds, sees no softening in McCoy. He turns silently, stiffly, and exits. McCoy stoops again to kneel by Kirk’s body.

Act Three opens in Sickbay with Chapel discovering Kirk is alive. A Captain’s Log voice-over explains the ruse whereas in the aired episode, dialogue by McCoy fills us in.

The scene ends with McCoy informing the puzzled Chapel to prepare for surgery.

On the bridge, Mr. Scott, in command, is surprised when Spock enters from the elevator. He informs Scott that Kirk is dead, and infuriates him when he gives orders to beam Tal and the other Romulan back to their vessel. Spock tells Mr. Scott that the Enterprise will surrender to the Romulans, then turns to leave. When Scotty asks “Why?” Spock replies, “I found people of my own kind.”

Spock goes to Sickbay where he winces, his “Vulcan sensitivities pained,” when he sees both Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy surgically altered to appear Romulan. He quickly informs them that he has learned the location of the cloaking device.

Onboard the Romulan vessel, Tal spots Kirk and McCoy emerge from a room into the corridor. He has never seen these two before. Spock is nearby, covers for them. They head down a corridor, as Spock and Tal exit in the opposite direction.

During the romantic interlude with the Romulan Commander, Spock at one point takes her in his arms and is “raining kisses on every square inch above the shoulder.”

Fontana avows that this brief bit of passion was added by Roddenberry against her wishes. Still, she has a good bit of material that would not have made it past the censors.

After Spock remarks on the beauty of her name, the Commander stretches out invitingly on her couch and asks him, “Do you really like it?” Spock looks at her sensuously reclined body as he replies, “I adore it.” He takes her in his arms, and in good old television fashion, we CUT TO!

The scene where the Commander changes into evening attire is not present in the draft. We next go to Kirk and McCoy as they break into the laboratory housing the cloaking device. They unhook it, and head out the door, only to see a Romulan technician approaching. Before the technician spots them, Spock steps silently in behind him, drops him with the “Famous Spock Neck Pinch” (Fontana’s words).

Kirk and McCoy exit the lab, but Spock sees Tal approaching. Tal has not seen Kirk and McCoy, so Spock urges them to get back to the Enterprise while he stalls Tal. Reluctantly they move away.

Tal demands to know why Spock is here. Spock tells him that he inadvertently took a wrong turn and ended up in this forbidden area, but the technician revives, discovers the cloaking device is missing. The Commander is called. Spock admits to his sabotage, tells her that he destroyed the device with a fast-acting acid which he had secreted on his person.

The shocked Commander tells him he will die for his crimes.

Act Four more closely resembles the aired episode, though it is here that Scott first gets his first look at Kirk’s and McCoy’s earjobs when they return to the Enterprise (throughout the script, Fontana never explains who is secretly beaming the two over to and back from the Romulan vessel--though it is probably Spock who first beams them over, who beams them back?).

The rest of the script is the same as what aired.

Though D. C. Fontana has reportedly complained about the way third season producer Fred Frieberger botched her Trek version of the 1968 “Pueblo Incident” (click on the link for a site devoted to the true story of the U.S.S. Pueblo which was captured by North Korean forces in 1968), I’ve never had a problem with the finished episode. Spock was “undercover”; it was a ruse. He may not lie, but as he has noted, he can exaggerate.

“The Enterprise Incident” is one of the third season’s better offerings, and on par with most of the second season. Not a top-ten classic, but an enjoyable and intriguing fifty minutes.

D. C. (DOROTHY CATHERINE) FONTANA (1939-2019): she was Gene Roddenberry's assistant, and after her first sale of a script to Bonanza, she soon began writing for Star Trek. Her work for the Star Trek franchise includes "Charlie X" (Story by Gene Roddenberry), "Tomorrow Is Yesterday," "This Side of Paradise" (Story by Nathan Butler (Jerry Sohl)), "Journey To Babel," "Friday's Child," "By Any Other Name" (w/Jerome Bixby), "The Ultimate Computer" (Story by Lawrence N. Wolfe), "The Enterprise Incident," "That Which Survives" (Story, using her pseudonym Michael Richards), "The Way To Eden" (Story, using her pseudonym Michael Richards). In addition, in 1995, after nearly thirty years, Fontana finally revealed to Harlan Ellison that it was she who rewrote the majority of the aired version of his "The City On The Edge of Forever." Fontana went on to serve as the story editor, script supervisor and associate producer for the animated Star Trek series. In addition to her duties, she wrote "Yesteryear." When Roddenberry decided to bring forth Star Trek: The Next Generation, he turned to Fontana, Justman and Gerrold. Unfortunately, she and Roddenberry had several disagreements, and her only  contributions to Modern Trek were "Encounter At Farpoint" (w/Gene Roddenberry) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's "Dax." Ms. Fontana has also written for Ghost Story, Fastastic Journey, The Six Million Dollar Man, Babylon 5, and also wrote for the fan-made film series Star Trek: New Voyages.

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