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written by D.C. Fontana
FIRST DRAFT, April 20, 1967
report & analysis by Dave Eversole

 

Fontana’s first draft is very close to what was shot with a few minor changes and a couple major ones.

First, the small stuff. The teaser opens on the bridge, where it is quickly established that the Enterprise has arrived at Ceres VII to negotiate for topaline. In this draft, McCoy has not visited this world, though the High Chief is mentioned as being friendly with the Federation, so other ships obviously have.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down and meet with Maab, the High Chief’s minister, who escorts them to the tent of Teer Akaar, High Chief of the Ten Tribes of Ceres. Teer Akaar introduces them to his young pregnant wife Eleen and his teenaged son Raal.

Raal steps outside while his father is talking with the Enterprise crewmen. Suddenly a man –- Keel -- sneaks up behind the young man, draws a knife and murders him.

The basic story is the same as was aired -- Maab and his assassins, the makeen, disagree with Akaar’s dealings with the Federation, and have allied themselves with the Klingon Empire.

While the Klingons lure the Enterprise, under Scotty’s command, away from Ceres VII with false distress calls, Maab and his men murder Akaar as they did Raal, who was next in line to be High Chief. Maab draws his sword to murder Ellen, when she struggles, he knocks her into an open fire. Kirk helps her up, and is condemned to death for touching a Cerean woman who was not his wife. He, Spock and McCoy fight Maab and his men, and manage to escape with the very unwilling Eleen into the Cerean mountains.

There the child is born; Kirk and Spock fight the Cereans with sonic vibrations from their communicators and home-made bows and arrows. Very little of this material was altered in the shooting script.

About those major differences. Chekov does not appear in the script, his lines are spoken by a young officer named Frost. Second, there are no Klingons on Ceres VII. They are off-screen throughout the script, referred to, but never seen. It was a definite dramatic improvement when the character of Kras was introduced into the storyline.

But the biggest difference lies in the character of Eleen. In the aired episode she is petulant, spoiled and uncooperative, but. . . at heart she is a decent person who grows and changes as the story progresses, who comes to love her child and tolerate "MACCoy."

Not so in this first draft. Eleen is a cruel and manipulative opportunist, totally beyond redemption. She knocks out Spock with a rock, sneaks away, approaches Maab and offers her son’s life in exchange for her own.

Maab has her executed on the spot by one of his makeen. Before Maab can kill the child, the last obstacle to him being the High Chief, Scotty and a security detail arrive like cavalry and save the day as in the final episode.

Back on the Enterprise we learn that Eleen’s father has taken his grandson into his own home and is acting as his guardian-regent. As such, he has had Maab and all of the makeen executed for their crimes. He has also pardoned Kirk for his crime of touching a Cerean woman.

And he has named the child Leonard James Akaar. The humorous tag is pretty much as aired with Spock offering that Kirk and McCoy will be insufferably pleased with themselves for at least a month.

Believe me, the tag is not as funny when it comes after a woman tries to offer her child’s life for her own, after news of an execution.

Personally, I prefer Fontana’s final draft. It gave Julie Newmar a chance to deliver one of her finest performances, as it did the late great De Kelly.


D. C. (DOROTHY CATHERINE) FONTANA: 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 presently is writing for the fan-made film series Star Trek: New Voyages.


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