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written by George Clayton Johnson
FINAL DRAFT, dated June 16, 1966
report & analysis by Dave Eversole

Johnson's script is 69 pages long, but hardly a scene is cut, if anything there is additional material in the aired episode, though it is usually just a line here and there.

The length is due to Johnson's writing style. Like several other science fiction prose writers who wrote for the series, his narrative is a pleasure to read. Instead of setting a scene with a simple generic tag (i. e., EXT PLANET M-113 SURFACE--Barren, with ruins), he describes his settings with care and an eye to detail. His initial description of the surface of M-113 is a third of a page long, beautifully written, evoking the eerie loneliness of the planet's ruined temples, desolate stretches of barren surface, etc. He calls for several prefab huts set up among the ruins, but this was not realized, probably due to budgetary restraints.

The only major change was in the structures of Acts II and III. In Johnson's script, Act II ends when Uhura exits the turbolift and notes the Salt Vampire disguised as a handsome black crewman. In the aired episode, Act II does not end until several pages later when Sulu and Rand discover the dead body of the maintenance crewman sprawled in the corridor.

Johnson does not script any of the Captain's Logs we hear in the final episode.

In the script, only "Uhura's Crewman" speaks Swahili. His line is typed as, "Nina Ku dhania Nwanamaka." {Editor's note: Roughly translated as "I have thought about it Nwana!" according to the Kamusi Project website.}

The dialogue of the crewman who speaks with Rand as "Green" follows her is not scripted. Neither is Uhura's dialogue with Bobby, asking him to fix her rattling door.

After the encounter with "Uhura's Crewman," Lieutenant Uhura is sporadically shown throughout the rest of the episode reviewing photographs from the crew's personnel files to determine if the man she met was actually assigned to the Enterprise. These small bits were cut, and in the episode she only mentions having done this in the final briefing room scene.

In the final briefing room scene, Johnson calls for a point of view shot of Crater looking at "McCoy." Here we see that Crater sees "McCoy" as "Nancy."

The line that discusses the human retention of incisor teeth was scripted for "McCoy." In the aired episode Crater delivers it.

Personal knowledge not covered in the script:

  The original title of this episode was "The Unreal McCoy." Though clever, the title alone would have given away the surprise at discovering the Salt Vampire was impersonating him.
  At one point, Johnson also suggested the episode be titled "Damsel With A Dulcimer."
  In an earlier draft, the Craters were the Bierces. Their camp was located in a crater.

Again, this script, like those of Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon and Richard Matheson, is literately written, and a joy to read.


GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON (1929- ): Science Fiction author best known as the cowriter (with William F. Nolan) of the classic 1967 science fiction novel Logan's Run (filmed rather loosely in 1976). He has a number of television and film credits, most notably four classic episodes of The Twilight Zone, an episode of Kung Fu, and the original story that was filmed as Ocean's 11. For Star Trek, he wrote "The Man Trap," and had another story--"Rock-A-Bye Baby, Or Die!"--purchased by Gene Roddenberry, only to have Gene L. Coon ultimately reject it as unsuitable. He allowed a friend to reshape and resubmit the story to Star Trek: The Next Generation, but, alas, it was rejected there as well.


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