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The Precursor to "The Paradise Syndrome"
written by Margaret Armen
STORY OUTLINE, dated March 22, 1968

report & analysis by David Eversole

Very similar to the aired episode for the first two acts, it is only the latter portions which were significantly altered.

Some early changes:

The deflector obelisk seen in the aired episode is here a totem pole carved from stone. It is situated in a crater which the descendants of the Mohican Indians taken from Earth consider a holy site.

As Kirk examines the totem pole, a ring he is wearing scrapes against it. It is this action which causes the trap door at the totem’s base to open, engulfing him.

In the outline, Salish is just a warrior next in line to be Chief. He is not the son of the medicine priest who died without passing on his knowledge of the secrets of the totem.

Though Salish and "Kirok" fight for the right to be Chief and the right to marry Miramanee, once Kirk defeats him, Salish, though glum, accepts his role, accepts Kirok as their new chief.

And then the major changes begin. The Enterprise, just hours ahead of the planetoid on a collision course, arrives back at the planet. Spock and a party beam down and locate Kirk. Spock attempts to talk with him, but he thinks they are an invading tribe. Kirok arrays his warriors against Spock and the landing party.

Seeing no other way, Spock has Kirk beamed up to the Enterprise. We learn that Spock has been able to decipher the symbols on the totem pole, and that they mention a device for deflecting asteroids, but they do not tell of a way to gain access to this device. Spock hopes Kirk can help. But with his amnesia, Kirk cannot understand him. In order to keep Kirk calm, Spock orders him kept under heavy sedation.

Spock orders Scotty to start beaming the Mohicans aboard the Enterprise. They are frightened, and also must be heavily sedated.

Spock theorizes that violence will restore Kirk’s memory. He has McCoy bring Kirk out of his drug-induced state. When Kirk fully revives, Spock punches him. Kirk fights back, gets the upper hand, draws his knife, and prepares to plunge it into Spock’s throat.

And miracle of miracles, Kirk’s memory returns!

Kirk and Spock beam down to the totem pole. Spock knows that there must be an underground facility (Kirk had to have been deep underground since the Enterprise’s sensors could not locate him when he first disappeared), but how to get inside. At the totem, Spock removes flowers and offerings of fruit from the base of the pole, discovers other symbols he had not recorded earlier. He translates them. The doors to the facility will open if obsidian is brought into contact with the totem.

Kirk declares that the stone in his ring is obsidian and touches it to the totem. The trapdoors open, and Kirk and Spock descend inside via a lowering chute. There they discover and activate the deflector controls at the last possible second.

The Enterprise beams the Mohicans back down to their village. There, Kirk must tell Miramanee that he no longer fits in her world. Nor would she be able to adapt to his. He must go on to fulfill his duties.

From the outline:

Their child, imbued with a heritage from two worlds, will carry on the Mohican culture and pass it intact to succeeding generations – just as the vanished super race planned it – just as it should be.

Kirk passes his chieftainship to Salish. He knows the fine young warrior will lead and protect both the tribe and Miramanee. Sadly, Kirk returns to the Enterprise and orders the ship away from the planet. He knows a part of him-–the part of man that is always pagan-–will always remain behind, that a poignant longing for the idyllic life of the noble savage will never leave him.

I like the ending of this better than the aired episode, where an excuse had to be found to kill off Miramanee and the child. Can’t have our clean-cut hero knocking up "Space Indians," now, can we? Not that the aired ending isn’t poignant--it is one of Shatner’s better performances--but it seems awfully convenient and tidy.

However, that highly logical line of reasoning from Spock–-"I’ll kick Kirk’s ass and his memory will return"–-seems a bit suspect. Why would he not first think of the Vulcan Mind Meld? If not that, surely McCoy’s salt shaker could have repaired the damage done.

Margaret Armen (1921-2003):  A television writer who wrote mostly for The Rifleman and The Big Valley. Other credits include episodes of Land of The Lost, Barnaby Jones and Wonder Woman. For Star Trek, in addition to "The Paradise Syndrome," she wrote "The Gamesters of Triskelion" and "The Cloudminders" (from a story by David Gerrold and Oliver Crawford). For the animated Star Trek, she wrote "The Lorelei Signal" and "The Ambergris Element." For the aborted Star Trek: Phase II, she penned "The Savage Syndrome" (with Alfred Harris).

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