savagecurtain.gif (3009 bytes)

teleplay by Gene Roddenberry & Arthur Heinemann
story by Gene Roddenberry
unspecificed draft excerpt undated
report & analysis by Dave Eversole
script excerpt courtesy of Audrey Anderson & Curt McAloney

This episode had a lengthy scene which was cut. It occurs directly after Kirk and Spock escort Lincoln from the transporter room, and after McCoy's and Scott's conversation on what exactly was beamed aboard.

INT. BRIEFING ROOM

Empty, as Kirk, Spock and Lincoln enter, sit. Lincoln stares around, delighted with the marvels he is witnessing.

LINCOLN
A marvel. A total marvel. I can
hardly credit my eyes. We
thought our Monitor the most
formidable weapon imaginable.
An iron ship that floated on water!
(smiles)
You can imagine my amazement
at an iron ship that floats on air...

KIRK
Mr. President...

LINCOLN
Yes, Captain. Forgive my
excitement at the novelty of all this.

KIRK
Sir... I find some of your comments
hard to equate with other statements.
For example, you are not at all
surprised at the existence of this
vessel. But you then exhibit only a
19th century knowledge about it...
for example, stating that this
vessel "floats on air."

LINCOLN
I don't understand. What does
your vessel float upon, Captain?

Kirk exchanges a look with Spock, decides to go along with the question patiently.

KIRK
Sir... the atmosphere surrounding
any planet is a relatively thin envelope.

Again, Lincoln appears genuinely puzzled.

SPOCK
Given our present altitude, sir,
and a present speed converting
to 19271.4 Earth miles per Earth
hour... our velocity
counterbalances the pull of this
planet's gravity, creating equal
but opposite forces which
maintain us in orbit.

LINCOLN
(beat; then)
When the choice is between
exposing ignorance or honesty...
(smiles)
a wise man chooses the latter.
I haven't the slightest idea what
you said.

KIRK
With all respect, sir, that still
does not answer my question.
For example, you know my
name. How is it you know
some things about us but
not others?

Lincoln considers this, frowns, seems genuinely perplexed.

LINCOLN
Bless me! Yes, I do see the
contradiction.
(considers it again; shakes head)
Please believe I have neither
desire nor intention to deceive
you, gentlemen. I must have
been told these things, but...
I... I cannot recall when or where.

SPOCK
Could you guess who it might
have been, sir? What others
exist on the planet surface with you?

LINCOLN
(surprised)
Others? What others do you mean?

KIRK
That's clearly not "Earth" down
there, Mr. President. Or do you
believe that it is?

LINCOLN
(thinks; then)
Strange, I never considered that
before. No, I do not claim it to
be Earth.

KIRK
Less than thirty minutes ago,
the temperatures and
atmosphere at any point down
there would have made your
existence in this form impossible.

LINCOLN
(surprised)
You don't say!
(to the others)
I can only assure you that I am
what I appear to be, gentlemen.
An all too common variety of...
what is the term my physician
was so fond of... homo sapiens?
(sadly; to Kirk)
Either way, I am too ordinary,
James. I am surprised you've
always thought so highly of me.
The errors, the unforgivable errors
I made. McClellan at first
appeared to me a veritable
Napoleon; Grant seemed a
whiskey-befuddled barbarian...
(shakes head)
There were so many things I
could have done to end the war
earlier, to save so many lives,
so much suffering...

KIRK
I'm sure you did all you could, Mr. Pres...
(bites it off)

Kirk is moved by Lincoln's statement and is now suddenly aware he was drawn in and now has his officers giving him curious looks.

LINCOLN
Ashamed of showing compassion,
James? It is the noblest of qualities.
(thinks; frowns)
I am certain there is an answer to these

contradictions you point up so well.
(suddenly remembering; to Kirk)
Yes, that's it, of course. You
are both invited to disembark with
me. You will receive the answers
down there.

Kirk and the others surprised, hesitant. Lincoln smiles at Kirk.

LINCOLN
(continuing)
There is no need to hurry your
decision, Captain, I am most
anxious to inspect a vessel which...
(with a look at Spock)
at least appears to float on air.

KIRK
We... shall be honored to have
you inspect our vessel, Mr. President.
(to Spock)
Inform the others, we'll consider this
in the briefing room in one hour.

Kirk moves with Lincoln toward the exit, Spock joining them.

LINCOLN
(looking around)
Fascinating!
(to Spock, smiling)
If I may borrow your favorite word.

SPOCK
(smiles)
I am flattered, sir.

LINCOLN
The smile lends attraction to your
features, Mr. Spock.

KIRK
I'm afraid you're mistaken, sir.
Spock never smiles.

LINCOLN
Indeed?

Lincoln moves through the door, followed by Kirk and Spock.

INT. BRIDGE

Uhura, Chekov, Sulu present. Kirk and Spock out. The turbolift doors open and McCoy and Scott come in. Profoundly troubled, they stare at the MVS o. s. for a moment.

ANGLE - MVS (MATTE)

The planet as before, reds and greens, steaming and deadly; orbit has taken the ship away from the earth-like area.

BACK TO SHOT

McCOY
Mr. Chekov, may we view the
area where the earth-like surface
appeared?

Chekov snaps to it.

OVER THE CREW ON MVS (MATTE)

The quadrant snaps into the picture.

McCOY
What do sensors read of its
composition?

CHEKOV
It is a hard mineral crust, several
hundred metres thick, over a
molten iron core.

McCOY
Stable?

CHEKOV
Stable at present, sir, although
it was notably unstable in its
formative phase.

McCOY
Life forms?

CHEKOV
Transient images only. Mineral-like.

McCOY
(to Scott)
Mineral.

SCOTT
Aye.

McCOY
That patch of earth was created
after our ship was scanned.
They, whoever they are, examined
us, determined our needs, and
supplied them down there. They
sent a Lincoln to invite the
Captain and Spock down. They're
waiting for them now.
(a beat; angrily)
It's a trap.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT ONE

The script then dovetails back in with what was aired. In the aired episode, Act One (only about six minutes, 45 seconds long--very short by the prevailing standards in 1968) ends with the discussion between McCoy and Scott in the transporter room.

Act Two then begins with Lincoln already on the bridge. McCoy and Scott are not on the bridge, so not only was the scene with Kirk, Spock and Lincoln in the briefing room cut, McCoy's scene with Chekov on the bridge was also cut, or perhaps never filmed. McCoy and Scott do not appear again in the episode until Kirk holds the briefing to discuss who or what Lincoln really is, and whether they should accept his invitation to beam down to Excalbia.

Obviously, the talk with Lincoln in the briefing room was cut for time. I would guess that the scene would probably play out in about five minutes of screen time, four at the very least. Also, it is possible it was cut for lack of action. It is a "sit and talk" scene, anathema to television. Most times, a director, if faced with such an expository scene will film it as a "walk and talk," to at least impart the feeling of action.

It would have been a great scene in a Star Trek play, but perhaps not in a teleplay.

Having said that, still, I would have loved to have seen it. It would have been a fantastic scene for actor Lee Bergere (Lincoln) to showcase his abilities. The "regrets" speech by Lincoln is particularly well-written, and that is something in a teleplay where very little besides Lincoln's and Surak's dialogue rose above mediocre.


ARTHUR HEINEMANN: Writer, story editor, layout artist and chief animator during his forty-seven year (1940-1987) career in Hollywood. He worked on story development for the "Night On Bald Mountain" segment of Disney's Fantasia, and wrote for Bonanza, The Virginian, The F. B. I., Cannon, Little House on The Prairie (14 episodes), as well as several made-for-television movies in the 1970s and 1980s. For Star Trek, he wrote "Wink of An Eye" (story by Lee Cronin (Gene L. Coon)), "The Way To Eden" (Story by Michael Richards (D. C. Fontana)), and co-wrote (with Gene Roddenberry, who provided the story) "The Savage Curtain."


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