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written by D.C. Fontana
(possibly November 1966, based on other episodes)
report & analysis by Dave Eversole

It is a late draft, probably a Final, as there is little difference between it and what was shot.

A few odds and ends:

This script was intended originally to be the follow-up to the time warp at the end of "The Naked Time."

Robert Justman submitted a one-page synopsis for a time travel story well before this episode was written. Fontana then wrote this episode from his synopsis (which he reprints in Inside Star Trek). IIRC, his synopsis was pretty much the basic outline of the major beats of this episode. Justman says he holds no hard feelings, but did wonder why he was never given any onscreen credit. If somebody owns that book, maybe they could post a scan of the photo of his typed story submission.

Fontana can never decide if John Christopher is a Captain or a Major. He is referred to by both ranks in the narrative and in lines. In fact in one sequence, Kirk calls him a Captain, then Christopher has a line, then the very next line Kirk calls him a Major. The credits list him as a Major.

Going by Roger Perry's apparent mid-to-late thirties age, I actually think he should have been a Major. If a person graduates college and OCS at 23 or so and progresses fairly routinely, then Second and First Lieutenants are about 23-28, Captains about 28-35, Majors about 35-40, Lieutenant Colonels 40-45, etc., with some overlap.

In fact, I feel that the actor who played Fellini looked too old to be a Lieutenant Colonel, but that is just me.

Most of the time, in the narrative, Fontana refers to John Christopher simply by the last name "Christopher" as is proper script format (in most cases), but a lot of times it is just typed as "Chris." I wonder if she was just abbreviating to save typing or if at some point Christopher or "Chris" was the character's first name.

Kirk's warning to Christopher that he should hurry because he only has about twenty years is not scripted.

A totally useless scene that breaks up the rising tension and the flow of the final time warp sequence to return Christopher to Earth is in the script. I cannot fathom why a writer of the caliber of Fontana would break her building momentum with the following nonsense:

They're building up speed. Christopher is with Kirk on the bridge watching the viewscreen. Uhura gets a call from the transporter room. They need McCoy there. McCoy exits. Kirk and Christopher then have the dialogue which ends with Kirk saying to Christopher, "Take a good look around, Captain. You made it here ahead of all of them."

Then we go to:


as the door snaps open and McCoy enters. CAMERA PULLS BACK TO WIDER ANGLE
REVEALING the Sergeant moving toward McCoy, greatly agitated.

(indicating Transporter Chief)
I told him I didn't want a doctor...

All right, what do you want?

Answers! Nobody tells me anything!
First I get yanked in here without so
much as a by-your-leave. And then
people go fizzling in and out of that
contraption... and chicken soup out
of the wall...

Chicken soup?

(goes right on)
... and nobody says anything to me.
I want to know what's coming off!

Well, essentially speaking... you are.

All that for a rather lame McCoy punchline. We then go back to the episode which is as filmed.


Nathan Hardy, a reader of this site, was kind enough to transcribe Robert H. Justman's memo in which he sketched out the basic plot of what would become "Tomorrow is Yesterday."

DATE : APRIL 12, 1966

Dear Gene :

The Enterprise is returning to earth where refitting, rotation of crew, taking on of supplies, etc, is planned. On approaching earth there is a malfunction of the ship's machinery with regard to its time warp capabilities. The Enterprise, due to this malfunction, does arrive back at a familiar planet which, of course, does turn out to be earth. But this is the earth of 1966 and not of their time.

There follows a situation with which we are becoming familiar. Every spring, about this time, there are sighting reports of UFOs. The Enterprise's shadow craft is sighted and is identified as a UFO. Kirk and Spock and the others realize upon contact with the denizens of the earth where they are in time. Thereupon, our story develops and Kirk begins to see that by breaking through time, he is starting off a whole new and different sequence of events, which will affect the history and civilization of out planet in future years. Who knows where this will lead? Perhaps it will turn out that he and Spock and the Enterprise and its crew will therefore never really exist in the future. He will also see that the whole future course of events will be changed so radically, as to cause irreparable damage to any future earth civilization. Thereupon, the problem arises as to how they are to go back and change what they have already set in motion.

Finally, after much experimentation with the ship's machinery, they do in fact go back to the moment when they arrive back at the earth in 1966. UFO reports go out again, but Kirk and the Enterprise disappear before any contact can be made with our 1966 world denizens. There only remains on earth the usual mass of spring UFO sighting reports, which is checked out by various governmental agencies and found to be without foundation.



cc : John D.F. Black

Nathan comments:

So the idea was clearly Justman's as a solo story, but at some point D.C. Fontana began working on it, and perhaps suggested tacking it on to the back of "Naked Time". Fontana has been quoted as saying she swore she never saw the Justman memo and came up with the idea herself. There were no hard feelings between Justman and Fontana; Justman wrote plenty of memos encouraging her work as the script developed, but Justman ended up quite pissed at Roddenberry for refusing to pay him for the outline.

D. C. (DOROTHY CATHERINE) FONTANA (1939-2019): 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 among her few 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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