A long lost script from the original five year mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise has been found. Norman Spinrad penned the script for the original Star Trek but it was abandoned in 1967 and thought lost to history.
Spinrad says the script was intended as potential dramatic showcase for actor Milton Berle.
Spinrad wrote the episode at the request of series creator Gene Roddenberry, but he says the original treatment was butchered to a point that he eventually asked for the episode to be killed. And it was.
“This original version was rewritten into an unfunny comedy by the line producer Gene Coon apparently unaware that Uncle Miltie was also a serious dramatic actor and a good one,” Spinrad wrote on his blog. “It was so bad that I complained to Roddenberry … I killed my second Star Trek, which, down through the years has cost me tens of thousands of dollars in lost residuals.”
Though a few stray copies of the original script have popped up at conventions throughout the years, Spinrad thought the original had been lost decades ago. That is, until a fan pulled one out and asked him to sign it.
“I thought the text of my original version—written on a typewriter!—was lost forever until recently a fan asked me to autograph a faded copy he had bought somewhere,” Spinrad wrote. “I did, and in return he sent me a pdf off a scan, and that’s what I’ve put on Amazon, not a great copy maybe, but the only one that exists or probably can exist.”
Sipnrad is selling the original script for the episode now for Amazon Kindle.