Everyone knows the origin of Gene Roddenberry‘s now world renowned, geek birthing franchise that is Star Trek. What some (I say some because I’m pretty sure our whole demographic knows this) may not know is that Roddenberry’s pitch for the show was slightly different than what it came to be . What he had in mined was considered “Too cerebral” for audiences, but executives knew well enough the potential that laid within. So they gave him a second go at it. With that, people around the world were wishing to make out with green women, fire futuristic weapons and travel to the “final frontier”. For the most part this is what Gene envisioned, but shockingly there was no Enterprise, Spock was half martian and there was no Kirk. What?!
The fruits of Roddenberry’s labour AFTER THE JUMP
Like finding the Ark of the covenant, pop culture blog Between the Pages has linked an online copy of the original first draft of what we now know as Star Trek. Dated March 11th, 1964, this is a whole two years before the series aired on televisions around America on September 8th, 1964. A whole two years from script to screen, if this was a movie script now it would be in development hell. With all the changes that could have been made what are the fans, the pure “trekkies” missing out on:
♦ Roddenberry’s original captain was not James Kirk or Christopher Pike, but Robert April;
♦ The ship was first called the U.S.S. Yorktown;
♦ The navigator was not a young Russian hotshot named Pavel Chekov, but a young South American hotshot named Jose Ortegas;
♦ Spock was the “first lieutenant” and described as having a reddish complexion and, of course, pointed ears, and was probably “half Martian.”
The original, 16-page, outline contained Roddenberry’s now-famous description of the show as a sort of sci-fi Wagon Train, stopping from planet to planet using small recon style ships. Nowhere is there any mention of a transporter, but there are early ideas of what we know call communicators, universal translators and phasers. Also included were a few story ideas from Gene’s head, many of which became show’s first pilot “The Cage” and classic episodes like “The Return of the Archons,” “The Savage Curtain,” and “Mirror, Mirror”. Here I thought it was going to be weird things like Tribbles or Uhura being protrayed by a man. Now that would have shaken a young nerd to the core, watching Captain Kirk kiss another gentleman, but maybe slash fiction would have exploded faster than ever.
So, if you think you have the balls to call yourself the ultimate Star Trek geek you should stop right now. These 16 pages were the birth place of a series that was far ahead of it’s time, with all it’s ideas and philosophy on the human (and Vulcan) condition. Even with all the cheesy effects, sets and Shatner’s signature pause acting, without those pages you wouldn’t even be call yourself a nerd right now.