Read a lost Star Trek script by the writer of "The Doomsday Machine"

Illustration for article titled Read a lost Star Trek script by the writer of "The Doomsday Machine"

Prolific novelist Norman Spinrad wrote two scripts for the original Star Trek — but only one of them was produced, "The Doomsday Machine." The other one, "He Walked Among Us," was scrapped, and nobody's been able to read it — until now.

The sad tale of Spinrad's "He Walked Among Us" is like an object lesson in the sort of thing that often went wrong with Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry had commissioned it as a vehicle for Milton Berle, who Roddenberry believed had serious acting chops — and Spinrad's script was designed to show what Berle could do with more straight-up dramatic material. But then producer Gene L. Coon saw that they were doing a story for Milton Berle and decided to rewrite the whole thing as a comedy. Spinrad was disgusted with the results, which he showed to Roddenberry, begging him to kill the story — and Roddenberry agreed.

Spinrad didn't hang on to a copy of his original script, which he wrote on a typewriter, and he'd thought it was lost forever. Until, as Spinrad explains:

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. I did, and in return he sent me a pdf off a scan


He's uploaded that PDF to Amazon and other sites, so you can buy it for the Kindle and other e-book readers for just $9. [via]

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IMHO The Doomsday Machine is the single best episode of the original series. Yes, I know people go on and on about City On The Edge Of Forever, but it's a time-travel story that has nothing to do with the Enterprise, the true star of the show. TDM is a thinking-man's space opera that showcases the ships and reveals Star Fleet officers at their best and worst.