Read the first draft of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek pitch, starring "Captain April" and the "S.S. Yorktown"

Illustration for article titled Read the first draft of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek pitch, starring "Captain April" and the "S.S. Yorktown"

On March 11, 1964, Gene Roddenberry handed in the first draft of his Star Trek proposal to NBC. The cast is almost entirely different, but the gist of the show is intact — truly a fascinating "what if."

Here are some select snippets from Roddenberry's draft:

STAR TREK is a "Wagon Train" concept — built around characters who travel to worlds "similar" to our own, and meet the action-adventure-drama which become our stories. Their transportation is the cruiser "S.S. Yorktown," performing a well-defined and long-range Exploration-Science-Security mission which helps create our format.

The year is "Somewhere in the future." It could be 1995 or maybe even 2995 [...] The "skipper" [is Robert M. April], almost thirty-four, Academy graduate, rank of captain. Clearly the leading man and central character. This role is designated for an actor of top repute and ability. A shorthand sketch of Robert April might be "A space-age Captain Horation [sic] Hornblower."

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If you've never seen this, it's definitely worth a peek. You can read more from this draft — including a description of a "Satanic" Mr. Spock — via this PDF.

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DISCUSSION

ghost-in-the-machine
Ghost in the Machine

Captain April did appear in the animated series as the first captain of the Enterprise. I know it's technically not canon but it should be.

Number One was my favorite character from The Cage. It would have been interesting to see her as Kirk's first officer.