Lost Spinrad Trek Script Found


After being lost for forty-five years, He Walked Among Us, Norman Spinrad‘s unproduced Star Trek script is has come to light.

Spinrad is best-known to Star Trek fans for the superb original series episode, The Doomsday Machine. But that was not the only Star Trek script written by the author. In 1967, the author penned He Walked Among Us.

The original version of the script was rewritten into an “unfunny comedy,” according to Spinrad, who was dismayed when he realized that it was meant as a vehicle for Milton Berle. “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,” said Spinrad. “It was so bad that I complained to [Gene] Roddenberry.

“‘This is so lousy, Gene, that you should kill it!’ I told him. ‘You can’t, you shouldn’t, shoot this thing! Read it and weep!'”

Roddenberry agreed with Spinrad and the episode never saw the light of day.

For years, Spinrad thought that the original script had been lost, until a copy appeared courtesy of a fan. “…recently a fan asked me to autograph a faded copy he had bought somewhere,” said Spinrad. “I did, and in return he sent me a PDF off a scan.”

The original story was a mission by Kirk and crew to the planet Jugal. A check on the developing culture of the primitive warrior-clansmen Jugalis revealed that they were using technologies that shouldn’t have discovered yet.  When a landing party goes down to the planet to investigate, the Jugalis are none too happy to see them.

Spinrad is now offering copies of the script via Amazon Kindle. Copies can be purchased here.

Source: Norman Spinrad At Large

What do you think? Chat with other fans in the Star Trek - Original & Animated series forum at The Trek BBS.




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  • Gastrof

    Sounds somewhat similar to “A Private Little War”. Did this one have a witch and a moving carrot too?

  • Rich Handley

    I’ve had a copy of this for years. I didn’t know it was rare!

  • Landru J.

    This story is misleading, as this isn’t a lost script. It can be easily found in conventions’ dealer rooms. I’ve got a copy, and frequently see copies of it for sale.

  • Kelso

    Yeah, I got one off of ebay about ten years ago.

  • Revenge_broker

    Lost? It’s not lost. A lot of people have it.

  • FredH

    The obvious question for those who’ve read it: Is it worth $9 to read?

  • Landru J.

    Absolutely! It’s a fun story, and nine bucks is cheap!

  • Lost in the computer

    Not really kindling my fire with this description — what’s new and unique here aside from the name Jugal? (And is there a joke somewhere in the script for Uncle Milty about going for the jugular of the Jugalis?)

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    The version you’ve been seeing for years is either the “Uncle Milty” rewrite, which is hideous, or Spinrad’s own rewrite from memory, which he turned into a novella.

  • AirElephant

    That was my initial impression when I clicked over to Amazon to check the price. I doubt that if it weren’t a “lost” Star Trek script that it would stand out at all. The value to fans, I assume, is the history and the attachment to the franchise, not necessarily the story.

  • Kelso

    @Kang the Unbalanced: No, it’s the First Draft dated July 25, 1967.

  • Zeorangerix

    Nine bucks is a little steep for what is presumably a sixty-page spec script.

  • Blasastter

    So this would be the second time that a script was supposedly tailored to Berle. A Piece of the Action was supposed to star Berle in the role of the main mobster but it didn’t work out.

  • Razorburn

    It couldn’t be as bad as anything that Dennis Bailey, Vic Mignogna, and the Starship Farragut crew have re-written and re-possessed.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Talk about dodging a photorp.

  • TBonz

    “Sounds somewhat similar to “A Private Little War”. That is *exactly* what I thought when I had a look at it over at Amazon.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Interesting. And I’ve seen other people saying the same thing. If this is so, then why is it being called lost? Was Spinrad the last person to get a copy of his own script?

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    But it could easily be as bad as your endless bitching on the subject.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Kang is off his meds. Don’t listen to him.

  • Mgracie

    This is more like “Patterns of Force” meets “The Omega Glory” than “A Private Little War”