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.