andthechildren.gif (3027 bytes)

written by Edward J. Lasko
FINAL DRAFT SCRIPT, dated June 21, 1968

with revisions dated 6/24, 6/25, 6/26, 7/1, and 7/2
review, analysis and report by Dave Tilotta


 The Federation pennant makes its debut.

"And The Children Shall Lead" is a tale from Star Trek’s third season. It has concepts and themes extracted from Greek mythology (the Gorgon), the old testament (the book of Isaiah), and puritanical/colonial witchery (the incantations). Written by Edward J. Lakso, a prolific screenwriter noted for his work on The Wild Wild West, it is not one of the better episodes of the series. In fact, at times it doesn’t even come across as an episode of the series. Nevertheless, here’s a look at some of the major differences between the scripted and aired versions.

Captain’s Logs

The captain’s logs in both the teaser and Act I do not appear in the script. It’s likely they were added in postproduction to better orient the viewers.

The Grave Situation

The gravestones of the dead exploration party are neither described nor present in Act I. Instead, the script describes two Enterprise crewmembers burning STARNES EXPLORATION PARTY, STAR DATE: 5041.1, IN MEMORIUM into the rocks (presumably for a large set of large headstones). This inscription is present in the aired version, however, on the large marker behind the UFP pennant.

Do they have 21 flavors in the 23rd century?

Ice Cream Scene

The scripted scene in the recreation room, where the kids are treated to ice cream by Chapel and interrogation by Kirk, has two differences from the broadcasted one. In the script, Stevie orders ice cream with apricot, not peach. The other difference relates to the children’s "bizzy" game. In the script, after Chapel guesses that the kids are imitating a swarm of bees, Kirk replies with:

(a frightening thought)

I know—a swarm of adults.

By the way, since we’re talking about the recreation room scene, I should point out that this set was originally built, but not shown, for "Elaan of Troyius." It was later redressed as the arboretum for "Is There In Truth No Beauty."

Of Chants and Incantations

According to the script, the children use the powers of Gorgan through chants and incantations. To call Gorgan, the script specifies

The children—hands joined—form a complete circle. They each are in deep concentration. They build to a climax a repeated chant.


Hi, hi fire and snow
Call the angel
We will go
Far away, for to see
Friendly angel, come to me.

As the chant is repeatedthe children’s voices will be replaced by the deep tones of the Gorgan coming out of the mouths of the children. Now, slowly, a strange, phosphorescent image appears in the circle before them.

Interestingly, note that the scripted sequence is different from the aired one. First, the first two words in the chant are scripted as "Hi" and not "Hail." In the aired version, the first chantperformed by the children in their quartersuses the words hail. The second chant, performed by the children on the bridge, uses the scripted "Hi." But then for the third chant—the one played back by Spock on the bridge—the children use the words hail again (as a side note, this latter inconsistency is the most obvious clue that the played back chant is the one from the children's quarters and not the one from the bridge).

The second difference between the scripted and aired sequence is what the children do with their hands during the chant. In the script, the children form a circle, and Gorgan appears in the middle. In the aired version, they stack their hands in front of them, and Gorgan appears to the side. This change was likely necessitated by the relative size of the children versus Melvin Belli (who played Gorgan) or by the difficulties involving the special effects.

The incantations used by the children were cut from the aired version. For example, to force Sulu to see the daggers on the view screen, Tommy recited:


See—see—what shall he see.
His ship ripped apart by the daggers he will see. 

And Mary used this one to cause Uhura to believe she was old:


See—see—what shall she see…
A dying old hag where a girl should be.

 This is an image of Melvin Belli getting into position in front of the children. This bit was cut out, and then the shimmering effect put in its place so that it would appear that he shimmered in.

Beaming Down

In Act III, Kirk and Spock travel to the transporter room to oversee the exchange of the guards on Triacus. Once there, the guards are beamed downactually into space because the Enterprise is no longer orbiting Triacusand then an attempt is made to beam up the two stationed on the planet. In the script, it is Spock who beams down the guards and not the red shirt (played by Frank da Vinci). This was a wise change because it is a little more believable that a red shirt would make the foolish mistake of not checking for planetary orbit before commencing with transport.

Speak No Evil

In the bridge scene towards the end of Act III, the children try to take over control of the Enterprise. They do this by first causing Sulu and Uhura to see false images and then making it impossible for Kirk to give orders. In the broadcast version, they accomplish this latter feat by making it appear that Kirk is talking backwards (via dialogue looped backwards). However in the script, the children instead remove Kirk’s ability to speak at all—that is, he talks, but no sounds come out of his mouth. Spock can hear him, but only every other word. In this reviewer’s opinion, the effect in the broadcast version is superior.

By the way, at the conclusion of this scene, when Spock and Kirk flee the bridge into the turbolift, Spock rouses Kirk to reality by calling him "Jim." This singular moment is not in the script at all. Rather, Kirk kills his beast by throwing Spock aside in a fury:

He glares at Spock in the almost insane anger that will help him overcome the fear that is eating him. He pins Spock’s arms and smashes him against the wall. He glares hard at him.

Sulu’s Deleted Scene

A short scene was omitted from near the top of Act IV that involved Sulu leveling a phaser at Kirk. Specifically, after Kirk orders Spock to take Chekov and the red shirt mutineers to detention (following Chekov’s "I’ve never disobeyed an order" plea), Kirk heads to the bridge to confront Tommy. As scripted, Kirk first approaches Sulu on the bridge and tries yet again to convince him to change course. Sulu responds by brandishing a phaser at him.

The deletion of this scene makes sense as it would have been yet a third time that Kirk tries to convince Sulu that the images on the view screen were false.

What’s In The Name?

Lakso is inconsistent in how he refers to the friendly angel throughout the script. Sometimes he uses "Gorgan" and other times he uses "the Gorgan." I suspect that this variation is because he drew his inspiration for the name from the Greek mythological winged monster (the Gorgon) and confused the two as he wrote.

And since we’re talking about Gorgan’s name, it brings up the question as to how Kirk knew it in Act IV. That is, when Kirk instructs Spock to play back the chant on the bridge, he specifically refers to the chant "to summon up the Gorgan." This specific reference to the alien’s name is in both the scripted and aired versions. So then, how did Kirk know what name to use since it had not been spoken in front of him? Well, the script provides a bit of an answer to that question. Here is a portion of some material deleted from the bridge scene in the aired version:

The shimmering figure of Gorgan begins to appear before the boys who do not form a circle, only watch, uncertain, confused.


Come—join us. You—must have a name.


He is Gorgan. He is our friendand he is all powerful.

Now Gorgan reaches full flower.

In the above, notice that Kirk asks for the name of the alien, and Tommy provides it. But also notice that this interchange occurs after Kirk uses the name Gorgan in both the scripted and aired versions. I suspect that this misplaced dialogue was an editing error in the script. It may or may not have been filmed, but if it were, it surely would have been excised because this gaff should have been obvious.

To Wrap It Up

In conclusion, there are actually few differences between the scripted and aired versions of "And the Children Shall Lead." The significant ones are the changes to the Gorgan chant and the deleted scenes (the incantations and the Sulu scene). But as to the quality of the script? If I were Tommy, I might shake my fist and say: "See—see— what shall they see? A Lost in Space episode where a Trek one should be."

All hail what we do, call the lawyer; we will sue.

Edward J. Lakso (1932-2009): A long and distinguished writer, producer, composer, actor, and director. During his time in Hollywood, Lakso worked on more than 150 shows for 39 separate TV programs. He was a producer on Charlie’s Angels, a director on The Richard Petty Story, and a writer for many series including Airwolf, Charlie’s Angels, SWAT, The Rockford Files, The Wild Wild West, and Petrocelli – to name just a few. He also was an actor in Operation Dames (1959) and composed the music for The Immoral Mr. Teas.

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