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written by Gene L. Coon
FINAL DRAFT, dated December 22, 1966
(with revised pages dated December 28, 1966, January 6, 16, 18, 1967)

report & analysis by Dave Eversole

 

For once, we have a Gene L. Coon script with several deleted or revised scenes, though they are comparatively few when compared to many we have reviewed.

ACT ONE

Relatively unchanged. Lieutenant Commander Giotto and another Security Officer initially beam down with Kirk, Spock and McCoy, though they have no dialogue and are not mentioned again in the course of the act.

In the script, the inspection of the various mining charts scene is set in the briefing room onboard the Enterprise. Since the only props called for were the various mining maps and charts, the budget conscious producer in Coon wisely decided to simply set it in Vanderberg’s office instead of spending the money and time lighting and prepping the other set.

ACT TWO

Here we have a fairly long deleted section, a few lines of which were saved. After Chief Vanderberg yells at Kirk and expresses his concern for his people, we cut to:

INT. TUNNEL OUTSIDE REACTOR CHAMBER

As Kirk comes into it, Spock is just EXITING the new round tunnel in the side of the main tunnel.

SPOCK
Most curious, Captain. This
tunnel is not indicated on any
of the charts we were provided.

I have made inquiries. It
simply was not here before.

KIRK
Maybe it had been there all along,
undiscovered. . . abutting up against
this tunnel, but not breaking
through to it.

SPOCK
Possibly. But it is most strange.

KIRK
A lava tube?

SPOCK
I suppose it is possible, but it
is unlike any in my experience. A
lava tube should have certain random
irregularities. This has none. It
is straight as a phaser beam.

KIRK
(examining)
The edges. They’re -– fused.

SPOCK
Yes. It joins a charted tunnel
back there about fifty yards.

KIRK
Have a Security Team check it out. . .
as far as you can. Examine every
tunnel on this level. In the
meantime, let’s see if Doc has come
up with anything.

 

INT. ENTERPRISE BRIEFING ROOM – ANGLE ON DOC

DOC
I think it’s mass hysteria.

CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal Kirk and Spock. . . Spock examining the strange silicon object he got from Vanderberg.

KIRK
Hysteria? Dozens of people have
been killed.

McCOY
Some. . . natural cause. A phenomenon
. . . and people have dreamed up a
mysterious monster to account for it.

SPOCK
Surely, Doctor. A natural cause.
But not hysteria.

McCOY
All right. You asked my opinion.
I gave it to you. How do I know?
Maybe there is some kind of monster…

SPOCK
Not a monster, doctor. A creature.
And an intelligent one.

McCOY
The missing pump was not taken by
accident. It was the one piece of
equipment absolutely essential to
the operation of the reactor.

KIRK
You think this creature is trying
to drive the colonists off the planet?

SPOCK
It seems logical.

KIRK
Why just now, Mr. Spock? This
production facility was established
here fifty years ago.

SPOCK
I do not know, sir. . .
(staring at the round object)
There is a possibility. . .

KIRK
What, Mr. Spock?

SPOCK
The fact that Mr. Appel claimed
to have hit the creature with his phaser.

KIRK
He could have been mistaken.

SPOCK
Mr. Appel strikes me as being a
capable, unimaginative man. If he
said he hit it, I tend to believe
he did. That being the case, why
wasn’t the creature affected?

KIRK
I can’t explain it.

This scene then continues with the portion of it which was aired. Spock theorizes silicon-based life, McCoy says he is fantasizing, etc.

Act Two ends in the script with the first full view of the Horta. In the aired version, the act doesn’t end until Kirk says there is nothing more dangerous than a wounded creature.

ACT THREE

Very few changes. A few dropped lines, some point of view shots of the Horta watching Kirk and Spock just before Spock notes they are being watched.

The script calls for the Horta eggs to be embedded in the walls of the caverns.

ACT FOUR

Two dropped lines: After Spock says he sees no reason to stand there and be insulted, in the script, the scene continues with:

McCOY
You’d make a fine surgeon,
Captain. You know exactly where
to insert the needle.

KIRK
Thank you, Doctor. You’re a
good teacher. Mr. Sulu? Warp
factor two.

Nothing was dropped that was absolutely essential to the story. Gene L. Coon at the top of his form!


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