Abandoned Star Trek episode to be filmed 45 years later
A Star Trek script that‘s been lost since 1967 has been returned to its author, Norman Spinrad, and now the fan film group Star Trek: New Voyages is making plans to bring it to life (or at least, people on the Internet) this summer, some 45 years after it was first abandoned. It all began when a fan recently brought him a copy to autograph, and Spinrad—a Trekker favorite for his episode, “The Doomsday Machine”—surprisingly found himself reunited with his original draft of “He Walked Among Us,” a 1963 script Spinrad wrote which “finds the crew of the Enterprise grappling with the leader of a civilization who has greatly abused the Prime Directive.” (Which is, of course, “RoboCop must serve the public trust.”)
According to Blastr.com. Spinrad intended that leader to be played by Milton Berle in a rare dramatic role, but says the part was rewritten by line producer Gene Coon to make him more Milton Berle-esque—perhaps with hammy one-liners and/or a scene in drag—until eventually Spinrad asked Gene Roddenberry to just put the script out of its misery. Now that he has the non-butchered version again, Spinrad has made it available for purchase on Amazon, and is working with the Hugo-nominated New Voyages to turn it into a webisode. What’s more, Spinrad has also issued an open plea for William Shatner to follow in the footsteps of past original cast members like George Takei and Walter Koenig and guest-star in the episode as the villain. Because if the script was derailed the last time by casting a hammy actor whose personality ended up totally overwhelming the story, better to go with someone who can just blend in and submit himself to the role, like William Shatner.