Saturday, December 30, 2006

On the sixth day of Christmas

While cleaning up some file boxes in the garage this week, I found a batch of my "Star Trek" movie scripts, which I haven't seen since I moved house in 2000. I'd forgotten that I owned three versions of the ST III script, in addition to Harve Bennett's slim bootlegged premise, ST III: "Return to Genesis".

But in the so-called FIRST DRAFT script of "ST III: The Search for Spock", dated March 23, 1983 - well after the Romulan crew of "Return to Genesis" has officially morphed into a Klingon crew - Bennett has this to say about the controversial makeup change from TOS:

"Present are the 1ST LORD of the Klingons, and his command staff. The variety of Klingons will be fully explored. Elders have been seen in STAR TREK I. Forehead bumps are marks of age and wisdom, not common. What is common is that they are a dark race of large and frightening appearance."

The "elderly" Klingon idea has been nixed by the REV. FINAL DRAFT of September 13, 1983, because Valkris wears a half-veil to hide her bumps, and Kruge is described as a "handsome but frightening presence, and relative youth".

(Since those early days, of course, we've seen Alexander, Worf's son in "The Next Generation" series, as a toddler with a matching bumpy forehead to his Dad's. Then we had Worf's enigmatic comment in DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations", and a two-part explanatory episode about the origins of smooth-foreheaded Klingons in "Star Trek: Enterprise".)

The early script also specifies a flotilla of Klingon heavy cruisers, and Kruge's cloakable Romulan Bird of Prey that "Trek buffs will recognize" from its "distinctive bird & wing motif". After they watch the Bird of Prey turn visible, the script goes on:

1ST LORD: What is this? None of you knew?

3RD LORD (hastily): It is his toy, sir. A Romulan prize. He has perfected their Cloaking Device.

1ST LORD: Commander Kruge, I want you here... Now!


KRUGE: Always your servant, my Lord.

(He turns and CAMERA reveals his CREW, the most awesome collection of large, cruel and piratical men since the Pittsburgh Steelers of the Seventies. We will see more of them later.)

KRUGE: Well, my jolly lads, a few more triumphs like this and we'll all be back in prison.

(then turning)

Try to behave yourselves while I'm gone.

I reckon Kruge probably should have had a Klingon parrot on his shoulder, too (but perhaps the lizard/dog from the REV. FINAL script ate it?).

A major character difference is the addition of vulcanoid (Romulan?) defector, Galt, who essentially fills the role taken by Maltz the Klingon in the final film. Galt is welcomed back to Vulcan by Sarek at the end of the movie.

Towards the end, instead of the REV. FINAL DRAFT and FINAL SHOOTING script version of Kirk saying to Kruge, "I... have had... enough... of you!" the FIRST DRAFT script has Kruge saying, "The last face you see, Kirk. The last face you ever see."

He then grabs Kirk in a choke hold, they struggle, and Kirk seems doomed - but when the zombie-like Spock grabs Kruge from behind, Kirk is able to break free, retrieve. Kirk is able to reach the Klingon dagger and throw it into Kruge's back. Then he asks Galt to beam them up, abandoning several remaining Klingons to their fate on the doomed Genesis.

Bennett also says "The writer suggests to the producer and director that no acting credit be given for the role of SPOCK until the END CREDITS. (And that's what they actually did. There's a blank space in the opening credits of ST III, where Nimoy's acting screen credit should normally be.)

Cool, eh? Anyway, here are today's ornaments:


Above left: For 1996, the Coca-Cola polar bear mascot, sitting in the stocking to chug down his Coke straight from the bottle, was bought just after that Christmas, from a countertop display in a roadhouse (on the way to wherever I was holidaying in January 1997). Marvin the Martian, from "Looney Tunes", was a Hallmark boxed ornament. He has a Santa sack of (Acme?) dynamite over his shoulder and is, no doubt, trying to clear his view of Venus for Christmas. As Marvin would say, "Isn't that lovely?" Purchased from Grace Bros. in Roselands.

Above right: For 1995, the cute mouse on a swing has a hard head and a soft, stuffed body. He's actually standing up on a swing, and the swing's rope is what attaches to the tree. Another purchase from the Lakemba pharmacy/newsagency. The haloed angel cow is made of some form of clay and looks like it's been homemade, but was from Grace Bros. in Roselands.

No comments: