WI: The Enterprise completes its five year mission (Star Trek survives for 5 seasons)

Chapter 13: Denebian Slime Devils New
Slightly longer update for today, because I'm creating a story idea from scratch that could fit as Original Series Trek:

January 20, 1969

The 17th episode of the 3rd season of Star Trek ITTL is titled THE TWO POTIONS. This will be modeled as a classic Gene Coon allegory. The Enterprise is tasked with studying Denebian slime devils, an endangered species, from the planet Deneb IV to derive chemicals that could be used for medicinal purposes. However, the Klingons enter the Deneb system and are also seeking out the Denebian slime devils in order to create chemicals intended for warfare, similar to mustard gas. Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew must deny the Klingons access to the slime devils so the Klingons cannot engage in potential chemical warfare against Starfleet that could prove decisive in a future conflict.

Captain's log, stardate 5526.4. The Enterprise has been sent to Deneb IV in order to study the utility of chemicals produced by the Denebian slime devil, one of the galaxy's most endangered, and I must say, least appealing creatures. Dr. McCoy will produce a report demonstrating the viability of neotryptiline, a chemical that can cure serious brain disorders and even act in some individuals as an aphrodisiac.

Kirk orders Scotty to beam aboard a Denebian slime devil for study. The creature is transported to the Enterprise and immediately confined due to its dangerous, aggressive nature. Spock and McCoy examine the tranquilized slime devil in the sickbay lab.

Bones: "I thought there was no use for these creatures. I wonder why Starfleet even has us on this mission. It seems pointless to me."
Spock: "Doctor, the Denebian slime devil produces a chemical called neotryptiline, which can cure some of the most lethal brain disorders in the elderly, if properly created into a medicine."
Bones: "So Starfleet wants to expand human lifespans. I admire their motives, but I think that when it's time for someone to die, it's just their time."
Spock: "Doctor, Starfleet does not want to pass up the possibility of improved sentient being health, especially in the most vulnerable of its citizens."
Bones: "Spock, don't you realize that the pain people endure is a part of life, and sometimes the pain exceeds a level where life is worth it. This happens in the elderly, both on Earth and among you Vulcans."
Spock: "I find it logical that we do everything in our power to reduce pain and extend the time when human beings and other Federation species do not have to experience pain. Perhaps it is due to our extended Vulcan lifespans and the deleterious effects of Vulcan aging that my interest in further lengthening life derives itself."
Bones: "I wonder what happens to Vulcans when they get old. I think you lose your inhibitions, similar to humans who age."
Spock: "It is much worse for Vulcans, Doctor. Vulcans lose their ability to retain their logical capabilities and training and devolve into what you would call, 'a screaming mess.'"
Bones: "So it is similar to aging in humans."
Spock: "Humans do not consistently control their emotions and believe in logic, Doctor."
Kirk (over the intercom): "How is that research going, Bones. Starfleet needs that chemical soon."
Bones: "It's moving along, Jim. I am unsure of the reason why we are on this mission."
Kirk: "I thought it was right up your alley, Bones. Starfleet wants to extend human lifespans by curing various neurological disorders in aging people."
Bones: "You know Jim, I always felt that everyone has a time to die, and we are attempting to play God here."
Kirk: "Bones, make sure you acquire the chemical and process it into a medicine. Kirk out."

(Uhura interrupts)

Uhura: "I'm detecting Klingon chatter over subspace frequencies, sir."
Kirk: "Red alert. Sulu, is there a Klingon vessel in the area."
Sulu: "I don't see one sir, but I presume they are cloaked."
Chekov: "Klingon D7 battlecruiser detected straight ahead, Captain."
Kirk: "What do the Klingons want on Deneb IV? And how did they get into Federation space?"
Sulu: "Perhaps their cloak was able to evade Federation sensors."
Kirk: "A likely possibility. But what do they want on Deneb IV? Could they want the slime devils for some other reason, or for the same reason? Uhura, ship to ship. I want to straighten out this matter."
Uhura: "Hailing frequencies open, sir. You're patched in."
Kirk: "Klingon vessel, this is Captain James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. Your presence in Federation space violates the Organian armistice between our two powers. Explain why you are in Federation space, or I will have to escort you back to the Neutral Zone."
Koloth: "Hi, Captain, remember me? It's Koloth, back for more Klingon conquest."
Kirk: "Why are you in Federation space orbiting this planet?"
Koloth: "For the same reason you are, Captain. We want the slime devils."
Kirk: "Why, Koloth? The slime devils are useless. They are an endangered, but completely unappealing species."
Koloth: "I do not have to explain my motives to you, Captain. My mission is secret, especially to you. Koloth out."

Kirk convenes Spock, McCoy and Scotty in the conference room.

Kirk: "What do the Klingons want with Denebian slime devils? I thought only their bite was dangerous."
Scotty: "You know the Klingons on that ship think you are a Denebian slime devil."
Kirk: "I'm well aware, Mr. Scott. But why are the Klingons here?"
Spock: "It is believed that the Denebian slime devil also produces a small amount of a chemical in its nervous system called hydrochloroethyl sulfide, a variant of mustard gas that is ten times more potent than traditional mustard gas."
Bones: "So the Klingons want to conduct chemical warfare against the Federation? How many different monsters do we have to deal with? First the Romulans with their viruses, now the Klingons with superpowered mustard gas."
Spock: "You are likely correct, Doctor. The Klingons cannot gain access to the slime devils."
Kirk: "How many slime devils are there on the planet, Spock."
Spock: "Seventeen thousand, sir. We cannot possibly protect them all. If the Klingons want a slime devil, they can likely beam one aboard, just like we did."
Kirk: "So we're here to extend human lifespans, and they're here to destroy them. Bones, I need you to isolate the mustard gas chemical and inoculate the crew in case the Klingons attempt a chemical attack. Spock, order a landing party to the planet. I suspect the Klingons want several of those slime devils and we cannot let them get more than one."
Spock and Bones: "Aye, sir."

Sulu and Chekov lead a landing party to Deneb IV to face the Klingons, who expectedly arrive. The Federation landing party begins to fight with the Klingons. Two redshirts and two Klingons meet their demise. A slime devil unexpectedly bites Chekov, who yelps in pain. Sulu and Chekov beam back aboard the Enterprise and Chekov goes to sickbay. Instead of being incapacitated, Chekov begins displaying unusual behavior, attempting to kiss Chapel. McCoy tranquilizes Chekov.

Bones: "What other surprises do these slime devils have in store for us. Bones to Kirk."
Kirk: "Kirk here."
Bones: "After Chekov got bit by the slime devil, he was behaving oddly. He tried to kiss Chapel and I had to knock him out with a neural tranquilizer."
Kirk: "Make sure that nobody else is bitten by the slime devil in sickbay. These creatures are bizarre. Kirk out."

Bones and Spock go back to sickbay, and discover that the neotryptiline has aphrodisiac effects on younger and middle aged adults, which was the reason Chekov behaved so out of character. Bones says, "You know, I was right. We are conducting mad science experiments instead of proper medical research, and the drug we were supposed to isolate is instead causing unexpected behavior. I think we should beam the slime devil out of here." Suddenly, the slime devil awakens and bites Bones, and he acts the same way Chekov did. Bones attempts to kiss Chapel and Spock nerve pinches him.

Spock: "Spock to the bridge."
Kirk: "Kirk here."
Spock: "The slime devils produce aphrodisiac effects in humans when they are bitten, Captain. However, there is a possibility that Bones and Chekov will die."
Kirk: "Explain, Spock. I thought they were supposed to only cure brain functions in the aging."
Spock: "In non-aged people, the neotryptiline created the unexpected effect of humans losing their inhibitions. The bites also contain a tiny bit of the enhanced mustard gas chemical, which paralyzes human body functions. Without an antidote, both the Doctor and Ensign Chekov will slowly lose basic autonomic life signs. They will die."
Kirk: "Get Chapel to work on the antidote."
Spock: "She is a little shaken up, but she tells me she is OK to continue her duties."
Kirk: "Good, Spock. Kirk out."

(The Enterprise is attacked by the Klingon battlecruiser, which tries to make a run for it). Kirk orders return fire, and the Enterprise scores a hit on the Klingon vessel. A visibly upset Kirk asks for a halt to the hostilities.

Kirk: "Uhura, open hailing frequencies."
Uhura: "You're on, sir."
Kirk: "Klingon vessel. If you attempt to escape, we will pursue and disable your ship."
Koloth: "You have your slime devil, and I have mine. You will conduct your research, and we will conduct ours."
Kirk: "Your research is intended for war and death. We will not allow it."
Koloth: "You have no place to dictate how we Klingons conduct our affairs, Kirk. Like I said, you have your slime devil to do with what you wish, and I have my slime devil."
Kirk: "So it is battle then."
Koloth: "No it isn't. We will leave Federation space with our slime devil, to do with as we please. Until we meet again, Captain Kirk."

(Koloth's ship cloaks and leaves the Deneb system, and the Enterprise fails in its pursuit.)

Kirk: "So they have a chemical weapon."

Bones and Chekov are cured by the antidote, and Bones asks Kirk to return the slime devil to its natural habitat. Kirk agrees, and the slime devil is beamed back to the planet. The end of the episode is a brief philosophical conversation.

Spock: "Apparently, there were unexpected consequences deriving from our experiment."
Kirk: "What do we tell Starfleet Command? The Klingons are developing a chemical weapon and our experiment failed?"
Bones: "What else do we tell them? We should also tell them that sometimes, species are best left alone, even though we are explorers and scientists carrying out missions across the galaxy. This mission was morally wrong to begin with."
Kirk: "Sometimes, you get the slime devil, and sometimes, the slime devil gets you."
Bones: "I just hope the Klingons don't get us too."

D.C. Fontana:

We wanted to explore a situation where the Federation goes too far in scientific experimentation. We believe we succeeded by demonstrating that some species are best left alone, especially endangered species. This story also explores the ethics of animal experimentation and the gray lines that are crossed when we attempt to advance human society by taking advantage of animals. Just to let you know, I approve of plant experimentation, but animal experimentation is a touchy subject, especially with dogs and cats.


I got to be the moral center of this episode. As the ship's doctor and one of its chief researchers, I was placed in a role where I had to determine whether it was ethically viable to conduct research on this species. As it turned out, there were some unexpected twists, and we didn't have a happy ending for this one. Sometimes it is best to let Mother Nature be herself and not to interfere with her.

Gene Roddenberry:

This was one of the best allegories we wrote in the third season. We brought up a lot of ethical questions and left them only partially answered for the viewer. Why do we conduct research, and when should it be used? Sometimes, we need to let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak, and that was the tale we tried to tell in this episode.
Just to let you know, I didn't forget about Spock's Brain and that episode is coming up pretty soon. The butterflies created by that show will be...let's say interesting. I have to keep it ITTL because I can't butterfly the Phish song about his brain out of existence. That's a step too far...
Chapter 14: Spock's 🧠 New
January 27, 1969

The 18th episode of Star Trek's third season ITTL is the infamous SPOCK'S BRAIN, written by Gene Coon under his pen name, Lee Cronin. IRL this was the 3rd season premiere, but ITTL, Gene Roddenberry was convinced to move this show later in the season and run the series of Romulan stories. For those who are not aware, Spock's Brain is considered one of the two or three worst episodes ever produced, and that likely remains true in my timeline. In the episode, which is unchanged from IRL, a female intruder known as Kara boards the Enterprise from an unknown vessel and presses a button to knock out the entire crew. She then walks up to Spock, places her hand on his head, and takes his brain out of his skull. For the rest of the episode, Kirk and crew attempt to retrieve Spock's disemboweled brain (which we do not see on camera) and surgically re-implant it back into his head.

A landing party with Chekov gets involved in a fight with the barbaric males of Kara's species, known as the Morg. Kara is part of the beautiful female half of the species, known as the Eymorgs. After various inquiries about the disposition of Spock's noggin, which get comical at times, Kara gets frustrated by screaming out, "Brain and Brain, what is Brain!" This becomes the most comical line of dialogue ever written in Star Trek TOS because a supposedly advanced species acts like it does not know what a brain is. After a confrontation with the Eymorg females, Kirk, somehow enlisting Spock's help, even though Spock does not have his brain available to him, disorients the Eymorgs and retrieves the brain, which somehow is not decomposing after being exposed to air. McCoy acquires the knowledge from the Eymorgs to surgically implant Spock's brain back into his head and everyone lives happily ever after again.


The audience was shocked. We normally produced intelligent science fiction, which we largely did for the first three seasons, but this episode was a schlock-fest. Leonard hated it and threatened to leave the show, and I didn't blame him, because the episode was ridiculous. We thought Gene Coon wrote it as a practical joke, not intended for actual shooting. However, Gene Roddenberry green-lighted it. I was able to convince Gene not to lead the season with this embarrassing hour of television, and he agreed, but we still shot this episode, so it was in the can and we had to air it at some point. Later on, we found out that Gene Coon develped a much more intelligent plot for this episode involving expanding on Vulcan culture in regards to their brains, but this was removed and the schlock was added. I unfortunately contributed to this nonsense by having Spock without a brain direct McCoy in conducting the implantation surgery. It was late lamented, to say the least.


When I saw the script, I could barely contain myself. I thought it was a gag, but we actually shot it and put it on the air! It was the most ridiculous television show I ever took part in and I regret putting my name on it. I wish I could take this one back. This was the first time I started to get tired of playing Spock and wanted to take off the pointy ears. In fact, I told Gene Roddenberry that if I was ever embarrassed like that again, I would quit and ask them to cast another actor for Spock. Unfortunately, we started to see the script quality decline a little in the third season, but most of it was passable. The Romulan stories were great and the Klingon shows were good, and along with The Tholian Web, we were able to save the third season from a quality standpoint. The fourth and fifth seasons were in retrospect, difficult to shoot. We were starting to get tired of the show by that point, even though we were finally making decent money and the ratings were good.


All you need to know about this episode is in my book. Read it, and you'll understand why I regretted taking part.

Reaction from the press was swift and largely negative. The New York Times, in its review, slated the episode, noting that "Star Trek, that most intelligent of science fiction series, debased itself with this ridiculous plot and humiliated its star, Leonard Nimoy, by making him an automaton without a brain." The Boston Globe wrote that "Star Trek, which had rising ratings through most of the third season, placed itself in danger again with this clowny carnival of nonsense." The Los Angeles Times, in an article entitled, Brain and Brain, What is Brain? opined that "We are forced to shut off our brains too while watching this tripe, and be less functional than Spock without his brain in his head. If Star Trek keeps going this way, it will die a painful death, regardless of its improved ratings over the course of this season. Be forewarned and do not make any other episodes of this low a quality."
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Chapter 15: Almost Through Season 3 New
Final update for the day: I will rearrange and change the next four episodes slightly ITTL before a longer update tomorrow.

Episode 19: IS THERE IN TRUTH NO BEAUTY? Written by Jean Lisette Aroeste, directed by Ralph Senensky. Air date: February 10, 1969. Nielsen rating: 3rd to Gunsmoke and The Mod Squad (the only time Trek finishes third in its time slot, as a result of Spock's Brain). IRL this episode was the 5th episode of the 3rd season. This episode is unchanged ITTL.
Episode 20: JOANNA, Written by D.C. Fontana, directed by David Alexander. This was the story that D.C. Fontana wrote about Dr. McCoy's estranged daughter, which got changed into the space hippies episode THE WAY TO EDEN IRL, which is scrapped ITTL. Air date: February 17, 1969. Nielsen rating: 2nd to Gunsmoke.
Episode 21: SPECTRE OF THE GUN, Written by Gene Coon, directed by Vincent McEveety. This story is unchanged ITTL. Air date: February 24, 1969. Nielsen rating: 2nd to Gunsmoke. IRL this episode was the 6th episode of the 3rd season.
Episode 22: THE SAVAGE CURTAIN, Written by Gene Roddenberry, directed by Herschel Daugherty. This story is unchanged ITTL. Air date: March 3, 1969. Nielsen rating: 2nd to Gunsmoke.
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Chapter 16: Experimentation New
As a carbon unit, I required some food to sustain myself, so the longer update was delayed today. This story expands on the ethical boundaries of experimentation by raising questions about research being conducted on humans for wartime purposes, even in self-defense.

The 23rd episode of Star Trek's third season ITTL was called EXPERIMENTATION, and it aired on March 10, 1969. The Klingons have developed a new chemical called trihydrochloroethyl sulfide, a more lethal derivative of mustard gas, and have attacked Archanis III, a Federation colony along the Neutral Zone. Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew have to ward off the Klingon threat and their new chemical weapon. However, Spock and McCoy face ethical questions regarding the use of the blood of one survivor of the attack for a potential antidote.

Kirk: "Captain's log, stardate 5649.7. We have received a priority one distress call from Archanis III, a Federation colony bordering the Klingon neutral zone. Starfleet Command has authorized the Enterprise to investigate the disposition of the colony and determine the state of its citizens. We suspect a Klingon intervention occurred, but the type of incursion they conducted is uncertain."

Kirk: "Scan for life forms on the planet. Open hailing frequencies to the colony."
Uhura: "Hailing frequencies open. No response from the main command outpost, sir."
Kirk: "I want to know what happened at this colony. Spock, what was the population of the outpost?"
Spock: "Two hundred and sixty five, Captain. It was a sparsely populated research colony."
Kirk: "How many life signs on the planet?"
Spock: "One, very faint."
Kirk: "Everyone else in the outpost is dead?"
Spock: "Yes, Captain, it appears that is the case."
Kirk: "Mr. Sulu, how close are we to the Klingon Neutral Zone."
Sulu: "0.1 light years, sir. Literally a stone's throw away for the Klingons, if they attacked the colony."
Kirk: "Which is likely what happened, and it's also possible the Klingons are hiding out, waiting for us. Red alert. Spock, contact Dr. McCoy in sickbay. We will need his services on the planet. Mr. Sulu, take the conn. I think the Klingons did something monstrous here."
Spock: "Aye, Captain."
Sulu: "Aye, sir."

Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a landing party beam down to the outpost and find dead bodies littered everywhere. McCoy wonders, "Who could possibly have done this." He scans a dead person and says his famous line, "He's dead Jim." "And so are they." Kirk asks Spock to find the one person who is alive. They find an African-American male known as scientist Mark Thomas (played by Don Mitchell of Ironside fame) barely breathing. McCoy says, "Here he is, inches from death. I don't know how he survived." Kirk asks Spock to scan for the chemical that killed the rest of the outpost's inhabitants. Using his tricorder, Spock determines that the chemical is trihydrochloroethyl sulfide, in this universe, a deadlier derivative of mustard gas. Spock says, "A residue of it remains, although it dispersed quickly and there is little danger to us. I can take a sample of the residue." Kirk contacts Scotty and asks them to beam the landing party up, but Scotty says the transporter is not working effectively, so they can only beam up two at a time.

McCoy and the barely alive Thomas successfully beam aboard the Enterprise, but the Klingons beam down to the planet and engage in a fight with Kirk's landing party. The redshirts inevitably die, Spock does his nerve pinch on two Klingons, and Kirk takes out two more with his phaser. Kirk asks Scotty, "We've got a Klingon problem. Get that transporter working and beam us out of here!" Spock, Kirk and the one surviving redshirt are successfully beamed back aboard the Enterprise before they are overwhelmed.

Kirk and Spock return to the bridge. A Klingon battlecruiser appears straight ahead.

Kirk: "Commander Uhura, open ship to ship communications."
Uhura: "Aye, sir, A channel is open, Captain."
Kirk: "Klingon vessel, this is Captain Kirk of the Enterprise. Identify yourself and tell us what you did to our citizens on Archanis III."
Korax: "This is Klingon commander Korax. I say hello to the Denebian slime devil, Captain James Kirk."
Kirk: "What did you criminals do to Federation personnel on Archanis III? If you killed them, that is an act of war."
Korax: "We just wanted to test one of those chemicals that slime devil gave us, remember Captain Kirk."
Kirk: "So you murdered Federation scientists in cold blood, Korax. I should fire phasers right now and blow your ship out of existence."
Korax: "We can paralyze your ship too with our stasis beam, Captain Kirk. Don't try anything."
Kirk: "I want to know how you murdered our people, now."
Korax: "We will conquer the Federation and defeat your army with our new chemical weapon. There is no antidote known to Klingon technology and I suspect you will not find an antidote, either. Korax out."

Back in sickbay, McCoy returns Mr. Thomas to consciousness.

McCoy: "I need a sample of your blood to determine why you survived and the rest of the colonists died. I think there is something in your blood that caused you to survive."
Thomas: "I believe not, Doctor. I was furthest away from the gas attack and received a less potent dose of the gas. I was the only person outside the compound when we were attacked. I rushed back into the compound and saw most of the scientists dying. They told me to run for it and I tried, but fainted. I was lucky, maybe."
McCoy: "I don't think it's dumb luck that you survived."
Thomas: "There's nothing special in my blood that caused me to live and the others to die."
McCoy: "I need your blood. We don't know that unless I conduct tests."
Thomas: "I refuse to have my blood drawn for your experiment, Doctor."
McCoy: "As you wish, Doctor Thomas. McCoy to Kirk."
Kirk: "Kirk here."
McCoy: "Jim, I'm trying to find an antidote to this chemical the Klingons used on the colony, but Mr. Thomas is uncooperative. He will not allow me to take a sample of his blood."
Kirk: "Bones, meet me in the conference room, along with the rest of the senior officers."
McCoy: "Yes, sir. McCoy out."

Kirk convenes a meeting in the conference room.

Kirk: "So our patient is uncooperative. Bones, why do you suspect his blood prevented him from dying instead of the reason he gave you?"
McCoy: "I see no possible way that he could have survived otherwise."
Spock: "A person's blood is not the only reason an individual can survive a gas attack. It is possible that his nervous system was less affected by the gas exposure. Mustard gas and its derivatives also attack the nervous system."
McCoy: "But they are also carried in the blood and paralyze the victim completely."
Spock: "Of that I am well aware. But I believe Mr. Thomas' story is correct. There is no reason for him to deceive us."
Uhura: "I have an explanation for why Mr. Thomas does not want his blood used for experimentation, Captain."
Kirk: "I'd like to hear this out, Commander."
Uhura: "Mr. Thomas is well aware of the experiments performed on 20th century Earth on African-Americans at the time, of which he is a descendant."
Sulu: "I remember. Similar barbaric experiments were conducted in Asia as well, during the same time period."
Kirk: "But those events occurred at least 300 years ago. The Federation does not conduct experiments on the basis of race, Commander. We have outgrown those primitive proclivities."
Uhura: "Perhaps his ancestors were victims of those experiments, and we must respect his wishes, sir."
McCoy: "But we need to conduct tests on him for a possible antidote, Uhura."
Uhura: "And if he doesn't want you to conduct those tests, then what? You know you can't experiment on people who refuse to be experimented on. It's unethical."
McCoy: "I guess you're right. But how will we find this antidote? The Klingons have a barbaric chemical weapon that they can use with impunity. We would have no defense."
Kirk: "So we'll have to find one, without using anybody's blood. Spock, any ideas."
Spock: "The compound the Klingons devised can be chemically combined with another compound, cordrazine. It's a stimulant Dr. McCoy accidentally used on himself on the Guardian of Forever mission."
Kirk: "What would be the possible effects of this combination?"
Spock: "It is possible that cordrazine would reduce the effects of the trihydrochloroethyl sulfide. It is the strongest neural stimulant known to Federation science, and acts to shock a human's nervous system."
Kirk: "But we don't know that unless we try it on someone. So who's willing to be the test subject."
McCoy: "Since nobody else wants to take part in the experiment, I guess I'll donate my body to science, Jim, like they did in the bad old days."
Kirk: "You're too valuable to the crew as my chief medical officer, Bones. I cannot allow it."
McCoy: "Someone has to be the guinea pig, Jim."
Kirk: "I guess you're right, Bones."
McCoy: "It'll be my responsibility, Jim."

As McCoy prepares to experiment on himself, he enlists Thomas and Nurse Chapel to assist him. They produce a small sample of the mustard gas derivative, and Chapel hyposprays McCoy with it. McCoy is knocked unconscious. As they are about to administer the cordrazine, the Klingon battlecruiser attacks the Enterprise. McCoy lays on the sickbay bed dying as the Enterprise dukes it out with the Klingons. A dramatic scene ensues as Chapel is knocked out in the battle, so Thomas administers the cordrazine to McCoy. Instead of returning McCoy to normal, he becomes hyperactive and runs out of sickbay like a lunatic. The Enterprise fights off the Klingon ship and forces them to retreat. McCoy runs on the bridge, wildly screaming, and Spock nerve pinches him.

Kirk: "Did they administer too much of the cordrazine to Dr. McCoy?"
Spock: "Perhaps. The cordrazine definitely had the effect of neutralizing the mustard gas derivative, Captain."
Kirk: "But at what cost, Spock? My chief medical officer could be seriously impaired for a good long while."
Spock: "I guess we'll have to find another solution, Captain."

McCoy eventually returns to his feet, groggy. "So did it work, Jim?" Kirk replies, "I think the cordrazine worked too well, Bones. I thought for a second you were going to change the future again."

At the end of the episode, McCoy, Thomas and Uhura are in sickbay, where McCoy is conducting Uhura's physical. When McCoy determines that Uhura is fine, Thomas says to McCoy, "You know why I didn't want you to take my blood, right? It's because that's what they used to do to my people in the past. I felt there had to be another way to solve the problem. I went into a scientific career to make us more ethical, not less." Realizing his previous conversation, McCoy nods in approval. Uhura ends the episode with the following lines: "But the experiment on McCoy didn't really work either. That's the way of scientific experimentation, I guess."


This episode was crucial in ending the barbaric Tuskegee syphilis experiment. We went into very controversial territory here and ticked off some people in the government, who were hollering at NBC to take us off the air. However, Nichelle was aware of what was going on and pitched a story idea that broached upon this. We made it into a script and it broke a serious scandal that got national attention. So Star Trek got credit for making the world a better place in real life.

Gene Roddenberry:

Nichelle talked to me and D.C. Fontana about the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and what they did to African-American males in the South for over 30 years. I told Nichelle, "I was never even aware of this. I knew that African-Americans were treated badly in the South, but I didn't know they were treated this badly." So we created the allegory in the future about a black scientist who didn't trust McCoy, a white Southern doctor, with his blood because his ancestors were experimented upon due to the basis of race. We got a lot of angry reaction from the new Nixon administration, that's for sure. We blew up one of their secrets.


I told Gene and Dorothy that I knew a family friend who was involved in a syphilis experiment in Alabama. I knew it was unethical, but even I did not know the extent of the horror, because they kept it secret. It was a huge scandal when it came out, that's for sure. I think President Nixon wanted to put us on an enemies list. He ran on the Southern Strategy in 1968 and won, and was a very secretive president, and this caused him great humiliation very early on in his administration. Because he wanted to protect his public image, Nixon ordered the syphilis experiment on African-Americans ended. I got all kinds of fan mail from this episode, not all of it positive either from Southern white men. I was afraid and wanted to leave the show because I felt like I stepped too far. I took command of the Enterprise, kissed Captain Kirk and blew up the Nixon administration's spot all in one year. But John Lewis talked to me over the phone and told me to remember the words of Dr. King, that I couldn't leave the show. And I stayed, and we made more stories.


When Nichelle told me about what our government did to black men in Alabama, I was shocked. I recognized some of my own biases that I grew up with as a good old Southern boy from Georgia. This episode made me a better man, and I was proud to be a part of it. And I got very upset with the government, because they were capable of savage things. Even the United States, the good guys, did bad things behind the scenes.
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Chapter 17: End of Season 3 New
Last update for the day, and it'll be a short one. This encompasses the final two episodes of the third season, making a total of 25. Robert Justman ITTL falls one episode short of the 26 episodes from season 2 because he runs out of money Paramount budgeted to him. As a result, NBC televises THE MENAGERIE, Parts I and II, as reruns on March 31, 1969 and April 7, 1969, and find that the first season two-parter beat The Mod Squad's season finale, humiliating ABC and causing them to move it out of the Monday 8 PM time slot for the 1969-1970 television season.

Episode 24: THE CLOUD MINDERS, written by David Gerrold, Oliver Crawford and Margaret Armen. Directed by Jud Taylor. Air date: March 17, 1969. Story unchanged from OTL. Nielsen rating: 2nd to Gunsmoke.
Episode 25: ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Season Finale), written by Jean Lisette Aroeste, directed by Marvin Chomsky. Air date: March 24, 1969. Story unchanged from OTL. Nielsen rating: 1st in time slot.
Then NBC airs reruns of the Menagerie, Parts 1 and 2. NBC finds that The Menagerie wins its time slot on March 31 as a rerun and finishes 2nd in its time slot on April 7, convincing the network to run all the previous reruns of Star Trek on heavy rotation in the late spring and summer. This will have butterflies for future seasons 4 and 5, causing Paramount to raise the budget for the series.

The updates tomorrow will be a series of newspaper and magazine articles that go through the butterflies that occurred in Season 3. William Shatner will be upset that Nichelle Nichols got to pitch a story that got put on television before him because he is the star of the show and Nichols is a co-star. Plus, Leonard Nimoy begins to tire of playing the Spock character, Justman is told to stay within budget or get fired, and President Nixon attempts to kill off Star Trek by placing Gene Roddenberry and the cast on his enemies list.
Chapter 18: A Series of Butterflies New
Some of the butterflies that result from season 3:


VARIETY MAGAZINE, April 14, 1969

No letter writing campaign was required this year. Star Trek is going where no man has gone before in science fiction.

The largely intelligent (Spock's Brain excepted) TV series will be brought back for a fourth season, according to NBC executive Mort Werner, the Peacock Network's head of programming, Douglas Cramer, executive producer at Paramount, Gene Roddenberry, and Robert Justman, the series showrunner. NBC and Paramount signed off on a 15% increase in the budget for season four due to the excellent ratings the show produced in season three. The audience was captivated by the Enterprise battling the evil Romulans, Lieutenant Uhura taking command of the Enterprise for an episode and gaining a promotion, the Vietnam allegory Day of the Dove, the bizarre Tholian Web, and Klingon stories involving the nature of scientific experimentation. "We even beat Gunsmoke a few times in the ratings," Werner said. "That hardly ever happened before, and you can only take on Gunsmoke with a program of the highest quality. I had my doubts with Star Trek from the beginning and took a risk on them putting them on Monday primetime, but they definitely delivered." Cramer, who came into his Paramount role initially with orders to kill Star Trek after acquiring the property from Desilu, did an about face. "Even though Justman missed our target of 26 episodes by one, the 25 we delivered were of high quality, produced strong ratings, and gave us the justification to increase the budget. Star Trek is becoming one of the crown jewels of the Paramount entertainment empire." Roddenberry was delighted that his creation became a pop culture hit. "I proved that intelligent science fiction could be done and mass marketed to the American public." Justman, although also pleased with Star Trek's renewal, was a little more circumspect. "We have to keep the momentum up. Now is when it gets difficult. We are at the top of the mountain and people in both the entertainment industry and other circles want to knock us off our perch. I credit DC (Fontana) for a large part of our success in the third season, and I'm bringing her back for season four, if she wants to continue with the project."


Los Angeles Times (Entertainment section), April 21, 1969

Although William Shatner, the famous Captain Kirk of Star Trek, is pleased with the show's increased popularity, he has a couple of complaints. Shatner, through his agent, is reportedly upset that Nichelle Nichols, who plays Lieutenant Commander Uhura, got to sell a show idea to D.C. Fontana, the show's producer and creative control lead. Shatner wants to direct at least one episode next season and even wrote a script for Gene Roddenberry to review for potential production in the 4th season. Shatner believes that it is unfair that a supporting star in Nichols received what he considers "carte blanche" treatment from Fontana and wants the show consistently directed at his Kirk character on a weekly basis, which was generally how the show was written when Roddenberry had full control of the series before stepping back into an advisor role. "Bill reportedly wants some creative control in his own right, because he is the lead star of the show," said Douglas Cramer, executive producer at Paramount. "He's had to share star billing with Leonard and Dee Kelley, and he fears that Nichelle could also be elevated into a lead, reducing his star power."

Robert Justman, upon hearing the news of Shatner's dissatisfaction, will try to mend the fences. "Bill all of a sudden doesn't think Nichelle is a good kisser?" Justman said, referring to the interracial kiss between Shatner and Nichols in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren." "If Bill develops a really good story idea, we can film it and I'll even let him try his hand at directing if he wants. I'm not sure how good he'll be at it. That's my question. Bill is a jolly soul most of the time, but sometimes he grates a little on his co-workers."


Boston Globe (Entertainment Section, Sunday edition), April 27, 1969

Despite the fact that Leonard Nimoy has achieved international fame by playing the logical Vulcan Spock on Star Trek, he is considering moving on to other roles. "Leonard is making good money for the first time as an actor, extremely good money, and supporting me and Adam well, but he is thinking about taking a step back. He fears being typecast," says Sandra Nimoy, Leonard's wife, who agreed to be interviewed for this article. "Leonard likes Mission Impossible, and wants to work on a few episodes in that series to make people think that he's not Spock all day, all the time, wearing those pointy ears and constantly getting called Spock on the street."

For those who do not follow the series (that is if you live under a rock), Star Trek was supposed to be led by William Shatner, who plays Captain Kirk. Leonard Nimoy's Spock character and DeForest Kelley's Doctor McCoy character are supposed to be Shatner's co-stars. However, Nimoy's character became unexpectedly popular, and his fan mail exceeded Shatner's in the first season, causing an unexpected imbalance in the professional relationship between the two stars. Leonard's agent reports that at times, Nimoy has difficulty separating himself personally from the character, and it is causing unhealthy work-life balance, plus a change in attitude towards his wife. For the time being though, Nimoy will continue to play that logical Vulcan science officer. "The money is the bottom line, and Leonard is finally making it in the entertainment business," Sandra Nimoy said. "Leonard doesn't want to go back to driving taxicabs in Los Angeles, trying to make a living that way."


Atlanta Journal Constitution, April 29, 1969

Reports emerged out of Alabama in the past two weeks that a US government program, based in Tuskegee, conducted phony experimentation on African-American males to determine the course of untreated syphilis in that population. The scandal was revealed after a Star Trek episode, Experimentation, discussed the possibility of African-Americans being subject to biological experimentation. It was discovered that African-American males were given placebo treatment for syphilis from 1932 to the present, even after penicillin was proven to largely limit the disease in 1947. Therefore, placebo treatment continued on African-Americans with syphilis for more than two decades after treatment was readily available for the sexually transmitted bacterial infection.

When President Nixon heard of the reports, he decided to shut down the program. Nixon feared that the scandal would embroil his new administration, which already has to deal with the continuing war in Vietnam and a slowing economy. "President Nixon believes that experimentation of this nature is unethical, and he steadfastly believes African-Americans are allowed to improve their general standing in life," said H.R. Haldeman, Nixon's chief of staff. "Previous Democratic administrations ignored the CDC study in Alabama, but we did not, and we decided to put an end to it," Haldeman said. "We believe the Nixon administration should receive credit in the African-American community for this decision, and that President Nixon has the best interests of all Americans in mind, regardless of creed."


Washington Post, May 5, 1969

President Richard M. Nixon, after a stressful first hundred days in office, unwound a little bit to discuss some of his favorite television and entertainment choices with the Post. Nixon is a huge fan of the series Gunsmoke, and loves Westerns in general. "I'm a Western boy at heart," said the President, "and I always love a good shootout at the O.K. Corral. I watch Gunsmoke every week on Mondays and consider James Arness a personal friend, back from the days when I was Vice-President under Eisenhower," Nixon said. "I wholeheartedly endorse Gunsmoke for every red-blooded American man. It is the essence of Americana."

When asked about Star Trek, Nixon was definitely not a fan. "I think Gene Roddenberry is a little subversive," President Nixon said. "He undermines the spirit of America by writing stories that appear to question our place in Vietnam, undermine race relations, and promote general disorder. I do like Bill Shatner though. He is a cowboy at heart, just in space. I just think the rest of that show is unwatchable schlock. I especially don't like Mr. Spock. He looks and acts demonic at times."
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Just a real life update: I just got my first COVID vaccine shot, so yay for that! I will try to complete most of the rest of the timeline to 1971 in the next two weeks, but after that, the updates will be less frequent because I'll be commuting back to a regular workplace and no longer working from home. So after the next couple of weeks, where updates will be daily, I might only update the timeline once or twice a week as time permits.
Impressive, but this makes me wonder: What happens to the animated series? And I am interested in what happens to The Motion Picture a few years down the road...
Impressive, but this makes me wonder: What happens to the animated series? And I am interested in what happens to The Motion Picture a few years down the road...
Bitterness and rancor between Shatner and his co-stars prevents the Animated Series from being made, since it was made IRL in 1973. After 5 years, the rest of the cast will be sick of Shatner and it will take a long time for them to reconcile with him. There is far more dislike for the Shat ITTL than IRL, especially among Doohan, Takei, Koenig and Nichols, because he goes public complaining about all of them at some point.

--Shatner lands the Six Million Dollar man role instead of Lee Majors, and stars on another TV show until 1978.

--Nimoy goes into Mission Impossible IRL and extends that series' life (it ends in 1971 IRL, but Nimoy's popularity gives the show two more years until 1973), plus he becomes the most popular person at the conventions. He still makes In Search Of, like he did IRL. He avoids some of the Spock typecasting with his work on M.I.

--Dee Kelley tries to go back to making Westerns but the genre's popularity begins to fade and he runs into trouble finding work, but eventually lands a recurring role on Columbo as a cantankerous detective working alongside Peter Falk's titular character.

--James Doohan is typecast and also has trouble finding roles, but his tremendous utility with accents allows him to work on Saturday morning cartoons.

--George Takei goes into politics and wins a seat on the Los Angeles City Council. IRL he runs for that same position and loses, but he is more popular ITTL and starts a real political career. He also tries to run for Congress, but falls short and decides to come back into show business.

--Walter Koenig can't eke out a living ITTL in show business and runs into financial trouble, so the conventions prop up his struggling income. He writes scripts for various series, but is very reluctant to reprising his Chekov character despite his financial issues.

--Nichelle Nichols earns a role in SHAFT ITTL from her connections with John D.F. Black, who she knew as an associate producer from TOS. However, she realizes earlier that the blaxploitation genre is not for her and does not make Truck Turner like she does IRL. Nichols goes back to Broadway and plays a minor role in Grease and earns the role of Velma Kelly in Chicago in 1975 before she leaves and recruits minorities for NASA as she did IRL.

--Gene Roddenberry tries to revive the Star Trek TV series as Phase II, but it never gets off the ground because none of the cast wants to work with Shatner, plus Shatner does not want to leave Six Million Dollar Man.
--Dee Kelley tries to go back to making Westerns but the genre's popularity begins to fade and he runs into trouble finding work, but eventually lands a recurring role on Columbo as a cantankerous detective working alongside Peter Falk's titular character.
Okay, now I'd like to see the script treatments of this timeline's Columbo.

Meanwhile in the farther future, what happens to TNG? And it'll probably be a shame that we might not get Wrath of Khan... unless say it, Search for Spock, and Voyage Home become the overarching plot line for Season 5? And maybe The Undiscovered Country as the big, two-hour series finale? (Honestly though, I wonder if the budget can support such an epic after the Romulan saga.)

PS. And just for the heck of it, I wonder if a better-written Final Frontier (probably a two-parter, at most) can make it - if for completeness' sake.
Okay, now I'd like to see the script treatments of this timeline's Columbo.

Meanwhile in the farther future, what happens to TNG? And it'll probably be a shame that we might not get Wrath of Khan... unless say it, Search for Spock, and Voyage Home become the overarching plot line for Season 5? And maybe The Undiscovered Country as the big, two-hour series finale? (Honestly though, I wonder if the budget can support such an epic after the Romulan saga.)

PS. And just for the heck of it, I wonder if a better-written Final Frontier (probably a two-parter, at most) can make it - if for completeness' sake.
I'd have to rewatch Columbo because I haven't seen it in ages. I still remember some of the show vaguely because my father is a HUGE Columbo fan and still watches the reruns. Always felt that Kelley playing a 20th century version of his grumpy McCoy character on that show would have been a perfect foil to Peter Falk's charming, cheerful lead. Don't think I'll write any Columbo scripts but I might include a few Dee Kelley-Peter Falk convos.

The movies are made but there is a LOT of wrangling between Shatner and the rest of the cast over lines, roles, screen time, etc. The one stipulation the rest of the cast makes is that there is no way can Shatner direct any of the films, because his directorial efforts ITTL will be disastrous. This also means that Shatner will not direct Star Trek V.

The movies will also not be part of a season 5. I will have to write some cheesy, original source material for a season 5 because the quality of the show will drop off quite a bit from seasons 3 and 4. Either ST:V won't be made, or I'll turn the novel Spock's World into canon with some alterations because I have cast T'Pring as a recurring villain ITTL who becomes a fan favorite. IRL Spock's World was written in 1988 so all I have to do is move the writing of the novel up a year ITTL, create huge fan demand for its production, and boom: that becomes TTL's ST:V.

TNG is made ITTL about the same as it is IRL, but the 2nd season becomes the first season. So Dr. Pulaski is part of the original cast, as Diana Muldaur had roles in TOS IRL, and Gates McFadden refuses to work at all with Maurice Hurley ITTL. Muldaur leaves after one season and we get Gates McFadden once Hurley leaves the show. TNG only lasts for 6 seasons ITTL because I remove TTL's season 1 which was horrible. So one of the major butterflies is that Riker always has a beard and Wesley doesn't appear for the first season of this TNG...
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Chapter 19: Roddenberry Hates Nixon New
This update won't be long, but it is a very important one ITTL because it sets up Nixon-era Trek and establishes Gene Roddenberry's vendetta against Nixon. Roddenberry believes that Nixon places him on an enemies list for being a subversive.


Los Angeles Times, May 15, 1969

The Los Angeles Police Department reported a break-in and burglary at Gene Roddenberry's house near Culver City. The house was thrown into a mess, and the culprits are unknown and still at large. Roddenberry and his girlfriend, actress Majel Barrett, were reportedly at a production meeting planning Star Trek's fourth season. They were unharmed, but found their home trashed and turned over. Roddenberry and Barrett are seeking out the LAPD for leads into the case.

For any tips, contact the Los Angeles Police Department at one of their numerous precinct offices.


National Enquirer, May 22, 1969

Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, points the finger of blame for his burglarized house at one man: President Richard M. Nixon. In a surreptitious tape recording acquired exclusively by our magazine, Roddenberry and fellow Star Trek actress Majel Barrett were in an argument about the break-in. The following is an excerpt of the recording:

Barrett: It was probably some street kids who broke into the house, Gene.
Roddenberry: No, street kids don't burglarize a house the way these guys did. They were professionals.
Barrett: We'll fix up the house and call the LAPD, Gene. You still have connections there, I think.
Roddenberry: I'm glad you mentioned the LAPD, because this is how a law enforcement agency enters the house of a potential criminal suspect. This is not the act of some street kid.
Barrett: Who on earth thinks we're criminals!
Roddenberry: Maybe Eileen ([Roddenberry's estranged wife at the time] hired some private detectives to make our lives a living hell, Majel. There's bad blood between me and Eileen because I love you, Majel.
Barrett: I don't think so. Eileen doesn't have the financial means to hire rogue detectives to pull this off, Gene.
Roddenberry: The LAPD wouldn't do it either, because I have buddies all throughout the department, and used to write good publicity for them when I was in the force. We're on very good terms.
Barrett: Who could have done it, Gene?
Roddenberry: The FBI.
Barrett: The FBI? No way, you're crazy.
Roddenberry: Nixon hates my guts because my show became really popular, and we write stories that criticize his brand of politics on a weekly basis. Nixon has an enemies list, and I'm near the top.
Barrett: That can't be, Gene. Don't go off the deep end.
Roddenberry: Nixon got that [homophobic expletive] J. Edgar Hoover to send his Gestapo goons to break into our house. They hate Star Trek and its popularity and want the country to conform to their standards. Part of that is removing what they think is subversive material off the air."
Barrett: There's no way President Nixon is that worried about you, Gene.
Roddenberry: Are you sure about that (tape ends).


BROADCASTING, May 25, 1969

The Nixon Administration's Federal Communications Commission is reportedly upset with NBC over some of the content aired on their hit television series Star Trek. The FCC complained that on several episodes, women displayed too much skin and were dressed in scantily-clad outfits that made the series unfit for viewing among children. The FCC also complained about some of the script writing, including the interracial kiss between William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren," depictions of torture and gratuitous violence in the episode "The Empath," and the depictions of scientific experimentation in the episodes "The Two Potions" and "Experimentation." The commission was also displeased with the idea of female characters fighting each other, which occurred in the episode "The Y Virus." It is believed that Star Trek will attempt to clean up its act because NBC will pressure them to, but its rebellious creator, Gene Roddenberry, and the production staff appear to be having none of it.


I knew from the start that it was Nixon and his FBI thugs that ransacked my house. We eventually found out in his secret tapes which came out after his administration ended in disgrace, that I was on his enemies list. In the early 80s, an old LAPD buddy of mine finally told me that he knew one of the FBI goons who conducted the break-in. They talked about it on a boat and drinks in the Florida Keys, and I found out soon after.


I couldn't believe it all these years later that Gene was right. I always thought it was a street kid that did it, but Gene knew better from his experience as a cop. I couldn't believe that Nixon would target little old us, creating a television show. Whatever got Nixon so angry that he wanted to take it out on us, I'll never know.


Gene changed a lot after that. He was a lot more guarded and suspicious of people, and I felt that was his general mode of behavior to begin with. On a lighter note, I wonder what homophobic slur Gene used when he found out J. Edgar turned his house over. I fully agreed with Gene on the way J.Edgar Hoover behaved towards him, but Gene always made me uncomfortable with those. He was a progressive, but in his anger, the old nasty language always came out.
And now I wonder what'll happen around Watergate.
Roddenberry immediately begins hollering that Nixon did it just like he did it to his house, but no substantial changes occur to Watergate ITTL. However, in the next update, Roddenberry wants control of his baby back as he is becoming a bit paranoid, and friction develops between him and Justman over creative control of the series.
Chapter 20: Here Comes Cary Grant New
Updates for today:


VARIETY, June 1, 1969

As Star Trek enters shooting for a fourth season, Gene Roddenberry is clashing heads with Robert Justman, the show runner, over certain creative aspects of the series. Roddenberry wants to introduce a President Nixon-style character into the series, which Justman opposes, as he feels the show is politically oriented enough with its allegory and should not become ham-handed. Roddenberry apparently won the argument, and the first episode of the fourth season is rumored to center around a Nixon-style character in the future deciding on the fate between the Federation and their Romulan enemies. Roddenberry, in a coup, has brought Cary Grant, the legendary Hollywood superstar, out of retirement to play the Nixon-style character for at least three episodes. Douglas S. Cramer, Paramount executive, was concerned that Grant's salary demands would blow up the budget, but Grant promised to not take a higher salary than William Shatner for his appearances, so the marriage was made and Grant will join the Star Trek cast, at least for a few brief appearances.

Justman prefers bringing back Roger C. Carmel, the Harry Mudd actor, as a recurring villain. Carmel has reportedly made his schedule a little more welcoming to the Star Trek production crew after appearing on the game show Hollywood Squares and performing voice work for Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. Carmel told Justman he only has two availabilities to work with the Star Trek cast in season four, because he has been cast in the movies Skullduggery and Myra Breckenridge, the Gore Vidal book adaptation. Carmel always wanted to reprise Mudd, but he was unavailable for Star Trek's third season, having worked on It Takes a Thief and The Mothers In Law, earning increased publicity as Roger Buell, the funny television writer. Carmel enthusiastically hammed it up with Shatner and the rest of the cast in shooting for the fourth season, according to reports from the set.


It was one of the crowning achievements of my career in Hollywood to get Cary Grant, and later Milton Berle, to appear on Star Trek. Cary Grant was above our pay grade, and I never thought we had a chance to cast him. However, Cramer increased our budget and I thought, why not shoot for the moon and get a superstar to appear on the show? He retired in 1966 and wanted to focus on taking care of his daughter, but the itch for acting returned for him a little. Grant did not want to dive back into Hollywood full time, so I had Mort Werner at NBC call him to see if he was interested in playing a role on our show. To our surprise, Grant was a fan of the show, but taking care of his daughter meant that he could only make three appearances in the fourth season. He played our Nixon character as well as Nixon played himself in real life; cold, calculating and paranoid. Nobody could pull off a role like Cary in the old days and he brought more magic to the series.


I opposed the idea of a Nixon character on the show but when Gene said he could get Cary Grant to appear on Star Trek, how could I refuse? The problems that resulted from that were apparent. Although Cary was a legend, he wanted his own dressing room, his own makeup, and would not appear in the traditional Star Trek uniforms, so he was almost playing his own role above the rest of the cast. Plus, Cary cost a lot of money, even though he was willing to take pay similar to Shatner for his guest appearances. He got paid more per line I think than anyone in the history of the show. I advocated for bringing Roger C. Carmel back because Mudd was a very popular villain and we had at least 2, 3 different story ideas with Mudd that were made into scripts earlier in the show's production but weren't placed into production. Carmel was so hammy with the rest of the cast. He was a joy to work with, and everyone on the main cast loved the guy. Grant was a little aloof at times, but opened up to Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy a bit. I don't think he talked to the supporting cast once during any of his shoots, except to tell Nichelle, "You're a good kisser."
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Chapter 21: Justman's Budget Woes New

BROADCASTING, June 15, 1969

Star Trek show runner Robert Justman is reportedly having trouble with the budget for yet another season. After a highly successful third season where ratings improved to challenge Gunsmoke, Gene Roddenberry demanded more star power on the show, and he got it. He miraculously pulled Cary Grant out of retirement which was thought impossible, and cast Milton Berle for an episode. Although Grant is reportedly working the show just to get the feel for acting again, Berle is a huge Star Trek fan and always wanted to make a guest appearance, so Roddenberry's task for getting the famous comedian on the show was far easier. To top it off, NBC was able to pull Ann-Margret out of the movies to become a guest star at the suggestion of William Shatner, who wanted to work with a leading lady at least once in the fourth season.

Justman's problem is twofold. He was almost fired by Paramount executive Douglas Cramer for running over budget last season and ending up an episode short of the full 26 show complement for season three. Now, he faces the cross-currents of Roddenberry placing demands on the budget with superstars appearing in guest roles. When asked for comment, Justman said, "What else is new? I always managed the budget somehow in the first three seasons, and I'll pull it off in season four." What Justman is underestimating, potentially, is the salary demands superstars making one-time appearances will place on the show, which is still on a relatively limited budget, even with the 15% increase from last season.


Los Angeles Times (letters to the editor), June 15, 1969

Gene Roddenberry acquiring Cary Grant's services for Star Trek is one of the greatest coups in Hollywood history. The fact that Cary Grant would appear on Star Trek is astonishing in itself, but I wonder, how is it going to work? He's a leading man, and Shatner is a leading man. Will there be an episode where the leading men clash over a woman? If so, Shatner's definitely got the short end of that stick, because nobody is more of a ladies' man than Cary Grant, that's for sure.


Gene mismanaged the budget and made it virtually impossible for me. This eventually forced Doug Cramer's hand, and I had no more lives, like the famous cat, so to speak. He got his star power, the ratings remained high, but it changed the show's character. We liked the show to revolve around Bill, Leonard, and Dee Kelley, with an occasional show for Jimmy, George, Walter and Nichelle to show off their acting chops. We were still able to pull that part of the series off, but I was eventually called into that Paramount office one last time and Cramer told me, "We need a different show runner. You can't manage the budget, and we're putting Gene and Fred (Freiberger) back in charge."
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So the fire Justman from Trek because he cannot valence the budget and put Roddenbury back in charge who was the reason Justman cannot valence the budget?

Rest of Season 4 will be a train wreck to say nothing of Season 5. Roddenbury’s reputation will slide badly, esp since Shatner’s ego is got to be growing proportionally to the shows success and being on the same billing as Cary Grant!
How likely is the Cary Grant casting, he had quit acting in 1966, and regularly said he had no interest in returning to acting.
ITTL he gets the itch for acting back, but doesn't want to devote himself fully into huge movie projects because he's taking care of his daughter. So he considers taking smaller TV roles and just happens to like a role where he gets to be the President, this time of the United Federation of Planets. He still gets to play as his persona a bit in the episodes. His fame is cemented and there's really nothing he can do that will hurt his image, so why not upstage one of America's rising TV shows with his presence? Plus he tries to teach Shatner a little bit about being a ladies' man, because he'll find that Bill is a little crude. ITTL Star Trek becomes more popular in Great Britain because Grant appears than IRL, and Star Trek begins to be broadcast on the BBC at about this time as well.

So the fire Justman from Trek because he cannot valence the budget and put Roddenbury back in charge who was the reason Justman cannot valence the budget?

Rest of Season 4 will be a train wreck to say nothing of Season 5. Roddenbury’s reputation will slide badly, esp since Shatner’s ego is got to be growing proportionally to the shows success and being on the same billing as Cary Grant!
Yup, Roddenberry pins the budget problems on Justman when he is the reason for the budget spiraling out of control as a power play for getting his show back. ITTL Gene sits back for season 3, letting Justman and Fontana run things, while he smooches up Majel Barrett a bit. Roddenberry is more paranoid at this point and decides he wants control over everything again. As for Shatner's ego, he looked up to Cary Grant IRL so to get to share a stage with THE Cary Grant? His ego will become the size of Jupiter. Season 4 doesn't start out as a train wreck (it's actually very good for the first half), but it turns into a train wreck because Cramer decides he wants to pinch pennies. Cramer isn't a Star Trek fan IRL and isn't really one ITTL, but he just puts up with it as long as the budget is reasonable and the show gets good ratings (which it still does).

Edit: David Gerrold comes in to save the day for Season 4.
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