Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

Star Trek is… was the first draft proposal for Star Trek: The Original Series that Gene Roddenberry created on 11 March 1964 as a television series pitch. After being turned down by executives of other production studios, it was in early April 1964 presented to Desilu executives Oscar Katz and Herb Solow, who picked up the proposition on behalf of their employer. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp. 13-23) It ultimately led to the production of the first pilot "The Cage". According to the draft, Star Trek is…

"A one-hour dramatic television series.
Action-Adventure-Science Fiction.
The first such concept with strong
central lead characters plus other
continuing regulars."

The draft included the famous faux-Drake equation. It also described "Star Trek" as a " 'Wagon Train' concept," referring to the long-running western television series Wagon Train. This reference was recrafted by a writing pal from Roddenberry's early TV days, Samuel A. Peeples, who saw the draft proposal at a private dinner and coined the immortal phrase "Wagon Train to the Stars." Soon after, Roddenberry began pitching to production studios, and eventually appropriated Peebles' phrase as his own. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, 1st ed, p. 23)

Incidentally, the draft proposal turned out to be both the template as well as the first draft of the internal production document The Star Trek Guide, famed in Star Trek-lore under its denominator "The Writer's Bible". After the second pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was ordered by NBC, Roddenberry set to work compiling a heavily revised and expanded second draft which incorporated all the changes between the first and second pilot. It was the third draft of 17 April 1967, reflecting the changes between the second pilot and the first season of the regular series and compiled with the input of D.C. Fontana, which, unlike the second draft, was the one that was distributed in production circles at the start of second season, and which was the one that became ever known as "The Writer's Bible". (The Making of Star Trek)

The setting[]

The transportation was the SS Yorktown (later renamed the USS Enterprise). The SS Yorktown was described as a "cruiser class" with a 190,000 ton gross. It had a crew complement of 203, and used space-warp drive ("maximum velocity .73 of one light year per hour"). It had a range of 18 years and was registered as a United Space Ship with Earth. The date was stated to be sometime in the future, possibly between 1995 and 2995. One of the key concepts of the show would be the "parallel worlds" concept. This stated that most of the planets would have a similar physical and social evolution to Earth. This concept was used in The Original Series as Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development. Because of the "parallel worlds" concept, they would be able to use existing studio sets, props, and costumes.

The characters[]

Many of the characters were used by TOS and "The Cage":

Robert April, young

Robert April eventually appeared on Star Trek: The Animated Series

Robert M. April
The 34-year-old "skipper" of the SS Yorktown. He was described as "a space-age Captain Horatio Hornblower." He was headstrong and believed in taking risks himself. However, unlike other great explorers he had great compassion for all, alien and Human alike. He evolved into Christopher Pike by the time of the first pilot, "The Cage". James T. Kirk was also described as being a "Hornblower-type" personality. Star Trek: The Animated Series and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds would revisit April as Pike's predecessor in the role of captain of the Enterprise.
Number One
The mysterious female executive officer, she was described as a slim, dark "in a Nile Valley way" and of uncertain age. She was expressionless, highly intelligent, and always cool under pressure. When Captain April left the ship, she would serve as "Acting Commander." The role was written by Roddenberry for his mistress, Majel Barrett from the very start. She appeared in the first pilot, but her mannerisms were assumed by Spock in the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The moniker "Number One" was later used for Commander Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
José Ortegas
The South American navigator. He was tall, handsome, about twenty five years old and maturing. Famous for his Latin temperament, he has trouble with the navigation equipment, and believes that life itself is in a conspiracy to make his life difficult. He also tries and mostly fails to keep up the historical repute of Latin men as "lovers." His character was adapted, loosely, into José Tyler in the first pilot. The surname Ortegas would be revisited in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds for the character Erica Ortegas, who similarly serves as helmsman on Pike's Enterprise.
Phillip Boyce
The 51-year old ship's doctor, "Bones" Boyce is described as the only "realist" aboard the Yorktown. He's known for cynicism and worldliness. He is more annoyed than excited by the crew's adventures. His character was directly adapted into the first pilot, and indirectly adapted into Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in the series.
Mr. Spock
The alien "Mr. Spock" is the Yorktown's first lieutenant. He is the "working-level" commander in charge of overseeing and supervising the crewmen. His appearance is described as potentially frightening, with a heavy-lidded and somewhat "satanic" face, with a reddish hue and pointed ears. He might have been half-Martian. Despite his look, he had a quiet temperament. His only weakness would be his extreme curiosity to all things he considers "alien." His personality was combined with that of Number One in the second pilot and the series.
Yeoman Colt
The captain's yeoman, she was a blonde with a very womanly body shape. She wasn't dumb, but she was "disturbingly female" (or, as the Talosian Keeper put it, as possessing "unusually strong female drives"). She appeared in the first pilot, and was adapted into Yeoman Rand for the series.

Captain's orders[]

Captain Robert M. April was assigned to the SS Yorktown, Cruiser-class, for a five-year mission of galactic exploration and class M investigation. He was to patrol the "ninth quadrant" which began at Alpha Centauri and extended to the "Pinial Galaxy Limit." The reasons for the patrol given were Earth security, scientific investigation, and assistance or aid to Earth colonies.


Landings could be done using a small "recon rocket vehicle," and the audience would view them through "telescreens." A "telecommunicator" device would be used for communication between alien species and Humans. The cruiser would be armed with laser beams. The crew would be armed with special rifles and pistols that shot simple bullets, explosive projectiles, or hypodermic pellets which stun or tranquilize.

The episodes[]

Many of the episodes evolved into the episodes used by TOS and later series:

"The Next Cage"
Captain April is caged like an animal, and offered a mate. This was adapted into "The Cage".
"The Day Charlie Became God"
A normal man accidentally gains infinite powers. It was adapted into "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "Charlie X".
"President Capone"
A "parallel world" set on a Chicago where Al Capone won the presidency. This outline was the basis of "A Piece of the Action", and went through several versions (including George Clayton Johnson's treatment, "Chicago II") before the actual episode was developed. [1]
"To Skin a Tyrannosaurus"
A modern man is reduced to stone-age level. This concept later appeared in TOS: "All Our Yesterdays", TNG: "Genesis" and ENT: "Extinction".
"The Women"
Some "hanky-panky" occurs when escorting a cargo ship of women to a deep space colony. This outline was the basis of "Mudd's Women". Also, vaguely similar to TNG: "The Perfect Mate".
"The Coming"
A parable about an alien condemned to crucifixion and his dignity around the subject. The idea of a religion parallel to early Christianity was used in "Bread and Circuses". The plot of TNG: "Transfigurations" is similar.
"The Perfect World"
The SS Yorktown lands on a supposed "perfect world," which appears similar to Earth ca. 1964. Only later do they realize that it is ruled by an authoritarian, Big Brother type; vaguely similar to "The Return of the Archons".
"Mr. Socrates"
The SS Yorktown discovers a planet which duplicates famous Humans, and then forces them into gladiatorial combat. This concept was used in TOS: "The Savage Curtain".
"The Stranger"
A "strange" alien intelligence begins to take over the minds of key crewmembers, in an attempt to fight a rival civilization. While similar to "Day of the Dove", this story much more closely resembles the later TNG and DS9 story concepts for "Conundrum" and "Dramatis Personae".
"The Man Trap"
The crew lands on a seemingly harmless planet, and begin to see apparitions. Eventually, they find that their wishes are being fulfilled in deadly ways. Despite the title, this story line had more in common with "Shore Leave" than with the episode of the same name.
Camelot Revisited
On Hermes II, a modern society exists, yet they contain many medieval characteristics, such as knighthood; vaguely similar to TNG: "Qpid" and VOY: "Heroes and Demons".
"100 A.B."
An exploration of a parallel world a hundred years after an atomic holocaust. The Enterprise visited a post-atomic war civilization in "The Cage". One of the three story drafts written by Roddenberry for the second pilot, "The Omega Glory" was based on 100 A.B., and by the end of the second season of TOS, "The Omega Glory" had been written by Roddenberry into a series episode.
"Kentucky, Kentucky"
An Earth colony in the Sirius group is reduced to fighting Viking-like savages in a "frontier" like community. The savage Klingons eventually appeared in "Errand of Mercy", where they invaded a primitive frontier community.
The crew visit the Isaac IV group, where they discover a group of sentient robots. Shares similarities with "I, Mudd".
"Reason II"
The story of the last Human survivors of the Isaac IV group, trying to take back control over the robots; similar to "I, Mudd".
"A Matter of Choice"
A world where the natives have the power to relive any portion of their lives over again. The implications of such a concept are explored, albeit in a radically different way, by TNG: "Tapestry".
"The Radiant One"
A love story with a woman from a "Garden of Eden" planet, except, because of her body chemistry, anyone who becomes her lover will die. Similar to "That Which Survives" in plot. Also, thematically similar to "The Way to Eden" in that death awaits those who find the Garden of Eden.
"The Trader"
The crew visit the oriental planet Satunii, that is strangely similar to the court of Genghis Khan. Though the plot itself was not used, Genghis Khan did appear in the series, in "The Savage Curtain". The notion of a rogue space traveler setting himself up as a leader over a world's natives appears in "I, Mudd", "Bread and Circuses", "Patterns of Force", and "The Omega Glory"
"A Question of Cannibalism"
The crew discovers that the colonists on Regulus are actually herding sentient beings, and face angry settlers when trying to free the "cattle." The idea of colonists accidentally destroying sentient beings is re-used in "The Devil in the Dark" and "Home Soil". Also, the idea of sentient beings used as a commodity by others appears in DS9: "Captive Pursuit". Roddenberry wanted to use this story outline as the basis of the first Star Trek feature film, when he approached Paramount with such an idea as early as 1973. Herb Solow commented, "Gene's story premise would have been rewritten, because it did not foreshadow an enjoyable night at the movies." (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp. 420-421)
"The Mirror"
The Yorktown discovers a duplicate Yorktown. Now they have to decide whether or not to destroy their counterparts. Somewhat similar to "Mirror, Mirror" and "The Enemy Within". A similar concept was also used in VOY: "Deadlock".
A strange alien being "devours" intelligence, and is headed straight for Earth; somewhat similar in concept to "The Changeling" and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
"The Pet Shop"
A world similar to St. Louis, 1910, except women are the masters and men are women's pets. The concept was revisited much later in TNG: "Angel One" as well as in Roddenberry's 1974 pilot Planet Earth and a similar idea, regarding Orion slave girls, was established in ENT: "Bound".
A planet where the "Ole Plantation Days" still occur, yet the racial roles are reversed. Worse yet, the crew find themselves stranded on the planet as runaways. This idea was later developed by Barry Trivers as "Portrait in Black and White". Although multiple attempts were made to create the story work, it never got into a suitable form for the screen. According to David Gerrold's book The World of Star Trek, DeForest Kelley in particular hoped to see a story episode where McCoy and Uhura become stranded on such a planet. NBC program manager Stan Robertson dismissed the idea, calling it "far from the accepted Star Trek norm". (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One)
"The Venus Planet"
The crew discover a planet of women. The men become increasingly attracted to the women, and almost too late do they realize that there are no more men on the planet. The story bears a striking resemblance to both TAS: "The Lorelei Signal" and VOY: "Favorite Son".
A female crew member discovers that she may be pregnant with an alien larva. Likely formed the basis for the Star Trek: Phase II premise "The Child", which was itself then recycled into TNG: "The Child".

Memorable quotes[]

Star Trek offers an almost infinite number of exciting science fiction stories.
Star Trek is a "Wagon Train" concept – built around characters who travel to worlds "similar" to our own, and meet the action-adventure-drama which becomes our stories.
…far enough into the future for galaxy travel to be thoroughly established (happily eliminating the need to encumber our stories with tiresome scientific explanation).
The "Parallel Worlds" concept is the key…"
…something like three million worlds with a chance of intelligent life
(referencing April) But, unlike most early explorers, he has an almost compulsive compssion [sic] for the plight of others, alien as well as Human, must continually fight the temptation to risk many to save one.
His name is "Mr. Spock". And the first view of him can be almost frightening – a face so heavy-lidded and satanic you might almost expect him to have a forked tail.
Except for problems in naval parlance, "Colt" would be called a yeowoman; blonde and with a shape even a uniform could not hide.
(from April's orders) …and the enforcement of appropriate statutes affecting such Federated commerce vessels and traders as you might contact…
Where required, "alien" variations will be obtained via padding, wigs, and simpler makeup devices.
Now and then, of course, we may spring a surprise variation, such as a fairly advanced civilization which clings to feudal armor and swords as a way of life.
Crew uniforms are 'naval' in general appearance, attractively simplified and utilitarian.


1964; 1984; Alpha Centauri; airman; barbarism; Blair General Hospital; "Bones"; Bouganville, Louis Antoine de; bridge; Caesar, Julius; Capone, Al; Carry Nation; Chicago; Class M; communism; Cook, James; crew quarters; communication room; crucifixion; cruiser class; Dodge City; Drake equation; Drake, Francis; five-year mission; galaxy; Garden of Eden; gladiator; God; Gunsmoke; Hermes II; Hitler, Adolf; Hornblower, Horatio; hypodermic pellets; Isaac IV; Jefferson, Thomas; Kentucky; Khan, Genghis; Kildare; laser weapons; Bonaparte, Napoléon; Native American; Nile Valley; Nightingale, Florence; Old West; "Parallel Worlds"; pinial galaxy limit; police; quadrant; Regulus; robot; Roman; Satunii; Scott, Winfield; Sirius; Socrates; space-warp; telecommunicator; telescreen; two-way scrambler; Tyrannosaurus; United Space Ship; Viking

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