by Josh Gross
The New York Times is reporting that a fan production of a long-lost script for the original Star Trek series has gotten the kibosh from CBS, which owns the rights to the series and the script.
From the article:
Last fall, an unused script for the cult 1960s television show turned up after being forgotten for years. Its author, the science-fiction writer Norman Spinrad, announced it would become an episode of a popular Web series, Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II, which features amateur actors in the classic roles of Capt. James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock and other crew members of the starship Enterprise.
But then another player stepped in: CBS, which said it owned the script and blocked a planned Web production of it.
What makes the story odd—aside from how a Star Trek script could remain lost for decades—is that CBS has no plans to produce the script and no one involved in Phase II makes any money. Not to mention, Phase II has previously produced lost scripts from the series without issue.
Again, from the article:
Phase II has already produced an unused script, by David Gerrold, the author of the humorous 1967 Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” In 1987 his “Blood and Fire” was shelved by Star Trek: The Next Generation; he reworked and directed it for Phase II in 2007 and never heard any objections.
“I don’t understand CBS’s thinking on this at all,” Gerrold said. “They didn’t care then. Why do they care now?”